Englewood/Venice Chapter 717 Background

The National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers.

The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE has a membership of nearly 400,000 men and women and represents the interests of nearly 4.6 million federal employees, retirees, spouses, and survivors. NARFE's mission has remained the same since 1921. People who join NARFE know the most effective means of change starts from within. Each NARFE member's voice and support carries twice its strength in making a difference on Capitol Hill. People who join NARFE know the only way to make change is to pursue what is right and just so that the only result is the outcome they seek. People who join NARFE know legitimate legislative change involves time, money, dedication and the constant pursuit of what is right and just. It is with this in mind that NARFE has helped change the future for the federal community.

Chapter origin: In 1958 a group of retired federal employees got together with the intention of forming a chapter of what was then called the National Association of Retired Civilian Employees. The chapter would be known as the Englewood Chapter 717. It would include retired civil servants from Venice to Punta Gorda. A charter was prepared and sent to National for approval November 22, 1958. Twenty-nine people signed this initial request for organization.

A meeting was held on January 21, 1959 with 37active members, 1 associate and 12 social members. They are considered the Charter members of Chapter 717. Leroy Gillette was the first president and Lolittia Smith was secretary. They met in members’ homes the third Wednesday of the month at 2:00 P. M. Chapter dues were $1.00 per year. The Charter was returned as approved by National on February 11, 1959. The founding date as noted on the Charter is February 12, 1959. The Chapter is currently led by President Steve Shoub, and the membership is in the mid 200s.