Board Minutes: May 18, 2011, 11:30 – 1:00PM

Cowlitz County Community Network

Board Meeting

CWCOG Meeting Room

May 18, 2011, 11:30 – 1:00 PM

Present: Ben Harrison, Ray Van Tongeren, Carmella Bender, Elizabeth Haeck, Frank Hoetker, Cindy Lopez Werth, Sybil Sides, Sharon Weinhold, and special guest Sasha Silveanu representing the Family Policy Council

Excused: Julia Bishop, Ashley Scott, Barbara Skreen

Unexcused:  None

Quorum: Present

Welcome and Introductions:  Ben Harrison, Chairman, welcomed the Board Members and our guest, Sasha Silveanu from the Family Policy Council, thanked them for their attendance, and asked them to introduce themselves for the record. He reminded everyone about the Workshop to follow the meeting.

Additions to the Agenda:  The Network Website was added as an agenda item.

April 20, 2011 Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes as presented: Frank; Second: Ray. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

April 20, 2011 Action Items: All action items were completed.

“Gathering” Feedback:

The Family Policy Council hosted a Gathering on Monday, May 16, at the Lakewold Gardens to discuss the Family Policy Council/Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership proposal. The proposal invites the Networks to work with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist youth (focus on 16 – 18 year olds) or adults with chronic disabilities or barriers to getting employment find a job or build skills that would lead to a job. Vocational Rehabilitation counselors reported they need help keeping up with skill building and prospective employer relationship building opportunities for their clients.  The types of activities the Networks could deploy are Skill Building Events or Networking Cafes to bring the appropriate community members together and identify opportunities that would lead to skill building and employment. Frank wondered if the Network would be in competition with Goodwill, Life Works, the Salvation Army, and others. Sasha explained the Vocational Rehabilitation Services were saturated with case load, and the Networks were being asked to help with networking and leverage. The Networks would not work with clients on a one on one basis.

Liz discussed a project idea of creating a time bank for the Highlands. The Highlands has a large population of people with chronic disabilities, and the time bank concept recognizes that every person has something to contribute. People would join the time bank and offer their skills. Examples of skills that might be offered are childcare, tutoring, home repair, cooking, cleaning, sewing, decorating, yard work, interpreting, photography, and pet care. An unemployed plumber might offer plumbing services. In exchange, the plumber might want grass mowing or gardening services from another resident. When the plumber performs a service, the time would go into the time bank. When the plumber wants a service, time can be drawn from the time bank. Young people with chronic disabilities could shadow the plumber or other members of the time bank to learn a skill, responsibility, team work, and sense of worth and community. Liz said Whatcom and East Side King Counties have time banks and could be benchmarks. Sybil suggested a look at Love Inc too.

Board members were intrigued with the idea. Federal funding of $15,000 is available through September 30, 2011. Funding will be released in phases. After concurring to proceed, the next step for the Network would be to agree on how to engage in and manage the project by submitting an action plan on the project with at least one measurable outcome. There is a requirement for a 25% match in funds or in-kind. Longer term funding may be available.

Cindy cautioned against rushing into the partnership just because grant funding is available. After further discussion, a motion was made to pursue the Vocational Rehabilitation Partnership; Ray: Second; Sybil. The motion was approved. Ben signed the partnership agreement and said this partnership opportunity and action plan will be discussed in more detail during the workshop.

Action: Develop an action plan to submit to the Family Policy Council addressing the activities the Cowlitz Community Network would like to pursue as part of this partnership and measurable outcomes. (Sharon/Liz)

NWHF Grants:

NWHF Mini Grant. The Cowlitz Community Network received a $3,680 grant from the NWHF. The Network will give 6-10 presentations to the community on the Cowlitz County Health Rankings Report, Washington State Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) data, and show how they may be linked. The presentations will be specifically geared to each audience to facilitate conversations and feedback. In return, the NWHF asks that we build on partnerships, track attendance at each presentation, and document the results of the conversations in pictures and words.

Two presentations have been given to date. The Network hosted a table at the Highlands Partners Café on May 4 titled “How your childhood affects who you are.” Participants at the table included medical professionals, educators, an attorney, and Highlands residents. The Network also participated in a panel discussion at the Longview Presbyterian Church as part of a Youth Suicide Prevention Program on May 10. The thirty-five attendees were very engaged and asked excellent questions. Sharon prepared a summary with pictures documenting these two events and will send them to NWHF. Cindy suggested a third event might be the Network table at the International Festival on June 4.

Action: Plan and staff a table for the International Festival on June 4. (Sharon/Board Members)

NWHF/Kaiser Grant. On May 5, the Network indicated its Intent to Apply for a Capacity Building Grant. These grants can range up to $50,000 for up to 18 months. The next step is to submit a Letter of Inquiry, which is due on June 2. The approach for this Letter and full proposal will be discussed in more detail during the Workshop following the meeting.

Action: Prepare a Letter of Inquiry outlining the Network’s plan for capacity building and submit on or before June 2. (Sharon)

Budget Update:

There has not been a final resolution on funding for the Networks in the biennial budget. Resolution is expected in the next couple of weeks.

For current year funding ending on June 30, planned budget expenditures for the Strengthening Families Program and the Network bookmarks came in under budget. The Strengthening Families Program cost less than budget for two reasons. The funds ($250) reserved for coordination were not billed because the Network handled all of the coordination work. Food service was billed on the actual number of meals served rather than the requested number of meals served saving $300.  Miscellaneous expenses also were slightly less ($50) than planned. The Network also ordered fewer bookmarks, pending a decision on the website address. And, several invoices have not been submitted yet for payment. It is estimated that about $3,000 remains.

The Board discussed possible uses for the remaining funds. Two items were discussed: a camera to take pictures at events for the Network website and a display board with carrying case for events. A motion was made to purchase a digital camera and memory cards, and possibly a video clip feature, at a cost not to exceed $500: Cindy; Second: Frank. The Board decided to wait on the purchase of a display board.

Action: Add the website address to the bookmarks and send to the printer. (Ben)

Action: Continue to closely monitor budget expenditures and review budget status at next meeting. (Sharon)

Action: Purchase a digital camera, memory cards, and possibly a video clip feature at a cost not to exceed $500. (Sharon)

Website:

A contract for the website was awarded to omOriginals for $3,000. Website content was provided to omOriginals on May 9. The content included information for the home page (logo, bookmark, mission, and tag line), board (list of board members, meeting minutes, and picture), community projects (Strengthening Families Program, Darby’s Story, Let’s Draw the Line, Highlands Café, Youth Suicide Prevention Program, Week of the Young Child), the directory, resources/links (FPC, NWHF, etc.), and a contact us page.

omOriginals provided four draft website templates for Board review and decision on the template the Board prefers. The Board members liked the look of the templates. After discussion, they chose “red” and asked if several changes could be made. Put Header in larger print. Keep a Placeholder for share. Move the Navigation Board under the header. After the meeting, Ben made the decision that the domain name will be cowlitzcommunitynetwork.com.

Action: Relay to omOriginals the template choice with recommended changes. (Sharon)

Feedback on Events:

Strengthening Families Program. After seven sessions, graduation for the Strengthening Families Program was held on May 7. Four families graduated, several attending all seven sessions. Other families attended, but did not meet the graduation requirement of attending at least 5 sessions. Sharon read some of the graduation comments from the parents and youth attending the program. The comments made it clear that both parents and youth enjoyed and learned from the program. Sharon thanked the Board members who volunteered to help with the program: Sybil, Barbara, Ashley, and Carmella. Chantel was a great help from 4-H. Highlands Neighborhood Association staff also made several visits to the program to offer help and relay information about events taking place in the Highlands. Everyone’s help and support were greatly appreciated and helped the program succeed.

Youth Suicide Prevention Program. Members meet the fourth Thursday of every month at the Youth and Family Link office. The panel discussion sponsored by the program on suicide at the Longview Presbyterian Church on May 10 was successful. It gave the Network an opportunity to introduce itself to this group; talk about the Cowlitz County Health Rankings, BRFSS data, and Adverse Childhood Experiences; and make new contacts in the community.

Highlands Partners Café. Liz gave feedback on the Highlands Partners Café, which was held on May 4. She said over seventy people signed in for the café. There were eleven table topics and good conversation at each.

Let’s Draw the Line.

Frank and Ben reported on the Longview/Kelso event. Swanson Bark power washed a blue wall for a mural. The committee is looking for two other sites for the art competition. Schools in Longview/Kelso will participate in the competition. The Kalama/Woodland Draw the Line project is complete. Pictures were taken at Kalama City Hall with youth and city leaders, and at the Substance Abuse Coalition meeting on April 21. The pictures with comments from the pledge cards were published in the Daily News on two occasions and are posted on several websites.

Ashley’s Project – Adds and Subtracts. Ashley was not available to give an update.

Action: Contact Ashley, check on the status of the Adds and Subtracts project, and ask what the Network can do to help. (Sharon/Ashley)

Cindy gave an update on upcoming events. The topic for Highlands Neighborhood Matters for May 18 is Jobs for People with Criminal Records. Representatives will be there from a local business that has successfully hired convicted felons, CAP Employment Services, Goodwill Industries, and Work Source Cowlitz-Wahkiakum. The International Festival is on Saturday, June 4, at Lower Columbia College. There will be entertainment all day, food vendors, market vendors, and 27 informational booths. And, there is an Inservice Day on Friday, October 14, at Kelso High School. The keynote speaker is nationally known and will provide insights and strategies for effectively communicating across race, class, gender, and generational barriers. There will be workshops to expand on these topics. Board members were encouraged to attend these events.

Minutes Action Items:

– Develop a plan to submit to the Family Policy Council addressing the activities the Cowlitz Community Network would like to pursue as part of this partnership. (Sharon/Liz)

Prepare a Letter of Inquiry outlining the Network’s plan for capacity building and submit on or before June 2. (Sharon)

– Continue to closely monitor budget expenditures and review budget status at next meeting. (Sharon)

Add the website address to the bookmarks and send to the printer. (Ben)

– Purchase a digital camera, memory cards, and possibly a video clip feature at a cost not to exceed $500. (Sharon)

– Relay to omOriginals the template choice with recommended changes. (Sharon)

– Contact Ashley, check on the status of the Adds and Subtracts project, and ask what the Network can do to help. (Sharon/Ashley)

Meeting Adjourned:

Next Meeting June 15, 2011

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