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Agenda - April 13, 2016

Location and Time

Illinois Historical Preservation Agency / Old State Capitol
1 E Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, IL 62701

Dial: 888-494-4032; Access Code: 4037150212#

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Commissioners Present:

Frederick Nettles, Chair; Don Baden, Vice-Chair; Jane Angelis; Julian Brown; Nisan Chavkin; Merri Dee; Beth Ford; Amanda Guinn; John Hosteny; Sarah Mackey; Debra Marton; Giraldo Rosales; Anne Schuman; Steve Silberman; Barb Tubekis; Jeff Turnbull; Jennifer Witzel; Dora Welker (for Supt. Smith)

Guests Present

Anne Godman; Natalie Furlette

Staff Present

Scott McFarland, Executive Director; Mattias Ghelaidos; Jacob Nudelman; Kelia Beck; William Coussens

Call to Order

Call to order was made by Chair Nettles at 9:15am.

Approval of the October 20, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Turnbull made a motion to approve the minutes for the commission meeting on October 20, 2015
Tubekis seconded
The motion was agreed upon by voice vote

Executive Director Report

Thanks was extended to Illinois Historical Preservation Agency for the use of the Old State Capitol for the day’s events

The timeline for the Governor’s Awards was briefly discussed

  • Staffing
    Sue Zellers will be retiring at the end of April
    McFarland will be taking over the day-to-day Program Officer responsibilities until that position is filled

    Two AmeriCorps Program Officer positions have been approved for bidding
    One has closed; information on which applicant was selected is still forthcoming
    One will be opened for bidding in the coming months

    One Grant Manager position will be in the works once the state passes a budget
  • Budget
    The full matching funds amount was met for the 2015 calendar year, despite earlier setbacks
    The federal budget passed in December 2015 included a large increase in funding for CNCS, and by extension for AmeriCorps programming
    Technical Training and Assistance funds were specifically appropriated for state commissions; Illinois is expecting to receive approx. $130,000 from this fund
    Funding is not likely to change next year, as a Continuing Resolution is expected rather than a full federal budget
    McFarland noted that he is a member of the Policy Committee for the Association of State Commissions
  • Audit
    No new information is available; the Commission is still waiting on the final findings from the audit vendor
  • Commission​ Appointments
    McFarland is continuing to work with Governor Rauner’s office to reappoint current commissioners and appoint new commissioners
    Any interested in serving on the Commission should apply through

Corporation for National and Community Service Report

Hosteny gave report

​Program Officer position has been filled by Africa Alsip
There is a proposed increase in AmeriCorps VISTA funding for FY2017

Level funding expected for rest of the CNCS portfolio
Much of the new funding will be for IT improvements

Thanks was expressed to all for a very successful 2016 Mayor and County Recognition Day
3,500 Local, County, and Tribal officials took part nationally, 110 in Illinois
The work done in East St. Louis (by the Operation AmeriCorps program) was highlighted

Two new AmeriCorps VISTA programs have been developed
YMCA of USA and Greater Chicago Food Depository have both become host programs for VISTA members

Many program members and staff will be attending the North Central Region’s National Service Training Conference in Indianapolis, June 8-10, 2016
National Volunteer Week is currently underway; a number of programs were highlighted
A reminder that CNCS board meetings are open to the public; the upcoming meeting information is below

  • Friday, April 22, 2016; 11:00am-12:15pm (ET)
  • Call-in #: (888) 390-3401; Access #: 2572123

A potential change in focus by CNCS from AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Weeks to just Mayor’s Day was discussed. CNCS will be looking into the change in the coming months

In response to a commissioner’s question, Mr. Hosteny noted that it is unknown exactly how many AmeriCorps programs have a presence in Illinois that are not funded through the Serve Illinois Commission, though new information access through CNCS is starting to improve the ability of the Commission and CNCS officers to exchange information of that type

Commission Chair Report

  • Executive Committee
    No report
  • Resource Development Committee
    Marton gave the report
    The Serve Illinois Foundation is off to a great start
    Accounts are set up and growing domain will be up and running soon
    Any pro-bono web development assistance would be appreciated
    Foundation board will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, May 10th
    There is still an open position for a final board member
    Finalization of non-profit documentation and forms should be done shortly, at which point the foundation will begin the process of soliciting for funds
  • Strategic Planning Committee
    Turnbull gave the report
    Committee has reviewed and edited the draft strategic plan
    Plan will be discussed in full at the next commission meeting
    Focus is on measureable outcomes
    Potential to combine Strategic Plan and State Service Plan
    There was discussion about the expanding role of the Serve Illinois staff and commissioners as volunteer connectors, as the strategic focus is expanded beyond AmeriCorps programming
  • Outreach Committee
    The potential Public Service Announcement was discussed
    Past progress has been slow due to issues securing pro-bono assistance
    University advertising programs were considered as potential partners
    Sponsorships from outside organizations were considered as well
  • Volunteer Recognition Committee
    Tubekis gave the report
    The preparation for the Governor’s Awards was very impressive
    202 nominations were received for the 30 awards, 115 of those coming from the Northeast region
    Thanks was extended to all involved in the nomination process
    Goal for coming years is to have more state and local officials involved in the nomination process and present at the event
  • Regional Commissioners

Staff Reports

  • AmeriCorps
    • Monitoring
      Monitoring visits are on hold for the summer, as staff changes take place; proactive monitoring in previous years means this will not put us behind our required monitoring timelines
    • MLK Day and AmeriCorps Week
      AmeriCorps Week and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service were both very successful this year
      Full reports were sent to all commissioners and provided at the meeting
      AmeriCorps Week involved 785 members, 382 outside volunteers, 6911 people benefitted, and 117 organizations represented
      MLK Day involved 849 members, 2391 outside volunteers, 20,422 people benefitted, and 248 organizations represented
    • 2016-19 Review
      Federal funding for Illinois AmeriCorps programs has increased this year
      The commission staff is waiting to hear from CNCS about competitive program application results
      Peer review of all programs is in process; this is done by non-profit and community leaders not associated with the commission or CNCS
    • Illinois Disaster Corps
      10 members are currently trained; another 13 will complete their training this week
      The first phase of Disaster Corps, training current AmeriCorps members, is almost complete; the second phase will involve training commissioners, staff, other CNCS corps members and the general public
  • Volunteerism
    • Governor's Volunteer Service Awards
      Thanks was extended to Kelia Beck for her work in organizing the Governor’s Awards
    • Volunteer of the Week
      Volunteers of the Week are up on the Serve Illinois website
      Send any nominations to the commission staff
    • Volunteerism Conferences
      The Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference was a success; upcoming conferences include:
      • Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference (CIVC)
        June 2nd, 2016 – Springfield, IL
      • Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICOVA)
        August 10th, 2016 – Chicago, IL
      • Northwest Volunteerism Conference (NWVC/MVDOVIA)
        October 2016 – Moline, IL
    • Veterans Day of Service
      A day of service to take place on Veteran’s Day is in the process of being organized; more details to come
  • Communications
    • Website/Social Media
      Information on social media and website traffic was sent to all commissioners and provided at the meeting
      Commissioners and staff were asked to continue sharing national service information and stories across all social media platforms
    • Newsletter
      A commission newsletter will be sent out every other month; please send anything you’d like to include to the commission staff

Old Business

  • Serve Illinois Foundation
    See committee report

New Business

No new business was brought to the floor


The meeting was adjourned at 11:40am by Chair Nettles