February 12, 2024

DAGT 2024 Annual General Meeting Minutes

Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2024

Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11:00am CST via Webex and In-Person

  •         Acting Secretary Hyungjoon Jin confirmed that quorum was met with 21 members in-person, one on Webex and 10 proxies for a total of 32.
  •   Meeting called to order 11:21 AM

Democrats Abroad Guatemala Executive Committee 2023-2025 Elected Officers

  •                           Chair: John Chudy
  •                           Vice Chair: Kee Evans (Interim)
  •                           DPCA Voting Representative (vacant)
  •                           Secretary: (vacant)
  •                           Treasurer: Jim Criste
  •                           Counsel: Juan Pablo Aris
  •                           Member at Large: Karl Holzwarth
  •                           Member-at-Large: David Dean


  •         MediaContact & Communications Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
  •         Issues/Special Events Standing Committee Chair: Kee Evans
  •         Membership/Voter Registration Standing Committee Chair: Kee Evans
  •         Fundraising Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
  •         Guatemala City MeetUp Chair: Vacant
  •         Lake Atitlan MeetUp Chair: Hyungjoon Jin
  •         Occidente MeetUp Chair: Rachel Shenyo
  •         Huehuetenango MeetUp Chair: Johnny Figueroa-Montt

Special Elections preceded other business to fill the vacancies of Vice Chair following Mary Lou Ridinger’s resignation on January 7, 2024 followed by the interim nomination of Kee Evans as Vice Chair at the DAGT Excom Meeting of January 17, 2024, which vacated the office of DPCA Voting Representative, a special election for which was also held today. A special election for Secretary was also held today with the resignation of Phyllis MacCartney on January 28, 2024. 

Linda Conard managed the special elections, asking first for nominations from the floor for Vice Chair. Kee Evans was nominated by David Dean and seconded by Karl Holzwarth. No other nominations were forthcoming. Linda asked for a motion to accept the Vice Chair nomination by Acclamation; so moved by David Dean and Seconded by Karl Holzwarth. The vote from the floor and online was unanimous. Next, Linda Conard asked for nominations from the floor for DPCA Voting Representative. Kee Evans nominated Hyungjoon Jin, seconded by Mary Lou Ridinger. Again, Linda Conard asked for a motion to accept the nomination by Acclamation, which was moved by David Dean and seconded by Karl Holzwarth, and the motion was carried unanimously. The third special election for the office of Secretary, was unsuccessful. When nominations were invited from the floor by elections chair Linda Conard, there were none. The position will remain vacant, and the Executive Committee will seek to hold a nominations and election process over the next 45 days as per DAGT bylaws.

  •         Elected officers of DAGT following special elections at AGM 2024
  •         Chair: John Chudy
  •         Vice Chair: Kee Evans
  •         DPCA Voting Representative: Hyungjoon Jin
  •         Secretary: (vacant)
  •         Treasurer: Jim Criste
  •         Counsel: Juan Pablo Aris
  •         Member at Large: Karl Holzwarth
  •         Member-at-Large: David Dean

Secretary’s Report

Acting Secretary Hyungjoon Jin read the summary of the 2023 AGM minutes.  He also reported that as of February 3, 2024 the DAGT membership total count = 511 vs 524 from 2023.

David Dean moved to accept the Secretary’s report. Motion was seconded by Irene Saletan. The motion passed unanimously.

Treasurers Report:

In the absence of Jim Criste, Treasurer, John Chudy presented the Treasurer’s report prepared by Jim Criste prior to his travel.

Fiscal Year Note: Last Year’s Report was based on a Fiscal Year beginning on the first day of March and ending on the last day of February.  The Democrats Abroad Nation Builder system works on a Fiscal Year beginning on the first day of January and ending on the last day of December. Therefore, for consistency of our information with Democrats Abroad Global, the information in this annual report is based on a fiscal year which matches the calendar year, January 01 through December 31. The DAGT Executive Committee voted to adopt the new fiscal year at its January 14, 2024 meeting. Fiscal Year 2022 in this report covers March – December, 2022 and some expenses and income in January, 2023 have been transferred from FY 2022 in last year’s report to make the adjustment and to report complete and correct figures for FY 2023 based on the calendar year. The treasurer’s report covered both Quetzales and dollars income and expenditures during the fiscal year and compared them.

Account Balances (Fiscal Year 2023 – January 01, 2023 to December 31, 2023)

Local Cash Account                                    Nation Builder Account 

Beginning Balance – January 01 Q 4,510    Beginning Balance – January 01,   USD$ 424

FY 2023 Income/Donations Q 0          FY 2023 Income/Donations   USD$ 523

FY 2023 Expenses  (Q 1,615)             FY 2023 Expenses  (USD$ 380)

Ending Balance – December 31, 2023     Q 2,895      

Ending Balance – December 31, 2023     USD$ 567

                                             Total Combined Balance Q 7,229   =   USD$ 945*

                                                     * Exchange Rate = USD$1.00 = Q 7.65

Our Nation Builder system allows donations only in US dollars by credit card at https://www.democratsabroad.org/donate_GT.

Income/Donations  (Fiscal Year 2023 – January 01, 2023 to December 31, 2023)

Local Cash Account                                      Nation Builder Account                     

Cash Income/Donations Q 0                      Cash Income/Donations USD$ 523

Other (In-Kind Donations)    Q 0               Other (In-Kind Donations)  USD$ 0

Total – Income/Donations   FY 2023             2023 USD$ 523

Total Combined Income Q 4,001   =   USD$ 523*

* Exchange Rate = USD$1.00 = Q 7.65


Expenses (Fiscal Year 2023 – January 01, 2023  to December 31, 2023)

Local Cash Account                    Nation Builder Account                 

Events    (Q 835)                          Events  (USD$ 380)

Materials/Equipment (Q 780)         Materials/Equipment   USD$ 0

Other     Q 0  Other                                                      USD$ 0

Total – Expenses   FY 2023 (Q 1,615)     Total – Expenses   FY 2023 (USD$ 380)

                     Total Combined Expenses (Q 4,522)   =   (USD$ 591)*

                                 * Current Exchange Rate = USD$1.00 = Q 7.65

Three Year Comparison – Local Cash Account


FY 2021

FY 2022*

FY 2023

Beginning Balance

Q 8,826

Q 7,885

Q 4,510


Q 8

Q 0

Q 0


(Q 949)

(Q 1,375)

(Q 1,615)

Transfer to Nation Builder

Q 0

(Q 2,000)

Q 0

Net Change

(Q 941)

(Q 3,375)

(Q 1,615)

Ending Balance

Q 7,885

Q 4,510

Q 2,895


* FY 2022 = March 01, 2022 – December 31, 2022


Three Year Comparison – US$  Nation Builder Account


FY 2021

FY 2022*

FY 2023

Beginning Balance


USD$ 0

USD$ 424



USD$ 335

USD$ 523



(USD$ 161)

(USD$ 380)

Transfer from Local Cash Account


USD$ 250

USD$ 0

Net Change


USD$ 424

USD$ 143

Ending Balance


USD$ 424

USD$ 567


* FY 2022 = March 01, 2022 – December 31, 2022


Guatemala Contributions to Democrats Abroad Global  44 Donations, totaling  USD$ 835

Direct Contributions to Democrats Abroad Guatemala 33 Donatiions, totaling   USD$ 523

All Contributions and Reimbursements are now made through Nation Builder, subject to change if Democrats Abroad Global develops new guidelines.

To Contribute to Democrats Abroad – Guatemala   https://www.democratsabroad.org/donate_GT

To Contribute to Democrats Abroad – Global   https://www.democratsabroad.org/donate 

David Dean moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Hyunjoon Jin.  Motion unanimously approved.           


Events Coordinator’s Report CALENDAR YEAR 2023: Kee Evans reported on this area.

  January 28th, Voter Registration event with special speaker, Maria Martin, presenting on her career as a radio journalist in Latin America and in Guatemala.

  September 23rd, Speaker Event Los Otros Negros presented by Gloria Rowe & Roy Hendy. 

Special Events

  July - Our Independence Day celebration was again a success. We had over 30 attendees. Drinks and snacks were provided at no charge (financed by the 12 attendees who made donations to our NationBuilder account). The fireworks were beautiful 

Upcoming Activities and Events for 2024

  March 5th, Super Tuesday, DA’s Global Presidential Primary.  Volunteers needed. Watch your email for more information and volunteer needs.

  Voter Registration events throughout the year. Volunteers Needed.

  July 4th Celebration.  Volunteers needed and donations welcome to ensure a successful celebration.

  In April or May, a raffle fundraising event is being planned at the home of Len Clark in San Miguel Dueñas – watch for details by email.

  David Dean inquired if an election night watch party was being planned for November 4, 2024. David then made a motion that a Potluck Watch Party be planned for Election night 2024. Seconded by Karl Holzwarth. During discussion, Mary Lou Ridinger offered her home as the venue for the November 4th Watch Party. The motion was carried unanimously.

  Kee encouraged all overseas voters to complete an FPCA every year, not just in years of General Elections. You do not want to be purged from your states’ voter rolls! You must request your Overseas Absentee Ballot every year. You can do this at www.votefromabroad.org. Call or email Kee if you have questions or need assistance.

Media and Communications Report for 2023: Kee Evans also reported on this area, informing the body that accomplishments included weekly and daily posts to the DAGT Facebook group page, email messages to the membership, and Instagram posts. The position remains vacant and volunteers are encouraged to step forward to help with this important area.

MeetUp ChairsReports - Occidente Region, Rachel Shenyo, provided the only MeetUp group chair report, informing the body of her artwork donations being shown today, and others coming available monthly. Also, there are several radio stations, digital newsletters and cultural groups frequented by short and long-term visitors to Xela that might be good outlets to advertise GOTV activities. John Chudy encouraged Rachael to obtain pricing information for placing ads with these options. For radio spots we need costs for 20 second, 30 second and 1-minute spots. Radio stations record the spots using their own professional staff, while advertisers provide the text to be read into the spots. DAGT has text/spots from prior years that can be updated for this year’s election cycle. Rachael added that her efforts as MeetUp group chair have been informal due largely to local travel and cost challenges she faces. John added that the Excom can approve any justified costs related to GOTV activities. In the coming months, Rachael hopes to hold one voter registration/ballot request event per month.

Chairs Report: John Chudy reported on this area. Currently the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) comprises 52 country committees in three regions (Americas, Europe Middle East Africa, and Asia Pacific). International Executive Committee: Martha McDivitt-Pugh, chair; Steve Nardi, vice chair; Anne Brady, counsel; Josh Van der Ploeg, treasurer; Karen Frankenstein, secretary, and three Regional Vice Chairs, who serve two-year terms. Martha and her executive committee were elected in June 2023 and will serve until June 2025.

Global meetings held annually. Rotate regions. Every other year in Washington, DC. The 2023 DPCA meeting was held in Washington, DC, June 9-11. The agenda included resolutions, officer and regional vice chair reports, committee reports, election of DPCA officers, bylaws committee proposals, and regional meetings for election of Regional Vice Chairs. The communications committee work plan for the 2024 GPP and GOTV activities and the 2024 Global Convention were also presented. A Door Knock on Capitol Hill preceded the DPCA meeting. Also held were elections of new officers for the 2023-2025 term.

The Americas Region – monthly meetings via WebEx

Country committees in the región are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Caribbean Islands, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru. The Regional Vice Chair (vacant); Steve Nardi has been covering the responsibilities until a candidate is identified.

Democrats Abroad Guatemala Executive Committee holds meetings monthly; are open to all members; most agendas and meeting minutes are posted on the democratsabroad.org Guatemala webpage which can be visited at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/gt_news

DAGT is implementing a CallHub Campaign from January 29 to February 29 to reach the 465 callable members. DAGT CallHub volunteers include: John Chudy, Kee Evans, Hyungjoon jin, Phyllis MacCartney, Sherye Hanson, Victor Paz. There will be global CallHub campaigns starting in July-August that will run up to the election in November. We thank those who have stepped forward to make calls. All are encouraged to become CallHub volunteers and make a difference this year. CallHub is a very effective tool for Democrats Abroad.

Be the Future campaign – an initiative to identify new leaders for DAGT. Launched in April and continues in 2024. The focus is to contact all DAGT members under 40 years of age, and contact international schools in Guatemala City and elsewhere, and hold Meet and Greet events in Guatemala City, Antigua, Panajachel/Lake Atitlan, and Xela. We need to energize this effort. Kali Erickson mentioned that younger people living in her gated community of San Pedro El Alto, along with others she knows through her school contacts, might offer a good group to invite to a meet and greet for identifying new members and encouraging new leaders for DAGT. Kali and Hyungjoon Jin, who is leading Be the Future will coordinate on this effort.

The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary (GPP): runs from March 5 to March 12, 2024 at voting centers around the world to help select the next Democratic presidential candidate.  One voting center in Guatemala at Café Condesa in Antigua on March 5, 2024 from 9am to 5pm. The following candidates will appear on the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary ballot: Joseph R. Biden and Marianne Williamson. Can’t make it in person? You may vote remotely by downloading a ballot and emailing, faxing, or postal mailing it to Democrats Abroad from February 13, 2024 through March 12, 2024. (NOTE: on February 7th, four days after the AGM, Marianne Williamson suspended her campaign. So far, it is expected her name will remain on the DA ballot).

Kali Erickson mentioned that she would like to share the GPP information among her contacts via WhatsApp. It was agreed that the idea is excellent, but that she should clear the message content with John and Kee for accuracy prior to sending it out.

John Chudy mentioned Standing Committee Appointments and vacancies to fill

GOTV Coordinator – Kee Evans

Events Coordinator – Kee Evans

Communications Coordinator - Vacant

Fundraising Coordinator - Vacant.

MeetUp Group Chair – Occidente, Rachael Shenyo

MeetUp Group Chair – Huehuetenango, Johnny Figueroa Montt

MeetUp Group Chair – Lake Atitlán, Hyungjoon Jin

MeetUp Group Chair – Guatemala City, Vacant

Recognition and Remembrance of outstanding members

Recognition of Mary Lou Ridinger – Founding member and reliable officer for 19 years (John also mentioned the Prensa Libre article in its D magazine of January 28, 2024, that explores and presents the contributions that Mary Lou and her late husband, Jay, have made to Guatemala in rediscovering the source of jade in Guatemala and the industry they built around that discovery). Mary Lou added that Mexico’s ambassador to Guatemala has named her as Honorary Counsel to Guatemala. Congratulations on this honor.


Julia Lieblich – long-time member who we lost on November 23, 2023

Maria Martin – Founding member who passed away on December 2, 2023

Anne Thornton – Member from 2010 who we lost on January 13, 2024

Bill Berry – long-time member who we lost on January 25, 2024

Mary Lou Ridinger asked to make a point about voting down ballot, i.e., for state candidates, in addition to federal candidates. Mary Lou, who is in the process of moving her stateside residency to North Carolina, stressed that voting down ballot can strengthen the position of the Democratic Party in states where the party has been weak. John added that down ballot voting has been a motivating pitch from Democrats Abroad over the last couple of cycles and will continue to be.

The first two members to donate $35 will take home one of Rachael Shenyo’s 2023 art works. Donate at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/gt_donate

The first two members to donate $35 will take home one of Rachael Shenyo’s 2023 art works. Donate at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/gt_donate

Always consider contributing to Democrats Abroad

A couple ways to help DA sustain its global outreach efforts:

  •                             Split-Sustaining Donor Program – give monthly, quarterly, or annually at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/gt_donate
  •                             A one-time donation, also at https://www.democratsabroad.org/gt_donate
  •                             Respond to Democrats Abroad fund raising emails
  •                             If everyone donated just $20 to the DPCA we could reach thousands of new voters

Hyungjoon Jin moved to adjourn and Karl Holzwarth seconded. Passed unanimously.

Adjournment 1:06 pm