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Quarterly Earth Team Volunteer Coordinators’ Meeting Minutes—July 14, 2016

The Earth Team (ET) Volunteers Coordinators’ meeting was held at the Salina State Office (SO) Conference Center on July 14, 2016.

Attendees were as follows:

  • State Volunteer Coordinator–Toni Flax
  • Area Volunteer Coordinators
    • Sheila Forrester (SO/Plant Materials Center[PMC])
    • Karri Honaker (Area 1)
    • Leslie Spikes via phone (Area 2)
    • Mike Van Wyk (Area 3)
    • Mechelle Foos (Area 4)
    • Jan Klaus (Previous State Volunteer Coordinator)

The meeting was called to order at 10:05 am.

Toni welcomed everyone and the minutes from the April 14, 2016 meeting were reviewed.  The previous meeting minutes were reviewed and no corrections were noted.  Minutes have been posted to the Kansas ET site.

State ET Coordinator Report–Toni Flax

  • Requested two new binders from Bonnie, the rest will get them at training
  • Trained Sheila Forrester as the State Office/PMC Coordinator
  • Responded to email for coordinators about training in Des Moines, IA
  • Worked on second quarter hour reports and sent them to assistant state conservationists for field operations (ASTCs )
  • Emailed coordinators updates to the Task Guide
  • Answered several hours and tracking system questions
  • Sent Leslie a reminder and suggestion on the “Did You Know”
  • Forwarded the mid-year report to ASTCs and coordinators sent by the National Volunteer Coordinator
  • Sent Jan minutes to review from April meeting
  • Sent minutes to Debbie for posting
  • Sent out No Activity reports for the state
  • Worked on archiving office administrators that coordinators are not able to find
  • Updated business plan and sent to Jan for review
  • Helped coordinators with “no activity code” question
  • Jan sent new time sheets with activity codes and forwarded to Debbie to post to web
  • Helped coordinator with a volunteer that didn’t have a county assigned
  • Helped coordinator with tracking system issue—not counting “no activity” hours on one report but showing on another; sent to the National Volunteer Coordinator for further action
  • Reset district manager’s password
  • Responded to email from National ET office
  • Sent awards bulletin to Muriel for posting
  • Prepared and presented with Karri a PowerPoint on general ET information to new employees in Area 1
  • Ran reports and prepared them for the third quarter Coordinators’ meeting

Area Coordinator Reports

Area 1–Karri Honaker

  • Attended ET training in Des Moines, IA
  • Helped field offices fix activity codes for hours entered
  • Reset Passwords for users in the area
  • Sent information to a new district manager on how to set up files in the field office, what documentation is needed, and provided the task guide
  • Did a presentation at New Employee Training for Area 1 on ET
  • Answered questions from field offices and district managers about what hours are acceptable
  • Discussed a possible nomination for an ET award based on the amount of hours volunteered
  • Emailed area updates on progress. As of July 1 Area 1 has:
    • 3,716 hours (1,284 short of goal)
    • 100 percent office participation

Area 2–Leslie Spikes

  • Assisted on resetting username/passwords for office administrator
  • Correspondence sent to county administrators on correcting “no activity” hours
  • Answered questions on volunteer tracking system throughout the quarter
  • Attended ET volunteer coordinators meeting by teleconference on April 14
  • Emailed reminder to all offices to enter hours for third quarter
  • Correspondence with Marion and Great Bend Management Units (Mus) on training/reviewing files
  • Attended ET volunteer coordinator training in Des Moines, IA

Area 3–Mike Van Wyk

  • Submitted the minutes from last quarter’s meeting
  • Attended volunteer coordinator training in Des Moines, IA
  • Listened to the national teleconference on June 2
  • Completed archiving of former volunteers in the tracking system
  • Submitted recommendation for Q21 in the task guide
  • Presented information about the new tracking system at the Area 3 all personnel meeting
  • Sent reminder to have third quarter hours submitted along with progress reports and “no activity” issues
  • Assisted a district manager (DM) with resetting their tracking system password
  • Assisted an office that was struggling to get hours entered into the new system
  • Assisted a DM that had entered a volunteer without an office location
  • Assisted a DM that was having trouble locating “no activity” hours

Area 4–Mechelle Foos

  • Attended the Kansas Employee ET award presentation by Eric Banks to Tom Roth
  • Sent two emails to the area reminding them about entering volunteer hours in the tracking system
  • Sent email to area about National Volunteer Week
  • Assisted several offices with tracking system questions
  • Sent seven emails to counties with no activity codes
  • Worked with five counties to get the no activity codes corrected
  • Monitored the tracking system for errors
  • Attended National ET training in Des Moines, IA
  • Attended Belleville MU meeting and completed volunteer needs assessment and discussed ways to get more volunteer hours
  • Removed old administrators from the system
  • Archived one time groups
  • Listened to National ET quarterly teleconference
  • Answered several emails and phone calls about the volunteer program

State Office/PMC - Sheila Forrester

  • Listened to the National ET Teleconference
  • Archived former volunteers from the State Office in the tracking system.
  • Archived “groups” in the tracking system.
  • Input new volunteers for the State Office in the tracking system.
  • Edited Earth Team Apprentice brochure with comments from all coordinators and submitted to STC Secretary for final product
  • Answered several emails about the volunteer program
  • Visited with acting PMC manager about ways to increase ET volunteers

Third Quarter Reports

Discussed ET hours from the past quarter and yearly totals for each area and the state office/PMC

  • Number of Volunteers:  2,067
  • Number of Volunteer Hours:  14,600.10
  • Percentage of Participating Offices:  98 percent

Reviewed Notes from the National ET Teleconference on June 2

Tracking System

  • Discussed the new activity codes/revised Kansas forms—Toni will work on getting this on the Kansas Web site
  • Discussed drafting an email to the National ET Coordinator on Kansas field office time issue
  • Discussed the archiving of “one-time” groups
  • Discussed the cleaning up of administrators

Revised “Task Guide” and “Did You Know”

  • Task Guide has been reviewed and updated
  • Leslie and Toni will continue to work on the “Did You Know” for this quarter

Review of 2016 Kansas Earth Team Business Plan

  • Identified several areas that have been completed
  • Karri to work on a template for Quality Assurance Reviews

Old and New Business

  • Discussed ideas to showcase the ET volunteer program in Kansas—coordinators discussed building a float for an event such as a statewide parade.
  • Discussed the process of ET Awards—Nominations will be brought in written format
  • Discussed the inventory of ET keepsakes for offices
  • Discussed the “pick-up” logs to input volunteer activities by producers who assist in the field entitled “Friends of Conservation Group”—Jan Klaus will work on updating the log.

Questions and Closing Remarks

Next meeting changed to September 30 at the NRCS Conference Center, Salina, due to several coordinators involved in Customer Service Toolkit training