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March 24, 2020 Board Meeting

Minutes Board Conference Call Tuesday 24 March 2020

Present: Bruce Adams, Nicholas Arrindell, Mumin Barre, Alicia Hannon, Roman Santillan, Clemmie Solomon Yasin Yimam

Absent: Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Lorna Ford and Nan Qiao

Staff: Diane Vu, Director, Office of Community Partnerships

Zoom meeting began at 7:05 pm with a roll call.

Without objection or modification, the minutes of the previous meeting was adopted

UPDATE FROM DIRECTOR SENIOR FELLOW STATUS: Diane shared that while Cynthia’s Senior Fellow term expired, she has agreed to work on as a contractor for the next six months.

INDIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TRIP: County Executive plans to move forward with a trip to India in the fall of this year. Diane will keep the board apprised of progress.

STRATEGIC PLAN: Diane stressed County Executive’s support for the Montgomery County Sister Cities (MCSS) program. Bruce Adams, who will resign from the Board, will develop and implement a strategic plan for MCSC.

The primary focus is as follows: ● Community Engagement ● Economic Development ● Welcoming Environment ● Global Citizenship (focusing on students) Bruce has completed an in-depth interview with the County Executive who expressed his commitment to support MCSS. MCSS will continue its partnership with the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) until it can become a financially independent non-profit. The strategic plan calls for interviews with major stakeholders: Economic Development Corporation (Ben Wu, CEO); Montgomery College; current Sister Cities committees (which will require re-engagement of both the Hyderabad, specifically Dr. Sanjay Rai of Montgomery College and Daejeon committees); current board members and Montgomery County ethnic community groups.

Bruce will draw on the resources of International Sister Cities which was very helpful in establishing Montgomery Sister Cities. Bruce would like to meet with the board on Tuesday 7 April at 8:30 for a group interview. Mumin and Diane will follow up on the scheduling of the group interview. In response to Yasin’s inquiry about an Ethiopian trip, Diane explained that, while it is unlikely that the County Executive would participate in such a trip, the Gondar Committee is welcome to work with Councilmember Craig Rice to organize the trip.

FINANCIAL REPORT: The 2019 year end balance sheet and profit and loss statements were reviewed. Cynthia confirmed that, because we haven’t completed the first quarter of the year, this is the most up-to-date information, with the exception of over $1,200 raised by the Morazán committee in January brunch fundraiser and $2,900 reimbursement from the county grant. After the reimbursement, there is a balance of about $17,000 in grant funds. Outstanding obligations include International Sister Cities dues ($2,800), Board & Offices insurance ($800), website construction and maintenance and accounting fees ($1,500).

Mumin and Ramon will reach out to Bill Nance to update Eagle Bank account information. SISTER CITIES COMMITTEE MEETING WITH LIASIONS/COMMITTEE OUTREACH: Bruce will work with Diane to reach out to committees, interviewing simultaneously. He will draft a letter to committees for Diane’s review.

Ramon provided an update on the Morazán committee. Yenny Miranda has stepped down as Chair after completing the January fundraising brunch at Chapala Restaurant. For the time being Jessy Mejia (?) is the Interim-Chair. They are hoping to find someone who is active in the Salvadoran community and will reach out to the Montgomery College students group, Nestor Alvarenga and Evelyn Gonzalez for input.

The meeting ended at 8:10 Respectfully submitted, Cynthia Morris

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