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Minutes - January 16, 2008

Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service
Chicago: 100 West Randolph St., Suite 5-300, Murdock Room
Springfield: 100 W. Cook Street, Suter Conference Room
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
January 16, 2008

Commissioners Present: Arlan McClain, Bob McCammon, Dan Bassill, Dave Lawrence, Debra Janiszewski, Frank Bass, Fred Rodriguez, Howard Lathan, Jocelyn D. Cheng, John Hosteny, Julian Brown, Mythili Rundblad, Nancy Jamison, Rosemary Keefe, Steven Wolfe, Ted Gibbs, Tim Capparelli, Don Baden

Commission Staff Present: Scott Kimmel, Executive Director; Deborah McCarrel, AmeriCorps Program Manager; Lisa Hooker, AmeriCorps Program Officer; Ebone Lott, AmeriCorps Program Officer; Scott Niermann, Volunteer Program Manager; Scott McFarland, Graduate Student Intern

Guests Present: Kim Fornero, DHS; Alma Stallings-Ott, DHS; Peggy Wilham, DHS; Joel Newman, LeaderCorps President; Kathy Engelken, Campus Compact; Nancy Cadillo, Kreider Services; Cory Foster, Lt. Govenor's Office

1) Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:04 a.m. by Chairman, Dave Lawrence. Executive Director, Scott Kimmel, introduced new and existing staff members. Commissioners, their designees, and meeting guests introduced themselves.

2) Commission Chair Update

Chairman Lawrence commended the Commission staff for the outstanding job they did in planning and conducting the orientation session that was held for new commissioners and he thanked the commissioners for their participation. He also stated that the evaluations received looked very good and a copy is in the commissioner packets.

Chairman Lawrence reminded the commissioners that better attendance at Commission meetings was a goal for the coming year. Scott Kimmel noted that the Commission's bylaws state that a commissioner who misses two consecutive meetings without notifying the Chair or the Executive Director will assumed to have vacated their seat on the Commission. Mr. Kimmel also noted that three vacant seats on the Commission remain. One of those seats must be filled by a youth representative aged 16 to 25 years who is currently participating in or supervising a community service program.

3) Commission Officer Elections

Scott Kimmel referenced an Executive Summary handout in the Commissioner packets regarding the Election of Serve Illinois Commission Officers. He and Deb McCarrel reviewed the election procedures, the role of Chair and Co-Chair, the term of the office, and the appointment of the Executive Committee. Also discussed was the membership to the Commissions three standing committees: Community Outreach, Public Relations and Marketing, Resource Development.

Commission Appointments

Nominations for Commission chair were called. Dave Lawrence received the only nomination and was unanimously re-elected. Chairman Lawrence announced his selections for the Executive Committee which were: Julian Brown nominated Howard Lathan for Co-chair and Frank Bass seconded. All were in favor.

Lawrence suggested that the following be nominated to serve on the Executive Committee: Jocelyn Cheng, Rosemary Keefe and Julian Brown. Tim Capperali made the nomination, Frank Bass seconded, and all were in favor.

Deb McCarrel passed around a sheet for people to sign up for one or more of the three standing committees. She explained that the Commission has the authority to change the names and focus of these committees, and to select ad hoc committees. She further explained that others who are not commissioners can be invited to sit on these committees.

4) JCAR Rules

Scott Kimmel reported that Ted Gibbs found a copy of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) Administrative Code pertaining to the operation of the Commission. The rules are out of date and do not apply to the current legislation. The rules will be rescinded and repealed, and will be discussed at the quarterly meeting in April.

5) National Conferences – 2008 to 2010

Scott Kimmel referenced a handout in the commissioner packet announcing the upcoming National Conference that will be held June 1-3 in Atlanta, Georgia. This conference is a collaboration between the Hands On Network, The Points of Light Foundation, and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Kimmel noted that the Commission has historically budgeted for two commissioners to attend the event.

Kimmel also noted that he has talked with representatives from the CNCS about Chicago hosting the 2010 National Conference. He reported that the Corporation seemed excited about having it in Chicago, but he warned the commissioners that it is a lot of work and takes a exceptional commitment to host the event. Kimmel referred to a handout in the commissioner packet that provided information about the host committee for the National Conference that was held in Philadelphia in 2007.

After some discussion, it was agreed that hosting the national conference should be explored and the Commission created an ad hoc committee to do so. Commissioners volunteering to sit on the ad hoc committee were: Frank Bass, Howard Lathan, Ted Gibbs, Rosemary Keefe, Debra Janiszewski, Julian Brown, Tim Capparelli, Jocelyn Cheng, Nancy Jamison, Mythili Rundblad, Bob McCammon, and John Hosteny. Kimmel will set up a meeting of the ad hoc committee and set up a conference call with the Pennsylvania Commission.

6) Serve Illinois Web Site

Scott Kimmel walked through of the new Serve Illinois web site, showing the various tabs, links, and the information that will be included. Kimmel noted that they are awaiting DHS approval to launch the new web site.

Commissioners were asked for their feedback, recommendations and suggestions. Julian suggested that corporate sponsors be included to generate revenue. Kimmel and Scott McFarland commented that the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) generally does not allow the use of corporate sponsorships (corporate logos) on any state web site but they agreed to forward the recommendation.

7) Volunteer Management Network

Scott Kimmel referenced the Commission's enabling legislation and bylaws which require the Commission to be a collaborative entity to promote volunteerism. Volunteer Management Network (VMN) is a Serve Illinois Commission initiative that seeks to develop a regionally-based, statewide network of volunteer connector agencies, private and public entities, community foundations, etc.

Staff will set up meetings and invite other volunteer organizations to explore ways in which they can collaborate. Scott McFarland is compiling a list of 30-40 entities to invite to the first meeting in the Southern Illinois region. The first meeting is scheduled for January 30th in Mt. Vernon.

Dan Bassil suggested that the information on what other organizations are doing brought to light as a result of the VMN meetings be put on a Commission calendar. Howard Lathan suggested that this subject be on the agenda for the Commission's Community Outreach Committee so they can develop this effort and move it along.

Commissioners will be notified of the VMN meeting schedule and are invited to attend.

8) Disability Outreach

Scott Kimmel reported that Kreider Services has been functioning as the Commission's Disability Outreach Coordinating Agency. Kimmel introduced Nancy Cadillo from Kreider Services who provided an overview of the activities taking place and planned for in 2008. She described planned activities that include the development of a brochure, AmeriCorps materials I alternative formats, updating the photos and information used in the display board at conferences, and video that can be used to show potential members with disabilities and to organization that provide services and supports to persons with disabilities. Cadillo also stated that a coordinated statewide day of service is being planned that focuses on getting persons with disabilities involved in volunteer activities.

9) Disaster Preparedness

The Commission made training grants available to each of the 21 AmeriCorps*State programs so they could incorporate disaster preparedness and emergency response training into their member orientation. The funds provided by CNCS for this purpose expired on Decembe 31, 2007.

10) AmeriCorps

2006-07 Program Year Close-Out

McCarrel informed the Commissioners that staff were in the process of doing grant close-out for the 2006-07 program year.

McCarrel told the Commissioners that at the end of each program year, staff visit every program to go over financial records and member files. Lisa Hooker added that staff completed most of the program visits between September and December, but that we are still waiting on a few programs to submit their final Financial Status Reports (FSRs).

2008-09 Competitive Continuation and New Applications

Deb McCarrel passed out a chart showing all 21 AmeriCorps*State programs and their AmeriCorps Member Recruitment and Retention Rates. McCarrel explained that this is the information that the CNCS asks the Commission to collect and review. She stated that the Commission will soon be redesigning the data that it captures from programs soon as the CNCS Web-Based Reporting System (WBRS) is being retired and each state commission is being asked to develop their own system. As such, Illinois can design their grant progress reporting data elements and performance measures.

AmeriCorps Member Visits

Deb McCarrel informed Commissioneres that the staff was in the process of scheduling member visits at each program. These meetings are only between Commission staff and the members. All program directors and program staff are absent. McCarrel explained that this was an opportunity for Commission staff to ask questions of the Members that they might otherwise be uncomfortable with answering. McCarrel invited Commissioners to attend a Member visit meeting. She said that typically, the Member visit lasts about two hours. Chairman Lawrence encouraged the Commissioners to participate in these site visits.

2008 RFP

Scott Kimmel passed out a chart showing the desired timeline for developing the Request for Proposal (RDP) for the 2009-12 grant cycle. He asked the Commission to consider what they wanted the Illinois AmeriCorps portfolio to look like. What the program priorities were for the state. And, suggested that an RFP ad hoc committee be developed.

Kimmel stated that the Commission staff hoped to have the RFP posted by July 1, 2008. He suggested that interested applicants be required to send in a Letter of Intent to apply. Kimmel said that it would be the Commissioners who would ultimately decide which programs were funded in 2009-12.

It was agreed that an ad hoc RFP committee should be initiated and Commissioners signed up to be on the committee. Members include: Howard Lathan, Dan Bassill, Debra Janiszewski, Arlan McClain, Frank Bass, Fred Rodriguez, and Don Baden. This ad hoc committee will provide guidance and assistance to the Serve Illinois Commission staff on the development and implementation of the Request for Proposal (RFP) scheduled to be issued by the Commission for the 2009-12 AmeriCorps*State grant cycle.

Howard Lathan offered to host the first meeting of the RFP ad hoc committee and Kimmel said he would get with Lathan and schedule the meeting and get that information out to Commissioners.

Kimmel reminded Commissioners that anyone who sits on the Commission that receives funding or benefit in any way from Commission decisions are not eligible to vote on those commission decisions and probably should not be on the ad hoc committee being initiated to design the RFP.

Don Baden asked if a commissioner who receives funding can still provide input but not vote on issues involving the RFP development and the determination of who gets funding. Kimmel asked for the time until the next meeting to investigate the conflict of interest language governing the Commission.

LeaderCorps – National AmeriCorps Week

Scott Niermann is the Commission's point person LeaderCorps. He introduced Joel Newman, who is a second year LC through the leadership of members have been doing a lot. Joel: 40 member organization of members from all 21 AmeriCorps programs throughout the state. Update of what we did since October. November, had Kickoff Leadership (or LeaderCorp???) Conference. Selected committee members, set up Executive Committee, Marketing and Outreach committee – they are sending out newsletter this week. That's going to help us in program coordination. Good networking tool for us. Very important that we get all the alumni we can to help. National Days of Service: This May is our national AmerCorps Week. May 12 through Sun. That's our big push. Will do 2-minute ??? survey. This year we want to be much more inclusive. Big Brothers, Big Sisters is mentoring. April, will discuss getting ready for AmeriCorps week. We are dealing with fundraising issues and the dealing with the media and anything that can help us get ready for AmeriCorps Week.

Scott N: This year, we are focusing on training the trainer so they can go back and enforce that with their program directors. Some of the activities: There is going to be a food drive all week long, opening ceremonies. The structure is still evolving because we are still waiting for feedback from those program directors. Trying to showcase a diversity of programs . . . . This is the second year for LeaderCorps – last year, we focused on National Day of Service, which was in conjunction with National Earth Day. This year . . .
Julian: I will let you know what programs we are involved with.
Dan: Put on your agenda: Have by May (???) the web site for Serve Illinois is up and running. Could LeaderCorps build into is May event to teach its alumni to use Serve Illinois to point to the state as – how do we leverage National Service to increase local volunteerism?
Scott N: we are working with the Communications Office to do a press release.
Dave: Get a business card from Julian.
Deb: This is a national event. The opening ceremony will be in Denver and the closing event will be in Florida.

Program Site Visits/Calendar

11) Media Report

No Report.

12) Events Calendar

Dome Day – Springfield

The planning document is in your folder. Draft by Citi-year Chicago. This is the first time Illinois had . . . . Consisted o over half of our AmeriCorps programs. This is an educational outreach and informational kind of thing so there should not be a concern this year.

Dave: You can't lobby.
Scott K: You can but staff cannot and neither can AmeriCorps grantees. It's schedule for April

We encourage commissioners to attend Dome Day.

Program Directors Mid-Year Training – Springfield

Scott K: 9th. April 8th is the program Director's mid-year training. Scott N: Project Yes and Jump Start are involved.

13) Campus Compact Report

Kathy Engelken: Illinois is celebrating its 15th anniversary. October 29th kickoff – Presidents Board meeting. The Illinois Commission and the Lt. Governor's Office were part of our founding. We have been supported by the Commission over the years. Our main mission is to work with higher education. We work with coalitions and universities nationally. Illinois has 40 members. We are a resource for the campus. We are a presidents organization. So the coalition and university presidents have to say yes … asked everyone to be sure to read the handout in the Campus Compact folder. Invited everybody to the 15th anniversary. (See handout.) We do a lot of training of the students. Two main funders are State Farm and McCormick Tribune. We started a civil service institute in November and will continue doing those around the state. Will send it electronically to the people in Springfield.

14) Other Business

Serve Illinois Newsletter

Scott K: Nice looking newsletter.

Travel Reimbursement Form

Scott K: For your commissioner reimbursement. I will email this in an Excel spreadsheet so it will do all the math.

Education Awards Initiative

State of Wisconsin's offer: Tom Devine, Executive Director, offered to bring some of his commissioners together to talk with our commissioners about what Wisconsin has to offer. If everybody is interested, we will set up that meeting. Illinois has only one university that is . . . .

Ted: Some legislation we derived (???) and will be willing to talk to anyone who is interested. Will allow the Commission to further expand its role to match the national education award. Where will it come from? From the State of Illinois to the Commission. So they have the ability to actually take in funds. They would come from the GRF of Illinois. The Commission would review the rules to determine how to match the grant.
Kathy: Talked about NC3 fellows award they have.
Side note: "Voices" for National Service (ws) not "Friends".

Approval of April 19, 2007 Minutes

The April 19 minutes were approved with the following corrections on the attendance list: Dan (not David) Bassill; and Arlin (not Arlan) Mulin.

Bob: If you find yourself in Washington, D.C., Voices for National Service is hosting their congressional award ceremony. I encourage you to go. A few years ago, congress was going to zero out AmeriCorps food bank. ______ to environmental stuff will be going on.
Dan: Tutor Mentor Connection were round(??) calendar/see web site. May 29-30 Northwestern University Law School.

15) Public Participation

16) Next Full Commission Meeting

The next quarterly meeting of the full Commission is scheduled for April 16. However, due to the number of issues that need Commissioner attention, the Commission agreed to meet prior to April 16th. So, the next meeting will be Wednesday, February 27th from 11:00-2:00 p.m. The location will be announced later.

17) Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 2:12 p.m.