AGM 2015 Minutes



Held 24 April, 2015 at the Apollo Hotel, Almere.

Start time: 20.00

In Attendance:

Stephanie Ernst, Chantal Bland, Gerard Danks, Eric Hanson, Carina Grauvogel, Carly Bridgeman, Kylie Soutar, Connie Koorevaar, Irma van der Weide


Sarah Leonard, Sonja Wraith, Stijn van Kessel, Brenda van Kessel

  1. Reading and Acceptance of previous AGM’s minutes.

    1. Minutes were read aloud by Gerard Danks, accepted and approved by all present.

  2. Business arising from previous AGM minutes

    1. It was asked whether all decisions from the previous AGM had been acted upon.

      1. Membership meeting was held, in which it was decided to leave the membership pakage the same.

      2. Bylaws meeting has not been held yet.

      3. Marketing IA remains a challenge and much progress has been made.

    2. It was asked whether communication within IA is a 2-way street or whether the board is just pushing events at members, as communication was a major point of discussion at the previous meeting.

      1. It was suggested that the names of Board members be added to marketing pushes to add a personal touch to IA communication. All present found this to be a good idea.

      2. It was mentioned that there is a break of trust between members and the Board, who don’t have a strong connection with members at large. To this, Gerard suggested that the biggest challenge is apathy and convincing others to step up and participate. The same few people attend all events, including the AGM.

    3. On the issue of marketing and the website, Stephanie has promised that there is change coming.

      1. She’s working with various community members to make major improvements in content, accessibility.

      2. It was suggested that the Board members be profiled prominently on the website to make them seem more reachable.

      3. It was suggested that IA strengthen connections between the active Facebook group and the more static website, driving traffic to the website.

      4. Stephanie admitted that the Event Calendar widget needed a revamp, as the previous version caused too many headaches for users and admins.

      5. Connie volunteered to be a Beta tester of the website.

  3. Director’s Report.

    1. Please find the Director’s Report as a separate addendum.

    2. Gerard posed the question “what do we have to do to get more people to show up?”

  4. Treasurer’s Report.

    1. Please find the Treasurer’s overview as a separate addendum.

  5. General Business.

    1. New Business.

      1. Quiz night for May has been sorted: quiz will be sent electronically to either Connie or Gerard and Gerard and Irma will read in English / Dutch.

      2. It’s been observed by members that there has been an increase in the international community of Almere by people coming from India. Many of these families are active at the Letterland International School but unaware of IA. Various Indian cultural groups sponsor their own activities.

        1. Can IA reach out to these groups to expand both groups’ sense of community?

          1. Chantal and Stephanie have agreed to spearhead this.

    2. Business Arising from Reports.

      1. Various members agreed that there has recently been a decrease in non-family events. There have been 4 family (kids) events since the prvious AGM, with only 3 adult events: Halloween, the December dinner and dinner at de Jutter. (it was also questioned whether Halloween and the December dinner count since these are done each year). First Friday night and Quiz Night occur each month as well.

      2. Most emails sent are about family events, creating the conception that there are no events for those without families.

      3. It was asked whether the Fifth Friday events are too heavily focused on dining out. Chantal and Stephanie will consider this feedback in future plnaning.

      4. In the previous iteration of IA, Connie made sure to speak to each person who came out to Friday Night Drinks. Many members felt that there is no longer a personal connection between attendees and the board. No matter how many emails are sent, it will never be the same. Friday Night Drinks has become quite clique-y: people are not stepping out of their comfort zones and meeting new people. Could we add a placard to the tables to drive new visitors to IA? Perhaps a nametag or badge? We could even form a Welcome Wagon.

        1. One idea that generated lots of support was to designate one “welcomer” to be identified by a novelty hat.

        2. The various Board members agreed to immediately start being more outgoing at FFND, starting at the next iteration (1 May).

    3. Motions & Proposals

      1. Connie proposed that Gerard and Stephanie should switch roles, since there is a general perception that Stephanie is already filling the role of Director.

        1. There followed a long discussion about the relative merits of each as Director, including a long explanation by Gerard of why he took the position of Director after being asked by previous Board members.

        2. Connie asked both what they believe it means to be the “Face” of IA.

          1. It was suggested that Stephanie is the Face of IA to more members than Gerard.

        3. There followed a discussion about Quiz Night, which is regularly generating a profit in 2015 for the first time in at least 12 months.

        4. Connie specified once again that she is always available to help IA in any capacity, but has never been asked.

        5. Stephanie declared that th enew Board has a new dynamic, which led to a question of why Stephanie was doing most of the talking.

        6. Motion to switch the roles of Gerard and Stephanie was re-stated and seconded, at which point Stephanie refused the switch and the move was not put to a vote.

      2. Motion to remove the provision that each member receives a membership card was unanimously approved.

      3. It was moved to leave the rest of the membership package precisely as is, which was unanimously approved.

  6. Declaration of Open Board Positions.

    1. Sarah Leonard has stepped down as Treasurer, leaving the position vacant. An open solicitation was placed online and on the Facebook page.

    2. The positon of Co-Director / Marketing is open as Stephanie’s term has expired.

      1. After a long discussion, it was decided to leave the title as Co-Director, rather than ‘Events, Marketing, Social Media and Co-Director.’

  7. Voting for Open Positions.

    1. Stephanie Ernst was unanimously approved as Co-Director.

    2. Nominations for IA Life Member.

      1. Citing her long-standing enthusiasm and years of engagement in the community, Carly Bridgeman was nominated by three members to be a Life Member of International Almere.

      2. All present enthusiastically voted to give Carly Life Membership.

  8. Date of Next Meeting.

    1. The next AGM will be held in February of 2016, on a date to be confirmed. The Board will attempt to plan this to coincide with First Friday Night Drinks to help increase attendance and a more congenial atmosphere with drankjes and hapjes.

  9. Meeting Dismissed at 21.45.