2016 NSAL Annual Meeting: Minutes of the General Session


2016 National Society of Arts and Letters

Annual Meeting  Phoenix, AZ,  Minutes of the General Session

Thursday, May 19, 2016 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


President Dorothy Lincoln-Smith (Greater Arizona) called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.

Words of Inspiration – Pat Davis (Virginia/North Carolina)

Welcome from Meeting Chair – Anne White (Greater Arizona)

Welcome from Host Chapter President and Session Registrar – Christy Welty (Greater Arizona). There are 55 members present and 50 guests for a total of 105 attendees at meeting.

Keynote Speaker: Michael Barnard, Producing Artistic Director, Phoenix Theatre

 Report of Bylaws and Policy and Procedures Committee – Jeanne Zarucchi (Saint Louis) Bylaws Chair, Jeanne Zarucchi, reported on the Committee’s activities during the preceding year. A proposal to add membership oversight to the First Vice President’s duties was voted on electronically and passed by the Board; another proposal to increase fees was not passed by the Board. New action items were then presented to the Board, as changes to the Policy and Procedures under the heading “Fees, Dues and Finance (Bylaws, Article XIII).” A vote was called for adding $10 to the initiation fee for new members. It passed. A vote was called for adding $10 to annual fees for all members. It passed. A vote was called for charging an annual membership fee of $10 for student members. It passed.

The following proposed Bylaws amendments were proposed by the Bylaws Committee, discussion followed and then they were voted on at the General Session:




Section 2. Classification

Change: Add a new section:

Student Members

  1. Students age 14-18 are eligible for membership during their tenure in a chapter- affiliated high school program/project.
  2. May not vote or hold office in the chapter and do not pay initiation fee.

Amendment was approved.




Section 4. Election to Membership

Change: Add a new section:

  1. Student Members
  2. A chapter may extend an invitation for membership to a student participating in

an affiliated program/project.

  1. Student members shall pay dues, but shall not pay an initiation fee.

Amendment was approved.




Section 1.   Initiation Fee

Change: Clarify specific categories of membership which require an initiation fee:

An initiation fee is due and payable upon becoming a member for those member categories which require an initiation fee, i.e., Active, Associate, Life, Affiliate, Members-at-Large. Diplomatic, Associate Award, Honorary, and Student members shall not pay an initiation fee.

Amendment was approved.




Section 2. Chapters

Change: This removes the requirement for chapters to have a review every seven years.

  1. Good Standing

To maintain good standing, a chapter must: (…)

  1. Update bylaws in accordance with amendments made by National.

Amendment was approved.




Section 2. Qualifications

Change: The Amendment was proposed to the Bylaws Committee by Alyce Erickson (Florida East Coast) and seconded by Carey Wall (Greater Arizona) as necessary for the Nominating Committee to proceed. Size of Board is significantly smaller, so it should be added that Chapter Presidents have sufficient experience to serve as an Executive Officer.

  1. A candidate for the office of Second Vice-President shall have served on the National Board of Directors for at least two years, or shall have served a complete term as Chapter President at the time of nomination.

Amendment was approved.




Section 3, Term of Office

Change: Six-year gap will prevent national officers from ever serving again in an office                     they have previously held and will increase the pool of qualified candidates.

  1. Elected officers other than the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer may serve only one term in the same office within a six-year period. The Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer may serve two consecutive terms, but this may not be repeated with a six-year period.

Amendment was approved.




Section 1, Amendment

Change: It is currently impossible to make any change to the Bylaws except at an Annual Meeting. A process has been approved for amending the Policy and Procedures by e-mail vote of the National board. This proposal would allow the Bylaws to be amended by means of electronic mail and US post.

Amendment was defeated by vote of 31 yes, 17 no. Needed 2/3 vote to pass.


Nominating Committee Report – Alyce Erickson (Florida East Coast): The slate of officers proposed by the Nominating Committee is as follows:

President – Judy Park (Central Illinois)

1st Vice President – Anne Lauder (Clearwater/Tampa Bay)

2nd Vice President – Margaret Johnson (Chautauqua)

Recording Secretary – Kathy Fulstone (Saint Louis) (Absent)

Treasurer – The Honorable Kathleen Anderson (El Paso) (Absent)

Assistant Treasurer – Dr. Carol Miller (El Paso) (Absent)

Meeting attendees who were delegates authorized to vote were given colored cards as they arrived at the meeting. Only those holding colored cards were given ballots.


Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, Doni Lystra (Clearwater/Tampa Bay), and the committee members, Vi Steinmeyer (Saint Louis Chapter) and Judy Asselta (Florida East Coast), along with Brian Edwards, Chair for Marketing and Public Relations (Florida East Coast), have a plan to handle two of the three items the membership felt should be addressed at this Annual Meeting – formulate a marketing and public relations plan and improve communication, such as develop a Blog (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube). They received Board of Directors’ approval to select a PR firm to work with for one year at up to $30,00 to see if we can see some direct results. It will be possible to renew the contract with the firm at the end of the first year, if we believe we should. The firm being seriously considered is ImMEDIAcy, which is run by Cheryl Crowley and has been used by Florida East Coast for the past two years, successfully. The Board agreed to change the Budget to set aside $30,000 for PR and the Treasurer will move funds so this can be done. The Marketing and Public Relations Committee will go forward putting this plan to work.

Treasurer’s Reports:

            Treasurer, Anne Lauder (Clearwater/Tampa Bay), will present an accurate year-end report after May 31, but as of May 7, 2016, there was $59,561.54 in the Regions Checking Account, $15,016.48 as of April 27 in the Regions Money Market Account, and as of March 31, there was $142,253.75 in the Schwab Investment Account, for a total of $216,831.77. Almost all chapters have paid their dues, but membership is down.

 The Budget for 2016-2017 was explained by Anne Lauder and presented for adoption.  It is a balanced budget totaling proposed Income of $28,000 and proposed Expenses of $28,000.  The proposed budget was approved by the Board. There was a $2000 donation made today for Career Opportunities by Carey Wall and that will be updated in future a budget revision. The budget will be reexamined by the Treasurer to include the allocation of $30,000 for hiring the PR firm. The money can be made available and the new budget will be presented to the Executive Committee and Board shortly.   Judy Park said she would give $1,000 in memory of Reva Shiner and Joan Lincoln.


Nicholson-Nielsen Treasurer, Doni Lystra (Clearwater/Tampa Bay), reported that as of May 1, 2015 the Market Value of the fund was $602,848.76. As of April 30, 2016, the value is $562,514.05. Market Value of Trusts held by The National Society of Arts and Letters totals $1,276,135.63. The Trustees for Nicholson-Nielsen have voted to present $27,000 in prize money this year:  $12,000 First Prize, $7,000 Second Prize, $5,000 Third Prize, and $3,000 Fourth Prize. If the judges decide they need to present an Honorable Mention, it will be a $1,000 Prize which will be taken from Nicholson-Nielsen at that time.


Liaison for Investments, Alan Kennedy (Greater Arizona), reported that the year to date gain in Schwab account has been from $127,798.12 to $142,837.71, an 11.8% increase.   NSAL has 23% invested in Papp Mutual Small Mid-Cap Growth Fund, 68% in Schwab accounts, and 9% in Cash.


Recording Secretary, Carla Jones-Batka (Washington DC) reported that the Minutes of the 2015 General Session held in Saint Louis, MO, on May 27, 2015, had been read and corrected and would be filed.


Denna Shiben (Clearwater/Tampa Bay), Career Opportunities Chair, reported that those eligible for additional help from NSAL were the First, Second, and Third Place winners of the Career Award competitions for the past 3 years. Five people responded last year. At the Board of Directors’ Meeting yesterday, they voted to extend the offer for additional help to the first four winners of the Career Award Competition, since we are awarding four prize awards each year. She will include those winners in the letter she sends out this year.


Insignia Chair, Ruth Ann Proudfoot (Clearwater/Tampa Bay) announced she had pins with her. The cost is: President’s pin – $60; Member’s Pin – $40; Past-President’s bar only – $20.


Historian, Sarah Moore (Kentucky), reported the University of Kentucky will require a signed deed of gift before accepting any more articles for the archives. Three members volunteered to go to the U. of Kentucky to go through the files: Charles Altman, Carl Altstetter, and Judy Park. The collection will remain available to anyone at any time. A list of appropriate items to include in the archives follows may be obtained by contacting the Historian.


Election Chair Sarah Moore (Kentucky) counted the votes and the results were announced. The nominated officers were all elected to office for the 2016-2018 two-year term of office.


Installation of Officers was performed by Dorothy Lincoln-Smith (Greater Arizona).


Incoming President Judy Park (Central Illinois) presented Dorothy Lincoln-Smith with an engraved silver tray as a thank you gift for her service as president from the Executive Officers.


Lunch Break – Presidents’ Luncheon in Atrium II


Speaker: Harry Papp, CFA, Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager, L. Roy Papp & Associates LLC


Chaplain Vi Steinmeyer (Saint Louis) asked Pat Davis (Virginia/North Carolina) to give the In Memoriam Report listing names of members who died since the last meeting in Saint Louis in 2015:

Suzanne Concannon Cassidy (Kentucky) died 10/17/15

Barbara Beittel (Ohio River Valley) died 12/2/16

Reva Shiner (Bloomington) died 1/9/16

Genevieve Roach (Greater Arizona) died 1/16/16

James E. Seidelman (Kentucky) died 1/17/16

John Lee (Ohio River Valley) died 1/27/16

Joan Lincoln (Greater Arizona) died 3/6/16

Marilyn Papp (Greater Arizona) died 3/7/16

Nancyetta Palumbo (Kentucky) died 3/17/16

Hazel T. Bush (Kentucky) died 3/25/16

Barbara Gordon (DC Member-at-Large) 4/12/16

Louise Gerking (Greater Arizona) died 5/2016


Second VP Report on Chapters: Sandy Charles (Saint Louis) reported that the web site is getting attention and she has gotten inquiries about new chapters. New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas and University of Nebraska are working on starting new chapters, either regular or high school chapters.


First VP Report: Judy Park (Central Illinois) reported the Chicago Chapter is just about ready to be established and she’s been working on this at least two years. The Cal-Arts scholarship recipient, Dana Ljubicic, will complete her four years this year so a new award recipient will be selected for next year by California Institute of the Arts. A thank you letter was sent by our recipient.


President’s Report: Dorothy Lincoln-Smith (Greater Arizona) announced that many others have made things happen this year. She is pleased that NSAL will be hiring a public relations firm on a one-year trial and hopes this proves to be as vital to the organization as she believes it will be. She has enjoyed visiting all the chapters during her two-year term. One of her favorite quotes fits the way she believes we of NSAL do our job. Albert Einstein said “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” She intends to keep on having fun!


The Record and Annual Report Editor, Fran Goldstein (Greater Arizona), was not present but was acknowledged for presenting a fine 2015 Annual Report as published on the web site.


Co-Chair, Fund 75, Alicia Klaffky (Washington DC), gave a progress report.  A Donors Honor Roll is on pages 26 & 27 of the Annual Meeting Book.  In 2014, $16,400 was raised. In 2015, $10,575 was raised. The total for 2014-2016 is $26,975. Our goal is to have raised $75,000. by 2019-NSAL’s 75th Anniversary.  Some of the proceeds of this fund were used to bring Winston Scholarship Recipients to Phoenix and for the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio winners costs.


Chair Winston Scholarship for Voice, Tom Jones (Greater Arizona), reported 15 chapters sent in a total of 24 applicants this year. The awardee receiving the largest scholarship was Michael Pandolfo from the Kentucky. He reported that last year’s scholarship awardee, Amy Broadbent, who performed in St. Louis, has been accepted as a soloist in U.S. Navy Sea Chanters and will soon begin basic training.


At the Board Meeting, The Dorothy Lincoln-Smith Classical Voice Award was announced by Tom Jones (Greater Arizona). A $10,000 award will be donated as prize money each year for the next 8 years ($80,000 total gift) to winners of a classical voice competition for 23 through 31-year-old contestants. Arlyn Brewster (Greater Arizona) said that details are being worked out and guidelines and rules will be sent to each chapter. The main distinction is the age of the applicants, no U.S. citizenship is required, and the money is given directly to the winner. Dorothy Lincoln-Smith will chair the committee. Maximum awarded to an applicant will be $5000. Hopefully this competition can be set up to work with Winston Voice Scholarship selection and the same judges can be used.


Carey Wall (Greater Arizona), Chair, reported three application statements and writing samples were sent to her from the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio Selection Committee. The NSAL committee: Carey; Joy Thornton-Walter (Central Illinois), and Vi Steinmeyer (Saint Louis), chose to send Michelle Chen to the summer program this year.


Membership Directory, Nancy Morrow, Editor, advised anyone having trouble getting into the Members Only section of the web site, please call or e-mail her and she will provide necessary information.


NSAL High School Pilot Program was presented by Alyce Erickson (Florida East Coast). She explained what Florida East Coast had done to get the High School chapter started and how it had been a plus/plus for everyone.  In a handout Alyce proposed guidelines for establishing a student component within a chapter of NSAL and each chapter was encouraged to start a High School program.


Jeanne Tassé (Ohio River Valley) announced an updated winners book was available for purchase at the check-in desk for $2.00.


Come to Florida East Coast in Boca Raton, FL, for 2017 Annual Meeting May 29-June 3, 2017!


Meeting was adjourned at 3:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Carla Jones-Batka, Recording Secretary

Reviewed by a committee of 3: Carey Wall, Sarah Moore, and Denna Shiben.

Copyright © 2016 by NSAL Washington Chapter.