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									                                               Board Meeting
                                                Jan 20, 2009
                                              EW Service Center
Present: Jane Mickeriz, Paul Brown, Tammy Lane, Greg Gould, Susan Koch, Deb Auch, Celeste Branham,
Bev Adams, Patrick Coughlin, Marc Vanderwood, Ellen Grunblatt, Steve Brown, Fen Fowler, Judy Gerry,
Nancy Audet, Ginny Andrews, Janice Daku, Judy Frost, Danielle Bell, Jim Trundy, Christine Merchant - DHHS,
Ron Smith - RHR Smith
Absent: Tom Saviello, Rosemary Poulson, Laura Ross
Jane introduced our guests. The new members introduced themselves and spoke about their backgrounds,
and the rest of the members and staff introduced themselves. Jane reviewed the Board Vision.
Seating of new board members
Motion to appoint Celeste Branham - Susan /Paul. Motion carried unanimously. Motion to appoint Celeste
Branham - Paul / Pat. Motion carried unanimously.
Learning Organization Training
Jane gave a brief overview of Learning Organization. Judy asked the group to focus on the bottom section of
the Board Vision. She provided a handout titled “From Vision to Action” and asked the group to select one of
the items at the bottom of the statement that they would like to improve upon. Judy asked the group to write
this item on the second page and walked them through a “stacking the dories” exercise by first recording the
Current Reality. Ellen asked if the current reality is relative to where the member is personally with the item.
Judy answered yes – this is really an exercise in personal mastery. In the Creations section Judy asked
members to record actions they can take to improve the current reality. Judy then asked the group to take one
of the creations and move it to the top of the next page and repeat the process with the current reality and
creations stages. Once this is complete the group repeated the process again using one of the creations.
Judy discussed with the group how to continue with this process now that some very clear items have been
identified to build upon to reach your first vision. This allows us to create a work plan, where you break each
step down until you can no longer break it down further. This allows you to identify the steps needed to realize
a vision without getting overwhelmed by the big picture. Jane would like to take this further at the next Board
meeting by discussing member’s responses.
Agency Audit
Ron Smith gave some background of his company. Judy handed out the basic financial statement. Ron
reviewed the agency audited financial statements with the group. Ron advised that they prepare 3 audits for
WMCA. The first is the Audited Financial Statement. Second and third are Federal and State Compliance
Audits. The federal audit is required once an agency spends more that $500,000 in federal funds. This audit
measures if we meet federal regulations. The state compliance audit is required by MAAP since our funds
pass through the state, and determines if we comply with states regulations.
Ron reviewed the auditors report, and announced that this is an unqualified report (clean opinion), meaning
that they found no issues of compliance. Ron explained other possible outcomes of an audit – an adverse
opinion (the auditors were not allowed by the agency to fully investigate) and a qualified audit, where there
were reportable issues of compliance. Ron then reviewed the statements of financial position and commented
that we had a very similar year to 2007. Ron mentioned that our unrestricted or undesignated amount is not
very high. This may cause concern as the economic picture continues to worsen and the future of funding is
uncertain. Ron feels this amount needs to be increased to ensure the future financial health of the agency.
Celeste asked what they would consider an adequate amount. Ron would shoot for 30 days of operating costs
as a social service agency. He noted the increase in the use of our line of credit to stabilize the agency
throughout the year. Having a larger reserve would delay having to borrow funds. He would encourage
fundraising for both income and visibility, but it is very difficult given the competition and the economy.
The group compared 2007 and 2008 by reviewing the Statement of Net Activities (a summary of program
revenue and expenses) and the Statement of Functional Expenses. Ron noted the large change in direct
client expenses was due to MSHA handling the payout of LIHEAP dollars and those funds no longer flowing
through the agency. Ron mentioned that given the financial climate, WMCA is one of the most efficient and
effectively run CAPs in the state. We have the staff that will allow us to weather the storm.
Ron reviewed the notes to financial statements. Ron asked if there were questions regarding the finances of
the agency. Jane asked if the $300,000 line of credit is adequate for our agency. He feels that it will not be
enough in the near future. He warns us of taking on programs that offer only client assistance without funds for
administration or overhead to provide the assistance. We are already asked to do so much with so little – he
feels taking on these types of programs will seriously hinder our finances. Ellen asked if he could provide
some examples. Ron noted Rural Development is trying to create opportunities and find alternate delivery
systems. Dept of Economic & Community Development is also searching for alternate delivery systems. He
sees many changes in government where the shift of providing services is moving into the non-profits.
Christine asked if these programs will come without administrative funds. Ron answered none, or very little
and cited an example of child/family visitation where they were provided funds for “per unit” services, and they
got notice that their funding was cut in half retroactive 60 days, but are still required to fulfill their units of
service. Do not think that we are exempt from consolidation – we have to keep our eyes open to what is
around us. As funding is cut, the government will streamline funding allowing only the largest and strongest to
survive. Greg asked if he has seen things that strong agencies are doing that we could apply in our agency.
Ron said yes – start getting the CAPs talking and working together to market the need for what we do. We
also need to work with municipalities and other social services agencies so we can get on the same page to
provide a unified front of why our services are important and needed.
Steve wanted to point out that our need to borrow funds was due to WIA funds not being remitted in a timely
fashion. Ron mentioned that issue of outstanding checks – these can be sent to the state for them to track
down who has not cashed checks from us. This is being resolved. There was also a software glitch where two
software programs where not aligned – this has also been corrected. Ron explained to the group the issue
where WIA funds were drawn down in excess. This happened twice in a few months time where we drew
down en extra $50,000 to $60,000. (We can only draw down 3 days of operations costs). Ron expects no
repercussions from this. It was caused by a spreadsheet calculation problem, and was an isolated issue that
has been corrected. We found the problem and had it corrected before it was found in the audit.
Approval of Minutes / Committee Reports
Motion to approve Board Minutes as presented - Ellen / Susan. 9 in favor, 3 abstain (Marc, Greg, and Celeste),
motion carried. Motion to approve Executive Committee Minutes as presented - Paul / Ellen. 9 in favor, 3
abstain (Greg, Celeste, Tammy), motion carried. Motion to approve Planning & Review Minutes as presented -
Bev / Patrick. All in favor, motion carried. Fen spoke briefly about what was covered during the meeting. Paul
asked how the new members felt having the orientation and introduction of the programs – he thinks it would
have been very helpful, but maybe it was overwhelming. Marc mentioned that he would have liked it. Greg
found it helpful to put a face with each program and see the passion behind our services. Celeste agreed.
Executive Director Evaluation Process
Ellen reviewed the draft document in the packet, and stated that she based her recommendations on feedback
she received from staff and members about the process. She mentioned that the refined process will allow for
citing examples, and require the person sign their assessment. To keep the balance between maintaining
confidentiality and the ability to get more information, forms will returned to one member of an ad hoc
committee who will gather more information if necessary, and then remove all identifying information before it
is reviewed in committee. The committee will develop a summary evaluation and meet with the Executive
Director, who will make a salary request and respond to the committee. At the following Board meeting the
committee will make a recommendation on the salary request and final evaluation. The process will now begin
in March to allow time to finish before the budget process. Ellen asked for questions or comments. Marc
asked about the progress toward meeting goals – this portion cannot be discounted and should be part of the
form so there can be some feedback during the evaluation process. Ellen mentioned there was an opportunity
to do this on the comments section. Marc would like to see these goals specifically listed. Ellen mentioned
there are two sets of goals – those that were set the previous year, as well as those the ED brings to the table
based on the current evaluation.
Paul asked for clarification – previously Fen provided goals that the agency needed to work on. Paul asked if
now we will be directing or choosing the goals that the director will need to work on. Marc commented that this
set of goals may be more personal to the ED, and there is a separate set of goals for the agency. Jane
mentioned that the committee will have Fen’s prior year’s response available to review progress when
completing the current evaluation. Paul feels that the evaluation is not an accurate representation of what a
Board member understands of Fen’s position. Deb agreed. She does not work with Fen and doesn’t know
what he does day to day, so she had a hard time completing the evaluation. Bev also had a hard time with the
evaluation. She feels he is very outgoing and tried to reach out to members outside of Franklin County and
appreciates his approachability, but she did not like filling out the form. Paul stated that the evaluation process
seems to always come down to the salary request and the focus came down to what we can afford for
compensation, regardless of the progress made. Ellen disagreed – she feels all of the decisions made are
based on the financial health of the agency and that must always be considered.
Jane mentioned that we are considering bringing someone in to speak about market information to best
determine what salary is appropriate. Paul doesn’t feel the salary should be tied to the evaluation – we always
give glowing evaluations. He feels this is too much work to get to the same place we end up – how much are
we going to pay. Ellen asked what he thinks we should do. Paul would like to separate the issue – do an
evaluation in and of itself, and then do something separate to determine salary. Ellen asked if there is a point
in being consistent in the fact that all members of the agency are treated this way – the evaluation and salary
go hand in hand for all other staff. Jane feels it should be different. Ellen feels that we know Fen’s work and
have available what other CAP directors make. With this information she feels we did our best based on the
constraints the agency is under. Paul stated he is not suggesting we throw out the evaluation process, but if
there is one committee that is going to deal with this they should carry through with the entire process –
including the salary recommendation.
Ellen and Jane stated that this was the idea of what our new process will do. Paul did not see it that way.
Jane mentioned that this was not in lieu of any discussion, but that a smaller group would come to the full
board with recommendations. Jane would like to bring information to the full board about how to make a
qualified decision on this. Marc asked Fen what he thinks of the process. Fen feels good about it and is not
uncomfortable with the conversation – it isn’t about him, but the process. Fen received a summary of
information provided on the evaluations. There were places he asked for clarity that was not available due to
the confidentiality piece. He feels that the feedback is beneficial for both his personal goals as well as where
the agency needs to go. He thinks this is a better process. This was the first time he had to make a salary
request, and he feels that at this point in his career he should be held at the level of his peers in the state. He
felt this made the board uncomfortable having the conversation – he feels the improvements to the process will
make this more comfortable by providing more data to make the decision. Marc mentioned he was
uncomfortable in the meeting due to the time constraint on the Executive session. He thinks this process
involving committee meetings and a recommendation will allow more comfort in the decision. Jane asked that
people leave things blank if they don’t feel they can answer, and add items that they feel are not addressed.
Marc asked if we can add an “other comments” to the end of the form. Ellen will do this. Jane called for a
motion to accept the process as presented. Steve / Marc. All in favor, motion carried.
Program Growth Strategy
Fen presented the growth strategy which will include Pathways to Excellence. Christine is here to answer any
questions on this process. Fen mentioned that having to do more with less has left many staff burned out and
the cost of living for employees has outgrown what we can afford for salary increases. The only way WMCA
can afford higher salaries, greater job security, and increased staff numbers is to grow each program. Judy
explained that we took this idea to Leadership Team and discussed what program growth meant to them. The
group came to the consensus that is was not just more money, but greener money. Also required will be more
efficient systems – we need to look at our current processes and determine the most proficient means to serve
our clients. Fen also mentioned that Board members need to be involved as well. Fen directed the members
to the statement on page 14 of the packet.
Each program manager will speak for 2 minutes about how their program will grow. Judy will speak about
branding the agency, and Janice will speak about the Pathways to Excellence as it relates to the third item.
Fen reviewed what is happening in the country with the new administration and what that means to our growth.
He sees strong potential for all of our program areas; and that we are going to be able to help not only those in
need, but people who have now begun to struggle in our economy, even though they don’t fit the poverty
guidelines. He wants our plan to be fluid so we can make adjustments as the economic climate changes daily.
Board reports will now include information about where they are in meeting program growth goals. He also will
be bringing fundraising decisions to the board, and expects the Board to take an active roll in the process.
 Employment & Training - needs to raise an additional $40,000 to meet its goal. They have applied for a
   National Emergency Grant for manufactured housing in the amount of $29,000 and gotten it. They also
   applied for a National Emergency Grant for WASA, but these funds have not been committed as of yet.
   This leaves him with $10,000-$11,000 left to raise. They are working on providing services a bit different
   than those of WIA, but they fit together and come with extra funds. They will be marketing to the
   communities in Androscoggin & Oxford counties (all programs in these counties are involved) and asking
   board members to visit these towns with them while they educate municipalities on what we do and the
   services we provide. This isn’t a visit to ask for money, but may position us to do so at a later date. Jim has
   an employee who will write news articles on success stories in the youth program.
 Energy & Housing Resources – Dept. of Energy budget has more than doubled – growth found them, and
   keeps getting larger. Paul asked if these funds are less restrictive. Judy answered no, but they are looking
   at decreasing the restrictions and increasing the funds per household. The more they get into this it is
   trickling down as we look for crews to complete the work, sending money back into our local economy. We
   are also looking into becoming HUD counselors and working with people who are in danger of foreclosure.
 Nutrition – WIC funding is based on the number of participants seen in one calendar year. Due to seeing
   more clients in the past year than we accounted for when creating the budget they will have an increase in
   approximately $15,000. Their challenge will be to keep seeing more clients, and possibly seeing them
   outside of the office.
 Health Svc – The program will work toward increased outreach, including new media such as saving staff
   time issuing reminders by texting clients. They are also looking at processes and customer friendly services
   to increase word of mouth. They are looking for sites to do services outside of the office to reach more
   people. Federal funding is increasing in the coming year, and there is hope that the change in the new
   administration using data to make decisions will be beneficial in redirecting money. They are also grant
   writing.
 Administration - Judy spoke about branding. Marketing came out of the work in Leadership Team. If we
   don’t market, we can’t grow so the group developed some strategies and talked about what we would do for
   our clients. We have designated $10,000 for an ad hoc committee of staff to use to push this forward. This
   committee will be working on what Leadership Team came up with, as well as looking into a consultant to
   assist us in redesigning our logo, colors, and/or agency name – we are looking at everything. This will take
   time and is costly, but it is necessary.
 Keeping Seniors Home - Janice provided a handout to the group outlining her growth strategy.

Pathways to Excellence
This will assist the agency in the self evaluation of our services and processes. CSBG is willing to pay all costs
involved in undertaking this process. This is a perfect fit with our third program growth goal. It is a very
detailed and rigorous process that will be led by Janice and a team that will involve board members. We would
also like to apply to be an award of excellence recipient in 2010. Christine is appreciative in our spirit of
jumping on board with this study to strengthen our agency, and hopes that all 10 CAPs will get involved. She
feels that this will make a difference in our future. She realizes that there isn’t enough time or resources – but
there never is, and she would really like us to take this leap of faith in the hopes that we will come out stronger
in the end and it will pay off in many ways. This provides enormous opportunity for us to share our story in
fundraising and marketing. She feels this process is the most complete matrix that she has seen, and it will
allow us to identify not only what isn’t working, but what is. This experience takes 9 months to complete the
self assessment and report; then our work is sent to a national review team who will provide feedback that can
work as a template in developing a work plan for the agency. Marc asked how many can participate –
Christine has offered it to all 10. 4 have declined, 3 are still deciding, and the remaining 3 have committed.
There will be a two day training in February for up to 5 people (including up to 2 board members) to bring it
back to the agency and get everyone involved. Greg commented that he has been involved in somewhat
similar assessments, and thinks this is a phenomenal opportunity. The people who will be doing the work need
to view this as an exciting opportunity to get the most out of it – if it is seen as a burden the process will not be
effective. Christine will not require our submitting the results – it will be up to us what we want to share. It is
solely a way for us to tell ourselves the truth, find out what we are really made of, and how we can improve.
Jane called for a motion to accept the resolution Tammy / Greg. Carried unanimously. Danielle will scan the
signed resolution and email it to Christine. Jane asked for a Board volunteer to commit to the training February
17-18 or 18-19. Deb is interested and will participate. Tammy is also interested and will participate.

Christine also mentioned that in our CSBG compliance review there were no findings. She said for one of the
smallest CAPs we are doing so much already; and that we have a wealth of highly organized staff. She
specifically mentioned the breadth of information available on our website. She was very impressed with us,
the systems we have in place, and the information we have readily available.

WMCA Financial Statements
Steve reviewed the statements on pages 19 and 20, noting the cash balance, receivables, accounts payable
net assets (target is 308,000 which is equivalent to 30 days operating costs and will be built up over five
years), current ratio and liabilities on the Balance Statement. Statement of Operations – noting percentages
and explaining any items that were “off” due to the time of year expenses are paid (such as utilities being
higher in winter than summer). The figures are through November 30, 2008.

Program Operations & Fiscal Reports
Jane asked the group to review the executive director’s report and the more detailed program reports, and
requested a motion to accept the reports as presented - Paul/Bev. Motion carries, all in favor.

Jane reviewed the Board Vision.

Meeting adjourned 8:06

								
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