Board Meeting Highlights

Board Meeting Highlights

Last Updated: 3/7/2019

2018-19 Board of Directors
February 19, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Steve Hutchinson, Christie McDonald, Mary O’Leary, Mike Raz, Paul Riess and Ted Stevens.
Guests Present: Tony Reyneke and Debbie Snow.
The meeting was called to order at 4:05 PM, by Steve Hutchinson, President. Steve welcomed Mike Raz to membership on the Board.

1. Consideration of the Minutes of the January 2019 Foundation Board Meeting: Without objections, Steve declared the Minutes of the January 2019 Board meeting approved, as distributed.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Paul Riess, Treasurer, and Tony Reyneke, Accountant, gave the report.

  • a. Tax Returns: Tony started by sharing and discussing drafts of the Foundation’s Federal and State tax returns (Federal 990-EZ and State CT-12). Other than updating the organization’s contact information (mailing address and telephone number), no concerns were raised about these reports. Once the contact information has been changed, Tony will submit these reports and required fees.
  • b. Account Balance: Regarding current account balances on restricted accounts and the Foundation’s three checking accounts (General Fund, Fundraising, and Emergency Services), no information was available due to the absence of account statements from Columbia Bank and Charles Schwab. The lack of information prompted discussion of the Foundation’s relationship with Columbia Bank and the growing frustration with the quality of customer service being provided to us.
  • c. Historical Report on Scholarships Awarded: Tony presented a report summarizing funds awarded for traditional and non-traditional scholarships in Rotary Years 2014-2018. Based on the discussion it was apparent that the differences in the fiscal years for the Club and Foundation had not been considered during the preparation of the report. Tony agreed to rework it in light of the differences in fiscal years.
  • d. Distribution of Funds to Rotary Projects in South Africa and Peru: Steve reported that two wire transfers were sent earlier in the day to these projects. The funds released were as previously authorized, minus wire transfer costs ($45 per transfer). In future, the Club will need to provide additional funds to the Foundation to cover these administrative expenses.
  • e. Accounting Procedures between the Foundation and the Club: The continuing difficulty of learning the details of deposits to the Foundation’s checking accounts by the Club was discussed. It was suggested that Matt Adams, Speakeasy Treasurer and incoming Club Treasurer, be invited to upcoming Foundation Board meetings so matters of mutual concern, like deposits, can be discussed and procedures developed that will be workable and beneficial to both organizations.

3. Updates on Shaw Scholarship Fund: President Steve shared that Debbie Snow was attending this meeting to participate in discussions relating to the Shaw Scholarship Fund. Two matters were discussed, as follows:

  • a. Selection Criteria for Scholarships: Debbie reported that Bruce had two goals for this fund. First, he wished for scholarships to be awarded to homeless 4J high school students to enable them to further their education at a community or four year college or in a technical training program at any accredited educational institution. Second, he wanted a portion of the funds to be available to expose young people to the arts. Homeless status was not a criteria for this latter part of the program. She shared that Bruce hoped that children who could not otherwise afford music lessons or be able to attend concerts, plays and related types of performances would be the beneficiaries. Discussion following Debbie’s presentation on Bruce’s desires. Steve expressed his intent to delegate the administration of the educational scholarship portion of the program to the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. He also shared that he has asked Randy Bernstein to help develop the selection criteria for these scholarship awards. Regarding the arts enrichment portion of the fund, several ideas were discussed, such as delegating the administration of this portion of the program to one or more of the local arts organizations, like Youth Orchestra. No decisions were made.
  • b. Division of the Monies between Current Uses and Endowment: After discussion, it was agreed that it was premature to made financial decisions relating to the Shaw Scholarship Fund until after the Speakeasy fundraiser.

4. Formal Statement of Foundation’s Mission: Christie McDonald presented six possible mission statements. Elements of several were supported. Christie agreed to take the input from this discussion to craft a revised composite statement for consideration by the Board at its next meeting.

5. Status Report on the Joint Ad Hoc Committee to Address How the Foundation and Club Boards Interact: It was reported that this committee will not convene until March. As a result, no update was available.

6. Review of Tax-Appropriate Thank You Letter: Christie presented letterhead for a proposed tax-appropriate thank you letter. This letterhead contained several tax related sentences at the bottom of the page. Concerns were expressed regarding the length of the tax statement. Concern was also expressed about the inclusion of the value of donated items in the letter. Steve and Tony agreed to make a second attempt on crafting acceptable language for the acknowledgment letter. Once this language is approved by the Board, Christie will insert it into the letterhead document. The process for acknowledging donors was also discussed. Steve and Tony agreed to look into this process, as well.

7. Date of Next Foundation Board Meeting: Following discussion on alternative dates for the March meeting, Steve announced that the next meeting will be held on March 19 at 4 PM at the Vet’s Club.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Ted Stevens, Secretary