CoNPS Board Meeting Minutes of the Operations Committee
December 18, 2016, home of Jessica Smith

Attending: Mo Ewing, Jessica Smith, Renee Galeano Popp, Denise Wilson
Attending by phone: David Julie, Amy Yarger (for first 30 minutes)

  1. Feedback & Status of Vote for Operations Committee – Cecily and Erica did not vote yet; everyone else has agreed. That gives over 80% consensus, which is the basic guideline that we established.
  2. Spokesperson for our Committee – Renee will do it and will ask us if not a clear decision
  3. Closed Meetings? – No (must be transparent to the board)
  4. Status of Resignation Announcements to public membership
    1. Personal letters to 6 resigning Board members – Denise has personal thank you letters, will mail out
      1. Renee: Should Jan’s letter instead say that she has resigned from the role of Co-president instead of resigning from the board? Yes, Denise will change
      2. Renee: Lenore resigned from Board member at large, but is still Denver Chapter President, change her letter too? Yes, we will.
    2. Public letter from Charlie & Jan – still waiting on letter, they say they will get it to us by 12/18/2016; Denise: plan B – announce it on Wednesday via eNews.; Renee will ask Jen to put it in eNews by Thursday or sooner (or Mo to ask Linda), and wait on the letter before sending
    3. Announcement in Aquilegia – No (won’t come out until Summer Issue)
    4. Announcement in eNews (Yes, hopefully by Wednesday, Dec. 21st)
  5. Status of Insurance Policies
    1. Mo: Mo: We have an application in to get insurance covering board members, employees, and the organization CoNPS, and CoNPS volunteers (unclear when finalized)
      1. We are adding the new insurance on to the existing liability policy
    1. Field trip participants are not covered under this (only field trip leaders); we will still keep using the liability waivers for field trip participants
  1. Status of Employees-to-be
    1. Sending out the Employee Contracts: Mo will fix the one for Jen, and Renee will send today; Mo will send Linda’s; and David has already emailed contract to Ronda
    2. Payroll Service – Denise chose TLC payroll service (in Fort Collins); employees will need to get trained to use their software, and not sure how they will be trained? Checking into it with payroll service.
      1. Denise has sent report on this
      2. There is much which needs to happen soon to get this in place – she will need information from the employees and coordination from each employee’s Board liaison
      3. We need the employees to accept their employment contracts first
      4. Should Denise communicate with the employees directly about payroll system, but will check with the liaisons first? We agreed Yes; Denise will CC board liaisons on any communication (David, Mo, Renee)
      5. Board liaisons to employees will go into payroll system and approve the hours for each monthly employee; also will communicate that all employees need to get hours in on time or all paychecks will be late. Mo offered to do this, as he has been approving the hours already.
      6. Mo to assign Linda the job of creating the template for recording hours and on which project; this adds project columns to the spreadsheet so that we can easily see where employees are spending their time.
      7. Linda will get a monthly entry for the payroll deductions
      8. $68/month for payroll service x 12 = $816 and annually $72.25 for W2 and W3 transmittal; total is $888.25 per year
    3. Administrative Coordinator’s hours, rate & duties
      1. Currently 45 hrs per month now and could increase 5 hours if needed (in contract); Linda can’t take less hours, but could take up to an extra 5 hrs per month (according to conversation with her)
      2. We suggest Linda will do eNews – to reduce hours of Jen
      3. Reports to Mo
    4. Marketing and Membership Coordinator – hours, rate & duties
      1. David: We need to communicate with Jen about her status; Mo: We should decide today on the employment contract and send them out today or tomorrow
      2. Renee to send Jen the employment contract
      3. We had given Jen an original job offer by Charlie of $20 an hour for 20 hours per week; but we cannot honor that now due to less funds; We are now offering $19 an hour for 10 hours a week; We are also paying FICA and Workmen’s Comp which is a benefit which will constitute a 7.25% raise
      4. Mo: In order to determine Jen’s salary, he added all of the potential revenues from the programs she will run, $3000 annual meeting West slope; $1225 Garden Tours, $4400 Denver and Boulder plant sales, $1500 Colorado Gives Day. The total was $10,000. If we ran these programs at break-even, the $10,000 could be used to cover Jen’s staring salary; In her job description we encourage her to create new revenue programs other fundraising activities, and if she does so she can “earn” more hours. So our offer $10,000 is a guaranteed base salary.
        1. In her contract we could add something like: “we encourage her to set up new programs, which would enable us to increase her hours as she brings in more revenue. The process would work as follows: She makes a proposal to the Operating Committee to create a new event, we estimate how much revenue it will raise, and then decide how many additional hours it might take, and finally we accept her proposal for more hours based on the revenue estimated.
        2. The Committee accepted this proposal, so Mo will add this proposal to her contract as well as an addendum explaining how the program will work
      5. Currently eNews (2 hrs per week) – will be given to Linda to reduce Jen’s hours
      6. Reports to Renee
    5. Workshop Coordinator’s hours, rate & duties
      1. Reports to David; Ronda said she will not do field seminars in the summer; could Jen do it?
      2. Leave Ronda’s duties as stated in contract in 2017
  2. Proposal regarding The West Slope Chapters – Mo
    1. SW chapter struggling due to geographic isolation: John Bregar (president of the SW Chapter) is having trouble finding speakers for SW chapter; would love to have a speakers bureau and was willing to volunteer himself; Jan Turner is currently working on this project; Renee volunteered to be in the bureau; John Bregar also was lukewarm about running a plant sale; concerned East Slope conferences are too far for his members to attend; but hi is not inclined to pull his chapter out of state society
    2. Steven Stern (Plateau Chapter president) has trouble finding volunteers; Ronda did two workshops which were a success; but those workshops were not advertised on website or eNews. Jan Turner organized even field seminars which were on the West Slope, but Steven’s perception was that there were only two; His chapter is not able to pay speakers an honorarium it they are from far-way; he needs a local speakers bureau; eNews only promotes east slope activities; (Renee – their events would be promoted in eNews if they sent descriptions to Jen.
    3. Renee – We need better communication between chapters and committees, and better advertising on what is going at the chapter level.
    4. Mo: need to make it clear that Ronda and Jen will be working for the chapters this year; Denise: they need to talk by phone – get the chapter president feedback; Renee: proposal to full board in March about this?
    5. Mo’s Proposal:
      1. Hire a West Slope Coordinator, to run workshops, field seminars, and the annual conference on West Slope; Renee: would we sever those from Ronda and Jen from this? Mo: Yes, ask Ronda to concentrate on SE chapter instead of traveling west.
      2. Mo: the coordinator would do West Slope Conference, perhaps a one-day meeting with talks in morning and field trips in afternoon. This would be the West Slope’s annual meeting.
      3. Mo recommends that we have another Annual Conference on the East Slope. If Jen did the West Slope conference it might not generate enough revenue to cover her salary because meetings on the West Slope have historically attracted about 40- 60 people. An East Slope Conference would probably attract 80-100 attendees and would generate more revenue for her salary.
    6. Renee: conference takes so much work and volunteers – do we have the people to do this? The new coordinator would still need help.
    7. Mo talked with Gay, and she thought a meeting in late May would be better because the sagebrush flora would be in full bloom for the field trips. Jessica talked with her too, and she agreed to also look at open dates in the fall.
    8. Coordinator would also evaluate the possibility of garden sales in each chapter. This person would be encouraged to make maximum use of volunteers, and work directly with chapter presidents (as staff for them); we would provide supervision, training, employment services, develop a speakers bureau of people from west slope, and West Slope eNews (there are 160 chapter members there).
    9. Funding – We would do the same proposal which we are with Jen; We would need to front-end $2,000 – $3,000 to get this person started; would be self-funding, with programs (salary would be $17/an hour); we would draw the up-front money from our surplus operating funds ($29,000 at this point). The Coordinator would report to one member of the Operating Committee.
    10. Should we also be paying Ronda by the hour? Ronda is there during the entire workshop – lots of hours – Could she find a volunteer to open the room? Or just have her there for the first hour. If she stays, maybe stay on her own time?
    11. We will not make decision today; share this proposal with chapter presidents in SW and Plateau chapters and get their feedback first?
    12. Mo will share this proposal with two west slope presidents
  3. Annual Meeting Update

a. See proposal above – but we will plan have a West Slope Conference in Gunnison, with or without the proposed coordinator; (Jen can help with conference from afar if needed)

b. We may do an East Slope conference if possible (if M&M coordinator can run it), and Mo proposed SE conference.

9. Status of Jessica’s legal research

    1. Legal Non-profit Workshop Feb 15th – Jessica sent in a request to participate, and emailed out a report including a list of potential questions for legal counsel
    2. Roles of Board – We have a manual of board; Mo will send to Jessica. She will review it and Denise as secretary can send a final copy to Board (Renee: We should work to having this in DropBox)
    3. Employee Manual – Amy drafted, and Jessica will send out to group

10. Horticulture Chair

a. Amy Yarger or other person? Mo will ask her; Renee believes in panning the committee for volunteers rather than selecting someone we know best.

11. Retain committee chairs as voting members?

a. This is would affect David Julie – but board can delegate responsibility to anyone they choose. David’s role in the committee and how we should operate going forward should be two separate things. David can still serve on this committee.

b. We agree that committee chairs should not be voting members of the board. They will not sit on the board, but they can attend meetings (and we can send them notices of meetings).

c. Board did vote on it, but never added it to the bylaws. No change required.

12. Next meeting for committee – 12/28/2016 7pm via phone (Jessica’s phone)

13. Minutes: With Jessica’s comments (re-sent to Denise today), Denise will send out 12/10/2016 interim operations committee minutes to full board

14. Full board meeting in January

a. Agenda items? Feedback on all of this needed?

b. Mo: Ask them if they even need a meeting?

c. Tabled decision to next meeting


1. Diminish email correspondence? More next meeting, but brief comments from Renee: 1) Spokesperson for the group is intended to help. 2) We did briefly discuss that there are 2 sides to the coin. On one side if we save everything up for when we meet, we have too much to discuss. If we email we can reduce the number of things needing to be discussed. Oh and 3) The whole OC concept should be reducing emails overall although perhaps not for us.

  1. How will we advertise for new Board president?