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Executive Committee

January 7, 2019

The Executive Committee met by teleconference at 3 pm. 

PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Libby Hite, Jamie Logan, David Burns, Ed Barrett, Nicole Pellenz, John Portela 

Celeste indicated she needs some information about the award Senator Collins is receiving in order to write the letter of congratulations. Maryalice will send it right away. 

A resignation was received last week but Celeste wrote the person asking if a change in task force assignment might make the difference. As a result, the resignation was withdrawn. 

Day of Service was a success. Celeste and Maryalice volunteered at the Good Shepherd Food Bank. Two AmeriCorps members made up their team of 4 and helped process 6,000 lbs of carrots and squash. Celeste spoke with Governor Mills when she joined the work. Jennifer Tilton-Flood served at the Winthrop Food Pantry and she was in the Kennebec Journal photo about the day. Luke Shorty and his wife volunteered at the Maine Conservation Corps resume writing workshop held for members of James Place sober house in Augusta. Doug Horner organized an entire service project at Stroudwater Food Pantry. Libby Hite joined the Senior Corps programs in Wells for their Warm Hearts, Warm Feet project. Maryalice is rounding up press info, photos and records of volunteer participation to compile into a report. 

The new Dept of Education Commissioner is Pender Makin who was the Brunswick School District AmeriCorps program director (MCCS grantee). Right after the announcement was made, the school district notified Commission staff they would not continue with the AmeriCorps program. No expenses were incurred so the withdrawal is not complicated but it is quite a disappointment. 

A new director for Boards and Commissions has been named. Melissa O’Neal was selected and the announcement was just three days ago. Celeste asked Maryalice to determine what the process would be in this administration for moving forward requests for appointment submitted last fall. Five serving Commissioners are awaiting actions. 

Under Task Force updates, Ed reported that Grants is working through all the applications and will have a number of recommendations for commission action. Jamie indicated PIE will be meeting in 48 hours so there is no update for now. One item on their agenda will be feedback on the video under development. Celeste asked that the link be sent to the full board so there can be a larger “focus group” for the producer. Libby made a similar report that the Maine Service Fellows group will meet on 1/16. Financial Oversight has a draft mission/charge and is due to meet January 10 according to Dave Burns. Maryalice said the first meeting of the Anniversary Planning Committee will be January 11. Essentially, all the task forces are on track to meet before the business meeting but there’s no new news. 

There was a brief discussion about the priorities the new administration has highlighted in its communications and MCCS activities or grants that align. The Maine Service Fellows lines up with the interest in finding ways to attract and retain young adults for Maine. The AmeriCorps member exit survey findings also align with that interest and should be highlighted. Addressing the opiod issues in communities is not only an MCCS funding priority but the primary activity of Healthy Acadia’s AmeriCorps program. The AmeriCorps project operated by Maine Campus Compact aligns with the administration’s energy interests. We all need to be able to talk about these with administration representatives when opportunities arise. Plus, we need to be alert for other alignments or opportunities. 

Celeste asked Maryalice for an update on filling staff positions. The Grant Officer position has a candidate, but the official offer cannot be made until HR completes the background check. Maryalice is hoping to get clearance to offer the job by the end of today. The target start date is January 22. 

The secretary position is not going as well. That search will continue but, given the results so far, Maryalice is also going to connect with a temp agency for more immediate assistance. 

The committee next discussed the briefing topics held over from October and the fact two more were scheduled for January. It was decided to put the Commission Finance overview on the agenda along with the explanation of the Commission role in state disaster response. Service Enterprise will be the topic of a brown bag lunch immediately after the meeting. This will help cover essential topics but not burden the business meeting with briefings. 

Celeste noted that as a result of setting the priorities for briefings, we’d compiled the list of other items needing agenda time. 

The February meeting of Executive Committee will be at the regular time/date: February 5 at 3pm (Happy Chinese New Year!). 

There being no other discussion items, the meeting closed at 4:01 pm.