September 14, 2022 – Held via Zoom and at Cooper Union

Meeting started at 6:36 pm.

Approximately 27 alumni participated.

Robert Tan (President) opened the meeting. He said it is important for Council members to serve on committees and to participate in the Annual Fund to achieve 100% participation from Council members. He announced that CUAA received approval of 501(c)3 status from the IRS. He explained that one of the requirements is that CUAA raise 10% of its budget from the public (including members), which is approximately $2,000. He suggested that the fundraising can go towards the CUAA Awards ceremony.

Robert announced that Ciera Lowe will serve as the Awards Committee Chair. Robert said that the Elections Committee needs a chairperson. Robert noted that the Elections Committee will need to find a new application to use and to make the elections process more professional and encourage alumni to vote and run for council.

Council members briefly introduced themselves.

Anna Brook (CUAA Secretary) presented the April 5, 2022 Meeting Minutes. There were no proposed edits. The April 5, 2022 Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent. Anna Brook presented the May 11, 2022 Meeting Minutes. There were no proposed edits. The May 11, 2022 Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent. Anna Brook presented the June 14, 2022 Meeting Minutes. Edits were addressed and incorporated. The June 14, 2022 Meeting Minutes were approved by general consent.

Robert Tan noted that he wants to have a small group to assist with the transition to operating as a 501(c)3. He also said CUAA will have a MOA committee and move forward with a MOA. Linda Strong will help with revising the Operations Handbook, and CUAA will work on developing a Code of Conduct.

Shannon Pultz (Communications Committee Chair) reported that CUAA is moving ahead with obtaining Google Workspace for Nonprofits, with Linda Strong’s assistance. The platform will allow email addresses to be passed from one person to another as they take a post, there will be places to store documents with appropriate levels of access. The platform is free for non-profits. Barry Drogin asked where we are in the process with Google for Workspace for Nonprofits. Shannon reported that she started the application, but had to wait for the 501(c)3 status approval from IRS to submit to Google.

Shannon reported that she and Carol Wolf investigated new website designs and hosts. A vendor called Fantasktic will migrate the website to WPEngine host. The website will use the Benevolence theme on WordPress which is designed for non-profits. Shannon presented the cost summary for the migration and upcoming hosting, and it will take approximately two weeks to migrate. The new website can be used to increase registration for alumni. Shannon provided examples of pages and noted that the site will have an interactive calendar.

Felicia Zusman asked whether the website will have accessibility features. Shannon noted that most of the organizations that use the theme are churches, but she will look into it. Shannon asked that people send photos that can be used for the website.

Robert Tan reported that Mariam Cantelmi will remain Chair of the Annual Fund Committee. Robert said that CUAA will have a code to track and recognize donations that result from CUAA efforts.

Robert said that the plan is to hold Meet the Candidates Night earlier in the elections process.

Edwin DeLeon (Events Committee Chair) presented about proposed events. The goals include three big in-person events, happy hours, one or two virtual events, getting Council members and other alumni to volunteer, and broaden the audience. Edwin said he and Kelly will collaborate on a holiday get-together, with a preliminary budget of $800-1,200, likely at Phoebe’s. Chris Mignano suggested including seniors in the event. There will be an Alumni Speaker Series event with Donald Rapp, ChE ’55, in person at Cooper Union with a live stream option. Edwin reported on a proposed Jets football game outing for alumni, staff, and students with a tentative date of December 22. Scott Lyne expressed concern that the football game budget was a judicious use of CUAA’s limited resources. Ciera Lowe suggested that participants pay for their tickets. Standish Lee suggested exploring if teams or venues can provide free or discounted access for 501(c)3 entities. Edwin addressed having champions and ambassadors in other cities to hold events across the U.S. and internationally.

Robert Tan made note of all upcoming council meetings and requested that Council members send their phone numbers to him. Anna Brook advised that she will collect contact information and distribute a list to Alumni Representatives and Executive Committee members.

Scott Lyne asked if someone in charge of the Alumni Office at the school can come to present at a Council meeting regarding how they see the relationship between CUAA and Cooper Union develop. Robert Tan will address this with the school. Jim Liubicich said perhaps CUAA should develop a vision for itself now that it has 501(c)3 status and prior to scheduling the presentation with the Alumni Office.

Anna Brook moved to adjourn. Ron Vogel seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 8:11 pm.