Proposed Amendment to AWCA Articles of Association

In accordance with the AWCA Articles of Association, Section 25, the Executive Board hereby presents notice of the following proposed amendments to the AWCA Bylaws to be presented at the October 1, 2018 General Meeting:

It is proposed the first sentence in Article IV. Executive Board Duties, Section A, which currently reads:

The Executive Board shall be composed of a President, 1st Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, and possibly a 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President and 4th Vice President.

be amended to the following:

The Executive Board shall be composed of a President, 1st Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, and possibly a 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President, 4th Vice President and a 5th Vice President.

Furthermore, the following is proposed to be added to Article IV. Executive Board Duties, Section C. Duties of Executive Board Members:

6. 5th Vice President

    1. Acts for the President in and the absence of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Vice Presidents.
    2. Is responsible for overseeing and reporting to the Board on behalf of any and all committees assigned to her in her job description and documented in Appendix A of the Policies.

Item "6. Treasurer,” will then become "7. Treasurer” and Item “7. Secretary” will become “8. Secretary.”

AWCA Budget 2018-2019

Below is the AWCA 2018-2019 budget that has been approved by the Executive Board. This budget will be voted on at our May 7 General Meeting. Should you have questions or would like clarification, please contact Robin Ford prior to Sunday, May 6, as the meeting agenda does not include discussion of the budget, only voting on it.

The columns are arranged:

  1. The proposed budget for 2018-2019
  2. The budget for 2017-2018,
  3. Expected results for the club year 2017-2018 based on based on eight months of actuals
  4. The variance between columns 2 and 3

Please feel free to contact Robin Ford.


1. Advertising Income: Decreased for this year due to lower than expected advertising income in 2017-2018

2. Vendor Income: Decreased due to fewer vendors are coming to meetings and notification that Spanish NL has closed her business.

3. Scholarship Raffle: Decreased due to less revenue this year at GMs and no Gala in 2019

4. At Night: in the past, the room space was “donated” by the Andaz — we paid for beverages and expenses. They changed their policies with the club and we now are paying for the At Night space.

5. At Night Extras: Speakers gifts, extra expenses associated with meetings

6. Community Service: Although the budget was not spent in 2017-2018, we kept Community Service in our budget as we have new board members coming on responsible for this area and we wanted to allow them to have a budget to develop their programs.

7. General Meeting Extras: Speakers gifts, babysitters and babysitter service expenses. This year these costs were paid out of the GM budget. Because these expenses are on-going, they need their own budget line.

8. Newcomers: We have had a large group of new members this year —over 100! Kristin DeLong did an amazing job! We are putting more money into this line to support and encourage new members. This money will also be used to supplement the monthly Newcomer’s coffees and cocktail parties so that the host’s out-of-pocket expenses are not as high. This has been donated by the hosts in the past.

9. Opijnen: Due to our yearly commitment to the Memorial Day remembrance in Opijnen, we separated out the cost of the wreaths.

10. Public Relations: To pay for brochures, cards etc. to be used at Expat fairs and relocation services. We often hear that ladies moving to Amsterdam had no idea we existed and we want to make sure that anyone who would like to join has the opportunity.

For questions or clarification on the budget please email Treasurer Robin Ford.

Minutes: Executive Board Meeting, March 28, 2018

These minutes have been approved by the Executive Board.

Present: Beth van Amerongen, Martha Canning, Kristin DeLong, Robin Ford, Lauren Mescon, Audrey Mezas, Christine Rigby-Hall

I. Officer Reports

A. Treasurer - Robin

1. Budget - We need to create the budget to be approved at the May meeting. A lot of this will be done over email. It was discussed that we want to have a percentage of individual budgets which require board approval if spent on one event.

2. Andaz spend requirement - We met our spend at the Andaz this year.

B. Vice President - Christine

1. April 9 GM and April 10 At Night meetings both have speakers. Beth will be the Board Member present for At Night.

2. Christine has a committee and had a meeting for the June Luncheon. They are asking for donations from our vendors and members for the luncheon raffle.

C. VP Programs - Audrey

1. New club meeting location - The board voted online and Audrey is negotiating to bring the price down and to see if we can get a two-year contract.

D. VP Membership - Kristin

1. We have 283 members currently. Kristin is going to send a survey to our new members to assess how we are doing welcoming newcomers.

E. VP Communications/Secretary - Beth

1. PR - We discussed how we want to be represented as a club. Beth will get with Phyllis to assess where she is in her planning. Beth will get with Rhonda and Phyllis to revamp the flyer which was created for promoting the club at ISA. The board agreed that we need one flyer from AWCA. We need better communication with the board and PR. Beth will speak with Phyllis to create regular reports.

II. Chairwomen/Committee Reports

A. Nominating Committee - Lauren

1. The process is going well. Jennifer has received 52 proxies. Beth will be sending the proxy to the members again in the coming week.

III.  New Business

A. Opijnen - The board decided several years ago that our obligations to Opijnen would be officially recorded in our Bylaws. All the U.S. soldiers in The Netherlands are buried in Margraten with a few exceptions, including Opijnen. If the graves are not properly honored, the U.S. government can transfer them to Margraten. Our obligation is for the president to speak, and we pay for and place a wreath. Martha will look at the procedure to amend Bylaws so we can do so at the May meeting.

B. New regulations on communications for the EU - Beth needs to check with Cat Conner to find out what they are and what steps the club needs to take.

IV. Schedule next meeting - Monday, April 23, 12:30 p.m. at Robin’s house

Minutes: Advisory Board Meeting March 28, 2018

These minutes have been approved by the Executive Board

Attendees: Martha Canning, Christine Rigby-Hall, Traci Hortinela, Rhonda Jimenez, Mary Beth Holland, Meg Brew, Beth Massa, Lauren Mescon, Audrey Mezas, Lisa Janisch, Christine Collins, Kristin DeLong, Beth van Amerongen, Helene Garofalo, Danielle Tomich

President Martha Canning called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.

FAWCO Interim Meeting - Martha shared that Lauren Mescon won a well-deserved FAWCO award. AWCA is the top donor to the Target Project. We now have Diamond Donor status!

Scholarship - Beth Massa reported that she has not yet received applications for the scholarships. It was discussed that it is normal for the applicants to wait until the last minute. It was discussed that the scholarship is merit-based, however, if minimum academic requirements are not met, applicants are not eligible. The academic requirements were discussed with respect to the different grading systems at schools. Members are encouraged to submit proposals for the description of the requirements. We need to be sure we continue to promote it. Beth Massa will send Beth van Amerongen the details for a club-wide email.

Youth Program - Rhonda Jimenez shared that our efforts to have business/professional internships are not going as well as she had hoped. As it is pursued further with the companies it becomes evident that it can be more work for the companies and not worth the benefit of having a student help out. One issue is that the program needs to be fluid; set dates don’t work well for the variety of schedules our families have. Furthermore, ISA students don’t get time off for internships so it has to be during the school breaks only, which presents a problem. Dutch schools and the British school give students a week off to be an intern. Rhonda is going to investigate some ideas presented and will also reassess the program to determine if it is worth continuing to pursue.

Amsterdam Activities - Lisa Janisch shared that things are going well as Amsterdam Rep, although she misses her “sidekick” Catherine. Lisa is willing to do the job one more year (bringing it to a total of 10 years as Amsterdam Rep!), however, we need to find Lisa a co-rep for the coming year. It was discussed that some of the events have gone by the wayside (such as the Coffees in the City or the Walking Group) but many people are planning individual activities.

Excursions - Christine Collins reported that there have been excursions every month and they have been extremely well-attended. The only hiccup was the Coffeeshop tour which generated a high amount of interest, but the tour operator canceled. If anyone knows of a possibility for a coffeeshop tour, please let Christine or Rhonda know. Beth van Amerongen will be taking on excursions for next year and will have a committee. It was discussed that in the coming year we will increase the number of excursions and will vary the demographics, as well as the cost to be sure all members have some excursions which interest them and meet their budget requirements. It was suggested that we consider an excursion to Edinburgh next year during the same weekend of the FAWCO Interim Meeting there.

Art on the Move - Mary Beth reported it has been a great year for AOTM and reviewed the year activities. The Anne Frank neighborhood tour with Lorraine van Nes’ husband was especially good and will possibly be repeated this coming year. Louise Hooley (in Haarlem) is a co-chair and she has coordinated a couple of tours this year. Mary Beth shared some of her thoughts for the remainder of the year. Mary Beth is always open to assistance on AOTM.

Cooking Club - Mary Beth took over the chairing of Cooking Club midyear. Last month it was held in Haarlem which was very well received. It was discussed we should consider doing a cooking club in ’t Gooi as well. It was mentioned that you do not have to have a large kitchen and that it is okay if you have to limit the number of attendees.

Haarlem Activities - Meg Brew reported for Jennifer van Lent. Upcoming events include an Easter egg hunt and a house tour. The end-of-year party will be pirate-themed and it is going to be combined with the Amsterdam end-of-year event. June 23 is being considered. The monthly coffees seem to vary a great deal in attendance. It was mentioned that Jennifer did a great job of as Haarlem Rep this year, but she will be stepping down this year to take on the position of At Night the coming year.

Publicity - It was discussed that there are some new international schools opening both in Haarlem and Amsterdam. Audrey will reach out to our PR Rep, Phyllis Larkin to be sure she is aware of these schools.

’t Gooi - Helene Garofalo shared the variety of activities happening in ’t Gooi, such as Crafts, Ladies’ Night Out and Wine Tasting, all advertised on the ’t Gooi Facebook page. This month they are having a dinner at a soup restaurant, which was advertised on the club-wide page to encourage others to attend. They will be having an end of year BBQ, most likely on the June 9.

Meet the Newcomers - Kristin DeLong has been hosting all coffees this year in her home. Vera Heijligers will be organizing the coffees next year. Cinda Bross and Lynne Tomlinson arranged lunches this year and will not be continuing. We will need to fill this position for next year. It was discussed there are people still confused about who is invited and how many times they can attend, despite the “Meet the Newcomers” title. Diane has secured hosts for all remaining months. There were many cancelations in February which was disappointing. She is having issues acquiring newcomers’ emails and getting them to attend. It was discussed that we should consider having buddies for the newcomers. Ideas for recruiting members was also discussed.

Dining Divas - Traci Hortinela and Elizabeth Gray have planned five so far this year. Several were near Central Station. There are typically around 10 members present, although some have had as many as 20 attendees. There is not one this month because of spring vacations. The next one is at the Amsterdam Boat House on May 24.

FAWCO - Lauren Mescon congratulated the entire club for being “rock stars” at the FAWCO Interim Meeting! Safe Spaces was submitted for a developmental award by AWCA member Sherrie Zwail and received it! Many other clubs were intrigued by “Share Your Gifts for Good” and our charity gala, and regularly asked how we did it. The goal for the Target Project was $125,000. FAWCO has nearly met their goal already with AWCA contributing ~$30,000. Lauren plans to use the next few months to be sure and thank our members for making us a “FAWCO club.” Lauren discussed Nacht van de Vluchteling (Night of the Refugee) and shared that our club has a team. She encourages all members to sign up. Lauren mentioned that club members who take a course can apply for FAWCO educational awards. She learned tips at FAWCO about how to apply for the awards and plans to share them with the club. Individual clubs can sponsor an education award and or developmental grant. Lauren suggested our club consider doing one with AWC The Hague.

Tulip Talk - Danielle Tomich hopes everyone is opening Tulip Talk and reading it. It is constantly evolving and she is considering moving the non-static items to a page on the AWCA website, so when events are changed, Tulip Talk will reflect that. The blog has been launched and is accessed on the external AWCA website. It is for promoting the club and a sharing platform for members. The differences between the blog, Tulip Talk and Facebook posts were discussed.

Book Club - Danielle shared that Book Club was so popular and had a waiting list, so a new evening one was formed and the new one is now full. It was mentioned that the AWCA could probably handle another book club if we have a member willing to form it.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.

Minutes: Executive Board Meeting, April 23, 2018 (draft)

This is a draft. The minutes have not yet been approved by the Executive Board.

Present: Beth van Amerongen, Martha Canning, Robin Ford, Audrey Mezas, Christine Rigby-Hall

The meeting was called to order at 12:50 p.m.

I. Approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting - the minutes were approved as presented.

II. Approval of New Associate Members/Member Report - Kristin reported via email that we currently have 287 members. There were not any Associate Member applications for approval this month.

III.  Officer Reports

A. Treasurer - Robin

1. The club computer crashed. We might need to consider a new purchasing a new one, as the current one is quite old.

2. Our membership income is over budget by more than €2,000 because more members joined than predicted.

3. Many budget areas are behind in spending. It was discussed that the spending needs to be distributed more throughout the year. The Amsterdam and Haarlem Reps are hoping to use their entire budgets for the end of year celebration. The volunteer handbook currently discourages more than 20% of a budget area to be spent on one event. The board discussed changing the verbiage to require board approval for a single event costing more than 20% of a budget, to encourage a more even distribution of club funded activities throughout the year. This will be clearly stated in the proposed budget for 2018-19.

4. There is money in the FAWCO budget after reimbursing the FAWCO reps for their registration fees for the Interim Meeting. Robin will reach out to others who attended to get their receipts and distribute the remaining funds proportionately between the day and full attendees.

5. Robin is in the process of preparing the budget for the 2018-19 club year. She will be sending it to the board to be approved via email so that it can be presented in the May Tulip Talk. It will be voted on at the May General Meeting.

B. Secretary - Beth

1. Beth shared her discussion with PR chairwoman, Phyllis Larkin, including the one-page handout she recommends. It was agreed we need a promotional postcard. Mimi van Amerongen will do the graphic design and the board will proof it for content before it is printed. The board discussed other materials to promote our club, such as pens and reusable totes. There is money in the PR budget to cover these. Beth will look ordering the items mentioned.

2. The Organizational Chart was reviewed and modified to represent the new positions and job descriptions. Beth will send a draft to the board to review prior to posting on the website.

C. Vice President - Christine

1. May Speakers - Valerie Russell will speak at the General Meeting about her experiences in Jordan. Sandra Cabrera will speak At Night about life as the U.S. Consul General’s wife and Expat mom.

2. June Luncheon and At Night Party - Most Executive Board members will be attending both events. The planning for both is well underway. Christine has been collecting donations for the scholarship raffles.

3. Peter den Tek, our April GM Speaker, asked us to endorse his Sky of Hope project. Christine is awaiting more information as to what it entails.

D. VP Programs - Audrey

1. Audrey reviewed the current proposal for next year’s meeting place with the board. Input was given which she will attempt to include in the final contract. When a final document is ready, Martha will sign it and an announcement will be made to the club.

E. VP Membership - Kristin

1. Kristin will not be at the May meeting for managing our new members. She will reach out to incoming Membership VPs, Ingrid and Catie to see if they can help out.

IV. Chairwomen/Committee Reports

A. Gala - Kristin

1. The gala committee has disbanded; however, thank you notes still need to be written to donors and sponsors. Martha will work with Kristin on this.

V. Next meeting - The final Executive Board Meeting of the year will include both the outgoing and incoming boards. It was proposed to do either June 6 or 7 for lunch or for dinner. Beth will conduct a Doodle Survey with all involved to determine the best date. The current board will then come up with a location on the WhatsApp group.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Minutes: General Meeting and Elections, April 9, 2018

These minutes have been approved by the Executive Board.

April 9, 2018

Present: 41 members

Meeting called to order by President Martha Canning at 12:15 p.m. A motion was made to approve the slate by Christine Rigby-Hall. Linette Burgess seconded the motion.

The vote included the 39 members present plus 65 proxy votes submitted to Election Chair, Jennifer van Lent. The motion passed unanimously.

Club announcements were shared by Martha Canning. The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 p.m.