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Minutes - April 19, 2007

Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service
Chicago: 1112 S. Wabash Ave, 4th Floor
Springfield: 535 W. Jefferson, 3rd Floor
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
January 18, 2007

Commissioners present: Becky Stiemke, Daniel F. Bassill, Dave Lawrence, Dorothy Miaso, Fred Rodriguez, Jocelyn Dionisio, John Hosteny, Ramo Bey, Ted Gibbs

ICVCS and DHS Staff present: Alma Stallings-Ott, Deb mcCarrel, Kimberly Fornero, Lisa Hooker, Michael Gaines, Scott Kimmel, Scott McFarland, Scott Niermann

Guests present: Arlan L. Mulin, Bob Bartles, Debra Janiszewski, Jessica Lent, Kira Weiss, Lauren Nichols, Susan Rice

1. Call to Order

Chairman, Dave Lawrence, called the meeting to order at 11:10 a.m.

2. Introductions

Dave Lawrence asked everyone present to introduce themselves, giving their names, agency, and title.

3. Approval of September 21, 2006 Meeting Minutes – Dave Lawrence

The January 19, 2007 minutes were approved.

4. Administrative Standards

Deborah McCarrel gave a brief update on the Administrative Standards review. An audit was conducted, it was very successful and the Corporation wrote a good report. There were a few items that were not met. These are being addressed. The last item was Commission appointments. The Governor's Office has contacted staff. We should have a new Commission in place by July. An Orientation Retreat for the new Commissioners will be held before the next meeting.

5. Volunteerism

Scott Niermann reported on the activities that are planned during National Volunteer week (April 15-21), which will culminate on National & Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22). Staff have been working on a proclamation from the Governor's Office, and a letter to the editor was sent out from the Chairman of the Commission. Tom Green has been very helpful in getting the letters out. The ICOVA Conference is scheduled for May 10 and 11 at the Oak Brook Marriott.

6. Senior Corps and VISTA

The President's budget was released for FY08. There is a 12% cut across the board. AmeriCorps was cut 4%, Senior Corps was cut 6%, and VISTA was cut 2%. Learn & Serve has been reduced. It is going to have a ripple effect. There is a lot of money from the Department of Labor for prison reentry. We will continue with our congressional meetings. Illinois ranks 29th in volunteering. Strategies were discussed for moving Illinois from the 29 rank to the top of the chart.

7. Disability Outreach

No report due to the recent resignation of Brenda Letcher who was coordinating this program.

8. Disaster Preparedness

Scott McFarland reported that he has a meeting with the contact for FEMA. After the meeting he will have a training schedule. Participants will receive training on disaster assessment. There are about 30 members who are interested. Most of whom are from Dixon. We hope to make this an annual event.

9. AmeriCorps


Scott Niermann reported that LeaderCorps members, Jessica Lent and Lauren Nichols, did an excellent job in setting up the Weekend of Service. He gave each of them a Certificate of Appreciation from the Commission. Jessica and Lauren passed out two handouts and discussed activities related to the Weekend of Service, including Community Gardening Day and Chicago Tribune Earth Day Round UP. They also talked about work that the PCC Community Wellness Center is doing in two chools. They have been contacted by the Pioneer Press. They will be holding an election. Scot Kimmel thanked the LeaderCorps members for all they have done and Dave gave his congratulations for their work.

The Committee Meeting was held March 23, 2007. National & Global Youth Service Day will be held April 20 through 22.


Scott Kimmel and Deborah McCarrel attended the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory (NEWREL) "national demonstration project" on April 16 and 17 in Madison, Wisconsin. Illinois has joined with staff and AmeriCorps programs from Wisconsin and Minnesota to document best practices as they relate to AmeriCorps Member professional development.

Dome Day

March 22nd was Dome Day, an event sponsored by City Year. The Commission played a supportive role in this event, as a was agreed in a discussion that took place at the January 19th Commission meeting regarding this event. It is hoped that Dome Day will become an annual event. The Communications Office and the Legislative Office were informed about this event.

AmeriCorps Week (May 13-20, 2007)

Lisa discussed activities that are planned for the week-long event. It is designed to bring more Americans into service, to salute AmeriCorps members and alumni for their powerful impact, and to thank community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. This event is new and will be an annual event. For more information, visit:

10. Media

No report

11. Events

Cesar Chavez Breakfast - The 4th Annual Cesar Chavez Serve & Learn Program breakfast was held was held March 20th, the day before Cesar Chavez's 80th birthday. The breakfast was held at Gage Park High School in Chicago. The Cesar Chavez program provides an opportunity for students to connect themselves to communities and increase their academic achievement. Scott Kimmel, Deborah McCarrel, and Dan Bassill attended the breakfast. About 200 service-learning grant recipients were in attendance. During the week of March 31, students and teachers throughout Illinois performed a range of curriculum-based activities to celebrate Chavez's life. The students did an excellent job. The article is on the front page of the Serve Illinois Newsletter. Additional information can be obtained by visiting website:

12. CNCS Program Officers

Kira Weiss and Susan Rice thanked the Commission for the opportunity to be present and encouraged everyone to continue to take advantage of opportunities to visit the programs and special events the programs are sponsoring and tell the programs what a great job they are doing. Dave commented that supporting the programs in this way is an excellent incentive for them to keep up the good work.

Kira, Susan, and John Hosteny led an open discussion about the Corporation and distributed and walked through several handouts, including an organization chart of the Corporation, a 2006-2007 Report (Illinois portfolio), provisions for program Training, and State Administrative Standards FAQ. They discussed the functions of various Corporation departments and talked about some activities of many of the programs highlighted in some of the handouts. They also answered questions regarding the budget, lobbying guidelines, and other topics. Kira stated that the Corporation has lobbying guidelines that she will send to the Commission (as requested by Dave Lawrence). For more information on all the topics discussed, visit the Corporation's website.

13. Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.