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Minutes - March 25, 2009

Location, Date, and Time

1112 South Wabash Ave
3rd floor
Chicago, IL
535 W. Jefferson
3rd floor
Springfield, IL
Video Conference and Conference Call
10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
March 25, 2009

Commissioners Present

Don Baden, Andrew Barbeau, Dan Bassill, Julian Brown, Cory Foster, John Hosteny, Nancy Jameson, Rosemary Keefe, Howard Lathan, Dave Lawrence, Bob McCammon, Arlan McClain, Nancy Caudillo, Peter Kamps, Kelly Reffett, Fred Rodriguez, Tim Capparelli, Frank Bass, Steven Wolfe

Commission Staff Present

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

Guests Present

Deb McCarrel; Melissa Housinga, LeaderCorps President

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:07 a.m. by Chairman Lathan. Introductions of persons were made.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Lawrence moved to approve the December 4, 2008 minutes. Chairman Lathan seconded. The minutes were approved.

Commission Chair Update


Lathan hopes that over the next year or so there will be a drum major for the Commission. He wants to expand and build the infrastructure, while capturing seniors, youth, etc. Lathan would also like feedback from Commissioners.

Introduction of new Commissioner

Andrew Barbeau was introduced as the newest Commissioner. He formerly worked in the Office of the Governor, and is now working at Illinois Student Technology.

Office of the Governor Update

Foster provided the report. The Governor's office is looking at the leadership structure of the Commission. Recommendations for an Executive Director for the Commission should be forwarded to Foster. Some of the Governor's priorities are volunteerism, community service, and service learning. The goal is to create an umbrella for different avenues. The deadline to submit recommendations for the Executive Director for the Commission is April 15, 2009. A decision should be made on who will be placed in the Executive Director position 30 days from then. Hosteny suggests that vacant Commissioner positions should be filled, as well as inactive members should be removed from the Commission.

Committee Reports

  • Community Outreach – No report.
  • Public Relations and Marketing Committee – A meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2009 with Keefe, Brown, Fornero, and the Commission staff. This meeting will discuss possible marketing strategies and public relations.
  • Resource Development – No report.


AmeriCorps Report

  • Program Director's Training – Hooker provided the report. The Spring training will discuss program closeouts of the 3-year grant cycles. The training will take place on April 21, 2009.
  • Program Visits – Program visits are in the process of being scheduled for mid-year meetings. The reasoning of these meetings is to go out to different host sites and meet with AmeriCorps members and see what each site is doing. The site visits will be in April and May.
  • Cluster Calls – Cluster calls took place yesterday, March 24, 2009, with the Corporation regarding the current funding process. The numbers are coming in as to how many applications the Corporation received. There were 239 Competitive applications received, 14 of which were our AmeriCorps programs, and 47 states submitted applications.

AmeriCorps VISTA

  • Current full-time VISTAs – McFarland provided the report. Currently, there is one full-time VISTA in Mattoon, Chicago, Cairo, and Savanna, Illinois. The focus of VISTA members is capacity building, and they commit to a year of service.
  • Summer Associates Program – The Summer Associates Program was approved and will run for eight weeks – from June 9 to August 4, 2009. The Summer Associates will perform a wide range of activities similar to the tasks of full-time VISTAs. There are 19 requests for this program thus far, but we are in the process of narrowing it down to fill our 17 slots awarded by CNCS.


National AmeriCorps Week – Lott provided the report. Next week, there will be a conference call to discuss what activities each program will participate in during AmeriCorps Week. Lott will send out a list of activities to be performed as soon as she receives it from LeaderCorps members if anyone would like to participate. National AmeriCorps Week will take place from May 9-16, 2009. Housinga gave a LeaderCorps presentation to the Commission. Of the 22 AmeriCorps programs across IL, each program has at least one LeaderCorps member. She explained that LeaderCorps members must attend conferences, participate in monthly conference calls, connect with AmeriCorps Alumni, and they must convey important information obtained to other AmeriCorps members. Housinga stated that there are currently 48 LeaderCorps members in Illinois including VISTAs.


  • Dome Day – Niermann provided the report. Dome Day will take place on April 22, 2009. This is an event that the community takes part in at the Capitol building. The idea of the event is to engage state legislators to be informed and involved in our AmeriCorps program events. The Governor was invited to attend. Program displays will be set up in the rotunda. This is the third year that Dome Day has taken place, and it is coordinated by City Year and the Serve Illinois Commission staff.
  • Volunteer Management Network – New partnerships and collaborations are forming daily and the word is spreading on its own to over 400 participants statewide. The key element to VMN is sustainability. There are lots of special projects happening at the moment. Conversations regarding starting volunteer centers/resource centers are taking place in various parts of the state. The East Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference, which will take place on June 11, is off to a good start. The goal is to offset expenses the first year, so we are hoping to have 60-75 attendees at this first event.

McFarland provided the report. was launched six months ago. Thus far, the Network for Good has received the most site hits. A Disability Outreach section will soon be added to the website. With regard to inclusion and AmeriCorps, as of March 19, 2009 there have been 11,541 hits. Opening Day created the most significant web traffic so far. Marketing is the key to traffic to the website. Currently, there are 48,000 opportunities to search on the website. Giving Du Page will be added to the search portal next.

New Business

Economic Stimulus

Fornero provided the report. The Corporation recommends that the Commission does not fund programs sent for competitive with formula stimulus funds. Proposals must be sent to the Corporation by April 3 in eGrants, for those who we want to be considered for Competitive funding.

Community-Based Learn and Serve

McCarrel provided the report. The Community-Based Learn and Serve 3-year grant 09-12 is up. Historically, the Commission has had the grant before in the 03-06 grant cycle. The grant was applied for again in 06, but was not given. Also, in the 06 grant cycle the Teen REACH program was reached out to and put as a core requirement for Service Learning. The division looks to fund 60 programs statewide. We, at the division, have looked at the grant and want to focus on training, evaluation, and collaboration with other streams of service – involving VMN, LeaderCorps, etc. The present proposal to CNCS is to build infrastructure for Service Learning after the grant is gone, so that they have a model to build off of and need an in depth evaluation of Service Learning. Barbeau has experience running an AmeriCorps program, and it took him a year and a half to make it right. The Commission voted and everyone agreed to approve the grant submission. Lathan motioned to approve, and Lawrence seconded the motion.

2009 & 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

McCammon provided the report. The 2009 National Conference will take place in June, and McCammon would like to know which Commissioners are attending, as well as Commission staff. For the 2010 National Conference, locations under consideration are IL, TX, NY, and Washington D.C. This year, resources are dedicated to sending two Commissioners. Recommendations for which Commissioners to be sent to the National Conference should be submitted to Lathan. Registration for the conference opened today, March 25. The recommendations will need to be sent in by April 2, and then they will be sent to the DHS office.

Upcoming Cluster Meeting

McFarland provided the report. The Cluster Meeting will take place in Madison, Wisconsin next week. The Cluster Meeting will be a coming together of service commissions. If anyone is interested in attending, there is still a possibility to attend.

Planning for Potential New Funds

Fornero provided the report. President Obama's FY budget is projected to be 1.13 billion to the Corporation and its programs. The goal is to expand AmeriCorps and several other programs. The Ad Hoc committee and the Resource Committee need to start planning for how to spend these funds. Andrew Barbeau volunteered to join the Resource Committee.

Committee Discussion

McFarland provided the report. Photos of Commissioners and updated Commissioner bio's need to be sent to McFarland as soon as possible. Please provide a biography and contact information. Lathan suggests that all Commissioners be signed up for a committee and that the committees need to have clearly assigned members. Fornero asked that everyone look at a date in the middle of June for a meeting, possibly June 11 or 18, to discuss decision making and review all proposals.

Vision for Serve Illinois Commission

Discussion for a future Commission meeting will cover the following questions:

  • What has the Commission accomplished?
  • What is the current status of the Commission?
  • What does the Commission want to accomplish in the future?

Other Business


Public Participation


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the full Serve Illinois Commission will be held on June 11 or June 18, 2009. The meeting locations will be in Springfield at 535 W. Jefferson, 3rd floor and in Chicago at 1112 South Wabash Ave., 3rd Floor by video conference and conference call.


Bassill motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Reffett seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 1:34 p.m.