MNA General Meeting (and holiday potluck!) Minutes, Dec. 15, 2018

MNA Secretary Meeting/Meeting Minutes

  1. Greetings and pleasantries, call meeting to order – Lila Valencia

Welcome new members and visitors.  ~75 in attendance.

  1. Mueller Community Singers kicked off the meeting with an enthusiastically-received set of holiday favorites
  2. Sponsor recognition – Lila Valencia

When we went away from the printed Front Porch Flyer, we lost ad revenue as a source of income for the MNA. To compensate, we created a business partnership model with several levels of sponsorship tiers and we have gotten amazing support from area businesses.

Top-tier sponsors: Neighborhood Navigators

Helen Marek Walker introduced Geronimo Rodriguez, community liaison for Seton (and AISD Board Trustee and President). Seton has been in the community for more than 115 years. Seton gives the MNA a favorable rate for the facility for MNA general meetings as well as providing a grant.

HEB –  Supported Mueller even before the HEB store opened.  They also provided barbecue for the meeting.

Neighbors Emergency Center had been providing conference room space for the steering committee. They are under new management and continue to be very supportive of the MNA.

Tower of Support sponsor

Frost Bank:  Lila introduced Francisco Albornoz from Frost Bank, which has supported MNA and sometimes provides treats at MNA events. F Frost has been in the neighborhood since 2009 and enjoying the continuing growth. This is their 150th anniversary as a bank.

First-Class Partners

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – provide us movie tickets to enable us to give out pairs to new members, at MNA events, etc.

Mi Casa es Tu Casa in Paggi Square offers Spanish immersion lessons for young children ( and owned by a Mueller neighbor.

Friends of the MNA

Kathy Sokolic of Green City Realty – now co-editor with Dusty Harshman on the revived Front Porch Flyer print edition.  Kathy is very passionate about the community.  Look for the new Front Porch Flyer in your mailbox in January!

DMA Companies – Property owner and manager at Wildflower Terrace and Aldrich 51, allow us general meeting space in the summer at Wildflower and Steering Committee space in Aldrich 51.

Envision Eye – Dimple Sawhney is the owner; she lives in Mueller and located in the HEB center near Torchy’s.  They provide glasses, contacts, and treatment for dry eye, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, among others.

YMCA at Eastside Communities – several Mueller neighbors are on the board. They began by sponsoring the bounce house at our Spring egg roll and continue to be active supporters. Provide recreational activities and exercise and swimming classes.

Kathy Farley has been serving on the Steering Committee and is block captain of her block.  Kathy loves the supportive community and the wonderful support she and Evan received as they organized the Fall Festival.

Social Butterfly

Catellus is a wonderful developer partner and supportive of the MNA.

In-Kind Donations

Colleen’s Kitchen – great food including their brunch. Owners are Mueller neighbors and provide treats at neighborhood events. Ashley Fric and her family have lived in Mueller on Berkman for nearly 10 years.  Love having a local business – provide lunch 7 days, brunch 10-3 Sundays, happy hours 4-6:30 on weekdays and dinner every evening.

L’Oca d’Oro – wonderful partners to the MNA and a great restaurant, providing treats at our events.

Haute European Salon and Beauty Products – in Paggi Square, provided hot chocolate at the Mueller Community Singers’ performance.  Feel very welcomed and excited to have a small business here in Mueller.

Drop-Inn – provides drop-in daycare services, including discounted rates for MNA members during MNA General Meetings, also at the shop homes in Paggi Square.

  1. Community Builders recognition – While the MNA Steering Committee sets the tone and goals, it’s community builders in the neighborhood who get things done. Based on nominations, we have special neighbors to recognize today who embody the spirit of Mueller and the MNA.

David Neider – Dave chaired the Steering Committee prior to Nhat Ho and also served on the Steering Committee.  He now serves on Mueller Commission (PIAC) and works on many transportation-related projects. Dave helps promote good public transportation options for Muellerites and represents Mueller in the Friends of Austin Neighborhoods network.  Dave also recognized all the community members who work with him on these projects.  If you and a small group can rally around a mission, you can really have an impact – you can influence change, so please get involved.  Dave also helped recruit Alamo Drafthouse (with a watch-in) and Kerbey Lane (with an eat-in), along with many other neighbors, to encourage them to open Mueller locations.

Dennis Mick – Also served on the Steering Committee and the PIAC Mueller Commission.  He chairs the Block Captain Network and the Nominations Committee to recruit Steering Committee members.  Carol and Dennis moved into the neighborhood about 10 years ago and it has lived up to their very high expectations.

Veronica Castro de Barrera – unable to join due to family obligations. She’s an architect involved with some of the neighborhood buildings and representing us to the AISD School Board to get a bond for a school here. When her father visits they make paella and open their home to neighbors to enjoy a delicious dish.  She spoke on our Diversity Panel on building community through diversity. She keeps a Mueller neighbor census on Facebook to track where neighbors are from and show the diversity we all enjoy.

  1. Steering Committee – newly elected members, and officers were elected a couple of weeks ago.

Suzanne O’Malley – lives on Berkman at Simond,

Bart Glaser – lived in Mueller for 18 months, loves the neighborhood.

April Caruso – lived in Mueller for 2 years, here to help grow the community and invest in the area she and her family love.

Dan Updegrove – he and Kim moved in 4 years ago. Found MNA to be an immense resource and happy to be part

Richard Carr – here for 6 months and plan to stay and joined the committee to learn about the neighborhood and contribute any way he can. He was recently elected Vice Chair.

Joan Quenan – lived at Wildflower Terrace for last 3-1/2 years, applies her auditing experience on the finance side of the neighborhood.

Penny Brandt – she and her husband and toddler and used the affordable housing program to buy a home here and dedicates time back to Mueller as MNA Treasurer.

Maria Salas – moved to Mueller about 5 years ago at Mattie and Simond in an affordable house, wants to age here in Mueller and so joined the Steering Committee to make more connections. Wants to help grow membership and engagement.

Alison Raffalovich – Secretary for second year, pleased to invest in the neighborhood she loves

John Wooding – Co-Chair – lived here since September but grew up in the area and first flew into Mueller as a child. Lives in an affordable home on Zach Scott, wants to help make neighborhood even better.

Preston Tyree – Co-Chair – 3rd year on Steering Committee, 50 years’ spread in co-chairs ages, representative of our diversity

Bart Jacob, newly elected, was unable to attend the meeting

Bill Kirwin is also returning.

Ty and John recognized Lila Valencia for all her contributions as our outgoing chair.

Outgoing members were also recognized:  Luke Downs, Andrew Clements, Kathy Farley, Evan McLendon, Audrey Glaser (co-led Community and Engagement Committee with Alison), and Bill Berman – going on to be POA Residential Board member.

Adjourn 11:05

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Raffalovich, Secretary, Dec. 21, 2018