Calera resident re-elected American Mensa treasurer

By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer

CALERA – About 10 years ago, Calera resident Nick Sanford found himself rather bored. He wanted intellectual stimulation. He wanted to talk to people. And then he found Mensa.

A non-profit organization open to anyone scoring in the top two percent of at least one of more than 200 approved intelligence tests, Sanford describes the organization as a “very diverse group of people who have a like kind of thinking.”

“We do a little bit of everything,” Sanford said. “We laugh, play board games, talk and go to events … (It’s about) being around similar people who accept you for who you are, and you can have a lot of fun with them.”

Sanford has been a member of Mensa for about 10 years now and was recently re-elected treasurer of the American Mensa Board of Directors. This will be his third year serving as treasurer. Previously, Sanford served as the regional vice chairman for four years.

Sanford said he ran for the volunteer position after his friends encouraged him. A licensed CPA with a master’s in accounting from UAB, Sanford said he felt like he could do a lot of work in the finance position after serving regionally.

“I was very excited, and it was very validating,” Sanford said of being elected treasurer. “All of these things I did in my personal life had meaning to other people.”

In his last two years as treasurer, Sanford said he changed the way American Mensa does its investments, which earned the non-profit an additional $80,000 than it earned in previous years.

“One of the things about Mensa is that you can put in or take out as much as you want,” Sanford said. “You could put in two to three hours a week, or you could put in 10 hours a week.”

Membership benefits include access to online communities, local group outings to restaurants and events like the Sidewalk Film Festival, regional gatherings and national gatherings, which typically see several thousand people in attendance and include lecturers, mind games and a gaming convention where publishers allow Mensa members to test out new games, Sanford said.

Anyone interested in becoming a member should call the national office at 817-607-0060 or visit the website Us.mensa.org for more information.

Sanford also encouraged any locals interested in taking an admissions test to contact him at treasurer@us.mensa.org.