Quarterly Meeting Minutes for December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009

John Poertner called the meeting to order at 10:00.  It was held at College Hill Methodist Church in Wichita.  Present were: Edith Black, Mary Bradshaw, Bob Carlson, Ceferino Gimenez,  Arla Jones, Bob Klemm, Kim Kreicker, Jay Newton, John Poertner, Nan Porter, Boots and Merrill Raber, Lorraine and Steve Richards, Dave Schafer, Norman Schlesener, and Curtis Stubbs. 

The minutes of the last meeting were approved. (Kreicker/Schlesener)

Dave Schafer presented the Treasurers’ report.  It was approved.(Klemm/Richards)  A motion was approved to get accounting software not to exceed $350. (Raber/Kreicker). 

John gave the Presidents’ report.  He, Edith, and Jay Newton attended the POA Convention.  Many other organizations were there and they felt it was not as useful as the Chicago conference.  Steve Vetter, the new director, is trying to promote and broadcast positive partner activities.  Arla received much praise for the great web site which others were very interested  in.  CPK got kudos for education. 

Travelers on POA grants were discussed.  Dr. Helen Ramirez was approved.  The medical school is very excited since she has family medicine involvement.  She was recommended by Steve Penner and will be coming in March.  We are requesting an audition tape from Bianca Gatti.  The Washburn University Orchestra  director will listen to it to decide whether to feature her or not.

Steve Richards did a presentation on what and how we tell others about KPP.  We developed several  “branding messages” based on why we are involved in KPP.  One important idea was to tailor your remarks to the person or group you are talking to.  Projects to mention range from arts, education, health, and cultural exchanges to zoos. 

Dave Schafer presented a summary proposal for the annual meeting in Manhattan March 13th.  It will be held in the Kansas State Student Union. Since it is spring break, parking should be easy.  Suggested program includes mini reports on 5 major projects.  Several possible speakers were discussed.  The new Paraguayan Ambassador to the United States, Rigoberto Gauto will be invited as well as Governor Mark Parkinson or Lt. Governor Troy Findley.  John will follow-up on the Paraguayan speakers.   The archives project has had many delays and is very much in beginning processes. 

The creation of a Sports Committee was discussed in relation to the “Girl’s Effect” project   http://www.girleffect.org/ 
New member Cef Gimenez expressed interest in the project.  Alice Sagehorn and Tina Williams  have also expressed interest.

 John proposed a by-laws change at our next meeting to facilitate the formation of partner cities.  At the POA convention CPK President Erwin Bogado expressed interest and support for the idea.  John will follow up with Erwin about moving forward with the idea. 

Committee Reports:

The nomination committee proposed the following slate for the annual meeting:

President: John Poertner

Secretary: Nan Porter

Directors: Miguel Gonzales

                   Karen Hyde

                   Jay Newton

                    Merrill Raber

Mary Bradshaw reported on the Education committee. Goodland High School and Riley County Schools will have Youth Ambassadors from Paraguay.  She is working on grants to send American students to Paraguay  as youth ambassadors.  We need high school sponsors to promote and work on programs.

Merrill and Nan Wilson have been working on Time/Line history of KPP.  Please send additions and corrections to Merrill or John.

Bob Klemm reported on natural resources.  The new Paraguayan zoo director and the veterinarian  visited recently.  Bob took them to several zoos.  He will have pictures of the changes for the annual meeting. He is very excited by the progress in the zoo in Paraquay. 

Merrill reported on the art exhibit coming to Newton in March.  It will be in two places, the Carriage Factory Gallery and the Kaufman Museum. 

Steve Richards reported on the Emergency Preparedness project.  It will be the focus of the fund raising effort.   The report follows.

The Education committee needs application for the scholarship . 

John has been exploring possible issues with Paraguay Partners LLC, an agriculture business about  conflict over name use.  A motion was carried for John to proceed with a letter based on information received , to the firm,  Paraquay Partners, LLC.  (Richards/Schafer).

Respecfully submitted,  Nan Porter,

Emergency Preparedness Report

Kansas Paraguay Partners

December 2009

 Jorge Martín spent a week in Kansas following the POA conference, beginning 11/15/09.  Jorge is a leader in the Itaipua Subchapter (Encarnación) of CPK and wears numerous hats for emergency preparedness in Paraguay.

  • Employed as an Emergency Management Consultant by the Ministry of Public Health & Social Welfare in conjunction with the Council of Local Health, a collaboration of the Municipality of Filidelfia
  • Commander of the Cuerpo de Bomberos Voluntarios del Paraguay (CVBP) for a region of four Departmentos (States) with the rank of Captain Major (similar to Division Chief)
  • Commander of a firefighting company at Carmen del Parana, near Encarnación


Based on conversations with Jorge, CBVP has made significant progress.

  • The number of fire companies has increased from about 70 to 150
  • Available respirator (SCBA) increased from about 30 to 300 (The only 2 compressors are still in Asuncion.)
  • EMT’s have been added to some fire companies


Lorraine Richards organized and managed Jorge’s visits with emergency service departments in five cities in five days (agenda attached).  Numerous beneficial contacts may develop into additional resources.

Interest and Emergency Preparedness topics for follow-up have been identified.

  • Clarified CPK / CBVP responsibility for transportation costs of donated equipment is not related to Itaipu Dam (any longer?).  CBVP will look for alternatives for funding and for transportation of smaller shipments.
    • Jorge has an acquaintance working at the Paraguayan Consulate in Miami.  There is a plane that makes that trip periodically.
    • Jorge contacted Miguel Acosta in NYC to suggest the possibility of PYO expatriots in NYC raising funds for transportation.  Acosta manages an online publication: www.elmiradorparaguayo.com
    • There may be possibilities to explore with the National Guard and with the US military Denton Program.
    • KPP is supplying additional detail so CBVP can pursue options.
  • There is interest in Red Cross exchange related to disaster response and blood bank administration.
  • Began to identify Kansas emergency service personnel that may be interested in working with the Emergency Preparedness Committee and / or exchange travel to PY.  For example
    • Sid Newby will query and invite Andy Moffat of Chanute, President of the KS Firefighters Assoc.
    • WFD Firefighter Ignacio Ayala and Emergency Operations Center Director Randy Duncan may be interested.

Additional topics have been identified in other project areas.

  • There is interest in Partner Cities relationships in Encarnación and Filidelphia.
    • Suggested our university cities (Lawrence, Manhattan, etc.) might be suitable for Encarnación because there are 6 or 7 universities in the area.
    • Filidelfia doesn’t yet have any active CPK members, however…
      • Newton might be a natural match and could help identify / cultivate contacts, and;
      • Jorge would like help developing contacts in Filidelphia, Loma Plata, etc for broader purposes such as his work in emergency preparedness, disaster response, etc.


  • Itaipua Subchapter wants to start a new program of instructors coming to two universities in Encarnación (perhaps similar to PSU in PY?).  At first, start with short classes in culture, arts, marketing, and / or business administration.


  • Ruben Sicorra, coordinator of the Itaipua Subchapter, and 4 other artists desire to mount a major statue to Milk Production in the Cambyreta District of Itaipua.
    • Want an artist exchange to expand their vision and perhaps collaborate on creation of the statue or sculpture
    • Especially need technical direction to execute a large statue
    • Extended stay, such as a Fellowship, sometime next year.


  • Rosalba Garay Stéfani is an attorney and Justice of the Peace in Encarnación.  She wants to come to KS to observe US court systems and improve her English. 
    • Initial contacts have been made with Richard Walker, chief administrative judge for the district of Harvey and McPherson Counties, and with Cecilia Otero, Director of American Fellows at POA.
    • Judge Walker and Ms. Otero are open to considering possibilities.


  • Itaipua Subchapter wants to have a Judge come to teach seminar(s) on judicial processes and ethics and to become familiar with PY law system.
  • Judge Walker is willing to work on clarification of agenda and objectives; identifies need from KS Supreme Court, and governments of PY and USA (State Department?).


  • There is interest for travel to KS for observation and experience in crime scene investigation.
    • Judge Walker could be a connection with KBI
    • Jorge’s father, Sebastian is interested in forensic handwriting analysis.  He is an experienced calligrapher.


  • A professional singer from Encarnación wants to improve her skills in a visit to Kansas or having a master come to PY.  We referred them to start by contacting Kathryn Kasper in Asunción.

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