Minutes of 16th Meeting of VINN (Vermont International Nonprofit Network)

Tuesday, June 7, 2005 The Gailer School, Shelburne 4:15 - 6:00 pm

Members Present
Andi Mowrer - Animals Asia
Peter Lynch - Green Across the Pacific
Randy Kritkausky, Carolyn Schmidt - ECOLOGIA
Colleen Thomas - Director of Development Project Harmony
Peter Ames, Consulting
Meg Harris - Salzburg Seminar
Carol Casey- Vermont Council on World Affairs

Langdon Lawrence, Hinesburg

Erin Gooch – has left Global Health Council
Robert Clough, -Dickey Center for International Understanding, Dartmouth College
Gwen Hallsmith- Global Community Initiatives
Roger Clapp & Michael Wetherell - ISC (replacing Barbara Felitti)
Barbara Miller -Project Harmony
Bill Ryerson -Population Media Center
Charlotte Tate - Rohatyn Center, Middlebury College
Scott Atherton, -Salzburg Seminar
Bob Sanders -Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program: (replacing Stacie Blake)
Phyl Newbeck - Vermont Teacher Diversity Scholarship Program
Justin Johnson - VINN
Peter Coldwell – Volunteers for Peace

Summary: Much of the meeting was devoted to planning for the October 2 Event, “Vermonters Engage With the World”. It will be held from 2 – 4, in Montpelier. It involves a panel of speakers, with time for questions, and presentation of the winners of the Global Citizen Awards. This will require sustained involvement from all VINN members to:


1. Networking/ Introductions

Animals Asia: Andi Mowrer is working on outreach, and on a fundraiser.

Green Across the Pacific: Peter Lynch is preparing to host 12 Chinese students and 4 adults, along with a group of Vermont students and teachers, for their summer program in natural resource management.

ECOLOGIA: Randy Kritkausky commented that networking through VINN has been very fruitful, both for ECOLOGIA and Green Across the Pacific; both organizations will share the contributions of a Middlebury College intern, working on ways to engage colleagues and students more intensively in programs through use of blogs. Both organizations are using the Earth Charter as part of their engagement of Chinese colleagues in discussions of values and motivations to act sustainably.

Project Harmony : Colleen Thomas, Director of Development, reported that Project Harmony is preparing for its 20th anniversary event on Sunday August 7th at the Barre Opera House. The Moscow Symphony Orchestra will be performing; Governor Douglas will narrate. For their next phase, PH is expanding programs into the Middle East (Jordan, Israel and the West Bank.

Salzburg Seminar: Meg Harris told us that their staff is very glad to have their new President, Stephen Salyer, who is currently the CEO of Public Radio International, based in Minnesota. He starts working for the Seminar full time in the fall.

Vermont Council on World Affairs: Carol Casey has been busy with international exchanges; in particular they will be hosting an Iraqi delegation (14 women, 1 man) in late July, on a program for women’s advocacy and leadership. Their proposal for “Beyond Borders: Arab-Israeli Peace Partners” has been approved by the State Department.

Visitor: Langdon Lawrence, Hinesburg is a physician specializing in public health and international health issues. He heard of VINN when he was Aceh, Indonesia working on relief efforts after the December tsunami. Langdon is interested in contributing his skills and knowledge to international NGO work.

2. Financial Report – The VINN treasury has $271. There are presently 17 members.

3. Planning for October 2 Event, “Vermonters Engage in the World”

Report from Publicity Subcommittee – Justin, Roger, Randy

Report from Planning Committee- Meg Harris, chairing

ACTION ITEMS: We need to generate nominations for Global Citizen Awards. This is a key part of our current efforts to use VINN to “promote international understanding and involvement throughout Vermont.” – our mission statement. It is up to each VINN member, to distribute and promote the information among our own networks of contacts. This includes:

DISCUSSION and MOTION: The evaluation committee for Global Citizen Awards is requested to avoid exclusively awarding to volunteers who are associated with VINN members. We should avoid the appearance of excluding volunteers from non-VINN member organizations, and be sensitive to the issue of self-promotion.

4. Upcoming Meetings

Sunday July 24: Our next general VINN meeting will return to an issue-oriented discussion, around changes in the expectations and attitudes of international donors. Langdon pointed out that there is a difference in public responses to natural disasters (people affected are perceived as ‘innocent victims’) and to manmade ones (it’s more complicated; there is more public resistance to ‘helping’ those displaced by wars, for example). This should be an interesting lead-off discussion topic for the next VINN meeting, which will be on Sunday July 24, a potluck at Randy and Carolyn’s home, 278 North Road, Whiting. Time will either by 12 noon – 3 pm, or 3 – 6 pm, depending on members’ preferences.

Wednesday August 24, from 4 – 6 pm: Evaluation Committee for Global Citizen Awards, Middlebury area location

Friday September 9: 2 – 4 pm : Evaluation committee Round 2 (vetting finalists)
4 – 6 pm: General VINN meeting
Location: ISC, Montpelier