NCA Board Meeting Minutes, June 16, 2014


Minutes, June 19, 2014

Present:  Jim Dickinson, Susan Johnson, Lori Skoda, Shannon Blair, Nancy Allen, Doug Friend, Adriana Perez, Sheila Dickinson and one guest, Susana Rodriguez.


The meeting was called to order at 1:45 pm and a quorum declared.

Minutes of Last Meeting

Shannon moved that the Minutes from the June 12 meeting be adopted as written. Susan seconded. All in favor.

Welcome to Visitors

The President opened the meeting by welcoming Legal Advisor, Susana Rodriguez and Adriana Perez, his candidate for Special Assistant for Legal Affairs. He asked the board to vote on Adriana’s appointment. Shannon moved and Susan seconded. The vote was unanimous.

Old Business

The President said there is no update of IJAS and the Swentik bequest.

President’s Report: 

Children Needing Sponsors

We need to call these students in for new pictures, interview them and start marketing them. Lilia, our Student Liaison, has a list of the students and we will ask her to do this right away.

Sheila suggested that we make a paid ad with the students in a group and stating now is the time to sponsor a student for the coming school year.

Doug moved that the OJO de Lago monthly column be half on the Student of the month and the other half on the Bazaar.  It is difficult to fill the 500-word monthly free column given to NCA by OJO de Lago. Nancy cooperated with Amy Friend this month to write the Student of the Month column.  Motion was seconded by Nancy and all were in favor.

Resuming LCS Weekly Table

The Board discussed resumption of NCA’s weekly table at LCS that was formerly staffed by Margarita on Fridays. Moved by Susan, seconded by Shannon, that we resume this. Shannon will schedule the table, and Lori will lend Karina from the Bazaar for this work. All voted in favor.

Sponsors as Volunteers

The President raised the question of whether we should recruit volunteers from among our student sponsors for special committees, events, fund raising, etc. Shannon said that she doesn’t agree to have volunteers in the office where they can have access to children’s and other sponsors’ files.

Doug moved, Susan seconded, that we require anyone, including Board members, working with NCA and NCA information about students and sponsors to sign a non-disclosure agreement. All voted in favor.

Tax-Deductible Receipt Authority

The President reported that he had been told by Paulo that NCA lost its authority to issue tax-deductible receipts to Mexican citizens and corporations in 2009 because we failed to renew it with SAT, the equivalent of the U.S. IRS. Shannon explained that Mexican corporations will not sponsor students or events unless they can get the tax receipt. We have even lost an event sponsorship due to this. Shannon asked if we could issue a Factura instead? Doug advised that he will ask his accountant, Eduardo, about this and Jim said that we would have to defer this matter to another time.

Tutors for Failing Students

Susan explained that these cannot be provided by the schools. Parents can pay for an extra class but if a student’s family has not paid the “fees” to the Parents’ Association, that student may not attend.  These fees are set by the Parents’ Association each year at each school to pay for additional books, uniforms, shoes, etc. Families can and basically have to pay these fees, but families do not pay for basic education which is free in Mexico.  There has been some confusion as to what families have to pay. Our families think their children can’t go to school if these fees aren’t paid, which is untrue.

Vice President’s Report

Interim Vice President Susan Johnson reported to the Board that she had metwith two high officials at the office of the Secretary of Education in Guadalajara – Dr. Ismael Vargas Ibarra, Director de Seguimento y Evaluación de la Gestión, and Dr. Arturo Atalo Maya Meraz, Proyectos Académicos de la Coordinación de Educación Básica.

Among other things, they provided Susan with helpful directions on how NCA may seek permission to communicate directly with school-level Basic Education (public pre-school, primary, and secondary) staff concerning NCA students’ scholarships, including principals and teachers. This represents a potential major breakthrough that could greatly benefit the gathering of information that our sponsors need. We also are preparing a request to the Jalisco Secretary of Education to establish a formal Convenio, which is like a partnership. Susan believes this might be a “first” among Lakeside educational charities.

Bazaar Director’s Report

Lori Skoda reported that the Bazaar took in $13,900 for the month of May. and that it is getting a 2001 Dodge Caravan donated. The car will be driven to the border and Mexicanized. Taxes to be paid there are approximately $1500 US.

Treasurer’s Report

Nancy Allen reported that she did not have the financials, but would get them to the Board the next day.

Vasquez Pinto Case. This is about sponsor monies secured by both the student and the mother from NCA, and then not given to the school. It was discussed as to whether NCA or the family should pay the school, as the sponsor found it improper to disburse the money to the student as we did. Most of the board did not think it is NCA’s responsibility to pay the school as it was the student that diverted the funds. The president said that he had talked with the bookkeeper, Paulo, and the student’s family is going to pay the school.

Web Master’s Report

Doug said the new Web site will be finished soon.  He needs more data from Lilia, and then he can test it. He also reported that he had obtained necessary log-on information for our Facebook page from Dave Paterson, and had placed an NCA picture on the page.

Events Director’s Report

Shannon said she plans the next fund raising event to be this summer, possibly late July or early August, at the Viva Mexico restaurant in San Juan Cosala. She and the President are to visit the owner, Agustin Vazquez, to set this up.

New Business

Nancy reported that she is going to a Rotary Club meeting to see if we can get them to sponsor some of our students. Susan remarked that Rotary’s biggest focus currently is on education, so now is a good time to make this approach.

Lori said that since we need to reprint our NCA brochure, we should print a Spanish language version as well. Jim said he knows a professional translator in Riberas from whom he could get a price to do this.

Sheila said that she had commissioned some Mexican hand-made articles for the CANAM LCS event. We have a table there, table 3 and we have two free tickets that came with the table purchase of 100 pesos which has been reimbursed to Jim.  Sheila said that she purchased 4 more tickets so we can have 6 volunteers to help on the table July 2 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.  Sheila will coordinate with Shannon, event director.

Date, Place and Time of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next Board meeting will be at 1:30 pm next Thursday, June 26, in the NCA Office.