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Minutes - October 12, 2011

Location and Time

President Abraham Lincoln Hotel
Springfield, IL

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Commissioners Present

Jill Heise, Chair; Andrew Barbeau, Vice Chair; Jane Angelis; Don Baden; Lawrence Benito; Julian Brown; Jocelyn Cheng; Merri Dee; Merri Dee; Jim Dixon; Judy Donath; Kathy Engelken; Kim Fornero; Deborah Huffman; Nancy Jameson; Mike Mangan; Bob McCammon; Sara Monroe (for John Hosteny); Fred Nettles; Genita Robinson; Fred Rodriguez; Cynthia Sims; Judy Swinson

Commission Staff Present

Ted Gibbs, Executive Director; Karla Kunzeman, Volunteer Programs Manager; Scott McFarland, Deputy Director; Emily Fox, Graduate Intern

Guests Present

Deborah Huffman, Serve Illinois Inclusion Team/ Learn and Serve America; Amanda Glascott, City Year; Jeff Shafer, City Year Chicago

Call to Order and Introductions

Heise called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.

Approval of June 14, 2011 Meeting Minutes

Jamison motioned to approve, Dixon seconded the motion. Passed via voice vote.

CNCS Report

Given by Monroe- Two continuing resolutions have been passed this year; the first will go through November 18th. The senate's proposed budget will be a $17 million over last year's budget- this would support about 82,000 AmeriCorps members nationwide. The House's proposed budget calls for the elimination of the Corporation.

Senior Corps update: Working on performance measures on a national level. AmeriCorps VISTA: Still having tight budget issues. Have a budget for 120 VISTAS in Illinois. This is a reduction from what Illinois has had in past years. VISTAS are working on national performance measures, capacity building and volunteer recruitment.


Gibbs gave the report. We would like commissioners to look at and put together budgets and applications for next year.

  1. Administrative Grant Older Adult Opportunity- Additional funds are available (because the commission applied for them) so now we can move forward and get more resources for the Older Adult Opportunity. Gibbs said this is a chance to move forward with the five-year plan to engage older adults. Angelis discussed the Summit on Aging, Education and Service, which took place a few weeks prior to this Commission meeting. She commended Gibbs' speech at the event and thanked all of the Commissioners and Commission staff who were in attendance.
  2. Commissioner Interest in Review Process – The commission is in final stages of approval for the RFP; something will come out in the next week or so, and people can begin to apply for AmeriCorps funds. We had to wait for the NOFA to be finalized first. The first 3 categories on the NOFA are: disaster, education, veterans. Tier 2 categories are: Economic opportunity, healthy futures, green programs with specific performance measures, and capacity building. We will be looking for AmeriCorps programs in these areas. If commissioners are available to serve on peer review teams, they can look at the proposals, but statute will not allow them to score the proposals. (Volunteering will require a 5-10 hr commitment Nov-Dec.) The time spent will be mostly online; it will be on the Commissioner's own time and at his/her own convenience. Sims, Dixon, Barbeau, and Benito volunteered to look at the RFPS. Gibbs said we should anticipate between 50 and 60 proposals. Internal DHS reviewers will score the applications before the Commissioners read them.

Commissioner Recruitment/Participation

  1. Recognition - Heise gave the report. We will move forward with the creation of a 501C3, and once this is created we will need to create bylaws for it. The Executive Committee provided the Governor's Office with some recommendations for new commissioners. Heise also recognized some commissioners for their enthusiasm and commitment over the years: Jamison, Angelis, and McCammon were recognized.

    Heise said new committees will not be created at this time to examine bylaws, but all existing committees will still go on. Heise thanked Steve Wolfe for chairing the Governors Volunteer Service Award. Wolfe will not be chairing the committee again this year, so if anyone else is interested in chairing the committee, they can talk to Heise or McFarland.

2012 National Conference

  1. Update - Heise said there is a lot of enthusiasm about the conference coming to Chicago. They are still thinking of a theme but will probably focus on education. The theme will be finalized at the next committee meeting in November.
  2. Subcommittee Participation - There is information about the different committees (fundraising, external relations, etc.) in the folder provided at the Commission meeting. If any Commissioners are interested in serving on one of these committees, let Heise or Gibbs know. Gibbs said about 55 people came to the initial Host Committee meeting. Heise said the 2012 Prospect list is in the folder as well; the fundraising committee (which both Heise and McCammon are members) are looking for people or organizations who may wish to donate to the National Conference.


Gibbs gave the report. He said Serve Illinois is in the process of filling an AmeriCorps Program Officer position. The position will be housed at the Illinois Public Health Association. The person will assist with training. It is a contractual position and the new employee should be in place by November 1. We are in the interview stage of filling that position.

Resource Development Update

Heise said the Resource Development Committee is still pursuing a 501c3 arm for the Commission. They have reached out to other states to find out best practices. Robinson is also working with the committee to make sure they are approaching the situation from a correct legal angle. Heise will hold a conference call with Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Texas and Minnesota next week. Heise said the foundation will be established as a 501c3 first, but we will not begin fundraising until after the National Conference because the conference will help with exposure, creating awareness and highlight the 501c3's goals. Barbeau said they hope to have bylaws created by the Commission December meeting.

Staff Reports

  1. Disability Inclusion - McFarland gave the report. He referenced a disability report in the folder that was provided by Lois Barnhart. There was a half day training for AmeriCorps Program Directors that dealt with hidden disabilities. A statewide inclusion team has been formed and the first meeting took place a few weeks ago on September 27. Hoffman attended the meeting and gave an overview of the event. The inclusion team will meet bimonthly to get started, then quarterly.
  2. Volunteerism- Kunzeman discussed the volunteerism conferences that occurred in each region this year. Four have already occurred and one will occur in late October. Kunzeman referenced a document about the conferences in the folder. She will begin working on the Volunteer Management Network (VMN) after the final conference occurs, and she invited any Commissioners to offer suggestions for the VMN. McFarland discussed the 2010 Volunteerism report, which was in the folder. Illinois is now ranked #29 in volunteerism (this is up from last year.) Gibbs anticipates Illinois will move up again next year. McFarland also shared the most recent web report (in the folder.) We recently surpassed 100,000 visitors to our website since 2008. The biggest visit day last year was Recognition Day, so he hopes this year's Recognition Day will be a big day for the website, as well. Our website also has had 90,000 click-throughs (people who navigate our website then click on one of our partner sites.)


  1. PSA - Heise gave the report. She said she and Gibbs have been working with the Ad Council about promoting the Commission. In the long term, we may be able to work on a promotion with them. In the short term, we will work with the Corporation to add Serve Illinois to their PSA campaign. At this point, we cannot track how many volunteers are generated through the PSA's, but about 25 million people have viewed the PSA since its launch. PSAs will also be used in our state and surrounding states (beginning in December) to promote the upcoming National Conference. Heise referenced a document in the folder for this report.
  2. Newsletter Outreach - Heise said we currently reach 11,000 individuals with the newsletter, with our next edition in November we hope to increase the outreach to aldermen in Chicago, and anyone else Commissioners think may be interested. Anyone can send names and addressed to McFarland.
  3. Serve Illinois Brochure - Fox shared a brochure about the Commission, AmeriCorps, and the Volunteer Management Network. Brochures were passed around the table and edits/recommendations were written on the brochures.
  4. Serve Illinois Annual Report - Fox discussed the 2010 Annual Report. Gibbs said we should update it for 2011 and release it by the end of the calendar year. The annual report was passed around and recommendations for changes were written on the report.

Commissioner Activity/Volunteerism Report

  1. Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICOVA) - Gibbs said this conference was a great opportunity for working with key partners in the region and the event went very well. Rodriguez and Angelis were in attendance, and both agreed the conference was great. Engelken commended the networking opportunities and Robinson liked the organization and format of the conference. ICOVA will occur on August 9 next year.
  2. 2012 Integration of conferences into National Conference - Gibbs said we are trying to integrate info about the regional conferences into the National Conference so we can increase interest in the regional conferences.
  3. City Year - Heise said she and Gibbs attended a City Year event last week and saw over 100 individuals become members. She said it was a great experience.
  4. Senior Professionals Jane Angelis/Ted Gibbs Keynote Speaker - Angelis passed around a document about the Summit on Aging, Education and Service.
  5. White House Updates - Gibbs said he and some staff members participated in some calls with two White House representatives. These were opportunities for the White House to reach out to constituents in Illinois and talk about budget proposals for next year. The calls allowed us to make the importance of service known to the White House, talk with other Illinois constituents who were on the call, and ask questions about service.
  6. Recognition Day - Recognition Day is tomorrow. Lunch will be at 11 and we will have speakers until 2:15. We will then recognize programs and then have the annual parade to the Capitol. All commissioners are asked to help set up tomorrow morning beginning at 8:30am.
  7. Other - Heise invited conversation about any ongoing events in Commissioners' communities. Robinson spoke of a volunteer recognition luncheon that was recently held. She said it was very heartwarming and the event was very successful. Swinson shared details about a recent meeting that explored how healthcare organizations are making volunteers a vital part of the workforce. Engelken shared information about an upcoming conference regarding research on service, service learning and civic engagement. Heise also reminded everyone to fill out their ethics form.

Program Spotlight: City Year

Program Overview given by Amanda Glascott, Director of School Relations, and Jeff Shafer, AmeriCorps member.


Sims made a motion to adjourn at 4:05 p.m.; McCammon seconded. Passed via voice vote.

Next Meeting

December 15, 2011