July 29, 2020 Board Meeting

Minutes Board Conference Call Wednesday July 29, 2020

Present: Nicholas Arrindell, Mumin Barre, Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Alicia Hannon, Nan Qiao, Roman Santillan, Clemmie Solomon and Yasin Yimam

Absent: Lorna Forde

Staff: Bruce Adams, Cynthia Morris, Contractors; Diane Vu, Director, Office of Community Partnerships, Mumin called Zoom meeting to order at 6:33 pm.

UPDATE FROM DIRECTOR Diane Vu. Diane expressed thanks to Bruce for completion of the strategic plan. She went on to say that due to a required 6% across the board budget cut, it is unlikely that it will be possible to implement some of the recommendations soon. While we have secured a commitment for a $20,000 county grant, it is unlikely there will be additional funds available. There was some discussion of the need to develop strategies for raising unrestricted funds, including Ramon’s suggestion of looking for available grants.

There may be a couple of OCP openings due to retirements of key staff (including Paula Rogers). Cynthia has signed on to provide MSC support until September while Diane explores the possibility of funding two Senior Fellow positions.

County Executive Mark Elrich expressed appreciation for the PPE from the Xi’an committee and for the efforts of the Gondar committee as well. In response to Nick’s inquiry about acknowledgements, Diane and Nan confirmed they had gone out to appropriate contacts as well as posted on the website.

Bruce asked Diane to schedule a Zoom conference with Mr. Elrich sometime in September to discuss low/no cost ideas for strengthening Sister Cities.

FINANCIAL REPORT Cynthia briefly reviewed the Year to Date income statement and balance sheets which show a balance or $2,094. The first payment of three outstanding invoices for the country grant totaling $1,141 was received which is for reimbursement for purchase of MSC computer and printer. Two additional payments of $9,230 and $5,126 seem to be delayed because of administrative back up.

STRATEGIC PLAN FOLLOW UP

Bruce stressed the importance of building the board and recommended approaching Aruna Miller who provided a very insightful interview and suggestions during her interview for the strategic plan. In addition, he recommended developing virtual Sister Cities trips with Montgomery College TV. Ramon will contact Karla Sylvestre. Yasin reminded the group of the Gondar committee’s interest in having the CE lead a 10th anniversary delegation to Gondar in 2022.

In addition to new board members and Montgomery College TV, Bruce strongly recommended revamping the website.

Tracey suggested inviting Ms. Miller to join the board.

Clemmie’s motion to have Bruce rejoin the board (seconded by Ramon) was approved unanimously. A nominating committee will be formed to consider board recruitment strategies and timelines and to identify additional potential members.

It was agreed to hold a board Zoom meeting on Wednesday 27 August at 6:30 pm to prepare for a September meeting with CE and a November board retreat.

The meeting ended at 8:05pm.

Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Morris Contractor

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