CISV Atlanta started in 1999, when Tait Anberg spoke extensively with then National Expansion Chair, Phil Long. After seeing the enthusiasm and tenacity of the Denver Steering Committee, the seed was planted and was allowed several years to germinate. In late May of 2004, with his daughter about to turn four, he called Eleanor Cooper of the Chattanooga Chapter to see if he and his family could join the Chattanooga Chapter. Eleanor relayed that Chattanooga’s bylaws had a 50-mile radius clause for membership and so the next phone call was made to Mary Brophy and the questions asked: “how do I start a chapter?” Within two days, with the awesome help of email and enthusiastic CISVers in the United States, the Atlanta Area Interest Group had several past CISV families representing several different chapters.
On June 6, 2004, Hilary Leland, Lisa Howe, Laura Aday, Melissa Ribeiro, Lindy Day, Joni Tyson, Emma Anberg, Tait Anberg, Kimber Arrington, Sara Hannah, Shannon Miller, Sherrie Miller, and Andrea Duke all met at Tait and Joni’s house and officially decided to become an interest group of CISV USA. They set their sites on becoming a steering committee at the National Board Meeting (NBM).
A delegation from the CISV Atlanta Area Interest Group attended the National Board Meeting (NBM) in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 21-24, 2004. The delegation consisted of Kimber Arrington, Hilary Leland, Lisa Howe, Melissa Ribeiro, Tait Anberg, Tim Banning, and Anjellica Miller. At the NBM, Phil Long, National Expansion Chair, introduced the motion to recognize the Atlanta Area Interest Group as a Steering Committee. Tait Anberg, Atlanta Area President, introduced the Interest Group, gave a bit of history about its beginnings, and gave a multi-media presentation created by CISV Atlanta Area friend, Tanya Fields.
Closed session was called and the Atlanta Area Interest Group was asked to step outside of the board room while the Board discussed its candidacy. Jon Hawley of the Maine Chapter, kept them busy with CISV energizers while they waited.
The group was soon invited back into the board room, and Sharon Lipps, National President, announced that the Atlanta Area Interest Group had been approved as an official Steering Committee of CISV USA. Sharon presented the group with its Steering Committee certificate and Phil Long presented the celebratory group with their very own CISV Flag.
Phil then proceeded to the Atlanta Chapter Trustee seats and turned up place cards for Melissa Ribeiro, Senior Trustee, and Lisa Howe, Junior Trustee. Both were officially and warmly welcomed as Atlanta Area Steering Committee Trustees at the CISV National Board Room table.
In the summer of 2005, CISV Atlanta Area participated in its first Regional Mini Camp in Chattanooga, staffed by Tait Anberg and a delegation lead by Jay Stallworth, sent our very first Village Delegation, lead by Lakwanza Williams, to Paris, France, our very first Junior Counselor, Tim Banning to Springfield, Massachusetts, and our very first Village Staff Member, Garry Banning, to Maine. In October, we brought twelve CISV Atlanta Area representatives to NBM: Thletha Yates, Anitra Brooks, Bill Howe, Lisa Howe, Laura Aday, Hilary Leland, Melissa Ribeiro, Garry Banning, Tim Banning, Kaitlyn Banning, Maayan Schechter, and Tait Anberg. It was exciting to see new and old members alike having a wonderful experience. Here is where they heard Denise Longino, President of the Gulf Coast Chapter, thanking CISVers for their generous financial support and asking for people to come down and help clean up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This lead to CISV Atlanta coordinating with CISV Chattanooga and CISV Jacksonville to collaborate on three Relief Weekends in December 2005, February 2006, and April 2006 (ultimately 6 Relief Weekends in all).
In the summer of 2006, CISV Atlanta hosted the first Southern Regional Mini Camp, its first Local Village, sent its second Village Delegations to Copenhagen, Denmark, lead by Lisa Howe, and to Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, lead by Jay Stallworth, its second Junior Counselor, Daniel Hollingsworth, to Denver, Colorado, and its very first Seminar Camp participant, Tim Banning to Lappeenranta, Finland.
From October 26-29, 2006, the Atlanta Steering Committee attended the National Board Meeting at the Drawbridge Inn in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. On Friday, October 27, 2006 at 10:45 a.m., Mary Brophy, the CISV USA President, called the second session of the day to order. The first order of business was Motion #10 stating that the Expansion Committee had moved that the Atlanta Steering Committee be granted full Chapter status with all rights and responsibilities, having fulfilled all the requirements set forth in the Book of Procedures under Policies and Procedures, Part III (III 4 – III 6), Sections 1-4.
After the motion was read, a closed session was called and the Atlanta Steering Committee representatives and Sadie Blanton, Expansion Chair, were asked to leave the room as they were to discuss Motion #10. After a brief discussion, Sadie Blanton was called back in to the room to speak to the motion.
The board session was then re-opened, our Atlanta Steering Committee representatives were then called back into the room, and it was announced to us that the vote was unanimously in favor of Atlanta obtaining Chapter status. Motion #10 passed. Sadie Blanton, Expansion Chair, presented the Atlanta Area Chapter with their official Chapter charter.
CISV remains truly grateful to all who have assisted and continue to assist us on our journey. We are striving for excellence, building on the shoulders of those who have come before us.