April 18, 2022 – BOARD MINUTES
Society of St Vincent de Paul Council of Seattle/King County
To be approved at the May 16, 2022 – Board Meeting
Mary Jo Shannon, (President); Sandra McGowan, (Vice President); Dave Cullen, (Treasurer); Adelfa Moreno, (Secretary/S King); Paul Litwin, (NW Seattle); Jim Jordan, (E King); Mary Sweeney, (S Seattle); Mary Kay Snedden, (NE Seattle); Harry Oestreich, (NE King); Dennis Cook, (Central Seattle); Sarah Bee and Mary Beth Sheehan, (at large members); Father Bob Grimm and Tricia Wittmann-Todd (Spiritual Advisors).
ABSENT: Ed Sarasaud, (at large member) and China Krismer, (S King).
NON-VOTING STAFF AND GUESTS:
Mirya Muñoz-Roach, Executive Director; Mike Ewanciw, CFO, Jo Burkholder, Associate Director for Mission Renewal and Vincentian Support.
After an opening prayer, the meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm. A motion was made to approve the draft of the April 2022 minutes. The motion was seconded by Harry Oestreich. Upon a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Mirya announced that two new Presidents will be welcomed at the April 23rd council meeting.
- Brian from St. Thomas, Tukwila
- Nora from St. Philomena, Des Moines
Finance: Dave Cullen reported that SVdP’s net income is strong. Store sales are down, but expenses are down even further. SVdP is $250,000 ahead of budget income-wise. The society continues to have a strong cash position.
Dave Cullen also reported that SVdP is at the final stages of signing the documents to refinance most of the mortgages down to 3.75%. Because the society’s cash position is so strong at $6.6 million, SVdP is going to pay off the mortgage on the Kent property ($1.6 million).
Moreover, the finance committee asked Mike Ewanciw, CFO to move forward with the Motel 6 agreement. The Motel 6 agreement will entail a 12% savings for any conference that wants to put neighbors up at Motel 6. The Motel will bill the council and in turn, the council will bill conferences.
Lastly, the finance committee discussed having the council cover the annual dues due to the society’s strong financial position.
Dave Cullen made a recommendation that the council does not charge conferences annual dues from national SVdP. Jim Jordan seconded the motion. Discussion ensued with regard to which years would be covered by the council. The 2021 and 2022 fiscal years will be covered by the council. Upon vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Direct Assistance Program (DAP)
Mirya reported that funding has been added to this program which is available at the call center. If conferences are inundated with calls and/or there isn’t an active conference to respond to the neighbors’ needs. The call center will refer the neighbor to the intake specialist to receive direct assistance. About $50,000 has already been spent on neighbor needs through this program.
Discussion on the bylaws:
Mary Jo reported that the bylaws have been amended to reflect the board’s changes from the March meeting. Most changes can be found in italics under Article XI, Page 11, Section 3 – Directors from Precincts and Section 4 – Precincts. The only other change is under Article IX – Spiritual Advisor, Page 10.
Mary Jo stated that once the bylaws have been adopted at the board meeting. A 15-day notice needs to be given to the council. The next council meeting is on April 23rd. Therefore, the board is unable to give a 15-day notice to the council. Consequently, the amended bylaws will be presented to the council at the July council meeting. This will give the west South King County precinct the opportunity to elect a precinct chair.
Sandra made a motion to accept the amendments to the bylaws. Mary Sweeney seconded the motion. Discussion ensued. Harry Oestreich inquired about the phrase “must pay dues.” After some discussion – this phrase will be amended to state “The council may require conferences to pay dues annually.” Sandra and Mary accepted the amendments. Upon vote, the motion passed unanimously.
Dennis (Central Seattle): Conferences in this precinct have been discussing the issue of homelessness and wonder if there will be any training around this matter. Additionally, they have discussed going back to in-person meetings, the regional western meeting, and who to serve.
Mary Kay (NE Seattle): Mary will be hosting a precinct meeting next week. She will provide a report at the May board meeting.
Jim (E King): St. Joe’s is stabilized as far as not being busy. Our Lady of Sorrows gave out a total of $2,300 in aid in the month of March. Sacred Heart is scheduling a meeting to get members more enthused about the ministry. Before Good Friday services, Jim was approached by the deacon’s wife Sandy. The deacon and his wife gave Jim a relic (breast bone) of blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska from Poland. One of the main things she did in her life was to serve in the SVdP ministry. She is in the process of being canonized.
China/Adelfa (S King): Jo Burkholder reported that on April 6th the South King County president met. Two related matters were discussed: The proposal to divide the South King County into two separate precincts as proposed by the board, and leadership succession. China Krismer was elected to replace Manuel Figueroa for the remainder of his term (18 months) on the condition that she be allowed to share her Precinct Director role with a Co-Director of her choice. She invited Adelfa Moreno to be that Co-Director and Adelfa agreed. On the issue of dividing the precinct into two parts. Those present agreed to divide the precinct according to the most recent proposal.
Mary Sweeney (S Seattle): Conferences in this precinct are encountering neighbor needs that are overly complex. They would like a task force to assist with this matter at the council level. Vincentians in this precinct have also been asking about the Amazon (Goods for You) program. Lastly, it was brought to Mary’s attention that the small group discussions at the council meeting go nowhere.
Harry (NE King): Harry has been dealing with a lot of procedural questions. One of the conferences in his precinct is under new leadership. They are really enthusiastic. Harry will be hosting a meeting tomorrow night.
Paul (NW Seattle): Conferences in this precinct have been inquiring about home visits. St. Al’s and St. Benedict are both having trouble with membership. However, Paul is assisting them with this matter. St. John the Evangelist made hygiene packets for our RV neighbors.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Mirya reported the following:
- Kenmore/Aurora – SVdP is currently waiting on the estimate of repairs to be added to the letter of intent from the Aurora Commons. The society has retained the services of attorney Will Crowley and consultant Chris Jowell to broker this deal.
- Kent –Mirya has stayed in contact with Mr. Ellis, economic development from the city of Kent, who is currently gathering developers that would be willing to entertain affordable housing and mixed-use in the proposed area to be developed. Mirya reminded Bill of our council’s current stance of (no selling of properties). Chris Jowell, an independent consultant formally from Catholic Housing Services will now be providing his expertise in this matter.
Special Works Programs & Community Resources
Eviction Prevention Rental Assistance Program (EPRAP) – As we all know EPRAP ended. As recipients of EPRAP money, SVdP was able to bill King County for administrative expenses. As a result, the society has taken the administrative funding to hire more people at the helpline to address challenges. Two call center representatives will be hired as well as another intake specialist.
Amazon (Goods for You) Update– This program is starting back up. It will be similar to the prior program. Currently, the inventory is very limited. Only PPE items are available. However, inventory is expected to grow.
Mirya proposed that due to limited inventory, this program restart as a pilot. Each precinct chair is to select one conference from their precinct to participate in the pilot. Please let Mirya know once you have a conference that is willing to partake in.
PACE – Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. – PACE is a program of Providence Health. It is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs in the community instead of going to a nursing home or other care facility. Individuals must be over 55 and over and live in the service area. “With PACE, you have a team of health care professionals working with you and your family to make sure you get the coordinated care you need.” PACE will be presenting at the April 23, 2022 council meeting. They will explain how to make a referral to the program.
The executive council approved a new position for a community connector on the east side of the county. This individual will engage with neighbors regarding identification and basic needs. A community connector’s job is to respond to the needs of the community.
IT Oversight Committee
Mary Sweeney reported that the IT Oversight committee is looking at software programs that may have more capability to serve SVdPs needs in comparison to our current database. The software programs that have been looked at include Charity Tracker and Apricot. Additionally, the IT committee once again recommended that the executive council consider hiring an IT specialist in the future.
Blue Dress Brunch – This is SVdP’s main fundraiser of the year. It is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at Seattle University. Corporate sponsorship and matching will be available. Mary Jo encourages all board members to attend. Please invite fellow Vincentians.
Mission Renewal & Vincentian Support Efforts
Jo Burkholder reported the following:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team are scheduled to meet next week. Sandra McGowan, Dave Cullen, Tricia Wittmann-Todd, Ed Sarausad, China Krismer, Adelfa Moreno, Dennis Cook, and Jo Burkholder are all part of this team. The team will be exploring training opportunities and vendors around diversity, equity, and inclusion to present at a board meeting.
April 20th: This is a 60-minute interactive session on calling and integrating new members.
May 25th (at noon and 6 pm): 60-minute panel talk on Christian and compassionate approaches to homelessness.
June 22nd (at noon and 6 pm): 60-minute panel talk on activating our Latino ministries and connections.
Training and Formation Calendar
April 30th: Ozanam Orientation (8 am-Noon, via Zoom)
June TBD: Rendu Orientation (8 am-Noon) Exploration of the spirituality of the Home Visit.
June 25th: Vincentian Spiritual Gathering (Time and location TBD): This is planned as a half-day event, especially for those serving as Spiritual Advisors and any others who feel called to deeper spiritual discernment.
Council Meeting (Small group discussion)
The small group discussion will be centered on what to do with excess funds. Some ideas include creating an EPRAP- like fund and/or adopting a family and creating a relationship.
The meeting closed at 8:30pm with a prayer.
NEXT MEETING: April 18, 2022, via Zoom; 5:30pm (Finance meeting); 6:30pm (Board meeting)
Respectfully submitted: Adelfa Moreno | Board Secretary