Communications Task Force: October 2022


  • Commissioners: Chair Zakk Maher, Gary Dugal, John Portela, Julia Fiori
  • Staff: Bryan Roche

The Communications Task Force met electronically for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. The group discussed the following:

Welcome and check-in

The group opened the meeting with introductions, as it was the first full meeting after new Task Force Assignments. Commissioners along with Roche discussed their current roles and prior communications and public policy experience. Roche then shared information on his role, his role within the Task Force, and the mission of the Task Force.

Some items of note from the welcome and check-in:

  • Dugal -- who has spent most of his career at Goodwill Hinkley as a teacher, coach, athletic director, health and wellness instructor, operations director and now president -- is an experienced copywriter.
  • Maher is an AmeriCorps alum who enjoys the behind-the-scenes portion of the public policy process. Maher also enjoys writing in his free time.
  • Portela graduated from the Northeast School of Broadcasting in Boston. He then worked for a Lewiston, Maine-based radio station. Portela shared he is active in a union and added "if you want to improve things, you have to be involved in public policy."
  • Fiori has experience in social media messaging and outreach, running successful campaigns around volunteering efforts.

Business report review

Maher invited Roche to present the September business report. Roche read the report, which can be viewed on the reports section of the website -- view September business report.

Public participation and representation on the Task Force

Maher and Roche communicated the desire of the Executive Committee to have non-Commissioners join Task Forces in an effort to bring all voices and perspectives to the table. Maher shared he may have a couple of individuals in mind for the Task Force. The group was then asked to brainstorm and bring suggestions to the November meeting.

Upcoming dates/events to consider in work

Maher asked Roche to provide more details on the request to discuss dates and events that could be used to the Commission's benefit in work. Roche explained how appropriate dates and events could be used as a vehicle to share Commission messaging. The group shared the following:

  • Dugal: Food insecurity: It is an issue that is always top-of-mind during the "season of giving."
  • Portela: "People tend to think of people around the holidays, but the needs go beyond the holidays. The need for volunteerism doesn't stop on Dec 25. People are still hungry in April, May and June. What about kids without food programs in the summer?" The overarching message: use the holidays to share a message that community needs still exist beyond the holidays. 
  • Dugal added to Portela's suggestion the following tag line: "After the sprint of the holidays, the marathon of needs continues."

For November meeting:

Group to review Communications Plan and provide suggestions for more realistic and successful execution. Task Force members can access the plan by using the following link -- view plan on hub.

Next meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 22 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.