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Administrative Staff Reports

July 12, 2011

May 2011 Training and VISTA Coordinator Report

Submitted by Meredith Eaton


·        Collaborated with expert content presenter Eileen Buzzello and webinar coach Joan Davis in preparation for May 19th VolunteerMaine Webinar Series offering on Risk Management Strategies for Volunteer Programs, for which 44 people registered.  Moderated the webinar and scheduled a follow-up webinar for Part II for July 21st.

·        Continuing to brainstorm topics, research presenters, and coordinate scheduling and presenter support for the VolunteerMaine Webinar Series for September through December.

·        Planning and facilitation of quarterly National Service and Volunteerism Council.  Distribution list has grown beyond AmeriCorps programs to include Senior Corps, Volunteer Generation Fund grantees, and other recipients of CNCS funds.  Eileen Buzzello presented on her publication “Managing Maine Volunteers from a Legal Perspective.”

·        With Excellence and Expertise Task Force, reviewed five applications for the Professional Development fund and made awards.


·        Worked with Maine VISTA Project host sites and Pam Zeutenhorst to review and provide feedback for revision on Maine VISTA Project host sites’ submitted performance measures.  Each site was required to submit at least one set of aligned performance measures that were part of the CNCS 2011 National Performance Measures in one of six impact areas; six host sites will additionally report on a MCCS Standardized Performance Measure around volunteer program best practices.  Collected and provided feedback on CNCS-required VISTA Assignment Descriptions for each of the 16 sites with members starting in mid-August.

·        Continuing recruitment for VSITA members with the new Maine VISTA Project.  During May, I conducted 30 interviews with candidates that were pre-screened by VISTA Leaders Brad Hunter and Katie Klein.  By June 15th, 16 members must be selected and enrolled to attend a VISTA Pre-Service Orientation in Philadelphia starting August 8th and to start at their sites the week of August 15th.

·        Developed and provided training for seven current VolunteerMaine VISTAs on May 26th.  Daylong training focused on ‘Life After AmeriCorps’ and consisted of workshops on resume-building, interviewing skills, translating VISTA service into job-speak, resume critiques, and mock interviews with staff at State Planning Office.

Blaine House Conference

·        Met twice with the Conference Content sub-committee.  Finalized the theme of ‘Imagine Service’ and Rochelle Runge designed the accompanying graphics.  Narrowed down choice of keynote speakers to a top two.  Began to draft a tentative workshop list and brainstormed on presenters and session topics to pursue.

·        Secured the University of Maine location for October 11, 2011.

·        Next steps are securing sponsorships and a keynote speaker.  Save the date postcards will go out mid-June.


·        Conducted two calls for public comment based on the Commission’s decision at the May meeting to sponsor the feedback.  Generated a response from Maine on the White House Council for Community Solutions call for comment on disengaged youth and promising strategies to address the issue.  Facilitated the discussion, took notes, and aggregated the feedback for submission before June 3rd.  The second call on effective cross-sector collaborations had no participants, so no comment was submitted.

·        Participated in Mass Exercise sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard on May 18th in Bar Harbor.  Part of the Volunteer Reception Center team.  A total of 89 volunteers were processed and the event generated in a strong interest from the stakeholder in the VRC model and in possible future collaborations.

·        Attendance at bi-weekly staff meetings.