The November 12 board meeting was held virtually. Although planned for the Detroit Service Center, problems with the building’s heating system forced the last minute change. The meeting was conducted via conference call with board members and staff phoning in from various locations. Everything went smoothly and we were able to effectively handle all business.
Seema Verma Prince, Audit committee chair, presented a motion on behalf of the committee recommending the contract for council CPA services for 2014-2016 be awarded to Baker Tilly, our current firm. Committee recommendation was based on both cost of services and quality of customer service. The motion carried.
Next, the board next reviewed financial statements for September and discussed the report presented by finance chair and treasurer, Diane Young. The report detailed LSG Financial Services’ review of the investment performance of the Council’s 403(b) retirement plan. Although investments are being monitored, no changes are recommended at this time.
Susan McGraw, COO, discussed monthly dashboard performance. Great news in that we are running 10 percent ahead in membership from last year. Also, membership diversity is increasing, council event participation is up, and traffic to our website has also increased.
Fund Development Committee Chair Kathy Ossian reported that the 5K walk is moving from October to July 19 in 2014 in hopes of lessening the competition with many other walk events also held in October, and to increase the likelihood of good weather. Discussion on ways to improve this event included identifying an event sponsor, helping all board members set up a fundraising page well in advance of event, whether they walk or not, and increasing girl participation.
Dates and venues for the Cookie Gala and Golf Outing were shared. Cookie Gala is on March 26, 2014 at DTE Headquarters. Board members were encouraged to once again nominate prominent women professional and community leaders for the One Tough Cookie awards. This was a great way to engage prominent women with our event. All award winners will be encouraged to attend the gala again this year. The Golf Outing will be held on August 18, 2014 at the Elks Country Club in Flint. This event is one of the largest and most profitable outings ‘fore our girls.’ The Giving Cup was awarded to board member John DeFrancesco for his fund development efforts in October. Thanks and congratulations to him!
Rick Sundquist, property committee chair, reported that the lease for the new Flint Service Center location is under review. It is expected that the least will be signed within two weeks, with occupancy commencing on January 1, 2014. He also reported that negotiations with the purchaser of the building behind the Clinton Township Service center to finalize the terms of sale are in process.
I updated the board on my quarterly Board Chair conference call with GSUSA National President Connie Lindsay. Key discussion topics were declining national membership, local council board role in fund development and advocacy, the 53rd National Meeting and Convention, and GSUSA pension advocacy efforts.
Denise provided highlights of her CEO report. Watch for our girls in the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in downtown Detroit again this year. They will be carrying a banner and doing a choreographed ‘dance’ routine. Our girls highly rated participating in the parade, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity again for both the 2013 and 2014 parade. The publicity and good will generated for Girl Scouting are priceless! Denise also shared a very full event calendar with the Board. Our program year is clearly in full swing! As a final note, please remember to nominate that special volunteer who tirelessly supports the mission of Girl Scouting. We look forward to honoring all volunteers who receive awards at the April 6, 2014 Volunteer Recognition Event.
The next meeting of the board is January 14, 2014, although committees will continue to work through the month of December. I will be back in December with my annual holiday message, but until then enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. We have much to be grateful for in our Girl Scout community – the girls we are building to be courageous, confident leaders, and the thousands of caring adults who support, encourage, and mentor their development.
Yours in Scouting,