July 19, 2021 – BOARD MINUTES
Society of St Vincent de Paul Council of Seattle/King County
To be approved at the August 16, 2021 – Board meeting
Mary Jo Shannon, (President); Sandra McGowan, (Vice President); Dave Cullen, (Treasurer); Adelfa Moreno, (Secretary); Betsy Pierce, (NW Seattle); Jim Jordan (E King); Mary Sweeney, (SW Seattle); Harry Oestreich, (NE King); Manuel Figueroa and Mary McGarry, (S King); Mary Kay Snedden, (NE Seattle); Ed Sarasaud (at large member); Tricia Whittman-Todd (Spiritual Advisor).
ABSENT: Father Bob Grimm (Spiritual Advisor).
NON-VOTING STAFF AND GUESTS:
Mirya Munoz-Roach, Executive Director and Mike Ewanciw, CFO Finance Director.
After an opening prayer, the meeting was called to order at 6:30pm. A motion was made to approve the draft of the June 2021 minutes. The motion was seconded by Sandra McGowan. Discussion ensued. It was noted that the correct name for the SVdP In-kind goods program is SVdP Goods for you rather than Amazon Goods for Good. The correction will be made. The motion was then passed unanimously.
Finance: Dave Cullen reported that SVdPs finances continue to be strong. The societies net income for the past 9 months is $1.87 million. Putting SVdP at $1.65 million over budget. Personnel costs remain lower than anticipated coupled with the PP loan and strong retail sales.
Mary Jo reported that there is a team working on a proposal for a reserve account. The proposal should be ready in the next month or so. In addition, Mary Jo announced that the finance committee has started a conversation about putting some PP and Emergency Campaign money aside for capital improvements at the Georgetown site. Any ideas or experts, please contact Mirya.
Financial Policies and Procedures: Mary Jo announced that we need to conduct both a financial and precinct bylaw review. Specifically, Mary Jo would like to revise the bylaws with respect to the makeup of the precincts and the qualifications to become a precinct chair. Dave Cullen volunteered to be part of the committee to perform this review.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:
Mirya reported the following:
Break-ins: There was a break-in at the Georgetown site. Thanks to the cameras that were installed at this property, the perpetrator was caught. However, this is costing the organization thousands of dollars.
Capital Improvement Needs: The Georgetown office had a plumbing issue last week. As a result, Mirya closed the warehouse for a day. Moreover, there has been a lot of ongoing patch work being done. All the stores and properties need capital improvements, but the Georgetown site is in dire need.
Staff Updates: SVdP has hired someone that will be working alongside Mike Ewanciw, CFO Finance Director. In addition, a position was posted for an Associate Director for Mission Renewal. SVdP has had a few interviews but has not yet hired anyone.
Central Seattle: This precinct chair is currently vacant.
Mary Kay (NE Seattle): Their quarterly meeting is scheduled for next Thursday. Mary Kay will provide a report at the next board meeting.
Jim (E King): The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for July 31st. Jim talked to 5 out of his 7 conference Presidents. He asked if conferences are meeting in-person. Three out of the 5 are meeting in- person. In addition, Jim asked if they are making home visits. 4 out of the 5 said no. St. Joe’s is doing well financially. Vincentians at St. Monica’s are excited about their new priest. Sacred Heart will be hosting their first outdoor meeting in a week and are staying busy. In addition, they have received three calls with large outstanding rent balances. Their SVdP Goods for you has been very active. Mary Queen at Peace donated $9,000 to three conferences in South King. They take their calls directly through their parish. Jim will be distributing the book of hope to neighbors as needed.
Manuel (S King): St. Thomas of Tukwila needs recruitment and financial help.
Mary Sweeny (SW Seattle): Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Guadalupe alternate and bring product from Goods for you to the Westside Interfaith Network luncheons. This has been very successful relationship and has aided in advertising SVdP. Mary recently had her quarterly meeting. Most conferences are struggling with recruitment except for Holy Rosary and St. John Vianey of Vashon. Mary is worried most about the St. George Conference as the President’s term is almost up. No other Vincentian has stepped-up to take on this position. St. Peter’s Conference has never stopped conducting home visits even through the pandemic.
Betsy (NW Seattle): Met last Thursday for their quarterly meeting. Four out of seven conferences were in attendance. Christ the King is doing well with the Goods for you program. They added three members from the Hispanic community to their conference. Our Lady of Fatima is using their Goods for you for different events. St. Alphonsus has a lot of money and is also doing well. St. Anne’s is holding their own. This conference recommended a neighbor to the CBDG program. St. Benedict has three new conference members. This doubled their membership. St. John started a new twining relationship with another conference. St. Luke’s is experiencing an influx of requests. However, parishioners continue to be generous at this parish.
Harry (NE King): Met with his precinct last month. Had a robust discussion regarding ERAP. Also discussed the Kenmore property. Vincentians are concerned about what is going to happen to the store. Vincentians in this precinct would like to see that we provide homeless or low income shelter. Lastly, discussed resuming home visits. Vincentians asked that this be the decision of the individual Vincentian.
Vincentian Latino Summit: This event will take place the second week in September. It will be open to Vincentians from all conferences and will provide the opportunity for Latino Vincentians to learn from each other. More details to come about this summit.
The Rendu Orientation and Learn at Lunch: have both been rescheduled as there was not a lot of response. Please visit the SVdP member site calendar for the new dates for both events.
Youth Leadership Committee: Six students have met via Zoom. SVdP is putting it on the students to lead and state their knowledge of SVdP. Formation is being provided. Riley Irish is overseeing this committee.
Board Proposal: To amend the current Board Policy allowing SVdP Conferences to manage the quantity and type of requests they receive through the Call Center. Conferences will set looser/capacity limits so the Call Center sends a bit more than they can handle, but not an unlimited amount. This will let Conferences do higher quality triage than just choose the first N callers in the week. For example: A Conference with capacity of 10 per week could advertise 15, and then triage to pick the most compelling 10 to serve while giving regrets to 5.
Discussion arose. Mary Jo and Mary Sweeny are both concerned that conferences will not challenge themselves to grow or their fundraising.
Mary Sweeny and Mary Kay would like this process to be like the adequate funding grant application process.
Jim Jordan noted that the conferences that were consulted were conferences that were most in need. He proposes that since the majority agreed on the medium option, that we implement this process for 6 months to 1 year and see how it works out.
Betsy Pierce pointed out that the Call Center gets flooded with calls every day. When the board decided to take all the calls, wasn’t that to help the Call Center? Betsy is in favor of keeping her precinct the way it is.
Sandra made a motion that the six conferences that were interviewed be allowed to select the number and type of requests with the option of St. Thomas if they would like to participate for the next six months. Discussion ensued regarding St. James-Blessed Rosalie Rendu. The motion was then passed unanimously.
- St. Vincent de Paul
- St. Anthony
- Holy Spirit-Espiritu Santo
- St. Edward
- St. John the Baptist
- St. James-Bl. Rosalie
Youth led Conference Special Works: Mary McGarry, President of St. Francis of Assis Conference, proposes that the youth group/students at St. Francis of Assisi in Burien become a Special Works of Saint Vincent De Paul. In addition, is interested in joining forces to benefit several local charities including Transform Burien, Highline Food Bank, Hospitality House, and Cold Weather Shelter.
Mary Sweeny made a motion to accept Mary McGarry’s proposal to make a Special Works Project from their youth organization that will report to her conference and will work in conjunction with other agencies in the community to help the homeless and the hungry. Jim Jordan seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Council Agenda: Results of Survey on Resuming Home-Visits and in-person Activities – The board proposes that this be the topic of discussion for the July council meeting. The results of the survey show that 55.8% of Vincentians are comfortable with resuming traditional home visits. 87.2% are comfortable making home visits outside of a neighbors home. 79.4% have had or are planning to hold in-person conference gatherings. The hope is to come out of our groups with a consensus.
It is not ok to ask neighbors if they have been vaccinated due to HIPPA violations.
The meeting closed at 8:30pm with a prayer.
NEXT MEETING: August 16, 2021, via Zoom; 5:30pm (Finance meeting); 6:30pm (Board meeting)
Respectfully submitted: Adelfa Moreno | Board Secretary