March 20, 2017 Operations Committee Minutes

Minutes Operations Board meeting, March 20, 2017 by phone  
Attending: Jessica Smith, Mo Ewing, Denise Wilson, David Julie & Amy Yarger

1. West Slope Workshop Coordinator Position:  

    a. Mo did talk with Chapter presidents again and they are interested in having someone to run workshops only, but no other events.  
    b. David talked with Ronda, and she has a recommendation for someone for this position.   Ronda does not want to do West Slope Workshops or Field Seminars.  Ronda recommends Julie Knudson, Grand Junction, for this position of West Slope Coordinator.  She has shown interest.  David & Ronda & Mo will get on a conference call with Julie to vet her.
    c. Discuss compensation for both West and East Slope Workshop Coordinators (changing model for paying Ronda?) 

1) David reports that Ronda is fine with her compensation, except for when she has an overnight hotel stay and gas.  If the workshop coordinator is reimbursed for this, it becomes a regular cost of the workshop.  David will write this up and run it by us.
2) Only local instructors, so no travel expenses for them.
3) Collector fees? No, on paying these fees.

3. Potential Budget shortfall – can we cut anything?

1) Increase our income using Jennifer’s idea of commercial native plant projects for restoration and landscaping.  We need to stay within our IRS designation for non-profit status by not exceeding 33% of our gross income.  We will use a goal of $10,000.  David will write this up and run it by us.
2) General feeling was that costs cannot be cut without it hurting the society.

4. Results from Legal Clinic, which Mo and Jessica attended Feb. 15th (free service provided through our membership with the Colorado Nonprofit Association.)

a. Issue of employees attending board meetings; the legal counsel says that this is OK as long as they are not present when employment issues are discussed

1) Advised using one employee to supervise the others.   For right now, we will use our liaisons, David and Mo.
2) Employees should not have a contract – should be “At-will”.
3) Jessica has drafted a Conflict of Interest policy to vote on at the full Board Meeting.  She has volunteered to be the Compliance Officer (if we choose that route), and will need to recruit and train up an alternate.
4) Having clear duties for each Board member.
5) Clarify our By-Laws, re: Officers and Board Members.  Would need the full Board to vote on this.
6) Each Committee should have a Charter, re: Mission.  Mo will work on these.
7) Finance Committee – should give Mo some back up and protection.
8) What went wrong? Should we have a Conflict of Interest Form for employees to sign? It’s important to have the conversations.  Direct continued contact averts many potential problems.
9) Notes from the Legal Clinic – Jessica will send these to the full Board.

b. Status of Conflict of Interest/Whistleblower/Code of Conduct form

1) Rules for how you interact with others.  CoNPS – Consistently Positive & Supportive!
2) Denise as Secretary doing 2016 tax return.  The Board has not voted on the Conflict of Interest Policy yet.

5 Jack Carter would like to continue being an advisor to the board; include on minutes and invite him to the board meetings.

6. Distributing garden guides to chapters – Linda will distribute equally. It’s up to chapter president if they want to use them in a workshop for free or sell them for $3 at events. $3 was the cost Linda thought appropriate on the bookstore website.  We have a surplus of Guides from the Landscaping with Native Plants Conference.  Let’s give 25 to each Chapter, and they may request more.

a. We also now have a surplus donated from the Landscaping with Natives Conference. Inventory: Front Range – 103, mountains – 125, plains/prairie – 136, western slope – 145, se co – 136,
645 total.

7. Botany Bill – Denise reported on what she learned in DC.

a. Three attachments – 1. Why endorse the Botany Bill? 2. The Bill summary; 3. Resources sheet.  b. Denise will write the Action blurb and send it to us for review.  Then this will be sent to Chapter Presidents, and to Jennifer and Linda to broadcast.

8. Jan thought she would need materials for the summer issue of Aquilegia by June 15th. This should inform our deadline for vacancies for the Board.

9. Discussion on Mo’s proposed addition to the purpose of the mission grants.  We unanimously accepted, with one comment from Jessica (emailed later) to differentiate it from the CoNPS Research Grants. He also gave an update on funding for the mission grants.  He will put the updated statement on the website after sending to Jenny for comments. (4/28/2017 note: The final document is now on the web, https://conps.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/170310-Mission-Grant-Purpose.pdf)  The current balance of the Mission grants is $5694.26; the running balance from its inception starting Year 2014 (please see attached Mission Grants Activity Statement prepared by Mo.

10.  Collect agenda items for the next OC meeting, possibly before the next full Board meeting.

11. Table until summer – picking up box of things from Jan and Charlie to run board meetings.