February 10, 2013

Colorado Partners of the Americas Business Meeting


The February 10, 2013, Colorado Chapter meeting was held at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon at University of Northern Colorado Stryker Center, 1915 10th Avenue, in Greeley.  The Chapter thanks Sarah Witty for arranging the meeting space.


Welcome and Introductions

Chapter President, Lin Allen, welcomed members and introduced the two guests.


In attendance:

Members:  Lin Allen, John & Marilyn Beattie, Roger & Betty Brown, Danielle Ingle, Linda Nedved, Silvio Picinini, Mike & Rhoda Rogers, Co & Odette VanHerwaarden, and Francis Wardle.

Guests: Greg Ehlert and Vanna In

Members sending their regrets:  Donna Anderson, Carolyn & Bryan Cooke, Dwight Hicks, Louise Jennings, Jan Brummond, Steve Waechter, and Sandra Robnett.


During the course of the meeting, door prizes were awarded by drawing to: Silvio (2013 desk calendar, illustrated with dog drawings), Danielle (braided yarn scarf), and John (note cards).


During the course of the meeting Silvio read, in Portuguese with an English translation, three selections from his book of poetry (“Dogs,” “Someone will come,” and “The stone and the flower.” He provided printed copies so the attendees could follow along as he read. The book, Alguém Virá, authored by Silvio, is available for purchase.  All sales ($13.00/book) will benefit http://www.esperancaevida.org.br/




Minutes from Chapter meeting on December 2, 2012, sent to membership by E-mail prior to the meeting, were approved (Rhoda moved, Francis seconded).

Treasurer’s Report, submitted by Betty in Jan’s absence, was approved (Betty moved, John seconded). Current balance in the checking account is $7,250.42, of which $1,478.00 is the balance of POA grant funds awarded for the Regional Meeting.  Working balance is $5,772.42.


Kress Kickstarter Campaign- Lin described the possibility of a Partners Chapter meeting at this Independent movie theatre that could include a Brazilian film.  Danielle and Silvio volunteered to help explore requirements and make arrangements.  Marilyn indicated concern about trying to have this event before the Regional Meeting in May.


Guest Speakers, Greg Ehlert, Chairman of Board, and Vanna In, Executive Director, represented a program that recently was introduced in Greeley, “Jobs of Hope: Providing jobs that bring hope.”  Greg described how the program began in Fresno, California, in 1993, for young men between the ages of 16-24, an outreach to the fatherless, a common occurrence with gang members.  Employment is a key piece for them to find meaning, purpose, and hope.  The program advocates for the young men and guarantees jobs after training. Two thousand youth are off the street in Fresno, with an 85% success ratio.  A short video, that included interviews with men who once were gang members and now are productive employees, illustrated how lives are changed one step at a time. Said one such man, “I wanted to straighten out, but I did not know how.”  Vanna began his remarks by saying, “I was one of those guys, a typical street thug, a walking time bomb.”  After serving time in the California Youth Authority, Vanna found success in the “Jobs” program.  He completed his education and was invited to be on staff. He and his family moved to Greeley in January of this year.  Busy connecting with members of Greeley’s business community, he is also recruiting young men to enter the structured program where they will take classes to learn responsibility, build relationships, and establish trust.  The acronym WOLF (work hard, be on time, learn fast, be friendly) is one tool used to re-wire the thinking of  troubled young men.  Each individual who completes the program and is employed can affect 600 others in a positive way. It costs $5,300 to complete the program compared to expenses of $50-60,000 annually for an individual in prison.  A sincere, lively discussion followed their presentation.  Greg and Vanna thanked the group for the opportunity to explain the program, asking for members to share the information, as success depends on community support.


Regional Meeting (May 22-24, 2013) update was provided by Betty, on behalf of her co-chair, Jan.  The two of them continue with preparations, with enthusiastic support by numerous other Colorado Partners and DC staff. Betty thanked members for their energetic support of the planning process. Colorado members, with current dues, will pay a $75 registration fee, which will simply cover the five meals to be served during the conference. Registration is capped at 150.  Registrations for attendees from other Chapters will be handled on-line by DC.  One grant has been received and a second grant is in process with the DC home office to fund supplies and entertainment.  Travel grant funds are also pending. Corporate financial support is being invited.  In addition to providing homestay accommodations for visitors, members are asked to collect items for welcome bags, for silent auction, and for door prizes.   Betty announced that Sherrita Wilkins, assistant to POA President & CEO, Steve Vetter, is planning to visit Colorado this month.  The International Board will conduct their face-to-face meeting in conjunction with the Regional Meeting and hold the required Congress to elect new members of the Board. This Regional Meeting will also serve as a kick-off to the 50th anniversary of POA.  Lin told of plans by MG Partner Nara Nília Marques Nogueira to research and write the joint history of the Colorado and Minas Gerais Chapters. It was suggested that Nara contact Bryan Cooke, Fred Kail, and Donna Anderson, who have a long history of involvement.




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


Lapel pins were presented to new members, Danielle and Silvio.


Next Meeting will be Sunday afternoon, 2:00, April 7th, 2013 in the Red Fox Conference room at Red Rocks Community College.  Directions will be sent with Meeting Agenda prior to meeting.


Artwork by Maria do Céu, Minas Gerais, was used, with her permission, to illustrate the Meeting Agenda.


Respectfully submitted by Betty Brown, Chapter Secretary.