- PRESIDENT'S LEADERSHIP AWARD -
FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE
JUNE 2018 - MAY 2019
Doris Minikon serves as National Vice President of SFAA and a sponsor in our A2S program and a contributor to our rebuild St. Patrick's fund. Since her election in May 2017, Doris's contributions to the organization has been invaluable. Besides being the principal deputy that assists the president steer the organization in its progressive agenda, Doris has taken the responsibility of directing and coordinating the formation of SFAA's Chapter. She made several visits to Houston in order to assist with the formation of our Southwest Chapter. Her guidance included providing advice on how to form a chapter, reporting on the progress of the organizing phase of the chapter and finally making a formal announcement of the formation of the Southwest Chapter.
Following the successful formation of the Southwest Chapter, Doris immediately turned her attention to the re-constitution of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, formerly Washington DC Metro Chapter. The chapter had been inactive for a while and needed an infusion of energy to get the chapter going. Doris reached out to members who had been active in the past and new members that would bring fresh perspective to the chapter. Under her direction, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter elected a slate of new officers on December 1, 2018. Doris is 2 for 2 in leading the formation of SFAA's chapters. Well Done, Doris!
We congratulate Doris on this honor and say thank you for your Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Varmunyah Sherif serves as Advisor to SFAA-Liberia. We cannot mention SFAA-Liberia without recognizing the role Varmunyah played in establishing the branch in Liberia. Early in the term of this administration, we realized that establishing a branch in Liberia was going to be critical to the success of our projects in Liberia. Getting the branch started was no easy undertaking. The challenges were great and at times discouraging. But Varmunyah soon changed our fortunes.
We reached out to Varmunyah in July 2018 and presented our case. Without hesitation, he immediately went to work. He convened a series of meetings with Saints and Friskies in Monrovia to reconstitute the branch. He reached out to alumni of various generations. Leading a delegation of Saints and Friskies, he met with Archbishop Lewis Zeigler to brief him on significant achievements of SFAA-USA, including a presentation of our proposal to re-build St. Patrick's. He played a critical role in the establishment of the interim leadership for SFAA-Liberia that spawned working committees for fundraising and events planning. Through his leadership, SFAA-Liberia successfully planned and held our first annual benefit dinner in Monrovia on December 21, 2018. This event was followed by our groundbreaking ceremony the next day. In February 2019, SFAA-Liberia ratified their constitution and successfully elected their executive officers and board of directions. None of this would have been possible without Varmunyah. We are indebted to him.
We congratulate Varmunyah on this honor and say thank you for your Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Velma Kiawu Fahnbulleh is the Chair of SFAA’s National Planning Committee and an A2S Sponsor. Since her appoinment, Velma has continuously distinguished herself in this capacity. During the year 2018 – 2019, Velma lead the planning and coordination of our annual Valentine's Day Bash which generated a little over $5,000.00 in in gross revenue. After the Valentine's Day event, Velma turned her attention to our upcoming 25th Annual National Convention that will be held in Washington, DC in May 2019. She negotiated competitive rates for the venue where both our business meeting and dinner will be held. Velma also negotiated below market rate for catering and decorating services.
Velma doesn't just book venues and negotiate great deals. She is directly involved with crafting presentations that will create the perfect ambiance for the dinner and ball. She is working with the caterer to plan a balanced menu that includes an assortment of options for hor d'oeuvres, entrees, vegetables and desserts. that Velma always finds ways for to cut cost while getting us premium services. Last year, I noted that Velma might as well have co-authored the "Art of the Deal" for her skills at negotiating attractive deals for the organization.
The leadership skills that Velma brings to planning our events are immeasurable. She has great instincts that lead to the successful execution of plans laid out for our events.
We congratulate Velma on this honor and say thank you for your Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Juliana Dixon is Chair of our National Finance Committee and an A2S Sponsor and a contributor to the rebuild St. Patrick's fund. In this role, Juliana utilizes her decades of financial accounting experience to implement accounting framework and standards for SFAA. She produces a monthly financial report detailing the organization's revenue and expenses. She also produces an annual report that provides information about the fiscal health of SFAA during the fiscal year leading up to our annual convention. The report includes our income statement, balance sheet, revenue and financial summary. She simplifies complex financial information with use of charts and graphs.
As if tracking and reporting on the financial health of SFAA is not enough, Juliana also helps out with many other tasks when called upon. She serves in a leadership role on the committee responsible for planning our 25th Annual Convention. She reserved the park for our family day in May, and is currently working on the contents and layout of the souvenir program for the dinner and ball. The slideshow that will be presented at the dinner and ball is also her assignment. She is also busy working on this presentation.
We also have regulatory compliance obligations to the IRS. Juliana makes sure we meet one of those critical obligations by filing our tax returns with the IRS. This keeps our 501(c)(3) status active.
Juliana has also taken the initiative to raise funds for our projects. On March 28, 2018, she won McCormick Corporation Community Service Award for her role in Saints Friskies Alumni Association and the positive impact the organization is having in Liberia. With the award, McCormick donated $5000.00 to SFAA's A2S Program. Juliana is solely responsible for a total donation of $7,500.00 from McCormick Corporation to SFAA since March 2018.
We congratulate Juliana on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Leon Mensah is the President of SFAA's Mid-Atlantic Chapter (formerly Washington DC Metro Chapter) and Chair of the Membership Committee. Leon was also a student at St. Patrick's High School at the time it closed in 1996 and a contributor to our rebuild St. Patrick's fund.
Leon's involvement with SFAA began after he attended our 2018 convention in Philadelphia, PA. He contacted our current President and expressed his interest in playing a role in the organization. As a result of his interest, he was appointed Chair of the Membership Committee and eventually elected President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
In both leadership roles, Leon's impact has been immediate and positive. He successfully launched a membership drive that engaged and recruited alumni from the 90s and 2Ks. His membership recruitment initiatives included both an email and digital media campaign. He conducted a Facebook live membership drive that provided useful information to supporters and alumni. The live podcast was viewed by over 2000 people. SFAA now has more members from the 90s and 2Ks than ever before. Leon helped to make this happen.
As if Chairing the membership committee is not enough, Leon was elected President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter in November 2018. He has embraced this role with the same passion and zeal brought to the membership committee. As the Mid-Atlantic Chapter plays its role as host of SFAA's 25th Annual convention, Leon is leading his team in promoting our Silver Jubilee scheduled to be held in Washington, DC in May 2019.
We congratulate Leon on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Jestina Gibson-Gray is a member of the National Planning Committee and an A2S Sponsor. Jestina has been a lifelong supporter of SFAA and joined the ranks of the National Planning Committee in 2018. In this role, Jestina has brought great ideas to make our 25th Annual Convention both fun and informative
Jestina created a theme for our Sunday farewell party called "Throwback Sunday". The idea is for patrons and guests to dress in the fashion of the decade they were in high school. With this idea we expect to see 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2Ks fashion. This will make for an interesting and fun evening. We all remember Bell Bottoms & Afros, Shoulder Pads & Acid Washed Jeans, Pleather, Halter Tops, Gumby Hair Cuts, High Top Fades & Mushroom, Doc Martens & Combat boots. We shall see!
Jestina has also added a first of its kind entertainment to Throwback Sunday: a Karaoke session. Yes, you heard right. Folks will get a chance to show off their vocal chops while doing renditions of timeless classics. We are really looking forward to this event.
We congratulate Jestina on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Jacqueline Robinson Cooper is a member of the Membership Committee and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Since becoming actively engaged in SFAA, Jackie has rendered invaluable service to the organization. Recognizing the difficulty the Mid-Atlantic Chapter has finding a venue for face-to-face meetings, Jackie graciously hosted the chapter's first three monthly meetings at her home. As host of these meetings, she provided food, drinks, comfortable accommodations and welcoming atmosphere for chapter to conduct its meetings. Jackie's family was also gracious in welcoming the chapter to their home. For this we remain grateful.
Jackie was also very active in promoting and supporting our Valentine's Day Bash. She sold more than the batch of tickets assigned to her and encouraged many of her classmates and friends to attend.
Jackie's continuous membership outreach has encouraged many of her classmates and friends to re-engage with the organization. Her passion and enthusiasm for SFAA is infectious, exactly what we need to continue to grow our organization. She is truly what I call an Ambassador of Firskies Class of '95 to SFAA.
We congratulate Jackie on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Charles Cooper is the National Treasurer of SFAA-USA and Chair of the Committee to Rebuild St. Patrick's (CORES). Charles is also A2S Sponsor and donor to our rebuild St. Patrick's Fund.
We cannot say enough about the exemplary job that Charles does for SFAA. Our 25-year quest to rebuild St. Patrick's is coming to fruition because of significant contributions that Charles has made to the initiative. As Chair of CORES, he helped to craft our rebuilding strategy. He worked closely with the construction engineering in Liberia in the determining the cost of rebuilding the school. He also came up with plan upon which the architectural design was drawn.
In December 2018, Charles was a member of the SFAA's delegation that visited Liberia for the groundbreaking ceremony on the site where St. Patrick's will be rebuilt. Upon his arrival in Liberia, Charles immediately went to work. He supervised the prepping of the site which involved removal of trash and clearing of brush from the land. All of this was to prepare for the groundbreaking ceremony that included Archbishop Lewis Zeigler, members of the Archdiocese, Sister Evelina and Saints Friskies Alumni.
Charles also worked closely with the Ministry of Public Works to obtain our construction permit which was approved in February 2019. With this permit and the City of Paynesville Construction Certificate obtained by the leadership of SFAA-Liberia, the rebuilding of St. Patrick's is now on "CORES"..
Servant-Leader is a label that aptly describes Charles. Representing SFAA-USA, Charles traveled to Liberia on May 3rd for collaboration with SFAA-Liberia to fund and begin construction of the foundation of SPHS. Between May 9th and May 17th, he oversaw the digging of the trench lines, establishment of columns that go through the foundation walls, excavation, casting, making cement blocks and creation of forms to pour the concrete. He will return from Liberia in time to attend our 25th Annual Convention and give a detailed progress report on the construction of St. Patrick's. Charles's commitment to the reconstruction of St Patrick's is unmatched. We are indebted to him.
We congratulate Charles on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Eunice Goaneh-Harris is an Ad Hoc Member of our Planing Committee and is a lifelong supporter of Saints Friskies Alumni Association. Eunice always responds to our call whenever we need her support for our convention events.
Over the last 3 years, Eunice and her family have graciously allowed us to host 2 Meet & Greet events at her home. She has been warm and accommodating and her family has extended us every courtesy at their home. Eunice gives us a family-style atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable as she plays the gracious host. Additionally, Eunice provides catering service for this event. Her food presentation is so aesthetically appealing that one might forget that it's there for consumption and not photography. Her food is as delicious as it aesthetic appeal.
Eunice has once again offered her home and catering service for SFAA's Meet & Greet on May 24th. If history is our guide, we expect her hospitality to be just as memorable.
We congratulate Eunice on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018- May 2019.
Olivia Elliott-Wright is the Vice Chair of our Membership Committee. Olivia was appointed to this position after she reached out to SFAA to both support and participate in the organization. Since then, Olivia has supported the agenda of the Membership Committee and also taken initiative to assist in fundraising for our projects.
In December 2018, Olivia entered Quest Diagnostics SE Region Bonus Buzz Charity Contest. She submitted a narrative on SFAA's A2S program and it's impact on the girls at STC. The judges were impressed with her submission and selected her as one of the winners of the charity contest. Olivia was awarded a check of $250.00 as a donation to SFAA's A2S program.
Olivia's initiative is an example of going the extra mile to assist in fundraising for our programs. We encourage others to do the same.
We congratulate Olivia on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018 - May 2019.
Precious Smith is a Member of our Planning Committee. Since joining the committee, Precious has assisted with planning our fundraising events. But, that is not all she does. Precious turned out to be an excellent sales woman of tickets for our events.
During our Valentine's Day Bash in February 2019, Precious sold $360.00 worth of tickets, making her one of the top three in tickets sales for this event. She did an awesome job.
We congratulate Precious on this award and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2018 - May 2019.