MEETING OF AMERICAN COLD WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION

 Thursday, June 28, 2012,

 Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine Board Members in attendance were: Jerry Terwilliger, Chairman Al Lepine, Secretary and Treasurer Frank Tims, Legislative Director

Sean Eagan (reinstated as Director, first item of new business, below) Attempt was made to call Scott L’Ecuyer by phone (unsuccessful, left message requesting that he call Jerry’s cell phone to participate). It was determined that a quorum was present, and Al Lepine was asked to chair the Board meeting. Al Lepine called the meeting to order at 1:35 pm. We attempted to call Scott L’Ecuyer by phone, but call was rolled over to voice mail, with a message that no one was available to take the call, please leave message. Al Lepine left Scott a voice message asking him to call Jerry Terwilliger back to join the meeting.

Old Business:
Minutes of the Board meeting of April 30, 2010 were reviewed and corrected. Board had agreed to reimburse Scott $1,000- ($50- per month) for the Membership page. Scott asked to be designated Operations Officer, but the Board rejected this, since no such office exists. Officers were re-elected at the 2010 meeting. The Board decided to meet again in three months, but did not follow up on this. Regarding minutes, Frank Tims pointed out that he has provided the official website for the organization without reimbursement since August 2007. He will continue to provide the website and expand it. No objections were voiced and Al will correct the Minutes to reflect this.

First item of New Business: Sean Egan, who had stepped down for health reasons, is now better and able to come back on the Board. Frank said the ACWV would not exist without Sean’s diligent efforts. Frank made a motion to have Sean back on Board for 3-year term, seconded by Jerry, approved by unanimous vote, so Sean is able to vote as Board member effective immediately.

Reports by Officers:
Jerry reported that membership is a major concern. The Membership Director says we have 400 members but his list shows just over 100. It has not been a good year in terms of growth, fund raising, and only limited success with CWSM – which Pentagon continues to oppose. Jerry says he is getting better, but suffered some burnout and would like to step down as Chairman after 3 years. He would like to continue to serve on the Board. As a group, we may need to look at a change of focus, other than the Medal. We need to get more members and more support in Congress. All other Board members present said Jerry has been a great Chairman and is deeply appreciated. Report was made by Al as Secretary and Treasurer. 501c(3) status retroactive to August 2007 was granted by IRS. Funds on hand are at about the same level as this time last year, but are not growing. Dues have been received from Frank Tims, Sean Eagan, and Gene Sullivan, and Al agreed to notify Scott of this by e-mail. Scott was not available to report on Membership. The issue of members not renewing was discussed, and the need to provide members with some tangible acknowledgement, i.e. membership cards and a patch. Frank proposed that this should be standard procedure for new members in a timely way, and that members renewing should also receive a card and (if not previously provided) a patch. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. Membership is the key to the organization’s growth, and all present agreed that a new approach is needed. Al proposed that a membership subcommittee be established and its chairman be the new membership director. Frank seconded and the motion passed unanimously. At the request of the Board, Jerry agreed to chair this subcommittee.

Frank reported on Legislative Affairs. Cold War Victory Medal introduced by Sen. Larry Craig in 1997 but Pentagon objected, so the “Recognition Certificate” for military and those civilian employees whose duties related to the Cold War was substituted in Conference and included in the NDAA for 1998. However, the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Defense (Cohen) were so broad that any civilian employee of the US Government during that period could qualify. The Certificate is very broad and unsatisfactory, since it does not acknowledge national defense nor Cold War service. Since then, numerous attempts to include the CWSM in the NDAA have passed both houses of Congress, but have not been signed into law, except as a “recommendation” to the SECDEF in the 2002 NDAA. Frank recommended that we appeal to President Obama, Vice-President Biden, and Secretary of Defense Panetta to establish the medal by Executive Order. Frank agreed to write the letter and circulate it to all board members for comment before sending it to the President. We should also send Secretary Clinton a copy as a courtesy. The letter should include a copy of Senator Obama’s previous statement of support, and be sent by certified mail through a channel that has a good chance of getting to the President and being controlled correspondence. Frank recommended that we adopt the Foxfall Cold War Service Medal as our organization’s medal, and continue to seek recognition, including review of greater eligibility for AFEM among Cold War veterans. We also need to refute issue that CWSM is duplicative of recognition already provided.

Regarding CWSM, Jerry said he and Al had a meeting with Congressman Michaud last year who said anything authorized has to be funded. This takes the form of scoring for the appropriation, but would not be a problem for an executive order. Sean and Al said great idea but current deficits may be a problem. Al said Obama could do it by Executive Order. Al stated that we should write the letter in our own words, not Sen. Snowe’s words. So we can tell others that we tried to include the Reserves. Frank said changing request to a ribbon would only save about 50 cents, since DOD’s numbers are mainly overhead and administrative costs. Frank’s 2nd point: to ask Obama to extend eligibility for Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and extend Kennedy’s Executive Order back to the Truman Doctrine, or even to Sept. 1945. Frank volunteered to write letter regarding this. Will circulate a draft to Board, and will vote on it electronically. Sean pointed out that could the letter should include supporting letters from various blogs.

Al suggested Executive Summary in front of package. Sean talked about exploring connections with Administration to get material read. Frank said will be in DC after Maine, and will work on connections. Frank passed out copies of DAV Legislative Bulletin which Includes pending legislation such as V-wrap program. Sean said geared to vets who are still of working age. It provides a great additional monthly education benefit of $1,200 for up to one year. Limited number of slots –45,000 first year, 50,000 second year, then will be reviewed. Frank said ask Congress to extend it. Al said we need to make an oath to respond to official business emails. Put OFFICIAL BUSINESS in subject line and stay on point during discussion – NO deviations.

Frank reported on the May 1st 2012 National Meeting and the Arlington Service: Frank reported Jerry had secured room on Capitol Hill. The 5 Amigos attended and made great contributions to the discussion. Representative Rivera’s Chief of Staff (Javier ______) was present and discussed the perspective of Congressional staff on legislation. William Boyle made an excellent presentation regarding a possible Cold War Memorial in Washington, DC. Others in attendance offered suggestions for new initiatives and next year’s meeting (date, location). Legislative aide from Congressman Rivera (FL) attended – need to get him to help approach Sen. Marco Rubio. Frank said Bob Schafer wanted to be member – had completed Marine Corps clemency program (discharge upgrade). Sense of the Board was that he was eligible for membership. Frank will guarantee his dues. He attended out May 1 meeting and Memorial Service, has several possible new members to recruit, and his father has joined ACWV. The Board voted unanimously to approve his membership. At Arlington Cemetery we had a Color Guard from Carson Long Military Institute. Al proposed and Sean seconded Motion that we send a check for $200 for the school’s expenses.

Frank said roses were placed on many graves. Al said to communicate with membership about this. There had been some discussion that May 1st and Washington not best date and location, though Arlington Cemetery is most appropriate for Memorial Ceremony.

Al said need to discuss how many meetings a year. It’s too expensive to meet in person quarterly. Need to make a Motion that Board members be reimbursed a set amount for the Annual Meeting and that we could meet quarterly on Skype as a group. Motion to reimburse up to $300 per Board member for Annual Meeting, by Al and seconded by Sean -- passed unanimously.

Frank asked to be reimbursed on a onetime basis for the trip to Portland for this meeting, total of $900. After discussion, Al proposed that we do so. The motion seconded by Sean, approved by Al, Sean and Jerry.

Al said his family situation and upcoming surgeries will limit him to one meeting a year. Where to meet? Washington for meeting and Arlington for ceremony was agreed for this coming May 2013. Jerry has received complaints about location. Discussion of other locations: Frank said could look at clusters of members, e.g. Arizona and California. Sean suggested middle of country, e.g. Kansas. Jerry agreed should think about meeting in different city each, where they have a Vets cemetery.

More states are now building Cold War Memorials. Sean said Rochester, NY now has one. Al said could ask members for recommendations. Need to post info at least 3 months before annual meeting. Need to get email list. Sean has old list. Al asked if Sean would be willing to be Media Director. He agreed, but asked for a committee to help, including new member James Allen. Al made the Motion, Frank seconded, unanimous vote for Sean to be Media Director.

Frank suggested asking for donations of frequent flyer miles to ACWV from corporations and individuals. We could appoint somebody to allocate miles. Al suggested that the issue be researched and recommendations be made. All agreed unanimously.

Discussion of Frank’s suggestion to expand Board to 7 members: Expanding Board will help. Need to have more people to do more. Al will research By-Laws. Al said we could have Membership and Media Committees staffed by non-Board members, following policy directives set by the Board. Sean raised example of William Boyle, who did a great presentation at annual meeting. Motion by Sean, seconded by Jerry, unanimous vote to expand the Board to 7 members over next 12 months.

There was discussion of criteria for Board membership: Need resume and reasons why want to serve. Screening would be by the Board.

Status of Cold War Medal as organizational goal: see previous discussion. Al suggested review by a committee, to include a national memorial in DC being worked on by William Boyle.

Jerry reported on project for Cold War Memorial at VA national cemetery in California. Scott and Bob had been assigned to work on this, but nothing had been done on this.

Frank noted these would be “local initiatives” and should be self-funded, e.g. Bob working on LA project. All agreed projects would have to be approved by Board. Sean proposed that ACWV make the memorial in DC the main focus, and the Medal will come. Jerry agreed – had been discussed in Kansas when this org formed. Frank mentioned others like Gary Powers also see this as part of their mission, and we should cooperate when we can, but pursue memorial in prominent DC location. Al said Board should monitor activities.

Sean made motion to form ad hoc committees to pursue our goals to include a national memorial, local memorials, and the continued pursuit of the Cold War Medal. The motion was seconded by Al, followed by discussion and passed by unanimous vote. Outreach to Educators and other organizations: Jerry said had received input from teachers appreciating info on website. Had been Frank’s goal for website to be used with educators – Frank has taught Cold War courses at Eckerd College and volunteered to do this.

Location of Annual Meeting: can get Truman Library for free in Kansas City. It was agreed that next year’s meeting will be held in Washington, DC one more time. As an additional draw, it was agreed to add a monument tour.

As Jerry wished to step down, Al nominated Frank Tims to be Chairman, seconded by Sean, effective immediately. Board voted unanimously to install Frank as Chairman. After discussion, the four Directors decided that Membership should be handled by a Committee, with a Chairman appointed by the Board, in place of a Membership Director. The Board appointed Jerry as Membership Committee Chair, effective immediately. All Pay-Pal and any other membership accounts shall be transferred to the Treasurer, Al, effective immediately.

The Membership Committee will be responsible for sending out complete membership packets on a timely basis to new members

All related Cold War Veterans social media accounts must be handed over to the Media Director. The Media Director will work with the new Membership Chair to facilitate all activities. All social media platforms will be brought under the direct control of the Board of Directors for assignment.

As of today, it was decided unanimously that no Member may appropriate to him- or herself any title or function without Board approval. All such appropriations of title and functions that have been made unilaterally by a Member in the past shall cease to exist as of this date, June 28, 2012.

Marketing: Al has an MBA and has discussed issues with Jerry. Al created a golf shirt; they suggest more merchandise, e.g. coffee mugs. All agreed that Board will discuss options within 30 days, including the appointment of a Merchandising Director.

Revenue issues: Al says if Café Press does merchandising, it takes care of taxes, etc. Frank said ad revenue from Google and  blog has been used to offset some expenses in paying for the website. Thus, two separate revenue streams – one to fund ACWV (merchandise and donations) and one to fund website (advertising, links with merchants not selling ACWV merchandise). We need to get ACWV merchandise stream started ASAP. Merchandising Director will contact Café Press and other sources for cups, caps, T-shirts, plaques, etc.

Due to past confusion over Directors’ terms, the Board voted that, effective today, those Directors present were re-appointed for a 3 year term. All other Directors will be appointed or re-appointed at the Board’s discretion. Meeting was adjourned at 4:00 PM.



Albert J Lepine Secretary American Cold War Veterans, Inc