August 16, 2012 (11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)
The meeting was called to order by Shepard Nevel at 11:50 a.m.
After a correction to a misprint of his name, a motion was made by Patrick Pugh to approve the June 21, 2012 meeting minutes; it was seconded by Nancy Accetta and carried unanimously.
Bernie Buescher gave the Finance Committee update saying when the 2012 budget was prepared it didn’t adequately recognize timing of grants. The Daniels Fund grant was budgeted for $100K earlier in 2012 but hasn’t been received. A grant to the Colorado Health Foundation (CHF) is also pending for ~$400K. Both grants caused a big variance on budgeted revenue. Bernie said on the expense side the organization is fine with expenses ~$7K under budget. This timing issue with the two large grants has caused a temporary cash shortage creating the need for the Board to authorize a transfer of $50K from the restricted Board reserve to the operating account. Bernie recommended authorizing Jean to make an additional transfer up to $50K in September if necessary if grants aren’t received at that time. Laura Stanley asked how much money is currently in the reserve account and Bernie said $260K. Patrick asked when the grant money is expected. Jean McSpadden said the Daniels Fund is meeting on the 21st and if approved CBB will get $100K in September and another $100K in December once the strategic plan ideas have been implemented. Since the plan wasn’t laid out when the grant was submitted to the Daniels Fund the program officer is presenting the trustees with a double ask which is unusual and fortunate. Jean said she’s also expecting money from the Phil Anschutz Foundation which is new money, AV Hunter Trust and the Piton Foundation in the next few weeks equating to $175K+ by the end of September or October. Bernie said when this grant money comes in the money taken out of reserves will be paid back. Jean added the CHF grant is expected for November and there will also be gala revenue coming in. Bernie made a motion to authorize the transfer of $50K from the Board reserve into the operating account immediately and up to another $50K if necessary in September. Liz Kincannon seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. Laura asked if the $50K was needed to cover new salaries and Jean said the salary expenses are way under budget and should even out at the end of year. Patrick asked if this transfer would only get CBB through September and if funding would need to be revisited in October. Jean said there should be ample funding by the October Board meeting. Although the policy allows a 12-month window for repayment of funds taken out of reserves Jean said her goal is to repay the money by December 31st. Shepard said the bad news is the timing of grants but the good news is revenue of $175K that is anticipated to come in that wasn’t included in projected revenue.
Shepard welcomed Leah Martinez to share her experience as a home visitor. Leah had an internship with MDBB through Metro State this summer where she’s working on a Psychology degree. One family she visited had an 18-month-old son and the parents were concerned about his lack of vocabulary and that he was babbling more than speaking words. Leah said he was exposed to 4 different languages between the parents and babysitter and after observing interactions between the mom and baby noticed a lack of verbal communication on the part of the mom. She discussed activities to do around the home to stimulate language development and talked more about how learning multiple languages can sometimes cause a delay in language. She said it was good for the family to have an outsider make observations and provide ideas they hadn’t considered. Shepard asked if Leah would be following up with the family and she said she could definitely call or do a follow up visit. She said more follow up would probably be beneficial for some families. Leah said the thing she likes about the CBB materials is that it’s good info regardless of the families’ economic status. She said CBB tends to focus on lower income families but a lot of higher income families don’t know what they’re doing when raising children. She also sees a need to go to where families are instead of asking them to come to groups. She said it would be good to do visits at produce fairs and other events instead of just handing out brochures for families to sign up for a visit. Leah said she also sees a gap in the metro area since she feels MDBB focuses on Broomfiled, Westminster and Parker and there isn’t much of a focus in Aurora. Patrick asked if it would be beneficial to have email or text reminders to families to talk to and read to their child throughout the year. Leah said it might work for some families but for others it might be good to have something to put on the wall or fridge as a visual reminder.
Shepard asked if bringing in volunteers/families at the start of Board meetings is useful and Liz said yes, it helps the Board stay connected to the work happening in the community. Greg agreed.
Greg gave a Board development update presenting a potential candidate to the Board for consideration. Eric Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of SE2, a very active and prominent media and policy communications firm. Eric has an extensive media marketing background which is an area of expertise lacking on the Board and within the organization. Greg said he would like to recommend him to the Board now rather than waiting for the next meeting in order to get him to possibly help with the gala. He said Eric seems very committed and ready to go. Shepard said Eric possesses critical skills of high level media and communications experience. He said Jean and several Board members will be meeting with Eric later in the month and said after the conversation if he decides to join he could be brought on before the next meeting. Nancy said he has a very impressive resume and would be a great addition. She asked if SE2 would be a potential corporate donor as well. Bernie said SE2 might not be a major donor but they have an enormous number of contacts that could be helpful. Shepard said Eric would probably also be willing to donate his time to be on a sub-group of the Board to discuss earned media opportunities especially around the evaluation results. CBB has under communicated the research behind programs and there are also under cultivated opportunities with speakers for the luncheon. He said Eric would be able to provide input on how to use social media and traditional media to better serve our customers. Greg Geissler made a motion to move forward with Eric Anderson allowing the Chair of the Development Committee to formally invite him to join the Board if the meeting at the end of the month goes well. Liz Kincannon seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Nancy Accetta next gave the gala update asking everyone to complete and return the questionnaire that she previously emailed. The theme of the 2012 gala will be “Good Night Moon” and it will be held at the Grand Hyatt on November 15th with Jim Fay as the speaker. The Committee decided to switch back to a dinner as there is potential for more money. There will not be an honoree this year. She said the goal is to net $100K (the room can hold up to 400 people). Nancy said Terri Biddinger has a contact with the Grand Hyatt and gets a good deal with them working out to about $75 per head. Nancy said she would fully expect each Board member to put together at least one table at minimum (more if possible). She asked members to look over the sponsor list to see who they know and if there are calls they would be willing to make or letters they could sign. Jean said to let Nancy know if there are potential sponsors not on the list. Shepard said it would be great to have all Board members fill at least one table and identify at least one new sponsor. Robynn Krueger is working on the silent auction and would appreciate help soliciting items – especially experiential things (balloon rides, etc.) or ones with a moon theme. Jean added that the packet handed out included the annual Board commitment form and to please look it over and fill it out.
Jean then welcomed Christopher Price as the new COO. She said he has a wonderful background in unusual areas that will help advance CBB into the 21st century. She said at the end of the month they will be meeting with Shepard, Steve Berman and Liz Kincannon about doing a CEPA evaluation roll out to key stakeholders. She said it will be great for Eric to step in and help get the word out. The details haven’t been worked out but it will be similar to the CHF rollout of their report card but on a much smaller scale. Liz said given the timing it could be good to incorporate some of the outcome data into the gala to share with everyone in a fun way (i.e. facts at the auction tables or Greg said on cocktail napkins). Shepard said it’s great to have Dr. Berman and Dr. Kincannon with health expertise as the messengers of such an important message. Jean said the affiliates would be invited to the CEPA rollout and would stay afterwards for a meeting. Greg said being able to have the Board and affiliates together would be very helpful. Jean said no date has been set but will be determined at the end of the month after their meeting. She said affiliates are excited about this opportunity. Jean said she’s been going around the state meeting with affiliates this summer and is still planning on making visits to the mountain region. She’s working on ways to develop and enhance communication with affiliates. She said currently CBB has monthly conference calls with affiliates and Marion gets emails and calls from them on a daily/weekly basis. She said there’s also been discussion about doing an interactive blog.
Laura said she was shocked not to get any communication from the Board after the last meeting and then the first communication came from irate affiliates. She said it’s not good to not have affiliate/funder confidence. She said Shepard said affiliate relationships would be at the top of the agenda for the meeting and she would like to know how affiliates are currently feeling. Jean said good – she’s had wonderful meetings with them and several phone calls with Ruth Seedorf since. Patrick asked the general theme coming out of communications with affiliates or if there’s something in particular they’re looking for? Jean said Ruth in particular expressed feeling disconnected from the Board probably because her son was the former chair and she serves in an E.D. role in Yuma. Jean said the Board minutes do go to all affiliates once approved. She said the messaging is transparent it’s just figuring how to best deliver messages and work on ways to keep affiliates feeling more connected to the state office. Patrick asked if it would be helpful if affiliates could make presentations to the Board to feel more involved. Nancy said that used to be done and the Board enjoyed them but the affiliates themselves at some point said they weren’t useful and were more of a nuisance. She said they also tried matching Board members with affiliates across the state but it didn’t work either. Laura said the first communication affiliates had about changes came from Amy Slaughter. There had been no communication about the strategic plan or the future of the organization. Shepard said Jean’s site visits have helped with this. Laura said her understanding is the affiliates are still confused. She said as Board members we need their confidence, especially affiliates like Ruth and Ida who have seen the organization go through ebbs and flows over the years. She said she still senses uneasiness with affiliates. Shepard agreed affiliates are a high priority since they constitute more than 50% of our business. Laura then asked if there is still a Metro Denver program since CBB got rid of the Manager and the reorganization happened so quickly. She asked who is doing visits in the Denver area. She also suggested Ida’s idea was a good one of an evaluation of the strategic plan. Shepard said affiliates would definitely be welcome at Board meetings and could call in for presentations. Nancy said this only stopped because of the affiliates. Jean said she didn’t talk to affiliates specifically about Board meetings but said they’re extremely busy juggling multi programs. She said affiliates have great relationships with various programs around the state such as NFP and Head Start. She said she’s anxious to see an overlay of how affiliates line up programming to see where there’s cross over around state. Laura said what CBB does really does affect affiliates and she didn’t realize that until the past month. Liz said the good news is everyone’s re-energized and reinstituting the affiliate presentations may be good to facilitate more direct communication. She said change is a good time for opportunity. Shepard said there is also a higher level of interest on the Board and there will probably be more engagement this time with affiliate calls.
Jean said she also hired a Manager of Volunteer Services who’ll spend the bulk of her time in MDBB but will be a model of how to implement volunteer programs around the state. She’s putting together a task force of volunteers and is hoping Laura will head it up. Jean said she’s also working on a proposal to Piton around the Children’s Corridor. She said it will be a $50K proposal to provide a BB to every baby born in the Corridor. Her goal is to have the Mayor sign a Warm Welcome letter to start every baby off right. She said this will be a model to use across Denver and the state. Jean said they’re also looking into how to increase intensity of impact. Shepard said this is one of the most exciting new phases of BB and could provide some rich funding opportunities. Jean said her goal is to do an evaluation of kids who have had CBB visits who are now at programs like the Denver Preschool Program or Clayton and continue evaluating their success at ages 3, 4 and 5. She said soon CBB will have an evidence based program!
Christopher Price introduced himself and said it’s his fourth day on the job. He’s planning on looking at the different constituents at CBB and breaking them down further to learn more about potential as well as capacity. He mentioned he was recently informed he’ll be issued a patent on data gathering techniques so he’ll be able to help CBB collect data and put it to use. Christopher said he’s gotten paid a lot of money in the past trying to figure out the minimum level of service in order for stakeholders not to leave. He’s happy to now have a job figuring out how to get the most satisfaction out of stakeholders. He said the affiliates are the most important connections and over time these most critical relationships have been neglected. He needs to figure out how and why and how to foster those relationships. He said community based tools are what people want to see. He said he’s taught a lot of people how to use social media strategy but the problem is its short term. 96% of people who click “like” never return to the page which means there’s no further engagement or tracking. He said the correct way to use the tools is to continue the conversation and continue to track and collect data. Christopher said he has a lot of friends to engage to get us evidence which will be helpful to CBB as well as partner agencies. He said CBB was designed to make Colorado the best place to raise a child and that some Board members have even more ambition to look nationally. He said his job is to get CBB to the point that it’s scalable. He said interaction/communications can’t be automated but systems will be automated to make things more efficient. Liz said this is awesome work for 4 days. Shepard asked the timeline to have community building tools on the website with internal metrics/ dashboards. Christopher said once he has control of the website he could do it in a day for free.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:35 by Shepard Nevel.
Attendees at CBB Board Meeting on 8/16/2012:
Board Members (In alphabetical order):
CBB Staff Members:
Unable to Attend: