August 4, 2013

Colorado Partners of the Americas Business Meeting

The August 4, 2013, Colorado Chapter meeting was held at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon at Mishawaka, located on the Poudre Canyon Hwy, Bellevue, in northern Colorado.


Welcome and Introductions

Chapter President, Lin Allen, welcomed members and thanked them for coming to the Partners on the Poudre meeting. Lin acknowledged Louie Leber as our Mishawaka host and gave him a Chapter brochure to invite his participation in later events.  

In attendance: Lin Allen, Jan Brummond, Roger & Betty Brown, Dwight & Juana Hicks, Sandra Robnett, Silvio & Gabe Picinini, Guadalupe & Maria Sanchez, Co & Odete VanHerwaaden, and Francis Wardle.

Guests in attendance: Holly Langsdorf and Bob Craft.

Sending regrets: John & Marilyn Beattie, David Haines, Sherilyn Marrow, Louise Jennings, Gylton & Alex DaMatta, Dorly Piske, Mike & Rhoda Rogers, and Steve Waechter.

During the course of the meeting, door prizes  (t-shirts and tote bags) were awarded by drawing to: Betty, Lou, Sandra, Dwight, Juana, Holly, Maria, and to the special, patient waitress, Andrea.


Minutes, taken by Betty, from April 7, 2013, Chapter meeting, were approved (Francis moved, Sandra seconded).

Treasurer’s Report, submitted by Jan, was approved (Roger moved, Francis seconded). Jan reported a checking account bank balance of $9,809.48.  Of this figure, over $3500 was realized through proceeds of the Regional Meeting.  $663.00 was collected for sales of photography and jewelry during the conference.

Lin, as presiding officer, expressed her preference not to designate “old” and “new” business, but, modified today’s agenda at Jan’s suggestion. Lin’s purpose for designation of Business (versus traditional use of old and new) is to make certain that most important agenda items receive attention). 

Old Business

Preconference Update

Lin expressed her appreciation to Lou & Maria for hosting Nara Nília Marques Nogueira and to Roger & Betty for hosting Binka LeBreton prior to and during the Regional Meeting.  (Both guests were brought to Mishawaka, which inspired today’s choice of meeting location.)  Both women are active members of the Minas Gerais Chapter and traveled on grants through Partners. All were enriched by interactions that included meetings with the Downtown Development Authority (Greeley’s DDA), the world-renowned train museum, and interviews with Colorado Chapter Past Presidents. Travel grant reports have been submitted to the DC office and will be posted by Roger on the Chapter website. Lin recommends that the preconference guidelines be shared with other Chapters that consider hosting a similar Regional Meeting.

 Regional Meeting Update

Jan and Betty thanked all those who attended the conference and who worked on the committee for their support.  Many members were involved in collecting funds and supplies, as well as providing home stays and transportation for out of town guests.  Members who have not already done so were asked to complete a Partners Counts document. “In-kind” contributions totaled over $7,000, which includes the generous hosts. Leftover notepads with the conference logo and leather bookmarks from the University of Wyoming were distributed around the table.  These items remained after Welcome Bags were assembled.  Conference evaluations held overwhelmingly positive comments, especially regarding the meeting facilities and the generous Welcome Bags.  After expenses, over $3,000.00 was realized in profit, though that was not the main goal of the conference, which was to meet Partners from other Chapters, while sharing ideas about “What Works.” A substantial report was sent to the Partners main office in DC to document the use of two small grants received to help fund the conference. Lin thanked the Regional meeting coordinators for treating the Chapter to lunch with profit funds realized from the conference.


Kress Event

Lin provided an update on the film event to be followed by a “Meet & Greet” which will be the next Chapter meeting on Sunday, October 6.  The event committee consists of Lin, Silvio, Marilyn, and Danielle Ingle, as well as Binka and Nara, in Minas Gerais.  Brazilian films being considered are “Central Station,” “Rio,” and “City of God.”  The committee is working with the theatre management to organize the three hours allowed for the event.  It will serve several purposes: to enjoy our Partners relationships, to further awareness of Brazil, and to promote the “Connect” aspect of the Partners motto.

New Business


International Board Update

Francis gave an update on the Board business, describing the challenges of funding.  The new Board direction, after fifty years, is to seek unrestricted funds, which provide more flexibility than State Department grants. “100,000 Strong” is a program that Partners has been chosen to administer.  Here, as true with many programs, Partners receives only a 15% fee of program monies. Francis announced that the 50th Anniversary International Convention will be held in Curitiba, Brazil.

There are three vacancies on the International Board to be filled by Partners from the United States. At Francis’ recommendation, our Chapter expressed support for Jan’s candidacy for the Board and approved the payment of the $100.00 application fee from Chapter funds (Roger moved, Maria seconded). In addition to co-chairing the Regional Meeting, Jan has extensive experience working with and on boards, including service with Colorado Special Olympics. Her fiscal strengths will meet well the needs assessment, conducted by Board member, Karen Graham, of Oregon. Lin will request the written support of the Minas Gerais Chapter for Jan’s candidacy. As Chapter President, Lin will cast the official vote from Colorado for Jan.

Colorado Board Business: Bylaws & Board Vacancies

Roger reported on his work revising the Chapter bylaws.  He used guidelines from DC rechartering documents and combined two copies of previous Colorado bylaws (one dated and the other without a date).  Copies had been sent to the Board for review prior to this meeting.  Revision was approved with the addition of today’s date. (Jan moved, Sandra seconded).  Subsequent reviews will be conducted annually by the Board; changes will require approval at a Chapter meeting.

Lin announced that Board positions are still vacant to replace those that had resigned earlier in the year.  Marilyn Beattie has volunteered to serve in the position that ends December 2015.  Co agreed to serve in the position that ends December 2013. Vacancies were filled by Board appointment and approval (Jan moved, Sandra seconded).

Travel Grants

Although Binka and Nara both came to Colorado on a travel grant, only two Colorado members (Sandra on business grant/August 2011 and Patricia Yeager on a people with disabilities project/June 2012) have gone to Minas Gerais on a Partners grant in recent years.  Betty recently visited with Luzia Lisita, who asked when we might be sending a member.  Francis is interested in a trip to Iracambi to help with Junior Scientist program. Lin is open to helping any eligible member with a travel grant application.  These further strengthen our ties with our Partner Chapter.

Lin requested that, as presiding officer, she be kept aware, informed, and consulted about any process or project that involves the Colorado Chapter.

The meeting was adjourned (moved by Roger, seconded by Francis).


Guitar music, sung and played by Lou, and poetry selections from Alguém Virá, a book of Brazilian poetry, authored and read by Silvio, completed the afternoon on a celebratory note.

Artwork by Maria do Céu, Minas Gerais, Brazil, was used to enhance the printed meeting agenda.

Next Chapter meeting will be Sunday, October 6, 2013, Kress Theatre, 817 8th Ave, Greeley.