January 2012 Minutes

Minutes of the UAA Board and Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 19, 2012
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
TetraTech Offices
Arlington, VA

Board Members attending:
Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, George Hill, James Michel, Ann Van Dusen

Board Members absent:  John Lovaas, Alexander Shakhow

Committee Co-chairs attending: David Cohen, Curt Farrar, Paula Goddard, Brad Langmaid, Pamela Mandel, Larry Smucker, Nancy Tumavick

Committee Co-chair absent: Gary Merritt

Executive Aide: Kristina Short

Meeting Chair:  Frank Almaguer for the first part and Ann VanDusen for the second half of the meeting

1. Approval of the December 2011 Minutes:
The December 15, 2011 meeting minutes were approved by the Board to be posted on the UAA Website. Additionally, the Board also discussed the goal for meeting minutes to reflect conclusions reached, reporting on discussion without necessarily recording each voice and comment.

2. Revised UAA Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy:
Jim Michel reported that he reviewed the draft UAA Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy with Jim Peters, USAID Ethics Counsel, who thought that the draft was sound.  The Policy will apply to UAA Board Members, Committee Co-chairs, and any other individuals who are authorized to act on behalf of the UAA (e.g., the UAA Executive Aide).  Covered individuals will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of the Policy.

The Executive Committee reviewed the draft policy’s treatment of privileged information obtained by UAA members during discussions with USAI.D and other public and private partner institutions. The Executive Committee unanimously approved the Policy in substance and moved to adopt it, pending editorial revisions to be made by Jim in light of the discussion.

Next step: Jim Michel will provide copies of the final text at the February 16th Board meeting for formal adoption and publication in the UAA website.

3. Discussion of proposals for expanding membership and regularizing the dues structure: 
On behalf of the Membership Committee, Margaret Carpenter, Paula Goddard and Nancy Tumavick presented a comprehensive membership outreach and expansion strategy, including proposals for pilot programs. The focus of this strategy is on increasing awareness of the UAA among USAID alumni, expanding UAA membership, as well as broadening the demographics represented in the UAA membership roster (e.g., more members outside the DC metropolitan area and more members from underrepresented technical and program backstops).

The Executive Committee also discussed the desire to establish a clearer distinction between benefits available to paying members and to those members registered but currently not making financial contributions. The Membership Committee spoke of the need to encourage all members and potential members to contribute to some degree, with differentiation among categories of members and the corresponding benefits for each group.

The Committee’s suggestions include:

  • The introduction of a new, tiered dues structure that distinguishes expected contributions based on their location and ease of access to the benefits offered by the UAA;
  • Increasing the number of social events offered by the UAA; and
  • Encouraging UAA-sponsored membership groups outside the DC area and overseas.

The Committee’s suggested tiered-dues structure was:

  • Within 50 miles of DC  – $75.00
  • Outside the DC metropolitan area – $50.00
  • FSNs and individuals living abroad – $25.00

Those not currently making a financial contribution would pay an additional amount to participate in the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The creation of an additional “Friends of the UAA” designation, for individuals who contribute $100.00 or more, also was discussed.  Further discussion will be necessary to determine the benefits available to individuals in this category.

Executive Committee members emphasized the need for the UAA to represent all members and potential members, including those who may be inactive, and that the emphasis should be more on encouraging active participation in UAA activities than on limiting benefits to those who do not contribute.

Board members concurred that implementation of a new aggressive membership recruitment strategy will require major support and focus from the UAA Board and Executive Committee to:

  •  Reach out to recruit new members,
  •  Encourage more participation, and
  •  Expand the current membership database, including updating the alumni   location information.

Next steps:

  1. The Membership Committee will organize a social event in the Washington, DC area within the next two months;
  2. Move forward with the design of a tiered contribution structure for further deliberation;
  3. All committees will work to increase activity; and
  4. All Board and Executive Committee members will reach out to potential new   members through their existing networks.  George has a supply of UAA brochures for distribution to interested potential members.

4. Resignation of John Lovaas and decision on replacement:
The Board was informed that John submitted his resignation from the UAA Board due to personal reasons. The Board and Executive Committee expressed their thanks for all the hard work John provided during his tenure as a Board member.  A letter of thanks to John from the Board will be drafted.

The Board unanimously approved inviting David Sprague, who received the next highest number of votes during the 2011 Board elections, to fill John’s place on the Board.  David will be invited to assume this position effective with the February 2012 Board meeting.

5. Newsletter:
The Executive Committee outlined the content and formalized assignments for the February UAA Newsletter:

  •  New Membership Strategy – Margaret Carpenter
  •  Website Updates – David Cohen
  •  Alumni Profile – Charles Habis
  •  Annual Contributions
  •  Possible Happy Hour Announcement (pending further Membership Committee discussion)

All Board Members and Committee Co-chairs were asked to send Newsletter content to the Executive Aide, Kristina Short, by early February for a mid-February Newsletter release.

6. Business Plan:
  Jim Michel presented a draft UAA Business Plan for 2012 to the Executive Committee that emphasizes the UAA’s role as an alumni organization. The Plan calls for quarterly reviews of progress that will allow the organization to adapt its implementation of strategies and goals, as necessary.

UAA Committee Co-chairs were asked to provide comments regarding the goals and future activities of their committees, including budget requirements, to Jim Michel by February 8. George Hill will provide input on the UAA anticipated income and expenses for 2012.  Jim will incorporate comments into a revised Business Plan and circulate it before the next meeting of the Executive Committee

Next steps:  The executive Committee will review the revised Business Plan draft at its February 16 meeting with a view to its adoption.

7.  Other Business:

Ann Van Dusen will reach out to Gary Merritt regarding the future of the Communications and Events committee and will report back during the February Executive Committee meeting.

Due to time constraints, a discussion on potential UAA partnerships with other groups was postponed until the next Executive Committee meeting.

8. Next Executive Committee Meetings: 
The February Executive Committee meeting will be held on February 16, 2012 at TetraTech in Arlington at 10:30 AM.

Meetings of the Board are also planned for:
Thurs., March 15
Thurs., April 19
Thurs., May 17
Thurs., June 21

Minutes drafted by Kristina Short on January 25, 2012
Edited by Frank Almaguer on February 5 and 8, 2012
Approved by the UAA Board February 16, 2012