Hans Schmidt Family Association
Board of Directors Annual Meeting Minutes
June 3, 2023

The Hans Schmidt Family Association met for its annual meeting on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 8:00 pm Central Time. The meeting was held via Zoom / conference call.

Members present:

  • Kiki Chou
  • Josiah Schmidt
  • Sandra Schmidt

Josiah Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:07 pm. Three members of the Board listed above as present responded to roll call. As there was no one else present, there were no public comments from the floor.


  • Josiah Schmidt delivered the President’s Report, which stated that:
    • In the previous meeting, the HSFA Board had authorized Josiah Schmidt to proceed with applying for IRS 501(c)(3) status for the Association. This was done and the IRS approved the Association as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization on December 22nd, 2022. This means that donations to the HSFA can be tax-deductible.
    • In the previous meeting, the HSFA Board had authorized Josiah Schmidt to set up a bank account in which member dues and other revenues could be deposited, and from which website hosting costs and other Association-related expenditures could be paid. This was done, and a checking account was set up with Bank of America.
    • Some of the projects the HSFA has achieved in the past year include:
      • Putting the family tree of the descendants of Hans Schmidt online. So far, profiles for 622 descendants of Hans Schmidt have been added to this family tree (and this is only descendants who have passed away, as living descendants are kept private).
      • Putting the repository of Schmidt family photos online, starting with the oldest photographs from the 1800s and early 1900s. About 160 photos with descriptions and links to family tree entries are now in our online family photo album.
      • Creating an online museum of Schmidt family artifacts and heirlooms. So far, we have accumulated photographs and descriptions of 9 objects, dating from the 1940s back to the 1870s. These include a pump organ, a German grammar primer, a set of shoemaking equipment, a silverware set, a business card, an antique dresser, an antique secretary desk, a family bible, and a German passport.
      • Continuing to collect life stories for the Schmidt Life Stories project, focusing first on family members who were born between 1920-1940. We received three new life stories from family members in the past month.
      • Recruiting (so far) five Schmidt males to take Y-DNA tests, which will help us confirm the genealogy that we have traced through paper records, and which will also help us better understand how our family fits in with other families in Germany and Europe. Three of these Y-DNA tests confirmed that the Schmidt families who settled around West Bend, Iowa are all biologically related, without any NPEs (non-paternity events). One Schmidt family member from a branch that settled in Texas took a DNA test but came back with differing Y-DNA, indicating an NPE. Another Schmidt cousin from a branch that settled in Baltimore has taken a Y-DNA test a couple of weeks ago and we are now awaiting his results. We will continue to recruit new Schmidt family members for Y-DNA testing.
  • Josiah Schmidt delivered the Financial Report, which stated that:
    • The HSFA checking account balance currently stands at $252.27. In 2023, the account has received $268.27 in donations, and starting on June 1st Bank of America’s grace period for our new account ended and Bank of America started to charge us a monthly $16.00 fee. We can avoid this fee by building up a balance of at least $5,000 in our account and then not dipping below that mark. We will strive to keep expenses low and increase the revenues coming in until we can build up that $5,000 cushion, at which point we will be off the hook for that $16.00 monthly banking fee.
    • On June 1st, we also launched a membership drive. So far, in the last two days, we have had five, new, dues-paying members join the Association. Three members joined as annual members, paying $15.00 in dues each. Two members joined as lifetime members, paying $100.00 in dues each. This $245.00 is currently being processed by Stripe, and those funds should deposit into our bank account in the next week or so, minus some small processing fees. This would bring our checking account balance up to roughly $500. Several other individuals have sent messages indicating that they plan to join and pay dues in the near future as well.
    • Josiah Schmidt stated that he will continue to pay website hosting and upkeep costs personally, as a donation, in the meantime while the association’s finances are built up. After the association becomes more financially self-sufficient, those website costs can begin coming out of the association’s bank account.
  • Correspondence: none.


  • Approval of meeting minutes from the previous (June 4, 2022) meeting.
    • MOTION: As there was no further discussion on this matter, Josiah Schmidt moved to approve the meeting minutes from the previous (June 4, 2022) meeting. Sandra Schmidt seconded. Motion approved: three affirmative, zero negative, zero abstentions, and zero absent.



  • In the previous meeting, the Board had discussed requiring group decisions on all purchases over a certain dollar amount, but had tabled the matter until the 2023 meeting, in order to have more time to research what are the standards and best practices in the non-profit family associations field. Over the past year, Josiah Schmidt had studied numerous other constitutions and bylaws from other family associations, but did not find any other associations using specific dollar amount thresholds—only that expenditures must be approved by the treasurer and/or by the Board. Thus, the Board discussed pros, cons, and various options. Following this discussion, the Board settled on a unanimously agreed-upon wording for an amendment to the Association bylaws.
    • MOTION: As there was no further discussion on this matter, Josiah Schmidt moved “to amend the bylaws to require that when the Association bank account has a balance below $5000, then all expenditures must be approved by a vote of the Board, and when the Association bank account has a balance above $5000, then the president may make expenditures that are less than $500 with only the treasurer’s approval, otherwise expenditures that are equal to or greater than $500 require approval by a vote of the Board.” Kiki Chou seconded. Motion approved: three affirmative, zero negative, zero abstentions, and zero absent.


Revenue Generation Ideas: The Board discussed ideas for generating new revenue, including creating an online store that sells a variety of Schmidt family related merchandise, offering seasonal discounts, or offering freebies to members who choose to pay for lifetime membership. The Board unanimously agreed that these are good ideas. Kiki Chou offered to do some research on the best ways to implement things of this nature. No formal motion was necessary.

Nentershausen 700-Year Celebration: Josiah Schmidt noted that, on June 17th and 18th, 2023, the town of Nentershausen in Germany will be celebrating its 700-year anniversary. As our earliest known ancestor, Hans Schmidt, came from the town of Nentershausen, Germany, the Board discussed ways that the Hans Schmidt Family Association might contribute to Nentershausen’s 700-Jahrfeier. The Board tasked Josiah Schmidt with drafting a letter that could be sent to the 700-Jahrfeier Nentershausen planning committee, letting them know about our association’s existence, the fact that we originated from Nentershausen, and the fact that we still remember those roots. The Board hopes that by connecting with the Nentershausen community, Nentershausen residents can be made aware of our organization and our research work, and members of the Schmidt family can be made more aware of our Nentershausen roots and heritage. No formal motion was necessary.

Recruitment: Josiah Schmidt noted that the association’s membership ranks were beginning to grow and asked his fellow Board members to please give thought to whom we might want to nominate to join the Board. The Board members all expressed the hope that, by next year (2024), there could be a larger Board that would be more representative of the different branches of the family tree. The Board discussed ideas for recruiting and staying in touch with family members who did not check email or go online regularly. No formal motion was necessary.

MOTION: At 8:58 pm, Josiah Schmidt opened the floor for any further questions or comments. There being none, Josiah Schmidt moved to adjourn the meeting. Sandra Schmidt seconded. Motion approved three affirmative, zero negative, zero abstentions, and zero absent.

The meeting ended at 9:00 pm Central Time.

Respectfully submitted,

Kiki Chou