Steering Group Meeting MINUTES: 7:00–8:30pm, Mon. 16 April 2012
Facilitator: Sari Recorder: Kathy
Present: Those present will be underlined on lists below
Visitors: Carol Fanelli
SG Members: Aleisa Myles, Chris Martin, Christine Casullo, Don Kennedy, Ellen Morfei, Frank Nuessle, Howard Bailey, Jim Wurster, Kathy Lundgren, Lori Imbesi, Marie Goodwin, Marion Yaglinski, Martin Pepper, Mary Jo Corley, Medard Gabel, Meenal Raval, Robin Harper, Sari Steuber, Tam Mengine.
Opening Review of the agenda
Add: May 5 Connect The Dots – discuss whether or not to be involved. (didn’t discuss, ran out of time).
a. Review of the agenda(additions/corrections)
b. Check-ins (everyone speaks in turn: give individual value, current group value, aspired group value) – filled in a spreadsheet with the answers; will use this as way to gauge what our members values and aspirations are as a good way to focus our energies and know ourselves better. Non-attendees will be given the opportunity to add their voices to this matrix, too.
c. Carol Fanelli –
contacts and grant opportunities
Carol’s report: Now that the 501C3 is up and going – an example of an organization at a similar place with TTM is the DCTMA (Delaware County Transportation Management Association). The Community Action Agency (CAADC) did a lot of weatherization during the past three years. Grant writers need to collaborate and create new ideas and direction for their grants. One of my personal objectives is to find salary support through my grant-writing. When you have something of solid value you can find a way to make the grant funding work. I would like to get your permission to evaluate, recommend, and pursue grant opportunities. For example, TTM could be part of the Our Town Grant on Thursday (Sari & Aleisa will be attending).
TTM could get grants through weatherization, transportation, etc. avenues. Once you get the first one, it’s easier to get the second one. DVRPC has grant opportunities for special projects the group might want to do. Medard cautions against just going for the money, but to find grants that align with the core values. Beware of mission drift.
Ellen suggests being clear on priorities so that we can pick major projects to go forward on and then go look for grants along those lines – Horse leading the cart. Let’s get our top vision priority in line first before we go. Medard suggests let’s get our committees to create priorities – equipment, office in borough hall, etc. A handful of initiatives are coming along, but not quite there yet. So, yes we want to pursue grants, just not this week, but we may need to be ready to go quickly. Marie has already put in a Time Bank request for writing boiler plate info suitable for a grant proposal. Medard suggests that we have two wonderful initiatives that were built here by Ellen and Marie – The TTM Swap and the Time Bank – that were put together without any money and for the purpose of community. Ellen – that’s why we must get our priorities first and then our money. Chris – there is a parallel in the energy audit practice – there are free things you can do just by changing behavior such as close and lock your windows. We can get an office without hiring staff, for example. Howard – we are supposed to be generating our own resources, not relying on external funding. Chris – If we are going to go for grants we need 1) priorities 2) approval process 3) in the meantime, let’s get some information about what’s out there to learn. Medard – who is in charge of our 501C3? It’s a legal situation, who are the board of directors – Sari, Don and Marie. We concluded by saying that Carol will keep us in the loop to let us know what’s up and we will use her as our contact with the County offices.
3. Strategic planning:
a. Discuss Working Group status (changes in membership & leadership, whether to drop or continue)
b. Discuss creating function sub-committees within the Outreach Group (e.g. website maintenance, newsletter, publicity, marketing, events, etc.)
Sari created “mind maps” for the whole TTM and for Steering, Outreach and all the different committees. We discussed the maps & how we could use them.
Outreach and Steering are behind the scenes items (e.g. brochure, website, event planning); it’s really crucial even though we don’t see much for it. We need to focus on where we want to put our energy on this page. Brochure and website are on their way. I had some trouble splitting Outreach and Steering Group functions, may want to fine-tune that, but basically the Steering Group should be the strategic body and Outreach should be about carrying out the strategy. The Council of working groups is what we envision for the Steering Committee – that it be a committee of representatives from each working group who support each other and make decisions together. Each group should go over their mission and decide what to focus on for the year. The maps list all the goals we listed at the Strategic Planning session and some of our collaborators (current & potential).
Another issue is how can we function more effectively? Outreach has been great although somewhat unwieldy size-wise. Mulling over the idea of Outreach and or Steering as smaller groups or perhaps a Board. Marie – 2-3 people groups to bang out projects. Aleisa – more focused agendas. Set aside chunks of time to do the work. Ellen – have the little groups do stuff and get back to the main group. Sari – EAC group of 7 meet once a month. They talk and report but didn’t really get much going. Started subcommittees which meet during the month and they are really getting a lot more done. Perhaps we could have several Outreach Subcommittees. Way too many ideas on the brochure as we all 12 tried to do it.
Timebank is an example of a subcommittee which was entrusted to work and did the job in a six month time period. Let’s think of anyone else who can help with the projects. Begin to ask others to help with our various Outreach Projects. Need help with Word Press for the Website. Perhaps a connection through Penncrest re: a HS student who needs community service hours and is a computer GEEK. Possibly a student intern through Swarthmore or other school who might want $10 per hour. Information re: working with students – there are places at each college where kids can go look for work. Once we get 501C3, PHEA can help with funding kids to help. Kids would rather work with a social service program than wash dishes.
Idea of a board – had a worker bee group – with new structure it fell apart. Need the worker bee group back to plan some longer term things to keep them on track and to report back to the larger group. Let’s give it a shot and if it doesn’t work, we’ll just rethink it as needed.
4. Events Calendar:
a. April 19 –Our Town grant opportunity, Media Borough – Art grant that moves the community forward. Requires Local groups and government to work together. If we can spin re-skilling into the mix that would have a dual impact. Kiosk, hand mural was a success.
b. April 20 – tabling at
West Chesterenvironmental event – Chris can do the later part, Sari can do early and late, Ellen 10-30 to 2:30.
We stopped here (ran out of time) – Medard suggests creating a Swap Site for the Food Growers and Purchasers – or perhaps the Energy Group could have a FB page.
c. April 26 – 4th Tuesday event on a Thursday – Garbage Art Contest
d. May 20 – presentation at Providence Friends Meeting
e. May 25-26 – TT/TB/Permaculture Networking Event (replacing our 4th Tuesday event for May)
training, led by Michael Brownlee & Lynette Marie Hanthorn, at Pendle Hill, October 11-14
g. Fair Trade Live Concert, October 21
a. April 24th Bill McKibben speaking at
6. Next meeting:
Time = 5/21/2012, 7-8:30pm; Place = Don & Carol’s house,
601 Fairview Rd
d. Discuss Chamber of Commerce membership
e. May 5 Connect The Dots – discuss whether or not to be involved.
2. Working Group reports: (include 2012 goals)
a. Food (Aleisa)
b. Energy (Chris)
c. Economy/TimeBank (Marie)
d. Health Care (Mary Jo)
e. Heart & Soul (Ellen)
f. Recycling/Zero Waste (Kathy)
g. Outreach (Sari/Marie)