On June 7, 2018 the North County Chapter of the San Diego World Affairs Council held its Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon at the Bernardo Heights Country Club.
The overwhelming consensus of the attendees was that the hard work of members Margot Laue, Bob Ning, Claudia Spencer and Gloria Sherman under the talented direction of President Tom Reeve had created an excellent experience for all – a delicious lunch in elegant surroundings and the opportunity to hear a stimulating lecture in a convivial environment.
The occasion began with an outstanding presentation by Ambassador (ret) Leslie Ann Bassett. She brought to the talk her broad experience from having held posts in Israel, El Salvador, South Africa, Nicaragua, Colombia, Botswana, and South Korea, as well as Washington, D. C. prior to her appointment as Ambassador to Paraguay.
She combined her insights from this unique career with excellent public speaking skills in her presentation which was called “Tio Sam in the Looking Glass: How Latin America Sees the U.S.”.
Her emphasis was upon how we in the U.S. often look at Latin America’s issues and challenges in terms of their impact on the U.S. even though the current reality is that the nations of the region are increasingly independent, assertive and effective global players who have broadened their alliances, trade relationships and allegiances. For example, recent polling by the Pew Research Center shows China is more popular than the U.S. in key Latin American nations like Mexico, Chile, Peru and Argentina.
Understanding how Latin America sees the U.S. is critical to our security and economic well-being – and thus an excellent choice for a presentation at our Annual Meeting.
Next, the Meeting segued to the delicious lunch and the chance to explore the reactions of the people around the table to the talk – a very pleasant combination!
Then, the Meeting turned to Business.
Tom Reeve, the President of the Board, began the discussion by pointing out that the successful operation of NCC depends almost completely upon the willingness of our members to volunteer their time and then he individually recognized all the Committee members whose volunteer work was so valuable over the past year.
In addition to the normal business matters, there were two items of special note.
First, was the presentation of Outstanding Service Awards to several longstanding members who had made valuable and essential contributions to NCC.
To Jim Young for his 14 years of excellent work at structuring, writing, publishing and distributing the monthly NCC Newsletter.
And to Len Williams whose contributions in a variety of roles during his many years as an active Board Member have been essential for the evolution of NCC into the organization it is today. Unfortunately Len was unable to attend the Luncheon.
Second, was the presentation by Pat Reeve, the Chair of the Nominating Committee, of the Committee’s recommendations for five new Board Members for the 2018-2020 term. The recommendations were approved unanimously by the audience.
The new members then joined Pat (far right) on the stage. From left to right, they are Cliff Reed, Dr. Alan Lasnover, Mary Agne, and Dale Feine. Tibor Varga, the fifth new Board member, could not attend the luncheon.
Following this vote, there was a Motion from the floor that Cy Chadley be added to the Board Membership for the 2018-2020 term. A vote was held and the motion was approved. Cy was not present because he was out of town.
Finally, from the floor a Motion was made to thank Tom Reeve heartily for the excellent job he had done in his role as President during the 2017-2018 term. The spontaneous applause made it impossible to have a formal vote!!