Sister Cities Association of Sarasota Inc
111 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota FL 34236-3424
Through citizen diplomacy Sarasota Sister Cities fosters international relationships between Sarasota and cities that have similar interests by creating exchanges in areas of culture, education, tourism, business and government.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Ms Marianna Janz-Wecke
Board Chair Affiliation Real Estatel Agency
General Info
Organization DBA
Sister Cities Association of Sarasota, Inc.
Sarasota Sister Cities Association
Former Names
Sarasota Sister Cities Associaion
Sister Cities Association
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1990
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration No 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
Letter of DeterminationView
Other Documents
Annual Report 2016View
Annual Report 2015View
Impact Statement
Major Accomplishments
  • Florida Studio Theater Young Playwrights Competition: Facilitated competition with three Sister Cities with award winners from all three Sister Cities; coordinated winners' visits for play performances of two Sister Cities (program won Innovation Award, Sister Cities, International); conducted exchange with former Dunfermline Young Playwright winners in Dunfermline.
  • Formal exchanges with delegations that included members of the Board: Dunfermline, Scotland and Sponsored Bag Pipe Performance by Dunfermline student (as the result of exchange).
  • Finalization of Sister Cities status with, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland and hosted the Swiss American Canoe Club
  • Presentations Series, Luncheon and Cosponsored Events by Sister City members on the following:  Cultural Revolution, A Review of Contemporary Art Since the Communist Revolution;War and Pace;The Joy of Traveling and Bagpipe in Dunfermline and Beyond; Cuba before and after Castro;Rapperswil-Jona, the City of Roses;Swiss Music; 10 Year Anniversary of Xiamen, Sister City; Global Body Language
  • Expand Florida Studio Theater Young Playwrights Competition by inclusion of additional Sister Cities (train teachers, provide resources for contest and winners);
  • Signing of Sister Cities Agreement and City and Board Exchange with Rappersvil-Jona.  Integrate Rapperswill Jona into existing programs
  • Work with Sarasota agencies to integrate Sister Cities Economic Development Programs including the development of a brochure for Sister Cities and seven cities in appropriate languags;
  • Improve membership retention and diversity funding sources;
Needs Statement
  1. Expand Florida Studio Theater Competition expansion, $25,000;
  2. Public Relations Program to enhance brand, expand membership, and diversify,  $20,000
  3. Sustainability Conference Poster Contest $10,000;
  4. Rapperswil-Jona Signing and Exchange $7,000.
  5. Sustainability Poster Contest and educational conference$10,000
Background Statement

Sister Cities Association of Sarasota, Inc. (SCAS) was created fifty-two years ago.  This organization is a member of the International Sister Cities Association, which was created in 1957 by Dwight Eisenhower to promote “citizen diplomacy.” It is a non-profit organization that implements the City of Sarasota’s Sister City program.

The mission of SCAS. is to foster international relationships between Sarasota and cities that have similar interests by creating exchanges in areas of culture, education, tourism, business and government. SCAS’s objective is to develop respect, understanding and cooperation through citizen diplomacy. To accomplish this mission we develop relationships with people in cities that have commonalities with Sarasota. Working outside the realm of government, but with its support, we encourage and facilitate cultural and education exchanges, business opportunities and increased tourism.

Currently our Sister Cities are: Dunfermline, Scotland; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Merida, Mexico; Perpignan, France; Tel Mond, Israel; Treviso Province, Italy; Vladimir, Russia; and Xiamen (Siming), China.

Friendship City: Rapperswil-Jona Switzerland. 

We do some programs singly, but we mostly partner with other organizations to implement our programs. We have many ongoing programs for which we are regularly known.  A few of this include:  Partnering for the Chinese Film Program with Ringling College of Art and Design;  Partnering with Embracing our Differences Outdoor Art Contest and Exhibit;   Young Playwrights with Florida Studio Theater (we currently have two winners from Dunfermline, one from Tel Mond, and two from Vladimir, Russia, our Sister Cities;  Official Exchanges by City Directors and delegations from and with our Sister Cities: not just tourism tours, but are efforts to learn about the communities and their people.  Support and participate as an organization in various cultural and art events. Support and promote various sustainability efforts.  

We began an conference series for the public,  highlighting our Sister Cities and the knowledge of our members.  
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments The organization is designated to implement the City of Sarasota's Sister Cities Program.  However, its membership includes those from the Florida Cultural Coast. In addition, the organization is a member of the state and international Sister Cities.  Its programs are conducted in and with Sister Cities in Canada, Mexico, Scotland, Italy; France, Israel, Russia, China and, now, Switzerland..
Service Categories
Primary Org Type International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Secondary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
In many ways Sarasota Sister Cities has been blessed.  It has had an ever expanding, though small membership, whose base has been loyal and hard working.  However, Sister Cities Association of Sarasota shares many of the same problems  as other non profit organizations in Sarasota.  In many ways Sarasota is too blessed.  Its residents have an overwhelming interest in many areas.  However, it becomes difficult to share the talent that exists within the City with many existing organizations. Each organization draws upon the time and energies of interested individuals, many times overloading individuals and causing them to reduce participation in a number of organizations. Plus we are an aging population.  As we lose members to other exploits and age, we must replace them.   As a non profit, un staffed, organization Sister Cities is especially dependent on this talent, not only to support and participate in its programs, but also to undertake the actual work. 
New members and supporting members are critical to this effort.  Sarasota Sister Cities hopes to conduct additional public relations activities. SCAS also wants to create an advisory Board to help with the funding of these programs.  It is imperative we get the message out about this organization composed of  "citizen diplomats" whose mission is peace. 
 Dwight Eisenhower fostered the Sister Cities program believing that understanding other cultures was the way to maintain peace in the world.  Unfortunately, conflict continues, but knowing and understanding others in the world will eventually lead to fewer conflicts.  Ask those who work with and visit these diverse cultures of the world--not to see them as tourists--but to understand their peoples and cultures. They make friends and they understand people and their motivations.  This is a great message.  The message and the programs that are created in its name need to be enlarged and spread not only in the Sarasota area, but also the entire world. 
From a governance perspective it is difficult to attract individuals to be Board members.  Partly this is due to the demands by all non profits.  However, partly it is because an acceptance of the board position brings with it an acceptance of the work involved in the program area.  An attempt is being made to immediately identify the interests of individuals joining the organization and bringing them in to work on projects.  A recent seminar of new and interested members drew a respectable crowd. It is hoped that this creates a path not only to share work and maintain membership, but also a path to leadership on the board.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Statement from Board Chair as the CEO.  Sarasota Sister Cities is a  unique organization.  It is the only citizen diplomatic organization that allows Sarasota to culturally bond with cities internationally. This bonding occurs in all areas.  We have programs with the arts, with education, with business and we represent Sister Cities with the governments of our Sister cities.  We are soon to become involved in promoting sports events with our Sister Cities.  While not a major league competitor our swimming, tennis, golf, and now and rowing venues make this a natural cultural step for us. 

We are unique because we are not bound by a single cultural event or concern.  We are able to partner throughout the community to assist others in implementing cultural events while promoting our international peace mission.  We can support the ballet.  In turn, they can assist dancers from our Sister Cities.  We promote international participation in such areas as Embracing our Differences and the Young Playwrights Award. In turn, we are able to bring these international student winners to the US to participate with our Sarasota winners.  In general, we affect all cultural areas in our events—education, arts, business, government etc.

Finally, we can seek to involve others in important cultural issues.    In the past we have sponsored events ranging from Sustainability to Body Language.  We will continue these events and presentations.  It some ways we are the Council on Foreign Relations as it relates to our Sister Cities.

  • Meet interesting, well traveled Sarasotans, many with multilingual skills who share like interests in our community and our community partners;
  • Become part of the official community effort to broaden world peace through one-on-one friendships;
  • Participate in the exchange and sharing of sports, music, art, language, medical and educational programs;
  • Develop potential trade relationships with business in other countries;
  • Meet and host international visitors, providing a gateway to open doors.
Budget $364,000
Category International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other International Exchange
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served US& International General/Unspecified International
Short Term Success In the short-term, we seek to attract meaningful exchanges with each of our eight sister cities. Sometimes, this means individuals come to Sarasota, and other years, our members travel as delegates to other cities.
Long Term Success Our organization seeks to foster understanding and respect among all peoples.
Program Success Monitoring
Feedback from the relationships that are developed with international visitors, providing a gateway to open doors.
Program Success Examples
When Nikolay Safonov was a young student in Russia, he was continuously reminded how despicable Americans and the American system of capitalism was.
So, after graduation, he decided to see for himself and came to America.
Since finding how warmly he was received and finding how readily he was able to find suitable work in his chosen (financial) field, he has mentioned how disappointed he was in the ultra negative way in which "democracy and capitalism" are taught and referred to in his native Russia. In addition to his work, he has served as a volunteer in our program as City Director for our sister city in Vladimir, Russia and continuously assists as interpreter when guests from Russia are in Sarasota.
Program Comments by Organization
We, as many organizations, have the continuing problem of an older population.  This means that we have to explore new ways of attracting new members.  Our Meet and Greet Program is an example of our efforts to revise membership as well as our new Members and Cities Presentations for the public.
Shortage of resources and manpower is another problem.  For this we have allied ourselves with other organizations to take advantage of their staffs, volunteers and cooperative activities.  
The world scene has become a challenge.  Two of our Sister Cities' countries have become involved in violence that would have precluded the exchange trips we took.  We will begin to use other forms of communications to enhance our programs and understanding of their cultures. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Mr John Thomas Halbert Apr 2011 - Apr
Mrs. Elizabeth Ruyle-Hullinger Apr 2013 - Apr
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 300
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A

Alliance members support the core mission of our organization and strengthen our offerings. These organizations include cultural, arts, environmental, sports, educational and university related institutions. 

  •  University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee
  • Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
  • Mote Marine Laboratory
  • Florida Studio Theatre
  • Gulf Coast Italian Culture Society
  • French-American Business Council of West Florida
  • Swiss American Association of Sarasota
  • Alliance Francaise de Sarasota
  • Ausonian Society of Sarasota;
  • Caledonian Club of Florisa West
  • Sarasota Circus Conservatory
  • French American Business Council of West Florida
  • Economic Development Commission of Sarasota County
  • Gulf Coast Italian Culture Society
  • Gulf Coast Chinese American Association
  • Island Village Montessori Charter School
  • Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
  • John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art
  • Latino Excellence of Sarasota
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Rotary Club of Sarasota Keys
  • Sarasota Association of Realtors
  • Sarasota Christian School
  • Sarasota Community Youth Development
  • Swiss American Association of Sarasota
  • Embracing our Differences
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization1964
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Innovation Award, Cities under 35,000International Sister Cities2014
Finalist, Cultural Organization of the YearSarasota Chamber of Commerce2014
Best Overall Program CitiesSister Cities International2003
Best Youth ProgramSister Cities International1999
Innovations Award for Arts and CultureSister Cities Internationl2015
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2013
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization With no staff there are continuing challenges to find qualified board members to serve in positions requiring special skills. Board members are vetted to make sure they have these skills before appointment. This means reviewing of resume as well as critical interviews. This vetting occurs related to the job descriptions for the Board Positions.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
SCAS extensively uses social media.  It keeps its membership informed through e blasts that inform them of opportunities for events and programs as well as latest actions of the Board. A monthly newletter is also provided the membership.
Press releases are regularly sent both by the organization and the City of Sarasota. Members prepare articles for Alliance Member publications.
Snail mail is used for the 20 members who do not have email capacity.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Marianna Janz-Wecke
Company Affiliation Real Estatel Agency
Board Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Eladio Amores Volunteer
Dr. Carolyn Bloomer Ringling College of Art and Design
Mr. Kenney De Camp Volunteer
Dr. Marie des Neiges Grossas Volunteer
Mrs. Toni Duval Community Volunteer
Ms Toni Duval VP Communication
Mrs. Isabelle Eidet VP Membership
Dr. Michael Fehily Lowes
Mr. Mike Fehily CD Merida, Mexico
Ms Gloria Grenier Retired
Mrs. Marianna Janz-Wecke President
Mr. Werner Knoop Retired
Mr. Sidney Krupkin Volunteer
Mrs. Anna Madaschi volunteer
Ms Pauline Mitchell Retired
Mrs. Olga Pliner Volunteer
Ms Elizabeth S Ruyle-Hullinger Ruyle-Hullinger and Associates
Dr. Raymond Young Retire
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 7
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 68
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Governance Comments by Organization
Reorganization within the Organization is necessary to adjust to new Board members, members and new technolgy.
Annual strategic planning for the following 1  1/2 to 2 years  leads to a successful working organization. 
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Oct
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year End Month Sept
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $32,100.00
Projected Expenses $30,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$29,325$27,706$19,073
Administration Expense$4,010$4,106$29,475
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.120.941.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%87%39%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$48,736$38,044$43,241
Current Assets$48,227$36,822$43,241
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$7,728$320$3,560
Total Net Assets$41,008$37,274$39,681
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $19,864Program Service Revenue $23,221Program Service Revenue $40,695
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $12,586Membership Dues $3,370Membership Dues $5,855
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $4,295Contributions, gifts, grants $2,420Contributions, gifts, grants $4,656
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.24115.0712.15
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Sister Cities Association of Sarasota, Inc. had no prior financial audits as there was no need due to limited financial activities and consequently filed with the IRS on 990 N forms prior to 2013
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal tax return and audited financial statements.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Tax return and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit Sister Cities Association of Sarasota Inc
Address 111 South Orange Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34236 3424
Phone 941 592-9332