Skip to main content

retired-Excellence and Expertise Task Force

May 3, 2017

Commissioners Present: Elizabeth Hite, Lisa Laflin, Coleman Lapointe, Nicole Pellenz, Robert Liscord, Barbara Wentworth, Joe Young

Other members: Nichole Ernest

Absent: Janice Daku, Sean Ingram, Melik Khoury

Staff: Michael Ashmore




Notes: An item was added to the Agenda related to the release of the Volunteer Generation Fund NOFA by CNCS (see below).

There was a brief round of introductions as new members were present.

Recap of Commission meeting intro to E & E and feedback from attendees

  • NP, BW & LH shared how Service Enterprise was presented at the Commission meeting. NP noted the value of the opportunity to present the “high level” view of the work particularly given the abstract nature of the Task Force’s work on this topic.  Presenting the way in which it is rolling out in the state showed concrete results. CL noted that, as a new Commissioner, he appreciated the presentation and is interested in seeing how it works at the community level


Meeting with SE trainers - Report out from Members attending

  • BW and LH represented the Task Force in the meeting with SE trainers (Pam Zeutenhorst, Anne Schink, Michelle Surdoval and Janelle Wuoristo were present). The meeting was a check in on the work done by the Task Force on the program model and the trainers on the pricing structure, including hard costs (SED, Certificate) and soft costs (staffing, space, etc.). The group also discussed the issue of agency readiness – how an agency knows it is ready to move into skills-based volunteerism.  Trainers suggested that some sort of pre-assessment would be useful, as would an agency level “volunteer 101”.  Other observations included the need for the agency leadership to be directly involved because whole organization buy-in is necessary.
  • Group also discussed benefits of participation in training, even when certification is not achieved. LL  asked how we might capture these residual benefits and noted that some level of State Certification would be warranted in the absence of the Points of Light arrangement with Guidestar. The group agreed that some form of recognition would be valuable. MA noted the possibility of working with the Maine Philanthropy Center on some sort of shared certification.  LL also noted that their site is working on a video testimonial.  Group felt that collecting these from a variety of trainees and certified agencies would allow development of a useful tool for recruiting sites and demonstrating impact.


Promotional materials – next steps

  • This item was tabled in the interest of time, though it was noted that having a product that describes training options including Blaine House, CMV Course and Service Enterprise is needed for use at Blaine House.


Blaine House Conference and/or PIE liaison updates

  • Blaine House – NE was welcomed the group as liaison to the Blaine House conference committee. She shared that the planning team is in the early planning stages, with teleconference meetings set through September.  Key discussion elements include consideration of a location change for the conference, brainstorming of possible keynote presenters and the most effective use of distance learning technology to bring presenters from around the country.  Conference Theme is still to be decided.  NE also shared that evaluations from last year included high marks for the lunchtime networking sessions so the committee is looking to build on that success.
  • Task Force members asked how best to share and promote Service Enterprise opportunities at the conference. NE described options including instructional sessions, use of video testimonial(s), handouts with conference materials.
  • PIE update – RL noted that PIE has been largely occupied with organizing and planning for various meetings with congressional representatives and their respective staff persons and has not moved much farther along on the branding/outreach planning.


Volunteer Generation Fund NOFA

  • MA noted that the VGF announcement of funding availability was released the previous evening by CNS. MA also noted that the NOFA included a change in eligible applicants from prior VGF funding opportunities.  The new NOFA includes national nonprofits as eligible.  In the past, only Commissions were eligible for funding [note that the NOFA was revised to remove this on May 4].
  • Deadline for applications is July 6 with notice of intent due June 6. Expected grants should be at least $100,000.  Past practice indicates funding in the range of $150,000 to $200,000 with approximately 16 to20 applications funded.
  • BW asked for formation of a subgroup to develop application from MCCS. BW, LL and MA agreed to participate.  MA will send out meeting time options and the request to absent members.


Summer Schedule options

  • MA and BW introduced the topic of summer meeting times and described conflicts in June and July related to meetings and holidays. The following schedule for E & E meetings was determined: June meeting moved to June 8th, July meeting moved to the 12th, August meeting will be the 2nd. All will be at the regular time, 8:30 - 9:30am and held via teleconference/webinar


Chair transition in September

  • BW noted that her term on the Commission is up in September which will mean that E & E will need a new chair