NCA Board Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2016

NCA (Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic A.C.) Minutes

February 18, 2016

La Floresta

The meeting was called to order at 11:19 am.

Present: Bill, Doug, Nancy, Nicole, Susan, Tim, Lori, Amy.

Guests: Lana Ehlebracht, Heather Hunter, Kristine Moily.

Guest Cony Larios was unable to attend.

A quorum was declared.

  • The Minutes of January 2016 are accepted as distributed. They have been posted on the NCA website.
  • It is noted that there have been many NCA improvements over the year.
  • The AGM (Annual General Meeting) will be held at the NCA office, March 2, at 2:00 pm. Registration at 1:30pm.
  • There are two vacancies to fill for the NCA Board slate. Our wonderful Director of Events, Shannon Blair, suddenly passed away recently, and is sorely missed. Dr. Tim Whiting is stepping down to attend to other involvements.
  • The proposed Board slate is as follows:
    • President and Webmaster, Doug Friend
    • Vice-President, Lana Ehlebracht
    • Secretary, Susan Johnson
    • Treasurer, Nancy Allan
    • Director-at Large, Lori Skoda
    • Director at Large, Nicole Belline
    • Director at Large, Mtra. Cony Larios
    • Past-President, Bill Friend
    • Director at Large, TBA
  • Heather has volunteered to write the “Student of the Month” column for the OJO.

Events Review:

  • The following are the regularly scheduled events NCA holds on a yearly basis.
    • For the Love of Education St. Valentine’s Gala, February
    • Viva Mexico – July / August
    • Indian Dinner – October / November
    • Chili Cook Off – NCA Board members volunteer (26, 27, 28 Feb)
    • NCA Grads party / Dance Group – July
  • Amy repeats her previous suggestion: to have a Libro de Recuerdos in which graduating student photos can be placed, with space for them to write what NCA has meant to them
  • Can we have IJAS do a presentation when we reach the 200-student mark?
  • Need to have the press at the next Grad event
  • Is there more we can do to recognize sponsors?
  • Can we have a membership privilege? Coffee mug with payment of membership fee?
  • Most people who sponsor one child perhaps may sponsor two: multiple child T-shirt / mug? VIP buttons? Multi-student sponsor plaque?

It is noted that events can in the future be more smoothly produced, the “kinks” have been identified and removed from the process.

NCA’S re-branding initiative has been very successful.  We have greater recognition, a much more elevated public profile, and there is no longer confusion with other charities.

The OJO column is successful about 80% of the time in having the “Student of the Month” sponsored.

Heather had several questions regarding NCA’s biggest challenges, how students are selected, etc. She will meet with Nancy to review the entire process.

Director’s Reports:


  • Presented the financial results from the Valentine’s Day event, more than $44,000 pesos.
  • All eight students presented at the Valentine Gala were sponsored! NCA began the year with 140 students in the program, now at 187. Sponsors now number more than 120.
  • Income from all events has increased this year
  • She says we are now meeting our monthly overhead expenses. Administrative expense has been significantly reduced (outsourced accounting, more volunteers).
  • The Bazaar is the biggest contributor, in Nancy’s words, “The Bazaar rocks!”
  • Donations and sponsorship memberships are up.
  • She will present NCA financial statements at the AGM.
  • She briefly reviewed the advantages of NCA’s excellent relationship with IJAS: we will be able to call upon other government organizations. Under the IJAS umbrella, NCA can issue facturas.
  • Amy asked about our monthly “burn rate” and cash flow projection, Nancy will ask Eduardo to produce one, with Admin and Scholarship funds separated.
  • Irma of IJAS will help us with donations, allow us to issue tax-deductible receipts
  • NCA needs to keep non-factura expenses low.
  • Re Swentik bequest, Nancy has two lawyers under consideration to accomplish this. It seems this long-delayed initiative may not be as difficult as previously thought.


  • New signs and sandwich boards are done
  • English-language brochures printed, Spanish-language brochures translated and underway.
  • Minor website updates, house and student pictures being finalized
  • The new brochure should be widely distributed, banks, beauty salons, stores, to gain more awareness on Lakeside.


  • the new sign at the Bazaar has been installed, back-lighting not working. Timer to be checked.
  • contracts for the Bazaar staff are done.
  • Bazaar is doing well, there is a great deal of furniture in stock.


  • Lilia and Susan attended the Mini Summit at LCS.
  • LCS has asked that Lilia, Susan and Kenia attend the next meeting, to give presentations.
  • Susan working on Financial Aid / Resource Directory. It will be published by LCS, and will include all Lakeside organizations which assist students.
  • Susan will meet with Mtra. Cony Larios re the Directory and NCA Spanish-language brochure.
  • Susan suggests an NCA Board meeting at a Mexican school, with a multi-media presentations. Cony can set this up.
  • She wishes to host an event at her villa, Sunday (late pm) Mar 6, for Mtra. Larios and Lilia.


  • LCS is a disappointing venue to promote NCA, foot traffic is very low. NCA’s name to be taken off the LCS schedule.
  • suggested that the Tuesday Farmer’s Market would be a better investment of energy and time.
  • Meeting has been scheduled with Directora Maria Huerta at LCS Wilkes Biblioteca on Galeana in AJIJIC. Finalization of trial group of 3 students to use computers for homework only, from 2:00 – 3:30pm is expected. Students will sign a form stating that if they are found not doing homework or being disruptive, they will lose privileges. Mother or Father will also be asked to sign and leave phone number if they have one, or a phone number where they can be contacted.

July NCA Graduation Event: suggested inclusions

  • Gifts for sponsors (mugs and pens, glass apples already done)
  • New corporate sponsors – glass apple paperweights?
  • Libro de Recuerdos for the grads, with their photos, and space to write their thoughts of what NCA has meant to them
  • It is hoped that Irma of IJAS will be able to attend this year.

Doug proposed the meeting be adjourned, Amy seconded.

Meeting adjourned at 12:37pm.