Executive Committee

PRESENT: Luke Shorty, Bill Guindon, Celeste Branham, Ed Barrett, Diane Lebson, Jenni Tilton-Flood, Stacie Haines, Julia VanSteenberghe, Maryalice Crofton, Pam Proulx-Curry

The members convened at 10:00 am using the virtual meeting technology. 

Executive Committee Agenda
I.    Urgent and timely matters from Volunteer Maine
No items

II. General updates and planning 
A. Proposed change board meeting routine
Last month Exec decided to poll Commissioners to see if a new date would work (2nd Fridays instead of 3rd Fridays). That proposal will not work out. Exec members decided to stick with the current pattern of 3rd Fridays at 10am. The full list of dates will be confirmed at the September board meeting. Hopefully, the federal grant due dates will be known before that meeting so any adjustments can be part of the original schedule. The likely months for meetings are September, October OR November, December, February OR March, April, May, June. Luke indicated he will not be available for the October or April meetings in which case, Pam will chair the meetings. 

B. Strategic planning – reboot
Getting a response from Panta Rei, the last planning facilitator, has not been successful. Multiple emails and calls have not elicited a response so the Commission needs to work with someone new. ASC, the association for state service commissions, offers facilitation of strategic planning as an add-on service. Kaira Esgate, ASC Executive Director, is the person who would work with Maine. She would like to meet with the team organizing the process to discuss what type of plan they want, how long a period it would cover (just 2 years??), the role of Commissioners in the process, and more. After the conversation, Exec can decide whether to engage ASC or look elsewhere. It was mentioned that, given Kaira is on the west coast, public input sessions (focus groups or interviews) would likely be done by Commissioners as happened last time. There ensued some discussion about whether having board members lead these would keep people from being forthright. Celeste has worked with Rebecca Conrad on several leadership projects and expects she could handle outreach very well, if needed. A suggestion was made to look beyond 2025 in planning so the plan does not end in the middle of major transitions. The planning leaders will be Luke, Pam, and Bill.

C. Annual retreat discussion 
There was an extensive discussion about the degree of change occurring in our environment and how it impacts the Commission. This year’s retreat could encompass so many “high priorities” that the planners need input from the Commissioners regarding allocation of time in the retreat. Topics that seem pressing include duties or opportunities coming from legislative session, modifying Commission grant process to include participatory grant-making elements, DEI training, assessing progress in strategic plan and whether there is work that should flow forward, opportunity to propose legislation rather than react to LDs, training on advocacy, providing the board with uplifting/inspiration to fuel work, fuller discussion of where we are in transition planning, thorough assessment of MSF and how to launch it in a stronger fashion. There was even more listed. The volunteers for the Planning Committee are Pam, Celeste, Jenni. They want to poll all board members as soon as possible to get their advice. September is right around the corner.

D. Finance and match.
Getting current reports from accounting has not improved. The last reports were for April 30 and this is July. The request to have a basic accounting software locally was denied. Federal financial reports are due end of July. Although Nathan is only at the Commission part-time, Maryalice is trying to get his access permissions changed so he can at least pull individual transaction data for a time period. Then, staff will each construct the financial reports for the grants they oversee. Until staffing shortages in other agencies are sorted, this will have to be the band-aid.

E. Board membership - status of recruitment, recommendations 
A summary of who is retiring and who is seeking reappointment was reviewed. (See below)  For the now-open seats, outreach to develop candidates was discussed. Celeste is still working on a town manager from Oxford County. Luke noted that Zakk Maher is considering whether he needs to step down and that would open both local government positions. The political representation on the board still needs improvement as there is not enough balance.

Status Name Representation Replacement
Leaving     Ed Barrett  Expert in human services      
Leaving     Phil Bosse  Rep of state volunteer community  
Leaving     Stacie Haines Expert in community environmental programs  Will Sedlack
Reapp      Diane Lebson Rep of state volunteer community n/a
Leaving     Nate Rudy Rep of local government   
Reapp      Pam Proulx-Curry  Rep of state volunteer community n/a
Leaving     Rob Meinders Representative of a National Service program     
Reapp      Sue Asselin Hawthorne Expert in needs of disadvantaged youth n/a

F. Confirm or change liaison to ASC States for Service membership
Pam will replace Luke as Maine representative. Maryalice will make the necessary connection with ASC so Pam gets notices.

G. Staff updates. 
-- USDA application for MSF status. The reviewers have sent a message that the proposal qualifies for funding. That would make 3 Fellows.
-- Hiring PIO update. The process has started and Maryalice hopes the position will be posted the end of next week.

H. Other -- items committee members want to add.
None at this time.


III. Task Force Updates
A. Commissioner/Chair updates.
-- Maine Service Fellows
-- Public Policy
-- DEI 
-- Communications
-- Excellence and Expertise
-- Transition
-- Grant Selection and Performance

IV. Volunteer Maine Commission Meeting and Agenda review

V. Once around the table for any feedback to improve the Executive Committee or the Commissions work.

Members ended the meeting at 4:32 pm.