Some of the projects, all intended to be services to our community, that the MPWCF
(or Michael Wein, prior to MPWCF incorporation) has been involved with since 1993
(they are listed in
chronological order, commencing in 1993) for the most part are as follows (we are most proud of the items highlighted in this color)
...set up computerized database for authors, plays, etc., for Murray
Kamalhar's "The Actor's Lab".
.. gave input and regulations to USA consul agent, Col. Phil Maher, to update San Miguel Educational Fund's
charitable contribution acknowledgement letter so that it conforms to IRS regulations for tax
.. became a "volunteer bus guide" on already existing Biblioteca's House and Garden Tour.
..started comedy improvisation group by interviewing
interested individuals, setting goals and purposes and methods, arranging with St. Paul's for meeting space; and finally leading meetings of our group of talented (and quick-witted) participants for a little more than two years;
..started "discussion groups" mechanism wherein persons can use the database we accumulated, printed, and distributed, to meet with others to discuss
whatever they want to discuss; wrote and had printed in Atencion articles
causing others to be aware of these discussion groups and methods to list
themselves for involvement in them, and to have all of this available so that
all interested parties could receive and use copies of the list;
..at request of St. Paul's Russ Archibald, researched, wrote and edited audit and
internal control procedures for auditing and financial control of
non-profit groups; wrote article for Atencion announcing its free
availability to other non-profit organizations; edited originals and
distributed to Lions Club, St. Paul's Anglican Church, Players Workshop, La Biblioteca, Patronato Pro Ninos, Unitarian Fellowship, American Legion,
etc. See more up-to-date version of both audit procedures and internal control at miscellaneous.
..started my own personal program of monetary contributions to Patronato pro Ninos,
Crescimiento, Unitarians, Players Workshop, Casa Ayuda, Feed the Hungry, CASA, ALMA, and other SMA
organizations. See also later contributions, now made directly by the MPWC Foundation at
our grantees webpage.
..offered my years of experience in management consulting services gratis
under specific conditions to Lucha
Maxwell (Crescimiento), Luisa Velte & Ber Kane
(both with Patronato pro Ninos),
Cassandra Webb (Biblioteca), Tony Adlerbert and others (of Feed the Hungry),
Fred Carpenter (Biblioteca's Mickler Center), and others.
See also later work by MPWC Foundation under "grants of management
aid" on miscellaneous web-page
..assisted in St. Paul's development of a formula and
contract for the Rector's COLA compensation adjustment.
..updated tax deduction acknowledgement letter so that it incorporated the deduction rules for goods as well as monies, at the
request of Sylvia Ahrens of the Biblioteca fundraising committee.
..conceived, organized, and started SMA's resident email list (later to
have evolved and become known as SMA@coollist.com) to spread ideas and
help others in SMA. Later, suggested that all persons on my original list migrate to
the new SMA@coollist.com
which had much fewer members but whose basic operation was better
computerized. Upon merger, the
combined coollist now had a quadrupling of
membership, from about 20 to 80 members. This merged list continued to grow and
originating ancestor of what are now the Civil_SMA, smacoollist, sma_list, and
the SMA-etc. etc. etc. etc. lists.
..researched, copied, and printed out IRS rules on contribution
requirements, as well as the rules for charitable organizations insofar as
public documents are concerned. Brought these to attention of Bette
Adams, new president of San Miguel Educational Foundation
(later to be known as the SM Community
..wrote article "I believe" regarding my concept of what local
charitable organizations that attempt to raise money in town should provide to
their various constituencies. Read this at beliefs
, published in Atencion in 1997. With much work and after many years, most of these beliefs
have come to pass for most of the charitable organizations now operating in San Miguel
..commenced practice of giving checks, payable to SMA charities, as my personal present or gift (for birthdays, parties, etc.) to SMA friends. The very first
such check was for US$500 and given to Tommy Zaidenberg (which she requested be made payable to the Patronato pro Ninos), the 2nd to Barbara Hammond (which
was then given to ALMA), etc.
..wrote letter to Board of Directors of Biblioteca asking
questions about the Restaurante Santa Ana, the financial results of the House
& Garden Tour, and
why directors of their various profit-centers (known as "enterprises") were not kept informed of the financial dealings of
their own profit-center. These suggestions were intended to aid greater
profitability at the Biblioteca.
..bore the brunt of "The Vigilante" (and accepted the dubious fame) of being
San Miguel's "#1" in the El Financiero (Mexico City's international
daily financial newspaper) listing of the 350 highest-earning
(illegal) Gringo workers in San Miguel.
The Vigilante's claim, of course, was totally inaccurate
as I never offered my services locally for any payment price whatsoever. However, and as a
result, I met
with the Mayor's office and we verified that the Vigilante was the trouble-maker
and most (if not all) of his targets were not, in fact, working illegally.
"The Vigilante" was subsequently asked
nicely by the local administration to
leave town, which in fact, he promptly did.
..computerized Unitarian-Universalist (from now on, UU) Treasurer's report, reducing Treasurer's preparation
time by more than 75%.
..created ideas for UU library database.
..contributed to the amending of the UU bylaws.
..worked as volunteer guide on the Patronato Pro Ninos' Historical Center Walking Tour. At that time, each guide specialized in a "topic" such as the religious, or the arts, or the architecture, or the history, of the tour. My specialty turned out surprisingly, even to me, to be comedy and entertainment.
..designed my personal print-out notes of "story" for the Patronato Pro
Ninos "walking tour", complete with recommended times to be at various locations, etc.,
in effect standardizing the bones or skeleton of the tour itself.
..designed for the Director of the Patronato Pro Ninos "walking tour",
a format for a summarizing history report of the results of tour activities for
comparison purposes and to aid in planning, etc..
..created The Michael Paul Wein Charitable Foundation, Inc., funded
money from me and with a promised donation of my house and all of its contents upon my
death. During the earlier interim years, the net profit from the rentals of two
apartments was also donated each year (and distributed to local charities). Still later on,
this was all amended upwards to a donation of a minimum of us$1,000,000 upon my death and
still other assets well in excess of us$1,000,000. Later, again amended
upwards, and now it is even larger, most recently projected to be at least us$5,500,000. See MPWCFoundation. The original goals and mission of the MPWCF continued until 2012 when
I was unexpectedly damaged by a local woman and
this created a huge deviation in the plan
..For the Foundation, I wrote criteria for "grant requests from local
organizations", wrote "Goals" of the Foundation, wrote instructions
specifying Trustee's responsibilities and duties (especially after I pass
away). As the years went on, I wrote all of the rest of the pages that
currently constitutes this web-site as well as creating and uploading the web-site itself and
continuing its updating to the date of this reading.
..created and offered to the
battle-scarred but now newly elected Biblioteca administration
a complete set of
(new) by-laws for the Biblioteca designed to combat the type of
malfeasance found in the previous 1996-2002 administration. The
Chairman of the By-laws Committee, David Bossman, adopted without a suggested
(by me) discussion of all of the ones he understood, but
ignored (without questioning "why") those he could not understand a
reason for. Most of today's Biblioteca operating problems stem from his
lack of understanding, but more so from his
uneducated reluctance to question "why" each was necessary.
..started a series of "town meetings" at the Sunday Unitarian services
wherein the entire congregation and others from our SMA community can
discuss a topic of current interest to San Miguelenses. These continued at the rate of one every six Sundays for a period of
about two years.
..started concept of, and made plans for, The Stirling Dickinson Lifetime
Achievement award ($1,000 to each winner's favorite charity) both to celebrate
the winner's life of volunteer work here in SMA (the award was named after the original volunteer, Stirling Dickinson, whose story is told on the memories of sma webpage) and to boost the idea of the joys of volunteerism for
others, especially new arrivals in town. See lifetime achievement and volunteers
..created and published and promoted the first new completely free (and devoid of
any advertising) SMA OnLine newspaper
because Atencion caters mainly to tourists whereas our new SMA OnLine is directed to
the expatriate residents themselves. See online newsmagazine
which is intended to supplement Atencion by adding features that remedy all of Atencion's own deficiencies as well as those of
any other local English language
..introduced San Miguel's first
online survey in May 2004 (using the newly available Survey Monkey) and surveyed our
readership for their comments (see this at surveys)
..in the absence of any other
memorial services for all local expats who have passed away, created both the death
and memorials and the obituaries and eulogies
webpages on this website. But, since that was not sufficient, I started
what I hoped would be an annual Dia de Muertos memorial at the Unitarians
Fellowship services. In the first (and unfortunately only) memorial, each person who
wished to publicly remember someone, was enabled to stand up and recite that
person's name. Each of the approximately 30 or 40 participants had been
handed a schedule-of-order so that each could "pop up" here and there
in the congregational gathering and recite that person's name in the ceremony
that lasted some 5 to 7 minutes.
..AFTER LACK OF HOPED-FOR HELP IN THE SMA ONLINE NEWSMAGAZINE, AND NOTICING
THAT I ALSO DID NOT GET SUFFICIENT COOPERATION IN THE MPWCF FOUNDATION AND
AT THE UU WHENEVER I ASKED FOR HELP, AFTER YEARS OF EXTENDING MY HELP TO
OTHERS, I ENTERED A "INTENTIONALLY SELFISH" PHASE OF "I WILL DO ONLY WHAT
I WANT TO DO AND WHEN I WANT TO DO IT". Later note: although I
intended to implement this "selfish" policy, I was not as successful in being selfish as I hoped I would and therefore continued to work at my interests here in SMA almost (if not
quite) as much as I had done before the Newsmagazine appeared and after it ceased
publication. Mea culpa.
..created SMA's emergency medical care
system for follow-up care by notifying ailing person's friends for all listed
persons picked up by ambulance and brought to
hospitals whenever they were picked up unexpectedly from "the
an effort to establish microloans
to poor Mexican women who needed seed money to
start their own small businesses.
..as suggested above, in 2005, I ceased many of my community services and
began an earnest attempt to pursue ONLY my own many
time-consuming responsibilities for the
MPWCFoundation, the investment portfolio that forms its endowment, the rental
apartments that provide current funds for current grants, and the multitude of
personal needs that I, too, have, including, ongoing personal estate and tax planning, as
well as putting aside some time for a personal life (I have tired of working 7
days a week, some 10 hours each day, 365 days a year). Knowing myself, though, I
suspect that I will continue to do things that I think need to be done and find
others not willing or able to do them. So, in that latter event, I will
simply NO LONGER enter most of the details (like above) of what I have been accomplishing here.
Long before Warren Buffet (a personal hero of mine)
made public the fact that he was donating about 50% of his fortune to charity,
my personal estate plans included using a similar concept. See History
and then a combination of funding and its source, history-estimates.
As of December 31 2011, computations at that time specified that the MPWCF
of San Miguel was to receive (after my death) about us$3,200,000 and two USA
organizations (the ACLUFoundation and Rider University) were to get
us$800,000, a total for the 3 beneficiaries of
just over us$4,000,000, out of my estate's then
value of about us$7,100,000. By Dec
31, 2013, the MPWCF Foundation was to receive
us$4,648,342 AND the two USA organizations receive
another us$1,260,579, out of my estate then valued
at us$10,427,000, a new all-time high on that
12/31/13 date. By Dec 31, 2016 and
even later, the estate had grown still more (see funding
for later details).
reader should notice that many of my ideas (both above and below), even where
they were implemented and useful for some periods of time, may no longer be in practice here in
town at the time of your reading. This, in
itself, was normal (observable to most residents and myself as far back as 1996) and acceptable but it, in turn, led me to refine my concept of continuity
wherein anything considered, implemented or not, should be recorded in each
organization's historical records (minutes of meetings, etc.) so that the
reasons (at that time) are known to future readers and that the "wheel does
not get re-invented over and over again" when such time wasted can be saved
by such historical documentation.
corollary to the above is the long-time San Miguel practice of many persons making
a suggestion (the current Civil_List is infamous for this) for someone else to
implement. While this occasionally works, most long-term residents here
KNOW that most of the time the only way to get something done is to do it
yourself. This requires a lot of time and effort, not only in the doing
but in getting others to help even if only in just the brief
honeymoon while they are willing to help. The fact
that many of us die, move away, and/or are only "part-time' residents,
makes getting things done more difficult than elsewhere. Nonetheless, I've
tried to do so many variations on the above theme and have gotten only some of
my ideas accomplished only some of the time and only to some of the extent hoped
for. I hope that this "comment" is even partially helpful for
others planning other things for the future.
now, listed below, are some of the lesser projects that were originally on this
list in chronological
order, but moved down here to speed up the reading of the list by having only
the more useful or important projects nearer the top:
..loaned (or purchased) props and clothing to (for) the Playreaders Group and to Actors Lab for use in productions;
..worked out many preliminary plans and ideas to raise additional funds
for Hospital de la Fe and submitted program description detailing such plans to
gringo directors Phil
Maher, Dan Wolf and George Bell.
..observed management problems at House & Garden Tour, and then wrote
letter suggesting many changes to enable better processing of guests
thereby increasing income; provided copies to Tour Director Peter Mudge,
H> Supervisor Marian Blair, and Biblioteca treasurer Cassandra Webb.
..participated in the recommendation and hiring of Jennifer Hamilton as new House & Garden Tour Director.
..accumulated information, tabulated it, and printed in Atencion a
consolidated bus schedule of buses between Mexico City and San Miguel
..formed, and ran, under the auspices of the American Association of
Individual Investors, a "computerized investing" club local chapter.
..provided free financial counseling services for various individual needy expatriates in San Miguel
..initiated and wrote weekly column "Computers, made simple" in Atencion.
..began practice of holding guests inside behind the gate of the House and
Garden Tour until the buses were ready to be loaded, the result of which
is both to get guests to listen to Director's
promotion speech as well as to keep them out of
harm's way when the outside sidewalk gets overcrowded.
..created database template for House and Garden Tour house inventory,
including sorting mechanisms and other devices and aids to handling house
..created income template for House and Garden Tour accounting, including
statistics on weather, costs, comparisons to last year, etc. Years later,
created a similar device for Patronato pro Ninos.
..adapted from Money Magazine, an article regarding the
buying and selling of things at garage sales; published in Atencion on 9/22/97
..gathered information so that The Travel Institute (Marisela Patterson)
could publish, at a nominal sale price which was then donated to Feed the Hungry, a
pamphlet for gringos explaining laws and regulations regarding dealing with
their house employees.
..started process (with letter to Lloyd's and Red Cross) of obtaining
prepaid approval for hospital and other medical services in and around San
Miguel. Unfortunately, for our community, this was never implemented and
remained a problem for anyone entering Hospital de la fe without funds in an
emergency. In 2018, because I was quite sure I would soon need such a
process to pay for my own currently unexpected but soon possible emergency, I
started a test process (combining my SMA executor with a NYC trusted friend who
would wire transfer funds from NYC to SMA's CIBanco with a pre-arranged
conversion to pesos by that bank who would release funds to my SMA executor.
..prepared an agenda and outline for a Unitarian service (October 11,
1998) which, included the guest speaker, Dr. Myron Blodgett, world's greatest
authority on everything, who did a comedy improv for them.
Obviously, I appeared at pulpit as the ficticious
Dr. Myron, immediately after appearing as myself in the
semi-spiritual first half of that Sunday's program.
..from time to time thereafter, did the same on additional subjects and meetings of
UU: Folk Singer Leonardo Rosen, Poetry by Joe Ershun, Peace motif on Veterans Day, What UU's believe,
and later, a long series of monthly town meetings, pre-announced in Atencion, and open to
all and attended by many of the SMA community.
..created Procedural duties of the UU Membership Chairperson re:
meeting/greeting of new guests.
..served on UU's "Fulfilling the Promise" Committee -
and warned, unsuccessfully,
regarding difficulty in scoring the results of our
flawed survey; also "heading
and categories for heading". When proved to be correct, also warned, again
unsuccessfully, that even so, prelim
results should be reviewed for good ideas (even if
the results were not in a position to be tabulated).
..input many ideas to SMA@Coollist.com including ideas on computer usage
(back-ups, email filters and mailboxes and sorting, local vendors,
Imigracion, etc., etc., etc.).
..ceased my once-very-active participation on coollist-type email lists at around
2004-2006 when too many newcomers turned the various SMA lists into a squabbling
and less accurate sources of information than it had been previously.
In addition, the newcomers decided that their own
commercial interests became the primary purpose of
the lists and turned them into "mostly
advertising for things for sale".
..worked behind the scenes to give David Bossman and Kendal Butler ideas
on how to defeat the then current but entrenced administration at Biblioteca election upcoming.
..started the process to create a Toastmasters-type organization here in SMA.
..updated and created newer procedures and policies and finalized a
report for the UU Fellowship because previous handling results were inadequate for reporting, especially on Scholarship Fund and Outreach
Fund. This led to the beginning of Jovenes Adelante as a separate
organization and also led to me being the largest annual supporter thru the
regularization of grants thru the MPWCF.
..made myself available for questions from new UU treasurer and fixed all
problems that he either found or did not understand.
..recommended that UU board start using modern technology (if only email and a
to inform their board and members of agendas, program committee status,
minutes, treasurer's reports, orders of service, quarterly UU bulletins,
..offered to create, commence, and update, an early and preliminary UUFSMA web-site
..created and nursed along to functionality the Stirling Dickinson Scholarship Fund bookkeeping system now to be used by
Luisa Velte and Laura Schermer.
..introduced the idea and set up the first UU Sunday for "getting to know
us" with Bob Hesdorfer, Dorie Beach, and Jane Casa appearing first in the ongoing series.
..created and ran an ongoing salon of 25 people (6 to 10 at any one
meeting) to discuss topics a little above the ordinary. Considered adding a 2nd salon so that one salon is more of an intellectual format and the other for more
..added many of my own photos to the Yahoo Groups (San Miguel
de Allende) http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/smacoollist/photos
site that were taken by me over many years.