AMCHAM Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor’s Re­marks

Thai-American Business (T-AB) Magazine - - Contents -

We just fin­ished hav­ing a Ball – lit­er­ally! Hope­fully you were one of the 400+ mem­bers and guests who at­tended our an­nual Gov­er­nors Ball on April 22 at the AVANI River­side. The theme this year, “Coun­try Roundup,” pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for cow­boys and cow­girls and those with a coun­try spirit to let loose. It was cer­tainly an en­joy­able evening, even if you didn’t like to line dance! I want to give a big thank you to Sheree Tan­pen­suk at the AMCHAM of­fice and the whole AMCHAM team for the great job they did this year. And of course, a thank you to our event part­ners, raf­fle prize donors, and the AVANI River­side for the sup­port and ef­fort that went into this year’s ball. And the good news – we raised ap­prox­i­mately Baht 1.6 mil­lion for the AMCHAM Thai­land Foun­da­tion that will go di­rectly to­wards help­ing un­der­priv­i­leged Thai stu­dents get a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion.

We are al­ready plan­ning for our next big event – the In­de­pen­dence Day Pic­nic. This year’s pic­nic will be held on Satur­day, July 1 at Bangkok Patana School. To make this event a suc­cess we need your help! Please con­sider sup­port­ing the pic­nic in one or more of the fol­low­ing ways:

• Spon­sor one of the re­main­ing stars on our Star- Span­gled Ban­ner. In ad­di­tion to your name or com­pany logo on the ban­ner, you will be given an op­por­tu­nity to op­er­ate a booth with a fun ac­tiv­ity and ten en­trance tick­ets to dis­trib­ute to fam­ily, friends and staff; • Pro­vide a raf­fle prize or small give- away

items for the char­ity game; • Vol­un­teer to be on the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee or help out on the day of the event.

All pro­ceeds from the event go to help fund the AMCHAM Thai­land Foun­da­tion ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams. Re­gard­less of whether you can sup­port the event in any of the ways listed above, please come out and join us on July 1. En­trance ( and raf­fle tick­ets!) will be avail­able this month at all AMCHAM events.

AMCHAM THAI­LAND FOUN­DA­TION

At the be­gin­ning of this year, the AMCHAM Board made some struc­tural changes to the AMCHAM bud­get re­gard­ing the sup­port of the AMCHAM Thai­land Foun­da­tion with the in­struc­tions that the Foun­da­tion should aim to be self- sus­tain­ing. For ap­prox­i­mately the last eight years, at year- end, sur­plus funds from the Cham­ber’s op­er­at­ing bud­get were do­nated to the Foun­da­tion and pro­vided al­most half of the Foun­da­tion funding. This sur­plus, how­ever, has dwin­dled over the years as AMCHAM mem­ber­ship dues have not been in­creased since 2002 and sev­eral of our larger events ( such as the USA Fair and Gov­ern­ment Ap­pre­ci­a­tion din­ner) were post­poned. The stag­nant dues, cou­pled with nor­mal in­fla­tion and the ad­di­tion of sev­eral staffing po­si­tions ( in­clud­ing the new Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs Di­rec­tor po­si­tion) means that the Cham­ber is now op­er­at­ing at a break- even bud­get.

The end- re­sult is that in or­der to con­tinue our sup­port of the Foun­da­tion’s ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams – namely the Stu­dent Schol­ar­ship fund and the English Teach­ing As­sis­tantship, the AMCHAM Foun­da­tion will need to more heav­ily rely on di­rect sup­port from mem­bers. Cur­rently, all pro­ceeds from our so­cial events, in­clud­ing the Gov­er­nors Ball silent auc­tion, the In­de­pen­dence Day pic­nic, sports ac­tiv­i­ties ( golf and bowl­ing) and so­cial net­work­ing nights are di­rectly do­nated to the Foun­da­tion. Due to the gen­er­ous sup­port from the AMCHAM Cor­po­rate Part­ners, their spon­sor­ship of the above pro­grams gen­er­ated ap­prox­i­mately Baht 3.5 mil­lion through the so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties. This level of spon­sor­ship will al­low to sup­port 140 stu­dent schol­ar­ships, down from the 200 Thai univer­sity stu­dents we have given schol­ar­ships to for the last three years ( note that the level of stu­dent schol­ar­ship has grown sub­stan­tially from 2003 when we pro­vided 30 schol­ar­ships).

We are now reach­ing out to AMCHAM mem­bers to fund both ad­di­tional schol­ar­ships and the English Teach­ing As­sis­tantship ( ETA) pro­gram ( our part­ner pro­gram with the Thai- U. S. Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion – Ful­bright, which sends na­tive English speak­ers to help teach English at schools around the coun­try). If you wish to sup­port a stu­dent or an ETA, please con­tact foun­da­tion@ am­chamthai­land.com.

Sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion has been one of the key com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties at the Cham­ber and the Stu­dent Schol­ar­ship pro­gram has been one of our most suc­cess­ful pro­grams, with al­most 2,500 Thai stu­dents hav­ing re­ceived schol­ar­ships from the Cham­ber since 1986. The ETA pro­gram has 22 English as­sis­tants around the coun­try and we all are aware that in­creas­ing the English lan­guage ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Thai stu­dents is a pri­or­ity. Please help us con­tinue to sup­port both these pro­grams.

The Foun­da­tion will con­tinue to op­er­ate the Adopt- a- School pro­gram for those mem­bers who want to pro­vide hard in­fra­struc­ture items, such as play­grounds, wa­ter sys­tems, libraries, etc. The Foun­da­tion, how­ever, will not be in a po­si­tion to pro­vide match­ing funds at this time. The match­ing funds pro­gram was ini­ti­ated ap­prox­i­mately eight years ago based on the sur­plus fund do­na­tion. We are still happy to ac­cept do­na­tions to the pro­gram and find wor­thy schools who can avail of your gen­eros­ity. If you have any ques­tions about the above changes, please feel free to con­tact me. Best re­gards, Judy Benn Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor

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