October 20, 2016 Board Meeting
Attendees: Bruce Adams, Mumin Barre, Michael Gruenberg, William Nance, Nan Qiao, Darwin Romero, Roman Santillan and Clemmie Solomon Excused: Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Lorna Forde, William Kaschak Participated by phone: Dianne Smith Absent: Rom Konda Staff: Cynthia Morris and Diane Vu
Welcome/Minutes The meeting was called to order by Bill Nance at 6:40 pm with reading and corrections of the minutes from the 25 July meeting. (Members had been introduced at the new board member orientation held immediately before the board meeting). Once corrected, minutes will be posted on the website.
Nominating Committee Nominations chair Mumin Barre proposed Roman Santillan for the office of board treasurer who was elected unanimously. It was decided that Vice president Dianne Smith will share check signing privileges with Bill Nance and Cynthia will continue maintenance of the checking account.
Financial Report Year to date through September balance sheet and profit and loss statements were reviewed without corrections or additions.
World of Montgomery Bruce reported the annual festival, held again at Montgomery College in Rockville was attended by over 8,000 people. Sister Cities volunteer committees, funded by the Fund for Montgomery through KID Museum each had 30 foot x 30-foot tent where food was served and presentations focusing on education about home and hearth were offered. The festival will be held again in October 2017.
Committee Reports Morazán: Roman reported that in addition to the tent at World of Montgomery, the committee sponsored a scholarship at the annual Hispanic Gala for a Montgomery College student. The committee also continues to explore ways to offer scholarship assistance to students in Morazán. The committee is also researching ways to offer books on Salvadoran history and culture through Montgomery County libraries.
The annual fundraiser Fiesta will be held on Friday 4 November at the Silver Spring Civic Building and board members were asked to support the event and attend.
Gondar: The committee participated in the annual Ethiopian Day 15 September in Silver Spring. The committee held an update session at Addis Ababa restaurant 26 September for those who had planned to
Montgomery Sister Cities Board Meeting
travel to Gondar in October. While there is certainly great disappointment about the inability to travel now, the committee will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the situation in the future.
Clemmie reminded the group that 27 students, faculty and staff from Montgomery College experienced a very successful trip in January, 2016 and he continues to maintain dialogue with his University of Gondar faculty contact, Dr. Desalegn Mengesha who was the recipient of the Nelson Mandela award presented at Montgomery College on 19 August.
Hyderabad: While the committee has not been very active, there is an effort underway by a group at Montgomery College to plan a trip in early 2017. A Diwali (Festival of Light) featuring traditional Indian dance is planned from 6-8 pm on 2 November and Diane will get the information to Cynthia for distribution.
Xi'an: A delegation from Xi'an led by the mayor met with County Executive Ike Leggett and Montgomery County Economic Development staff members for the first time to explore ways to enhance business opportunities in both areas. The committee is excited about continuing some of the dialogue during the planned delegation to Xi'an after the fall 2017 trip to Daejeon, South Korea.
The Hometown Association continues to sponsor a Tai Chi session each Wednesday at Quince Orchard High School and Tuesdays at Gaithersburg Library.
South Korean Sister City Status Diane Vu reported that after reviewing to the RFP from Goryeong and Daejeon, the latter was chosen because of its long-established relationship led in great part by Mr. Wonro Lee and Ms. Lily Chi with the county through programs in two high schools and other economic development projects. Mr. Leggett has signed a friendship agreement with Daejeon and received a letter of interest from that city's mayor. A delegation led by Mr. Leggett will travel 21-28 October to the city for signing of the Sister Cities agreement and followed by a trip to Xi'an.
New Business Cynthia reported the need to update the website with funding requested in the County Executive grant. Nan agreed to assist in identifying a vendor and will volunteer to maintain the website.
It was agreed that a winter board meeting will be scheduled in early 2017.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:05pm.
Cynthia Morris, Senior Fellow