I was first introduced to Sister Cities while visiting as friend in Russia. Her city has seven sister cities and she proudly took me to visit each gift to her city from the seven sister cities. Two years later I was asked by one of the original BASC committee members to become part of the organization. When I began reading about its mission and purposes world wide I knew Sister Cities was for me. There has never been a moments regret since that first meeting in 2003. In 2004 I was privileged to be at the signing ceremony when we became Sister Cities with Soledad, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and in again 2011 when the official documents were signed between Burlington and Gwacheon, South Korea.
Sister Cities offers the potential to build bridges between the United States of America and the rest of the world. My first experience with People-to-People was with a small group of female attorneys and law professors who were invited to assess the status of women in the Republic of China fives years after the International Year of Women (Beijing, 1995). Colleagues on that trip opened my eyes to new possibilities for Burlington.
I believe in the work of BASC because I know the power of understanding and valuing diverse cultures. I want to live and work in a multicultural community, where many languages are spoken and life is richer due to cultural differences. I’ve visited our sister city in Mexico several times and love the lifestyle there. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to visit our sister city in South Korea someday.
I joined the BASC board early in its history in the new millennium. BASC founder Beth Powell thought, as one of the community’s largest and important employers, Alamance Regional Medical Center should be represented on the new board. After having served on ARMC’s senior executive team since 1978, I was chosen to serve in that role. When I retired after 35 years at ARMC in 2014, I was elected to the Alamance County Board of Commissioners and continued to serve on the BASC board. I have extensive experience serving other community groups focused on public education, health and
mental health, poverty, the elderly, youth, the arts, transportation, racial equity, economic development, and more. I firmly believe in BASC’s mission of promoting peace.
I have traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe and the former USSR during the Cold War and the breakup of the USSR. I was continually surprised at how friendly the people were – regardless of their government’s relationship with the USA.
Being a part of Sister Cities allows me to participate in group exchanges, tutoring trips, and hosting city government delegations, which allows me to show international visitors what Americans are like on a one-to-one basis.