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May 2022 Board Meeting

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Present: Bruce Adams, Nick Arrindell, Tracey-Alexis Dixon (Chair), Alicia Hannon, Michael Mills (Vice Chair), Joy West, Sabrina Hsu, Matthew Lee, Jeannette Noltenius, Nan Qiao, Clemmie Solomon, Roman A. Santillan

Excused: Mumin Barre, Yasin Yimam

Absent: Lorna Forde.

The zoom meeting was called to order at 6:08 p.m. by Chair Tracey-Alexis Dixon.

The agenda was modified to allow board member Noltenius to provide an update

on the Morazan, El Salvador committee earlier in the meeting because of a prior commitment.

The Motion was made by Dr. Solomon, seconded by board member Santillan and the amendment to the agenda was approved.

On a motion by Dr. Solomon and seconded by Nick Arrindell, the April meeting minutes were approved contingent on Chair Dixon following up with OCP staff Arwa Elboraei.

Treasurer reported a deposit of $50; donations from the brunch sponsored by the Morazan committee to support scholarships in El Salvador. There were no expenses, leaving a balance of $10,975.60. The treasurer’s report was accepted after a motion by Joy West and seconded by Dr. Noltenius.

County Update: No update.

The County Executive will do a video a message as part of the Gondar Sister City project.

MSC Mail: No update.

MSC-MCTV: Gondar Sister City Project.

Interviews for the Gondar Sister City video project began May 23 and included several board

members, Montgomery College staff and Ethiopian students. Additional interviews will include local business owners, and videos will be provided by the County Executive, Gondar Mayor and University of Gondar president.

Rockville Sister City Event.

Board member Hannon attended the April 28 Member Appreciation event sponsored by the

Rockville Sister City Corporation and attended by the Mayor and Council. She was impressed with the level of engagement and numerous activities planned. She shared with the board the invitation to attend Taiwan Night 2022 May 28 on the Montgomery College Rockville campus.

Humanitarian Peace Walk Proposal.

Board members West and Arrindell gave an update.

The idea is to conduct a silent walk that will demonstrate peacefulness and empowerment. Walkers would be encouraged to create signs with impactful messages.

The plan is to begin the one-mile walk at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring.

A more detailed proposal will be forthcoming after board members West and Arrindell meet with Eric Rasch, operations manager of the Silver Spring Civic Building, to determine a date. It is likely that MSC will partner with another community event and have a booth demonstrating that MSC is a global entity.

Sister Cities Night: scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at a baseball game at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda. There will be an MSC picnic from 5:30 – 6:30PM before the game. MSC brochures will be handed out to fans as they enter the game. A mariachi band will also be playing as fans enter.

Sister City Committee Reports:

● Morazan: (Update was provided earlier in the meeting but notes captured here.)

Board member Noltenius engaged the board in a discussion seeking federal funding

from USAID to further work in Morazan. Discussion centered on the procedures to

engage MSC in federal grants and what types of matching funds might be available.

It was stated that MSC can seek grants but because of our funding level it wasn’t

likely that the federal government would approve a request. Instead, discussion

focused on MSC partnering with fiscal agents in El Salvador and develop MOUs

stating what resource MSC can provide.

Different MOU templates will be shared with board member Noltenius.

● Gondar: Video project was discussed earlier

● Xi'an: Board member Hsu attended a virtual event April 28 sponsored by the Maryland

Sister Cities program. The event highlighted various events happening in China and was not

specific to Xi’an or the province of Shaanxi.

● Daejeon: Board member Lee will reach out to the Montgomery County Economic

Development Corporation about attending a forum October 10-14 in Daejeon.

● Hyderabad: No updates  

Other Business:

Chair Dixon asked about MSC board purchasing its own Zoom license that could also be used by the Sister Cities committees.

The board approved the purchase after a motion by board member Adams and a second from board member Solomon.

Taiwan Night 2022 will be held May 28 at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the

Rockville Campus of Montgomery College.

Chair Dixon and vice chair Mills will be meeting with Brightview Grosvenor assisted living facility in Bethesda to hear their ideas about how MSC can share what it is doing around the world.

Rockville Rotary Club will be sponsoring Flags for Heroes May 28 at King Farm in Rockville to celebrate Veterans’ Day. Board member Harmon extended an invitation to attend.

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:39 p.m.

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