The CSCA-Gondar is governed by a Council of Advisors and ultimately the Board of Directors of the Corvallis Sister Cities Association. CSCA-Gondar Council — and CSCA Board members — are elected by the membership at the organization’s annual meeting in June. Council members are elected for two-year terms, with the exception that the Assistant Treasurer serves a three-year term. The Council of Advisors meets each month. Meetings are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm, usually in the Board Meeting Room on the lower level of the Corvallis Library located at 645 Monroe Street, Corvallis, OR. (If the lower level door is locked knock Loudly for entry)
Current Council members and officers are listed below:
Ari Grossman-Naples, Chair
Kenny Maes, Vice-Chair
Lorenzo Ciannelli, Secretary
Kathy Seeburger, Assistant Treasurer
Larry Becker, At-Large Member
John Bliss, At-Large Member
Kate Jones, At-Large Member
Lee March, At-Large Member
Maxine Prickel, At-Large Member
Work groups and committees have been formed by the Council of Advisors to allow citizen volunteers to focus on specific areas of interest. It is at the work group and committee level that specific projects are initiated and carried out. The CSCA-Gondar also has a work plan for the organization as a whole.
- Water and Watershed Work Group
The mission of the Water and Watershed Work Group is to improve the quality of life for citizens of Gondar by developing drinking water sources, supporting watershed restoration activities, developing long-term sustainability plans for our infrastructure investments, improving income generation opportunities and developing partnerships with Corvallis area academic programs and community groups to encourage involvement with Gondar citizens.
In order to achieve this mission, the work group adopts an annual work plan which describes various goals, tasks and projects. The work plan reflects ongoing collaboration with partners in Gondar to ensure that the plan addresses issues most important to citizen groups. Ongoing projects include tree planting and well construction, while new initiatives include a micro-loan program, a cook stove manufacturing facility and a water distribution system in a rural kebele. A past project, funded through a grant from Sister Cities International, resulted in the construction of four public restroom/shower facilities and a public health clinic.
Recognizing the importance of sustainability, programs have been developed to ensure that our investments are maintained and evaluated for success.
- Education Work Group
The Education Work Group was formed to develop projects to improve the educational opportunities for children in the Gondar school system. In 2007 thirty-two blackboards were purchased and installed at the Tsadiku Yohannes School. Prior to this many lessons were simply written on the walls. One of the primary current priorities is to ship needed books to the schools – the library shelves in the schools are virtually empty. Additionally, the work group has initiated an art exchange project in which students in Corvallis and Gondar exchange hand-made artwork.
- Other Committees
Other committees are formed on an as-needed basis. Each year priorities are reviewed with Gondar representatives to assure that our resources are directed appropriately.