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.

December 6th, 2008 Quarterly Meeting Minutes


John Poertner called the meeting to order at 9:30. All board members were present plus Nan Wilson ex-officio and guests. John introduced Ben Weems who was the coordinator from 2982-1988. Many guests were present including Robert and Lois Kreider, Hugo Boschmann, Howard Snider, Justine Neufeld, and Crystal Somkueza (Kansas Paraguay Youth Ambassador Coordinator for Newton High School).

The minutes of the last meeting were approved as corrected.

Dave Schafer gave the Treasurer’s report. We have $8,510.21 in the general fund. A motion was approved to ask the Executive Committee to look at accounts with no activity and consider closing them and putting the money in a special grants fund. Their ideas are to be presented at the next meeting.


John gave the President’s report. The Chaco Water Project didn’t happen. Richard Porter said his gift could be used any way. John has not heard back from the church. Alice’s son was asked for his legal opinion about the directer and board member insurance and it will be referred to the Executive Committee for decision. John Neuman came to the annual meeting last year and was interested in a Paraguay trip. He’s very busy right now but thinks the Brown and Gold Organization might be interested. He met with the head of their travel committee. They are a group of people 55 and older who like to travel and use their own travel agency thru Johnson County Community College. They have over 4500 members. John suggested considering a trip in 2010.

He next discussed the travelers on POA grants. Steve Penner , M.D., gave an interesting account of his trip and involvement with the family practice residents in Paraguay. Lillian Rodriguez had requested a small grant for an accompanist thru Arlo Kasper. The small grants committee has not seen the request. It was approved with the condition that the small grants committee approve. (Klemm/Newton). Arla will add the form for grants to the e-mail page.

Liliam Rodriguez, Arla Kasper, Victor (Liliam's Husband)

Donna Schenck-Hamlin requested travel expenses to Paraguay.It was approved.(Schafer/Sagehorn). The catalog Archives project is finally moving. Donna and her assistant plus one other have been approved for access to the portion of the documents on disappearing citizens of Paraguay(CDyA) that have been discovered.

Committee Reports

The nominating committee presented a slate of officiers and board members for the next meeting. The following will serve until March 2010.

President – John Poertner

Director – Bob Carlson

Director- Kim Kreicker

Director – Jay Newton

The following nominations are submitted for election in March 2009

Vice-:President (2 yr. term)- Steve Richards

Secretary (1 yr. term )-Nan Porter

Treasurer (2 yr. Term)-Dave Schafer

Director (2r. Term)-Mary Bradshaw

Director(2 yr. term)-Bob Klemm

Director (2yr.)-Alice Sagehorn

Director (2 yr. term) Norm Schlesner

Director ( 1 yr. term)-Merrill Raber submitted by Gene Ernst, Charley Stansifer, Nan Wilson

Education Committee

Arla Jones requested a small grant for the 10 Youth Ambassadors . It was decided to reimburse for travel expensews for students and friends from airport to hosts.

(Sagehorn/Schafer). They will be here from Feb.25th – March 7th. A motion was approved to give 2 scholarships of $600 each from the private donation

fund. (Kreicker/Jones). Alice Sagehorn reported on the teacher/student exchanges. There will be 3 teachers here, 2 at Pittsberg and one to Frontenac.

Submitted by Edith Black, Kim Kreicker, Arla Jones,


Bob Klemm reported that there are 125 members, with 19 new members. He passed out copies of the new directory.

Reach Out- Kim Kreicker, Arla Jones , Bob Klemm

The new brochure was passed around. It was approved with changes in categories: . (Klemm/Schafer). The decisions on cost , color, black and white will be made by the executive committee. Arla said the web site had 9000 hits this year.

Emergency Preparedness- Steve Richards, Lorraine Richards

The shipping container has arrived! It is at the Wichita Fire Dept. training ground. Steve has been working with Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell.

Next steps include moving equipment to the container, cultivating additional donations, obtaining supplies for storage, and getting more committee

involvement from emergency service personnel and KPP members and friends. Lorraine reported on the Georgia Pernambuco Partners. She traveled to Recife, Brazil to help Georgia connect with Recife emergency preparedness people. She consulted as a followup to two American Fellowships. There is a request for books to start a library at the fire department in Petrolina, Brazil. Lorraine is helping connect Chief Blackwell and his books to the people in Georgia.

Natural Resources – Bob Klemm

Bob reported on the good news fir the zoo. They are putting a perimeter fence around the zoo,have an office for maria, plus have money for other necessary things. Bob will go this summer to see how things are working out.

Kim Kreicker reported that the newsletter will go out in early January. A wreath was donated to Shelter Inc. in Lawrence for auction as a fund raiser for the Shelter, Inc.

Old Business

The annual meeting will be in April in Lawrence. Melissa Birch has been trying to geet Borda but doesn’t know yet when and if he can come which may determine the date.

New Business

Alice discussed the Villarrica sister City project .

Health – Merrill Raber

Merrill introduced the parents of Crystal who lived in Paraguay. Also he introduced Hugo and Mary Ann Boschmann (Faith and Light Bookstore), Lois Freisen,

and Liz Reid who works for the Mennonite Central Committee. He then introduced our speaker Dr. Robert Kreider. Dr. Kreider discussed the history of the Mennonites especially in South America.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:20 and we departed for a tour of the museum.

Respectfully submitted

Nan Porter

September 6, 2008 Quarterly Meeting Minutes

Minutes for  September 6, 2008

The quarterly meeting of the KPP Board of Directors was held September 6, 2008, at Pittsburg (Kansas) State University. The meeting was called to order by John Poertner, President, at 9:20am with the following board members present: Bob Carlson, Bob Klemm, Nan Porter, Jay Newton, Marcia Newton, John Poertner, Arla Jones, Kim Kreicker, and Alice Sagehorn. Alice introduced guests Benvenidos Cortez, Dean and Chair of the Economics Department at PSU, and Jim Triplett,

retired Professor of Biology at PSU.

The minutes of the previous meeting were changed to include the correct rate of 7.45% sales tax due on the art sales. Merrill Raber, friend of KPP, commended the Secretary on the preparation of the minutes. Nan Porter moved and Bob Klemm seconded the motion to accept the minutes as corrected; the vote was favorable.


The Treasurer’s report was presented. Jay moved and Arla seconded the motion to accept the report; the vote was favorable.

President’s Report: John covered details of the Annual Meeting, including Lawrence as a possible meeting site, March 7, 2009, as a tentative date, and the political and/or economic situation in Paraguay as a possible topic. An article about Joseph Stiglitz, former chief World Bank economist and current Columbia Professor of Economics, was distributed. John announced that the Vice-President is in charge of the Annual Meeting.

The focus of the annual fund-raising letter was discussed. Kim moved and Nan seconded that the firefighter cargo container and the scholarship fund be offered as choices for donations; the vote was favorable.

The next meeting of the KPP Board will be December 6, 2008, at the Newton (Kansas) Public Library.

John announced that he had invited the Paraguayan students at PSU to join the Board for lunch at the Pizza Hut.


A draft of the “Guidelines for Hosts and Coordinators” was distributed.

Travelers on POA Grants: It was announced that Dr. Penner has returned from Paraguay, and Merrill is to invite him to the December Board Meeting. Reena Berger, a cultural arts performer, has requested a travel grant that, upon consideration, was denied. Nan moved and Kim seconded for the denial; the vote was favorable. Alice abstained. Liliam Rodriguez, the best soprano in Paraguay, is working with Arlo and Kathy Kasper. She will be hosted by Ft. Hays State University sometime in February or March, 2009. Bob Klemm moved and Alice seconded to invite Ms. Rodriguez to entertain at the Annual Meeting; the vote was favorable.

Natural Resources: Bob Klemm announced that, from all indications, the Chaco Water Project is dead in the water, so the $797 donation for that Project needs to be dealt with. Merrill suggested a letter be sent to Mike Dealy and the gentlemen from Kansas State University advising them of the demise of this Project and thanking them for their interest and willingness to help. Nan moved and Jay seconded that the donors of the $797 be notified of the termination of the Project and that their wishes be ascertained for the disposition of their donated funds, i.e., returned or re-directed; the vote was favorable.

Bob announced that he is returning to Paraguay at the request of the manager of the Ascuncion Zoo to help with management issues and medicines for the animals.

Education: Melanie Stuart-Campbell is no longer employed by the Kansas State Department of Education. Alice and Kim will secure a contact person at the Department in order to continue work on the Visiting Teacher from Paraguay in Kansas Program.

Steve announced that Mary Bradshaw still wants to invite the Paraguayan students to Newton. Arla announced that the Youth Ambassador Program is seeking host families. John raised concerns about the Board’s liability for student exchanges. Jay requested a written legal opinion which Alice volunteered her son to provide. Kim and Steve will work out the details of any student exchanges.

Edith Black, announced that the scholarship application form is updated and has been sent out and that the current scholarship recipients are doing well. Merrill suggested having Matt Hoge and Jazmin Ramirez present reports at the Annual Meeting.

Cultural Arts: Merrill reported that the Kansas Art to Paraguay project is floundering because KPP continues to need a commitment from Paraguay documenting details such as place, security, etc. for the exhibit. Merrill will ask Arlo to lead this project.

Civil Society: The Supreme Court of Paraguay is housing the cataloged digitized records of the Archives of Terror documents.

International Trade: John indicated that he would like to meet Fernando Torrez, a POA fellow from Topeka, Kansas.

Agriculture: Marcie Spaw, Kansas State University, and the Farmer to Farmer Community Gardening project was referred to Dave Schafer.

Other Items: Lorraine Richards, friend of KPP, reported 756 volunteer hours as a follow up on the firefighters from Brazil. John announced that the KPP website will serve as both “office” and archives for the organization. Kim will work on the KPP facebook.


The meeting was adjourned for lunch with the Paraguayan students at PSU at the Pizza Hut.


Respectfully submitted,

Marcia L. Newton, Secretary Pro Tem

June 7, 2009 Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes
June 7, 2008

The quarterly meeting of the KPP Board of Directors was held June 7, 2008, at the Dairy Barn on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan, Kansas. The meeting was called to order by John Poertner, President, at 9:30am with the following Board members present: Bob Klemm, Jay Newton, Dave Schafer, and Norm Schlesener.

President John announced that Marcia Newton had agreed to assume the responsibilities of Secretary. Bill Richter volunteered to take minutes pending the arrival of the Newtons.

While waiting for a quorum, several announcements were made.
(1) Lorraine Richards reported that Partners of the Americas had contacted KPP to place two Brazilian firefighters on a POA fellowship visit. Anderson Silva and Moacir Oliveira arrived in mid-April and visited numerous Emergency Management Offices and fire departments during the following two months, including Newton, Wichita, Hutchinson, Harvey County, Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, and Wakarusa. Newspaper articles concerning their visit were passed around.
(2) E-mail addresses need to be sent to President John, Bob Klemm (membership roster), and Arla Jones (KPP listserve).
(3) Merrill Raber reported on a Request for Application (RFA) for collaborative relationships with Paraguay to train medical professionals. University of Kansas School of Medicine (UKSM) relayed the RFA to their Wichita branch. It was not possible to meet the original application deadline. The competition is being re-opened, and UKSM is considering submitting an application.
(4) Kansas-Paraguay trips including some traveling on Partners of the Americas grants were: (a) A high school principal from Lawrence is leading a group to Paraguay; (b) David Schafer announced that some Kansas State University veterinary medicine students are in Paraguay presently; (c) President John announced that Pittsburg State University pianist Reena Berger proposes to travel to Paraguay in November/December of the current year. The involvement of the Comite Paraguay-Kansas (CPK) is still needed. John raised the issue of the lack of involvement in KPP by some of those persons receiving travel grants in the past. There was some discussion of how travel grant recipients may be encouraged to be members of and to maintain active involvement in KPP.

There were no minutes from the last Board meeting.

Treasurer Dave announced that he has expense vouchers available for those persons requesting reimbursement. He presented a financial report for the period ending May 31, 2008. Reinhild Janzen has requested mileage reimbursement to and from Pittsburg, Kansas for her presentation on Paraguayan art. Bob moved to reimburse her at the IRS charitable rate. Norm Schlesener seconded the motion, and the vote was favorable.

Cultural Arts: President John announced that 7.43% sales tax is due on the art sales. Jay Newton moved that the artist pay sales tax on the asking price, that the Board retain any differences between the asking prices and the purchase prices as donations, and that the Board pay the sales tax due on the donations. Dave seconded the motion, and the vote was favorable. A letter requesting some art for a Paraguayan Art Show in 2009 was received from the Sandzen Gallery in McPherson, Kansas. President John now owns the unsold craft items which didn’t sell because they were priced too highly. Reinhild has the inventory list of the items. A letter is to be written regarding the disposition of these items, whether to return or to lower the price.

Education: Edith Black announced that there were three strong candidates for KPP scholarships: Matt Hoge, Jazmin Ramirez, and Cesar Caballero. Bob moved that $1200 be awarded to Matt Hoge and that Sara McReynolds be recommended for the Nelson de Barrios scholarship at Kansas State University. CPK recommended Cesar Caballero for the Nelson de Barrios Scholarship, and the Board acquiesced to CPK’s recommendation. Norm seconded the motion, and the vote was favorable. Mary Bradshaw announced her desire to conduct a Debate Camp for Paraguayan youth in Newton, Kansas. She envisions a KPP project approved jointly by both KPP and CPK. Nan Wilson sought clarification of Stael Rufaneli’s role as volunteer or businesswoman.

Civil Society: A Pilot Project to make available Archives of Terror documents was presented. The microfilmed documents have been digitized and are awaiting cataloging for accessibility by the library departments of George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas. Bob moved that a letter of Board support for the project be sent. Jay seconded, and the vote was favorable.

Reach Out: By presidential edict, this committee now includes membership. The current task is to develop new brochures. Suggestions included using the logo and printing on legal size paper. The committee is to send a draft to the Board.

Melanie Stuart-Campbell presented an overview of the Visiting Teacher from Paraguay in Kansas Program. She suggested KPP partner with Washburn University. Much discussion ensued, with the consensus being a great deal more information is needed to address the Board’s questions and concerns. She is to draft an application to present to the Board at its next meeting, September 6.

The meeting was adjourned to enjoy a guided tour of the Konza Prairie.

Respectfully submitted,

Marcia L. Newton,

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