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Meeting and Making Friends at the Annual Meeting

June 15, 2010

By Jeanne Betsock Stillman

UNA-USA chapter members attend the annual meeting of the Council of Chapters and Divisions to share stories of who is doing what, to  learn from each other and to get updates from panelists in the substantive areas that matter to us all.  All get great uplift from seeing old friends and meeting new ones; the 2010 meeting was especially important because of forthcoming changes.

Thirty-six people came from California; Alabama,  Washington State, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Illinois and Utah were represented–and many others.  Many YPIC members came – Craig on a motorcycle from New York!   Over a dozen from the Southern NYS Division participated, including Robert Klein, representing Lions Club International on the Council of Organizations.     Our Mid-Atlantic Meeting — which included Jeff Laurenti and John Vincent of Princeton/Trenton — confirmed that we will hold a 3rd annual Mid-Atlantic Conference in early 2011 and will feature youth in its planning and on its panels.

Meeting participants are passionate and knowledgeable about UNA, about their communities, and about the substantive work done by the UN.   It was clear that we are proud of our grassroots work in educating about the UN, and look forward to meetings on Capitol Hill.

Ed Elmendorf, Larry Levine and Alma Morrison and several others have very capably led UNA’s work in negotiations with the UN Foundation over the past months, with each stepping into new roles and responsibilities. 

Peter Yeo, UNF VP for Public Policy,  Michael Beard, Director of the Better World Campaign and Reid Detchon, UNF VP for Energy and Climate Change,  gave a “face” to the UN Foundation; Peter and Mike patiently answered questions – some over and over again – as we absorbed the details of what change might mean.  At a plenary session we were asked who knew Gillian Sorensen of the UN Foundation – dozens of hands rose along with a cheer.  Gillian has criss-crossed the US many times bringing her very positive message about the UN and UN-US relations to the country. 

Congratulations to all for a smooth, exciting meeting.

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