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Classic Mixbook

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S: Because you will be missed...

FC: esteemed colleague... | An inspirational leader... | selfless mentor... | and cherished friend.

1: Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived. Anonymous | If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader. Dolly Parton

2: Message to the Chicago Region Happy New Year to all! I hope and trust that most of us were able to enjoy good times with family and friends during the holidays. I am writing to share with you that I have made the decision to retire from SSA at the end of February 2011. It has been quite a journey for me reaching this decision, primarily because I have loved my association with the wonderful women and men of this organization, and our shared commitment to our mission of public service. But there is no doubt that the time has come for me to slow down, to spend more quality time with my spouse, family, and friends, to look after my health, and to perhaps pursue a new adventure or two. For more than forty years, SSA has been my life’s work. The many chapters of the career story have been exciting, fulfilling, and educational for me. Because of wonderful experiences and relationships, I’ve been able to grow as a person, a husband, a dad, a grandfather, and a friend. I’ve been blessed with countless companions and mentors on this journey. For the past twelve years, I have had the extraordinary privilege of being your leader in the Chicago Region. In that role, I’ve had a unique window on the quality and texture of your public service, and I’m still amazed by the goodness of your achievements. For all of your kindness and collaboration, you have my deepest gratitude. For those moments I let you down, I’m sorry. And for all of the moments when we used our collective capacity to create something special in ourselves and our service, my spirit is truly thankful for the gifts. I will look forward with great anticipation as you create the next generation of service at SSA. As good as it has been, you will make it better. Please give your support, understanding, and cooperation to those entrusted to lead us into the future. Help them to find and embrace the right solution and answers to move service forward in the time ahead. I will certainly hope to see SSA friends and acquaintances socially after I retire. But in a region of this size, there are so many with whom my path might not cross again. So let me close by once again thanking you for your contribution to our public service mission. I ask God’s blessings on each of you, your family and loved ones for wholeness, health, and happiness in the time ahead. Sincerely, Jim

4: God Bless you on your next journey. Fayha Dabish, ADM, Detroit Conner, MI | Jim, I wish you well in your coming retirement. I’m really sorry that I only got to meet you a few short months ago. You really have done a tremendous amount of good for the entire Chicago Region, and you will be missed. I, myself, will really miss the opportunity of working with you more. In just the short time I have known you, you have imparted a number of wonderful ideas and philosophies that I believe are essential to maintaining a good working environment. The excellent staff that you leave behind will have their work cut out for them trying to fill your shoes, but I’m sure they are all up to the task. It will be a pleasure to continue to work with them, and carry on your legacy of keeping our Region the best in the nation. Once again, enjoy your well deserved retirement!! Ed Ossmann, Madison, WI DDS | Mr. Martin, I t has been a great pleasure working with you. You will be missed. Enjoy your retirement! Ken Pepera, MSS, Cleveland, OH | Jim, My very best wishes go with you into your future. I am sure you will find all the adventures you can handle in your future, and hope that your adventures allow you great joy and further growth. Enjoy your new opportunities. It has been a pleasure to know you (little enough contact though we had). again, enjoy your next life! Yvonne Stam, HOCALJ Fort Wayne /Acting HOCALJ Toledo

5: Dear Mr. Martin: I just want to wish you a very happy retirement. I too am thinking of retiring after 34 years. We recently had two CR’s retire and I am sure a lot more in the near future. The fact we are now going to have a pay freeze I think is helping us make up our minds that retiring now is the smart thing to do. I too have given my entire life to the Agency and was very sorry to see the President does not think we deserve a pay raise. Since that affects our pension, us that have been here a long time would be better off taking retirement at this point rather than waiting. I feel saddened that the President feels this way for I personally give 110% to all people I deal with each and every day. Again, happy retirement! Linda Morin CR, Waukesha WI | Congratulations, Mr Martin, on achieving a well-deserved retirement. Thanks for your leadership. Dave Tindell T2CR, Rice Lake WI | Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!! Kyle Phillips, TSR, Detroit, MI | Mr. Martin, Thank you for all of your years of servicewe are losing a truly great leader. I’ve only been with SSA 5 years now but it seems like just yesterday that I started. We are blessed to not only have a job but to have one that is challenging and so rewarding. Thank you for your words of encouragement. May God bless you and your family as you step into this next phase of life. I hope you enjoy every minute of it Respectfully, Pam Katorosz, SCT Minneapolis ODAR

6: Congratulations and the best blessings that retirement can bring! I’m going to miss you and your leadership in the Chicago Region. Debi Schwartz, AWIC, Ohio | Jim- the very best of wishes to you and your family .. Phil Walton, Toledo, OH | Vaya con Dios, Mr. Martin! Thank you for your service. I hope you enjoy your retirement! Sincerely, Judy George, CR Eau Claire, WI | Thank you for the kindness and professionalism you have always displayed toward all. Thank you. Anthony Boykins , DM, Defiance, OH | Hi Jim I know the decision was difficult for you but I’m sure you’ll love retirement! Congratulations to you! Brenda Heuer, OS, Mansfield, OH | You will be missed by many Jim. The best to you on your well deserved retirement. Karyl Richson, PAS, Milwaukee, WI | Best wishes Jim. Ather Masood, Mgmt Analyst, CHR | Best of luck to you, sir. I very much enjoyed the few opportunities I had to meet you and greatly admired your sincerity and leadership. Tom Melfo, Manager, DDS Columbus, OH | Dear Mr. Martin, I wish you the very best in your new adventure and retirement. I was so very pleased to have personally met you, it truly was an honor. I will miss knowing that you are no longer at the helm of the Chicago Region and pray that your replacement will be as wonderful a leader as you have been. The very best to you and your family. Elaine Pulizzi, CRT, Akron, OH | Jim: Thank you for everything! Be blessed!! Ruth Bless, LMR, CHR

7: Congratulations on your retirement Jim, I know that you will enjoy it as much as you have enjoyed your career at SSA. I would also like to thank you for the guidance and opportunity to work with you as part of the ORC and RSI/SSI Team. I still have many projects going on around my home, so if you ever feel the need to swing a hammer or a shovel, just let me know. Paul Feddersen, Acting ADM, Prospect Heights, IL | Hi Jim, I’m really happy and sad with this news. I’ve worked with you for so many years and you have been such a wonderful and driven force with my career I feel I’m losing a family member. You may not know this but this past November 2010, made my 31st year with SSA; this amazed even me. I will always be thankful for you pushing me out of as you call it “SAFETY NET” and into the fire. Working in the FO office has been so exciting for me never knew what I was missing until I became a permanent person out here four years ago. Well, this is all I have for now, but don’t think you’re getting away from me that easily. You may see me sooner that you think. Until next time -- Bernie (Bernester Winters) | Hate to see ya go but hope to see ya on the links! Take care and have fun! Barry J. Stiverson, CRT, Lancaster, OH | You will be missed! I appreciate all of the support you have given the Council of Employees with Disabilities. Starr Martin Detroit-Southwest | Jim- Enjoy your retirement. It was a pleasure working with you and your team on the National Vision Training model. You have always been very supportive of the PAS’s in our endeavors, and for that I thank you. You will be missed!!!! Erin Thompson, PAS, Toledo, OH | Hello Jim, Best wishes as you transition into retirement. It has been a pleasure working for you. You truly did “lead by example.” We recently lost Mary Anne Alexander to retirement also. You will be missed. Best wishes and God Bless. Steve Plew, ADM, Gary, IN | Congratulations on your retirement! It is well deserved! It was nice working with you. Good luck in your adventures to come! Krista Knauf, CR, Escanaba, MI

8: What a remarkable letter Commissioner Martin! I celebrate wholeheartedly this new season of life that you will enter, I also want to take the time to say thank you. After writing you what was for me a very difficult letter, you took the time to not only respond but you did so personally via phone. That meant the world to me. You listen and provided guidance that I am sure will carry me far within my career. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for serving as our regional commissioner and setting such an awesome example of executive leadership when you took the time to listen and talk to me. I am forever grateful. Wishing you the most awesome retirement and next phase of life ever, Carletta E. Griffin Detail - Operations Supervisor Farmington Hills, MI | Dear Mr. Martin or if I may Jim, In the many years of my SSA career I have come to know and respect many individuals when our paths have crossed. Know that you are included in that many. AFGE has opened many opportunities for me during my SSA career. It is a delicate balance where respect and the needs for both must be met. It has not been difficult when working with someone who has never turned me down for an opportunity to talk and listen and one who never made me feel out of place. I thank you. Don’t know if I am part of the next or new generation as my career also winds down. However, please know that I will remember the kindness and respect you have always shown me. I truly wish you great health and happiness in this new phase of your life. Carpe diem! Congratulations, Charlotte Lewis | Jim, Congratulations, and best wishes for a long, healthy and happy retirement. Winky New, Piqua OH

9: Jim Congratulations on your decision to RETIRE- You have been a great leader in SSA and we will all miss you. God’s blessing’s to you and your family. The message is to enjoy your retirement and all the new avenues that come with retirement –one being Wow, no alarm clock to set-well let’s say my husband thought that was one of the best things for him You take care and God bless Linda C Barton, SDW Cadre, Joliet, IL | Jim, I want to thank you for your time as my Regional Commissioner. I have a deep sense of respect for the manner in which you served as our leader. Organizations sometimes take on the personality of the leader. For us that meant a genuine concern for our employees, a desire to be fair and to really listen, and a reasoned approach to challenges. I think these qualities created a lot of stability in our Region and produced a lot of great leaders at all levels. Your belief in us made me feel good about what I do at SSA. I hope you enjoy your next adventure. Sincerely, Darrin Salzman | Dear Jim, Warmest congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of your retirement. Your leadership, dedication and personality have left an indelible mark and you will be missed. Enjoy your well-earned retirement in good health. Sincerely, Blanca Bianchi de la Torre , ALJ, Indy, IN ODAR | Congratulations! Olga Montalvo, SR, Bloomingdale, IL | I wish you the greatest. Rita Fitzpatrick, OAC, Chicago ODAR | You will be truly missed and my mother Louise Walker told me to tell you Hi. Yolanda Walker, CA, GLPSC

10: May God shine his light on you as you start your next chapter in life. Gladys Santana, CR, HIllside, IL | I just wanted to say THANK You, Thank you for your support and efforts to clear the way for employees with disabilities to be able to obtain their goals in their career here at SSA including myself. Colleen Carrington, MA, GLPSC

11: Jim – You will be missed a great deal in the Agency and the Chicago SSA family. Good luck, any may you find further wonderful adventures post-SSA! Deborah M. Giesen, Regional Attorney Advisor Office of the Regional Chief ALJ | Jim, Thanks for sharing this. I am glad you will move on to a much deserved retirement on your own timetable. I will miss you more than you can know. Laurie (Watkins)

12: Jim, I wish you well in your coming retirement. I’m really sorry that I only got to meet you a few short months ago. You really have done a tremendous amount of good for the entire Chicago Region, and you will be missed. I, myself, will really miss the opportunity of working with you more. In just the short time I have known you, you have imparted a number of wonderful ideas and philosophies that I believe are essential to maintaining a good working environment. The excellent staff that you leave behind will have their work cut out for them trying to fill your shoes, but I’m sure they are all up to the task. It will be a pleasure to continue to work with them, and carry on your legacy of keeping our Region the best in the nation. Once again, enjoy your well deserved retirement!! Ed Ossmann, Deputy Director, Madison, WI DDS | Oh my. Congratulations to you! You have always been a wonderful leader and mentor. I will miss you. Live well, laugh often, love much. Kathy Meinhardt, ODAR, Minneapolis ODAR

13: Wow Jim!! I’ve known you since I was 21. It’s going to be so weird not having you as the RC but I’m REALLY happy for you. Good luck in everything you do and stay safe. Virgen Gonzalez, ADM, Ft Wayne IN | Good morning Mr. Martin, I hope I am not breaking protocol or doing anything wrong by responding to you directly. I do not expect you to remember know who I am specifically. However, I wanted to personally thank you for your guidance and support as our Regional Commissioner. I have had numerous opportunities to meet and speak with you personally over my career. Going back to when I was president of the Cleveland chapter of BAAC (many years ago) you were always supportive and always offered an encouraging word toward our issues. In addition, I have been selected to participate in many details and special assignments that have afforded me the opportunity to meet and speak to you personally. Again, you have always been a very supportive Regional Commissioner. I always left our conversations with realistic, yet positive and encouraging words from you. And I want to say thank you for that. I wanted to say “Thank You” for the many opportunities you have approve for me personally. I know I am just one of hundreds of employees you have, but I wanted you to know that your regional guidance has had a major impact on my life. I am a career SSA person having 30 years tenor. I have worked for SSA since I was 18 years old. I started as a grade 1, step 1, stay- in- schooler while attending college. I am now a grade 14 district manager. My career at SSA has afforded me many wonderful opportunities for experiences and growth personally and professionally. Under your guidance, our region has afforded many opportunities to the employees. I have participated in area, regional and most recently, the National Leadership Development program, career building opportunities. I know that without your guidance and approval for these opportunities, my personal experiences would not have been possible. And I want to say .Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!. As you have wished for your employees, I pray many Blessing upon you and your family. With sincere appreciation and gratitude, Shirley A. Miller, DM, Findlay, OH

14: Dear Jim, First I wanted to say “Congratulations”! I am happy for you that you will have more time with your spouse, family and friends. I have previously not written to you direct because I know that you are extremely busy, and inundated with email all the time. I did not, however, want this moment to pass without thanking you. I truly enjoyed your leadership style. I have always felt you led with your heart. I enjoyed your presentations at meetings, often meant to probe everyone into thinking deeper or to connect more with those we serve. I also really liked your annual Christmas messages because they were always heartfelt. You sent your gift of well wishes, and sacrificed much time in preparing the message with humor, detail, appreciation and compassion. I am most grateful that I was able to introduce you to my family this summer. You took time to meet my wife Rosa, Alex, Spencer and Grace in spite of many seeking to interact with you. Whoever follows you will have big shoes to fill because of the quality of your character. My hope is for you to have terrific health, abundant blessings and endless days experiencing dreams coming true in the future. Take care. “A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.” John Maxwell Gregg Szynsk, ADM, Anderson, IN | Enjoy your Retirement Mr. Martin! You have certainly earned it! We will miss you! Amy Malleo, TE, Cleveland SW OH | Dear Jim, You have truly been an inspiration to us all, and a wonderful leader! Enjoy your retirement, and know that you have done much to make this agency more effective, and the Chicago Region a wonderful place to work! Sincerely, Susan Jones, TSR, Indianapolis, IN | Jim, I must say, I am not totally surprised to hear that you will be retiring soon. You deserve it. I hate to see you go as I know that you have had a very unique and profound input on the many decisions that affect all of our work days. That uniqueness is rare and will be missed. I wish you, Patty, and your family all the best of health and spirit in your new chapter of life. I’m sure we’ll run across each other in LaGrange so that makes this less painful. Enjoy your life! Diane Kiolbasa, CR, Hillside, IL | Have a wonderful rest of your life. Jim Young, Painsville, OH

15: Jim: While I have never talked to you personally, I have had the privilege of hearing you speak many times at management meetings. Best wishes for health and happiness in the years ahead -- Mary Ann Barton, GS, Oak Brook, IL ODAR

16: Mr. Martin, I thank you for the opportunities that you have afforded me. You took the time to listen and meet with your employees even with a demanding schedule as yours. You have had the optimism and perseverance to see a clear destination for the Region and the knowledge of how we will get there. You have been a truly great speaker and motivator. I know that Area 7 has done well due to your leadership and ability to draw out the talents from the employees(AD, managers, cr’s, sr’s, and systems). I wish you all the best and continued health on your next journey. And in the famous words of Leonard Nimoy, “Live long and prosper!”, as you so well portrayed. Sincerely, John Magiera | Mr. Martin, Congrats on your retirement and good luck with your future endeavors! I enjoyed your email; it was very well-written. The Chicago Region is arguably the best. I love the quality service as a TSR that I am expected to provide as well as the drive and compassion of my fellow coworkers, supervisors, managers, and RO staff. Thank you for your high standards and excellence in your profession. Enjoy your time with your family and friends. I am sure you deserve it, Mr. Martin. Godspeed! Andrew Costello, TSR, Indy TSC | Dear Jim, Good luck and all the best to you and yours. We were very fortunate to have had you at the helm. Nice letter, too. Will miss you. Blessings, Jim C If you are ever near Hayward WI, give me a shout. We have a cabin near there. Actually so does Kathy Hanson. 651 260 6080 Jim Czechowicz, PAS, MN | Beautiful message. Bea Disman

17: Mr. Martin, Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to serve under you. You have been a great leader and your leadership has had a tremendous impact on my career. I have had the honor of meeting you on quite a few occasions. Rather it be at a BAAC conference or in the field office. I am a T16 Cr located in the Columbus OH downtown office under the great management of Michael Link. You have a great spirit and have always shown genuine compassion in all that you do. I wish you all the best in your next phase in life. Thank you for your GREAT LEADERSHIP!!! Samona R. Haskins, CR, Columbus, OH | Jim- Congratulations! It has honestly been a joy working under your leadership. You have set a tone of fair-mindedness and common sense that will serve this Region well for many years to come. Thank you and enjoy yourself! Jim Bushman District Manager Elgin, IL

20: Jim: Congratulations Jim I know the transition will be tough but probably welcome in many ways. I wish you and your family the best in your new chapter of life—enjoy. Perhaps I will make it to Chicago before the end of February. Do you want to have a Regional Forum meeting prior to your retirement? It would be a nice parting gift to employees.. Congratulations. I suppose there will be even more time to read and write poetry and that is a good thing. David Sheagley, TSR, Cleveland, OH / AFGE | Thank you Mr. Martin. I actually interviewed you and Donna Mukagawa in 2003 for my Graduate school thesis, and now I just completed my TSR training. Best wishes as you start a new chapter in your life’s story! Sincerely, Parker Lhee

21: Jim – I enjoyed working with you when I was in Chicago. By all accounts you’ve managed the region wisely and efficiently. I hope retirement brings you the opportunity to enjoy the richness of life. Best of luck to you. Steve Ahlgren, ALJ, Milwaukee ODAR | WITH MANY BLESSINGS AND FULLFILLMENT I WANT TO EXPRESS A DEEP GRATITUDE OF THANKS AND HEALTHY AND HAPPY RETIREMENT TOO. Angelo Sturino, DC, Chicago NW | Mr. Martin, I really enjoyed your Christmas message! Hope you enjoy your retirement. Hal Bluethman, CR, Rockford, IL. | Nicely written, heartfelt message, Jim – class act all the way! mg Michael Grochowski

22: Hello Jim, I was thinking of sending you a Happy New Years note today and then I got this message. I sure hate that you are leaving, mostly because I just got started with the organization. I wish you lots of good times in your retirement. Best Wishes to you and your family, and Happy New Year!! Regina Isaac, CR, Dayton, OH | Hi Jim, I just wanted to say a quick congratulations and wish you many years of exciting adventures in your retirement. I will always be extremely grateful for the time I was able to spend at RO with NTVW, and the vast and valuable knowledge I gained while participating in meetings with you. I make it a point of sharing with co-workers what a great experience it was working along an RC that will be very missed! Best wishes, Tasha (Quast) Burslie OS, Minneapolis, MN | Mr. Martin as you take your journey away from SSA may God go with you. May God’s richest blessings be upon you and your family. I thank you for all that you have done here at SSA. Good luck, live, love and be happy is all I can say. Georgia Coleman, MA, GLPSC | Congratulations on your pending retirement and all that it may mean for you. I’m planning on beating you by a month, as my last day will be January 28th. I hope we get a chance to play some golf together again one day, perhaps at Atwood, but anywhere would be fun for me. I’m not sure about you, but I plan to sharpen my game this summer by playing as much as I can. Alan Benson, TE, Findlay, OH | Beautiful message, Jim. Thanks for sharing it. Terrie Gruber

23: Jim, This is elegant, compelling and heart-warming, in the Jim Martin tradition. We long ago came to expect nothing but the best in leadership, thoughtfulness and creativity from our RC in Chicago. You have continued to build on that reputation with concrete outcomes to the very end of your long career of distinguished service. I do not doubt that you will approach the next elements of your life with equal passion. On behalf of all of us in the San Francisco Region, I thank you for being such a great partner and spokesperson, and I wish you and your family nothing but the best. Pete Spencer | Jim, good luck to you in whatever endeavor you may choose. I do not know your personally, only working at SSA for 7 months. I come from a background in education and have a passion to help and serve people. Yes, the clients do press your “hot” buttons at times. However, in the short time I have been working here there have been some truly amazing interactions and experiences with the clients. Your journey through the Social Security Administration seemed to be an engaging and inspirational experience. Maybe there is a book in the works? God Bless and take time to relax and digest the 40 years. Sincerely, Robert Needles | Jim, You will be greatly missed. Thanks for your leadership and direction. Thanks for challenging us. Thank you for allowing me to do extremely rewarding work! Thank you for your wonderful message. You have been a great leader and I feel privileged to have had the wonderful opportunity to meet you and work for you. My very best wishes to you as you embark on a new and exciting chapter in your life. You certainly deserve it! Sue Bergman, ADM, Columbus, OH | You are going to be greatly missed, my friend. Robert Pagan

24: Mr. Martin, I know you will be inundated with well-deserved good wishes and emails acknowledging your exemplary career. I hope that my words are not lost in the sea of all that well-wishing as just warm regards. You are a true role model. I consider the few times I have had the honor of sharing time with you to be gems of my SSA career from your visits to the OS classes in Chicago (TL 301/TL401) to the fun we shared at the Cardinals game (where Marcia and I missed the home run while discussing Nina Simone) and most recently listening to your message to be “faithful to the end” to our potential retirees during your office visit to D59. You are accessible and inclusive, yet visionary and intellectual. When I read your poem “They are our people” to my staff, I am certain there were wet eyes in the employees eyes as we each identified your with your message. You have a kind heart a great attribute of someone with your level of power. I plan to be with this agency a very long time. I will aspire to the gold standard that you have set for the leaders of our agency to improve one another’s lives. God bless you. Enjoy! Linda M. Christian, OS, Belleville, IL | Jim: You have all my best wishes for a long and happy retirement. Congratulations! Marge Carso, CHR | Congratulations on making this big decision, Jim! It will be difficult to leave so many friends and co-workers behind, but a new and different life can be equally rewarding. Enjoy everything the future holds for you! Trudy Lewis | WOW!!! I’m sure you will receive and read thousands of congratulatory emails. But please know, you have made a positive impression on an Akron PAS-not just as an RC, but as a person. Your intelligence and humbleness truly amazed me! I wish you and your family the best of years to come and thank you for being who you are! Robert Fenn, PAS, Akron, OH

25: Jim – I don’t know you, but have seen your name many times and that I have benefitted from your work. I am sure your experience and expertise will be sorely missed. Have a great retirement. Dave Couri, Attorney Advisor, Peoria ODAR | Congratulations Jim!!!! I hope that your retirement is a fulfilling as your long career with SSA has been. Take care and remember to go and do something fun with your time. Fishing comes to mind!!! God’s blessings to you, your family and loved ones for wholeness, health, and happiness as well ~ Hattie Craxx, CR, Superior, WI | Thank you for your service. Enjoy your retirement! Tammy Whitaker, ALJ, Indy ODAR | Hey Jim, Wow. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have crossed paths with you. My 13 years at SSA has been an ‘adventurous’ journey to say the least. The investment you have placed in someone like me I will always cherish and pay forward for years to come. I respect, value, and appreciate you. Thank you for being a true public servant and leader. I know your service does not end with SSA. May you continue to inspire many with your “outrageous” brand of leadership! God Bless You and Yours. Marilyn Robinson Evansville IN FO | Happy New Year to you, as well. I am deeply saddened (purely selfish) to hear you are retiring. You have truly been a wonderful example of how we all should live our lives and perform at our workplace. We only met once, but your caring emails meant so much to me over the years. Thank you and enjoy your family and your retirement! Gloria Slansky, TE, Medina, OH

26: Jim: Happy New Year to you. Thanks again for having the conference call today to give us the news personally. Over the past seven years I have been the beneficiary of your strong leadership in the Chicago Region. During that time you provided support and encouragement to me both professionally and personally. During the most difficult time of my life, my friends in the Chicago Region supported me in ways I could not have imagined possible. My ability to work out of the Regional Office during Bill’s treatment weeks at the University of Chicago was an invaluable gift. The guidance you and the Center provided during that phase allowed me to grow into the position while dealing with difficult personal issues. I will never forget that support or friendship. The support and friendship continued as I grew in my role as Administrator. It continued as I began to stretch and move into national workgroups in an active capacity and in the position of President-Elect of NCDDD. Your support and guidance were always there in times of challenge or miscommunication. The Illinois DDS has done well because we have strong leadership in the Chicago Region that understands the needs and issues of the DDS. You have been an inspiration and mentor to so many. The gifts you have given with your guidance and encouragement will continue to serve the Chicago Region very well. You and your leadership will be missed in the Chicago Region. I will certainly miss you. Thanks again for your tireless efforts on behalf of the DDSs, your strong leadership, your patience, and most of all your friendship. I wish you the very best in your retirement. Ann P. Roberts, Deputy Director, IL DDS | God Bless You and your family in the future. You have been an inspiration to all. Margaret Simmons Claims Representative | Jim – Congratulations and best of wishes to you on your retirement. We in the region will miss you. I hope you have many new journeys in your retirement life to explore. Terri Klubertanz

27: Farewell Jim, This is such a typical Jim Martin notice, you are thanking everyone and expressing how grateful you are for having made their acquaintance. You are an Outstanding Senior Executive and most people I know would love working for you. I don’t think you know how important you have been to this agency, not just the Chicago region. This is truly a sad day for SSA nationwide. Our Training Vision Champion is leaving. I will miss you a great deal; our insightful remarks at the OEM, your friendship, mentoring, overall knowledge and candor. You have always provided an objective, candid view of all situations and we dearly needed a person with your level of knowledge and understanding in Operations. I have not said this to you personally but I think of you as one of my mentors and a friend. I could never thank you enough for all of the advice and guidance you have given me over the past 3 years. You helped to shape the agencies training vision and knowledge transfer process. You were extremely supportive to me as a rookie DRC and RC. You leave behind a strong legacy of excellence and you have positively touched the lives of Thousands of SSA employees around the country. I am really sadden to think about your knowledge walking out the door. I respect you immensely and wish you nothing but the best in retirement. I know your family will love having you around more often. Good Luck Jim, I hope our paths cross again during our retirement years, Take care, Stanley Friendship | Happy New Year to you too looks like it will be a very different one for you than the past forty or so have been I must tell you that while not entirely unexpected, this was not a message I’ve been looking forward to getting! That said, I also have to tell you your words, as always, were well chosen and inspiring. You should know that I, and many others I know, admire you, respect you and appreciate all you given and done for SSA over the years. You will be missed here but truth is you, your family and your friends deserve having you full time. Take care of yourself, enjoy and may God bless you, your family and loved ones in the time ahead! Steve Richards, DM, Lima, OH

28: Good Morning Mr. Martin, You will be greatly missed Mr. Martin. I know you don’t know this, but I have looked up to you (literally j/k), since I started with the agency ten years ago. I have observed you in meetings, and your main concern has always been us, the employees. You have been an inspiration to many of us. You are a great leader, but most importantly, you have this wonderful human spirit that shines from within. I only hope to be a quarter of a human being like yourself, quite frankly I think I am, now I just have to work on the other three quarters. I wish you and your family the very best. God Bless. Rene Torres, CHR | Dear Mr. Martin- Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I am very happy for you, but you will truly be missed. Have fun, Kay Cook, SR, Roseville, MI | Jim, What a beautiful message. Congratulations on your retirement. It’s a blessing to be able to take time for yourself and your family. Imagine waking up, sitting across the table from your beautiful wife, sipping coffee and not having to get up, dress and hit the train! Wonderful! Thank you for being such a powerful, compassionate leader. You make us want to do well in all we do. We never want to disappoint you, or the public. You have been an inspiration to all of us, especially me. I pray that you and your family are blessed with peace, good health and kindness in the future. Hope you noticed the improvement in Chicago Heights waiting times. We have really been trying, and it’s going to continue to get better. Vela Marshall, DM, CHicago Heights, IL | Dear Jim, You stopped in our office last year in FO427. I really enjoyed talking with you and seeing that people “at the top” could be so kind and sincere here at Social Security. You stopped at my desk and we talked about the Three Stooges briefly ( I had a magnet on my light with them on it). You said “The three’s a guy thing.” I loved it. All the best to you as you retire Jim. Jack Haggard CR, Cleveland Buckeye-Shaker, OH

29: You, sir, will be missed. Thank you for serving as my mentor and for all the great advice you’ve given me over the past (almost 20!!) years. You have set a high bar but you’ve never left any of us behind or let any one of down. One of the great memories I will always have is when you visited the Chicago Training Center in April 1991. (Good old Zebley v Sullivan hires!!) You held an assembly to welcome us and had all the new CRTs introduce themselves. Of course, I was trying to stay in cognito and just say my name and duty station. But noooooo. You busted me, and told everyone about Charles Sr. LOL At first, I was upset but soon came to realize that what you had shown me was SSA was a “family” business. We build strong bonds and relationships. And I try to relay this whenever I’m called upon to recruit and when we do have the opportunity to hire. That’s just one thing, I’ve learned from you. There are so many. I could spend most of the day outlining what you’ve meant to Region V, Area 9, and me. So, let me reiterate. THANK YOU!! You’ve been a great friend, mentor, boss and you will be most definitely be missed!! Charles Stovall, ADM, New Albany | Congratulations on your retirement. It was nice to have you visit us here at DO 551 last fall. I wish you good health, joyous times with your family and friends, and many satisfying new adventures. Jenny Pomeroy Larsen, CR, Wisconsin Rapids, WI | Jim, I am now getting through many many emails from the holiday time frame. I have reread your retirement message. I want to let you know that I sit here in HQ today misty eyed as I read your words and messages. Your note is very inspirational and touching! You have found an incredible way to impact the lives of many and your leadership has made a difference to many across the region and nation. I am included in those that have had incredible opportunities because of your kindness and support. I do hope that we can find a way to stay in touch after you move on to your new chapter. In the meantime, there are no words to thank you! It is with heartfelt thanks and gratitude that I warmly wish you special joys, blessings and adventures. All the best to you Jim today and many years to come. Linda Dorn

30: Dear Jim, I’m so happy for you and your family. Hope you enjoy your retirement in good health and humor. It hardly seems possible that our trips to Dennis’ donut shop were 4 decades ago. (Especially since the evidence is still on my waistline!) I hope to see you around the neighborhood. You can ride your bike over to 521 S Waiola anytime. Back door is open and the beverages are cold. Blessings on you and yours, Mary Beth Maloy (McLynn), CR, Chicago South | Good luck on your retirement, Mr. Martin! You will be missed. It was good to see you and your wife in Baltimore last September! Thanks for everything. Christie Lee TE, Minneapolis, MN | Jim, I know you are getting a lot of these messages - I will keep it short. I appreciated the one-on-one conversation we had last year outside the hotel in Columbus (for the MOVE conference – we talked about Vickie West). It was refreshing to have a sit down with someone who is true to themselves and has achieved great things. Your candor and ability to connect will be missed. I have a lot of years of service left for Social Security. If I can accomplish half the things you did with the same level of tact; I will retire a happy, proud man. Congrats on your retirement! John Schlueter District Manager - Ravenna, OH | Jim, I’m grateful to have served in the Chicago Region under your leadership. Thanks for caring enough to bring the best out of many of us who would not otherwise have the opportunities that we take for granted. You have been a blessing and an inspiration to me in more ways than you will ever know. I extend my best wishes to you and your family. Godspeed! Maurice El-Amin, DM, Indy DTN

31: Jim, Today is my first day back in the office after the holidays, and I was “greeted” by your announcement that you will be retiring next month. While you have certainly earned the right to start a new chapter in your life, especially after faithfully serving this agency for 40 years, I am very much going to miss you and your leadership in the region. You have been so supportive of our office and a model client. You ask the right (and oftentimes hard) questions, you carefully think about the advice (sometimes not so appealing advice) we give, and most of all, you’re driven by a genuine and heartfelt desire to do the right and fair thing in all matters because you care about the employees in this region. It’s energizing to work with someone like you. I’m also so appreciative of the many opportunities you have given me--to do training, to participate in meetings and workgroups, and to work with your staff in a myriad of ways. I have learned a lot about what it means to be a principled leader from watching you over the years, and for that I wanted to thank you. I’m going to miss you very much, Jim, and I want to wish you the very best in whatever adventures you will be undertaking after you leave SSA. I know I’ll have opportunities in the next couple of weeks to tell you all of this personally, but I wanted to put some of my thoughts in writing too. Grace Grace M. Kim, Deputy Regional Chief Counsel , OGC | Mr. Martin, It was beyond amazing working with you. I loved meeting your wife in Baltimore and sharing that awesome dinner. I will never forget all the advice and information that you taught me. You gave me great inspiration to do and be more. I will truly miss you. Good luck in your retirement and all of your adventures. Sincerely, Stacy S. Schmitz, CR, Akron, OH | Congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors. Danielle Menefee, BA, GLPSC

32: Jim, I’m sure you are inundated with messages right now, but I just had to send my own well wishes, too. I don’t know if I will ever be able to fully express the impact that you have had on me, both personally and professionally. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work closely with you. Despite your crazy schedule and huge responsibilities, you always took time to listen to me and truly HEAR what I had to say. You always took an interest in what I had to say, valued my opinions and affirmed me as a person. You not only took the time to do these things for me, but for everyone on your team. As I work with my staff here in Minneapolis, I try to take the “Jim Martin” approach. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of the current demands of the job. Each day, I make a conscious effort to treat people as you treated me – with genuine interest and care. Some days I’m more successful at this than others, but – hey - we all are God’s great works of art in progress. Jim, I wish you and Pattie nothing but the best as you move on to your next great adventure. I know you’ll take every opportunity to love up those beautiful grandkids, spend time with family and good friends, and find new ways to serve your fellow man. I will miss our conversations. I knew I could always count on your for a ready ear and rock-solid advice. I’ll keep the Christmas cards coming so you can stay updated on the Cullen girls. Peace, Colleen Cullen, DM, Minneapolis, MN | Wow Mr. Martin, I’m really sad to see you leave us. However, I know that your time has come to move on and really enjoy life. It has been a great pleasure to have met you and to have worked for you. I wish you the best that life has to offer, as you begin a new phase in your life! Best wishes Shanya Fullerton-Ingram, Warehouse

33: I never had the opportunity to meet you as I recently transferred to GR from NC. Best Wishes to you and yours in your retirement. It is definitely wonderful to be back home, among family and friends. Charlan Otto, SR, Grand Rapids, MI | Mr. Martin, I want to wish you well and hope that retirement will be a continuation of many wonderful experiences in your life. I am so glad that I was able to hear you speak in Chicago at the Leadership Symposium and to actually have a little private time with you on your visit to Austin. The agency loses a real jewel upon your departure. Sincerely, Stella Alvarez, DM, Georgetown, TX | Jim, Happy New Year and congratulations on your upcoming retirement in February. I wish the best for you, your family and loved ones as well. You will be remembered by me and so many others as one of the outstanding leaders for SSA. Will miss seeing you raise the podium at meetings. Yvonne Veal, DOM, GLPSC | Jim, I just wanted to congratulate you on your well-deserved retirement and wish you nothing but the best. You surely deserve it! Retirement is a huge milestone in life and the when-to-do-it is not an easy decision to make. Here’s hoping that you have lots of healthy, happy years ahead, filled with family, friends and special memories. Joan Figge, DM, Eau Claire, WI

34: Jim, Congratulations on your decision to retire. I wish you nothing but the best in a long and healthy retirement. (I’ve been waiting for the dust to settle from your announcement to drop you a note.) I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in facing the challenges we face as an agency – you’ve always remained positive regardless of the task at hand. As I approach my 38th anniversary with SSA in February, I continue to wonder if and when Jo Ann will let me retire. She has backed off the age 78 answer she was giving me the last couple of years but continues to stress that I can’t retire “until I can guarantee her a lifestyle better than the one she is currently accustomed to” – go figure! Honestly, as I mentioned to you at the last Area meeting, I am thoroughly enjoying my “adventure” in Fort Wayne and really have no desire to talk seriously about retiring just yet. I know I will be around for the 40th anniversary in 2013 and hopefully for several more years after that. I am still enjoying work too much to think otherwise. Our discussions at various meetings have always been a pleasure so again best wishes on your next “adventure”. If you are ever cruising through Fort Wayne, don’t hesitate to pay a visit. Thanks again, Michael G. Reynolds, DM, Fort Wayne, IN | Jim, I know your retirement is a couple of months away, but I wish you the very best for a healthy and happy retirement!! Your leadership will certainly be missed! Thanks again for pointing Kojuan in my direction – I truly enjoy working with her. Again, I wish you the very best in retirement! Amy Roberts, ARC MOS, Atlanta Region | Dear Jim, Heard through the grapevine that you are retiring in March. Since I now have a year of retirement experience, let me just say that it's GREAT! Best wishes for many happy and healthy retirement years. Yours from the Coast, Mae and Blake (Novak)

35: Hi Jim, Even though our paths crossed briefly in this universe, I would like to wish you the very best in your retirement! May God bless your family and you always. Félix Hernandez, TSR, Cleveland TSC | Hi Jim, I just received a copy of your farewell address from one of my friends in your region. It was beautiful – you still have the poet in you. I am sad to see you leave SSA but I certainly understand that there is a time that is right to do so and there is more to life than work. We have been lucky to have worked in a job that gives us a good living while allowing us to help people every day. You definitely understood that and I want you to know how much I appreciated you loaning such excellent people to work with me when I was working in the Commissioner’s office. I have been thoroughly enjoying my detail to OPM. The 2 years was up on 11/30/10 and Commissioner Astrue offered me several great options to work out of his office in DC. But the White House and OPM have been pleased with the work I’ve done and asked that I be extended and the Commissioner has agreed. Works for me! I plan to return to SSA in 12/2011 (unless they mess with my CSRS – then I’ll follow you out!). So, thank you for your friendship and I wish you every joy, health, and happiness in the coming years. Take care, Mary Chatel, Executive in Residence, FEI | I congratulate on your upcoming retirement. I know this had to be a difficult decision for you, but you have given a lifetime to SSA. I always enjoyed seeing at the PAAAC meetings that I attended in Chicago. Good luck and best wishes, Susanna Mills T16 CR D04

36: Congratulations! I’m simultaneously happy for you and sad for Region V and the greater SSA community. Your leadership style and substance, and example of dedication to public service as a government employee has always inspired me and influential in bringing me back into the SSA world after my brief time away from the DDS. Leaders like you have made SSA a great place to serve. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to make it over to your retirement party, but I wish you a wonderful and long next life and hope to run into you again sometime. Gabrielle sends her regards as well. Byron Haskins, Office of Vocational Resources Development | Hi Jim, I heard the news and just wanted to congratulate you on your retirement. It’s been a long time since David Balto and I were OS’s and you were the BM in Dorchester! I just wanted you to know how much I always respected you for your honesty, integrity and professionalism. I wish you all good things in retirement. Best, Charles Strigler, DM, Cambridge, MA | Jim, Please forgive me if it is inappropriate to respond to you directly, but I want to wish you the best in a well-deserved retirement. I was fortunate to be a member of the “guinea pig” class for the first training proficiency pilot and we crossed paths several times while I was working in Geneva Young’s office. It has been a true honor serving the public under your leadership. I wish you and your family health, happiness and the most enjoyable times. Warmest Regards, Clifford Briggs, GS, Livonia, MI ODAR

37: My daughter, Carletta Griffin told me that you were retiring and I wanted to be among the many to say Congratulations. I went to Atlanta to Paul Barnes' retirement last month. I retired five years ago from the agency, and I had 40 years of serving people and there is nothing greater than serving others while protecting the intregrity of the program. In 2009 I say you at the Christmas Party given by Geneva Young, I an my company, Mr. Ross sat at your table, as he was the original Tuskegee Airman. I have many photos of you and him from that night, and I will be sure to remind him that you are retiring. He is still going all over sharing his story. I was excited to learn how you plan to spend your retirement, with those that are dear and near to you. Wow, that is awesome. I have been enjoying my time by going back to school, doing more volunteering in the community and at church, and since it was a life long dream of mine to be an actress, I am in my church drama group, and have been asked to work with the community drama group. I have so many offers, that I have to pick and choose which one to take on so I can still feel retired. I also had a garden last year, and expects to have one this summer. May God bless you as you retire - then re-fire, and whatever you do enjoy each day - Retirement is much better than I ever dreamt as I have no regrets! Ernestine P. Stewart, former CR 372 | Jim, I’ve learned that you will be retiring March 3rd. Congratulations on that event. I really appreciated your support during my time as regional commissioner and deputy. Your integrity and intellect meant so much to the organization and to me personally. The Chicago Region will miss your strength and leadership that you demonstrated over the years. I wish you the best in retirement. I have been doing some substitute teaching, arbitrating a few cases for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, volunteering at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and Overland Park Arboretum, and taking a Spanish course. I’m hoping to keep my grade above Si level. Around the holidays, we spent two weeks in California, visiting our daughters and their families. Our younger daughter, who just turned 39, has a 10 month old daughter, and we spent a good portion of the time with her. Again Jim, best wishes for a long and healthy retirement. Don Schoening

38: Jim, I didn’t want the few weeks you have remaining with SSA to slip away without offering my sincere congratulations. It certainly doesn’t seem like 25 years ago when I worked for you on a regional project, nor does it seem possible that so much time has elapsed since you left Boston. I learned so much by observing your style, particularly your integrity and your deliberate decision making. Because you were such a tremendous asset to this Region, I feel comfortable in assuming that Chicago, as well as SSA, is losing an impactful leader, who will be difficult if not impossible to replace. Good luck, good health and a long and enjoyable retirement with family and friends. Fred Gilbert, Director, Center for DIB, Boston | Jim, It is always a pleasure to talk with you both on both a professional and personal level. As I mentioned on the phone, my heart and head are in sync and I can’t imagine a better time in my life to retire. I just feel that the best is yet to come! Jim, I wish you all of the peace and blessings as you enter retirement. You will leave SSA knowing that you impacted many lives for the good during your 40 years of service. My personal contact information is: 117 Robin Glen Ln, Ovilla, TX 75154; email: and telephone numbers are: 972-217-1291-home and 972-675-7409. I would love to keep in touch and I have promised Marcia that I do plan to visit her in Chicago in the near future. You take care and I wish you all the very best and much happiness in life. Billye Hill | Hi Jim I just had to congratulate you when I heard about your upcoming retirement. It seems like ages ago that we attended the FEI and played poker until late into the night. (OK - I guess it actually was ages ago.) As I recall, you were a pretty good card shark! Something to fall back on if that retirement thing ever gets boring.But I’m sure you have many great things planned for the future. I wish you good health, good fortune and happiness. You deserve it all! Dotty Isherwood Director of Programs Railroad Retirement Board | Jim Your message is lovely --- actually brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing it. MGC

39: Jim, Just got word that you're retiring shortly. Speaking as someone with a little over 6 months experience at "the good life", I can tell you that you will totally enjoy it. It does take a bit of adjusting, but that happens pretty quickly. Actually, my second week of retirement I tagged along with my wife on a CMS visit to Chicago and spent some time with John Nolan and Jennifer Lang (you were not in that day). John and Jennifer have always spoken very highly of you and I need to remind them that I've had the pleasure of working with you as well. You should be very proud of your accomplishments over your long and distinguished career with SSA. This Agency will be forever in your debt for the many, many contributions you have made to its continued success. You've done great things throughout your career and you should always remember that you constantly gave your best toward the betterment of SSA. Now, it's time to enjoy! You should have no trouble doing that, especially with grandkids (haven't reached that stage myself, but hope to someday - my guy is a senior in college). Best of luck to you as you start your "second life"'ve earned it! Best wishes, Bob Maloof PS - Every time an RC retired I'd say that Vaz will be the next to go; I gave up on that notion about three RCs ago! | Hi Jim, I heard the news and just wanted to congratulate you on your retirement. It’s been a long time since David Balto and I were OS’s and you were the BM in Dorchester! I just wanted you to know how much I always respected you for your honesty, integrity and professionalism. I wish you all good things in retirement. Best, Charlie Charles Strigler, DM, Cambridge, MA

40: Hello Jim, My name is Betsy DeMets and we have met on a couple of occasions; I am a unit supervisor at the Wisconsin DDS. I read about your retirement and thought I would send you a note of congratulations. You may not know it, but in Wisconsin you are a bit of a legend. We send out so many personal decision notices each year and your name is on each one. When I had the opportunity to meet you for the first time I even thought of bringing some of those letters along so we could send out signed copies of the PDN letters! (kidding, of course) I attended the leadership conference in Chicago and you were one of the keynote speakers. I still have my notes from your speech- and recall that your first point was that everyone is special. One thing you do very well when you meet someone is treat them like they are the only person in the room. Each time we have met it was first a handshake and when we parted, a hug. I appreciate that, it made me feel very special. You taught me that great leaders must be great lovers of what they do. I believe you are a great leader who loves Social Security and what we are able to do for the Americans we work for. Thank you for sharing that love with me. Good luck to you in the future. Attached is a picture taken from one of the times we met, this one was in Milwaukee and we are with my colleague, John Crossman. Betsy

41: Hello, Jim, I know that in these last few days leading up to retirement you must be flooded with e-mails and letters expressing thoughts of appreciation and congratulations on your retirement. I wish to take a moment to add my best wishes and express my gratitude for having had the opportunity to work under your steady and creative leadership. I have always greatly respected you not only as a figure of leadership but as a person of integrity. I think back to the many meetings and conference calls over the years where you have spoken as a voice of experience, always considerate of your employees, with inspiring vision, and from your heart, exposing yourself to be a genuine and caring person. At times of retirement it is easy to dwell on the loss of a co-worker or leader or great employee, but I think it is more important and more appropriate to celebrate for that individual as they make the transition into their next great adventure in life. You have long been and will always be an ambassador for Social Security, but now it is your time to enjoy the adventures that life has in store for you without the day to day stresses of a job you have known and excelled at for many years. You are a vibrant individual who I see doing many exciting things in the years to come. If you are ever in the Holland, Michigan area, please stop and visit. As you know, Holland is beautiful and has much to offer (and is highly rated nationally as a retirement destination)! Take care and enjoy your retirement. Sincerely, Randy Pierson, Holland, Michigan | Jim, I wanted to join the chorus of people congratulating you on your entry into the next chapter of your life. Your announcement got me thinking about what you have meant to me personally over the last several years, and I wanted you to know that you are on a very short list of people in any part of my life that can get me to stop and rethink about directions I am going. I truly value that. I will miss your insights and ability to frame issues in unique ways that help a lot of people, one of whom is me, to look at things in ways we otherwise never would have. All the best. Chris Obrecht, RSI/SSI | Good morning Mr. Martin – It has been an honor working under your leadership. I wish you only the very best! God bless you, always! A humble friend, Abner A Cruz, CR, Wausau

42: Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I am very happy for you and your family. We have learned so much from your leadership and your legacy shines through each and every one of us. We will continue to serve the next RC as we have served you, but I want you to know that you will be greatly missed. You are a kind and thoughtful leader. May we walk in the steps of your greatness. Congrats, again! Em (Emily Kuhn) | Jim, Congratulations on your impending retirement. When we undertake a path in life rarely do we know where it will ultimately lead. Your path of federal service truly was a remarkable venture and as a fellow American, thank you! Now since you really are too young to stop working, how about a second career as a consultant with a growing consulting firm with a federal practice? ;) Good luck and God bless you in your future ventures, Joe Galvan, Galvan and Associates, LLC | Mr. Martin, On behalf of the Pacific Asian American Advisory Council, we would like to extend our warmest wishes on your upcoming retirement. You have been a great supporter of our past endeavors and an esteemed leader. We are sorry that we will not be able to continue our mutual collaboration on diversity initiatives. However, you are leaving us with a great framework for the future and wish you nothing but the best in your retirement. Therefore, it is with bittersweet feelings that we say a fond farewell to you and hope that your retirement will bring you as much joy as you have shared with all of us. Sincerely, the PAAAC Leadership Team

43: Jim, Thank you for your decades of service to the federal community. I truly enjoyed working and socializing with you at our committee meetings and retreats. I regret that my schedule prevents me from attending the meeting on the 13th, but you have my best wishes and warmest regards as you embark on your next great adventure. Please do stay in touch. All the best, John CAPT John Malfitano, U.S. Navy Commanding Officer Naval Station Great Lakes 2601 E Paul Jones Street Great Lakes, IL 60088 Tel: (847)688-2961 | Jim, My congratulations to you on your upcoming retirement...and on concluding a highly distinguished and successful career. You have made an enormous contribution to SSA and you will be greatly missed. The agency is losing one of its true stars, and it will miss your wisdom, vision and integrity. You have touched and enriched the lives of literally thousands of employees...and many, many more citizens of this country. You can leave knowing that you made SSA a better place to work and serve. You represent all that is good and noble about "public service." I wish you well as you embark upon this next exciting step in your journey. I can assure you that you won't regret the decision to retire. While I know it sounds trite, there truly is life after SSA. My very best to you. God's speed. Best Regards. Larry Massanari ( | Colleagues: Please see message below announcing Jim’ Martin’s retirement. This is a tremendous loss for our Federal Community. Jim, Thank you for being a leader to our larger Federal Community. This place won’t be the same without you. All the best to you and your family, Jean Brown Executive Director |Chicago Federal Executive Board

44: Jim – I just wanted to wish you all the best in retirement! I enjoyed our brief time together back in the SES CDP days, and wish we had had more opportunities to work together. SSA will sorely miss you. Hope I’ll see you before you leave to wish you well in person. Regards. Carla Krabbe, OFPO | Jim, our paths crossed for the first time in early 1990, while I was looking for a “landing” after approx. 8 yrs in Europe as an FBO and you were the ARC-FO. The subsequent years had us seeing one another at various functions mainly while you were ORC. Each time we met, I continued to be impressed by you as a person, a manager and a leader. You exemplified the term Leader and this region is much better off with your years at the helm. I wish you continued health and happiness in your future endeavors—especially one the I can identify with, Grandpa—because life is too short and we are passing through. My prayers and thoughts are with you as you embark on the future. It has been my pleasure to know and work with you. Anthony Psaromatis, DM Chicago Northwest | Good Afternoon, Jim I just heard that you are retiring in March, and I wanted to be one of the first to wish you all the best. You will be sorely missed, as you touched a great many lives, mine included. Thank you for all the years of service, and for your genuine caring for all of us. No matter where we went, we knew that you had a positive influence in getting us there. We are better for having known you, and worked under your tutelage. Much happiness in the future, and earned it!!! Sincerely, Daisy Molina, DM, Las Vegas , NV

45: Hi Jim! Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of retirement! I know you will find loads to keep you busy and will soon wonder how in the world you ever had time to work! I hope you will consider the Jackson SSA Golf Outing as I have found it to be a good time and a good way to see retirees as well as current employees! If you send me your home email, I will let you know when the flyer comes out with the RSVP info. I am pretty sure the date is going to be July 15th. I wanted to take just a moment to tell you how very much I enjoyed working for you and how much I appreciated your support. Going all the way back to my early days as an officer of CSSMA, it was always a pleasure to meet with you and to hear your take on things.I would never have been an AD (or perhaps a DM either!) without your support and vote of confidence in my abilities and I was always very grateful to you. You were always a thoughtful leader and a reasonable man, qualities not always, or even often, found among SSA's leaders. The best of luck to you as you embark on this new phase of life. Enjoy yourself! Ginny Lighthizer ( | Jim— This is Dan Conner, ex-SSA manager in Mankato, MN. My daughter forwarded me you retirement announcement. Well, first I would like to say congratulations! I hope you have a long and healthy retirement. It is an adjustment to another stage in life. While I would have to say that I missed my work at SSA for a while, I am now used to retirement life. It sounds like you have plenty of activities set up for your retirement. That is good. I enjoyed my years at SSA, while you were Regional Commissioner, and wish you the best of everything in the years ahead. Once again, congratulations! Dan Conner, Retired at large (that means literally) Home Phone: (507) 388-1730

46: They are our people: the ones who will soon retire, wondering what it will be like; the self-righteous, already on the rolls, wondering why we can’t keep their records straight; the young, who are certain there will be nothing left in the system when they retire; the disabled who need more than their disability check but are too afraid to work, afraid they’ll lose their hard won benefits; the widows who are only aware of the pain and loss, hardly focused; the disoriented, who don’t know why they’ve come, someone sent them; the ones who come to work the system, say the right thing, win the prize; they are ours, and so many more. We are the government. \We are big, bureaucratic, impersonal, unfathomable. They are nervous, lost, hopeful, angry, sorrowful, self-righteous, uncertain, acting out. They meet us and something happens. Government takes on a face. They encounter kindness, courtesy, compassion, empathy, firmness, knowledge, competence, helpfulness. Fears are calmed, questions answered, reassurance given, and some are even delighted. One by one, we meet them where they are at. We shape their experience. We serve them, and by our service, we dignify each one. We are the Chicago Region of Social Security and this is the dream we strive for every day. --James F. Martin

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  • By: JOYCE K.
  • Joined: over 7 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 0
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Classic Mixbook
  • Tags: None
  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Updated: over 7 years ago