Executive Committee

The members convened at 3:36 p.m. using the virtual meeting technology.

Present: Luke Shorty, Celeste Branham, Julia Van Steenberghe, Bill Guindon, Jenni Tilton-Flood, Pam Proulx-Curry, Will Sedlack, Maryalice Crofton

A.    Status of finance reports. New staff in the accounting service center has made a difference. They found unpaid items dating back to October 2023 and have been systematically as well as speedily, catching up. Financial reports for CSG, TTA, and VGF for 2023 are now reliable and will be mailed to Exec on Monday. The CFO in DOE is helping finalize them. Next to tackle is the status of 2024. Exec members were hopeful this period of financial issues has passed.  

B.    Exec committee action on Climate Corps task force grant award recommendations. The mini-grant applications were reviewed by the Climate Corps task force at its last meeting. Three applications are recommended for funding: Augusta Teen Center, Thompson Lake Environmental Association, and Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed. Each organization requested the maximum $10,000. There are some budget corrections to make (e.g., one organization supplied the agency budget, not the project budget) but there are no issues impacting project costs. The funds are the last bits of state climate corps monies. Executive Committee needs to vote on the awards because there is no full board meeting in April and these summer projects start before the next meeting.  Moved by Sedlack to award the funds. Second by Branham. Unanimous in favor.

C.    April Transition Task Force meeting. Members discussed how to handle the April meeting given notice from most Transition members that they are not able to attend alternate dates. Kaira’s plan for the month is to interview each member separately and report back on themes. Exec decided to cancel April meeting and have people put the time toward interviews. That means the next meeting is May 24. 

D.    Congressional appropriation. Nothing new. Everyone is simultaneously working on finalizing current year while organizing for next year.

E.    Status of state legislation. Rep Rielly has made one last run at getting the Climate Corps Coordinator position fully funded. He is using the existing Climate Corps bill on appropriation table to add $23,000 and remove funding for corps members. Support for the volunteer sector technical assistance and training position seems non-existent, even by the sponsor who sits on AFA. Likewise, Maine Service Fellows and items requested in the change package are dead. Even moving funding for the office admin to full-time was rejected. This was first try for a number of these things so need to consider which to have reintroduced. Climate Corps may be the victim of a myth that there are federal funds behind the American Climate Corps.

F.    Gov Service Awards: overview. Exec took a look at the scope of support this event will need. The Foundation board is not large enough to cover the roles. Exec members offered assistance in various places including recruiting volunteers from their work sites and bringing supplies needed.

G.    National Service staff appreciation. Last year, the board scheduled this annual event to follow the June meeting. After reviewing the calendar, the decision is to repeat that and hold it in June 2024.

H. Task Force Updates 

  • Maine Service Fellows: There are funds for 2 additional service fellows so Kirsten is working with the Norway area coalition on finalizing their plan. Need to do outreach for new potential hosts. The actual task force has not met.
  • Public Policy: Taking a break after this legislative season. There is a change in membership. Jennifer Burke is joining.
  • DEI: Task Force has not met but still intends to organize a training with Wabanaki REACH which would occur as part of annual board retreat.
  • Communications: Working on new PSAs and the Governor’s Service Awards. Also looking at having visibility in Bangor and Portland airports.
  • Excellence and Expertise: Really big news from Julia and Tom. The volunteer leadership conference will co-locate with the MDOE leadership summit in August. The Department will cover facility costs and small stipends for presenters. The challenge is the date change (from October to August 6) needs to get out to volunteer leaders. The task force has pulled together a great set of workshops, some of which should draw participants from schools. 
  • Grant Selection and Performance: Gearing up for grant reviews.

There being no further items to discuss, members dispersed at 4:40 pm