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Behind the Scenes: July 2021

We are again providing this brief and unofficial summary of the outcome of our most recent board meeting so our broader membership is aware of our deliberations. Official minutes (once approved by the Board) are available upon request. 

The Board of Directors of the European American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cincinnati held its third quarter meeting via Microsoft Teams™ on Thursday, July 22nd

Board President Dominic Franchini opened the meeting by reminding board members of some of the short- and long-term goals agreed to in previous meetings, noting that our unified approach will help ensure our success.  Board Secretary Jim Keller oversaw the approval of minutes from the Board’s April 22 meeting, then Board Treasurer Chris Flaig reviewed highlights of our June financial report (including our improved cash position from the year prior.  Flaig thanked Board Members Mike Dektas and Ryan Reckman for agreeing to serve on our Finance Committee and highlighted some of the important work ahead (including a complete revamp of the EACC budget for the remainder of 2021). He noted that we had received a clean audit of our 2020 finances; the Finance Committee would also work to ensure consistent audit, tax, and other procedures to ensure the best use of the Board’s time.

Board President Franchini explained our goals to rebalance our membership between ‘Service Providers’ and ‘Operating Companies,’ and to ensure that balance was also reflected on our Board of Directors so that our strategic direction best served our entire membership. He noted that adjustments to our membership structure were in part intended to facilitate this shift, but that our Code of Regulations gives us some flexibility in striking the right balance. He asked board members to consider carefully their intent (and their organization’s financial commitment to the EACC) for 2022, because we will review a proposed 2022 slate of Directors at our next board meeting in October and present it at the Annual General Meeting in November. One member asked how ‘multi-chapter’ or ‘transatlantic’ memberships figured into these calculations. Cincinnati is clearly driving this process, and several members are working with Executive Director Todd Schwartz to sharpen our offering and keep this ball moving forward. 

Board Vice President Nelly Bonniol and Board Member Antonio Pagano outlined plans for an EACC-led trip to Italy in June of 2022 that would strike the right balance between business and enjoyment. Business elements would include sessions for Italian firms looking to do business with or invest in the U.S. (and vice-versa) as well as meeting with potential Founding Members of an EACC chapter in Italy. There will also be time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy while connecting with fellow EACC members. 15 to 22 individuals are expected to travel and invitations will be extended in priority of EACC membership level. The board approved a motion to encourage the committee to proceed with planning.

Finally, Executive Director Todd Schwartz highlighted a number of major events on the schedule for the fall, including:

  • our Conference (Supply Chains, Logistics and Transatlantic Trade) and Annual Gala Dinner (with Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker Her Excellency Emily Haber, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States) on September 16
  • our EACC TRANSFORM: A Global Manufacturing Symposium for Industry Leaders set for October 13 at the Modula factory in Franklin, Ohio; and
  • the Beaujolais Nouveau Première on November 18 (preceded by the EACC’s Annual General Meeting.
Dominic Franchini noted that this aggressive program schedule may require additional staff time, and the board approved a motion granting the Officers and Executive Committee flexibility in managing those expenses.

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