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«NEXT MEETING MAY 12, 2015, AT 5:00 P.M. KOFU CONFERENCE ROOM, DES MOINES CITY HALL MINUTES April 14, 2105 Members Present: Heather Carman, Pat ...»

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400 Robert D. Ray Drive

Des Moines, Iowa 50309-1891

Phone: (515) 283-4141

FAX: (515) 237-1300

NEXT MEETING MAY 12, 2015, AT 5:00 P.M.



April 14, 2105

Members Present: Heather Carman, Pat Civitate, Mark Daly, Roger Nowadzky, Ginny Renda, Sam Reno (via conference phone), Vidal Spaine, Tim Woods Members Absent: Dave Bair, Tom Becker, Darlene Blake, Kevin Geiken Guest Present: Kathie Watts, Friends of Sister Cities Staff Present: Joyce Warburton On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, Acting Commission Chairperson Mr. Nowadzky called the meeting of the Greater Des Moines Sister Cities Commission to order at 5:02 p.m. in the Kofu Conference Room, Des Moines City Hall.


Minutes for the March 10, 2015 meeting were discussed. Motion was made to approve the minutes by Mr. Woods and seconded by Ms. Civitate. Motion carried.


An itemized financial report for July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 was distributed, indicating expenses of $26.31 for printing the Commission’s February minutes in the Business Record. It was moved by Ms. Carman to approve the Financial Report as presented, and seconded by Mr. Woods. Motion carried.


Mr. Nowadzky reported that the Commission’s efforts to reenergizing our sister city relations have taken some significant steps.

In particular, the activities that have resulted from this Commission’s commitment to reconnecting on a higher level with our Chinese Sister City of Shijiazhuang. The Chair of the Shijiazhuang Committee, Mr. Woods, is in a better position to describe the planning activities for an official in-bound delegation in August, with a planning lead team group coming to Des Moines prior to that time. The initial preliminary planning has some very exciting activities in mind.

Likewise, the Commission’s presentation to the recent City Council workshop on the October delegation to Shijiazhuang and the resulting opportunities including a return trip by the Chinese, was very well done and well received. Congratulations team.

Mr. Nowadzky also directed attention to the St. Etienne Committee report. The Commission, through the St. Etienne Committee, has been very busy coordinating and collaborating with French groups and April 14, 2015 Page 2 organizations in our community. The strategic alliance with the Alliance Française of Central Iowa has been building trust and cooperation. A major collaborative event is planned for the evening of July 14 th, Bastille Day, which will honor the Greater Des Moines–St. Etienne 30th anniversary of our sister city relationship. Other activities have occurred and are planned before that event. Again, please review the St. Etienne Committee report to learn of the hand-delivered letter from the Commission to the Mayor of St. Etienne. Also the report informs the Commission of a May 1st Alliance Française event to which Commission Members and friends are invited.

As activities are planned in reconnectioning with two of our sister cities, there is a need to be mindful not to forget our other sister cities. Mr. Spaine recently alerted the Commission that our school exchange agreement with Stavropol has expired. This needs to be fixed.

Next, the March 2015 issue of the Iowa Living Magazine Downtown edition contains an article about the international activities of the Greater Des Moines Commission connecting our community to the world.

Being the magazine’s cover story, it was nice exposure and did a nice job explaining our mission and activities.

Lastly, get well wishes go out to our Commission Chairperson, Darlene Blake, and we look forward to her speedy recovery and continued good health and leadership.


Stavropol, Russia – Vidal Spaine Received an invitation from Stavropol regarding the celebration of Stavropol’s Victory Day in May.

Mr. Spaine will work with staff in Mayor Frank Cownie’s Office to provide a response to Stavropol.

Unfortunately, it will be difficult to obtain the necessary VISAs in time to travel this May. Mr. Daly moved that an invitation be extended to member Mayors and Council Members to look at the possibility of attending next year’s Victory Day celebration. Ms. Carman seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Mr. Spaine also indicated he has been communicating with Mr. Matt Smith, Executive Director of Learning Services and Activities at Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS), and is currently working to schedule a meeting to work on a new Plan of Cooperation between DMPS and Stavropol. Mr. Daly also suggested that a small group of Commissioners be included in the next meeting with DMPS in order to discuss developing a Plan of Cooperation with each of our Sister City relationships.

Shijiazhuang, China – Tim Woods, Ginny Renda, Sam Reno 2015 is the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Shijiazhuang, China and Des Moines.

A mayor-level delegation will come to Des Moines in late Summer 2015 in order to celebrate the anniversary, to sign a renewed sister city agreement, and to create educational, cultural, and economic exchange.

A subcommittee of the Greater Des Moines Sister Cities Commission, titled the 2015 Shijiazhuang Reception Committee, meets weekly in order to plan events and logistics. Advanced workgroups of Shijiazhuang officials are expected to arrive to assist the committee in preparing for the delegation.

Mr. Woods is leading the reception committee and is coordinating the communications back and forth with Shijiazhuang, and will keep the Commission informed as dates of the officials from Shijiazhuang are scheduled.

Key Dates  The summer delegation dates are tentatively expected for August 23-29, 2015, but very possibly will be rescheduled to early September 2015.

 The previously announced date of April 27-29 for the advance workgroup of Shijiazhuang officials has been postponed and is now expected to arrive in May or June 2015.

April 14, 2015 Page 3 Members

Commission Members serving on the reception committee include:

 Tim Woods  Ginny Renda  Kevin Geiken  Mark Daly  Sam Reno

Civic leaders serving on the reception committee include:

 Francis Boggus, Community Development Consultant, Liaison to Greater Des Moines businesses and Des Moines Public Schools  Kirk Martin, Drake University, coordinating events with Drake University and as Cultural Advisor  Cindy Chen, Drake University, Cultural Advisor and Liaison to Greater Des Moines businesses  Li Zhao Mandelbaum, China Iowa Group, Cultural Advisor and Liaison to Greater Des Moines businesses Recent Meetings From March 24, 2015 to April 10, 2015, members of the reception committee have held the following


 Presentation to Des Moines City Council Workshop. Mr. Woods, Mr. Geiken, and Mr. Reno informed the City Council of the October 2014 delegation to the International Trade Fair in Shijiazhuang and informed the City Council of the upcoming delegations arriving from Shijiazhuang. The City Council expressed support for the activities of the commission and encouraged economic exchange opportunities.

 Greater Des Moines Partnership. Mr. Woods and Mr. Geiken met with Ryan Carroll and discussed business stakeholders to contact and involvement of the Greater Des Moines Partnership in events with guests from Shijiazhuang.

 Office of the Governor of Iowa. Mr. Woods, Mr. Geiken, and Mr. Reno met with Julie Vande Hoef and received information regarding official protocol, key civic stakeholders to contact, and possible involvement of the Governor and Lt. Governor in events with guests from Shijiazhuang.

 Iowa Economic Development Authority. Mr. Woods and Mr. Boggus met with Kathy Hill and Joseph Rude and received information about protocol, business connections and activities, and visas.

 World Food Prize. Mr. Woods contacted Ambassador Ken Quinn and arranged for greetings with guests from Shijiazhuang and tours of the World Food Prize facilities.

 Des Moines Water Works. Mr. Woods contacted Bill Stowe. Mr. Stowe is interested in greeting the advance workgroup of officials at a Des Moines Water Works facility and being involved in the delegation events.

 The Re-Wall Company. Mr. Woods and Mr. Reno visited David Phillips and toured the Des Moines-based manufacturing facility of building materials manufactured using recycled products. Mr. Phillips expressed interest in providing tours to guests from Shijiazhuang.

 Confluence Brewing Company. Mr. Reno met with Eric Selander. Mr. Selander indicated that Confluence will support the upcoming events by brewing a custom beer in a Chinese style with supporting artwork and theme that celebrates our sister city relationship, and by hosting a social reception at the brewery for the delegation.

 Drake University. Mr. Martin advised that Drake University will provide a luncheon for guests from Shijiazhuang, meeting space, and tours.

 Des Moines Area Community College. Mr. Woods advised that Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) will provide a luncheon for guests from Shijiazhuang and tours.

 Bridgestone/Firestone. Mr. Woods communicated with Bridgestone/Firestone in order to plan greeting with the advanced workgroup.

April 14, 2015 Page 4  Des Moines Art Center. Ms. Renda contacted the Des Moines Art Center to inquire about greeting Shijiazhuang guests.

 Des Moines Register. Mr. Reno communicated with Lynn Hicks that Des Moines Register will greet guests from Shijiazhuang at the Des Moines Register newsroom.

 Kemin Industries. Ms. Chen advised that Kemin Industries will provide facility tours to guests from Shijiazhuang.

 CMB Regional Centers. Mr. Woods and Mr. Reno met by phone with Ky Boyle. Mr. Boyle advised that CMB can provide assistance in planning for events with guests from Shijiazhuang, provide support for eb-5 Visas, and economic analysis and support of foreign investment opportunities.

 MidAmerican Energy Company. Mr. Reno contacted MidAmerican Energy regarding possible event site at the fairground wind energy facility.

 Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mr. Woods and Mr. Reno met with Becky Gruening and discussed protocol and activities to hold with guests from Shijiazhuang.

 Personal Shopping Manager. Mr. Reno contacted Megan Evans and requested that she fulfill the role of Personal Shopping Manager to the Shijiazhuang guests. Ms. Evans agreed to identify stores in Jordan Creek that offer brands of interest to the officials, to contact the store managers and ask them to prepare them to greet the officials upon arrival, and to lead the shopping party through the mall.

Mr. Woods stated an advance group is also expected to come from Hebei Province in China the end of May or early June, but may be rescheduled to September 2015.

Mr. Daly made a motion that Mr. Nowadzky reach out to Ms. Kim Heidemann, Executive Director, Iowa Sister States, as soon as possible to set up a meeting in order to work together on events for upcoming delegations. Ms. Renda seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Saint-Etienne, France – Roger Nowadzky, Dave Bair Mr. Nowadzky reported that the St. Etienne Committee has been active in working on re-energizing the Greater Des Moines–St. Etienne relationship, through collaboration and activity planning. Since the last Commission meeting the Committee became aware that a French language teacher who regularly takes Johnston High School students to St. Etienne, was traveling there. The Committee was able to make arrangements for the teacher to hand deliver a letter from Commission Chairperson Blake and St. Etienne Chair Nowadzky to the Mayor of St. Etienne. The letter was translated into French with the help of Alliance Française of Central Iowa and has since been acknowledged by the St. Etienne administration. There will be a return group of 24 St. Etienne students visiting Johnston High School this month. In this regard, Commissioner and St. Etienne Committee Member Bair, located old Des Moines T-shirts and pins as souvenir gifts for the students from the Commission.

One event commemorating the Greater Des Moines–St. Etienne 30th anniversary is scheduled for the evening of July 14, 2015, French Bastille Day. The Committee has procured the Birdland Park Shelter for a potluck dinner. The shelter house has a kitchenette area, is air-conditioned and spacious, and has nice indoor bathrooms. The event will be co-sponsored by the Commission and Alliance Française. It is hoped that the local French Francophone group, Friendship Force, and maybe the Iowa International Center at Drake University will become involved with this event. The Committee’s goal is to coordinate, collaborate, and to excite the community about our French relationship. An accordion player, the teaching of French folk dancing, Petanque balls, and a prize for the best French potluck dish are all planned. Attendees will be allowed to bring wine. Likewise, the Honorary Consul to France, Judge Mark Schlenker, will be invited to make remarks during a commemorative 30th anniversary ceremony. Perhaps the Commissioners have further ideas on ways of making the event fun, special, visual and a public relations success.

Working closely with Alliance Française in finding synergy in our common goals has been rewarding so far. As a general observation, we have sister cities in five very interesting parts of the world, which April 14, 2015 Page 5 cultures we should be exploring and celebrating. St. Etienne is a gateway to many exciting possibilities.

Along these lines, Alliance has an upcoming event in which Commission Members may be interested and are invited. May 1st is the day of the “lilies of the valley” in France, as Mr. Nowadzky understands it.

Alliance Française will be celebrating with a party at the home of Drake Professor Eleanor Zeff.

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