Minutes, Dec. 9, 2009
Alumni Board meeting, Dec. 9, 2009
Present on phone: Brett Wendt (president), Paul Shoemaker, Richard Miller, John Dowdle, Linda Linden, Geza Keller, Tom Dillon, Charles Major (treasurer)
Present in person: Melissa Jaramillo, Colleen Guengerich, Edie Steinhoff, Kathleen Hedges. Present for last part of meeting only: Louise Chamberlin, Katie O’Toole (proxy for SA president Robert Blackney), William Macey
Quorum is achieved and Brett opens meeting at 3:06 p.m.
Melissa introduces self as Vice President for Student and University Relations and Colleen Guengerich as Director for Advancement. Colleen states that she is looking forward to working with the board.
Brett: Congratulations on both your new positions. The board is looking forward to working with you on establishing and maintaining connections with current and past students.
MJ: We are working on an expansion of the Alumni/ Advancement Office. This office encompasses public relations, marketing, social networking as well. Despite the hiring freeze, Dr. López is supportive of what we are trying to do. We appreciate your patience. We are doing our best to honor what Cheryl P. Macey started.
Colleen: There is support from the top down for the alumni association. I’m feeling positive about what we can accomplish.
Brett opens business meeting.
The bylaw changes we have proposed have passed. We needed to modify the size of the Board of Directors and clarify who is on and who is off. Originally, each new chapter president would become a member. The size of the board grew exponentially, and we had more members than the bylaws allowed. The current bylaws create a Board of Directors of NINE (9) members and a Steering Committee with veto power. We don’t want to disenfranchise people as we move to this smaller board.
All interested NMT employees and all chapter presidents currently on the Board are automatically members of the Steering Committee unless they choose to stay on the Board.
The nine board members do not include the student Directors (presidents of SA and GSA). They have a vote but don’t count toward a quorum.
Straw poll of members to see who wants to remain on Board of Directors. Brett and Charles Major are automatically on the board. Others saying yes are: Richard Miller, Geza Keller, Tom Dillon, Paul Shoemaker, Linda Linden, John Dowdle, Edie Steinhoff.
George Schmaltz has resigned. Russ Erbes has resigned. Kathy Hedges is assigned to take a straw poll of board members not present to see whether they wish to remain on board.
Louise Chamberlin would like to be on Steering Committee and Travel Committee. Kathy Hedges would like to be on Steering Committee.
Brett: next order of business is to replace Russ Erbes as vice president. I nominate Paul Shoemaker. Paul will assume the duties Russ held which includes Chairman of the Nominating Committee.
All ayes. Passed.
Brett: in regards to our tax status, it is more appropriate for us to be a 501c14 than a 501c3. That requires four officers, so we need to add a secretary. I nominate Geza Keller as secretary.
Tom Dillon: Second
All ayes. Passed.
Fourth officer is Charles Major, treasurer.
Brett asks Paul to summarize progress toward independent status.
Paul Shoemaker: The Strategic Planning Committee has been gauging independence for the NMTAA. We have looked at other universities where the Alumni Assn. is independent, and we hired a consultant from Caltech. NMTAA did exist as an independent, tax-exempt organization up till 2001; then we lost tax-exempt status, which we would like to re-gain.
Geza: We thought we had 80% approval from NMT administration of our bylaws and Strategic Plan, and then all our governing documents were rejected. Our consultant tells us we need to engage the highest level of NMT administration.
Brett: This is interesting timing. I realize Melissa Jaramillo and Colleen Guengerich are here for the first time, but the NMTAA has been progressing towards this, slowly and deliberately, for the past 1.5 years. Our next step is to file with state and federal governments to become a tax-exempt organization and pay filing fees.
Linda Linden asks about filing fees and mailing address.
Paul: We have a donor who has offered to pay filing costs. We are not required to have a physical address, only a mailing address.
Brett: One unanswered question is how funds are going to be funneled back and forth between NMTAA and NMT. We are supposed to support NMT. Over the past four years, we have not taken anything from NMT accounts.
Paul: Sustainment of chapters has come from NMT or Research Foundation.
Brett: NMT has supported events at alumni chapters through staff salaries and travel. Often, alumni donors or companies have paid for these events. There has been a co-mingling of funds over the past four years.
Linda: Can’t have co-mingling of funds in 501c3.
Brett: We did have 501c3 status through 2001.
Tom Dillon: NMT hosted a liquor license through us.
Geza: have to go; I give my proxy to Brett.
Next meeting: Weds., Jan. 20, 3 p.m.
Melissa Jaramillo: Thank you all. We want to continue our collaboration and commitment. Colleen confirms this.