Because of the restrictions associated with the Coronavirus pandemic, we again were not able to have our traditional Annual Meeting together with an enjoyable lunch at a nearby Country Club. Instead we had our 2021 Annual Meeting online on October 21st and although, like the 2020 Annual Meeting, it lacked the traditional convivialty it was still very valuable.
The meeting began with an entertaining and educational talk by Vice Admiral Charles W. Martoglio, U.S. Navy (ret.) titled, “China and America… Cooperation, Competition, Confrontation… or Conflict?” Following up on last year’s look at how accelerating change is impacting America’s security, Admiral Martoglio focused on how the US – Chinese relationship got to where it is today, the relationship’s tipping points, and what the future may portend for the U.S., China and the world. A former director for Operations at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and a national-level strategic and operational planner, he has also commanded an Aegis destroyer, a destroyer squadron, and the Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier Strike Group. He now teaches grand strategy and defense policy at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.
After the presentation, the meeting sequed into the details of the Annual Meeting. Bill Davison began by summarizing his very positive impressions of the NCC during the past year which he attributed to the hard work of so many of its members. He then turned the meeting over to the various Committee Chairs.
Bill Crooks, NCC’s Treasurer, described the financial data and concluded that NCC’s Finances are a bit better than had been budgeted for with a net increase of $1,215.
Tom Reeve, Bill Crooks and Nancy Bashant then reviewed the fine work done by the Program Committee in organizing such excellent Thursday Morning presentations. They emphatically gave credit to the many other NCC members who had helped to make that possible.
Bob Ning then described the NCC Membership status – NCC currently has 111 members, which is down from the pre-pandemic numbers but still very substantial. Bob ascribed this good result to the fine work of Lew Sherman and the persistent support of the members of both the Membership and Hospitality Committees.
Ray Sutton then spoke about the Newsletter and how his collaboration with the Program Committee had evolved over the past year to the existing level that all Newsletter readers appreciate so much.
Next, Alan Lasnover spoke about Public Relations and the complexities that arise when meetings are online only and his anticipation of the increased breadth of his Public Relations work when in-person meetings resume.
Then, in accordance with the NCC-SDWAC By-Laws, the 2021 NCC Nominating Committee (led by Claudia Spencer with members Bill Crooks, Lauri Heath, Alan Lasnover and Cal Watson) presented their recommendations for the 2021-2023 NCC Board of Directors.
Claudia began by noting that Alfred Grech is retiring from the Board of Directors one year before his two year term expires. She thanked him for his fine work. She then noted that 12 current Directors have agreed that they will continue for the second year of their two year terms. They are: Mary Agne, Farouk Al Nasser, Nancy Bashant, Betty Burt, Alan Lasnover. Martin Mathios, Harold Montgomery, Clifton Reed, Ray Sutton, Tibor Varga, Dominique Batiste and Lew Sherman. Then she explained that the 2 year terms of 8 Directors ended today and the Nominating Committee recommends that they be elected as Directors for the 2021-2023 term. They are Bill Crooks, William R. Davison, Jim Larrimore, Robert Meyer, Robert Ning, Pat Reeve, Tom Reeve and Claudia Spencer. Then she stated that the Nominating Committee had also identified two additional members of NCC that it felt would make valuable contributions if they were elected as Directors. They are Lauri Heath and Gary Kleeman.
With that information communicated, Claudia made a motion to place the eight expiring term Directors and the two new members in nomination for Directors of the North County Chapter of San Diego World Affairs Council for the 2021-2023 term. No other nominations were received from the floor. The motion was approved unanimously so the recommendation was officially accepted and the 2021-2023 NCC Board was officially constituted.
After this was accomplished there was a discussion about how NCC will continue to strive to meet its mission goals despite the pandemic. The emphasis was upon how the Thursday Morning meetings could be changed to a hybrid format, i.e. both in-person and online simultaneously.
On this encouraging note, the Annual Meeting was adjourned.