We had an excellent meeting, 27 people strong, of our Leadership Council last week.  While detailed minutes will be forthcoming, I wanted to provide the most important highlight now:

The Leadership Council expressed its unanimous commitment to work towards sustaining the Network past the end of its DHCD contract on September 30, 2010. Peter Gagliardi generously offered HAP to serve as the Network’s fiscal agent following the expiration of the contract.  Thank you, Peter!  The recognition of this transition time raised many issues to consider and discuss, requiring both long and short-term envisioning of the Network’s role in the time to come, e.g., what are the variables to consider in selecting a fiscal agent?  The administrative costs?  The potential conflicts of interest?  What role does the Network want to play, that of coordinator or that of grant recipient or both and how does that answer impact the Network’s future budget and fundraising goals?

Sylvia deHaas-Phillips of the United Way of the Pioneer Valley volunteered her assistance and experience in thinking through organizational transitions and the pros and cons of different fiscal agent relationships.   The Council agreed that the Steering Committee was the appropriate forum in which this discussion should unfold and that all Council members are welcome and encouraged to attend the next Steering Committee meeting to participate in it.  It is:

Thursday, May 6th
2:00 – 5:00 pm
(the Council suggested a 3 hour meeting to allow for a retreat-level of discussion)
DMH Haskell Building
1 Prince Street, Northampton

We also confirmed our meeting dates for the remainder of the grant period.

Thursday, July 22 (note this is a change from the long ago scheduled date of 7/21)
10 am – 1 pm
Our Lady of Peace Parish
90 7th Street
Turners Falls, MA
Thanks to Father Stan for volunteering his space for a Franklin County meeting!

Thursday, September 16
10 am – 1 pm
Location in Berkshire County, exact location to be determined

I look forward to continuing the important conversation about the Network’s sustainability in the next few weeks.

Pamela Schwartz
Network Coordinator

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