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Minutes - June 11, 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.
June 11, 2009

Commissioners Present

Don Baden, Andrew Barbeau, Dan Bassill, Julian Brown, Jocelyn Cheng, Cory Foster, John Hosteny, Sara Montemayor, Nancy Jameson, Rosemary Keefe, Bob McCammon, Arlan McClain, Nancy Caudillo, Peter Kamps, Kelly Reffett, Frank Bass, Steven Wolfe

Commission Staff Present

Ted Gibbs, Executive Director; Kim Fornero, Bureau Chief; 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

John Smith, public participation; Kathy Engelken, Campus Compact

Call to Order and Introductions

The meeting was called to order at 10:38 a.m. by Brown. Introductions of Commissioners and guests were made.

Approval of Meeting Minutes

Foster moved to approve the March 25, 2009 meeting minutes and Bassill seconded. After the addition was made to the March meeting minutes regarding Dan Bassill's attendance at the last meeting, the minutes were approved.

Commission Chair Update

National Conference

Fornero provided the report. The National Conference takes place from June 22-24, 2009 in San Francisco, and McCammon, Jameson, Lathan, Wolfe, Baden, Gibbs, Fornero, and Hooker will attend. Bass may be attending as well. The goal is for those attending to bring back information to the Commission. It is expected that the next host city for the National Conference will be announced at this conference. The attendees will actively seek out information on other states key volunteer recognition efforts, as well as get information on what is expected to hold a conference in Illinois successfully. Home Depot and Budweiser are annual sponsors and it is important to find out what other National sponsors follow the conference from year to year. The Commission needs to start planning and networking, along with building strong contacts with the private sector.

Office of the Governor Update

Executive Director

Foster provided the report. Governor Pat Quinn appointed Ted Gibbs to be the Executive Director for the Commission. Gibbs is a former AmeriCorps volunteer who later worked closely with then Lt. Governor Quinn coordinating the statewide Illinois Learn and Serve program. Gibbs has also been a voting Serve Illinois Commission member since 2007.

Commissioner Appointments

Foster provided the report. There are a number of qualified candidates for the open Commissioner positions, and the Governor wants to move aggressively to fill the rest of the Commissioner spots. Please go to to recommend someone or yourself for a position. The Governor's Office is looking to have all positions filled within the next 30 days and is fully backing the Commission. Gibbs will work directly with the Governor to seek retired seniors, experts in education, experts in youth development, and a youth representative. There can be 25 voting members and up to 15 people can serve with non-voting rights. The deadline to submit an application is one week from today. If your term is up, then you can still submit an application online. There are over 280 boards and commissions in the state of Illinois in other parts of state government.

Committee Reports

Community Outreach

No report.

Public Relations and Marketing Committee

Brown provided the report. Brown spoke with the Donor's Forum with regards to providing information on the Commission in their next newsletter. The Donor's Forum newsletter has over 11,000 readers. The Commission would need to submit an article to Donor's Forum with an overview story, possibly highlighting a special program or event that the Commission is doing. The story should be tailored to the audience that the Commission is seeking. Brown has the contact information for the Donor's Forum to submit the article and it due by June 20, 2009.

Resource Development

Serve America Act Presentation

Fornero provided the report. The Serve America Act was signed by President Barack Obama on April 21, 2009, and it is expected to expand the mission of the Commission. Fornero provided a handout that outlined the areas that might impact the Commission. Fornero recommended that a meeting outside of the Commission meeting be held to discuss the implications of the Act because of the depth of information. Fornero also thought that more information may be available after the national conference. McCammon agreed with the recommendation and a meeting will be scheduled in the next few weeks. All commissioners will be invited to attend.

Ad Hoc Committee: White Paper

McCammon provided the report. The Ad Hoc Committee has had several meetings regarding the White Paper, with efforts to talk about service. The committee believes that Illinois should strive for service and civic engagement and would like everyone across the state to be involved. The White Paper would be used to develop an ethic of service for Illinois leaders to ensure a vision of service. A meeting should be set up to discuss a plan and vision for this initiative. McCammon motioned to forward this White Paper to the Executive Committee for review and final approval. Once approved, the White Paper will be shared with the Executive Director and the Executive Director would be asked to forward it to the Governor. Bassill seconded the motion, and forwarding of the White Paper was approved.

Volunteer Recognition Ad Hoc

Wolfe provided the report. Currently, the main recognition activity is the National Service Recognition Day each October. The Commission would like to look into additional recognition opportunities, but need funds available to do so. There are not any funds available at this time, other than for the recognition certificates. Ideas for further recognition efforts include applying for the VIRE grant to obtain further funding and using volunteer networks to recognize others. An idea that would not cost the Commission anything would be to create proclamation venues for these recognition efforts to take place. Another idea would be to have a recognition event at the Illinois State Fair with the Governor. The Volunteer Recognition Ad Hoc Committee will have their next meeting on July 10, 2009. Nancy Jameson and Jocelyn Cheng volunteered to join the committee as well.



ARRA AmeriCorps

  • Update – Hooker provided the report. ARRA AmeriCorps is only available to current programs. Of the current competitive and formula programs, 14 received funding and 7 did not apply. There is a total of 212 MSY, where $1.3 million will go to formula programs and $1.4 million will go to competitive programs. A total of 56 MSY will be used for competitive and formula programs through ARRA AmeriCorps.
  • Provider Matter – Fornero provided the report. The deadline to apply for ARRA AmeriCorps was April 3, 2009. Asian Human Services was confused about the deadline and submitted the application late, so their agency was not considered for funding. Asian Human Services submitted a request to be re-considered. A letter (see handout) was presented to the Commission and it would be sent by Chair Lathan to the agency.

Increased number of requests for information

Fornero provided the report. Recently, there has been increased interest and requests for information on AmeriCorps. The Commission staff has been trying to talk about possible options, but no dollars were made available when the Serve America Act was signed. Engelken, from Campus Compact, suggested that VISTA's could develop packets to distribute information on AmeriCorps.

AmeriCorps VISTA

Summer Associates

McFarland provided the report. There were 10 Summer Associates trained on June 9, 2009. The Summer Associates started yesterday, and their service term will last 8 weeks. McFarland should be receiving information soon on how the VISTAs are performing.

Full-time VISTAs

McFarland provided the report. Currently, there are four full-time VISTAs that will serve until November. The current VISTAs are serving in Cairo, Mattoon, Savanna, and Chicago. Another VISTA will be starting soon and serving in Chicago. A monitoring visit was performed yesterday with Jackie Wasik from the Corporation. Kathy Engelken has 10 full-time VISTAs, and Bob McCammon has 28 full-time VISTAs. Both Engelken and McCammon are having a good experience with their VISTAs and making strides to get information out on VISTA positions to a wider range of people.


Lott provided the report. The end of the year LeaderCorps conference/retreat took place at the Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL. The LeaderCorps members were pictured in two local newspapers performing a service project creating bike trails. The LeaderCorps Members enjoyed the service project, and the conference ended with facilitation for "Life After AmeriCorps." Surveys were distributed, and valuable feedback was received for insight on different ways to improve the program for next year.


Volunteer Management Network (VMN)

Fornero provided the report prepared by Niermann. Participants of recent VMN meetings discussed issues and possible solutions regarding volunteer background checks. Information is posted on our website, including a list of upcoming conferences and meetings. There is excellent participation, great interest, and needs are being fulfilled through the Volunteer Management Network. The next meeting for the West Central Region will take place on June 16, 2009 in Quincy, IL.


Fornero provided the report. The Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference will take place on September 29, 2009 at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon, IL. The West Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference will take place on October 29, 2009 at the First United Methodist Church in Macomb, IL. The Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration will take place in May 2010. The first planning meeting for the Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration will take place on June 17, 2009 in Romeoville, IL. Further information on upcoming conferences, locations, and times can be found on the website.


Fornero provided the report. Niermann is in the process of drafting a Landscape Survey to obtain information on training needs, provide insight, and to use as a guide when preparing for the VIRE grant. Once we are finished with the Landscape Survey, it will be posted on the Serve Illinois website with a blurb providing the rationale for conducting the survey. The survey will request the respondent provide their zip code and site location.

VIRE grant opportunity

Fornero provided the report. The Commission is hoping to apply for the VIRE grant. The guidance will be coming out very shortly, and the VMN and Commission will help to determine the needs (additional volunteer centers, training, etc.).

McFarland provided the report. Thus far, total visits to the website are 16,275, which equals out to around 60 hits per day. The annual cost of the website is $50,000, and the hope is to have one hit per dollar. Currently, the website hits are at about half of what we would like there to be. All spikes on hits are from press releases and marketing efforts. Since September 2008, there are over 51,000 opportunities and 14,000 clicks for opportunities. New York is starting to receive more hits than Illinois because New York has more marketing for its website. Louisiana just started its website as well. McFarland is currently working with Champaign County to get that area in the database. A links page was recently added to the website to allow anyone to copy and paste the Serve Illinois website link to be included on their website.

Community-based Learn and Serve

Fornero provided the report. Learn and Serve is applying for $1,350,000 for FY09 to provide dollars to the Teen Reach sites (Serve Learning). The goal is to use the funds to develop training and materials, as well as evaluate the program. This approach will support sustainability.

New Business


Competitive and Continuation Competitive

Hooker provided the report. There are 37 applicants and 15 were submitted for competitive funding (including 4 continuations). Three of the applicants were awarded competitive ($1,922,193 total funds) and there were 4 continuations ($982,078 total funds).

State Formula: Action Item

Hooker provided the report. There is $3,396,491 available for formula funds. At the Commission's discretion we have to make a decision on whom to fund formula. There were reviews performed on the applicants, and only the applicants with scores above 75 were considered for funding. For existing grantees, past performances was considered. Twenty three applicants were recommended for Formula funding by the Commission staff, including 10 new programs and 13 existing programs. Bassill motioned to approve the suggested amendment from Barbeau to approve 22 of 23 applicants, and have the Academy for Urban School Leadership sent for discussion and consideration by the Executive Committee. Barbeau seconded the motion. The decision was approved, and the Executive Committee will meet via conference call to make the final decision on whether to approve the Academy for Urban School Leadership for funding.

Governor's Executive Order on Commissions

Gibbs provided the report. An Executive Order was filed. The first part states the requirements applicable to all Commission's and that anyone can go to to apply for open positions and to see who is already on the Commission. The second part does not apply to the Serve Illinois Commission. Everyone is required to report potential conflicts of interest. As a Commission, we need to make sure that we post our meeting agenda's and minutes on the Serve Illinois website to keep everyone informed and to encourage public participation. Anyone can attend the meetings.

Other Business


Public Participation


Next Scheduled Commission Meeting

The next meeting of the full Serve Illinois Commission will be held on October 14, 2009. The meeting location will be in Springfield at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel.

National Service Recognition Day

The National Service Recognition Day will take place on October 15, 2009 in Springfield. The day will begin at the Convention Center in Springfield, and end with the AmeriCorps Members giving their oath of service in front of the Capitol Building in Springfield.


Bassill motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Barbeau seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 2:44 p.m.