Minutes of the Orthodox Christian Laity Annual and Board Meetings at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Christian Seminary, Yonkers, New York — October 23 – 24, 2014

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oclheader31.pngSource: Orthodox Christian Laity

 

Thursday. October 23rd – Pre-Board Meeting and Dinner

The Pre-Board meeting was convened by President Susan Haikalis at the Refectory in the Germack Building on the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary for those members of the Board, Advisory Board and spouses who had arrived early for the Board meeting on Friday. Executive Director Matsoukas outlined the agenda for the Board meetings, Endowment Committee meeting, the Annual Meeting and subsequent meeting of the Board to elect officers for the coming year, and for the formal presentation by Alexei Krindatch at the Open Meeting and the Assembly of Bishop’s up-date and Q&A with Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Michael, that are scheduled for Friday evening

Friday. October 24th– 1st Board of Director’s Meeting

The Board meeting convened at 9:30 A.M. at the Board Room of the Rangos Building on the campus of the Seminary. Present at the meeting were, Board and Advisory Board Members: Archbishop Nathaniel, Souvall, Kartalis, Peter and Susan Haikalis, Karcazes, Xeros, Petkas, Pontikes, Peter Zarras, Ellen Pantazis and Executive Director Matsoukas. The Board was welcomed to the Seminary by The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor and CEO, who gave an inspiring and interesting report of the history and brief “State of the Seminary” report, answering questions from members of the board.

The opening prayer was offered by Archbishop Nathaniel. President Susan Haikalis called the meeting to order and after asking if anyone had any items they wished to add to the agenda, proceeded through each item of the Agenda.

On motion made by Pontikes, seconded by Kartalis and unanimously carried, the minutes of the Board meeting in Fairlawn/Akron, Ohio were approved. The financial reports were distributed, discussed and approved. The budget was discussed. Peter Petkas and Chris Xeros reported on Open Forum with Bishops at the Dallas Assembly in September. They reported that the turn-out was poor, and that the consensus seemed to be more towards “pastoral” unity than “administrative” unity.

Executive Director Matsoukas gave his Report, a copy of which is attached to and made a part of these minutes and reported on the efforts to bring Fr, Nathaniel to meet (informally) with our board members at this meeting. A broad ranging discussion followed covering the situation confronting OCF’s apparent “dysfunction.” Mr. Matsoukas reported on OCF’s difficulties in keeping Executive Directors and its recent elimination of its Board. The OCF is an “approved ministry” of the Assembly of Bishop. Bishop Gregory has been appointed to oversee OCF and Bishop Thomas heads the Youth Committee. OCF has reportedly applied for a $1Million grant from Leadership 100, whose Executive Director is Paulette Poulos and who Grant Chairman is Mr. Sitalides.

Following a lengthy discussion, on motion by Mr. Kartalis, seconded by Mr. Pontikes the board approved a donation to St. Vladimir’s of $1,500 for hosting our Annual Meeting. The vote in favor was unanimous. Mr. Xeros announced that he would match the $1,500.

President Haikalis gave her report, thanking the Executive Director and the members of the Executive Committee and entire board for their support. Ellen Pantazis reported on fundraising ideas such as sponsoring a “theme” cruise for members and supporters of OCL featuring well-known speakers who would attract sufficient numbers of individuals to raise sufficient funds to justify the effort. Generally, the cruise line will offer one free cabin (for speakers) for every sixteen (16) cabins sold. The discussion that followed indicated that in order to attract sufficient numbers it would make sense to approach other Orthodox groups that might have similar interests to “co-sponsor” such a cruise, such as OCMC, OCF FOCUS, etc. Ellen suggested that a 5-day cruise is probably optimal for this kind of cruise. The board should decide whether sponsoring such an event should be approached as a fund-raising vehicle or as a PR vehicle to bring attention to OCL and its goals of Administrative Unity and Transparency and Accountability in Church Governance. Emphasizing OCL’s mission and goals might preclude co-sponsorship by other groups.

Mr. Kartalis reported on the status of the Endowment Fund and the loan that OCL has taken from the Fund. He reported that the outstanding balance of the loan is $35,500 and that a number of donations have recently been received which he would like to have designated as being applied to the repayment of the loan. One donation was $15,000 from Andy Andrikopoulos. Another was $2,000 from Peter Marudas and $1,000 from George Matsoukas to be designated for the Endowment Account to reduce the loan debt. On motion duly made, seconded the board authorized the transfer of $18,000 from OCL’s operating account to the OCL endowment account to reduce OCL’s obligation to the Endowment from $35,500 to $17,500.

On motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted, the Board meeting of OCL was adjourned temporarily in order for the OCL Endowment Committee to meet and deliver its report. Mr. Haikalis announced that with his transfer from the OCL Board to the Advisory Board he had to be replaced as a member of the Endowment. The performance of the Endowment Account under Mr. Economopoulos at Raymond James was reviewed and approved. Although the Endowment Board had approved an allocation of up to 60% in equities, the account was currently invested 47% in equities, 42% in fixed income and 10% in cash. Mr. Kartalis was elected president, Peter Petkas, Bill Souvall, VP’s, George Karcazes, Secretary and Jim Koulogeorge (to act as Treasurer) were also elected, all being Past Presidents of OCL. The meeting of the Endowment Committee having concluded, on motion made, seconded and carried the Board meeting resumed.

Executive Director Matsoukas announced that preliminary arrangements are underway for the winter meeting of the Board to be held at OCMC’s Center in St. Augustine, Florida The board approved of the location and authorized the Executive Director and Board Officers to finalize the date and details of the meeting. A discussion ensued about coordinating a possible Project Mexico volunteer mission with next October’s Annual Meeting at Archbishop Nathaniel’s Holy Resurrection Monastery in nearby Temecula, CA.

On motion made, seconded and unanimously carried the Board meeting was again interrupted and the Annual Meeting of Members was convened. The Executive Director announced that sufficient proxies having been received, a quorum was present to conduct the meeting for the election of the Board, and that sufficient Board members were present for the election of officers. The Executive Director reported on contacts he has had with various Board and Advisory Board members and reviewed the dates when Board members terms are ending and the attendance and contributions (either financial or other) of members. After a discussion, and upon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, the following actions were approved:

  1. Peter Zarras was elected to the Board of OCL, transferring from his position on the Advisory Board.
  2. Timothy B. Cremeens, Sonja Anderson, Stacy Sennott and Alin Voicu-Comendant were elected to the Advisory Board in order to afford them (and our board) an opportunity to get to know each other and decide if they (and the board) wish to have them join the Board.
  3. All other incumbent Board and Advisory Board members were re-elected.

Upon motion, made, seconded and carried, the Annual Meeting was adjourned and the meeting of the Board was called back into order.

Upon motion made, seconded and carried, the following officers were elected for the coming year:

George Pontikes – President
Andrew Kartalis – Vice President
William Souvall – Vice President
Peter Petkas – Vice President
George Karcazes – Co-Treasurer
George Pontikes – Co-Treasurer
Roy Snyder        –  Secretary

Upon Motion, made seconded and unanimously adopted the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,                                                          Approved,

George D. Karcazes, Secretary                                   George Pontikes, President

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