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Administrative Staff Reports

March 7, 2012

Meredith Eaton January/February 2012 Administrative Staff Report- Training and VISTA Coordinator


  • Reworked Program Development and Training (PDAT) continuation application for 2012 to align with award of $19,133 (reduced from original award amount of $73,800 due to CNCS funding cuts).  Focused on five areas of competency developed by MCCS staff and CNCS State Office staff: Performance Management, Evaluation, Federal Funds and Contract Management, Volunteer Management, and National Service Program Design.  Requested additional $42,150 in PDAT Supplemental Funding, for which award notification will be given from CNCS in May.
  • Major changes in PDAT programming include loss of staff time (decrease from .83 FTE to .25 FTE).  Requested supplemental funding for the use of a local training and technical assistance provider to evaluate curriculum in the areas of performance management, evaluation, and federal funds and contract management.  Because CNCS has announced that PDAT allocations will be competitive next year, Training Officer's time will focus on measurable outcomes for programming, evaluation of programming, and formally assessing the needs of CNCS-funded programs.
  • Management of From the Field blog (assignment inherited in January with loss of Planning and Research Associate) with continued self-study of best practices, technical skill in Wordpress, outreach to guest bloggers, and recruitment of new featured bloggers.
  • Worked with MCCS Program Officer for Volunteer Sector Initiatives to identify monthly webinar series topics and potential presenters through December.  Tied each topic to an area of the Competencies for Managers of Volunteers: managing self, managing people, managing project and programs, and leading organizations.
  • Moderated one webinar in January, Calculating Return on Investment for Volunteer Programs, which was attended by 9 participants.
  • Oversaw planning for Maine AmeriCorps Member Conference, to be held in Waterville, March 27, 2012.  VISTA Leaders are taking the lead in staffing the planning committee, which has selected a keynote, workshop topics and presenters, opened registration, and connected with the events coordinator at Thomas College.
  • Convened February 2012 meeting of the National Service and Volunteer Council with 13 program staff representing 10 grantees attending.  Contributed training updates and opportunities to the twice-monthly CNCS grantee newsletter.
  • Started planning for 2012 Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism with outreach to Commissioners for event chair and planning committee members.  Next steps are to recruit planning committee members, sub-committee leads, and choose a keynote and conference theme.  Without a Public Relations Representative on staff this year with skills in graphic design, we may need to outsource some of the design work for the conference.  Additionally, requested PDAT supplemental funding to continue conference scholarships for CNCS-funded program staff, site supervisors, participants, and members.  However, will continue to seek sponsorship and underwriting opportunities because award notification for PDAT supplemental funding will not be made until May.

Maine VISTA Project

  • Attended mandatory CNCS-sponsored VISTA Supervisor Orientation.  While it was useful to meet and network with other VISTA Project Directors from around the country, the content was focused on VISTA supervision (all the resources used in the training were available online) and not VISTA project management, is a higher-priority area of need.
  • Two new Maine VISTA Project members started service in February, at Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Portland and at MCCS in Augusta.  They are working on expanding legal resources for veterans and military families and statewide implementation of service-learning practices, respectively.  Project orientation for members and reporting training and TA for members and sites.
  • Two VISTAs completed their service in February.  Whitney Guthrie completed her 2nd term of VISTA service with United Way of York County, and Katie Klein completed her year of VISTA Leader service with MCCS.
  • Conducted daylong training for VISTA Project members on February 16th.  VISTA Leaders Eileen Buzzello and Erin Dunne delivered training on facilitation to 17 VISTA members.  Conducted Training and Technical Assistance webinar for 10 VISTA Supervisors on members supervision, coaching, and evaluation. 
  • Continued efforts in site development of new VISTA host sites.  The CNCS State Office has requested that we increase the Maine VISTA Project size from 26 to 24 members by November 2012.  Developing new host site application process to include service-learning, veterans & military families, and physical activity & obesity prevention focus areas.  Ongoing recruitment for three open positions.
  • VISTA site visits to Bryant Pond 4-H and Learning Center (2 members), Southern Maine Agency on Aging, USM Veterans Resource Center, Catholic Charities Maine, and The Telling Room (2 members).


  • Supervision of VISTA Leaders Eileen Buzzello and Erin Dunne.
  • Attended quarterly meeting of Maine Senior Corps Council; will act as MCCS liaison to Senior Corps for ongoing outreach and initiatives.
  • Met with representatives from Vermont's State Service Commission regarding MCCS' role in disasters, training initiatives, and VISTA project management.
  • Provided technical assistance to two CNCS national task forces on performance measurement for VISTA projects and for veterans-focused VISTA projects.
  • Participated in National Service Legislative Outreach Day at the Hall of Flags; represented MCCS and Maine VISTA Project.
  • Attendance at bi-weekly staff meetings and monthly Commission meeting.
  • Representing state commission on national OnCorps (reporting software) User's Group.