Today, Wednesday November 15th from 8 am – 9:30 am I went to the HandsOn Central California board meeting.  I met the Executive Director Carol Davies two weeks ago when she was on a panel for the Monday night class. Before the meeting Ms. Davies emailed me the agenda packet with everything they were going to go over during the meeting. I thought this was extremely useful and made me prepared for the meeting.

When I first arrived to the HandsOn Central California office the board and staff made me feel welcomed. I could tell that the board was positive and in a good space. The board members were relaxed but extremely professional. You could tell that they had a good personal and professional relationship and were all there for a good cause.  I observed positive negotiation and feedback, this was refreshing and made me eager to know more. The board meeting was well organized and structured allowing adequate time to go over everything and questions. The Board Chair and Executive director sat at the head of table with two board members on each side. The Board Chair knew everything that was going on with HandsOn Central California and you could tell he was extremely involved.

During the board meeting the board went over the following five things:

  1. Consent Action Items
  2. Mission Moment – “Impact of Service Days”
  3. Financial Report
  4. Old Business
  5. New Business

My favorite part of the meeting was the mission moment. A staff member, Maria directly let the board members what was happening with her AmeriCorps programs. Maria is in charge of the Vista and VIP AmeriCorps programs that focus on building literacy and attendance in elementary schools and community based organizations. Each school site has a three year term. The VIP program doubled in staff size from 3 to 6 people.

The Executive Director and board members spoke about the direction of HandsOn Central California. They spoke about staff training, updating job descriptions, and changing their health care to be a part of a system. They also mentioned “Hands Across the Valley” which is their big event and will be celebrating its 50th year. The criteria for “Hands Across the Valley” is community needs, solutions, impact, and distinctive solutions. A board member stated, “Happy employees mean prosper.” This stood out to me because it showed that the board cared about its employees and knew the value they bring to the organization.

Today I observed a well-functioning and structured board. You can tell that the board was involved, had a good relationship, and knew what was going on. The board was a small board of about six people, but those six people, I believe will make a positive impact within the community and for the organization.