CoNPS Board Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2021
10 am – 1 pm

July meeting minutes can be found here:
Other supplementary documents can be found here:

Present: Amy Yarger, Elan Sutton, Carolyn Corlett, Kathy Maher, Denise Wilson, Pat Butler, Maggie Gaddis, Constance Roth, Susan Dingwell, Susan Janssen, Tom Zeiner, Anna Wilson, Andrea Longo, Mo Ewing, Ann Grant

Maggie Gaddis called the meeting to order at 10:00 am

1. Approval of July minutes – Amy – 5 minutes – Please see CoNPS Board Meeting minutes 7-23-21 DRAFT
a. Suzanne Dingwell motioned and Tom Zeiner seconded – all approved minutes for July 2021 board meeting

2. Annual meeting 2021 and 2022 – Denise

a. Pat Butler is leading steering committee for 2022 annual meeting hosted by Boulder chapter

i. For Boulder meeting, we should be prepared to host 200 attendees – last time we had 225 attendees
ii. Pat and colleagues are researching venues and have narrowed them down; venues are booking early; committee has met with manager at Longmont Museum ($2175), which has a lovely auditorium and is more accessible and less expensive than CU Boulder
iii. Tentative title is “Peaks to Prairies”, not sure if focus will be biodiversity or impacts of climate change, will depend on speakers
iv. Looking for more committee members to assist with conference planning!
v. Pat will get Anna Theodorakis’ email to Maggie

b. Trinidad meeting was a great success despite challenges – very persistent and helpful committee made it happen!

i. Some changes to budget and actuals for 2021 meeting – missing about $700 in sponsorships, as well as $900 that we didn’t spend for advertising
ii. Challenges:

1. COVID impacts may still impact in 2022 (require full vaccination and masks, offer virtual option)
2. Virtual option and recordings are more complicated and require more support
3. Changes to venue can mean higher ticket prices

3. Executive Director report – Maggie – 30 minutes – Please see CoNPS ED Report 10-23-21

a. Areas of focus are organizational management and resource development as well as growing our membership
b. Maggie is currently getting to know staff and volunteers, as well as chapters and committees
c. Please use calendar to promote chapter and committee events! Encourage people to register so that we can collect contact info and reach out to offer membership
d. In the future, Maggie will be working on a major donor program – her fundraising concept can be viewed here:
e. The website is currently under review – please help – if you notice any errors as you navigate the site, you can report via the website review form here:
f. Maggie will be working with chapters and committees to hold regular meetings in order to engage membership. Let’s start communicating the great work we’re doing throughout the state!
g. Maggie has been offered office space in a nonprofit co-working space – she would like confirmation that she can move forward with providing proof of insurance

4. Board and executive director roles – Mo – 30 minutes

a. Now that we have Maggie Gaddis as Executive Director, roles are changing. Questions and complaints now go to the ED, not a President/ Vice President. Mo recommends we review and update bylaws, as well as roles and responsibilities in CoNPS.
b. The President and Vice President roles will be smaller now that we have an ED – we may be more likely to find a president/ vice president. The Operating Committee was helpful during a transition.
c. Question: Do we think we should change the structure back to Pres/VP instead of OC? Is the previous structure viable

i. Suzanne suggested that it looks good for an organization to have a President
ii. Tom said we could put the option out there and see if we have any takers? Many chapters are led by committee currently
iii. We would need to make responsibilities very clear for Pres/VP – i.e. who does Maggie report to?
iv. Once we clarify roles, we will present to membership for feedback
v. Maggie said that having a leadership team can be more equitable (i.e. Denver team), but it can be a challenge to find time to meet
vi. Possible board structure could include executive committee (officers and committee heads) which would oversee personnel matters
vii. The Operating Committee will put together a structure proposal and present the board
viii. Ann Grant moved that we form a working group (organizational structure committee) to review bylaws and roles/ responsibilities

d. Question: Should the board include members with other kinds of expertise: law, finance, donors?

i. We can find people with that expertise who still support the mission – more diversity of expertise is valuable
ii. Some donors like the prestige of being named on the board – honorary positions, or development committee
iii. Diversity on the board can be energizing for the organization and increase outreach; working with partners and communities with climate change resilience for underserved sectors; Maggie has also been successful in increasing generational diversity
iv. Some members have left the society because they feel alienated by the society’s narrow focus. The calendar can be a tool to increase access and engagement. We need a cohesive engagement strategy for people we’ve never spoken to before:

1. For example, making board meetings public and being proactive in inviting people to the meetings
2. Tabling at public events such as farmer’s markets and seed shares – Education and Outreach committee used to do that, some events have fees to participate

5. Financial update – Mo – Please see 2021 Profit and Loss document through September 2021

a. 2021 has been a good year so far! Revenues higher than expenses. The biggest chunk of money we traditionally make is Colorado Gives Day, and historically, the annual meeting was a revenue driver, but we also make money from the plant sale and garden tours
b. Garden tours were very successful – $11K in revenues
c. Membership dues up 22% – Focus on getting website users and FB group to join
d. Plant Sale generated more revenue this year compared to last year
e. Expenses for Aquilegia are up – each edition cost about $300 more – Mo has reached out to Kelly to investigate
f. Employee expense is also up – partially due to Maggie’s salary which wasn’t budgeted for in 2021
g. Denise and Mo will clarify accounting errors – possible discrepancy with 2020 W2
h. For employees, there are months of heavy activity and lighter months, so salaries will be more in line by end of year

6. Webinar report – Kathy Okon – 10 minutes – Please see 2021 Webinar Report January 1 – October 23 2021

a. Kathy will send an end of the year report to the board, including evaluations
b. 15 or 16 webinars will/ have been offered in 2021 – exceeding target of 14/ year
c. Webinars provide expanded accessibility across state, expanding reach beyond Colorado
d. Topics must align with CoNPS mission, meet member’s interests and fit with online format
e. Evaluations have been very positive; net program revenue currently above $12K
f. Many thanks to our webinar presenters this year!

7. CAEE Award Update – Kathy Okon – 10 minutes – Please see 2021 Awards Invitation

a. November 4th , 2-430 pm, is the award ceremony at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden – let Kathy know if you’d like to attend!

8. Committee and chapter updates

a. Southeast chapter: Maggie is transitioning from chapter leadership. Curt Menz is taking over chapter leadership – planning lots of great events/ projects for next year. The chapter has been encouraging landowners to come speak about their properties and working with them to conduct bioblitzes and collect seeds. The chapter also works with the watershed district, the Manitou Pollinators and the horticulture arts society. They are also thinking about engaging with health partners.
b. We have about 11 committees, many limping along. Part of our reorganization should explore how many and what committees we have (i.e. combining Field Studies, Restoration and Conservation). COVID has made meeting and events tough. Maggie will be reaching out to the committees to meet with them.
c. Conservation Committee: We make public comment and co-sign with other environmental organizations for many issues. One big project is GMUG – Gunnison/Uncompahgre Forest. We avoid political issues and only comment on issues that affect native plants

9. Meeting schedule and venue 2022 – Amy – 10 minutes

a. Amy will send Doodle poll with 2022 meeting dates next week – board members please complete poll by November 15, 2021. Four (ideally quarterly) meeting dates will be selected based on when the most people are available.
b. Board meetings are always open to members! We will always have virtual option to allow for wider attendance and participation. Should we plan on in-person meetings in 2022?

i. In-person meetings can continue in 2022
ii. Possible venues: Maggie’s office in CO Springs
iii. Suzanne motioned to approve Maggie’s office space predicated on proof of liability insurance. Mo seconded. All approved and motion carried.
iv. Amy will put out request for other venues in the Doodle invite

c. Please update your contact info on the board contact list!

Recording of meeting and meeting minutes will be attached to CoNPS calendar event.
Mo asked if its ok to put the board meeting draft minutes on the “What’s New”? part of the website. Group agreed to continue putting approved board meeting minutes on the website.

Maggie adjourned the meeting at 12:20 pm