THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
GRATITUDE REPORT
JULY 2019-JUNE 2020
HELPING IOWANS BECOME
CITIZEN DIPLOMATS
of theWORLD
TABLE OF
CONTENTS
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Message From Our
Executive Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Selected Financial Data FY2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Legacy Gift FY2020 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Open World Delegation January–February 2020:
Health Reform in Legislation with Ukraine . . . . . . .6-7
Home Hosting as Citizen Diplomacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Host Family Testimonials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
PPE Donations From China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11
An Iowan In Lockdown In Veneto, Italy
Through The Eyes And Words Of
Artist Amy Worthen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13
Kosovo Mayors in Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
ISS Volunteer Appreciation Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Global Youth Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Iowa Sister States Board of Directors
and Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Thank You To Our Donors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19
Back Cover: Robert D. Ray Quote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
Photo: Mr. Artan Duraku of the Kosovo Consulate welcomes the new Executive Director
of Iowa Sister States, Ms. Karla Weilbrenner McCollum, President of the Board, Ms.
Teresa Parmenter and the Chair of the Kosovo Committee, Mr. Todd Jacobus.
Front Page Photo Credit: Daniel Olahs, Unsplash.com
Report Layout and Design: Sharon Free
Dear ISS Volunteer, Supporter, and Friend,
Who would have ever believed at the end of 2019 what the year 2020 would look like!! A
world-wide pandemic…natural disasters…political and social unrest…Whew! What a year!!!
Although this world sometimes seems challenging, we have so much to be grateful for! So,
this year, for our annual report, we wanted to be sure that we informed you about FY2020
but we also wanted to express our gratitude for the good we have shared and experienced
throughout FY2020. Think of it as a Gratitude Report!
First and foremost: we are grateful for YOU!! You: our volunteers, supporters, and friends
are the heartbeat of our organization! Our work in Citizen Diplomacy is possible because
of YOU. We appreciate the volunteer time you give, the donations you make, the continued
relationships you have built and continue to keep, and your belief in Citizen Diplomacy. It is
through this work in Citizen Diplomacy that each one of us can have an impact on the world
by interacting with one person at a time! For all of these things --and so much more--we are
extremely grateful for YOU!!
Iowa Sister States exists because of the shared belief that we can impact the world…--person-to-person--through every act of Citizen Diplomacy.
Even during times of international stress and upheaval, Citizen Diplomacy is the one thing that remains to keep the doors open and the con-
versation continuing with other countries. We are proud to be a part of such a truly impactful global experience!
We are also appreciative to our present and past leadership who have forged the way for Iowans to connect across the globe!
To our Board of Directors: we are thankful for your service, direction, and guidance, as well as for your continued leadership in these ever-chang-
ing times.
To our Interim Director, Monty Freeman, and to our Board President for FY19-FY20, Dr. Will Zhang: we want to thank you for your service and
leadership which kept ISS moving forward during the challenges surrounding COVID-19.
To all our Donors: through all gifts, large and small, we are so thankful! Your generosity inspires us. We especially want to thank The Commu-
nity Foundation of Muscatine for the legacy donation on behalf of Richard and Mary Jo Stanley, and we honor them for living their lives rooted
in Citizen Diplomacy. Contributions from all our donors have and will enable more Iowan’s to connect internationally, and to continue the rich
tradition of Iowans impacting the globe.
As we move forward into FY2021, we do so with a new Board President, Teresa Parmenter, and new staff: Karla Weilbrenner McCollum-Exec-
utive Director, Cassandra Tant-International Program Manager, and Sharon Free-Marketing. We continue to foster the relationships with our
Sister States and move forward with some exciting plans for projects and exchanges in 2021.
The need for Citizen Diplomacy did not stop during the pandemic, and neither did we. In fact, Citizen Diplomacy and the need for peo-
ple-to-people connections globally is even more necessary in these times. Whether you choose to donate to Iowa Sister States via volunteerism
or monetarily, we will continue to connect Iowans and the world through the culture, commerce, arts, athletics, education, and government of
the international community.
Thank you again for your continued support. We are so grateful for YOU!!
Will Zhang Monty Freeman Karla Weilbrenner McCollum
Board President FY 2020 Interim Director Executive Director
MESSAGE FROM OUR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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Thank you again for your continued support. We are so grateful for YOU!!
Will Zhang Monty Freeman Karla Weilbrenner McCollum
Will Zhang Monty Freeman Karla Weilbrenner McCollum
Board President FY 2020 Interim Director Executive Director
2017 2018 2019 2020
Income
Public Support 190,160 213,596 199,552 573,851
Revenues 108 95 159 2058
Unrealized Gain on Investments 13,333 8,557 4,430 6,978
Total Income 203,601 222,248 204,141 582,887
Expenses
Program Services 54,983 60,385 58,101 9.95
Supporting Services 159,972 141,292 139.841 122.469
Total Expenses 214,955 201,677 197,942 122,479
Changes in Net Assets -11,354 20,571 6,199 441,253
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
FY2020
Photo: Open World Participants from Ukraine attending a Friday Night
Iowa Wild Hockey Game.
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Photo: Karla Weilbrenner McCollum being interviewed for Kosovo Film ProjectPhoto: Our runners from our sister state of Veneto, Italy are off to the races at IMT Des
Moines Marathon! They even got to meet Governor Kim Reynolds before the race!
Photo: Iowa Sister States held its annual Legislative Breakfast in January at the Iowa
State Capitol. Legislators, aides, staff, media and board members were in attendance. The
delicious bagels, cream cheese and coffee came from 5 Borough Bagels in Clive. A very nice
morning!
The Stanleys' reach was and remains to be global.
In their work alongside community leaders in their
hometown of Muscatine, Iowa, as well as with
diplomats on the world stage, always maintained a
humility and approachability that few such gures
possess. They were world citizens who could relate
to anyone, and were committed to understanding
how they could further appreciate and perhaps
help the furthest reaches of our globe. Their efforts
helped support international peace and safety, the
arts, engineering, and education, and that only just
scratches the surface.
Richard and Mary Jo Stanley have chosen to support the causes important to them through this gift.
LEGACY GIFT
FY2020
THANK YOU Community Foundation of Muscatine for
Their Generous Donation
A big THANK YOU to Charla
Schafer and the Community
Foundation of Muscatine, who
presented us with a generous
legacy donation on behalf of
Richard and Mary Jo Stanley.
Their belief in our work and
mission of global citizen
diplomacy will continue in their
memory. For this gift, we are
humbled and grateful.
About Richard & Mary Jo Stanley
Photo: Charla Schafer, Executive Director of the Community
Foundation of Muscatine, presents Interim Executive
Director Monty Freeman with a legacy gift for Iowa Sister
States from Richard and Mary Jo Stanley.
About The Community Foundation Of Muscatine
For 20 years, The Community Foundation of Muscatine has
fulfi lled their mission of working to improve the quality of life in
Muscatine County though philanthropy. "Our charitable funds
and endowments have impact today and anchor the long-term
continued sustainability of our evolving community. The purposes of these life-changing, community-
enriching dollars include: early education, post-secondary success, homeless prevention, nutrition,
diversity and inclusion, the arts, music, faith, enrichment for individuals with disabilities and seniors,
historical preservation, economic advancement, recreation and an array of health initiatives.
Richard & Mary Jo Stanley
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Iowa Sister States once again had the pleasure to host an Open World delegation through the
US-Ukraine Foundation, in January 2020. Five professional delegates from Ukraine came to learn
about health reform in legislation in Iowa. They had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of
State Paul Pate, the Department of Aging, the Des Moines Police department, the Blank Children’s
Hospital and many more healthcare organizations and professionals. It was a great opportunity to
facilitate dialogue between nations on such a relevant and challenging topic.
OPEN WORLD DELEGATION – JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020
HEALTH REFORM IN LEGISLATION
WITH UKRAINE
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OPEN WORLD DELEGATION – JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020
HEALTH REFORM IN LEGISLATION
WITH UKRAINE
Photos: Opposite, Ukrainian delegates meet with Iowa Secretary of State, Paul Pate. Clockwise from top, 1. Meeting with the Iowa Department of Health. 2. Learning about the Des Moines
Police Department 3. We met with Mallory and Emily to learn more about the Iowa Organ Donor Network. Thanks Emily and Mallory! 4. At the Iowa House of Representatives 5. Going over
the daily schedule at the Iowa Sister States offi ce.
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HOME HOSTING AS
CITIZEN DIPLOMACY
Home host stays are one of the cornerstones of the Iowa
Sister States experience! We encourage home hosting
for all incoming delegations, as it greatly benefi ts both
host and visitor.
For the Iowa host family, it is an excellent opportunity
to meet a person from a different part of the world and
realize how similar our lives are and learn some of our
interesting differences.
For the visitor, immersion within a family and staying in
their home and community is the most authentic way
to experience our culture.
ISS Host Families are key Citizen Diplomats - by hosting
an international delegate, Iowans are engaging with the
rest of the world in a meaningful, mutually benefi cial
dialogue.
“I have long believed, as
have many before me,
that peaceful relations
between nations requires
understanding and
mutual respect between
individuals. If only people
will get together, then so
eventually will nations.”
-Dwight D. Eisenhower,
34th President of the
United States
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HOST FAMILY
TESTIMONIALS
“We have hosted Japanese college
and High school students since 2011.
It has been a wonderful time of fun,
fellowships and family! Our guests
quickly become extensions of our
family and we still hear from many of
them today! It is a tremendous thing
to open your home to these kids, and
the rewards are lifelong!
Please consider hosting, it is a
blessing!”
-Gary and Michelle
“My family and I have had the
opportunity to host 4 times through
Iowa Sister States. Two of the times
it was women from Ukraine and the
other two times it was students from
Yamanashi, one high school aged girl
and one college aged girl... Each time
we had amazing experiences showing
our guests around Des Moines, while
also learning about them and their
culture… One of our Ukrainian
guests, Anna, was a baker back in
Ukraine and made cream puffs one
night. Our guest Xuelei from Japan
was so excited when we stumbled
upon an old car show after brunch
and loved visiting the art center.
Hosting is a fantastic experience and something that impacts you for the rest of your life. I
highly recommend everyone host at least once in their life.”
- Claire
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PPE DONATIONS
FROM CHINA
Iowa Sister States received
donated PPE (20,000
surgical masks, 2,000 N95
masks, and 600 protective
gowns) from three major
enterprises in Hebei.
They are Huayu which
has been partnering the
Hy-Line International
in West Des Moines,
Qimei which has been
partnering with Kimberly
Farm in Maxwell, and
Yibo which sponsored
the ISS’s visit in 2018.
They were shipped on
April 18th and arrived at
Des Moines on May 4th.
These PPE have been
redistributed to six hospitals
in Central and Eastern Iowa
though Mercy Medical,
and also to the emergency
management and hospitals
in other sister cities in C.R.,
Dubuque, and Muscatine.
ISS also received large
quantities of PPE donations
from Tianjin, the former
capital city of Hebei. These
donations were shipped
on March 28th vis USPS
and just arrived in Des
Moines on June 24th.
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PPE DONATIONS
FROM CHINA
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AN IOWAN IN LOCKDOWN
IN VENETO, ITALY ...
Amy Worthen, an artist and
retired Curator of Prints and
Drawings, Des Moines Art Center,
has been member of Iowa Sister
States since its founding in the
mid-1980s. She was the rst chair
of the Iowa-Veneto Sister State
Committee, established in 1997.
Since 2004, she has lived half of
each year in Venice, where she
is a legal resident and owns an
apartment. Amy was in Venice
from early February through
June, 2020. She documented
the experience in drawings and
photographs and has written
an account living through the
Coronavirus lockdown in Venice
– Ms. Worthen’s written account-
-with more photos--can be found
on our website at
www.iowasisterstates.org.
These face masks were delivered to every Venetian resident on April 27 It’s interesting to see the package is labeled with The
Lion of Venice and the star of the PRC.
Left: Daily helicopter surveillance
Left: Piazza San Marco fi lled with Carnevale revelers Feb 21.
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...THROUGH THE EYES AND
WORDS OF ARTIST AMY WORTHEN
Above: Controlling entrance to the market masks and gloves required. Below three photos: Signs of the Pandemic.
Above: Empty canals of Italy.
Above: “Stay Home.”
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KOSOVO MAYORS
IN IOWA
Iowa Sister States was pleased to host the Mayors of Kosovo on February 27th, 2020. There were
introductions, welcomes, and presentations which all highlighted the relationship between Iowa and
Kosovo.
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ISS VOLUNTEER
APPRECIATION EVENT
Iowa Sister States held our
volunteer appreciation event
at The Purveyor Des Moines in
Des Moines on February 20th,
2020. ISS Volunteers open their
hearts and their homes to our
international delegations, and we
held a special evening to honor
their efforts and contributions.
We are so appreciative of these award recipients for their contributions and to have honored them in this way
is only a fraction of our gratefulness for what they do to foster cultural exchange in our great state of Iowa.
They are all true Citizen Diplomats.
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GLOBAL
YOUTH INSTITUTE
Iowa Sister States held our volunteer appreciation event at The Purveyor Des Moines in Des Moines on
February 20th, 2020. ISS Volunteers open their hearts and their homes to our international delegations,
and we held a special evening to honor their efforts and contributions.
For one week in October ISS had a great time hosting students from both Kosovo and Hebei, China that
were here to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute! The students were home hosted all
over Des Moines and surrounding areas. Thank you to all of our host families and partner schools(Valley,
Hoover, Bondurant, & Norwalk) that made this program possible!
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IOWA SISTER STATES
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The ISS Board of Directors oversees our international programs and maintains the ethical and fi duciary
responsibility of our organization to nancial supporters, state government and Iowa’s citizenry.
The Board is led by the Executive Committee, which is comprised of the President, President-Elect,
Treasurer and Secretary. This committee meets prior to all Board meetings (and other times as necessary)
and acts with the authority of the Board between meetings.
ISS
STAFF
KARLA
WEILBRENNER
M
C
COLLUM
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
CASSANDRA
TANT
INTERNATIONAL
PROGRAM MANAGER
TERESA PARMENTER
BOARD PRESIDENT
ROGER NOWADKZY
VICE PRESIDENT/
PRESIDENT-ELECT
PAOLO BARTESAGHI
TREASURER
MONTY FREEMAN
SECRETARY
LUCA BERRONE ROB DENSON TODD JACOBUS RACHEL KARSTENS GRANT KIMBERLY
TOM RIALPRAKASH
KOPPARAPU
PHYLLIS VAN GILST WILLIAM ZHANG
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KENN YU
SHARON
FREE
MARKETING &
MEDIA
THANK YOU TO
OUR DONORS
Your gift to Iowa Sister States is a powerful demonstration of your commitment to integrating Iowans with the
world community. Because of your generous provisions, we are joining with others across Iowa to strengthen the
building blocks of citizen diplomacy, through international partnerships and programs which promote cultural,
economic, and other interests of the State of Iowa and its citizens.
People with passion and commitment—like you—are leading the way to a better world. Please accept our sincere
thanks for your support.
Photo: RAGBRAI Team Veneto dips their tires into the Mississippi River (2016)
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Ambassador Level $5000+
Larry Zimpleman
~
Consul Level $1000-4999
Teresa Parmenter Irina Dykstra Chuck & Kathy Safris
Joyce Warburton Lijun Cheng
~
Diplomat Level $500-999
Steven Dickinson Dana Hustedt Lijuan Mandelbaum Rob Denson
~
Traveler Level $100-499
Cinian Zheng-Durbin Elizabeth Garst Steven Dickinson Amy Worthen Joyce Warburton Sarah Lande
Allen Meyer Roger Nowadzky Debi Durham Gary Aitchison Gordon Opland Jeff Wilson
Mike Schoville Norman Hulscher Ron & Toni Noah Teresa Parmenter Willard & Kay Jenkins
Zhanna Buell
~
Tourist Level Up to $99
Gerald Nordquist Vince Lawson Fiatala Salamo John Gersib
Rod & Eileen Swoboda Stephen Leahy Carolyn Stephenson Susan Benderson
THANK YOU TO
OUR DONORS
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WHY
CITIZEN DIPLOMACY?
“I think what (it) shows is that
everyone can do something and
make a difference in this world.
We might not be able to do it all
but we can do something, and
isn’t there great satisfaction
in that? The happiest people
I know are people who are doing things for
other people. Think about at Christmas time;
what makes you happiest? Is it what someone
gives you or what you give to make somebody
pleased, right?”
–Robert D. Ray (1928-2018)
Iowa Governor & Champion of
Iowa Sister States
1963 Bell Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
515.348-6268
www.lowaSisterStates.com • info@IowaSisterStates.com
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