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Executive Committee

December 3, 2019

PRESENT: Celeste Branham, John Portela, Nicki Pellenz, Ed Barrett, Maryalice Crofton

Executive Committee members gathered by teleconference at 3:05 pm.

Celeste opened the meeting by acknowledging that Nicki has submitted her resignation. Her job responsibilities have changed significantly and she will not be able to devote the attention needed. She will join the December 20 meeting as her final event. Celeste thanked Nicki for her contributions to the Commission.

Maine Service Fellows task force needs a chair from Commission. Celeste identified the person she would like to lead the task force. She will reach out and ask the person this week.

Commission membership status. With the continuing life changes, there are now seven board vacancies. We have been advised to expand the recommendations to the Governor. The two already submitted are still active. The goal would be have one last push to fill seats and then focus on work until the natural nomination process comes around next summer.

It was agreed that all Commissioners would be asked to bring names and contact information for potential candidates to the next meeting. In addition to the specific representation listed below, the Commission needs members from midcoast, greater Bangor, Portland (believe it or not!) and western mountains. Representation from people of color has been lost in recent turnover. The expiration terms are listed to indicate how long the new person would serve in an unexpired term before being eligible for appointment for a full term.

Seat 1, Pellenz, representative of business, Expires 2021 
Seat 8, VACANT (formerly Hinman), representative of the State's volunteer community, Expires 2017 
Seat 10, VACANT (formerly Cooke), expertise in the education, training and development needs of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, Expires 2020 
Seat 11, VACANT (formerly Johnson), representative of the State's volunteer community. – Tyson nomination still in Gov’s office, Expires 2020 
Seat 12, VACANT (former Dickerson), expertise in the education, training and development needs of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, Expires 2019 
Seat 13, VACANT (formerly Horner), representative of a community-based agency or organization, Expires 2021 
Seat 17, VACANT (former Khoury), expert in delivery of human services, Expires 2019 
Seat 19, VACANT (formerly Young), representative of local government (small town) – Hennessey nomination still in Gov’s office, Expires 2021 

Exec Committee assistance with new commissioner orientation. The next session of orientation will be the hour before the December 20 meeting. Celeste and John volunteered to lead the session. They asked Maryalice to send the annotated agenda so they can prepare. 

Office staffing update. The application deadline for Communications Officer was December 2. As a reminder, Bryan is serving in acting-capacity with is a temporary status. State HR will review the applications and forward a set who meet criteria to Maryalice. She hopes to conduct the interviews before the next Commission meeting. Someone who does not know any of the applicants will have to join the interview committee so she is in conversation with the Dept of Education about who might be available. 

The secretarial position will remain vacant for now. The state self-funds unemployment and the former staff person is drawing unemployment. Paying that bill plus a staff salary doesn’t fit in the budget right now. Come the new year and new funding from CNCS, the situation will resolve itself. 

OIG audit status. Maryalice recapped the latest round of requests from the OIG audit team and steps subgrantees as well as Commission staff took to enlist advice from other professional auditors given the nature of the requests. The audit manager has informed the Commission staff there will not be any additional requests and the next step will be to issue a draft of findings. This is expected in January 2020. 

Assessment to inform future grant selection and new organization support. Commission staff propose to engage an evaluator to interview current and former grantees, review the commission risk assessment used in selection, and other factors with the goal of making recommendations to the Commission that would increase the success of new organizations taking on AmeriCorps grants. The evaluator has just completed an organizational capacity assessment for EPA. That federal agency was looking to understand and better assess the capacity of community organizations that receive its grants. The work for Volunteer Maine will be completed between January and June.  Executive Committee members gave strong support for the work and entering into the contract which is $5,000. 

Task force updates. Ed reported for the Grant Selection and Performance Task Force. Peer review is completed on the new applications. The task force is waiting for staff summaries of the financial materials. With only three task force members, the work load is challenging. 

Compile agenda items for 12/20. The most significant item are the votes on AmeriCorps continuations and new applications. Other items are overview/training on basecamp, task force reports, and Celeste asked the video from past Commissioners be shared during the meeting. 

Mentors for new Commissioners. Celeste informed the group that everyone has a mentor. John is mentoring Lisa Phelps; Jeni will mentor Mathias Deering; Luke has Matt L’Itallien; Celeste has Julia; Ed is Anne Ostberg’s mentor. 

There being no other business, the members dispersed at 3:47 pm.