top of page

June 2023 Board Meeting


MSC Board Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Meeting Call to Order: 6:33PM







Tracey-Alexis Dixon

Mumin Barre

Nan Qiao

Feng Hao

Jeannette Noltenius

Arwa Khadr

Joy West


Sabrina Hsu

Michael Mills



Alicia Hannon




Roman Santillan




Mathew Lee




Bruce Adams




Nick Arrindell




Mirin Phool




Clemmie Solomon




Yasin Yimam






The quarterly meeting via Zoom was called to order at 6:33 p.m. by the Chair Dixon.


Approval of the Agenda

On a motion to move the Xi’an Committee report before the Treasurer’s report and approve by Board member Arrindell and seconded by Board member Noltenius the June 27, 2023 agenda as approved.

Approval of March 2023 Minutes

On a motion to approve by Board member Arrindell and seconded by Board member Noltenius the minutes of the April 18, 2023, meeting was approved.

Xi’an Committee Report

·      AAPI Cultural Heritage Event Follow Up – Board member Hsu will share pictures and information about the event.

·      Guest speaker Mr. Feng discussed his visit to Xi’an. He stated there is a new Mayor. During the visit he met the Director of Foreign Affairs Office and staff who expressed an invitation to Montgomery County visit. Before September is not a good time, however. After September into the next year is best.

·      There is an Official Exchange conference in September 2023. The city is inviting MSC officers to visit to share cultural trades. Mr. Shard that we could send a representative on the County’s behalf. Xi’an built an international Medical and health center and wants to setup a medical exchange. In addition to, cultural exchanges including a school exchange, online virtual exchanges.

·      A question was raised to setup a virtual meeting medical staff. Board member Phool stated that as we look for County Council participation, we can identify someone to participate to visit to grow their interest and anchoring to what they stand for.

·      Mr. Feng concluded that the Xi’an Government wants to make a mutual business program to focus on economic trade.

Treasures report:

·       Board member Santillan shared that the board and committee did a lot of activities this fiscal year. Board member Santillan confirmed the remaining balance of the County grant is $7K. Pending payment of Big Train Picnic, an additional marketing material.

  • Board member Santillan confirmed we have not received the check from Board member Yimam.

  • On a motion to approve by Board member Lee and seconded by Board member Arrindell, the treasurer’s report was accepted.

OCP mail:

·       Board Chair Dixon stated that Board member Barre picked up a letter from the Accounting Firm, Grossberg LLC to submit the 2022 Annual Report to the Maryland State Department of Assessment & Taxation. Board chair Dixon raised concerns regarding delayed processing and retrieval of the letter. The deadline to submit the Annual Report was June 15. She will sign and submit the Annual Report by end of the week.


County Updates

Senior Fellow Position – Board Chair Dixon stated the Senior Fellow did not accept the position. Unfortunately, that is kept confidential as to why. The position is currently closed and it is up to the board to decide how to move forward. The options presented were:

·      $16,700; OCP to assist with increasing funds to re-hire.

·      Use the funds to hire a consultant – we also have a budget line for consultant to add to it (2K)

·      Board members agreed to use the funds to hire an outside consultant.

·      Action: Board Chair Dixon to follow up with OCP Director Diane Vu with this decision.


Grant FY24 – Board Chair Dixon stated the County Council did not approve the additional $50K. Therefore, the County updated Grant for FY24 is $22, 273. This year the county voted based on items that are considered HIGH Priority vs Priority – MSC was placed on the priority list by the GO and the county council went along with their suggestion.

·      Andrew Fasemen new President next year.

·      Strategies – Inviting them to events, invitation to Board meetings, attend County Council meetings. Board member Arrindell suggested to invite them our Board meetings.


Sister City Committee Report

o   Morazán

§  Board member Noltenius reported that she is retiring from chair as the MSC committee, Board and El Salvadorian Health institute to focus on her health. The committee is working to find a replacement.

§  Morazan GALA – September 22, 2023.

§  The committee is very active in terms of using the funds to continue supporting the University.

o   Gondar

§  Board member Yimam reported on the Gondar Delegation Visit. Invitation letter was sent by Montgomery College. We are expecting the Mayor of Gondar, University of Gondar President, and the State Minister of Education on September 16, 2023.

§  There is an event on September 3, 2023- Ethiopians Day. MSC will have a table. We do not have to pay.

§  Board member Yimam proposed Mahelet M. as a new board member.

§  Action: Board member Yimam to send an email to Nominating committee (Completed)

o   Daejeon

§  Board member Lee reported that the County Executive is visiting this fall to India and Vietnam. China/South Korea in May 2024 [Life Science conference].

§  Delegation came yesterday and met with the County Executive Elrich. They handed an invitation for this October to visit. The County Executive Elrich told the Daejeon delegation will visit in 2024 but this would include Economy Exchange mission. This is their main focus.

o   Hyderabad

§  Board member Phool reported that the County Executive has a focus on Economic Development. There is a potential Sister City partnership with Punjab.

§  Diane to have a meeting with Debbie and Judy. Will loop in Mirin Phool.

§  Trip to India scheduled Oct. 29 -November 9, 2023.

§  Board member Phool suggested that the trips do not need to be mutually exclusive. MSC can handle some parts and MC Department of Commerce handle the other part. We all serve together and yet in different capacities. It serves everybody well to be on good terms and make sure we all work together.

§  Board member Lee suggested to meet with Debbie and Judy. The reason for the County Executives travels is for economic and commerce growth.

o   2023 Event Calendar

o   Upcoming events – Board member Hannon to follow up via email with upcoming events.

o   Caribbean Culinary Traditions 6/29/2023 via Zoom with Board Chair Dixon.

o   MSC & Big Train Baseball Picnic – 7/1/2023.

§  Head count for number of Board members attending

§  Board member Adams to send the picnic list to make selections.

§  Laurie-Anne – Note to invite, and invite county council members.

o   Annual Meeting – Humanitarian Walk 9/17/2023 1-6PM (2-5pm)

§  Sponsorship (MC, STTR)

§  Vendors/Vendor packet was sent to board. Please share.

§  Performers – 1-2 per Sister City. Performer form was sent to Committee Chairs.

§  Partnerships (OCP, MC students)

§  MSC has been registered with Montgomery County Volunteer Center

§  Board Chair Dixon is working on Grants.

§  Finger foods are allowed at the vendor tables

§  Vendors are not selling products

§  Kids – face painting, station with arts & crafts

§  Delegation from Gondar will be a part of the program. Ambassador of Ethiopia to attend. Board member Yimam suggested to invite the different Embassies.


Other Business: 

o   Open Discussion

o   Next Meeting – August 29, 2023 6:30PM with Sanjay Rai as Guest Speaker

Related Posts

See All

December 2023 Board Meeting

MSC Board Meeting Minutes December 12, 2023 Present:  Nick Arrindell, Tracey-Alexis Dixon (Chair), George Dang, Michael Mills (Vice Chair), Mumin Barre, Roman A. Santillan, Yasin Yimam, Sabrina Hsu, M

October 2023 Board Meeting

MSC Board Meeting Minutes Tuesday, October 30, 2023 Present:  Bruce Adams, Nick Arrindell, Tracey-Alexis Dixon (Chair), Alicia Hannon, Michael Mills (Vice Chair), Mumin Barre, Roman A. Santillan, Yasi

August 2023 Board Meeting

MSC Board Meeting Notes Tuesday, August 29, 2023 6:30PM The quarterly meeting via Zoom was called to order at 6:33 p.m. by the Chair Tracy-Alexis Dixon. Approval of the Agenda On a motion to approve b


bottom of page