CONVENTION 2015 Minutes
1. Verification of Quorum.
2. Prayer by Fr. Angelo Pappas and moment of silence for the Velouchi’s deceased members.
3. Welcoming remarks from the Co-Chairs of the Convention’s Organizing Committee, Mr. Apostolopoulos and Mr. Tsiabassis.
4. Greetings and opening of the General Assembly business by Association’s President Mr. John G. Peslis who thanks the organization for their support and looks forward to passing the ballot to another member and to the youth.
5. Election of General Assembly Officers:
a. Dr. Paul Dallas nominated, Mr. James Lloyd nominated. Dr. Dallas declines. Mr. Tsiabassis is nominated. Chair: Bobby Tsiabassis
b. Co-Chair: Mr. Lloyd
c. Parliamentarian: Dr. Dallas
d. Time Keeper: Mr. Chris Karageorge
e. Secretary: Ms. Sophia Kazakos
6. Nomination of candidates for the Executive Board Positions (continued into Sunday):
a. Nominations included Mr. Jimmy Chulkas, Mr. Jimmy Kastriches, Mr. Peter Spero, Mrs. Laura Nixon, Mr. Nick Apostolopoulos (declined), Ms. Sophia Kazakos, and Mr. Bill Fallis (declined).
7. Recognition of invited guests.
8. Reading of correspondence & greetings (former Secretary Mr. Bobby Tsiabassis).
9. Financial Report for the year:
a. The organization would like to recognize our treasurer Mr. James Kastriches for his steadfast commitment to the organization.
b. Mr. Larry Peroulas motions to approve the financial report. It is seconded and approved.
10. Auditing Committee Report:
a. There is a question regarding the Foundation’s use of savings. The Foundation can spend up to 80%. If unused, the amount roles over to the next year. 20% must be reinvested into the organization. This is a two year span, and not a constant roll over.
i. Mr. Tommy Pappas states if this is the case, it needs to be in the bylaws.
ii. Mr. Gus Kazakos says that the NC nonprofit rules and what the Foundation has decided to spend vary. This needs to be clarified.
11. Approval of proposed budget for year 6/1/15-5/31/16
a. A raise is proposed for Mr. Larry Peroulas.
i. Questions asked before a vote by Mr. Chris Karageorge include a) When was the last time there was a raise? and b) If so, how much?
ii. Answer: Last year he received a 1.9% raise based on the cost of living index.
iii. Discussions are made with Mr. Peroulas being outside of the room. Mr. Apostolopoulos motions for $3k/year and Mr. Tom Nixon seconds. Motion accepted.
b. Motion for $50,000 for hiring and retention for 2015/2016. Mr. Peslis seconds. Mrs. Nixon suggests we add from the Ameriprise funds. More discussion. Point of clarification by Mrs. Nixon, “Where should the money come from?” There is no clarification on this.
i. There is discussion for the motion that we need that approval of the budget to carry out these duties and motions against that we continue to look for the right person and then approve next summer.
1. A vote is taken and the I’s have it. The motion is approved that $50,000 can be used only if the BOT accepts a new Executive Director or non-profit management firm, based on the best of their judgement.
ii. Mr. John Peslis motions to approve the budget.
iii. Dr. Dallas seconds. It is approved.
12. Evrytanian Foundation Report by Mr. Apostolopoulos.
a. There are two positions open for the Foundation.
1. Scholarships in Greece.
a. $12,000 to scholarships in Greece with additional 5,000 to children with special needs. (clarify with Mr. Tom Nixon)
b. Mr. Peslis motions to accept. It is passed.
2. Scholarships in the US:
a. 17 applications. 14 were awarded scholarships. 1 Named Scholarship from Mr. and Mrs. Nixon and 3 scholarships from Daughters of Evrytania (one of them was offered by Bess and Voula Dimos in memory of Philip & Voula Dimos).
b. Total amount given in scholarships: $25,550.
3. Children with Special Needs:
a. The amount of children dropped down from 15 kids to 9 (many have moved).
b. Mr. Ted Kazakos asks how we define the program with special needs.
c. A: The Welfare Department (Koinoniki Pronoia) defines this and “picks out” those in need, most commonly it is someone with a mental handicap and not a physical illness. The $ is then dispersed to the families. $18,000 was gathered this year for the cause.
4. Convention 2016.
a. Greenville would like to do the next convention and in 2017 will either be Washington, DC or Asheville.
b. Motion by Ms. Sophia Kazakos. Are we going to renew the convention committee that we removed? Motions to add a convention committee.
i. Dr. Contogiannis said the committee should bring new people on. There should be staggered persons and seniority figures from the previous committee on the committee.
ii. Mr. Nixon is for the idea for the committee to assist each chapter for the conventions (not financially). Charlotte said they already have a committee.
iii. Ms. Kazakos clarifies that this committee with be for the guidance and betterment of figure conventions, including research on previous conventions and better methods to succeed in the event.
iv. Mr. Tsiabassis asks if this will be ad hoc or permanent.
v. Dr. Dallas suggests it should be an Ad Hoc committee will be continuous
1. Ms. Kazakos accepts this addition to the motion.
vi. A vote is taken and the I’s have it. Motion accepted.
c. Mr. Peslis asks that Ms. Kazakos take the position of the chair of this committee as former members do not take it. She accepts.
5. Public Relations & DVD:
a. The DVD is out and distributed. The committee thanks everyone for their support and donations. A breakdown of all financial disbursement and cost for the DVD was disbursed by the BOT and approved. It can be reviewed with request.
b. Named Scholarships.
c. Press & Information.
i. Mr. Peroulas suggests we need more advertisements as the postage and printing for our magazine without these advertisements will go over budget.
i. Overall, membership payments have increased, however, this could be doubled.
A clarification of the 40/10 split is requested. The issue will need to be addressed by the By Law committee.
· There was confusion with Knoxville money statement that they gave their Evrytanian funds to the church after the fire. We need clarification on this.
· Motion delivered by Mr. Apostolopoulo on behalf of the BOT – 2 of 4 meetings be held in Charlotte office. Others will go to additional chapter location and in no specific order.
o Mr. Peslis would like to clarify that once we installed the audio-visual into the office, we voted that all meetings would be held there. However this is a new recommendation of the board.
o There are only 2 objections and the I’s have it. The motion passes to have 2 meetings in Charlotte and 2 at other chapter location.
· A motion is made by the board that no one person can get continued pension by the EAA.
o Mr. Peslis explains the story regarding this. Speaking of the gentleman in need, Dr. Contogiannis would like clarification that the money had gotten to the gentleman. To which a response is given that someone will hand-deliver the money to him ASAP. The Daughters check was written in February.
o The motion passes that going forward, the board may not give long-term assistance/pensions. Clarify long-term.
· There is a young girl with Lymphoma and is undergoing treatments in Athena.
o There is a request to present this to the assembly and the altruism committee.
· Upon arrival in Karpenisi. Little girl has lymphoma and is undergoing treatments in Athena. Mr. Ziogas requests that we give money to that family.
· Mr. Ted Kazakos said he does agree with Mr. Dallis on further discussion about more creative and out-of-the box ways to assist people as that is what we are here for.
· Mr. Apostolopoulos says lets wait for first BOT meeting to discuss and be able to give the woman some money.
· Mr. Nixon knocks a lot of doors to collect money for the association. AHEPA gave several thousand to him. They often ask where the funds go to.
o Motion: That the association make a pledge of $5,000 given each year for three years totaling $15,000 for Panagia Prousotissa chapel.
§ Dr. Dallas speaks for the motion. We once said we would give to any Metropolis that needed our assistance and this is a very good thing.
§ Mr. Peslis would like to clarify, if we make that commitment, why is it that we continue to make exceptions? We do not apply the rules to everyone. In the past, chapters have been excused “indefinitely” allegedly of your 30% for one year, not permanently.
§ Another person adds that we should not escape our goal as a philanthropic organization and our mission, which is Philanthropy. If we go to give Elatos Chapter $15,000 now, but for example, why complain about the Knoxville amount.
§ Mr. Nixon amends the motion to a total of $10,000. $5,000 each year for two years. 11 Agree. 5 opposed. Motion passes.
· The young man speaks:
o George Hodges suggests if we do not change fast, there will be nothing to come back to. He enjoyed coming and visiting with people from different places. Went and found basketball teams. Today, youth were not on the beach, they were at the basketball tournament laughing and enjoying themselves. We need a vision for the organization to have a future. Not only the youth needs a vision, but the organization as a whole needs a vision as a stepping stone to lead us into the future. George is nominated for a position on the board.
· Girokomeio in Greece.
o Mr. Gus Barlas states there are 64 rooms and not enough beds to put the elderly in them. Wants these rooms to be furnished. For the Girokomeio, he motions to give $10,000 a year until this is fixed.
§ Mrs. Laura Nixon suggests this is a wonderful idea, however, would like to give a point of information. They clarified it was not the furniture that kept the girokomeio from being filled. It was that they did not have the funds to staff the girokomeio for 64 rooms.
§ No motions made.
· Dr. Contogiannis – Daughter Report
o Updated constitution and by-laws. Mr. Bobby Ziogas checked them and we ratified them at the meetings this weekend.
o Philanthropy – increased dental and medical funds, as well as educational funds to the schools in Greece.
o Newly Elected:
§ President: Joy Dascalakis
§ VP: Elizabeth Contogiannis
§ Secretary: Paula Apostolopoulos
§ Treasurer: Helen Clonaris
§ Membership Chair: Olga Kleto
o Feedback is given from the Survey and a Convention Committee is suggested (later accepted). Convention Committee needs to obtain the results of the survey.
· Mr. Tom Skenteris for the scholarship. Motions that the need of a letter stating someone has financial issues be removed. Remove the 2 letters that the committee requests for financial need for two non-family members.
o It has caused issues with applicants in the past. Mr. Nick Apostolopoulos seconds.
§ Mr. John Peslis thinks is a great idea. Not sure if in favor. Believes sincerely that the new Scholarship Committee should discuss, and come to BOT, and then decide at General Assembly in 2016.
§ Mr. Gus Barlas agrees with initial motion and that the general assembly can assist in this decision.
§ Dr. Paul Dallas – Can keep letters of recommendation but not mandatory that they write a letter regarding the person or family’s personal finances. Letters should stay there but let’s relook at concept and come back with recommendation. Suggest we take it as a matter of advisement to new scholarship chair with a recommendation to board of trustees than back to General Assembly.
§ Mr. Tsiabassis – Suggests we leave the guidelines as they are because there is wisdom and thought put in there.
§ Mr. Kostas Kazakos – Against removing the two letters. Believes it’s something that we need. Wants to clarify this was individual idea and not committee. Two letters from persons of the committee assists well the decision of the scholarship committee.
o Mr. Skenteris REWORDS the motion. The motion is to ask that we reword the criteria so that is abundantly clear what we are asking of these people. This will be done by the scholarship committee. Letters will not be removed.
§ Mr. Tsiabassis says the system is working and doesn’t think we should touch it, just enforce it.
§ Mr. Apostolopoulos still thinks letters need to be out of the criteria but accepts the amendment. Seconded.
§ 23 are for the motion WITH amendment. 4 Against. Motion accepted.
· Raffle Tickets:
o Mr. Tom Nixon was at count 515 and counting.
· Logo used on the event.
o Mr. Andrew Kampiziones proposes/motions that we adopt the logo on the press for this years’ event. Adopt the emblem on top.
o Sophia Kazakos: Friendly amendment that this concern go to the Press Committee first. Amendment accepted.
o Dr. Paul Dallas Seconds. Press committee to address the logo and give their opinion.
o Motion with amendment accepted.
Mr. Peslis motions to close new business. The Gavel is given to Mrs. Laura Nixon.
National Elections for the Association and the Foundation continued:
· President: Laura Nixon
· 1st VP: Jimmy Chulkas
· 2nd VP: Bobby Tsiabassis
· 1st treasurer: James Kastriches
· 2nd Treasurer: Peter Spero
· 1st Secretary: Sophia Kazakos
· 2nd Secretary: Dr. Mary Ann Contogiannis
Audit Committee – Kostas Kazakos – Accepts nomination
Foundation Nominations: Two positions available
· Jimmy Christodoulias CPA
· Tom Nixon
· Chris Karageorge
· Dr. Paul Dallas Motions to close the nominations.
· Ballots are tallied.
1. Mr. Chris Karageorge
2. Mr. Jimmy Christodoulias CPA
Mr. Peslis motions to close the nomination. Kosta Kazakos seconds the motion.
Motions to adjourn are seconded.