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Commission Minutes

June 16, 2017

Present: Ed Barrett, David Burns, Aaron Dombroski, Elizabeth Hite, Ron Holmes, Coleman Lapointe, John Portela, Carol Rancourt, Beth Lambert, Brianna Tibbetts, Nicole Pellenz, Mandela Gardiner, David Wihry, Melik Peter Khoury   
Staff: Michael Ashmore, Pelin Fitzpatrick, Cecily Cook, Maryalice Crofton.

Public Comment Period: Jo Orlando, representing Maine Conservation Corps; beginning the week of May 15-22 MCC has been fully operational. Jason Aylmer, of Eastern Maine Development Corporation; Lisa Laughlin of Unite Way Tri-Valley; and Steve Niles is also present, representing Goodwill Industries NNE.

Call to Order. Commission Chair Portela called the meeting to order at 10:06am. Commission Board Member and MCCS staff introductions follow. Portela explained the chair-elect is out of state so will not be able to lead Board orientation later.

Quiz Answer. The quiz this month was about the allocations under Subtitle J of the Serve America Act, which allows CNCS to grant funds to state commission to achieve certain training priorities. Ed and Coleman received the prizes this month.

Focus on Mission/Responsibilities
A. Commission funding for Program Development and Tech Assistance/Training: Report on what was accomplished and the next set of targets
 (Ashmore)
Mike provided overview of the purpose of the Commission Investment Fund, alternatively called TTA, CIF, or Program Development funds. He highlighted the priorities and key areas of development are aligned with CNCS goals to provide training for organizations prior to RFP announcements. He's working on an online training course in order to be able to provide the same outreach and training to all interested parties. Outreach is changing in response to changes in the State of Maine purchasing site.

Business Reports  
A. April Minutes. (Portela)
Business was conducted during the April meeting. Carol made a motion to approve the minutes; Ed seconded it. There was no more discussion. All members present voted unanimously to approve the minutes - 0 abstentions, 0 nays.
2. May Minutes
No official business was conducted during the May meeting because there was no quorum. Carol made a motion to approve; David W. seconded it. 0 opposed; 2 abstentions; 12 voted to approve the minutes.

B. Grant Selection and Performance (Wihry)  
1. Act on policy updates and recommendations
Call for discussion/questions. The material has been out and available for a couple of months. Grants Task Force made motion to approve. Carol seconded, 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; all commissioners present voted to approve the policy updates.

Second piece of policy updates: adding exception to the 3-year limit of host site policy. This update would make it possible for a host site to sign on for an additional 3 years if they participate in the Service Enterprise training and coaching and make a good faith effort to become certified. Grants Task Force made motion to approve; Ed seconded; 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; all commissioners present voted to approve.

2. AmeriCorps Formula continuation recommendations. There are 2 programs that the Grants Task Force is recommending for continuation: RSU #14, SySTEM REAL School and Multilingual Leadership Corps.

- RSU #14, SySTEM REAL School: Grants Task Force made motion to approve the AmeriCorps program's funding at the requested level of not more than $208,825 Federal Share, to be matched by at least $205,035 in local funds, supporting 15.35 member service years distributed over 35 slots. The approved cost per MSY is $12,772. Additionally, the Grants Task Force moved to approve the Supplemental Funds Request of $5,000 CNCS share for additional outreach and recruitment. Ed seconded the motion. 0 abstentions; 0 opposed; all commissioners present voted unanimously to approve the funding at the requested level.

- Goodwill's Multilingual Leadership Corps: Grants Task Force made motion to approve the AmeriCorps program's funding at the requested level of not more than $265,187 CNCS share, to be matched by at least $217,970 in local funds, supporting 21.19 MSYs distributed over 44 slots. the approved cost per MSY is $12,515. Additionally, the Grants Task Force moved to approve the Supplemental Funds Request of $5,000 CNCS share for additional outreach and recruitment. Nicole seconded, Ed seconded; 0 abstentions; 0 opposed; all present voted to approve funding at the requested level.

3. Recommendations for new AmeriCorps Formula grant
There have been 2 complete grant submissions for the Rural AmeriCorps Competition:

- United Way of the Tri-Valley Area: The Grants Task Force made motion to approve the new AmeriCorps program be funded at the requested level of not more than $27,657 Federal share, to be matched by at least $23,595 in local funds, supporting 2 full-time members. The approved costs per MSY is $13,829, which is $1 below the 2017 CNCS allows amount of $13,830 for new applicants. The 2 AmeriCorps members will build capacity at local food pantries. Nicole seconded the motion; 0 abstentions; 0 opposed; all commissioners present voted to approve funding at the requested level.

- Maine Youth Alliance: The Grants Task Force made motion to not approve funding for this applicant. There are concerns over financial health of the organization and the MSY amount exceeded the maximum allowed. Carol seconded the motion; David W. abstained, 0 opposed; the rest of the commissioners present voted to support the motion.

4. Other
With leftover funds from the MDC AmeriCorps program that is not completing the grant cycle, the Grants Task Force made a motion to approve funding for Eastern Maine Development Corporation's AmeriCorps program, Northern Maine AmeriCorps Collaborative, at the requested level of not more than $128,838 CNCS share, to be matched by at least $186,202 in local funds, supporting 10.06 MSYs distributed over 38 slots. The approved cost per MSY is $13,812, which is $18 below the 2017 CNCS allowed amount of $13,830 for new applicants. Nicole seconded, 0 abstentions; 0 opposed; all members present voted to approve funding at the requested level.

C. Executive Committee (Portela)
1. May 2017 meeting notes are posted. Accept report.
Ron made motion to approve the meeting notes. Nicole seconded; 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; all commissioners present voted to approve the minutes.

2. June 2017 meeting notes posted.
No questions or requests for clarification. David motioned to approve notes. Nicole seconded. 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; all members present vote to approve.

3. New Board Member Orientation
Maryalice will facilitate orientation in place of Celeste after business meeting.

 D. ASC Update (Holmes)
1. Public Policy Committee
Ron urged commissioners to continue to extend thanks to members of Congress for their work in getting the most recent budget passed. Continue to sign on to thank-you letters. An important talking point is answering the question, Why do people receive stipends? Answers include because it ups the level of commitment and number of hours served.

E. Excellence and Expertise (Ashmore)
1. June 2017 meeting notes posted. Requests for clarifications.
Nicole was incorrectly marked as present. The video of Service Enterprise testifying to value will be posted on YouTube. There was a review of another outreach document with collaboration from PIE on types of training we provide.

2. Overview of VGF funding application due in July.
July 6 applications are due. MCCS will apply using a model that used VGF to support small grants, about $20,000 to support volunteer programs already in place meeting priority areas of aging in place, food security, and transportation. An emphasis will be put on increasing number of volunteers. In exchange for these small grants, organization will have to commit to Service Enterprise training and conducting media outreach on increasing volunteerism in general.

F. CNCS Regional Office Update (Hite)
1. CNCS continues to focus on increasing awareness among public and Congressional members by sharing stories of service. Libby shared the bios of three CNCS Presidential appointees.

I. MCCS Staff (Crofton/Cook)  
1. Data report: What 5 year of AmeriCoprs exit surveys show regarding skill development by members
Cecily shared the research she's been working on that examines the skills learned by members who start their service with "no", "almost none", and "basic" skills compared to the group as a whole. Generally, there is a significant difference between perceived opportunity to grow and actual measurable change among both the target group and the group as a whole.

The next upcoming research project is going to focus on AmeriCorps host sites that benefitted from member placement in 2012/13 and 2013/14. The focus is on the impact of AmeriCorps member placement on the host site's capacity.

2. Blaine House Conference planning status
Registrations will start at the end of July. Keynote speaker is Tobi Johnson, who will also present a session. There are 3 out of state presenters and 2 $1,000 sponsors. The planning committee requests assistance in finding a three more $1,000 sponsors.

3. Maine Volunteer Foundation update
Bill Bernie of Cianbro has joined the board as the newest member.

Planning and Future Initiatives
A. Setting Commission/MVF work plan priorities for 2017-2018 (Portela/Crofton)
There are currently 3 goals and 3 actions items. Do these meet up with MCCS's priorities? Melik put forth a motion to adopt the 3 action items; Aaron seconded. 0 opposed; 0 abstentions; all commissioners present vote to approve.

Business Wrap Up
B. Reminder that the next meeting will not be until September 15, 2017.
C. Meeting Adjourned at 11:53am