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         Sister Cities of Durham

 Minutes of SCD Board of Directors Meetings
November -- October each year.
Note:  The year of Minutes begins with November of each year, which is the first board meeting after the October Annual Meeting when new Board Members are elected.  The Board elects its Officers  at the  November board meeting.

Minutes of the SCD Board of Directors meetings, Nov. 2021 - Sept. 2022.

 Sister Cities of Durham, NC, Inc. Bi-Monthly Meeting, Board of Directors

7:00 pm, Thursday, September 1, 2022 Virtual Meeting with Zoom


Attending: Tom Harris, Chris Boyer, Mark Goodwillie, Sue Mathias, Bob Ashley, Vivian Wan,

Nancy Proia, Brian Snyder, Yuki Temma

Non Voting: Exec Dir Brady Surles, Life Time Director Dot Borden, City Council Liaison Monique Hyman.

Guests: Patricia Sheppard

Absent: Gwenn Bookman, Rich Jaworski, Susanna Ochola, Arusha, Celaya, Kavala, Sibiu, Tilaran, Zhuzhou

7:10: President Tom Harris called the meeting to order. Minimum of 9 attending for a quorum.

Minutes of July 7 Board meeting. Approved.

Financial Report: Our General Fund on 7/29/22 is at $19,629.56.

Bookkeeping quarterly fee for city committees will be reduced from $50 to $25.

President Tom Harris’ Report:

1. Financial Review Committee will review the 2021 – 2022 Financial Report

2. Kostroma Suspension: a) City Council approved the recommendation to suspend Durham’s Sister Cities partnership with Kostroma, on Aug. 15, 2022. Mayor O’Neal’s Letter announcing the suspension has been sent to Kostroma and SCI;

b) The Suspension has been noted on the Web Page; c) Kostroma Quilt will be removed from the City Hall lobby,

2. Nominees for the SCD/Mayor’s Award for “Promoting International Understanding” are:

Ellen Holmes, Spanish teacher-Jordan HS; Leonardo & Zweli Williams for Zweil’s restaurant; Chamber of Commerce

3. On Oct 20, Tom and Brady Surles will make a presentation about SCD programs to update City Council

4. Annual Meeting is Oct 14 will be a Hybrid meeting at City Hall. No one volunteered to coordinate the reception.

Executive Director Brady Surles’ Report:

1. We are encountering inflation with significant increases for our storage unit and PO box.

2. Recipients of the Dorothy Borden Volunteer Award for long term service to SCD will be Eve Marion and Lusia Li

3. Annual Fund takes place Oct – early Dec. No one volunteered to coordinate this.

4. Our booth at Centerfest, Sept. 17 – 18 will have international art. We can use more volunteers for the SCD booth

5. Sister Cities of Durham, Cary, Raleigh plan to work together for a NC meeting. Ronda Pierce will be our liaison.

6. Kunshan Friendship City. We are still trying to set up a zoom meeting with their contacts.

City Committee Reports:

No reports from Arusha, Kavala, Sibiu, Tilaran

Durham-UK had a successful “Two Durhams Beer Festival” partnering breweries in NC and UK with 1,000 attendees.

Toyama is planning more virtual meetings. Also they exchanged small food items with Toyama.

Zhuzhou. Duke Gardens has confirmed that the Chinese Garden is on hold, but still in their plans.

Committee Reports:

Membership is following up with new members. No reports from Governance and Marketing

Festival of Nations is continuing work on job descriptions for volunteers

Action Items:

1. Nominations for two directors positions, Min Shu, Patricia Sheppard, were approved for the Annual Meeting vote.

2. Nominees for the SCD/Mayor’s Awards were approved.

3. Budget for 2022 – 2023 was approved

4 Transfer Kostroma checking account funds ($2,818.94) to the Youth Scholarship Fund. Postponed to next meeting.

Next Meetings are: 5:30-7:00 Annual Meeting;  and 7 pm, Thursday, November 3.

Respectfully submitted, Brady Surles, Acting Secretary 

Sister Cities of Durham, NC, Inc. Bi-Monthly Meeting, Board of Directors

7:00 pm, Thursday, July 7, 2022 Virtual Meeting with Zoom

Attending: Tom Harris, Chris Boyer, Mark Goodwillie, Gwenn Bookman, Sue Mathias, Bob Ashley,

Susanna Ochola, Vivian Wan, Brady Surles Non Voting, Randy Griffin, Brian Snyder, Mitch Scurtu, Yuki Temma

Guests: Patricia Sheppard, Nancy Cox

Absent: Rich Jaworski, Arusha, Celaya, Durham UK, Tilaran, Zhuzhou

7:10: President Tom Harris called the meeting to order.

Minutes of May 5 Board meeting. Approved.

Financial Report: Our General Fund is at $21, 694.92.

Budget: A rough draft Budget for 2022 – 23 was discussed. A revised version will be sent to the Board

President Tom Harris’ Report:

1. Board’s recommendation to suspend ties with Kostroma was sent to Mayor O’Neal. City Council will meet July 26.

2. Tom and Brady Surles met with two Ukranian-Americans about the possibility of linking with Brovary, Ukraine.

There is nothing definite to report yet, as they plan to recruit a committee of Durham residents to talk with SCD.

3. Committee members are needed to work with the SCD/Mayor’s Award for Promoting International Understanding

Executive Director Brady Surles’ Report:

1. We are registered for Centerfest, Sept. 17 – 18. Our booth focuses on international art. Need committee members

2. We will have a SCD/Kavala booth at two festivals at Duke Homestead/Tobacco Museum on July 23 and Aug 27.

3. The City is working with us to add the Kavala and Sibiu quilts to the City Hall Lobby display.

4. Our Friendship City, Kunshan, China, wants to revive our partnership, with the possibility of becoming a Sister City.

Other Updates:

Nancy Cox and Tom Harris gave an update on the Training Class Action Plan.

Mark Goodwillie updated where the Festival of Nations Committee stands now and the plans to recruit volunteers.

The committee recommended the next Festival be delayed until October, 2023. Vote was unanimous to approve this.

Nominating Committee Chair Sue Mathias reported they have several possibilities to fill two board positions.

For officers of the board, there are two vacancies, Secretary and Treasurer.

City Committee Reports:

No Reports from Arusha, Celaya, Tilaran, Zhuzhou

Durham UK – Plans are developing for the “Two Durhams Beer Festival” on Aug 19 with breweries from NC and UK.

This festival will feature 4 local breweries partnering with 4 Durham UK breweries, food trucks, music, the SCD booth.

Kavala will be participating with the SCD/Kavala information booth at Duke Homestead & Tobacco Museum events

Kostroma is preparing for how to handle the possibility of City Council suspending ties with Kostroma.

Sibiu is still hoping to have another classical music festival, and medical exchanges.

Toyama is preparing for virtual meetings with TCFL, but there is no indication that TCFL wants an in-person visit.

Board Committee Reports:

Governance -- no report

Marketing -- working on planning documents, especially with the Festival of Nations committee

Membership -- is continuing to reach out to new members.

Next Board meeting is 7 pm, Thursday, September 1.

Respectfully submitted,

Brady Surles, Acting Secretary

Sister Cities of Durham, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting, 7 pm, June 16, 2022 Zoom meeting

Special Called Meeting


Attending: Tom Harris, Chris Boyer, Rich Jaworski, Mark Goodwillie, Bob Ashley, Sue Mathias, Gwenn Bookman, Ronda Pierce, Nancy Proia, Randy Griffin, Brian Snyder, Melissa Perez,
Also City Council Liaisons Monique Hyman, Mark-Anthony Middleton. Executive Director Brady Surles

Absent: Vivian Wan, Susanna Ochola, Celaya, Sibiu, Toyama, Zhuzhou

President Tom Harris called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm

He reminded the board that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss options for

our relationship with our Sister City Kostroma, Russia in the context of Russia invading Ukraine.

From this discussion, we are to submit our recommendation to Durham Mayor O’Neal.

Kostroma City Committee was asked to present their conclusion, after meeting to discuss

this topic. The Committee’s recommendation was to suspend the relationship

A motion was made by Bryan Snyder, chair of the Kostroma City Committee, that we recommend to Mayor O’Neal that the Sister Cities partnership with Kostroma be suspended. Motion was seconded. After a brief discussion of the motion, the motion was approved.

The next topic was to consider how to state this recommendation to the Mayor.

After a full discussion, Tom appointed a committee to write this recommendation.

Members of the Committee are Bob Ashley, Mark Goodwillie, Tom Harris.

The meeting was then adjourned at 8:02 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Rich Jaworski, Secretary

 Sister Cities of Durham, NC, Inc. Board of Directors Zoom Meeting

7:00 pm, Thursday, May 5, 2022 

7:03: President Tom Harris call the meeting to 0rder

Attending: Tom Harris, Rich Jaworski, Mark Goodwillie, Vivian Wan, Gwenn Bookman, Bob Ashley, Sue Mathias, Nancy Proia, Brian Snyder, Mitch Scurtu, Melissa Perez, Yuki Temma; Non Voting: Dot Borden, Brady Surles

Absent: Chris Boyer (excused), Shanna Ochola, Arusha, Celaya, Kavala (excused), Zhuzhou.

Guests: Patricia Sheppard, Nancy Cox

President Tom Harris called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm

1 UPDATES, REPORTS included the following:

The Minutes of Nov 18, 2021 Board Meeting were approved.

The Financial Report stated the General Fund balance on 4/30/22 was $16,069.93.

Tom Harris gave his President’s Report:

a. He has appointed a Financial Overview Committee with Sue Mathias,

Niwagliga (Niwa) Kamugisha and Tom Harris, with Dot Borden as a consultant.

b. The Nominating Committee is developing a list of possible Board candidates.

c. There is still a need for a Fund Raising Committee>

d. The Technology Committee needs to be re-established>

e. Tom, Nancy Cox, Patricia Sheppard and Gwenn Bookman are participating in a Leadership program for volunteers

Brady Surles presented his Executive Director’s Report

a. Centerfest will be an in person event this year, Sept. 17 – 18. We focus on international art.

b. We are working on our 2022-23 Budget. We can complete that when we hear about funding from the City.

2. Possible Joint City Committee Activities for 2022: These are ideas that have developed in several conversations and were presented for consideration.

a. Photography Exchanges with our Sister Cities. Individual City Committees could develop their own project, with the possibility of exhibits at Durham Arts Council, the Library, and schools. SCD Office can coordinate.

b. Food Recipes Exchanges with our Sister Cities. Individual City Committees could do this as they wish, and even include Zoom presentations. There is the possibility of putting all these recipes, and some from SCD members, into a collection. This can be coordinated by the SCD Office. Several of the international restaurants we worked with for the Festival of Nations have expressed an interest if we develop a collection.

c. A Tea Tasting is often mentioned, since we had two such events in the past. This would involve all of our City Committees who wish to participate doing a joint project.

The general discussions indicated that there may be substantial interest in Food Recipes Exchanges, especially since the survey of Festival attendees indicated a strong interest in international foods.

d. Several other possibilities were mentioned: 1) Public events recognizing major holidays of our Sister Cities;

2) Develop a Floral Arrangements competition to raise funds.

3. Board Committee Reports:

a. Festival of Nations Committee is evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the Festival.

b. Governance Comm presented two Policies to consider, using the Sister Cities International models: Whistle Blower; Records & Retention.

There is not a pressing need to adopt these immediately and can be addressed at the next Board Meeting.

Also, the Committee is working on a job description for the position of the Executive Director.

c. Marketing Comm is evaluating the tasks and projects they have already carried out.

d. Membership Comm is working on procedures and materials for following up with new members.

e. Technology and Fund Raising Comms: No Reports

4. City Committee Reports:

Arusha is preparing for their 30th Anniversary celebration when the Arusha Mayor will visit, May 15 – 22

Celaya: No Report

Durham, UK is working on the Brewery Exchange with 6 Durham, UK breweries and 5 Durham, NC breweries, in August.

Kavala: No Report

Kostroma reports that the SCD statement on Ukraine has been delivered to the Mayor of Kostroma, but no response yet. They will focus on past members of the Comm, and consider working with Ukrainian refugees>

Sibiu is working with the Sibiu Mayor to assist Ukrainian refugees who are coming to Romania

Tilaran is hoping to get materials for a Tilaran Quilt which can be done here in NC.

Toyama reports they are having good virtual exchanges.

Zhuzhou is working on reviving the signed partnership between a Chinese school and Club Boulevard Humanities Elementary School.

5. Actions Items:

a. Old Business: None

b. New Business: Date for the Annual Meeting to be switched from Oct. 21 to Oct. 14 was approved.

6. Announcements and Adjourn:

Information was shared about ways that individuals can support Ukrainian refugees.

Next Meeting is Thursday, July 7

Respectively submitted,

Rich Jaworski, Secretary 

 Sister Cities of Durham, Inc.

Board of Directors Meeting, 7 pm, March 3, 2022 Zoom meeting


Present: To​m Harris, Mark Goodwillie, Chris Boyer, Bob Ashley, Gwenn Bookman, Vivian Wan; Sue Mathias, Rich Jaworski, Celaya-Elsa Jimenez; Durham, UK-Nancy Proia; Kostroma-Anne Berkley; Toyama-Yuki Temma; Also Brady Surles, Executive Director, Dot Borden

Absent: Shanna Ochala; Guillermo Solares; Arusha, Kavala, Sibiu; Tilaran; Zhuzhou

Guests: Patricia Sheppard, Nancy Cox, Walter Ostrowka, Brian Snyder, Bill Boerum from SCI

Charlie Reese, Durham City Council Liaison, Mark-Anthony Middleton, Durham Mayor Pro Tempore.

President Tom Harris called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

Minutes of Nov. 18, 2021 meeting were approved.

Financial Update: The treasurer gave a brief financial report. Our General Fund has $8,812.19 on 2/28/22

President's Report, Tom Harris He reported he has been meeting with the Executive Committee ( VP Chris Boyer, Sec Rich Jaworski, Treas Mark Goodwillie) with Executive Director Brady Surles joining them.

1) Since we do not have functioning committees for Finance and Personnel, the Executive Committee will address those needs for the time being.

2) A Nominating Committee was announced: Past Presidents Sue Mathias as Chair, Bob Ashley, and Gwenn Bookman.

3) We will be working on a job description for the Executive Director position.

Executive Director’s Report,  Brady Surles:

1) Mayor O'Neal will meet with the Board on Monday, April 11 on Zoom from 4:30 - 5:00.

2) The memorial service for Past President Richard Hill included tributes to his many years of service to Sister Cities

3) City Councilman Charlie Reece was recognized for his service to us as our Council Liaison.

No Reports by City Committees and Board Committees.

Kostroma and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, A full discussion was held about this situation and how it impacts our relationship with our Sister City of Kostroma, Russia, and the proposal by Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton for Sister Cities of Durham to participate in a gathering to support Ukraine. Some city facilities and other groups are lighting up their buildings In the gold and blue colors of Ukraine..

1. The consensus was that we wanted to continue our partnership with Kostroma at least informally.

Councilman Charlie Reece and Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton informed us that City Council has not

addressed this issue. They are not aware of any views expressed by other Council members at this time.

2. Mayor Pro Tempore Middleton explained the proposal to organize a rally or gathering to support

Ukraine. After further discussion, the Board took these two steps:

a. A motion was approved that SCD not take the lead in this effort

b. The proposal to officially participate in the gathering did not receive a motion. No action was taken.

SCD members are of course free to participate as individual citizens

3. Two statements have been proposed in support of Ukraine, and to oppose the Russianinvasion of Ukraine, and to reaffirm our commitment to our Sister City, Kostroma, Russia.

After further discussion, this was referred to Bob Ashley, editor of our initial statement, for consideration of all viewpoints expressed, and to develop a revised statement that will be shared with the Board for discussion and an electronic vote.

Meeting adjourned at 8:37 pm

Respectfully submitted, Rich Jaworski, Secretary

Sister Cities of Durham, Inc.

Board Meeting, 7 pm, November 18, 2021 Zoom meeting


Present: Sue Mathias, Mark Goodwillie, Chris Boyer, Bob Ashley, Tom Harris, Connie Gomez-Joines, Gwenn Bookman, Vivian Wan; Dot Borden, Rich Jaworski, Arusha-Ronda Pierce; Celaya-Elsa Jimenez; Durham, UK-Nancy Proia; Kavala-Randy Griffin; Kostroma-Ann Evangelisto and Anne Berkley; Toyama-Yuki Temma;
Brady Surles, Executive Director.    Guests: Patricia Sheppard, Nancy Cox Absent: Shanna Ochala; Guillermo Solares; Sibiu; Tilaran; Zhuzhou

President Sue Mathias called the meeting to order at 6:05 p.m.

Minutes of June 17 meeting. Minutes were approved.

Financial Update: On 10/31/21 the General Fund balance was $13,506.08.

Annual Fund Update: Annual Fund Chair Connie Gomez-Joines reported $2100 raised, 26 donors and 75% of the Board (15 of 20 members) have participated to date.

Annual Meeting Oct. 22 Follow-up Report: Photos of the Mayor’s/SCD awards are posted to the web page.

Durham Holiday Parade, 11AM Dec. 18: Application approved.

Mark Goodwillie and Gwenn Bookman will provide cars to be in the parade.

Newsletter: We are reminded to share with others and use it as a marketing tool. Sent to 250 people.

Webpage: Current content includes the Annual Awards presented, the By-Laws, and City Committee pages

Election of Board Officers; Approval of Appointed Positions: Confirmation of City Chairs:

Motion to elect and to approve the following, made by Gomez-Joines, second by Goodwillie. Approved.


President: Tom Harris;    Vice-President: Chris Boyer;          Secretary -- open

Appointed:    Treasurer: Mark Goodwillie;    Asst. Treasurer: Randy Griffin;   Executive Director: Brady Surles

City Committee Chairs as listed below in the City Committee reports

Goals Committees’ reports:

Governance presented three items:

1. A non-discrimination policy was presented to the board. Motion was made to approve by Jaworski and seconded by Ashley. Motion approved. This will be put on the web page and stored by Technology Comm.

2. The Conflict of Interest policy, passed by the Board in 2000, was presented and re-affirmed.

An amendment was proposed to require Board members to annually sign a statement that they understand the policy and agree to abide by this policy. Motion to approve this amendment by Jaworski; second by Ashley. Motion approved. This will be put on the web page and stored by Technology Committee.

3. Regarding succession from Vice President to President, the committee recommends to leave the policy as is (so that Vice President does not necessarily succeed to become President), but recommended that the Board create a permanent Nominating Committee.

Marketing: Board Members and committee chairs contacted to brainstorm Festival sponsors. Will measure suggestions vs. criteria to choose, and then create pitch materials. Nancy Proia. and Yuki Temma are posting general info about our 9 cities on Fridays. Board members are urged to share these. Future plans are to involve the City Committees on Facebook.

Technology Plans are to meet with the Governance Committee regarding posting policies.

Membership: Patricia Sheppard shared a testimonial PowerPoint She is also putting together a brochure for the Festival and a QR Code to photograph as a way to collect membership information at the Festival as well.

Festiva of Nations: Progress has been made on the site plan, and vendor application for sales and food.

Ronda Pierce, Walter Ostrowka and Mark Goodwillie are working on the TeqBall project. SCD will receive a free portable table from the TeqBall Federation which will in turn be donated to Durham Parks and Recreation, and will be presented to DPR at the Festival. They believe it will attract youth and those interested in soccer. We in turn will participate at the Earth Day Festival sponsored by DPR at no cost.

Ronda Pierce can help any Sister City secure a table for their city.

Motion to approve the receipt of a TeqBall table and donate to DPR by Pierce; second Goodwillie. Approved.

Fundraising: No viable committee at this time.

City Committees Reports:

Arusha: Ronda Pierce Chair, Gwenn Bookman Co-Chair: Planning a reception for Tanzanian officials to Celebrate 30 years of the Durham-Arusha Sister City relationship. Partnering with NCCU. Press release December 5. Brady Surles, Sue Mathias and Tom Harris to represent Sister Cities with the Arusha Committee. Invitations are sent to key leaders in Durham and state level. Ambassador Kanza wants to establish a mutual agreement with SCI.

Celaya: Elsa Jimenez Chair: Celaya has a new Mayor and administration and the committee is starting over to build relationships.. The Durham Ars Council might be able to help in the spring.

Durham, UK Nancy Proia Chair; No report.

Kavala: Randy Griffin Chair: No report.

Kostroma: Anne Berkeley Chair, Ann Evangelisto Co-Chair: They have been asked to do an in-person grant for October 2022.

Sibiu: Mitch Scurtu Chair: No report.

Tilaran: Melissa Perez Chair: No report.

Toyama: Chris Boyer Chair: No report.

Zhuzhou: Mark Goodwillie Chair: No report.

Old Business:

Draft Budget for 2021-2022 Includes $17,000 from the City. After a full discussion, Goodwillie moved to

approve the 2021-2022 budget.  Griffin second. Motion approved.

New Business:

1 Purchasing Permission to use copyrighted pictures: There is a need to find out more about this.

2 Saturday, January 29 Planning Retreat: Time: 9 am – 2 pm. Location (in person or virtual) TBA.

Incoming Mayor O’Neal invited by our City Council Liaison Charlie Reece.

3 Bi-monthly Board Meetings for 2022: Motion made to hold meetings on the first Thursday every other month beginning in March; seconded. Motion approved.

Adjourned 7:40 pm

Submitted by Chris Boyer, Secretary