April 7, 2013


  Colorado Partners of the Americas Business Meeting


The April 7, 2013, Colorado Chapter meeting was held at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon at Red Rocks Community College, Red Fox Conference Room, Denver.



Welcome and Introductions

Chapter President, Lin Allen, welcomed members and thanked Francis Wardle for arranging the meeting space.


In attendance:

Members:  Lin Allen, Roger & Betty Brown, Jan Brummond, Steve Waechter, Mary Gershwin, Dwight Hicks, Louise Jennings, Gylton DaMatta, Danielle Ingle, Linda Nedved, Silvio Picinini, and Francis Wardle.

Members sending their regrets:  John & Marilyn Beattie, Sandra Robnett, Mike & Rhoda Rogers, DeAnnaKay Swetzig, and Patricia Yeager


During the course of the meeting, door prizes were awarded by drawing to: Silvio (M&Ms candy), Dwight (Brazilian beaded necklace), and Louise (photo note cards).


Silvio read, in Portuguese with an English translation, two selections from his book of poetry: “The Leaves and the Autumn” and “Old Friends.”  (See Note *)




Minutes from Chapter meeting on February 10, 2013, sent to membership by E-mail prior to the meeting, were approved (Roger moved, Francis seconded).


Jan presented the Treasurer’s Report, which was approved (Roger moved, Francis seconded).  The checking account balance was $11,195.37 on March 31.  This balance includes a $3,000.00 grant received from Partners on March 26 for the Regional Meeting and some conference registration fees. Minimal conference expenses have been incurred to date. Also pending is a $1,000.00 donation from the Wyoming Business Counsel for the conference.


Travel Grant & Preconference updates were provided by Lin.  She is coordinating arrangements for three Partners from Minas Gerais: Binka LeBreton (approved), Roberto Brandao (submitted), and Nara Nogueira (pending).  Funds for Travel Grants for POA from the State Department were just approved last week. These three agendas will share a LEGACY theme to capitalize on the 50th anniversary of POA. The theme represents POA projects and programs connected with their goals and professional work: Launch, Entrepreneurs (example – Jobs for Hope), Grants, Archives (example – Kress Theatre Brazilian film show), Coordinates (example – partnering with local agencies), and Yesteryear (and future).  Nara is collaborating with Lin to write a combined history of both the Colorado and Minas Gerais Chapters.  Francis offered the boxes of archived materials and travel grant reports that are stored at his home.  Lin is working with Sherrita Wilkins to list questions for Steve Vetter, POA President & CEO, to address on videos related to the POA history.


Guests, in March, visiting their son in Fort Collins, from the Pennsylvania Chapter, were JoAnn and Ed Wallace, in March. Introduced by Barbara Bloch, the Wallaces were able to share dinner twice, spending some time with Lin, Roger, and Betty, talking about Partners Campus, as well as sharing other POA news. Lin arranged a meeting with the University of Northern Colorado Center for International Education office; JoAnn is retired from a similar college position. Lin spoke of the critical nature of support by those in higher positions at universities to incorporate institutional means for POA to be included in their internationalization plans, a “top down” approach.  Francis spoke of the importance of virtual education and wondered about the role of Partners Connect in making that happen with POA support.  JoAnn and Ed will not be able to return for the Regional Meeting but will encourage some from their Chapter to do so.


Regional Meeting updates were provided by Jan and Betty.  Approximately 80 have committed to attend; the number will be capped at 150.  Registration fees are $75 for Colorado Partners with paid membership dues. Registrations handled by DC are $150, which will increase to $200 after April 15.  Due to the closing of Room with a View, other Greeley venues had to be arranged (Crabtree Brewery, First Presbyterian Church, and Triple S Event Center).  Items for the Welcome Bags were displayed, such as the orange colored folder for the program.  Lin brought printed items and pencils from UNC and Linda brought Denver Mountain Park maps. Linda is preparing backpacks of Colorado gifts from the city of Denver to be given to the International Board.  Some extras will be used for door prizes, along with enlarged/matted photography produced by Jan, Roger, and Francis. Dwight announced that he is obtaining leather bookmarks and coffee mugs from the University of Wyoming. Rhoda obtained small bottles of lotion. Purchased items include granola bars. A request was made for additional items.  Linda spoke of the need for guests to have adequate hydration at Colorado’s higher altitude; she will send a document prepared for another conference.  Several Chapters, including Colorado, will have exhibit and fund-raising tables. There was extended discussion period, with many questions and answers, following the report.

In keeping with the Chapter’s interest in connecting with local affiliates, Mary brought updates regarding her work with and for US-Brazil Connect and the Biennial of the Americas.

During June 2013, 700 Brazilian students in Santa Catarina, Salvador, and Belo Horizonte will participate in US Brazil Connect programs with an emphasis on learning English. Around 20-35 students will visit Colorado in the fall of 2013.  (They are working with 700 students in Brazil and the Confederation of Industry will select 35 of the 700 for travel to the U.S.) This program uses a model that develops lasting friendships. Students from US community colleges are involved, including seven from Red Rocks, as well as six students from the Colorado University President’s Leadership Class.  Steve Vetter has referred students to the program. POA is one of two organizations positioned with the “100,000 Strong” exchanges with Brazil. At this point the cause is definitive but no funds have been appropriated.

The Biennial will be a three-day event, in Denver, focused on education, business, and the environment.  Brazil will have a small role in this.  Steve Vetter is a possible speaker. Sandra, in a telephone conversation with Lin, discussed explanations of the related POA purposes and the need for corporate liaisons.



There will not be a Chapter meeting in June, due to the Regional Meeting taking place the last week of May. The next Chapter meeting will be August 4th, 2013.  Location will be announced by Lin at a later date.



Meeting was adjourned for refreshments and conversation (Roger moved, Francis seconded).


Artwork by Maria do Céu, Minas Gerais illustrated the meeting agenda.


Respectfully submitted by

Betty Brown, Chapter Secretary



* Note: Alguém Virá, a book of Brazilian poetry, in Portuguese, written by Silvio, is available for purchase.  All sales ($13.00/book) will benefit http://www.esperancaevida.org.br/

Author can be contacted by E-mail at silvio_picinini@comcast.net