Annual Business Meeting Minutes

Atlantic Oaks, Bar Harbor, ME

January 8, 1998

Executive Committee and 19 members

Treasurer's Report: Expenses and income for the 1997 budget year were reviewed. It was noted that the Policy Seminar was more costly in `97 due to the fact that 4 individuals travelled and one of the plane tickets was over $500. It was also noted that we did were re-imbursed $1800 from NEAEOPPan amount greater than we have in received in past years. There was some discussion of attendance at the 1998 conference and the possible effect on MEEOA income. The cancellation and refund policy provided that individuals who failed to attend the conference and did not notify MEEOA by December 28, 1997 were not entitled to a refund. In reality, almost everyone who pre- registered for the conference actually did attend. Malcom Coulter moved to accept Treasurer's report. Claire Nelson second. All in favor.

Secretary's Report: Bridget Mullen recognized the hard work of the board and the resulting correspondence with the membership. In particular, the strategic planning process involved a good deal of positive two-way communication. Bridget is updating the MEEOA membership directory and plans to mail it out by the end of January. Kristi Pierce move to accept Secretary's Report. Charlotte Herbold second. All in favor.

Proposed Amendment: The amendment proposing changing the executive committee make-up was read. Several clarifying questions were raised regarding the new role of the President Elect-- responsibility for membership, taking on the duties of generating a slate of officers, chairing the Dory Award committee. The question was raised: If no one came forward to run for NEAEOPP liaison, could President Elect fulfill the duties of liaison? The determination was made to pursue filling the NEAEOPP liaison position--election for the position is not officially done until April at the NEAEOPP state caucus. Questions were also raised regarding the conference chair and the need for an individual to come forward to chair the NEAEOPP conference for 1999. It was determined that elections would go forward for a MEEOA conference chair position and that discussion would take place at upcoming meetings regarding 1999 MEEOA and NEAEOPP conference and committee members. Helen Pelletier moved to accept amendment as proposed. Jerry Ellis second. Amendment was read once again. All were in favor.

Nominations for office:
President Elect- David Mecgueir
Conference Chair- Karen Keim
Treasurer- Johanna Burdin
Secretary- Bridget Mullen
President- Maureen Ferriter
Past President- Judi Look
NEAEOPP Liaison- (Lynn Ploof-Davis will remain in position until April `98)

Discussion ensued over liaison position. How did NEAEOPP respond to our proposal to eliminate the liaison position? Lynn Ploof-Davis current liaison explained that NEAEOPP felt strongly that each state should have two representatives sitting on the regional board. Did we have to send a liaison? For example could we send a President Elect? It was noted that under the MEEOA constitution, the organization should elect a liaison. It was also noted by our President that we technically have until April before we officially vote in our NEAEOPP liaison. Lynn Ploof-Davisserves as liaison until the April NEAEOPP conference. David Agan move to accept the slate of officers. Jerry Ellis move that nominations cease and that the secretary cast one ballot including entire the slate for membership to vote on. Helen Pelletier second. All in favor. Judi Look called for vote for the slate of officers: All in favor.

Judi Look explained that Leif Feige, who is currently updating the MEEOA webpage was unable to attend the conference due to the driving conditions. He has called for submissions from Maine Trio programs who would like to have pictures and program narratives linked to the MEEOA page. Leif's vision is that the MEEOA page will contain all the latest information regarding the association (minutes, announcements, advocacy alerts) as well as links to all Maine Trio programs and to related sites such as financial aid resources, etc... Programs that have their own pages are encouraged to contact Leif so that he may link with them and programs that do not have a page are encouraged to submit pictures and a program narrative.

Judi Look called for discussion on the use (or lack there of) of the MEEOA listserv currently registered through Jerry Ellis at UMaine. Jerry explained that he wanted a sense from the membership whether to continue to keep the listserv up and running considering the lack of volume. Several people suggested that they would like to continue to receive updates from the MEEOA President and would also send messages and responses but were uncertain how to send messages over the listserv. Jerry offered to re-send the initial message that explained how to use the listserv. It was also suggested that Leif develop a link from the MEEOA web page that would allow people to click on the listserv.

Anti-discrimination Initiative:
Maureen Ferriter described the state referendum pending in February to overturn the legislation providing equal rights to gay and lesbian individuals with regard to housing and employment. Maureen asked the membership to consider charging MEEOA with taking a stand on this important issue. There was a general sense among the members that MEEOA should take a stand in some manner. Several possible actions were discussed. Members considered the possibility of asking NEAEOPP to boycott Maine as a conference site if the February referendum succeeds. Some concerns and hesitancy regarding this position were voiced--was NEAEOPP already invested in Ogunquit? Parallels with the our New Hampshire Trio neighbors were drawn. David Agan noted that one of the most important actions that we can take to ensure the best outcome in February would be for each MEEOA member to "get out the vote" by contacting and encouraging five other individuals to go to the polls in February.
Jerry Ellis moved that MEEOA take a public stand on the referendum and that members actively involve themselves in getting out the vote. David Agan second. All in favor.

After determining that the membership was in favor of taking a public stand on the referendum and that individuals were committed to getting the vote out, discussion about the most effective way of taking a "public stand" were discussed. The general sense of the membership leaned towards having MEEOA endorse the campaign to protect gay and lesbian individuals from discrimination through a paid advertisement.
Bridget Mullen moved that MEEOA contribute up to $200.00 to get MEEOA's name on an advertisement endorsing the VOTE No campaign. Karen Mc Cosker second. All in favor.
Maureen Ferriter, as President of MEEOA is charged with researching advertising opportunities.

Fundraising: MEEOA T-shirts are nearly sold out. We still have pins and note cards. Membership felt that we should continue to market the cards but hold off on investing in more
T-shirts until we have an event around which we could sell them.

Mentoring: MEEOA is launching a mentoring program for new Trio personnel. We currently have 14 new Trio people in Maine. MEEOA will facilitate the matching up of mentor to new staff.

Policy Seminar:
MEEOA would like to send 2 Alumni this year. We have a few suggestions but welcome others. Also intend to send one professional and the MEEOA president.

Strategic Planning
: Judi Look recapped the strategic planning work that was accomplished over the last year and thanked those individuals who participated in our May `97 meeting at Orono.

Jerry Ellis reminded us that the strategic planning process requires: Mission, Values, Vision,
Goals, Objectives, Strategic steps, Stakeholders/Resources/Capacity, Evaluation, Re-focus.
The process fails, he added, when there is: lack of ownership, no performance measures or no connection between a plan and the real world of the association.

Jerry urged us to go back to our original goals and evaluate our capacity to meet them. He asked that the members break into 3 smaller groups made up of a cross-section of TRIO program staff to brainstorm ideas regarding our two main goals (Professional Development & Advocacy) and MEEOA's capacity to meet these goals. Each group reported back . The following is a summary of those brainstorms:

Capacity to do Professional Development:
day long retreats
more formal mentoring of staff
increase the membership: half price, inducements
leadership development scholarships
rethink the timing of the annual conference
increase administrative support of membership and conference
fact sheets on technology

Capacity to do Advocacy:
continue or efforts to stay in touch with Washington Reps.

Many thanks to all the participants and presenters who braved the ice storm to attend our 1998 Conference!!