West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Minutes Of The WCPCA Board Meeting, February 6, 2012

Location: Home of Dorothy Soper

Attendees: Miriam Aiken, Keith Beyer, James Cloutier, Josette Greene, and Dorothy Soper

Guests: Vern Delk, Dale Dow, Sam Greer, and Shannon Micheel

  1. Welcome. Guests Dale Delk, Vern Dow, Sam Greer and Shannon Micheel were present to talk about the Northwest Regional Campout in August.

  2. Treasurer’s Report. Dale was not present, but he sent a treasurer’s report to the board in advance of the meeting. Dorothy prepared a summary of the WCPCA fund-raising figures for recent years, which is attached as Addenda, Item A.

    The checkbook balance is: $2,450.75

    The OCCU savings balance is: $4,038.24

    Total assets: $6,488.97

  3. Updates

    1. Newsletter – February newsletter was distributed to members and it was excellent.

      Dorothy announced that Felica Kenny, who has been editing and formatting the newsletter since its inception, has resigned from the board. We are all grateful to her for her efforts with the newsletter in addition to technical support for the group web site, membership database and directory. She will be missed. Dorothy will be reassigning some of the technical responsibilities to individuals and/or business services as soon as possible.

    2. Dorothy is going to be the moderator at a panel presentation at OASIS on February 22nd at 1:00. Other panel participants include James Cloutier, Julie Olson, and Hannah Klausman (U of O Peace Corps Recruiter). The topic is the “Peace Corps at 50”.

    3. Northwest Regional Meeting in Seattle on Saturday, March 10. As noted last month, SEAPAX is the organizer and host for the meeting, which takes part in half a day during the 2-day weekend. $100 has been allocated in the WCPCA budget to cover travel expenses to Seattle. At the business meeting, group representatives talk about what their groups have been doing in the past year to recruit new members. So far, James Cloutier and Joe HIndman are planning to attend.

    4. Vince Ceccaci had suggested smaller social events at restaurants or bars near the U of O campus. (See minutes for January 9th meeting.) Vince is willing to help with the events, which would be an opportunity for interaction among potential Peace Corps recruits, RPCVs and the campus Peace Corps representative. Sam suggested that Hannah contact the Portland RPCV group to see how they organized similar events. In Portland there was a specified location that was known to be the Peace Corps meeting place. Dorothy will contact Hannah to see if she is interested in working on this with Vince.

  4. Update on campus activities. Hannah was not present but sent the following note by email. (Note from Hannah, 2/6/12)

    March 1st, Peace Corps Day. There will be an information session happening that day on campus that I will be giving. I am asking some RPCV's on campus to come in and represent their Peace Corps Region, and Program area. Anyone that would like to be involved is welcome to come.

    Spring NOM party, The Wesley Center has been booked for May 4th. I am working with Lisa in Seattle and some campus contacts for the program. Any ideas that you would like I am more than open to and much appreciated. Prior to the NOM Party on that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we will have the Spring Street Faire. I will, of course, be looking for volunteers again so anyone interested please keep it in mind and I will email you closer to the date.

    Update on Placements. I was debriefed on available positions currently around the world and the way that PC is recruiting is changing. We are heavily looking at "Scarce Skills" and targeting specific skills. To be competitive it is very important to have either French or Spanish, and a minimum of volunteer hours is a must before applying. With limited positions I am forced to be a little more serious with students about picking up these skills before applying. Just wanted to give you a heads up as well when you run into students and the information that you give out. It is becoming more and more important for students to learn about what they will need well in advance of being ready to apply.

    Also, I will be starting up the social hour RPCV events that Justin also had. I will keep you updated on the times and dates that we decide.

  5. Potlucks. Josette reminded everyone of the first potluck to be held on Friday, February 10th at the home of Nancy and Tom English. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Serena Parcell (Swaziland 2008-2010) will speak about community health and HIV education in Swaziland. Her community education work included workshops for adults and weekend camps for young girls. She collaborated with World Vision and drew support from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Dorothy will ask Felicia to send an email to members with directions to Nancy and Tom’s home.

    The next potluck will be Friday, April 13th; no location has been determined.

    The fourth potluck will be Friday, May 4th, the NOM party, at the Wesley Center to honor newly recruited Volunteers.

    The summer potluck will be the annual picnic; the date and location are undecided.

  6. Campout in August. Sam Greer gave a report about the campsite at Sunset Bay for the August 2 – 5 Northwest Regional Campout. He had brochures from Sunset Bay as well as a draft email that will be sent to members asking for help with the campout. The email will include photos of the campsite and cooking pavilion. There is a schedule of activities for the site and the group meeting. The group activity is mostly a social event with a meeting at the potluck dinner in the Gazebo Meeting Hall. WCPCA is responsible for the dinner. Sam has bags of rice to use as a base for the dinner and participants will be asked to bring food that can be used over the rice. Felicia will create a web site for the campout so that members can apply for a campsite. Dale and Vern will be the local contacts for the campout, to answer questions about the location, food, and activities.

  7. National Peace Corps Association Annual Gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (See Items B, C, and D in Addenda for full information on these items.) The NPCA is going to revive annual gatherings and they are encouraging groups to send representatives to the meeting. Individual members are also welcome. Dorothy asked if anyone on the board was interested in attending.

    1. WCPCA has been asked to appoint a Group Advocacy Coordinator to serve as a liaison with NPCA Advocacy Program.

    2. Affiliation with the NPCA costs our group $90 (for a group size of 100 – 400 members). About 34 WCPCA members in the last year have joined WCPCA or renewed their membership through NPCA.  A lot of these new members are active PCVs, recently returned PCVs and a few other "first year" members.  These are people that we would not be in touch with otherwise. 

    3. The annual renewal documents from the NPCA include a survey of group leaders. Board members are encouraged to answer the questions about the group’s strengths and weaknesses and area where we could use help. Dorothy will compile our responses and return them to the NPCA.

    4. Item D in the addenda speaks to the NPCA mentoring program for newly returned Volunteers.

  8. Reassignment of Technical Responsibilities. See item 3.a, above, Newsletter.

  9. Sale of tee shirts and calendars. Dorothy confirmed the board’s commitment to the sale of tee shirts and the International calendars in 2012. James presented three possibilities for tee shirt designs. One was selected with a design of a photo of JFK and a quote from him. The front will have the small “dove-hands” logo on the upper left shoulder with another short quote by JFK. James will have a mock up for the potluck on Friday. James also gave the board cost estimates for printing and based on those estimates, but board approved ordering 36 shirts to be printed. Miriam will bring order forms.

  10. Committee for New Social/Fundraising Activities. Dorothy proposed to have a brainstorming or idea committee that would meet one or two times for about an hour each time. She hopes to generate ideas for social and cultural events combined with fundraising. If possible the committee would also identify people willing to carry out new activities, though that would not be the focus of the meetings. The board would follow up on the committee’s suggestions with respect to allocating funds and identifying people to work on activities. See Item E in the addenda.

  11. The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 5th. The April meeting will be Monday, April 9th at Dorothy’s house.

    Addenda to Board Meeting Agenda

    Dorothy Soper (2-9-12)

    1. Some fundraising figures:


      Calendar sales: $702 profit from the sale of 200 calendars for the year 2010

      Shirt sales: profit similar to figures below

      Dinner at Mekala’s: $521 profit  (This dinner was in February on the evening of the day that WCPCA hosted the northwest regional RPCV meeting.)


      Calendar sales: $1,369 profit for sale of 200 calendars for the year 2011

      Shirts: $280 profit; Bluegrass concert at Cozmic Pizza: $322 profit


      Calendar sales: $747 profit for sale of 198 calendars for the year 2012

      50th anniversary concert at Cozmic Pizza: great time but no profit 50th anniversary tee shirts: 60 shirts printed; 58 sold; approximate profit $450-$500

      Note that calendars are sold from the fall of one year through January of the following year.  For the calendar sales figures above I’ve combined the calendar income from two years to show the profit for the sale of calendars for a single year, i.e., for 2010 calendars, etc.

    2. Annual Gathering organized by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)

      “Thank you to all the group officers who responded to our survey about the date for the Annual Gathering. After compiling the survey results and discussing it with the NPCA Board of Directors, it was decided that the Annual Gathering would be taking place in Minneapolis, MN starting on June 29, 2012 and continuing to July 1, 2012. We are making sure to include opportunities for member groups to showcase their activities and recruit new members. Please stay tuned for more information. Please share this information with your members. You can direct them to this website for the basic information: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/annual-gathering. We are really looking forward to another gathering of RPCVs and friends of the Peace Corps!”

    3. “Renewing with NPCA: Why?  NPCA promotes/markets our groups, collects and processes group membership dues and deposits funds directly into group accounts monthly.  In return, NPCA member groups promote/market the NPCA and NPCA membership.  This annual renewal process confirms that these groups exist, that they are active and that they are fiscally responsible.”

      “We encourage all groups to be transparent in their governance and to post all relevant documents to their websites.  For many groups, much of the information needed is already posted.  If so, simply check the boxes here and submit the report.  If not, please attach copies of relevant documents.”

      “What’s new?  To strengthen the connections and voice of the Peace Corps community on matters of public policy and grassroots citizen lobbying, the National Peace Corps Association asks each NPCA Member Group to designate a Group Advocacy Coordinator to serve as a liaison with NPCA’s Advocacy Program.  Please add your group’s designated coordinator to the list group leadership section below.”

      “This year we have also included an optional piece that gives each group an opportunity to provide feedback about what NPCA offerings would be the most helpful to your group. We want to be sure that we’re doing our best to cultivate a great relationship between NPCA and the member groups.”

    4. Mentoring program for newly returned volunteers sponsored by NPCA and the Peace Corps:

      Last year three WCPCA members volunteered to be mentors through NPCA, which administers the program.  See details on the NPCA website.  To date we’ve received no requests but I can tell you what the assignment set up is. 

      Bill Stein who is the president of the RPCV group in Portland has been designated as the administrator of this program for Oregon and northern California.  We are on his list and he’ll either call me directly or call one or more of the local mentors should there be a request from Lane County or nearby.  We could possibly become the administrators for southern Oregon if someone wants to step into this role.

    5. Organizing a social/cultural/fundraising event committee:

      Dorothy’s idea of a way to generate ideas for social and cultural events combined with fundraising is to use the model that worked in our planning the OLLI presentation about a year ago.  I propose to have a brainstorming committee that will meet one or two times for about two hours each time.  If possible, the committee will also identify people willing to carry out new activities but that wouldn’t be the initial focus.  The board would follow up on the committee’s suggestions with respect to allocating funds and identifying people to work on activities. 

      Two meeting to be at Dorothy’s home: one in February and second in early March.  Selection of dates and times to come.

      Board members would be responsible for identifying potential committee members, confirming their willingness to serve, and then giving the names to Dorothy. 

    Post Meeting Notes from Dorothy (2/11/12)

    1. PCP projects: For our March board meeting I’d like us to be familiar with PCP projects organized by Oregon PCVs.  We should be ready to fund one or more when we see one of interest.  Currently there are five such listed and I’m attaching a .pdf, which will show you their descriptions.  The situation will likely change in the next month but this is a start.  Just before the next meeting, please look at the PC website to find what’s current and we’ll discuss possibly funding one or more projects in March.  If you have other projects to suggest, please send the board information about them before the next board meeting.

    2. Event planning: To move forward on discussions regarding social/cultural/fundraising events that we might consider, I’d like each board member, if possible, to contact one to three WCPCA members that you know who might be willing to come to a brainstorming meeting.  They would be under no obligation to do anything more.

      I’d like such a committee to spend an hour or two reviewing what we’ve done recently and the outcomes and then talk mostly about new ideas that we might try.  That information would then be a discussion item for the board, which would decide what to do next.

      I’m happy to organize one or two meetings at different times at my home for this purpose.  When you talk to people, please ask when they would like to meet: weekday evening or weekend morning or afternoon.  We used this approach successfully when we talked about our presentation to OLLI last year.  I described this in the newsletter and in the notes for the agenda.  If you have questions about what I’m proposing, please call me and we’ll talk about it.

      To help you get started, you’ll find a spreadsheet of the current membership list attached.  It’s in both “neo office” and as a .pdf, so you should be able to open one of these.  If you can’t open either, let me know and I’ll send you a paper copy.  I’d like to know what you learn before the next board meeting so I would appreciate your working on this soon.

      One general item to observe: see how many members that you know or have seen in any recent activity.  Where do members live? Are they "first year," "students," "PCVs" or other groups? We should be aware of our membership’s profile.

    3. Tee shirt design: Despite battling a cold, James came to the meeting for a short time to show us a striking design that he proposed for a new tee shirt.  We had a detailed discussion and approved the design.  We expect to have 36 tee shirts printed in time for the April potluck and maybe before for activities in March. 

      James will present the design at the potluck on Friday and the board will take advance orders at that time.  We’ll set a price as soon as we know the costs.  The design has broad appeal and so we discussed ways to advertise the shirts for sale on a national scale.

    Final submitted February 15, 2012

    Miriam Aiken