- PRESIDENT'S LEADERSHIP AWARD -
FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE
JUNE 2017 - MAY 2018
Velma Kiawu Fahnbulleh is the Chair of SFAA’s Planning Committee and an A2S Sponsor. During the Year 2017 – 2018, Velma brought her superior planning and organizational skills to bear. Shortly after being appointed, Velma recruited members for her committee and immediately went to work. From our first fundraising event, the October Sip, to the Valentine’s Day Bash and now the 24th National Convention, Velma leads the planning, coordination and execution of all events. It is no surprise that Velma handles these responsibilities seamlessly. She is an Account Executive in her professional life. She is consistently reliable and takes initiative where she finds opportunity. In short, Velma is results-oriented and always delivers. Velma is also adept at the art of negotiations. With Velma at the helm, the first quote we get is almost never what we pay for a product or service. As a result, we have enjoyed savings on items such as tickets, venue, catering, DJ services, etc. Velma might as well have been the co-author of the "Art of the Deal." Along with all of the benefits we enjoy from Velma's remarkable skills , she has emerged as our Chief Negotiator.
We congratulate Velma and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Juliana Dixon is the Chair of SFAA's Finance Committee and an A2S Sponsor. As a financial expert, Juliana's role is making sure we meet our fiduciary responsibility. But her responsibilities do not end there. She takes on many more tasks that are not necessarily within her purview. When planning national and local fundraising events, Juliana is always asked and enthusiastically accepts a role in the planning and coordination of these events. This year was no different. She assisted with the planning of the October Sip and the Valentine's Day Bash. She is also involved with the planning of our 24th National Convention. With all of that, she also found time to address other needs of the organization. Juliana produced a mock-up of the 24th National Convention Souvenir Program, worked on the annual report and led the effort to produce SFAA's audit report. To ensure that we meet our compliance obligations, Juliana filed SFAA's 2017 annual report with the State of Maryland. And that's not all. Through Juliana's initiative, McCormick Corporation donated $2500.00 to our A2S Program. Simply put, Juliana is there wherever and whenever we need her. She is resourceful, competent and reliable. Juliana always brings the full complements of these attributes to any assignment. She truly embodies the spirit of "going above and beyond".
We congratulate Juliana and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Faustina Bonner is Vice Chair of SFAA's Finance and Regulatory Affairs Committees, a member of Committee to Rebuild St. Patrick's (CORES), and A2S Sponsor. With this considerable list of responsibilities, Faustina brings along school spirit infused with enthusiasm, positive disposition and pride. As a Certified Public Accountant, Faustina assists the organization with fiduciary matters, compliance requirements, and the effort to rebuild St. Patrick's. Additionally, Faustina is also our de facto promoter. She is single-handedly responsible for the recruitment of 11% of the sponsors in our A2S Program, a recruitment effort that is never-ending. During her trip to Liberia in December of 2017, she spent a considerable amount of time on the campus of STC visiting with students and administrators. While on that trip, she took pictures of most of the students in the A2S program for our website, assisted with serving breakfast to the students, and spoke to students about what it means to attend and graduate from STC. Faustina is also passionate about the rebuilding of St. Patrick's. She volunteered to serve on the Committee to Rebuild St. Patrick's (CORES). Faustina's level of engagement is tireless. She constantly provides pictures for posting on Back In Da Day, the most popular feature on our website. Faustina is often heard proudly echoing the familiar refrain, "For the school we'll do or die." By her actions, Faustina lives by this adage.
We congratulate Faustina and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Patricia Minikon, Esq, is an attorney and Chair of SFAA's Regulatory Affairs Committee. She primarily ensures that the organization is compliant with both state and federal regulations. When the current administration assumed leadership of the organization a year ago, we did a review of our legal status and found we were non-compliant in some areas in the State of Delaware where we are chartered, and inactive in the State of Maryland where we reside. Patricia wasted no time in addressing non-compliance issues. First, she requested certified and apostille copies of our articles of incorporation from the State of Delaware. The apostille copy was then sent to Monrovia to facilitate formation of SFAA's Chapter in Liberia. She then filed SFAA's annual report with the State of Delaware. We were then required to pay a fee for reinstatement in the State of Delaware. Following the payment, the State of Delaware issued SFAA a Certificate of Good Standing as of May 2018. Using the Certificate of Good Standing in Delaware, Patricia successfully filed for SFAA to be reinstated in the State of Maryland, and the state issued SFAA a Certificate of Good Standing. With this document, Patricia was able to file for and was granted a legal DBA (doing business as) status for SFAA to be recognized and conduct business as Saints Friskies Alumni Association in the State of Maryland and else where. This means donors and supporters can now write checks to Saints Friskies Alumni Association, the name under which we operate. Our initial housekeeping review found that our agent of record in the State of Delaware could not be located. Based on Patricia's counsel, we hired a Harvard Business Services to serve as the new resident agent of the organization in the State of Delaware. Patricia has also graciously agreed to serve as the resident agent of SFAA in the State of Maryland pro bono.
We congratulate Patricia and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Martha Zoegan is the President of SFAA's Northeastern Chapter, based in Philadelphia, PA, and Vice Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee. As President of the NE Chapter, Martha bears the responsibility as Co-Chair of our 24th National Convention. In spite of daunting odds faced by the chapter, Martha was instrumental in securing the venues for the convention activities and leading the planning of the cruise. To ensure that we get a more competitive rate for the cruise, we were required to sell at least 100 cruise tickets. Matha took on the responsibility of trying to sell 60 cruise tickets. From all indication, we will be meeting our 100-ticket quota. Because of Martha's experience with planning cruises in Philadelphia, we will be sailing on the Ben Franklin Yacht, which according to their website, is a plush 3-Level Private Vessel. The cruise will take us along Philadelphia’s scenic & historic waterfront. We will be remiss if we do not mention that Martha took on leadership of the Northeastern Chapter at a time when the chapter was going through a challenging transition. In spite of the challenges, Martha provides steady leadership that keeps the chapter stable and functioning.
We congratulate Martha and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Antoinette Essa is the Vice Chair of SFAA's Digital Media Committee. She is a media professional with decades of experience in television, radio, and social media. So it came as no surprise when Antoinette agreed to take on the task of interviewing Dr. Kevin and Natu Yuoh Strathy as a special feature recorded for Saints Friskies TV. As a busy media professional, Antoinette found the time to introduce herself to the husband and wife medical team and prepped them for the interview which was done remotely. This task was extraordinary because it came with technical, logistical and scheduling challenges. Being at two different locations, Antoinette had to navigate the challenges of conducting an interview over audio communication technology. Also, with her tight professional schedule of being on air and posting on social media, time was a scarce resource. Yet, she did it. Ever the professional, Antoinette did her homework on the subject matter and produced a package that informed us about the charity work the couple does in Liberia and the challenges they face. Remarkably, the interview got over 1000 hits on our website from visitors all over the world. Well done, Antoinette.
We congratulate Antoinette and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Jerrydean Simpson is a member of SFAA's Planning Committee. As a member of this committee, Jerrydean has been involved in the planning and coordination of events such as the October Sip, Valentine's Day Bash and the 24th National Convention. What makes Jerrydean stand out on this committee is her ability to deliver on more than what is required of her. Assisting in the role of catering coordinator on just about every event we had this past year, Jerrydean can be counted on to prepare whatever dish we need to serve the occasion. Her work ethic is unrivaled. On the evening of the Valentine's Day Bash, Jerrydean had a family emergency that easily could have prevented her from delivering on the task she was assigned. And frankly, that would have been understandable. But her acute sense of duty and responsibility would not let her fail. Jerrydean tended to her family emergency and made it to the event with everything that she promised in tow. Jerrydean is reliable, competent and always willing to give extra effort or service to achieve our goals. Her role on the planning committee is invaluable.
We congratulate Jerrydean and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.
Nuku Saad Watson, an A2S Sponsor, served as a Special Envoy from Saints Friskies Alumni Association to St. Teresa's Convent during her trip to Liberia in March 2018. Since discovering that the organization was now under new leadership and had implemented the Alumni-To-Student Sponsorship Program, Nuku immediately got involved. She called to offer her support and pledged to do all she can to assist the organization with its goals. She demonstrated her commitment by first registering as an A2S sponsor, and kept in constant contact with the President of SFAA. She always offers advice and suggestion on how we can best achieve our goals. In March 2018 Nuku planned a trip to Liberia and as always, contacted the President of SFAA to find our what she could do to assist the organization while in Liberia. She was then appointed as a Special Envoy from SFAA to STC. She was introduced to Sister Evelina, Principal of STC and Ms. Wokie Kpanyor, Vice Principal of STC. Nuku was tasked with doing a follow-up assessment of the needs of STC and taking the pictures of eight (8) remaining students in the A2S program whose pictures we were unable to get when we photographed the students in December 2017. Nuku was also asked to get the original letter from Sister Evelina confirming that STC received 2nd Semester payment for students in the A2S program. After her visit to Liberia, Nuku returned to the US with mission accomplished.
We congratulate Nuku and say thank you for Outstanding Service during the period June 2017- May 2018.