Current President


Beginnings
Accomplishments


The Blueprint

The Monday Morning Group was created in response to a perceived need for community leadership and guidance in Riverside. Several Individuals felt that Economic, political, and civic activity in the area required stimulation and direction. A look at the conditions in Riverside during the early 1960’s shows that such leadership was sorely needed.

 

Federal grant-in-aid funding was relatively easy to obtain during this period, and many Southern California communities, notably San Bernardino, were utilizing this revenue source. Riverside, however, showed some resistance to seeking or accepting federal assistance.

 

In addition to funding problems, other vital issues were not being addressed, and this shortfall was beginning to have an adverse affect on the community’s advancement. From an environmental standpoint, Riverside was increasingly subject to adverse externalities from Los Angeles and the coastal areas. March Air Force Base had not progressed as expected, and many of its major activities were being noticeably neglected from the federal level. Also, Norton Air Force Base faced possible extinction. The University of California at Riverside needed more vocal advocates. Several other issues threatened Riverside’s orderly development and standard of living. Clearly, concentrated effort led by capable individuals was necessary.

Foundations

James H. Krieger, an active citizen and successful attorney, believed that a relatively small group of local business leaders could be instrumental in establishing community leadership. He recognized that a closer liaison with Washington, Sacramento, and the political leaders of Riverside was a necessity, and that local projects and infrastructure issues would require more attention.

 

Krieger proceeded to organize what, in time, became the Monday Morning Group. He identified the key problem: No successful relationship existed with Sacramento and Washington, and despite the federal help provided to cities throughout the country, Riverside had received almost none, and no apparent efforts were being made to obtain available assistance. Believing that a small organization operating on a private basis could help greatly with this crisis, Krieger enumerated his ideas to his colleagues. Such a group, he maintained, could promote quality candidates for the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors; it could also assist the Mayor; it could establish adequate contacts with Congress; and it could promote the future growth of March Air Force Base.

 

Approximately six local citizens expressed interest, and they met at the Mission Inn for a Monday breakfast conference. They agreed with Krieger that dynamic and effective leadership in the aforementioned areas was lacking, and resolved to forge an informal group that would take action. This marked the first meeting of the Monday Morning Group.

Early Constructions

Initially, the organization was titled “The Monday Morning Club,” and it met on Mondays at 7:30 a.m., until schedule conflicts make Wednesday mornings more appropriate. The framework was loose and informal, and the Club began to quickly construct liaisons with individuals essential to Riverside’s future. They made considerable headway during the infant years, in large part because of Krieger’s efforts as chairman of the group.

 

One of the first projects taken on by the group concerned the establishment of the March Air Force Base Regional Hospital. After designating a “March Task Group,” chaired by Fred Jennings, the task group began to meet with Air Force representatives, both in the Riverside area and Washington. In addition to the Air Force, members also met with Senator Thomas Kuechel and Congressman Harry Sheppard. As a result, the group was instrumental in developing what is now the 240-bed regional hospital, which serves March, George, Norton and Edwards’s Air Force bases. Their interest did not stop, however, and Clayton Record, president of the Monday Morning Group during 1988-90 noted that “March Air Force Base has always been one of our highest priorities.”

 

Late in the 1960’s the group aided the University of California at Riverside in land zoning problems. The university’s land holding rested partially in the city and partially in the county. By working with both governments, the group was able to ensure that all zoning details were worked out by the time the land was brought into the city.

 

Another project that concerned the initial members was aiding local economic development. The Air Force owned a large storage and warehouse area in Mira Loma. Nearly a dozen large warehouses were no longer being used by the Air Force, and after the Monday Morning Group negotiated with Air Force headquarters in Washington, the area was offered for sale. An organization from Minneapolis purchased it and converted it into the Mira Loma Space Center.

Building Up

As the 1970’s began, the Monday Morning Group was not satisfied with the limited accomplishments of the 1960’s, and they were keenly aware that more projects required their attention. James Baker, a past secretary and treasurer, explained the group’s attitude: “The Monday Morning Group has always been active where they feel there can be a benefit to the community.” Membership had expanded by 1970 to include approximately fifteen people, and new ideas began to surface.

 

Seeing a need for more organization in order to increase their

effectiveness, the group agreed in 1972 to make several structural changes:

 

Membership was increased to twenty

 

The group incorporated in California as a non-profit activity under section 501 (c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code

 

A corporate hierarchy was established including a president, a vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer.

 

A dues payment schedule was adopted

 

Provisions were made to adopt common goals and establish committees to oversee these goals.

 

The organization was officially named the “Monday Morning Group"

Since 1972. this structure has changed somewhat. Presidents now serve two-year terms, and the functions of secretary and treasurer have been combined. The committees were established soon after 1972, and five committees became important: the executive, military affairs, downtown, highway and transportation, and economic development.

 

These committees have become less important, however, and a “champion” system has taken precedence. In each area individuals with expertise or interest begin the process of involving the Monday Morning Group. Occasionally, a member simply brings an issue to the attention of the group, and those with more ability or expertise continue the project.

 

Now, the allowable membership has been increased to thirty-five, and members with more than ten years tenure are offered “emeritus” positions. These positions allow new members to be selected without having to immediately retire other members. Emeritus members pay one-third of the normal dues.