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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, Yasin Yimam

Excused: Mirin Phool

Absentees: Sabrina Hsu, Joy West, George Dang, Nan Qiao, Clemmie Solomon, Matthew Lee,

Guest: Julian Norment

The monthly meeting of the Montgomery County Sister Cities Board of Directors was held via Zoom and called to order at 6:02 p.m. by the Chair Tracey-Alexis Dixon.


Approval of the Agenda

A motion passed approving the October 30, 2023 agenda.

Approval of October 11, 2022 Minutes

On a motion to approve and seconded, the minutes of the August 29, 2023, meeting were approved.

MSC Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Roman A. Santillan reported MSC the Multicultural Humanitarian event had $3,685 in expenses and $2776.30 in grants or sponsors, including $1,426.30 CAP grant and a $650 community grant.

The Morazan Gala had a profit of $4,743.70 which will be used for scholarships.

On a motion to approve and seconded, the Treasurer’s Report was approved

OCP Mail

All mail has been picked up but a process still needs to be developed to get the mail on a regular basis.

Guest Speaker Julian Norment (Sponsorship Discussion)


MSC continued a discussion from this summer about how MSC and United Airlines can create a partnership that would be beneficial to both organizations.  While United doesn’t fly directly to any MSC Sister Cities, the airline does fly to major capitals in the countries where the sister cities are located.


Discussion centered around not just promoting Sister Cities to United, but the large traveling population of Montgomery County.


Discussion will continue.



County Updates

            Senior Fellow Follow-up

                        The County Executive has agreed on $50,000 total for MSC - $16,700 grant plus                               $33,300 for a contractual partner.  MSC needs to decide how to use the money and                                 manage the individual.  Discussion focused on hiring a person on a contract basis under MSC’s leadership and sole responsibility. Tracey will contact Diane Vu to confirm the boards decision.


Multicultural Humanitarian Event

            Overall positive reaction about the event – very well organized.  Discussion focused on whether the event next year should remain in Silver Spring. No decision was made. Suggestion to have the humanitarian speech and other guest speakers when it is most easiest to hear. Potentially in the beginning.


Sister City Committee Reports


Morazan, El Salvador 

·      No report as the committee is in leadership transition

Gondar, Ethiopia - Yasin Yimam

·      Board member Yimam reported he has been asked by a Montgomery College faculty member to participate in the MC Global Classrooms faculty fellowship Nov. 9 to talk about the political events taking place in Ethiopia.  He has lined up other speakers as well.

·      A decision as made not to invite the Gondar University president or other government officials to Montgomery until the political climate allows such a visit.

o   Update: On November 9, the MC Global Classroom event was successfully held. An additional follow up event will be hosted by the students and guest speakers. Date and time TBD.


Xi’an, China

·      A trip to Xi’an and Daejeon is planned for May 2024.  A delegation from Xi’an will be visiting in December.

-       Update: Xi’an delegation arrives to Montgomery County on December 12-14, 2023.

Daejon, South Korea

·      No updated during the meeting. However, chair Dixon spoke with board member Lee after the meeting who advised that the trip to Daejon with County Council President Glass was successful. No further conversations has been held with regards to planning the trip in May.

Hyderabad, India

·      County Executive is there now as part of an economic development trip.

Other Business:

·      The All-America Sister Cities Summit will be May 28-31, 2024 in Texas.

·      The December board meeting will be in-person.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:04 p.m.



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