Meeting was opened by Tom Vesey @1:30 pm in Parsippany, NJ. Tom Vesey welcomed everyone to Parsippany along with our guests from Ireland. He thanked his team for all their hard work in putting together the Convention & Fleadh simultaneously. In an effort to go green, each packet contains the Financial Statement & Agenda. The Minutes were emailed prior to the meeting.
Tom Vesey welcomed everyone to Parsippany, NJ
MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Minutes of April, 2014 & November, 2014 were electronically sent out previous to the meeting by Sue Spellman since we are going green. Approval of Minutes by Cathy Thompson, Seconded by Sean Hennessey. Motion passed. North American Officers List updating is dependent upon membership officer lists to be current. Memberships are slightly down this year as a few new branches couldn’t get off the ground. Big Raffle from Ireland is a chance for every branch to make money & keep money in the branch. Out of a 25-dollar ticket $17 stays in the branch & the other $8 goes to Ireland, great fund-raising event. Provincial Standing Committee passed a Resolution, by a vote of 4 to 1 to limit travel & accommodations monies starting in November, 2015. For November meeting Provincial officers would be reimbursed up to $450 for attending the meeting for travel & hotel accommodations with proper documentation to support same. For the Convention meeting, they would be reimbursed up to $700 for travel & hotel accommodations. This can be revisited each year & under a special circumstance case, would require further review. This resolution was recommended due to timely making reservations ahead of time due to saving costs.
Sheila Scott recommended that we fully cover the Provincial Youth Officer expenses due to they usually do not have an income & are in college & can’t afford to cover their expenses. Paul Keating recommended we revert this back to the Standing Committee for further review to limit the expenses relative to travel & accommodation expenses.
St. Louis Irish Arts will be hosting the 2016 Provincial Convention the week after Easter, March 31, 2016; April 1, 2, & 3, 2016. Current Youth Officer is working on a format for the younger CCE members for the 2016 Convention with some planned activities. Also a Young Adult Committee will be formed for different format for attracting younger adults with variety of different workshops.
When electing officers, make sure they are qualified & willing to accept the position.
Big Raffle from Ireland $25 for ticket & $17 stays in branch.
Resolution by Standing Committee to limit expenses for travel & accommodations to Provincial Officers.
Recommendation that Standing Committee review the limiting of expenses for travel & hotel accommodations.
SLIA will host 2016 Convention March 31, 2016, April 1, 2 & 3, 2016.
Provincial Youth Officer will plan activities for Convention.
Kevin Furlong presented the Treasurer’s Report & with a copy in everyone’s folder. Kevin outlined & made a comparison from 2013 to 2014 of the Treasurer’s Report. There were discussions relative to the Meitheal Committee income & the relation to the Provincial Treasury. Barb Bouchey, Meitheal Secretary, explained that the Meitheal Account is a separate account from the Province & that it operates on a different calendar year & goes from July 1 to June 30 where the Provincial Account operates on a different calendar year. She also explained that Ireland allocates certain monies relative to Meitheal including monies for the Fleadhs, Convention, Workshops at the Convention, etc. We need to not confuse budget versus expenses & sometimes what is budget is not what actual cost is. The receipts for these expenses are then submitted to the Meitheal Committee. Helen stated no monies are paid out of Meitheal without receipts. A Motion to Accept Treasurer’s Report Mike McLaughlin; Seconded by Helen Gannon. Motion passed.
Kevin Furlong, Interim Treasurer, presented Treasurer’s Report.
Barb Bouchey, of the Meitheal Committee, explained Meitheal operates on a different calendar year than the Province.
Paul Keating – Thanks to everyone for getting all their information into the database, making it easier with all the information inputted. There will be 3 issues of Treoir instead of 4 moving forward. There are Annual Reports available to take home. The Minister, Jimmy Denihan, Department of Foreign Affairs, will be attending our Convention this year & what a great honor to have him with us. Also Tourism Ireland will be working again with us for supplying funding. Treoir will be able to be downloaded two months later after the release of the publication. Tomas indicated there are 35,000 copies that are printed & that Ireland is taking small steps relative to online. We are seeing how online unfolds with Treoir. Tony O’Connell suggested that we have a $3.00 surcharge for delivery. Online would save ½ of our current mailing costs. Vince Jordan pointed out that Treoir wanted to develop software for our handicapped members to be able to read & is currently in the process.
Treoir will have 3 issues instead of 4
From PR perspective, Treoir is a great tool.
Minister, Jimmy Denihan, Department of Foreign Affairs, will be attending our Convention this year.
FLEADH CHEOIL REPORTS
Mid-Atlantic Fleadh – John Reynolds - had 360 single competitors. We combined the Fleadh & Convention. Primarily was a good success & there were a few minor concerns but was very successful. This year the Hall of Fame Dinner & Convention Banquet will be combined.
Midwest Fleadh - Helen Gannon – thanked Ireland for their financial support of the Fleadh. In 2015 the Fleadh is going to Cincinnati. It will be Mother’s Day Weekend. There was a $16,000 profit for the 2013 & 2014 Fleadhs from St Louis Irish Arts. $8,000.00 was turned over to the Region as profit.
Tom Vesey – Relative to judging at the Fleadh there are 3 criterias to consider: 1) Competed or win All Ireland; 2) Attended adjudication courses; 3) TTCT Course.
Helen - Producing a Newsletter for CCE North America out of Meitheal Funding. The budget runs from July 1 to June 30. The breakdown for this year was as follows: Mid-Atlantic Fleadh $9,000.00; Midwest Fleadh $9,000.00; Canada Fleadh Nua $3,000.00; Convention $5,000.00; SCT $3,000.00; Concert Tour $4,000.00; Treoir (mailings) $10,000.00; Diaspora $2,000.00. This comes to a total of $45,000.00 from the Meitheal account. This was the project budget but some adjustments were made. Meitheal is project driven.
Patrick Morrison – Meitheal is funding from the Irish Government. It’s a help in supporting Irish people in the world as a thank you for all who have supported Ireland in the past. The Department of Foreign Affairs has certain terms & conditions for the Meitheal money. It is not guaranteed money. It is to sustain CCE branches & expand their activity by coming up with projects.
Barb Bouchey, Secretary of Meitheal – Here’s the money & here’s to be spent. The Meitheal Committee is looking at ways for supplement. Working on database for 50 to 100 potential funders for future projects. They are taking the Department of Foreign Affairs’ money to get up & started & then North America to get their own funding from these potential 50 to 100 funders for the future.
Meitheal Funding is through the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Meitheal money is funding from the Irish Government. It is project-driven.
Anne McConnell - The Concert Tour was in Canada in 2014 & was on October 8, 2014 the Concert Tour was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; October 9, 2014 in Regina, Saskatchewan; October 10, 2014 Manitou, Manitoba; October 11, 2014 Winnipeg, Manitoba; October 15, 2014 Shannon, Prov. Quebec; October 17, 2014 Killaloe, Ontario; October 18, 2014 Peterborough, Ontario; October 19,2014 Toronto. The Tour was able to visit Niagara Falls which they very much enjoyed seeing. Tourism Ireland is a main contributor for the Concert Tour. Revenue also comes from door admission, shop sales, etc. Financially it’s more of a break even. Anne stated printing the promotional material is an expense & she requested funding in advance for Canada relative to the Tour in the future. Anne has also requested that for the 2016 Concert Tour come the last 2 weeks of September so it doesn’t conflict with the Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday which is in the beginning of October & make attendance better or have the tour the last 2 weeks in October. A press release from Ireland relative to the Concert Tour is always beneficial. Paul said the Concert Tour in 2015 would probably be concentrating on a particular region of the US in lieu of travelling to 2 or 3 different regions due to a logistics matter & the cost of transporting the Group. We need to rely on the branch to promote the Tour & have advertising tools to advertise the Concert Tour to get more students to come. The Tour is establishing a Comhaltas connection. Tony O’Connell suggested that we could combine Concert Tour with perhaps a Ceili & look at a different model relative to the promotion of the Concert Tour. It was also suggested that perhaps local dancers be invited to perform to enhance attendance at the Tour. Tim McGinness – IMA of Chicago, suggested combine a workshop with Concert Tour. Vince Jordan stated that it is a great inclusion of local singers, dancers, musicians, when the Concert Tour performs.
Anne McConnell – requested Concert Tour not be the beginning of October due to Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday and be either last 2 weeks of September or end of October.
Concert Tour in 2015 would be concentrating on a particular Region in US
Tom Vesey indicated that in order to host a Convention, seed money is needed in case the Convention doesn’t make money & has a deficit from the sponsoring branch. The Convention is a lot of work & needs a lot of support from the Region & branches to be successful. Proposals are being accepted for 2017 & 2018.
Hosting a Convention requires a deposit of seed money in case there is a deficit. Accepting proposals for 2017 & 2018.
Genevieve Robinson – Presently planning activities for the 2016 Convention in St. Louis, MO. She is looking to have activities which include Workshops, pizza, popcorn, trying to get more youth participation & is hoping to get subsidized money for the youth activities.
Planning youth activities for the 2016 St. Louis Convention.
BILL MCEVOY’S BOOK
Release of Bill McEvoy’s book is this weekend “Memories Of A Great & Noble Past.” Presently there are only 20 copies available from printing but we will have more copies available in the next week or two. Mike Hickey asked for a Resolution that a copy of Bill’s book be placed in the Archives at Boston College for everyone to see. Thanks to Bill we are here where we are today with the expansion & promotion of Comhaltas in North America.
Release of Bill McEvoy’s book “Memories Of A Great & Noble Past.”
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Tomas O’Maoldomhnaigh & Vince Jordan will run the election.
Nominate the Slate as presented for the uncontested offices:
Voting cards were collected. Following are the election results & have received 50% plus 1:
CHAIR: Tom Vesey (unopposed)
VICE-CHAIR: Frankie McCormick
SECRETARY: Sue Spellman (unopposed)
TREASURER: Kevin Furlong
PRO : Paul Keating (unopposed)
DELEGATE TO ARD CHOMHAIRLE: Paul Keating & Helen Gannon
IRISH OFFICER: Sara Johnson
YOUTH OFFICER: Genevieve Robinson
AUDITOR: Cathy Thompson & Bridget English
MOTION TO DESTOY BALLOTS: Bill McEvoy; Seconded by Helen Gannon. Motion carried.
Meaghan Haughian–both branches, Winnepeg & Saskatoon, are active in Canada West. Saskatoon is concentrating on the Irish Language. Currently have 2 Ceilis running. Presently working on a branch in Calgary & enjoyed the Concert Tour.
Anne McConnell Strong – Branches are active & there is no change in the membership. We currently have 7 branches and set dancing & Irish language promotion. We have Fleadh Cheili in March. Canada is presently looking into the formation of a Canadian Province for the future. Concert Tour was a big success in 2014 & the Tour did a great job.
Shannon Flecke – Midwest is concentrating on youth activities & development. Also trying to come up with ideas or different ways of spreading CCE interest. NAFC is having another scholarship award. Chicago is interested in the 2017 Convention.
John Reynolds – Lot of Mid-Atlantic branches have ceilis. John pointed out when booking airline passage (for Provincial Board) can get emails when fares are on sale if you set it up & receive notifications of sales. Martin Mulvhill & GAA joined forces & had successful evening.
Bridget English – the Northeast has established a new communication website for the branches & a new e newsletter. The e’newsletter is great for communication among the branches. It’s great for getting information between the branches relative to events, workshops, etc. The new website works well.
Northeast has up & running website, an e’newsletter which is better communication between the branches.
Jim Belcher – We currently have 3 branches in the West. Cooley-Keegan in San Francisco; Four Peaks in Phoenix, Arizona; & Puget Sound in Seattle & hoping for new members. Four Peaks is working on becoming a 501©3 & concentrating on music; Cooley-Keegan is concentrating on music, song & dance.
Anne McConnell Strong – talked about feasibility study. Phase 2 is to reach out to 1 person in each branch for feedback. Set out own vision to move Canada into their own Province. This would have to be included in the Bunreacht which is due for review in 2020. Tomas – relative to Canadian Province & eligibility for Meitheal money, the official turnover can’t happen until Bunreacht is changed which comes up in the year 2020. The Canadian Province should be working now towards that goal & getting everything in place to try & become their own Province, while there is special funding available. Tomas says autonomy would be good for Canada. The final decision is with Congress in Dublin.
Sheila Scott asked if a percentage of what was invested in North America Province could be used as seed money for Canada.
Helen announced St. Louis will host the Provincial Meeting in St. Louis on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM. The Convention will be at a different hotel, namely the Hilton Union Station Hotel, which is in the Downtown St. Louis area & about 10 or 12 blocks from where we hosted the last Convention. It will not be combined with the Fleadh & will be the week after Easter, Thursday, March 31, 2016, Friday, April 1, Saturday, April 2 & Sunday, April 3, 2016.
Provincial Meeting in St. Louis on November 14, 2015.
IRISH OFFICER REPORT
Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh – We have support from Ireland through Fulbright Foundation. This weekend we have 2 Fulbright Scholars here for the weekend. We need to make the Irish Language visible & welcome individuals to the Irish Language. Immersion weekends are great for that. Advancing forward would like to have brochures in both languages, membership forms to be bilingual. We had a Crossword Competition & the following are the winners of the Crossword Competition: 3rd Place – Cleveland – Abbygael Cancian; 2nd Place –Atlanta – Karen Leonard; 1st Place – Murphy Roche – Connor McCormick.
VOTES OF SYMPATHY
Shannon Flecke – Looking for any new ideas for the Convention in 2016. We hope to have events for people of all ages & are open to any suggestions anyone might have.
Kell Chole – Midwest Region has 2 requests: 1) Review database for security misuse & review security measures for database; 2) Complaint concerns made at branch level be pushed back to branch level for review and if not resolved to allow process to be taken to Regional level before involvement by the Provincial Council
Tomas – expressed a big thank you to everyone for all the Conventions. Also, wanted to announce we have a new head of CCE in Ireland Ann Finnergan.
Please turn in any Votes of Sympathy to Sue Spellman.
Motion to Adjourn Bill McEvoy; Seconded by Rory Chole; Motion Carried.