The board met Oct 21 and 22, 2016 in New York City. Corinna, Barbara, Noel, Amy, and Rachel in the room were joined by Elena and new board member Melinda Russial via video conference. Demetri was not feeling well and was unable to attend. Thanks to PriceWaterhouseCoopers for donating the airy and well-appointed meeting space convenient to public transportation.
We are thrilled to welcome Melinda Russial to the board. The meeting was very productive and covered a lot of ground in slightly less than 2 days.
The board unanimously approved the slate of officers for 2017:
President - Corinna Snyder
Vice President – Melinda Russial
Secretary - Noel Kropf
Treasurer - Barbara Uhlemann
Board Members – Elena Erber, Amy Mills, Demetri Tashie
Elena Erber reported that the marketing committee has been meeting regularly, updating the website and posting to social media. The last newsletter was published in June, and a fall newsletter is in the works. The committee would like to recruit volunteers and get administrative help. Over the next year their big goal is to engage staff to “project manage” marketing, with assistance from volunteers. Elena reported on the committee’s activities and plans in the following areas: Social Media, E-News, Advertising, Promotional materials, Fall fundraising mailing, Merchandise, and onsite promotion (Golden Festival, etc).
Rachel MacFarlane (general manager) reported on east and west coast camps. Advertising started a little earlier this year than last. Registration was robust at both workshops. “Next Generation” meetings at both camps laid groundwork to more inclusion of under-40 folks. Iroquois Springs (IS/East) camp provided an ideal space to mourn the loss of Vassil Bebelekov, a great musician, friend and EEFC community stalwart. IS featured several talented Greek-Americans involved with their traditional folk culture, while Mendocino (West) was graced by an outstanding band of Chalgija musicians from Macedonia. The board plans to continue and expand conversations and relationships with advisors from various communities and regions. The board encourages EEFC committees and the community to continue and expand outreach – especially to ethnic communities from the Balkans, and to young people.
Treasurer Barbara Uhlemann, took us through the EEFC’s finances over the course of both days. We are in very good shape. FY’16 Financial Reports show operating income was slightly larger than expenses, so we ended FY ’16 fully in the black. Memberships plus donations (excluding scholarships) this year exceeded $55K, a record high. Scholarship and Nest Egg contributions were over $23K, for total $78K giving. The board decided to consolidate the “Nest Egg” and “Lifetime Membership” funds into a single restricted fund dubbed the endowment fund which totals approx. $100K. The original purpose of these funds was to generate interest income for operations while retaining the principal, however CDs no longer return 5%. We reviewed investment strategies available for this combined fund and decided to invest it in a mix of no-load equity and bond index funds. The board agreed on a guideline to expend up to 5% of the endowment per year on a case by case basis. The board agreed to shift some scholarship money from Crum/Kef fund to Cocek Nation. The board adopted a budget for FY17.
The program committee reviewed feedback from both camps, including camper evaluations and the “next generation” meetings. There are always lots of good suggestions, and criticisms. The program committee will work with teachers to get more information about classes and instructors, with the goal of posting more detailed class descriptions online. Other suggestions included more free time, more free spaces and jam opportunities, and a kids kafana acoustic space at Mendo. The committee is looking for ways to support mentors and young leaders in our camps, to create contexts for people to connect, and ways to engage new campers.
The scholarship committee was represented by Barbara Uhlemann. The board wishes to have more interaction with the scholarship committee. Melinda will serve on the scholarship committee this year.
Amy Mills reported on The development committee. Linnea Mandel joined the committee last spring. A spring outreach drive contacted 170 people who hadn’t renewed memberships from 2015. We raised a record $20K in scholarships this year. Membership goal was exceeded at 144%, general unrestricted donations were lower at 73%. The committee has reached out to some potential large donors. Linnea tried bringing the west coast donation store to east coast. The committee has a number of regular fundraising activities planned and initiatives to try out over the coming year.
Corinna and the administration committee are thrilled that Melinda Russial joined the board. The committee will revisit and reinvigorate our recruitment efforts. The committee confirms that EEFC bylaws, dated 5/23/2016, were unanimously adopted by the board. These bylaws reflect the EEFC’s current structure and board procedures. We will publish them on the EEFC website and THEY are currently shared here. The board discussed committee chairs and agreed on some goals and responsibilities we would like all committee chairs to take on.
Noel reported that the tech committee has imported all historical data into Salesforce and expects to have the system ready to replace FileMaker in early January.