March 24, 2013
Bruce Rodgers, the Regional Consultant for Habitat for Humanity International from Albany, NY, attended the meeting to advise and answer questions about the application process.
Overall, Habitat builds more houses outside of the US than within.
1. How are we doing so far?
● Application looks good so far -- we have a lot more to do, but Bruce is willing to help guide us at each step of the way
● He said it’s not just about completing the application, but really understanding and learning about what we will need to do once we start working
● Recommends saving and referring back to the application in the future
2. How do we attract more Steering Committee members?
● We started with holding an informational meeting, and then it became word of mouth
● The best way to recruit more is word of mouth -- recruiting community members we know who would make a positive contribution to the committee
● If we absolutely need more people, we can have another informational meeting, but Rodgers suggests that we should remain small for now and focus on the specifics that need to get done.
● We should be seeking out people with certain skills that would be of benefit
3. How can we attract people when we aren’t even up and running yet?
● It is hard, this is the “unglamorous part” with the work on the policies
● We need to be looking for people who realize that this phase of the affiliation process is vital and recruit them to work on each part of the application
4. How do we move from Steering Committee to Board?
● Typically, the Steering Committee just becomes the Board to start, following affiliation
● Habitat is a non-member organization...the Board constitutes itself
● Board positions are rotational depending on terms that we set
● Original board members should have 1, 2, and 3 year terms so that the turnover does not leave us with a completely new and unexperienced board each year
● What is required of a Board Member?
- 1 Board Mtg (1.5/2 hrs)
- 1 Committee Mtg (1.5/2 hrs)
- Committee Functions (varies)
- Minimum of 5-6 hours a month, Potential for 20-40 a month
5. What kind of support will Bruce give us?
● If we have trouble with any portion of the process, we can contact Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org
● Once we form subcommittees, each subcommittee can send their portion directly to Bruce for him to edit and send back
6. What are some of the usual challenges that we could face?
● Finding people with the interest, calling, time, and dedication to spend doing the behind the scenes work
7. What sort of timetable should we be using?
● The timetable is in our hands...there are a lot of variables that we can and cannot control
● If we are really motivated, we can get it done rather quickly
● Once the application is complete and approved, we are very close to starting work!
● We will instantly become tax exempt under HFHI which will save us time but we will still be independently incorporated
● We have to formally elect ourselves as board members at a meeting once incorporated (should we each decide that we would like to be a board member)
● We can advertise positions, but Rodgers warns that sometimes people come who are unaware of the extent of the responsibilities (these folks would be better suited as committee members)
● In the future, we need to select 2 people to head each committee and set a clear timeline for ourselves regarding the completion of the application
● Our goal is to get re-organized and make sure the application is consistent throughout
Submitted by Erica Bilodeau
Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County Vermont
Steering Committee Meeting Minutes
March 13, 2013
Attendees: Rob Geiszler, Dick Weis, Louise Duda, Sheila Alexander, Ed Dansereau,
Laura Napolitano, Bill Godair, Paul Brown, Sandie Loseby, Abigail Blair, Melissa
Hayden, Julia Quimby-Cohen, Ethan Jones, Sandy Gagnon
Rob reported that he and Chris Heintz met twice to continue work on the application and
asked the group to review the document he sent out via email. Comments and suggestions
should be sent to him. Rob will send our completed application section 1 to Bruce Rogers
for review. Louise will send section 3 to the Habitat email address for inclusion in our
Google Drive and sharing with the group.
Rob reported that Bruce Rogers, our consultant from HFHI to help us through the
affiliation process, will be arriving on Friday March 22 and will meet with us at 7pm at
the conference room at Grace Church. The group developed a list of questions for Bruce
to address during that meeting to help us proceed in our process.
Julia reported on arrangements she made with the College of St. Joseph in Rutland. Food
for the day will be $10 per person. She has collected nametags and markers and has
made signs to help direct guests to the college. Julia offered to collect money and register
attendees. Sandie and Sheila offered to serve as docents to help folks find where they are
going. Saturday’s meeting will start at 9:30 and our group is being asked to be there at
9:00 to help set up and prepare.
Louise reported on the visit members of our group made to the Bennington Habitat site.
They received a lot of very helpful and interesting information during that visit. Dick
Malley and Bennington Habitat are great resources for our group.
Rob and Chris met with NeighborWorks. There is a significant attention being directed
towards revitalizing the northwest section of Rutland city and our group is encouraged
to be a part of that effort. Rob will report more specific ways we can help at our next full
steering committee meeting.
All steering committee members are encouraged to attend the Friday March 22nd
meeting with Bruce Rogers at 7pm at Grace Church and the VT Statewide Affiliate
meeting at the College of St. Joseph’s on Saturday March 23rd at 9am.
Our next regular steering committee meeting has been rescheduled from April 10th
to April 17th at 7pm at Grace Church.
February 13, 2013 , 7pm
Attendees:Rob Geiszler, Dick Weis, Sheila Alexander, Ed Dansereau, Erica Billdeau, Ethan Jones, Louise Duda, Julia Quimby-Cohen, Laura Napolitano
The application process was put on hold for this meeting but the next steps are believed to be sections 4, 5, and 6. We will need to accelerate the affiliation process at the next meeting.
March 23rd is the Statewide Affiliate Meeting and we are hosting.
Julia secured the College of St. Joseph as the location.
She has been in contact with the President’s Secretary whose extension is x3236 and phone line is 776-5236.
The college was excited and wants to get more involved with our affiliate in the future and suggested that we get in touch with the Dean of Students (Rob Lukaskiewicz) and the Student Government Association.
CSJ has 2 options for rooms to use for the meeting: a large room in one of the halls with separate breakout rooms (with a projector), or rooms in the athletics facilities.
Julia needs a guestimate to share with CSJ
We will be able to eat in the dining hall and we were guarenteed it would be less than $10/person
We will need to provide breakfast items, lunch, and coffee and water.
We are guessing there will be about 60 people in attendance
Rob will talk to Neighborworks about possible “field-trip” destinations
There are 4 speakers, Dick Malley has been organizing that part of the meeting
We decided to reserve the large room and two break out rooms if needed
Julia will measure out a route and get directions to the College for the other affiliates to use, will email them to Sandy
RSVP date for meeting is Friday, March 8, 2013 @ Noon so that Julia can meet with CSJ to finalize the details
Rob will contact Dick Malley and update him so he can start contacting the other affiliates and get a headcount
We may need to get pens, paper, random supplies
We will need technology support day of
Julia will get us more information next Monday or Tuesday
We should look into discounts on hotels for the affiliates that need to drive far
Bruce from Albany is willing to meet with us before the meeting to aid us in the application process and other general issues we may have. He will come up Friday, 3/22 at the Church
Chris and Rob met with Neighborworks and their Board last week. They see a great opportunity to partner with them as they were assigned all of the mortgages from the previous Habitat affiliate. They want to survey Northwest Rutland neighborhoods to see what they think their neighborhood needs. It would be a door to door type survey that hopes to result in some project ideas for us. The emphasis is on getting the neighbors talking to each other and letting them come up with ideas rather than us imposing them on them.
Habitat for Humanity of Rutland County Vermont -Steering Committee Meeting - January 9, 2013
Present: Rob Geiszler, Abigail Blair, Melissa Hayden, Julia Quimby-Cohen, Louise Duda, Richard Weis, Ethan Jones, Paul
Brown, Sandy Gagnon
We briefly reviewed our current tasks (complete the application) and progress to date.
Proposed bylaws were presented and discussed. It was noted that we do not need to purchase board liability insurance
as Vermont’s 501 c-3 state statutes provides the needed protection. Our affiliate’s annual meeting was determined to
be the second Wednesday in June to coordinate with the fiscal year which is July 1-June 30 per HFHI requirements. A
motion was made to approve drafted bylaws for proposal to HFHI. This motion passed unanimously. (The bylaws may
be amended by the steering committee based on feedback from HFHI or steering committee members.)
We discussed whether to include a mandate in our bylaws for the Board of Directors to host a yearly open-house.
We agreed this is an important task and outreach activity. After consideration, a motion was made to designate
responsibility to the Board of Directors to host at least one open-house activity per year and to not include this task in
the Bylaws. This motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made to change the monthly Steering committee meeting to the second Wednesday of each month
rather than the first due to several scheduling conflicts. Motion passed unanimously.
The Governance sub-committee noted their work to date; documents related to sections 1.1 to 1.5 are drafted and
available on Google Drive for review in anticipation of formal approval at the February steering committee meeting.
Members are encouraged to review these prior to the February meeting.
The Partnership with HFHI sub-committee (section 2.1 of the application) continues its review of the HFHI documents
including the US Policy Handbook, Covenant, and Affiliation Agreement and informs the steering committee of the
requirements and suggestions as stated in these documents. We briefly discussed possible office and phone locations
including Grace Church and the Unitarian Church.
The Community Partnership sub-committee presented an initial draft of sections 3.1.1 – 3.2. We reviewed some of
the contacts made during our pre-application efforts and discussed the importance of ongoing outreach with area
businesses and organizations. This committee continues their work and will present their sections at the next meeting
following review and updating by their committee.
We will be hosting the Vermont spring state-wide affiliates meeting on March 23. Possible Rutland city locations
include South Station, the Unitarian Church, Grace Church. We also discussed Castleton State College as a potential
location. Stafford Tech’s culinary program was mentioned as a potential food service. A planning committee was formed
(Wheezie, Abby, Melissa, Julia, Richard & Ethan?). We will devote a portion of our March Steering Committee meeting to
brainstorming and preparing questions to take advantage of this opportunity.
Rob reported that in his last conversation with Bruce Rogers we were encouraged to begin and continue our fundraising
efforts as this is a big responsibility of affiliates. It was noted that checks should be made out to Habitat for Humanity
International (HFHI) with “Rutland Vermont” noted on the memo line. Checks need to be forwarded to Sandy who
submits them to HFHI with proper documentation for crediting our account.
It was stressed that all steering committee members need to continue their outreach to potential recruits for our
steering committee. Please invite/bring interested persons to meetings. We also need to continue our general outreach
to our 150 member email list and to the broader community.
The next steering committee meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2013 at 7pm at Grace Church.
Stay up to date with the affiliate! Here is where you will find updates from our meetings..