May 5, 2020
Present: Celeste Branham, Jeni Tilton-Flood, Ed Barrett, John Portela, Maryalice Crofton
Executive Committee members gathered by videoconference at 3 pm.
Status of Commission public/training events. Discussion centered on final status of events the Commission was planning, some of which are annual events.
The June Public Forum with National Commission on Military, Public, and National Service: cancelled and presenters will be asked to do a plenary session with open mike Q&A at October conference.
NGA Summer Meeting Service Project: the Portland NGA Summer meeting has been cancelled so there is no need for a service project.
Maine Volunteer Leadership Conference: will move to virtual format and stay with traditional date. The planning challenge is sponsorships as the platform and presenter costs will be different.
AmeriCorps Member Conference: Cancelled which means several consequences. Members serving this year will not have chance to meet and develop a statewide team identity. They also will not have a chance to mingle informally with Congressional staff and tell their stories.
Roll of Honor Volunteer Recognition: Cancelled except for listing in Bangor Daily News. That said, nominations are not coming in. People and agencies are too distracted.
Impact of event changes and state general fund curtailment on support grant match. Just over $28,000 of General Fund support has been lost for the year ending June 30, 2020. The events cancelled plus forfeited in-kind and sponsorships are already adding up to $60,000.
Summer interns coming. Two interns will serve at the Commission through the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at UMaine. The person from Northwestern University will do some background research to inform Commission funding priorities for 2021 and forward. He will also work with Jamie on developing some material to support new grantee staff. The person from UMaine Farmington will help Bryan merge the two Commission websites into one. It is possible to maintain social distancing in the office by using the small conference room (Rm 102) assigned to the Commission. After we know them a little better, they may also rotate which days they are in the office.
Commission retreat: Celeste recommended that the officers elected in June meet over the summer to plan the retreat. She will have a slate to recommend at the May meeting. Commissioners should be asked to save the dates in September for retreat and meeting. Rosh Hashanah falls on the usual meeting date so it was decided to move the September dates to 9/24-25. This will be announced at the May meeting.
Grant task force augmentation. There is another compressed review timeline facing the task force. It will start on May 30 and include new applicants plus planning grants. After discussion, it was agreed that Commission members should be the reviewers for planning grants rather than external peer reviewers. Save the external reviewers for new applicants since the panel of volunteers waiting for work is small. Celeste will ask Commissioners to volunteer for this task at the May meeting.
Develop agenda for May 15. Members present compiled the agenda items for the next business meeting.
Volunteer Generation Fund: The renewal application is due tomorrow. Staff lost sight of the deadline in the events of the last two months. As summary had been sent to committee members. Some expressed support while others asked for time to provide feedback. The position mentioned would be a limited-term project position to focus on this work. For the past three years, we’ve tried to work with a contractor as the lead but it has not had the impact we want. Supervising a staff member directly and daily is a very different dynamic. Funds would move from the contract/consultant line to personnel. This funding also has a match waiver for the grantee share.
Technology discussion: In an attempt to overcome some of the technology issues (e.g., people being dropped), the next meeting will use our prior technology Adobe Connect. For users, there will be only one link and the platform does not fight with Macs, iPhones, or Zoom.
There being no other items to discuss, members dispersed at 3:43 pm.