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Festival of Cultures

  • Updates from our 2018 AGM & Festival of Cultures including our new Board of Directors! see more









    Our Annual General Meeting in Summary

    On Saturday, March 3, a diverse group of RPCVs got together for the Northern California Peace Corps Association’s Annual General Meeting. This year the meeting was held in Millbrae and our theme was “Taking Charge of Change,” with a focus on advocacy for the Peace Corps. In between socializing and enjoying a delicious potluck, we provided opportunities to participate in Peace Corps advocacy by learning about the issues, writing postcards, and facilitating scripted phone calls. Urgent issues we focused on are the need to defend against proposed cuts to Peace Corps’ budget as well as to support proposed legislation that insures better health care and safety for volunteers and RPCVs affected by illness during service. Find out more about actions you can take through our coordinated effort with the National Peace Corps Association’s March Days of Action campaign here.


    Present to tell us of personal experiences related to “Taking Charge of Change,” we welcomed as our keynote speaker: Mike Honda. Mr. Honda, an RPCV who served in El Salvador and spent over a decade as a US Congressman representing Silicon Valley, spoke about how we need to remember we are all human, and even during divisive times, make sure we treat each other with respect and work toward common goals. Lessons learned from the Peace Corps and the value the program provides are perhaps relevant and needed now more than ever. We are very grateful to Mr. Honda for sharing his thoughts and experience with us.





    Our New Board of Directors

    The Annual General Meeting additionally serves as a time for change for the Board of Directors of the NorCalPCA. To that end, many “thanks” are due!

    Firstly, thank you to outgoing board members who have contributed tremendously to our organization’s growth and spirit:

    Lie Njie, (President, At Large)

    Kristen Borash (Fundraising, At Large)

    Also thanks to Acting President and AGM-All-Star-Planner Glenn Anaiscourt who stepped up when we needed him most.


    Based on the Board of Director elections that were completed at the AGM, we are excited to confirm the following results:

    At Large:

    Jenna Smith (new!)

    Nancy Beam (new!)

    Lila Holzman (continuing)

    Noah Brod (continuing)

    Ella Dowell (continuing)

    Holly Uber (continuing)


    San Francisco:

    Sandrena Frischer (continuing, switched from North Bay)

    Terry Vogt (continuing, new term)


    East Bay:

    Jesse Schofield (new!)

    Kathleen Campbell (new!)

    Glenn Anaiscourt (continuing, new term)


    South Bay:

    Michael Hotard (continuing)

    Jeff Zundel (continuing)


    North Bay:

    Cassie Burdyshaw (continuing, switched from At Large)


    Santa Cruz/Monterey:

    Derek Owens (new!)



    Jeremy Karnowski (new!)

    Michael Dyett (new!)

    Peggy Flynn (new!)

    Christine Moore (new!)


    Days after this board became whole, we held our internal Executive Officer elections.

    We are excited to confirm the following results:

    President: Lila Holzman

    Vice President: Noah Brod

    Treasurer: Terry Vogt

    Secretary: Cassie Burdyshaw

    Our Board of Directors is thrilled to dig in and continue supporting the mission and valuable work of the NorCalPCA. We look forward to embarking on this next chapter together with all of our members! You can learn more about your new Board members here.



    Thank you to all of our members that joined us for our Annual General Meeting & Festival of Cultures! We look forward to seeing you again at one of our many future events!

     March 12, 2018
  • Thanks to all who participated in NorCalPCA's 2017 Annual General Meeting and Festival of Cultures! see more



    Many thanks to all who attended and volunteered at our 2017 Annual General Meeting and Festival of Cultures on January 28 at the Mission Pool & Playground Clubhouse in San Francisco!




    Annual General Meeting

    In conjunction with the Annual General Meeting, we elected 8 new board members! They are Kirsten Borash (At-Large), Gary Chen (SF Alternate), Sandrena Frischer (North Bay), Lila Holzman (At-Large), Michael Hotard (South Bay), Anthony Toney (East Bay), Holly Uber (South Bay), and Jeff Zundel (South Bay). Three current board members were also re-elected. They include NorCalPCA President Lie Njie (At-Large), Noah Brod (East Bay) and Ella Dowell (At-Large). Get to know more about our board members here.

    Membership voted to approve the proposed ByLaws changes (special thanks to Pete Johnson for helping us to prepare these and to Karen Keefer for commenting on them). Read our new ByLaws here.

    Finally, members also voted on a new logo for NorCalPCA. The winning logo, pictured to the right, was designed by Judy Stolzfus, At-Large Board Director Noah Brod's close family friend and a big fan of the Peace Corps! Check out her website

    Lie Njie, Marilyn Hyde, and others then provided a detailed summary of where we've been and where we are headed as an organization. 



    Festival of Cultures

    After the general meeting, Lie led us ceremonially through the Peace Corps oath. Steven Elias followed with the icebreaker, which took us right into socializing at our Festival of Cultures. We strolled through the country and public service tables while sampling the extensive international pot luck and catching up. Many thanks to Adrianne BorgiaDorothy HerzbergBarbara JueDiane LeeGale LedererGenevieve EvenhouseJane Ferguson FloutLila HolzmanMatt OrrMeredith Miller Vostrejs, and everyone else who provided displays for our information.


    Our keynote speaker was Martha Ryan, who worked with Sudanese refugees after completing her tour as a PCV in Ethiopia. Martha later returned to San Francisco and founded a nonprofit, the Homeless Prenatal Program, which today primarily serves women who are pregnant and homeless. She shared stories of clients who are now homeowners and who have earned degrees in higher education. Martha’s presentation was informative, inspiring, and pertinent to work that many of the RPCVs in the audience are doing. We are grateful to Board member Jane Ferguson Flout for identifying Martha, inviting her to speak, and arranging for her to come to our event and address us.

    After that it was time to raffle off the delicious, home-brewed beer kindly donated by Isaac Pearlman. Ella Dowell took group photos, and then Lie "COSed" us to close the Festival. A few of us then participated in the after-party, at the City Center Hostel and breakfast the following morning.

    Special thanks to Adrianne BorgiaNichole ClarkAlice ImpraimAnthony ItoneyChrista PeacockCynthia LamondElla DowellGavin RobillardGregory KalkanisHannah CenterHilary JacobsenHolly UberIsaac PearlmanJane Ferguson FloutLila HolzmanMeg CarterMeghan MurphyMeredith Miller VostrejsMichael HotardMira BrownNoah BrodSandrena FrischerSuzanne McCloskeyTerry VogtTess Marstaller, and everyone else who helped organize this event. Thanks to everyone who brought a dish, set up, tore down, and attended these wonderful events!


    Congratulations to all! It's going to be a wonderful year for our association!  

    Last year your Northern California Peace Corps Association hosted over 180 events. They were large and small; social, service-oriented, and educational; and they took place from Petaluma to Santa Cruz and from Sacramento to San Francisco.

    We encourage you to organize a community event of your own this year, using NorCalPCA's resources to publicize it, fund it, and to gain support for it. Post your events to NorCalPCA's online calendar and email if you would like to request funding, resources, or volunteers for your event!

    We look forward to seeing you at several of our many upcoming activities and events this coming year!

     February 04, 2017
  • Get ready for NorCalPCA's 2017 Festival of Cultures and Annual General Meeting on 01/28! see more

    Get ready for your Northern California Peace Corps Association's 2017 Festival of Cultures and Annual General Meeting on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Mission Pool and Playground Clubhouse Multi-Purpose Room in San Francisco!

    Our bylaws require us to hold an Annual General Meeting, where we elect Board Directors and transact other business. Then we have a big, international party we call the Festival of Cultures to reunite and celebrate the countries where we served and the experiences we had serving in them.  

    Our theme this time will be Peace Corps Life--so everyone who attends will have a chance to be sworn in, do volunteer work (by attending the general meeting), enjoy various aspects of Peace Corps life (including at our Festival of Cultures), and COS at the end. :)  And we're also planning optional events for Saturday evening and Sunday morning, all details TBA. You won't want to miss out, so stay tuned and get ready to have a great time with your friends in your local RPCV community!

    CALENDAR THIS: AGM & Festival, Jan. 28, 2017, 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM,  Mission Pool and Playground Clubhouse Multi-Purpose Room, 3555 19th Street, San Francisco 94110 (19th & Linda between 19th and Valencia Streets).

    CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS / VOLUNTEERS: Are you one of those amazing people who wants to help organize? E-mail with your preferences. Some of the activities include: planning; presenting at the event; registration/information table; chairs and tables; supplies; decorations; food/drinks;  signage; setup; tear down; miscellaneous help during the event; your own ideas. *Thank you!!!*

     December 23, 2016