January 2014 Minutes

Minutes of the UAA Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 16, 2014
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
TetraTech Offices, 1320 N. Courthouse Road, Ste. 600
Arlington, VA

Board Members attending: Frank Almaguer, David Cohen, David Eckerson, Jim Michel, Carol Peasley and Nancy Pielemeier

Board Member not attending: Alex Shakow

Co-Chairs attending: George Hill, Marilynn Schmidt, Nancy Tumavick and Jerry Wood

Committee Co-Chairs not attending: Bill Anderson and Ann Van Dusen

Representative from the Public Outreach Committee attending: Nilka Varela

Meeting Chair: Nancy Pielemeier

Executive Assistant: Kristina Short

1. Approval of the December 19, 2013 Executive Committee (EXCOM) Meeting Minutes:

The Minutes for the December 19, 2013 meeting of the EXCOM were approved with a correction to the meeting attendance list.

2. Finance Report:

Frank Almaguer reported that the UAA ended 2013 in line with income and expenditure projections, with $4,814 in its checking account and $10,057 in its savings account (see Attachment A).

George Hill reported that $3,600 in 2014 contributions were received over the first 16 days in January.

Next Step: Kristina will include a 2014 contribution reminder in the next Newsletter. Additionally, a separate reminder will be sent in March 2014.

3. Membership Report:

Since the January 6 “Call for 2014 Contributions,” contributions have been received from 39 individuals: 24 alumni contributed at the $75 or under level, while 15 alumni made contributions at or above the $100 level.

Next Step: Kristina will finalize the 2013 membership report, including comparisons with 2012 where feasible.

David Cohen raised the possibility of offering lifetime UAA memberships to our alumni. It was agreed to discuss this option at a future EXCOM meeting.

4. Annual General Meeting (AGM) Report:

Nancy Pielemeier reported that to-date George Laudato has not been able to make a commitment to serve as an AGM Committee co-chair for 2014. The EXCOM continues to search for co-chairs. In the absence of volunteers and until this issue is resolved, Carol Peasley and Nancy Pielemeier will take the lead on AGM issues and reach out to volunteers to assist with theme and program development.

Next steps:

  1. The UAA will include an announcement in the next Newsletter soliciting ideas for potential breakout sessions on current innovations/ initiatives for the proposed 2014 theme of “Innovation and Development,” as well as a call for volunteers to assist with AGM organization.
  2. At the next meeting with USAID leadership, the UAA will ask about current areas of focus so as to potentially incorporate into the 2014 AGM innovation focus.

5. Strategic Planning and Budget:

a. Strategic Plan for 2014-2016:

The EXCOM reviewed the most up-to-date draft of the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan. Jim asked for committee co-chairs to send him any updated and/or expanded information on committee plans and objectives.

The EXCOM discussed the role of the UAA in advocacy and development of USAID policy initiatives, and how best to reflect this in the Strategic Plan. Similarly, the fostering of mutually supportive relationships with respect to USAID and other organizations with which the UAA shares common interests needs to be reflected more prominently in the UAA Strategy.

Next step: After the Development Issues Committee meets on the week of January 20, Jim will revise the draft Strategic Plan for EXCOM review and Board approval.

b. 2014 Budget:

Frank reviewed the budget based on the discussions and subsequent feedback that took place in December. As a result, a projected 2014 budget of $25,300 will include many, but not all of the requests made by the various Committees. The 12/26/2013 draft budget is included as Attachment B of these Minutes. Items in that document that are “above the line” may proceed. Items “below the line” are noted for further consideration of the EXCOM at various budget review intervals but should be held in abeyance for now.

Regarding audio-visual requests, David Cohen reminded the EXCOM that, for photography, the UAA only needs someone who has knowledge of the types of photos useful for the UAA website. Photos could also be uploaded from “Friday Forum” videos, although their quality would likely be poor.

Money for recording oral histories of USAID alumni currently is not included in the 2014 budget. Frank will contact the Academy for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) about including more USAID alumni to the ADST Oral History Program, which currently includes mostly State Department alumni histories. He will report back when he receives feedback from ADST. This could be a subject for discussion with USAID leadership.

6. Membership Survey:

Kristina reported that the 2014 Membership Survey had received 89 responses as of January 16. 51 respondents are located in the DC area and 38 outside DC area

Next Steps: Kristina will send reminder to alumni on Monday, January 20 and include a note encouraging alumni also to make their 2014 membership contribution. Kristina will send a report on January 31 or when 100 responses is reached.

7. UAA Logo:

Nilka Varela, representative of the Public Outreach Committee, updated the EXCOM on efforts underway to design a logo to represent the UAA. The EXCOM discussed several ideas for how to visually represent the UAA in a way that shows its linkage to USAID while highlighting its independence and unique identity.

Nilka made several recommendations:

  • Establish specific goals and timeline, ideally before the close of 1st quarter of 2014,
  • Query membership on what the concept,
  • Bring ideas from the wider UAA membership to a smaller committee to review,
  • then look for someone to design logo (use professional designer or choose something pre-made).

Next Steps:

  1. David Cohen, Ann Van Dusen and Nilka Varela have agreed to help identify alumni interested in serving on the ad hoc “logo design committee”.
  2. The UAA will present several options in an UAA notice for alumni to vote on. The message to alumni will note that, before approving a logo design, the Board will give alumni ample opportunity for feedback.
  3. Kristina will send Nilka Varela the list of individuals who responded to the 2014 Membership Survey with interest in the Public Outreach Committee.

8. Meeting with USAID Leadership:

A small group from the EXCOM will meet with senior USAID leadership in the near future. Jim Michel circulated a draft agenda for feedback. The purpose is to further deepen relations between USAID and the UAA and renew/ expand existing areas of cooperation.

The UAA will request to meet with Counselor Susan Reichle, Senior Advisor to the Administrator Bambi Arellano and senior representatives of Human Resources, Public Affairs and operating Bureaus, to exchange ideas and develop join plans for cooperation.

Next Steps: David Eckerson will work with USAID to schedule the meeting in early March. The EXCOM will further discuss agenda and talking points at the February 2014 EXCOM meeting.

9. Operating Committee Updates:

a. Development Issues: the Development Issues Committee will meet the week of January 20. Items up for discussion include clarification of the status of individual alumni who participate in events organized by the Committee. (Anyone acting on behalf of the UAA would need to sign the UAA Conflict of Interest policy. Alternatively, it could be made clear that participants are acting in a personal capacity and that their views do not represent those of the UAA.)

b. Public Outreach: The Committee has discussed the potential benefits of using additional social media tools to connect with alumni. Nilka Varela and David Cohen volunteered to establish a Facebook page for the Association.

Nilka Varela has been assisting Ann Van Dusen with migrating LinkedIn content from individual to an UAA corporate/institutional account.

c. Membership: The Membership Committee will not be holding a February event, but will proceed with organizing the May reception. The Committee received three offers of residences and three dates for the reception: April 27, May 18, and June 1. Nancy Tumavick will circulate this information to the EXCOM, allowing for the final date to be determined at the convenience of the host.

The Committee is proposing to introduce a “USAID Alumnus of the Year Award”. Margaret Carpenter will chair this awards committee and is looking for volunteers to assist with the nomination and selection process. The EXCOM agreed to provide Margaret with feedback regarding selection criteria.

David Eckerson has volunteered to attend the upcoming FSI retirement transition seminar and publicize the UAA among USAID participants.
Anne Dammarell has provided a profile of Tish and Malcom Butler for the February Newsletter

d. Strengthening USAID: The next round of USAID staff mentoring is scheduled to begin mid-February. EXCOM members should encourage alumni with backgrounds in Program and Project Development Backstops (02 and 94), as well as Public Health work to contact the Committee. Kristina will send Marilynn Schmidt the names and contact information for those alumni who indicated an interest in mentoring on the 2014 Membership Survey.

10. Next meeting:

The February meeting of the UAA EXCOM will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at TetraTech offices in Arlington, VA.

A: Financial Report as of Dec. 31, 2013
B: Draft 2014 UAA Budget as of 12/26/2013