Executive Committee

PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Jenni Tilton-Flood, Pam Proulx-Curry, Ed Barrett, Zakk Maher

The members convened at 3pm using the virtual meeting technology.

Discussion Items:  
General fund supplemental request. The Commission request for funds to bring the Office Administrator to full-time and establish the Maine Service Fellows Director moved forward from the Dept of Education. Next step is to see if they make it into the Governor’s supplemental request. If they do, Public Policy may need to do a bit of education. Stay tuned.

Climate Corps. Even though funding in the Build Back Better legislation is stalled out, there’s plenty else going on. The interagency federal council is meeting. AmeriCorps has put climate in its strategic plan. And regular AmeriCorps funding can be used to build out the Maine Climate Corps. Within the state, the climate corps report to the legislature is in final draft and will go to Research & Evaluation Task Force on January 14 for approval. Then it will be sent to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Maryalice acknowledged Celeste’s critical rounds of editing that tightened up the report. Next steps will be establishing the Climate Corps Coordinator position and starting on implementation.

Something for the Executive Committee to think about is what task force will steer this body of work. There is a role for grants but also issues around partnerships, public policy, federal ideas, reworked member development and more. There was a brief discussion about whether an existing task force should be retired (Research & Evaluation??) or ask Excellence and Expertise to take this work. There was no decision. Members will mull it over until Feb.

Nominations for Commission. Nominations are not moving forward. No one has been rejected – it’s just they are stuck. Materials went over in August. Three more recommended people went over more recently. Jenni will be checking in with the office to see what can be done to move them forward. This is nearly a record for length of time.

Redesign of AC Formula process. Not discussed.

Maine Service Fellows advisory committee and fundraising. Celeste briefed Exec members on the first meeting of the advisory group in December. It was primarily an orientation for members who are nearly all external to the Commission. Kelsey is going to be staff support to the group since her background is a strong combination of volunteer management and national service. The committee will meet about every 6 weeks with the goal of having the program final design done by spring. The foundation board needs new members to help those engaged in the work. They have 4 vacancies. The chair and treasurer are active in fundraising as is one other member. The proposal for public funding (submitted September 2021) is still lingering. At the suggestion of a legislator, a sign-on letter addressed to DECD Commissioner Heather Johnson is circulating. There is a short turnaround because the state committee making decisions meets on January 7.

DEI work and revised Identity Statement. This also was a report from Celeste. She would like Zakk and Luke to weigh in on the proposed changes as soon as possible. Then she will reach out to the consultant for feedback and to start discussions of work over the next year. The commissioner work group meets the third Wednesday of each month.

Task force memberships – is there a need to rebalance? Jenni checked in with each task force chair who was present. Communications is struggling to find a meeting time when members will attend. Excellence and Expertise has only 3 people. Depending on what happens with Climate Corps, they may need to staff up. Ed said that Grants has a good core group but could use members from anyone who gets appointed. Luke wasn’t present to report on Research. Jenni asked the chairs to reflect on needs and work then let her know if she should make some reassignments.

There being no other items to discuss, members dispersed at 3:56 pm.