November 19, 2015 Board Meeting
Attendees: Bruce Adams, Lorna Forde, Neftali Granados, Daniel Koroma (Yasin Yamim) Ram Konda, William Nance, Nan Qiao, Carol Rhees and Dianne Smith Excused: Mumin Barre, William Kaschak, Yasin Yamim and Thomas Raffa Staff: Cynthia Morris
WELCOME/MINUTES The meeting was called to order by Chair Theresa Cameron at 7:15 pm. Bruce acknowledged the attendance of Daniel Koroma on behalf of Yasin Yiman on behalf of the Gondar volunteer committee. Minutes from the 17 September 2015 meeting were reviewed and approved unanimously. Bruce asked Cynthia to get them posted to the website.
FINANCE REPORT Treasurer William Nance explained that he preferred to distribute the financial statements after getting clarification of a few items from the accountant, including an entry to reflect erasing the deficit shown in the Gondar committee account. He reported that there is around $19,000 in the bank, excluding deposits made from PayPal for the fundraising campaign for the San Francisco de Gotera Hospital in Morazán. Through the leadership of County Council president George Leventhal, a little over $11,000 was raised for the hospital and the funds will be wired to the hospital in January. Cynthia reported that an invoice for $6,500 was submitted against the County Executive grant for reimbursement of several items, most related to the Morazán delegation trip and the fundraisers of the Morazán and Gondar committees.
OLD BUSINESS Gondar Committee Fundraiser Daniel thanked the committee for its decision to erase the committee deficit and for its support of the fundraiser held 11 October. While they did not get the crowd they wanted, they did clear a small amount ($600), and feel it positioned the committee to plan for more events and activities in 2016. He encouraged board members to attend the committee meetings and events in order to stay connected with the committee work.
In other news, Daniel said the trip to Gondar by a group from Montgomery College in January of next year will be followed by one with Gondar committee members and other community groups, including a faith based community group. They hope that they will have an opportunity to donate computers for elementary schools and tour the University of Gondar. They also hope to deliver more medical supplies and shared that the group that helped during the last trip is still active and looking forward to the return of the Montgomery County delegation. The trip will probably be about ten days, and the cost will be less than $3,000.
Morazán Fiesta Neftali shared that the event held 25 October was a big success and that he would like board members to make a special effort to come to next year's event. The committee will try to secure a date for next year's event soon.
El Salvador 2015 Trip Neftali and Bruce reported that despite the very full agenda, the trip was very productive. County Council president George Leventhal led the delegation in place of County Executive Ike Leggett who was recovering from back surgery. With the collaboration of COTSA, 150 computers retired by Montgomery County and medical supplies solicited from local hospitals and medical organizations were delivered. The delegation included five or six nonprofit executive directors and Ana Sol Gutierrez. The $11,000 raised under Mr. Leventhal's leadership will go to the neo-natal unit at the hospital. A ribbon cutting for the first school to receive the computers was held as well as a visit to the area where 25 houses are being built by our local Habitat for Humanity. The committee still hopes to find a way to create opportunities for accessible higher education.
NEW BUSINESS Board Appeal Board members were reminded to submit an annual gift of at least $100. Bruce reminded the board that a date must be set for the annual meeting, hopefully with more space than the 2015 event at the Library. Suggestions were made for the County Executive Office Building, Montgomery College and a fire station in Wheaton. Theresa will work with Bruce to identify a site and date. Bruce will work with Cynthia to generate an annual report for 2015. Theresa reported that Mumin Barre will chair the nominating committee, and he will be reaching out to board members to serve. Theresa asked board members to contact Mumin to confirm their intention to continue on the board and to express interest in serving as officers. There was a brief discussion about a proposed board manual that Theresa had circulated before the meeting, and she committed to completing the manual while she is still serving in her current position. She will also explore the topic of board insurance. The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm
Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Morris Senior Fellow