Minutes - December 17, 2010 

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Location, Date, & Time

Illinois Department of Human Services
Hay Edwards Building, Suter Room, Third Floor
400 W Lawrence Ave, Springfield, IL 62704
&
Thompson Center
Murdock Room, 5th Floor, Suite 300
100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
&
Teleconference
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
December 17, 2010

Commissioners Present

Jane Angelis, Don Baden, Julian Brown, Judy Donath, John Hosteny, Howard Lathan, Mike Mangan, Fred Nettles, Fred Rodriguez, Giraldo Rosales, Merri Dee, Bob McCammon, Peter Kamps, Matthew Tobias, Barb Tubekis, Kathy Engelken, Giraldo Rosales, Jenne Myers, Steve Wolfe

Commission Staff Present

Ted Gibbs, Executive Director; Kim Fornero, Bureau Chief; Lisa Fernandes, AmeriCorps Program Officer; Scott McFarland, Resources and Information Manager; Emily Ward, Graduate Public Service Intern; Lois Barnhart, Disability Outreach Coordinator

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. by Lathan. Introductions of persons were made

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Correction to #4 by Hosteny – president didn’t approve budget but is taking a good look at it. Motion approved. Additionally, Hosteny thought the survey mentioned on page 3 was going to be sent out again to Commissioners. Motion approved.

Commission Chair Update

The Commission will wait until February to present candidates for the Chair and Vice Chair positions. Although Lathan will no longer be Chair, he is not leaving the Commission.

CNCS Update

Hosteny said the proposed increases are in jeopardy. CNCS is still on a continuing resolution and won’t have a budget for several months. It can only spend money at last year’s level. There won’t be a vote on the 2011 budget until January. This means increases for many programs are either going to be eliminated, go back to their old budgets or (in AmeriCorps’ case) see an increase. Gibbs clarified that if we operate on a CR we will operate on this year’s budget for formula; but if omnibus funds increase, formula funds would also increase and competitive funds potentially could as well. President Obama established White House Council on Community Service. 25 people are on the council. Duties include, but are not limited to, making progress and recommendations on key policy to the president, honor and highlight volunteerism. The 2012 National Conference will be discussed by Ted.

Committee Reports

Resource Development

Had a conversation with Chicago Community Trust about that, but sounds like it may not work with them. Myers added that the Trust is busy and would charge high administrative fee. The Executive Service Corp may be a good option: they have time, resources, and connections with many Commissioners. Rodriguez asked if the resource community is going to make any action in the next few months.

Community Outreach

Hosteny said their committee did not meet.

Marketing and Outreach

Dee said they have not met since the last meeting but she has been talking to the media about some possibilities.

Executive Committee

Lathan said there was concern about the budget and financial review at the last meeting, and ideas about creating a committee to take on these concerns had been suggested. They had a conference call about this idea. Premises of the idea are that Commissioners need to know what’s going on with the budget and where funds are being spent. Gibbs talked about the budget for AmeriCorps programs and other costs, as well as grants that were awarded for training and increasing inclusion within volunteer programs. Total budget (including AmeriCorps, Admin and PDAT) is 9.8 million. Gibbs passed out a handout to give commissioners a better idea of where funds are being spent. He said the Commission staff is in the process of hiring another permanent AmeriCorps program officer and is in the final stages of this. They are in the process of getting back up to full staff for the rest of the Commission staff. This would be a total of 7 full time employees- including two part time employees. Hosteny asked for clarification. He asked for an estimated timeframe for when the Commission staff will be at 7 FTD. Gibbs said hopefully by spring. McCammon asked for division of admin and match figures in future reports. Gibbs said this will be possible. Hosteny asked what the budget year is for the three grants. Gibbs explained each grant’s dates. Hosteny also asked what the category “indirect costs” in the budget covered, and if these costs were covered by federal or state dollars. Gibbs explained. Tubekis asked if volunteer centers can be connected on our website. Lathan asked if the report can be more simplistic. McCammon asked who approves the budget. Gibbs explained that different people approve different parts. McCammon said he thinks the executive committee should approve the admin budget. Gibbs spoke about the two-day Performance Measures Training that was held for AmeriCorps program directors. The Commission discussed AmeriCorps and Learn & Serve. McCammon made a motion that the executive committee reviews all budgets that are used in the Commission (the match, admin and various other budgets) and report back to Commission. Angelis seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved.

Ad Hoc Governor’s Volunteer Service Award Committee

Information is in the packet. McFarland discussed due date (January 14) for the award nominations. He has not received any nominations yet, but he doesn’t expect any until after the New Year. McFarland sent an email to Commission and other contacts asking them to forward the award information to their contacts, he has talked to DHS to get out one more press release, and information is posted on the first page of the Serve Illinois website. The Commission staff will distribute 30 awards; last year 100 nominations were submitted so McFarland expects around this number this year. Some Commission members thought the timeline of submitting and reviewing applications was not very convenient for this time of year. McFarland explained the timeline and stated information about the award was released earlier this year than last year. McCammon asked if we separated corporate awards for this nomination cycle. McFarland said they had talked about it but decided against it. Awards are distributed regionally- there are 5 regions and various categories of awards (such as youth, group, etc.) within each region. Brown said perhaps we should consider a corporate award because these are the people we are going to be asking for assistance. National corporations that have a local presence in our area should be specifically considered. Wolfe said perhaps we could do some type of recognition for them. Tubekis asked if there could be more flexibility in the due date for the nominations; it may need to be extended if fewer applications than expected have been submitted. McFarland said if we cut back the time table, we need more Commissioners to help with the review process. Hosteny said he thinks every Commissioner should review; it would only be about 5 applications per person. Gibbs asked for suggestions of a better timeline. Tubekis said to extend the deadline to the end of January if few applications have been submitted. She suggested just waiting to see what happens and be flexible if needed. April 6 is the day recipients of the award will be recognized. Fornero said that if any Commissioners are willing to help review the applications, let the committee know. McCammon, Hosteny, Heise, Cheng, Tubekis, Jameson, Engelken, Dee, Lathan, Donath and Sims all said they would assist.

Staff Reports

AmeriCorps

Gibbs said the performance measurement training for Program Directors in early December went very well. This was an effort to help move programs into the national performance measure, and it gave directors some ideas of what they need to work on to demonstrate their programs’ impact. This will help make them more competitive for national funding. January 17 is MLK Day of service; all AmeriCorps programs will be doing a service project and LeaderCorps is acting as the administrators for these programs. Due to federal regulation, programs now need to do a background check on their members—this will be required by April 2011 and is an additional cost to programs. Programs may need to revise their budgets to account for this. Gibbs said the cost difference could be an increase of about $15 per person. Hosteny asked about PDAT funding for training and local conferences. He asked if they could have been invited to the performance measure training. Gibbs said they could have, but it was mostly directed towards AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps VISTA

McFarland gave the report. 6 VISTAS completed their terms; 3 new ones started in November. They are in East St Louis, Peoria, and Chicago. The Commission staff is hoping to bring 3 more VISTAs into service for 2011.

LeaderCorps

McFarland is very happy with the LeaderCorps group this year. There are 30 members and they are serving on three committees. Their first big task is MLK Day. They are working on marketing their projects, planning service projects, and reaching out to AmeriCorps alumni. The LeaderCorps president will be attending future Commission meetings.

Volunteerism

McFarland gave the report. This year was the first year all 5 regions had a conference. Locations are currently being selected for the conferences this year. Most of the conferences will take place June through September; ICOVA is thinking about holding their conference in the summer as well. McFarland would like to once again instate region meetings for 2011. Hosteny asked about sustainability and McFarland said they are working on it; the staff often acts as facilitators. Jameson said the West-Central conference was able to have a renowned speaker at their conference, and participants really liked him.

Serve.Illinois.gov

McFarland said a contract was approved and signed by Network for Good and they will be the provider of our portal for the next year with an option of renewing for 2 more years. It was a competitive bid. The web-report is in the packets. McFarland said we need to do more marketing for the website.

Disability Inclusion

McFarland gave the report. He and Barnhart went to Mississippi for Disability Inclusion training. The purpose was to learn ways to make their programs more inclusive. In 2011, he hopes to have inclusion teams in each region. The next inclusion team will be instated in the East Central Region. Currently, 42% of our AmeriCorps members indicated that they have some type of disability. Illinois is now being considered a model for inclusion by other states. The ultimate goal with disability inclusion is to make all programs inclusive.

Old Business

2012 National Conference Bid

Gibbs gave the report and announced that the Flight Institute has sent a letter of intent to hold the conference in Chicago. The letter was sent in late Nov/early Dec and they are working on a contract with the Chicago Board of Tourism and how to administer PR about the event. Our next steps are to work within our National Conference Committee to determine the commission’s role. McCammon asked when a host committee would be formed. Gibbs said it probably will not be formed until the public announcement about the conference is made. McCammon suggested getting the conference on the President’s agenda since this is his home state. Gibbs said we will try to have a meeting in January and he will talk to other states to see what role their commission played in the National Conference. Hosteny said Chicago Cares should be part of the host committee. Tubekis said Chicago Cares is not equipped to lead the host committee but they could collaborate with the Volunteer Centers of Illinois. She said it is important to note it’s not just a “Chicago” initiative; the conference is in close proximity to Wisconsin, Indiana, etc. Gibbs told Hosteny he could verbally tell contacts about the conference location; Myers said everyone should be careful about writing it in emails because the news could leak.

2011 AmeriCorps Competitive Cycle

Gibbs said we are working with our Competitive programs to submit their report and to help make them as competitive as possible for grants. Grants will be awarded in June.

AmeriCorps Formula RFP

Gibbs said we are hoping to release an RFP in February 2011 and have that information to the Corporation by July. Fornero said it’s important to be upfront with grantees that grant amounts are not guaranteed; they are dependent upon funding.

New Business

2011 Calendar

Gibbs gave the report and instigated planning the calendar of meetings for the upcoming year. Gibbs recommended still having the February Commission training/selection of new officers. It could be a morning meeting with review of proposals/strategic planning in the afternoon; it is up to the commissioners to decide how much training they need. This will be February 11 or 18, depending on when we can get a trainer. The governor volunteer service award is April 6; the Commission meeting will be in the morning of this day (potentially 10-1 in Springfield and Chicago), and Dome Day is the next day. National conference is June 6-8. The Commission decided on June 14 for the meeting date; it will occur in Springfield and Chicago. National Service Recognition Day is October 13 (commission meeting October 12 in Springfield), and the December commission meeting will be on 15th of the month in Chicago and Springfield. Lathan made a motion to approve the schedule and it was unanimously approved.

Cities of Service

Myers gave the report. She referred to the power point in the folder. Cities of Service is a grant that is up for renewal next year. Myers’ salary is paid through this grant and she has a VISTA as an intern. She said people do not understand the importance of volunteerism, and many non-profits don’t know how to effectively manage their volunteers. Needing more volunteers is not the overlying issue. Capacity has been the theme of her plan. She has recruited 12 college students to be volunteer managers at non-profit organizations. The members have been trained with City Year, using Betty Stahlings training, etc. The students were selected to be catalysts and help grow the program. The grant also required a website that was Cities of Service’s alone, not connected to any other organization’s website. The City-wide seminar promotes free sessions that focus on volunteer development. She said the biggest challenge is that only so much can be done for free. It takes up to 6 months to set up contracts and procedures for using their funds. Setting up ways to bring in money (without fundraising) is very difficult. She has paid over $1000 out of pocket for the project. Most of her planning is now on hold until she sees what happens with the mayor in May. Tubekis said recruitment, retention and recognition are important when building with capacity, and the VMN should take this into consideration. Gibbs said we, as a Commission, need to make sure service is seen as a solution in Chicago. There is a Metropolitan Mayor conference that is a good way to promote service, too.

Public Participation

Engelken discussed Campus Compact and their goals/initiatives. She said they are getting some state funding for training education faculty about integrating service and service learning into their classrooms. They have also been given the opportunity to host and participate in an International conference Nov. 2 and 3. McCammon inquired about an administrative code and how members should submit nominations for the Commission Chair position. Gibbs said there is no formal process yet, but they will probably develop a form. Hosteny asked if February will be a formal meeting or just a training. Gibbs said it will be a formal meeting since positions will be selected, but it will short. Lathan announced Dee will be inducted into the National Journalism Hall of Fame.

Adjourn

Lathan adjourned the meeting at 1:51 p.m.

 
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