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Minutes - October 15, 2008

Location, Date, & Time

The President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center
Springfield, Illinois
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
October 15, 2008

Commissioners Present

Howard Lathan, Dan Bassill, Fred Rodriguez, Dave Lawrence, Rosemary Keefe, Arlan McClain, Bob McCammon, Kelly Reffert, Cory Foster (Ted Gibbs), Peter Kamps (Sheryl McGill), Frank Bass (Todd Stroger), Steven Wolfe, Theresa Browley (Terry Mason), Chris Coleman (Don Baden)

Commission Staff Present

Scott Kimmel, Executive Director; Kim Fornero, Bureau Chief; Lisa Hooker, AmeriCorps Program Officer; Ebone Lott, AmeriCorps Program Officer; Scott Niermann, Volunteer Program Manager; Scott McFarland, Resources and Information Manager; Eden Lawson, Graduate Public Service Intern

Guests Present

Ms. Louanner Peters, Deputy Governor for Social Services

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 a.m. by Chairman Lawrence. Introductions of persons were made.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

McCammon moved to approve the July 16, 2008 minutes. Commissioner Lathan seconded. The minutes were approved.

Commission Chair Update

Commissioner Lawrence reported that commissioners Jeff Piper and Mythili Rundblad have resigned their seats on the Commission. He stated we should hold off on recommendations because the Governor will not fill any positions until after the election. Lawrence directed people to the website and urged the Commissioners to review the new site if they had not already.

Commissioner Institute: September 23 and 24, 2008

Lathan reported that the 2009-2012 RFP cycle, State Service Plans, Commissioner Transition Plans, strategic planning, sustainability, and service advocacy were discussed at the annual State Commissioner Institute in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence also mentioned that a discussion was conducted regarding the placement of State Commissions within the states. Some Commissions are housed in state government; while other are housed in non-profits.

McCammon wants the Commission to be educated to speak intelligently about Commission structure and placement. Fornero suggests that the Resource and Development committee should look into this instead of a new committee being formed. She believes that the Commission, instead of the staff, needs to develop and explore this to ensure that all bases are covered before changes are considered.

Committee Reports

  • Community Outreach – No report.
  • Public Relations and Marketing Committee – No report.
  • Resource Development – No report.

Ad Hoc Committees

National Conference

Kimmel recommended that the Commission not seek to host the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, but rather consider bidding for the 2011 Conference. He said that corporate sponsorship for the conference may be impeded as the business community waits to see if Chicago will host the 2016 Olympics. Kimmel said that the decision on which city will host the 2016 Games will be made in October 2009. Commissioner Bassill opposes pursuing the National Conference altogether. He believes that there is poor state leadership for this type of conference. Reffert believes that it is an incentive for the city and state to get involved and create a rallying point.

AmeriCorps Report

Kimmel reported that the Commissioners may be asked to provide assistance with AmeriCorps. There are new AmeriCorps programs this year. Hooker requested that help is needed for programs that are falling down. Commissioner Keefe suggested all Commissioners to reach out to program directors in their area. Information was provided on RFP formula and competitive totals.

2007-08 Program Year Close-Out

Hooker provided the report. She stated that the 2007-08 program close-out target date is November 7, 2008 to close the program year.

2008-09 Program Year Start-Up and Current Status

Hooker stated currently there are 600 +/- members enrolled for the 2008-09 program year.

WBRS Replacement System – On Corps Reports

Information was handed out pertaining to the WBRS replacement system. The Serve Illinois Commission staff is looking into a new system. There would be a one-time licensing fee of approximately $25,000. Staff can provide the Commission with a demo of the new system if they are interested. An annual maintenance fee of $1.00 per MSY per month would also be required. Questions from commissioners included: Is a motion needed? No, the issue is covered by the administration of the program. Are grantees aware? Yes, the grantees were trained through a webinar. Can the state move on this? Yes, it is federally funded and reporting is required.

2009-2012 RFP

The RFP has been posted. RFP Bidder's Conferences were held on September 8, 10, and 11, 2008. The applications are due on October 31, 2008. Reviewing of RFP applications will take place during November. The scored RFP's are due to the Commission staff by November 20, 2008. After the reviewing and scoring process is complete, the Commission will be informed of the rankings. The rankings will be discussed at the next meeting. Lawrence asked what the programs look like who are submitting the applications. Hooker and Lott replied that we do not know what the programs look like since they have not been submitted yet. We only know our current programs. The next meeting will discuss what the programs are like.


Volunteer Management Network (VMN)

Niermann provided the report. There are 250 organizations that are receiving regular email updates for the Volunteer Management Network (VMN). The hope is to move VMN towards a more formal structure beyond meetings and presentations. Niermann believes that another year in the works is needed to get VMN where we want it to be. Reports were provided by region. Dates were provided for upcoming meetings and conferences. Commissioners offered information on United Way of Illinois Chicago-Metro, etc.

President's Call to Service Day (September 8, 2008)

Niermann reported that he took a vacation day to attend the event in Washington D.C. He said that at there is new footage of the speech given by the President. Niermann said it was a great event, there were around 1,800 people in attendance, and it provided a full spectrum of volunteerism.

Hands On / Points of Light Grant Opportunities

A strategy needs to be developed. We are thinking about applying next August. Are Points of Light funds available to other entities? The idea is for statewide coordination of bodies and funds to trickle down throughout communities. The hope is that through the Volunteer Management Network structures can identify organizations.

Calendar of Events

Kimmel reviewed the Commission staff calendar and invited Commissioners to attend any of the upcoming events. Bassill announced the Tutor-Mentor Conference scheduled for November 21, 2008 in Chicago.

Other Business

Phase I of the website is complete. The website offers 40,000 volunteer opportunities through 16 databases. Phase II of the website is working on marketing and adding additional databases from large counties and organizations. Anyone interested in adding information or databases to the website needs to contact McFarland. There was a suggestion for a blog to be created on the website, and Kimmel stated that there will likely never be blog capabilities because it's a State of Illinois-operated web site. Blogs, although possibly very informative, are labor intensive to maintain, the content can be uncontrollable in the short term, and the information posted may cause ethical issues for the Commission and DHS. A quarterly report regarding updates and tracking will be provided to the Commissioners.

Marketing Campaign for

Kimmel reported that funds could be available in 2009 for a marketing campaign to promote the Serve Illinois website. Lawson distributed a handout outlining possible marketing campaign approaches including advertising through the Chicago Mass Transit, Springfield buses, and WUIS Radio Broadcasting. Commissioners stated that TV and radio (PSA) would be more plausible forms of advertising to reach a greater number of people statewide. Commissioners also suggested creating a wider networking base as a form of advertising that would not require funding, such as contacting community colleges, organizations, etc. about including our link on their website.

Public Participation


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the full Serve Illinois Commission will be held on Thursday, December 4th at 10:00 a.m. The meeting location is to be determined, most likely in Chicago. This will be a RFP Reviewers Information Meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.