3.14.18 March Sister City Meeting Minutes

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; Chamonix, France; Davos, Switzerland; Abetone, Italy;
Queenstown, New Zealand; Shimukappu, Japan; Bariloche, Argentina


1) Transparency- in operations/Bylaws, in finances- City/schools programs, Budget 2018

2) Build International Exchanges/partners- community outreach, new programs, student exchanges, patrol exchanges, medical exchange

3) Website as central hub- communications & membership



March 14, 2018 @ 4:30 pm

In attendance: Danno Lahr, Elise Cohen, John Armstrong, Jill Sheeley, Betsy Ann Anastas, Georgina Levey, Lala Caffarone (5 voting members)

Proposed Agenda:

  1. Approve February minutes.
  2. Last month Danno made a motion to approve meal reimbursement for our Aspen Sister City student exchange chaperones when meals are not provided or chaperones are not hosted according to and not exceeding the Aspen School District criteria upon receipt. No Vote – no quorum

Sharing of Minutes from Board of Directors and Advisory Board retreat of : January 16, 2018 covering:

  • Transparency- in operations/Bylaws, in finances- City/schools, programs, Budget 2018
  • Build International Exchanges/partners- community outreach, new programs, student exchanges, patrol exchanges, medical exchange.
  • Website as central hub- communications & membership


  1. Review Mission Statement proposed changes

Proposed New Mission Statement from retreat work – Our mission is to share ideas and cultures through the international exchange of students & other community members from Aspen and the larger Aspen community and Aspen’s respective sister cities to promote world peace

Mission Statement from Bylaws – To nurture educational, commercial, cultural, sports, and artistic relationships between the larger Aspen community and specific Sister Cities abroad thereby promoting better understanding between countries. The program unites community and volunteer resources for the joint advantage of providing private citizens with an active role in public diplomacy to further International cooperation and understanding.

  1. Name Change to Aspen Snowmass Sister Cities
  • Open the floor for discussion – What is involved in changing the name? Do we have to change our LLC and also the website?
  1. City of Aspen Farmer’s Market Booth. Do we want to participate?


Minutes: We did not have a quorum so we were not able to vote/approve items. These items will be voted on or reviewed in March.

Group Discussion:

Discussion of lack of members for quorum to vote in agenda items and do business. Not progressing and getting things done. What constitutes quorum of who can vote – past protocol was taking a vote of who was attendance at the meeting at that time.

Posting minutes online – who can access, site has 3 levels of viewing, we can set this as needed

-Hiring CPA, Bylaw details and completion, voting on agenda items,

Danno appointed Jenny to Chamonix as assistant co-coordinator with John Armstrong – per existing bylaws he can appoint as director.

Recommend minutes be sent out for approval the week of the meeting

Google calendar meeting auto-reminder – for monthly coordinator postings on the web page – Bariloche is updated and consistent with Lala. Other cities will continue to be trained and work on monthly posting.

Discuss and Review current meeting day and time to accommodate Sister Cities committee members – possibly change so more members can be consistently present

Continue discussion about meal reimbursement when traveling. Give a $100 stipend to each chaperone for extra meal expenses when not staying with a host family instead of a per diem for Bariloche and maybe Chamonix. Monies will come from student exchange accounts. Make a point to have the host cities cover the dinners for visiting chaperones. Do we consider consistency for all student exchange programs (Middle School and High School)? This policy will be applied retroactively to the past Bariloche exchange.

Chamonix report: Chamonix exchange communication issues: need contact information for Chamonix families –  diet and health issues, group is leaving next Tuesday and only have Chamonix student names. Suggest as we move forward next year – the European cities visit us first. Consider monthly Skype meetings, use WhatsApp. Will debrief with Chamonix liaison end of May with recommendations for moving forward with this exchange

Bariloche report: – Around 30 people are going to Bariloche for Challenge Aspen marathon. Lala will be there to provide support

Doctors going end of Sept, Oct students, marathon end of Oct.

Queenstown report: – Elise and Jill constructing letter to Anne Lockhard, asking for support with bus tickets, meeting the mayor

Abetone report: – Rolando requested a full year exchange for an Abetone student at Aspen High School. Will be meeting with Tharyn to work on this.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen report: –  coordinator replacement – Who can we recruit for this position? Can we post the volunteer position description created at the retreat on the website?

Davos report: none

Shimukappu report: none

Meeting adjourned 6:08

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