Newsletter: January 2018

January 2018 Newsletter
 
Dear Members and Supporters,
 
The American Society of Rio is starting another year of fun-filled social and cultural activities, interesting speakers, and continued support for local charities. Before getting into what we have planned for the rest of the year, I’d like to provide the highlights of last week’s AGM.
 
Annual General Meeting
 
As elections are now only held every two years, all Board members and office holders remain the same and so the meeting only presented committee reports:
 
Our Treasurer Jim Kappelar presented the Finance Committee report. We increased our capital base by about 7.5% and raised R$25,000 for local charities. All our activities except America’s Day were net earners. However, we cannot be too complacent as we rely on rental income from our office space in Centro for about a third of our income. Given the current economy, we cannot take this income for granted.
 
In presenting the Centennial Committee report, Walter Palmer mentioned that the event was a great success. We had a full house, helped in part by including wine in the ticket price; the raffle raised R$8000 in net terms; and the food and band were excellent. Requiring payment in advance meant that there were no long lines when checking in. The event was profitable largely because of the donations from event sponsors. How we could improve is by: (i) more forcefully request crowd silence during presentations, (ii) ensuring more efficient and timely the bar service, (iii) insisting on cloth napkins, and (iv) focusing lights on speakers, while dimming other lights.
 
Carmen Tedesco presented the Communications Committee report, mentioning that the website is now constantly updated and fully functional. People are urged to visit it to catch up on the latest news and events. Our website analytics for 12 months showed access by 2100 users in 3200 sessions. Users stayed on the site for an average of just over 3 minutes, with 75 percent of users accessing the site on a computer, 21% on a smart phone and 4% on a tablet. This year we will explore the desirability of making the site mobile friendly. At present it’s functional on a smart phone but requires users having to pinch out to read the print.
 
Speaker Series Committee chair Inez de Mello e Souza reported that with one exception, all the feedback she received on the talks was very positive. She plans to have one speaker every month, as long as the topics and speakers are interesting. This year we plan to hold talks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Inez welcomes suggestions for speakers and topics; she requests that you provide her contact to the proposed speaker or provide her with the speaker’s contact information. She will then make all arrangements directly with the proposed speaker.
 
The Fundraising Committee reported that while we increased our corporate cash sponsorships to R$7000 during 2017, the amount is still low and our attempts at cold calling or writing to potential sponsors yielded nothing. All our donations came via personal contacts. In 2018 we will only approach potential sponsors when we have a contact within the company.
 
Upcoming Events
 
We plan to kick off 2018 with a talk on a very relevant topic: Infrastructure Modernization. Jointly organized by the 1818 H Society of World Bank retirees, the talk will be given by well-respected economist Claudio Frischtak on Thursday, February 22nd. Details can be found on our website.
 
Only a day later, on Friday, February 23rd, and in keeping with the carnival spirit, join AmSoc members and supporters, as well as InterNations members, to watch the Ginga Tropical show (www.gingatropical.com) at the Sala Fernanda Montenegro of the Teatro Leblon. Details coming soon.
 
Our first happy hour of the year will be on Friday, March 2nd from 6 pm to 8 pm at an authentic new Peruvian Inka Restobar on the beach in Copacabana. AmSoc members will receive 2 for 1 on all drinks and can enjoy listening to or dancing to live latin music (optional cover charge).
 
Other exciting events being planned for the year are our traditional and popular pancake breakfast, a historical city tour, jazz evenings, more happy hours, a Pakistani lunch, an America’s Day Rib Cookoff, and more. Come to one of our Board meetings on the third Monday of the month at the Marriott to help organize one of the events and give your ideas on any others.
 
Annual Subscription
 

For the sixth straight year in a row, membership dues remain unchanged as follows:

Family …………………....………………………..  R$150
Individual……………....…………………………..  R$100

Teacher, Consulate or Military Family…….……....  R$100

Teacher, Consulate or Military Individual…….…...  R$75

Family with one Senior 65 or over…………….…...  R$100

Senior Individual or Family with two Seniors…….... R$75

To become a member, you could give cash or check to a Board member or our office manager at any of our events. Alternatively you could deposit the funds directly into the American Society account. In each case please send us an email at contact.amsoc@gmail.com confirming the amount and date of the deposit. Our Itau Bank (341) account number at Agencia 0304 is 06145-0 at Agencia 0304. Our CNPJ is 33.629.361/0001-50.
 
If you prefer to pay via boleto please send an email tocontact.amsoc@gmail.com giving your full name, CPF and address. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a boleto asking you to pay within a deadline.

 

 
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