The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Council of Scottish Clans & Associates (COSCA)
2:00PM, Saturday, July 11, 2015
Chieftain’s Tent, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
The Council of Scottish Clans & Associations (COSCA), founded in 1976 at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) as a nonprofit charitable corporation, held its annual general meeting (AGM) of the members this year, as usual, during those games in Linville, NC on Saturday, July 11. Presiding was John King Bellassai, the new President of COSCA. (Previously Vice President of COSCA, Mr. Bellassai succeeded to the presidency by operation of law back in April, upon the resignation for personal reasons of Susan McIntosh, the previous President.)
There were 73 dues-paying members-in-good-standing of COSCA attending the AGM at GMHG, most of them representing their respective clan societies—the backbone of COSCA’s membership.
Two Scottish chiefs, guests of honor this year at GMHG, attended COSCA’s AGM and addressed the assembled membership, taking questions at the end. These were Francis, Lord Napier and Ettrick, Chief of Clan Napier, and Jamie Macnab of Macnab, Chief of Clan Macnab.
At the AGM it was announced that COSCA’s 2016 Clan & Family Caucus would be held once again at Lees-Macrae College in Linville, NC, in July 2016, back-to-back with the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
At the conclusion of the meeting, elections were held to COSCA’s Board of Trustees. As the officers are elected every other year and had been elected last year, the incumbents for these positions will continue in office until 2016. These are John Bellassai, who is filling out the balance of his predecessor’s term as President, and Clark Scott, Treasurer.
Three individuals who had been appointed during the year to fill out the terms of At-Large Trustees who had resigned were presented to the membership at the AGM for ratification and confirmed in their offices. These were John Cochran, Keets (Farquhar) Taylor, and Dr. Phil Smith.
Other At-Large Board members not up for reelection this year will continue to serve into 2016. These are Scotty Gallamore, Russ Harper, Bob McWilliam, and David Pickens.
A slate of five other experienced and qualified individuals were also nominated to the Board of Trustees as at-Large members. They were all elected unanimously and added immediately to the COSCA Board. Each will hold a three-year term. The individuals added this year are:
• John Cherry–President, Clan MacLachlan Society and President, St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit. (Clan MacLachlan is a member of COSCA.)
• John McInnis–President, Clan MacInnes Society. (Clan MacInnes is a member of COSCA.)
• David Stewart McKenzie–Sergeant-at-Arms, St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, DC, Vice President, Virginia Scottish Games Association, and organizer of heavy athletics at 20 Scottish games up and down the eastern USA. Member, Clan MacKenzie and American Clan Gregor Society. (Both societies are members of COSCA.)
• Charlie Sherwood, President, Clan Scott Society. (Clan Scott Society is a member of COSCA.)
• Ed Ward, Treasurer, National Capital Tartan Day Committee, Inc. and life member, Clan Stewart Society. He is also a member of the DC St. Andrew’s Society, the Scottish Heritage Society of North Central West Virginia, the American Scottish Foundation, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and an individual member of COSCA.
Each of these individuals brings at least 20 years of experience in Scottish-American organizations and is an active member in their clan society, as well as other Scottish heritage groups. Three are not residents of the East Coast. Mr. Cherry is in Detroit, MI, Mr. MacInnis in Arlington, Texas, and Mr. Sherwood in Tulsa, OK. Three are especially interested in education–Cherry, MacInnis, and Ward (who is currently enrolled, long distance, in Scottish heritage graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh).
In addition to its officers and At-Large voting Trustees, listed above, the COSCA Board benefits from the input of several (non-voting) Advisory Trustees. These include Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor, Bt., 24th Chief of Clan Gregor & Convenor, Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs; Jamie, Lord Sempill; Andrew Morrison, Viscount Dunrossil, Honorary British Council General for the Southwestern United States; and Dr. Bruce Durie, Shennachie to the Chief of the Name of Durie.