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Quarterly Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator’s Meeting Minutes—January 14, 2016

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

Attendees were as follows

  • State Volunteer Coordinator–Toni Flax
  • Area Volunteer Coordinators
    • Leslie Spikes (Area 2)
    • Mike Van Wyk (Area 3)
    • Mechelle Foos (Area 4)
    • Sheila Forrester–(Acting SO and Plant Materials Center [PMC] Coordinator)

The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m.

Toni welcomed everyone and the minutes from the July 16, 2015, meeting were reviewed.

ET Quarterly Teleconference

Reviewed items from the National Teleconference held on December 17, 2015.  Discussion included:

  • Communications plan
  • FY2015 Status Report – National & Central region
    • National–23,872 volunteers, 294,306 volunteer hours, value of ET contributions was $6.8 million
    • Central Region–10,735 volunteers, 109,973 volunteer hours, value of ET contributions was $2.5 million
    • Kansas–2,510 volunteers, 19,128 volunteer hours, 100 percent office utilization

State ET Coordinator and Area 1 Report–Toni Flax

  • Helped Cindy Rorabaugh at Smith Center with Tracking system questions/training
  • Helped Mike in Area 3 with “No Activity” Codes and missing hours issues in the tracking system, this was sent to National Office.  Bonnie and the developer fixed the issue and should not be a problem with the new tracking system.
  • Assisted Debbie Potter with entering an apprentice into the tracking system
  • Ran hours report for Smith Center management unit
  • Sent reminders to input hours for end of fiscal year (FY) 2015
  • Had training with Jan on being the State Coordinator and we pulled reports
  • Worked on the end of FY2015 reports
  • Tried to find a new Area 1 Coordinator
  • More training with Jan on new position
  • Reviewed the National Awards nominations sent out by National Office and sent recommendations back to Bonnie
  • Tested the new tracking system for National office–discussed issues with Jan and Bonnie
  • Entered John Kraft as an individual into the tracking system
  • Answered questions Bonnie had on Kansas award nominations
  • Sent email reminders about putting first quarter hours into the tracking system
  • Made several attempts at testing the new tracking system after the first test run
  • Had several training phone calls with Jan
  • Jan and I had teleconference with Debbie Newton to get all of the Earth Team information in one place on the website
  • Prepared for January meeting

Area Coordinator Reports

Area 1–See State Coordinator and Area 1 report

Area 2–Leslie Spikes

  • Trained Meade and Ashland field offices on tracking system and eligible hours
  • Assisted on resetting passwords for multiple office administrators
  • Sent correspondence to field and Jan for keepsake items for annual meetings and state award nominations
  • Answered questions on “No Activity” in tracking system for Wichita, Sublette, and Pratt
  • Completed ETV Coordinator survey for national office
  • Answered questions on eligible hours, volunteer tracking system, position descriptions, 301A form

Area 3–Mike Van Wyk

  • Worked with three offices reporting hours with “No Activity”
  • Followed up with Toni on one office with unresolvable activity code issues
  • Sent out several reminders to field offices to have hours entered by the end of year deadlines
  • Followed up with two emails in the weeks before the deadline to those offices not meeting ET performance element requirements
  • Worked with one office on how to get hours entered into the tracking system
  • Updated passwords/provided log on information for several employees
  • Fielded questions from one office on what activities can and cannot be counted by board members
  • Submitted report of volunteer numbers and total office numbers to Clifford Thornton on October 15 for performance reviews
  • December 2 DC Meeting–Discussed finding hours for recent activities, provided FY ET hour summary, recognized top three offices and those who submitted nominations and reminded offices to have 1st quarter hours in by the end of the year
  • Explored the new tracking system and entered hours
  • Worked with one office to get into and navigate the new tracking system
  • Reviewed quarterly teleconference notes from Toni

Area 4–Mechelle Foos

  • Finalized eight earth team award nominations
  • Gathered photos for the three area winners
  • Coordinated getting recognition items and letters to all award nominations
  • The district manager award and Kansas Association of Conservation/National Association of Conservation Districts (KACD/NACD) award were presented at the KACD annual meeting in Wichita 
  • Sent one email to the area reminding them about entering volunteer hours in the tracking system
  • Sent an email notifying Area 4 of the new tracking system and letting them know that any board members on KACD committees can capture those hours because serving on committees are above and beyond what they were elected for
  • Sent two emails to counties that had “No Activity” codes in the tracking system
  • Answered several questions about eligible hours and the tracking system
  • Set up one new office administrator
  • Monitored the tracking system for errors
  • Completed a training needs survey from the national Earth Team office

State Office/PMC–Acting–Sheila Forrester

  • No report at this time

Earth Team Final FY15 Report

  • Area 1–413 volunteers, 2167.0 hours
  • Area 2–207 volunteers, 1640.0  hours
  • Area 3–76 volunteers, 490.0 hours
  • Area 4–211 volunteers, 1174.5 hours
  • State Office/PMC–7 volunteers, 24.5 hours

Earth Team 1st Quarter FY16 Report

  • Area 1–196 volunteers, 1132 hours
  • Area 2–134 volunteers, 1213.25 hours
  • Area 3–62 volunteers, 415.5 hours
  • Area 4–202 volunteers, 637.5 hours
  • State Office/PMC–0 volunteers, 0 hours

FY2015 Earth Team Volunteer Awards Update

Kansas had three regional awards winners for FY15

  • Regional Employee Award–Tom Roth
  • Regional Field Office Award–Osborne Field Office
  • Regional Group Award–Barton County Kids Ag Day

Business Plans

  • FY15 plan updated
  • Information supplied for FY16

Tracking System

  • The new tracking system is functioning
  • Training will be given at all personnel/partnership meetings

E-filing Earth Team folders

This will be discussed at the all personnel meetings

Apprentice Program

Area 1 is having an apprentice drive.  All DCs will be required to visit with county high schools and colleges about the apprentice program.

“Did You Know” Fact Sheet

Ideas were talked about for the next “Did You Know” fact sheet.  Leslie agreed to put it together.

The next meeting will be held on April 14, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the State Office Conference Center in Salina.

Meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.