ACAA Meeting Minutes October 6, 2018


General Meeting
 Bayfront Convention Center, Erie, PA
Saturday, October 6, 2018 – 10:00 AM EST

President Michael ‘Mike’ Anderson called the meeting to order at 10:17 AM EST.


Board members present (Terms expire 2018):

President                                  Mike Anderson
Vice President                            James ‘Jim’ Koscielniak
Secretary                                     Mary Carr
Treasurer                                     Leslie ‘Les’ Rachocki
 Officer Ex-Officio                    Celeste ‘Mickie’ Mickiewicz                         

Directors present:

Basia Adams                            (Term expires 2020)
Anna Berry                                (Term expires 2022)
Richard Day                              (Term expires 2020)
Aundrea Heschmeyer            (Term expires 2022)
Randy Polovik                          (Term expires 2018)

President                                                                                         Mike Anderson

Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked all for taking time to attend.  He said he liked the facilities at the Bayfront and hoped everyone shared his sentiment.  He commented on the activities the previous evening and said it appeared everyone had a good time at the social.  He didn’t participate in the cruise but heard great comments about it.  

Mike gave a special thank you to Jim and his crew for planning a fantastic reunion.  Meeting attendees applauded the committee’s work and the event. Then, Mike reviewed the agenda for the day and said he looked forward to a productive meeting.

Mike said he hoped everyone had time to review the minutes and asked if there were any corrections to the 22 Sep 2018 minutes.  There being no corrections, Patricia Mlodzinski motioned to accept the minutes; Chris Rapcewicz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Financial Review                                                                    Dennis Pilarski

Dennis reported he performed a review of the financial records and found no discrepancies.  Mickie made a motion to accept the report; Mary seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer                                                                                 Les Rachocki

Les reported as of September 30, 2018:


  • Total cash/checking: $15,312.72
  • Accounts receivable: 00 (late registrations)
  • Other current assets: 00 (cruise ship and Sat. evening entertainment deposits)


  • Accounts payable: $       00 (cancelled registration donations to ACAAF)


  • $ 19,945 (donations, membership dues, reunion registrations) 


  • $ 12,389.71 (reunion food, beverage, room rental; web-site; printing/postage; miscellaneous) 

Les noted the alumni association tries to break even on the reunion.  He estimated after all expenses were paid, there would be approximately $5,000 – $6,000 in the checking account.

Mickie motioned to accept the Treasurer’s report; Anna seconded.  The motion passed unanimously. 

Awards                                                                         Mike Anderson

Mike announced awards would be presented at the Saturday evening banquet to Pete Matthews for his accomplishments invigorating the Alliance College Tool and Die program, John Wroblewski for his success with the Alliance College business program and philanthropy in the Erie area and Coach Michael Flick for his achievements with the Alliance College soccer program.


Bylaws & Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)                                Selene Erikson Szczepanek

Selene said she had nothing to report.  There’s been no activity.

Foundation                                             Basia Adams for Richard Day

Basia reported the Alliance College Alumni Association Foundation (ACAAF) had met immediately before the ACAA meeting.  The Foundation has assets of $50,081.06.  There were seven applications for the $1,500 scholarship; however two applications were incomplete so 5 applications would be reviewed following the ACAA meeting.  The winner would be announced at the reunion banquet.

Fund-raising                                                               Open

Selene asked for an explanation regarding the ‘Challenge’.  Les explained several alumni pledged a total of $3,000 and issued a challenge to remaining alumni and friends to collectively match them with donations during the weekend.  Les polled the ‘Challenge’ originators and they all agreed ‘Challenge’ donations would be accepted anytime during the day.  Mel Kman suggested people wait until the banquet to increase enthusiasm.  Mary Zuk asked for confirmation that pledges would count towards the goal; Les affirmed.  Helen Dziob Tueffel asked if Foundation funds are used mainly for the scholarship.  Les confirmed affirmatively and said scholarships are awarded in bi-annual reunion years. 

Jim announced he would be converting to a Lifetime membership immediately following the meeting.  Les said he was informed immediately before the meeting that Selene also converted to a Lifetime membership.  ($500 Lifetime membership dues benefit ACAAF).    

Membership                                                                      Mickie Mickiewicz

Mickie reviewed the status.  Her database contains almost 5,200 entries with 4,441 alumni deemed ‘living’.  Mickie said all alumni with an e-mail address on file were e-mailed a reunion announcement.  If living alumni didn’t have an e-mail address on file or if the announcement bounced back, individual’s were sent a hard-copy postcard announcement.  This reduced postage costs.  Mike asked everyone to reach out and promote the reunion with their alumni friends and former contacts in an effort to bring back more alumni.  Les motioned to accept the Membership report; Randy seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

Publicity/Communication                                               Aundrea Heschmeyer

Aundrea said she sent reunion announcements and press releases to all Polish media she’s aware of in the U.S.  Basia said the Polish American Journal published Aundrea’s press release and she showed a copy.  Aundrea said she can’t target population centers with historically high Polish populations as much as previous because people are much more mobile regarding moving.  Aundrea asked everyone to ‘like’ the ACAA Facebook page.  She said the page was used to announce the ACAAF scholarship and is used for ACAA outreach.  Aundrea asked people to send photos from the weekend to Chet Fedorowicz, web-designer, to post to the page.  Doug Mlodzinski asked if anyone reached out to owner’s of two other Alliance College and Alliance College Friend’s pages to link to the ACAA Facebook page.  Aundrea responded there is usually reluctance with sites to link to another site.  Helen Tueffel asked if an individual has to be an administrator to post to the Facebook page.  Aundrea said the site states ‘no’ but she will investigate as other’s have told her they were unable to post.  Susan Styborski shared that she came to the reunion because of enthusiasm effused on the Facebook page.  She encouraged the Officer’s and Board to feed on this for the next reunion.      

Mike thanked Aundrea for her effort publicizing the Association and Foundation.Chris Rapcewicz made a motion to accept Aundrea’s report; Les seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.  

Web-site                                                  Chet Fedorowicz/Les Rachocki

Les opened the discussion with the background for pursuing a new web-developer—1 year ago is was decided the web-site needed updating and to pursue a new web-developer.  It seemed the previous web-developer wanted to move on and he was getting too expensive.  He (Les) was aware Chet was doing web-development work so he asked Chet if he would like the work; he accepted.  Les turned the update over to Chet.

Chet said he’s in the infancy of getting the site together.  He wants to put the scholarship application online.  He agreed we need to promote Facebook and social media but said we still need to keep the web-site active.

Doug Mlodzinski asked if a platform was going to be developed for the ACAAF scholarship application, why couldn’t it be migrated for ACAA reunion attendees to register and pay online?  Chet responded that is a goal.

Mike asked how photos will be posted. Chet suggested they be organized in galleries.  He said during the year, it likely will be ad hoc and he asked for a point-of-contact to approve them.  Mike said he’s been the conduit and is willing to continue.

Chet explained the site is still hosted on the previous developer’s .edu site and he is planning to change this when the license expires within the next year.  Helen Tueffel asked if the site could be hosted on Google i-cloud.  Chet will investigate options.

Les asked everyone to double-check their e-mail addresses in the reunion program for correctness.  Some handwriting was difficult to decipher. 

Les thanked Chet for his work and progress on the web-site.  Everyone applauded.

Kristina Kwacz offered that when photo shooting pictures with people, ensure all individual’s are comfortable with their photo being posted on social media or being ‘tagged’. 

Selene made a motion to accept the web-site report; Mary seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.    

Reunion                                                                          Jim Koscielniak

Mike introduced Jim with sincere and extreme thanks for planning a fantastic reunion with acute thoughtfulness and attention to detail.  All in the room sincerely applauded. 

Jim reviewed the sequence of events for the remainder of the day (Alliance College trivia hosted by Dave Matejczyk, memorabilia room and Polish History presentation by Kristina Kwacz) and the program for the evening banquet.  He noted the Bayfront would provide golf carts from the front of the Convention Center to the banquet area for mobility challenged individuals.  He said the band was North Coast Mix from Ohio and they play a variety of music.

Jim noted there would be alumni involvement at the Sunday 9:30 AM Mass at St. Stanislaus church and St. Stan’s was hosting a Polish festival from 12:00 Noon – 5:00 PM with a Polish platter lunch available for $10.

Jim said as unfortunate as the Riverside events were, it provided an opportunity to look for another location.  He noted other facilities he looked at as possibilities for a reunion site, there pluses and minuses, and his reason for recommending the Erie Bayfront.  Jim opened the floor for questions/comments:

  • Sally Day asked how many people registered for the reunion – Jim said because individual’s could register for individual events or the entire weekend, the attendance varied but 146 people registered for the Saturday night banquet and 2 late registrants were driving that day from Buffalo. Mike said there were two people who attended the Friday social who decided to stay another day so we exactly met the goal of 150 attendees.
  • Les said at first he was pessimistic many alumni would attend the event due to cost, but he was very pleased with the attendance and relatively speaking, a large number of alumni attended. He noted more people from Erie registered for this event; however there is still an untapped population in the Erie area and many of the nearby cities—Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc.
  • Roberta Palovik stated individual event registration was a nice option for individual’s who had conflicts with the entire weekend option.
  • Melvin Kman asked what is the break-even point – Jim and Les both said it was/is a moving target due to the various registration options.   
  • Helen Tueffel asked if there was a food and beverage minimum, and if the alumni association had to pay for room rental – Jim responded there is a food and beverage minimum the association will meet; the association received a discount for the 3-day room rental for the meeting room in the convention center; and the banquet room rental was $1700. 
  • Joan (Dziadzio) Boudreau commented Detroit has many AC alumni who are very involved with Zgoda. She noted she never sees mention or an ad for AC in the publication.  Mickie said she personally reached out to several Detroit area alumni and noted the best form of outreach is personal involvement from other alumni.
  • Cindy Jarzab stood and said she wanted to let Jim know how much his efforts were appreciated. She knows planning an event like the reunion was a tremendous amount of work.  Jim thanked her.   

New Business

Yvonne Tuchaski announced the 2019 Polish National Alliance (PNA) convention will be Aug 25 -28 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Tom Jarzab read a greeting from Bob Loop and two other alumnil who all wished they could be present; however, all three were in the hospital.

Nominating and Election of Officers                                            Mickie Mickiewicz

Micki said all the officer positions are open and the current officers agreed to serve another term unless there was a nomination for their position.  Jim nominated Helen Dziob Tueffel for Secretary so Mary declined the nomination.  Les said he would continue as Treasurer but only until the end of December, 2019.  Mike asked Selene, Parliamentarian, for guidance on how to handle this.  Selene said Les should accept the nomination, continue in the position and then submit his resignation.  As President, Mike would then appoint someone to finish serving Les’s term.  There being no other nominations, Mike was elected President, Jim was elected Vice President, Les was elected Treasurer and Helen was elected Secretary.

Next Mickie announced there was one Director position open. She said Randy had originally declined the nomination but had reconsidered and said he would like to serve another term.  There being no other nominations, Randy was elected to the open Director position, expiring 2024.     

Next Meeting

Mike will send an e-mail to the Board of Director’s announcing the date/time of the next meeting.


Motion to adjourn was made by Selene and seconded by Mary.  The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:47 AM EST.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary F. Carr