2017 Annual Business Meeting May 5, 2017

2017 Annual Business Meeting May 5, 2017

Union Springs Academy Alumni

Annual Business Meeting Minutes

10:30 AM – Sunday, May 7, 2017



Jenni Austin-Carr

Larry Hayes, Jr

Joya Garlock-Weber

Debi Everhart

Carolyn Fox-McClellan

Joyce Chisholm Pound

Penny Gebhard Adams

Amy M Foote

Rebecca Allen-Runnals

Ed Runnals

Bill Boyd

Linda Nord-Ulrich

Dennis Nord

Terry Schermerhorn

Gail Carr-Mason

Netta Smith-Blakes

Jocelyn Quaile-Botimer

Teri Foote

John Foote

Janice Caster

Joe Foote

Robert Gebhard


Total: 22 Members

Chairperson: Robert Gebhard, President


1. Welcome & Prayer: Robert Gebhard Time: 10:45a


2.Announcement of Membership Election Results:

Votes were tabulated from email votes, mail-in, Facebook and Paper Ballots at the weekend.


  • Vice President: Larry Hayes, Jr. 108

Johnnie Schumacher-Hardy 90


  • Exec. Secretary: Debi Everhart 94

Linda Nord-Ulrich 72


  • Project Manger to be added as an Officer to the Exec. Committee; and John Cardinell to be voted into the position:

yes: 72

no: 2


  • Constitution, as revised March 2017 states, is provisionally passed to be voted upon again next year for permanency by the Membership.

yes: 47

no: 17 carried with 73% approval


3. Review of Constitution and Need for Changes and being Responsive and Transparent:

Robert reviewed history and complications involving voting on the revision, with transparency of being 5 days late, though in good faith, for the posting of constitutional changes. He reviewed the issues that are to be changed. He explained rationale of needing and being technically legal with voting changes, as revised, though research and advice from Pastor Crespo. He explained that people are expected to vote, if by email, in a certain time frame and with information to make the best, informed, decisions. He stated that the Executive Committee should and could be more responsive and able to act/react more quickly.

Johnnie Schumacher-Hardy voiced opposition to accepting absentee voting by email stating face-to-face/video is the only acceptable way to converse and share information needed for a vote. He also had exception to the role of the Alumni Board and downplayed it's need or use. He stated that the constitution should be carried out, by the letter, and that the 45 days (5 day lateness) of posting should halt all changes as not being acceptable.

Terry Schermerhorn stated that the most efficient form of government is dictatorship and that the democratic process should prevail, even when it is difficult and timely. He was concerned of imposters voting electronically. Robert further explained that votes are verified by email/photo/return addresses and that a spreadsheet was kept so there was not a chance of multiple ballots from one individual. Unknown votes were not to be counted, unless verified.

Bill Boyd stated that we are not incorporated and that it is a slippery slope to change the constitution or not follow it completely.

Janica Kaltsas-Caster provided that about 200 votes came in, even though only about 150 were in attendance and that this is an increase to what might have been previously available. We are reaching more people with electronic votes....and that means more participation from the Members.

Linda Nord-Ulrich stated that the current constitution is not clear, and being practically minded, wishes the document to be easy and functional, and less cumbersome to follow for an Alumni Association. Robert stated that this document needs changes and provided examples of unclear or seemingly awkward Articles and Sections.

Larry Hayes, Jr. clarified Robert's statements that currently the reason to come to Annual Mtg is to be able to over-ride the Exec. Comm./ Membership votes and polls and follow procedure in the ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING. All can come and participate even though only 22 of about 200 voters are present at this meeting. It is available to all. So, to procede is allowable at this time.

Rebecca Allen-Runnals noted a confusing terminology of the Executive Committee and Executive Board and the members therein. Robert explained that the Executive Board will now be called “Alumni Board” and that the members are differently defined. The Board will be an advisory component for/to the Executive Committee.


Terry Schermerhorn moved to:

Accept the current proposed changes, provisionally, and be able to implement them, currently, for the up-coming year and then to re-vote next year. Gail Carr-Mason seconded. VOTE: Yes: 10; No: 3. Carried, as stated. (76% of vote percentage).


Note: Robert expressed a personal and presidential concern that as the constitution states, the attendees/voters at the Annual Meeting can over-ride any previous Executive Committee and Membership votes. This seems odd that 13 votes might over-ride what approximately 200 votes, of which had already been cast in two different voting venues. This is a grave concern, especially over constitutional changes, and with website, Facebook, email and paper ballot votes we can move towards having more participation in the future from the Members directly, allowing a wider base of participation and view points.


4. Alumni Weekend Date Change - Poll Results: Robert reported that of the 186 people that responded to the poll for information gathering about changing the date of Alumni Weekend, 120 want to change the date and 66 said no. Of those that answered as to when, most (76) preferred October/Fall, than earlier in April (14), or later in May (25), with some (5) wanting a change, but having no preference when. This is just the beginning of the discussion as for a change, when to schedule, and when to implement it. This will require a lot of planning and communication will be done before an official announcement of if/when the date is ever changed.


5. Treasurer's Report by Amy Foote, Treasurer: Report dated before this Alumni Weekend expenses were accounted. General fund: $913.00; Communication Fund $700.00; Brick Campaign $416.00 but not sure of the past Mtg Minutes of the breakdown of % of money that goes to the school, projects, cost of bricks and upkeep of the walkway; Scholarship Fund- no data provided. No projected budget for 2017-18 provided or recommended by the Treasurer. Last year's goal for operation budget was thought to be $4,000.00.

Janica provided that 400 paper Re-Echoes were mailed at about 15cents for postage in April 2017, but full costs have not been acknowledged yet for printing etc. She also stated that about 70 meal tickets were purchased in the online option which helped the school plan for numbers and have the money in advance.


6. Old Business: none


7. New Business: none


8. Introduction to the new President, Netta Smith-Blakes: Netta thanked her team of Officers and asked them to join her for introduction as well. She hopes to have a positive and progressive 2-year term and next year. She has developed, per Robert's direction this past few months, with Janica Kaltsas-Caster and Linda Nord-Ulirch, a job description for each and new Officers and Assistants, so that people can see what is expected. Jobs can be further divided and the workload shared as we work with her guidelines. These will be available to the Members in the near future on the Academy's Website, on the Alumni Tab. She states there is a priority to fill the Communications Dir and the Re-Echoes Editor, ASAP. She desires everyone to be thinking and passing along suggestions for these positions to her now. She plans to have the next Re-Echoes issue out by Campmeeting time 2017. This next issue will focus on the Alumni Weekend and the fun that we all had.


9.Adjournment: Jenni Austin-Carr moved to adjourn, Janica Kaltsas-Caster seconded. This concluded the 2017 USA Alumni Annual Business Meeting.


10. Closing Prayer: Larry Hayes, Jr. Time: 12:16p

Respectfully Submitted by Linda Nord-Ulrich, acting Secretary for this meeting 5/9/2017.