Traditionally, the newsletter staff takes off the month of July. So, I decided for the Foundation leadership to also take a break during July, allowing us to recharge and refocus on the issues that are important to our membership.
During this time off, I thought about all of the Nisei Veterans who I have known over the years through my association with this organization. There were many occasions when we talked first-hand about their wartime experiences that established the basis for the NVC Legacy. However more often, we talked about family and community, while also working together on the traditional NVC events and special projects.
Our relationships with these Nisei Veterans and their families are the reasons why most of us have maintained a commitment to this organization. It was anticipated that the NVC Foundation would not only sustain their fundraising objectives, but also provide an organization inclusive of non-veterans and family members to continue the activities of the NVC.
It was not anticipated that we would have the two organizations, the NVC and the NVC Foundation to be operating separately for decades thereafter. However unexpectedly, younger, honorable, and committed Sansei Veterans stepped into roles of leadership to sustain the NVC. As a result, both organizations have drawn from the strengths of each other, working closely together, to maintain all of these same traditional NVC events and new special projects.
Yet, this dual organizational structure has resulted in a number of dysfunctional practices. For example, due to our common agendas, the Board and Membership meetings of both organizations are held on the same night, with 4 separate but consecutive meetings, each with a time limit of 30 minutes apiece.
The Foundation Board alone consists of 17 Board members, and I have yet to figure out how to conduct a Board meeting with meaningful discussion within a 30-minute time limitation. Then, there are the confusing budgetary issues related to who pays for what or confusion among our donors about what to donate where.
The solution to resolving these issues is through a Consolidation of these separate but interdependent organizations into a single organization.
Under the leadership of Harold Taniguchi as facilitator, the NVC and NVCF Consolidation Committees have spent many hours meeting on a regular basis. It is now time for these Committees to share the results of our discussions and solicit comments from our respective Boards and Membership bodies to move the process forward.
In the tradition of the original Nisei Vets meetings, open and frank discussion will be necessary to work through all of the issues related to Consolidation. However, considering the alternative of another decade operating separately, it’s a process we will need to start to assure that the Legacy of our Nisei Veterans will be honored for generations to come.