January 19, 2015
The American Legion Post 381 membership meeting opened at 7:40 pm
at Post HQ, 14313 Brandywine Heights Road, Brandywine, MD by Post Commander Ron
A quorum being met by the following
members in attendance or excused absences: Visitors:
Ron Fisher Dr. “Rue” Etienne, Jr.
Pamela Neal-Robinson Asia Acevedo
Henry Turner Hung Hoang
Ross Dept. 2 Vice Patricia McCoy
Invocation from Post Chaplain, Chris Marshall
Minutes from the previous meeting was presented and approved.
Treasury Report: Commander Ron Fisher presented the Treasurer’s Report on behalf of
Finance Officer Pamela Neal-Robins. MSP.
Service Officer’s Report: Nunn is the Post Service Officer, as Dan has
assumed the Sergeant-at-Arms office.
Executive Committee Report: Fisher introduced Mr. Hung Hoang to talk about the
plans for introducing an farm on the premises of Wilmer’s Park once Post 381
obtains the property. Mr. Hoang proposed the use of 5-10 acres of Wilmer’s Park to raise
coy and tilapia. The by-product of the waste of the farm will produce fertilizer to
grow crops such as corn, lettuce, etc. Said crops could be sold (along with the fish) to the
community, providing additional revenue for Post 381, as well as creating jobs, and
educating the community on environmental awareness, all the while maintaining a low cost
to the Post. According to Mr. Hoang’s projection, once the farm is self-sufficient
and is cultivated throughout the year, 1 acre of land would hold 4 greenhouse units and
produce as much as $1.5 million per year.
Fisher interjected that Parks and Planning would set aside no more than 5 acres for
the use of farming as space is also set aside for the restaurant on site.
Judge Advocate (JA) Jeremy Foster inquired about FDA regulations to which Mr. Hoang
advised the farm system is 100% organic as the fish food is natural and the
nitrates produced by the fish waste is natural fertilizer for the plants.
Second Vice Commander Henry Turner inquired of Mr. Hoang’s experience with
farming. Mr. Hoang replied that he has been raising fish for over 20 years and has recently
started farming within the past 5 years.
When asked about the initial start-up costs of farming, Mr. Hoang anticipates a
$500,000 investment ($300k to get the farm up and running and $200k for reserves/
unforeseen costs) to put 1 unit of the farm into operation, and gradually grow to
5 units on the premises.
Mr. Hoang is asking Post 381 for the use of the land (5 acres), water availability (for the fish),
and the marketing to promote the arm and advertisement of the produce to the
Fisher advised that one of the many ways the Post can fund this venture could be
through federal grants.
Mr. Hoang went on to say that he would run the farm for 1-2 years while training
one or more apprentices to manage the system and ultimately become the manager of the
Post member Dr. David Billings made the point that everything that’s being said in the
meeting about farming with Mr. Hoang should be in writing; the Department
Environmental Resources (DER) should be included in every step of the development of the
farm; taking into consideration there is practically no known regulations for this
type of farming.
Mr. Hoang said he does have a business plan ready to present to the Post when the time
comes to ultimately decide on whether to invest into this business.
Dr. “Rue” Etienne, Jr. was introduced as a promoter representing the gospel music
industry and general talent. He proposes that his company (Rue Marketing International)
bring talent and events to Wilmer’s Park that will be family oriented at family-friendly
prices. One means of bringing talent to Wilmer’s Park on a cost-effective basis will be by
enticing performers to support the veterans. Rue Marketing Int’l provides a variety of
services based on the needs of the event ranging from supplying the talent for the event to
hosting the event, including marketing and production.
Post Member Eugene was introduced, representing the Entertainment
Group. Mr. Eugene offered his expertise in the medium of radio to get the message to the
community about Post 381, including advertising events at Wilmer’s Park to bolster Post 381
by having an online radio station located at Wilmer’s Park. The Post will have control over
what to put out to the masses but will need to be creative in how to pull at the
“heartstrings” of the young veterans and active duty service members to feel connected to
the American Legion.
Mr. Eugene owns Radio, as subsidiary of the Entertainment Group, LLC. Mr.
Eugene desires to start a new radio station that sponsors events and trips in the local area.
Radio will focus on selling sponsorships to local stores/shops within the community
to advertise their businesses that can’t afford to advertise on the major radio stations.
Mr. Eugene proposes Post 381 to be the “non-profit” partner in the purchasing of
Radio. Radio will broadcast 24 hours a day with DJ’s to cover shifts and is requiring
of them to bring in advertising and pay up front (a one-time fee) for their time share of their
show. A percentage of the sponsorships brought in by the DJs will pay for their wages and a
portion of the revenue collected by Radio will be donated to the Post as the “Non-
Service Officer (SO) Nunn commented that with Radio being an extension of Post
381, the Post needs assurance that the music and messages broadcasted will represent the
American Legion and Post 381 in a tasteful manner. SO Nunn also inquired about the
possibility of Radio broadcasting live music shows from Wilmer’s Park and possible
conflicts between Radio and Rue Marketing International.
Dr. Etienne replied that the underwriting of events will determine the distribution of
revenue based on the terms and agreements set forth. As long as the verbiage is explicit,
there should not be an issue.
When asked for a business plan, Mr. Eugene advised he was working on one but wasn’t
ready for presentation.
Dr. Billings wanted to make sure that everything being discussed by Mr. Hoang, Dr. Etienne,
Mr. Eugene, and Ms. be written down on paper so that a sub-committee could
review the logistics of the agreements between their entities and Post 381, and do research
whether the unions will be beneficial for the Post. Fisher agreed with this concept and
assigned 2 Vice Turner to lead said sub-committee to vet the business plans that
would be provided to the Post.
Ms. Asia was introduced next as the “Grants Guru” for Post 381. Ms.
presented to the Post a packet of fundraising opportunities to generate money as soon as
possible for ground breaking revenue similar to bake sales, such as Post 381 T-shirts, coin
sales, etc. Ms. went over specific organizations (large & small businesses) in the
local community who are looking to donate to Veterans and yet there’s relatively no
competition for their patronage. Ms. described possible fundraising opportunities
upon completion of the initial renovation of Wilmer’s Park such as 5-10K runs, movie night
screenings, and paintball courses on the premises of Wilmer’s Park. Ms. is eager to
post events on social media networks to that the Post can get a wider online audience.
Fisher wanted it to be clear that Ms. will report directly to Post 381
Commander. If he’s unavailable, she’ll reach out to Judge Advocate Foster, as he’s been
appointed as the Chair of the Grant’s Committee. Ms. will work with Mr. Hoang to
obtain grants for the farm.
Fisher advised Wilmer’s Park will be signed over to Post 381 as soon as Thursday,
January 22, 2015, when the lease is agreed upon by the Post. Fisher advised that the
lease is being drawn up in which the Post would be required to pay rent of $1.00 per month
for the use of Wilmer’s Park.
Fisher lead the discussion in regards to Park & Planning’s concern with the main
building on the premises of Wilmer’s Park and the resurrection of the restaurant (taking into
consideration of the African-American Heritage Preservation Committee’s concerns with the
dilapidated homes and stage area). Park & Planning would like to see the modernization and
revitalization of Wilmer’s Park to take priority over anything else.
Fisher addressed JA Foster on the possibility of his contact coming aboard Post 381 to
provide support in accounting. JA Foster advised that his contact is a possibility, but is not
CPA certified. Fisher said it is not necessary for the person assisting the Post with
accounting to be a CPA.
JA Foster followed up the last conversation stating he will be stepping in as 3rd Vice
Commander concurrent with his role as Judge Advocate. Dennis has not been
attending Post 381 meetings, and after 10 non-excused absences as 3rd Vice Commander,
Mr. role as an officer has been relinquished and considered vacant per Post bi-
For the Good of the Post: Maryland Department Second Vice Commander Patricia McCoy
wanted it to be known that she is very proud of Post 381 and it’s accomplishments over the
years. 2 Vice McCoy further stated that the Post is a shining example of what
the American Legion should be and that slowly but surely the other Posts around the nation
will advance to where Post 381 is at currently. Post Fisher presented 2 Vice
McCoy a Post 381 license plate as a token of the Post’s appreciation for her
Adjourn: MSP to adjourn.
Benediction was given by Post Chaplain Chris Marshall.
Next meeting will be Monday, February 16, 2015, at 7:30pm, at Post 381 HQ, 14313
Brandywine Heights Road, Brandywine, Maryland.
Meeting adjourned at 9:14 pm.
Ross Ronald F. Fisher
Post 381 Adjutant Post 381 Commander