RIBA Executive Board Meeting, May 13, 2008
Present: Everett Zurlinden, Mike Southern, Ed Lafferty, Kit Mayers, Lou Chasse, Bernie Beider, Jim Lawson. Bill Jones and Betty Mencucci were unable to attend.
Prior to discussing the agenda items we talked about
Newly elected President Everett Zurlinden set the Agenda for the meeting. One of the key points of the agenda and Association meetings in future will be that of "transparent governance". Each meeting Agenda and any ongoing Action Items will be published on the RIBA website and reviewed at the members' meeting. The Agenda is included below, and any notes taken on particular subjects are added where indicated.
Campaign promises and how we will operate
We discussed the present day complexities of beekeeping and how they affect new beekeepers. One of the most critical functions of the Association is growth of the Membership; gaining new members, and communicating with and educating of existing members. We discussed the expanding role of the Bee Schools and how we can be effective in setting the curriculum in the future and providing ongoing education during the year.
Role of the president
Discussed the President as facilitator, and as a key position to start/encourage discussion at members meetings. Everett proposed, and we accepted, that the member meeting Agenda would be set by the executive board and not in the Newsletter as had previously been the case. We agreed to open a web page on which members could place items to add to the forthcoming meetings Agenda. We discussed supply vendors, and the need to provide some separation between the meeting agenda and any peripheral selling activities. This was noted to be a confusion at the Bee Schools.
Member meetings and setting the agenda
Developing and setting a vision
Members have a good idea of why they became members, and what they want from the Association. Developing a member generated Vision allows members to become an integral part the association and it focuses the work of the board on the goals of the members. The process is to ask members to collaboratively set goals for the Board and ultimately the Association. Board positions and committee positions will then be identified and filled. The board and committees will then proceed to raise funds and implement the goals of the vision cycle.
o In the future, a process will be used for appointments where the position will be announced 30-days in advance at a member meeting and advertised in at least one newsletter.
o Members approved stipends to be paid to Bee School instructors at the February 2008 members' meeting. By these minutes, Everett authorizes the Treasurer to pay stipends to Betty Mencucci, Mark Robar and Lou Chasse.
o The East Farm Bee School generated new instructional materials for students. Since Everett Zurlinden is to be reimbursed for the copying expenses and is now President, it would be inappropriate for Everett to authorize a reimbursement payment to himself. Therefore, in accordance with the By-Laws, by these minutes, the Secretary will authorize the Treasurer to reimburse Everett for copying expenses.
o The EAS representative, Ed Lafferty, is entitled to reimbursement for transportation, lodging, meals and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses. Ed will submit receipts to Everett for reimbursement approval. By these minutes, the Treasurer is authorized to issue a check for those expenses once they are approved by Everett.
o Two hives belonging to the Associations are tended by member at large David Clay. The idea of these hives is to generate honey to be sold at the various events. The colonies died last year. Members approved the expense of restocking the hives. It was decided by the Board to reevaluate the economic viability of the program should the colonies perish again.
o The raffle includes woodenware purchased at a generous discount from Lou Chasse and package bees at retail price from Roger Robetaille. This popular raffle has already generated a surplus with additional ticket sales expected.
o In the future, the Board will seek out vendors who provide favorable discounts or donations to the Association. In the past, member vendors have been invited to provide goods and services to the Association. Where member vendors are not able to provide discounts or donations, a non-member vendor may be selected if the vendor provides a better deal.
o The Bee Learn discussion was short as Bill was absent, and will be continued in more detail at the next meeting. It was noted that there is a need for better synchronization between Bee Learn and RIBA in the new by-laws.
Several Actions were needed after the above items, including reimbursement payments to Everett, Mike Southern, Ed Lafferty, Stipends to Betty, Lou and Mark for the Bee Schools. Mike Southern will write a letter of thanks to URI for the use of their premises, and will also write to Davies after speaking with Betty.
New appointments to be confirmed at the May Members' meeting: Celeste Lafferty as Librarian, Bernie Bieder as Newsletter Editor
We discussed applying for SARE (Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education) grants in the context of developing additional curriculum for the Bee Schools.
RIBA bylaws need to be reviewed and voted on, but would also benefit from modification to similar wording as those of Bee Learn. Discussion to be continued at members meeting.
There was enthusiasm for developing a Swarm Central component of the RIBA website, to provide members, the public, and official State Agencies with contacts in the event of swarms being discovered.
We discussed EAS, proposed for RI in 2011. There is a lot of work to be done, much of it relying on a volunteer force that has not yet been martialed. Discussion to be continued at members meeting.
Future events coming up at which the Association has a presence are:
Taste of RI
RIBA Annual Dinner
Washington County Fair
Please note that this was our first meeting and that we are developing the
process by which the Board communicates to and with the Members. It is our
intent to publish meeting minutes for Member review. This is a new and
evolving experience for all of us and we are excited to serve and grateful
for your confidence in us. Please ask us questions, feel free to disagree
with our decisions and ideas, and also feel free to tell us where we are
doing a good job so that we may continue along that path in the future.