Excellence and Expertise Task Force


  • Commissioners: Susan Hawthorne (chair), Pam Proulx-Curry, Veronica Kupferman
  • Staff: M. Ashmore, K. Preecs

The meeting opened at 1:30 pm by teleconference.

Welcome & Introductions

  • adjustments to the agenda
    • None
  • Permission to record for collection minutes
  •  Is anyone new in attendance?
    • None

Brenda Zollich’s report on Training Effectiveness


  • Committee has reviewed
    • Grants committee also looking at adjustments to pre-award processes
    • E&E will note their recommendations, review and assist
  • Topics covered in earlier meetings:
    • New Grantee training – format
    • Online tools for grantees on Group Hub
    • Challenges with Outcome data collection & submission
    • Grantees unwilling to ask for help
  • MA again described progress in changing approach to providing more immediate responses to grantees
    • PPC noted that it is a helpful strategy because when people are struggling with a problem, they are focused on the solution more than learning a new skill (like where to find an answer).
    • VK noted that people also don’t always know how what they don’t know – that’s why people like the
  • Suggestion was made of using some pre-work; simple, but something like a workbook thing.  One idea is to send out details based on Attachment F and
    • PPC – this helps intro the topic; a little assignment, what do you need to bring to the meeting.  A task like “Five things to pay attention to” – so things aren’t completely new when you are at a training
    • PPC – also important that they are not just thinking exercises, but also require filling out a form - actively write it down, which will help identify the holes in their thinking.
    • SW – also important to make it fun

Member Conference Update

  • MA described the recent AmeriCorps Member conference held on March 31st.  Held in a virtual format for the first time, it appears to have been a success based on initial feedback from program staff and from member attendees.  MA noted high quality involvement from the planning committee and high quality of member sessions.  Also noted was how networking was handled and how plenary (Donna Gaspar Jarvis) and keynote (Shenna Bellows) speakers were received.
  • Suggestion was made that members of the planning committee might also have some interest in participating in Volunteer Conference planning team.
  • There will be more data to follow when session and conference feedback submissions are tabulated

Fall Conference planning initial discussion- startup of Committee

  • SH and KP raised the issue of increasing committee membership?  KP described outreach so far and noted who had responded and who had not.  Some additional names were suggested.  Also suggested was a review of past committee members and also to connect with PAVA, and UW contacts.
  • One consideration discussed was whether E & E could be the committee?  This idea was tabled pending additional outreach. Both PPC and VK offered to help. VK noted that she is best able to help when there are specific tasks that need to be done, rather than attending regular committee meetings. 
  • KP asked for input on how to develop some ideas about a Youth volunteerism track, how to develop a list of potential Sponsors and

Other Recommendations

  • Trainings
    • Importance of inclusion of older people, AARP
    • Generational differences
    • Youth volunteering
    • AmeriCorps session
    • Remote engagement – remote volunteering
  • Keynote
    • Keynote topic? DECD?  Is this an appropriate topic or will it be overdone?
      • Feeling of the group was that it was important but it might feel overdone by fall
      • DECD might be a good strand or plenary session topic instead. 
    • Need Dynamic speakers – community minded
    • Suggestions
      • TJ Holloway, Leadership Development topic, asset-based approach to strategic planning.  Taught in Business program.
      • Glenn Cummings – topic?
  • Virtual? Live? Hybrid? What will be safe?
    • Difficult to ascertain at this point.  Group recommended booking a site that will hold without fee (i.e. UMaine site) since we won’t be able to do so later.  MA noted that Hutchinson Center is uniquely designed to host a hybrid event as all classrooms are wired for computer connectivity at every seat and classrooms all have interactive screens.

2020 Grantee Progress Report for Commission Investment Funds


  • none – Meeting ended at 2:38