THE BIRTH OF ASAC
The idea of set up an Association of JCI Senators of the Americas and the Caribbean is an old one. In 1990 at the JCI World Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the San Juan Declaration was signed by several countries including the President of the U.S. JCI Senate, the West Indies including representatives from Antigua, Jamaica and other places, Panama, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and others. As no individual was given the job to follow up on the San Juan Declaration the idea lay dormant until the 2000 JCI Conference in Curitiba, Brazil, where a group of Senators met and discussed organizing an Association of Senators.
Following this meeting, the US JCI Senate became involved and in Atlanta, in 2001, there was an agreement to develop a set of proposals to be voted at the next Area C Conference. While many were active in the effort, the driving force of the organizational activity was Manuel “Manny” Concepcion, an outstanding JCI Senator from the Dominican Republic, who was nominated by the assembly at Atlanta to work with other Senators to form a basic agreement to be adopted at the following Area C Conference in Santo Domingo.
Tragically, Manny Concepcion died unexpectedly in December 2001, leaving the responsibility of going on with his good friend and fellow Dominican JCI Senator Johnny Peña. ASAC was legally constituted in 2002, in the Conference of the Americas in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the By-laws were ratified by the following countries: Antigua in West Indies, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Departments of America, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the United States of America and Venezuela. At that occasion, all Delegates present voted to name Manuel Concepcion as Founder President of ASAC.
THE FIRST EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
As a result of the formation of ASAC in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, the following were elected as the first Executive Committee: President Johnny Pena from the Dominican Republic; Secretary Peter Bakos from the United States; Director for South America Marita Gonzalez from Peru; Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean Jorge Garcia from Puerto Rico; and Director for North America and the non Spanish speaking Caribbean Mitchell A. Hill from Antigua in West Indies.
At a special ceremony where the ASAC By-Laws were formally signed, JCI World President Salvi Battle installed President Johnny Pena and the ASAC Board. At the beginning, ASAC efforts were focused on the creation of a JCI Senators database in the Americas; an effective communication among members and the affiliation of new countries.
As outstanding activities, the first electronic forum was organized as an initiative of the ASAC Director for South America, Marita Gonzalez; and the full Board attended the JCI World Congress in Las Vegas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of JCI Senate and the first Joint Board meeting of the Associations of JCI Senators of the Americas and the Caribbean (ASAC), the Association of JCI Senators in Europe (ASE), and the U.S. JCI Senate.
THE SECOND ASAC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 2nd Annual General Meeting of ASAC was held in the JCI Conference in Edmonton, Canada in 2003, where the new Board was elected with President Mitchell Hill from Antigua; Secretary Peter Bakos from USA; Immediate Past President Johnny Pena, from Dominican Republic; Director for South America Marita Gonzalez from Peru; Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean Joaquin Martinez from Mexico and Director for North America and the non Spanish speaking Caribbean Jack Pasquale from USA. A set of Policies for the good operation of ASAC were adopted.
At the Senators Luncheon, JCI President Bruce Rector installed President Mitchell Hill. That year, ASAC participated in the Joint Boards Meeting held in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of JCI Monaco where President Mitchell Hill was presented a Medallion Office by Senator Mike Ashton of the British Senate and Senator Peter Bakos on behalf of the Hungarian Senate as a display of solidarity by the European Senate for ASAC. At the Joint Boards held at the Area D Meeting in Nottingham, England, Director Jack Pasquale and Secretary Peter Bakos were in attendance. ASAC met the Association of JCI Senators in Europe, the US JCI Senate and the new African Senators Association at the JCI World Congress in Copenhagen.
ASAC TAKES OFF IN ECUADOR
The 3rd ASAC Annual General Meeting was held in the JCI Conference of the Americas in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2004 and elected a Board with President Marita Gonzalez (Peru); Secretary Joaquin Martinez (Mexico); Immediate Past President Mitchell Hill (Antigua); Director for South America Freddy Giler (Ecuador); Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean Jorge Garcia (Puerto Rico) and Director for North America and the non Spanish speaking Caribbean Jack Pasquale (USA).
In the AGM was approved the ASAC strategic plan developed by Director Joaquin Martinez; a By-Laws Commission was appointed to make recommendations and Panama became a member. At the same meeting, proposals for an Operating Agreement for the JCI Senate Joint Boards, drafted by Peter Bakos and Eddie Ashley were negotiated with Harald Pfab President of the Association of JCI Senators in Europe (ASE).
In JCI World Congress in Fukuoka, Japan, a document setting for the basic standards for Senators programs at World Congress was adopted and made a part of future contracts for world congress organizing committees; this document was the joint work of ASAC Director Jack Pasquale and former ASE President Henri Agnelly. At the beginning of 2005, during the US JCI Senate Board winter meeting in San Antonio, ASAC President Marita Gonzalez and ASE President Harald Pfab ratified the Senate Expectations as accepted at World Congress.
ASAC STRENGHTENS IN 2005-2006
In Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2005, during the Conference of the Americas, there was a Senators Forum, lead by President Marita Gonzalez and moderated by Brazil JCI Senate President Gilberto Cherubin. In attendance were JCI Secretary General Edson Kodama and JCI Senate President Fernando Sanchez; also ASAC Secretary, Directors and moderator of the 3rd. electronic forum, Nancy M. Leue; as well as most of the JCI Senators participating in Sao Paulo Conference.
Also the 4th Annual General Meeting of ASAC was held during the Conference and a new Board was elected and leaded by Senator Joaquin Martinez (Mexico) as President; Secretary Nancy M. Leue (United States); Director for South America Americo Assunçao (Brazil); Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean Julia Franco (Panama) and Director for North America and the non Spanish speaking Caribbean Joe A. Souza (United States). In this meeting were approved the amendments to the By-laws recommended by the Committee integrated in 2005; the strategic plan was evaluated and a Treasurer was added to the Executive Committee. In this ASAC Annual General Meeting, Argentina and Curaçao signed the ASAC By-Laws.
Also in 2005, ASAC President Joaquin Martinez met JCI President Kevin Cullinane in Mexico City and attended the US JCI Senate 37th National convention in Niagara Falls, NY, along with Secretary Nancy M. Leue where they met President Ed Hart and new ASAC Director for North America Joe A. Souza. After that, ASAC ratified the Joint Boards operating agreement at the Vienna World Congress, attended by President Joaquin Martinez and Director Joe A. Souza, where founding ASAC Secretary Peter Bakos was elected Secretary of the Joint Boards. Additionally, President Joaquin Martinez participated in the Jaycees-Senators Forum organized by the Association of JCI Senators in Europe (ASE).
At the beginning of 2006, ASAC was represented at the British JCI Senate Drumming Out and ASE Board Meeting by Director Joe Souza. After that, in last January, during the JCI National Presidents of Area C in Cancun, Mexico, ASAC President Joaquin Martinez had a meeting with JCI President Lars Hajslund and the Mexico JCI Senate to share ideas and experiences, explain what ASAC has been doing in the Americas and ratify the supporting of the Senate to the growth and development of JCI in Area C.
An outstanding activity was the ASAC 4th Electronic Forum, coordinated by Secretary Nancy M. Leue, with the participation of JCI Senators from 14 countries; the conclusions related to publish the history of the JCI Senates of Area C and a Brotherhood Protocol for sharing ideas and experiences among Senates, were presented to be approved by the body in the Annual General Meeting in Guadeloupe.
ASAC LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
The 5th Annual General Meeting of ASAC was held in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe Island, French Departments of America, on May 2006. In that meeting, according to the By-laws, was elected a new Executive Committee composed by Joe A. Souza (USA) President; Vivienne Daflaar (Curaçao) Director for North America and the non Spanish speaking Caribbean; Otoniel Ortega (Mexico) Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean; Americo Assunçao (Brazil) Director for South America; and President Souza appointed Nancy M. Leue (USA) as Secretary; Ben Hur Rodriguez (Ecuador) as Treasurer and Jorge Garcia (Puerto Rico) as Legal Counsel.
It is important to mention that in the 4th annual meeting Honduras and St. Maarten signed the By-Laws in order to become new ASAC members raising the number to 19; the income and expenses budget was approved and the 2004-2006 strategic plan was followed-up and evaluated.
ASAC GET FULL RECOGNITION OF JCI IN 2007
As part of the JCI Conference of the Americas in Asuncion, Paraguay, held the fifth Annual General Meeting of ASAC on May 18, 2007, which elected the new Executive Committee of the Association consists of Nancy M. Leue (USA) President, Vivienne Daflaar (Curaçao) Director for North America and the Caribbean Foreign Language Hispanic, Manuel R. Pineda (Honduras) Director for Mexico, Central America and the Spanish speaking Caribbean, Juan Carlos Hernandez (Argentina) Director for South America and Joe A. Souza.
With the powers conferred on the Constitution, the President Nancy M. Leue appointed as Secretary of the ASAC John Guido Moreno (Colombia), as Treasurer to Americo Assuncao (Brazil) and as Counsel to Othniel Ortega (Mexico), being properly integrated the policy for 2007-2008. It is important to note that the inauguration of the new policy was conducted by ASAC JCI President Scott R. Greenlee, attended by Secretary General Edson Kodama and Executive Vice President and President dela Area C Conference, Abigail Hironimus Paula and several senior officials of the JCI.
IMPORTANT JCI PROGRAMS PROMOTED BY ASAC
Since 2008, ASAC has continued to carry out their Annual General Meetings during the JCI Conferences of the Americas and has driven major programs like Green Senate and has given impetus to JCI programs like JCI Nothing But Nets, Operation Hope and the most important of all, the JCI Foundation doantions. Thus, ASAC has contributed to the growth and development of JCI members worldwide.