June 7, 2011 Board Meeting

Montgomery Sister Cities Board Minutes for June 7, 2011

Board attendees: Bill Hudnut, Bill Nance, Evelyn Gonzales, Theresa Cameron, Boris Foxman, Bruce Adams, Devin Doelen and Don Mooers.

  1. Chair Bill Hudnut called the meeting to order.
  2. Board members and observers introduced themselves.
  3. Mumin Barre was approved to serve on the board by unanimous consent.  He was nominated by Bruce Adams and the nomination was seconded by Dianne Smith.  A highly respected county leader, Mumin is the chair of the county African Advisory Board.
  4. The April board minutes were unanimously approved, after a motion by Theresa Cameron and a second by Evelyn Gonzalez.
  5. The board agreed that VDO, the organization’s volunteer web site creator, had done an excellent job for which they should be recognized.
  6. Evelyn Gonzalez updated the board on the upcoming trip to El Salvador. Among other things, Habitat for Humanity will build the first of 37 houses in Morazan.  Rebecca Kahlenberg will lead the Mover Moms to work in a school and maternity Center in Perquin.  The Morazan committee in Morazan will help make home stay and hotel arrangements in Morazan.  The travelers will spend two of the days working on their projects in Morazan.  Evelyn mentioned collecting books for Morazan schools.  Bruce reported that a banking institution in Morazan had acquired a lending institution in Wheaton.  It is hoped that each traveler will donate $100 toward the project they undertake.  Theresa mentioned that the Rock Forest Elementary School might participate in that effort.  Evelyn said that the schools could use 4 new computers.  There will be a trip orientation session at the Lawton Community Center on June 12.
  7. Bill Hudnut represented the board at a Beit Shemesh dinner at Temple Adas Israel in DC.  He reported that a good time was had by all and that the Beit Shemesh chefs who came to town were impressively skilled.  Bill and his wife Bev showed the Beit Shemesh visitors photos of their visit to Israel some time ago.
  8. The African Advisory Board through Montgomery College presenters made a strong presentation on Gondar, Ethiopia as the community with which sister cities should partner on the African continent. Gondar, called the Camelot of Ethiopia, was impressively described in word and photo by the presenters.  By motion of Bruce Adams and second by Dianne Smith, the board gave preliminary approval to Gondar as a county sister city.  There will be a volunteer county trip to Ethiopia as soon as November further explore the possibilities of this partnership.  It was noted that the airfare is costly so that there may need to be fundraising or airfare reduction by airlines worked out in this process.  We also need to form a Gondar sister cities committee in the county as well as Gondar forming a sister cities committee to implement projects along with the county.

Evelyn Gonzalez