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Board Meeting Minutes

AIC Board of Directors Meetings Minutes

February 9, 2017

Minutes of a Board Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Indian Center of Chicago

Board Members Present: Les Begay, Kelli Covey, Adam Fahey, Bobbie Bellinger, Lisa Franqui

Board Members Not Present: Jack Campbell, Melyssa Navis

Staff: Vince Romero, David Bender, Tom Robertson

Guests: Eli Suzukovich

Call to Order: 6:00 pm

  1. Review and approval of agenda.
  2. Review and approval of meeting minutes for December 2016 and January 2017 tabled.
  3. Building Update

a. Ainslie close: We’ll determine date after the zoning hearing on February 17th decision.

b. “Closing” temporarily for a month or two (given our donors and 501c3 status this may not be possible without undue consequences, but we talked about some way to get a PAUSE while we get things in order.

  1. Pow Wow

a. We still owe the Park District money. Need further discussion on 2017 Pow Wow.

  1. Staff ReportsDavid Bender:

a. Presented two events – a Hip Hop Dance event that would also be a fundraiser (target date: April 11) and a Community Organizing Strategic Plan event (target date in March). He has created proposals and they were just forwarded on to us today (Feb 10). Both require money.

b. Hip Hop fundraiser – costs would be $2,000 up front, which the partner he has identified would provide. AIC would need to provide space and also his staff time. The HOPE is to make about $4,000, half of which would cover costs and the other half he said might be split with AIC and support for Standing Rock (which sounds like maybe $1,000 max for AIC). Issues with this event were 1) brings in little revenue 2) requires his staff time and 3) March is not a good time, given the move. Given the financial issues, we mostly agreed that this doesn’t make good sense as a priority right now. We do, however, need to let him know this decision.

c. Community Organizing Strategic Planning – this proposed event would be designed to set priorities and get community input for a community organizing plan going forward – to identify issues, hear community concerns, etc. He was estimating a cost of around $3,000 (again, see his proposal). While we noted that we don’t have a budget to support the event, he said that it is a requirement outlined in our Marguerite Casey Foundation event. So we will need to figure out what this means. We didn’t discuss it further. Suggestions are we review the grant requirements to be clear exactly what needs to be delivered and we see if it’s possible to do it at minimal cost (using staff as facilitators and maybe having a potluck to support it instead of providing food. Or finding the lowest cost option for food (like ordering pizza or having snacks). It does seem that since it is a requirement of the grant, we need to figure out how this work can get done. We are awaiting a response back on this front, so we need to let him know. Marguerite Casey grant proposal will be submitted and forwarded on to Bobbie (hopefully today).

For Staff reports, we need outlined:

*    Job title
*    Status - full time, part time, contract?  
*    # of hours per week
*    Responsibilities
*    What projects or work are they doing?
*    How much of that work is supporting or supported by a grant?

To support grant documentation, Kelli will provide a template to Vince to gather all the     grant information we need so we can determine program priorities for the rest of the     year.     It will include:

1) Grant focus and deadlines for doing the work and reporting on it 
2) Responsibilities outlined in each grant 
3) What required work has been completed?
4) What required work is still to be completed?
5) Who is responsible for completing that work?
6) Who is responsible for completing reports/proposal and talking with each funder?

We decided to begin by getting documentation about staff responsibilities and grant     status.
  1. Financial Update

a. State of the organization; financial review.

b. We discussed possible options to immediately address.

c. Freezing all new programs and spending until the move is complete and we have time to get all documentation in order.

Board Update:

  1. Board/Staff meeting: We will meet with the staff on Saturday the 18th at 1pm in Tribal Hall to review staff reports and provide a State of the AIC. We will discuss the above and our financial situation.
  2. United vouchers: We will continue to use the membership raffle and any other opportunity for revenue through early March. We will then determine if we should sell outright or other options. End of March is the voucher deadline.
  3. Having a board retreat where we work through all the possible options.


  1. Gaby presented ideas for a membership card initiative that would require buying a printer for $700 along with materials in order to provide membership cards to paying members. In closed session, we acknowledged that, due to financial issues, this is not a priority right now. We will need to let her know our decision.
  2. She also noted that we received two new $500 donations. She needs a letter from Les and needs to produce a certificate of appreciation. Les is to follow up with her. We want to make sure we show our deepest appreciation to these donors.
  3. She also wanted the go ahead for the Powwow.
  4. Finally, the PayPal membership money has $1,800 and needs to be moved into the general account.

ED Report:

  1. ED will request for February 15th from the five staff members what grants they are working on, status and other grants they are involved with as staff. Also, asking them what they think their job descriptions are and what they actually do at the AIC.

Open Discussion: Eli – tax documentation. He had questions that need to be followed up by our accountant.

Meeting adjourned 8:30 pm.

January 12, 2017

Minutes of a Board Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Indian Center of Chicago

Board Members Present: Melyssa Bobbie, Les Begay, Kelli Covey, Adam Fahey, Bobbie Bellinger

Staff: Vince Romero, David Bender, Tom Robertson

Guests: Wendy B., Abaki Beck

Call to Order: 6:06 pm

Notes for Approval: Dec. notes to be tabled and reviewed next month.

  1. Gabby: Dec. 16-Feb. 15th Membership Drive: Would like to use the airline tickets for a membership drive. 2-$250 tickets United Airlines. It needs to be awarded by March 15th and used by September. Only paying members have an opportunity to win the tickets. a. Concern: Only a few people may sign up for membership and we would give away valuable tickets. b. Gabby will provide a list of donations. c. Approaching the 2,000 members. d. We gave United $5,000 worth of AIC advertising in exchange for $5,000 in airline tickets. e. We can also ask United for an extension if we need more time to use the tickets. f. Membership Drive will go from now until March 15, 2017. Gabby will send a flyer and post on Social Media/Smoke Signals. We would have to sell 20 tickets. g. Should also advertise with Archery.
  2. Pow Wow a. Committee: Dave Spencer, Melyssa Navis, Les Begay, Gabby, Vince, 10 a.m. Why can’t we bring her back? Pay Cyndee Fox Starr as a consultant? The grant that paid her last year has run out. Albany Park, North Park as an option? Parking issue.
    b. Christine Red Cloud, IHS. May be able to run Pow Wow. Wrote out an SOP in the past.

c. Spaghetti Dinner: $5 per person. Wendy B. is in charge, January, Thurs. 26th. Need Social Media to Advertise: Ask Gabby: Website, FB, Smoke Signals: Advertise the Membership Drive: Enters you in a raffle. Vince will be present at event. Need more Membership Forms available.

d. Potential New Board Member Introduction: Abaki Beck

  1. Building Status:

a. We didn’t get on the January slate to have the Fire Chief sign off on the building. It probably won’t be until the middle of February. Feb. 13th. b. Attorney’s are trying to go back to Saxony and ask for a 2 month extension. Mark with Transwestern. We will know in a couple of weeks. If they say no, we will try to get a reduced amount for a couple of months. We will find out next Week. d. Adam met with Eli & Vince about a week. It will take a day to move, need 4 days notice. There will be a 8 man crew. Eli sent a $9,000 cost. Non union will do it for $5,000. We could close at the end of the month but we shouldn’t until the Fire Chief inspects. Adam will meet with Eli to decide on the selection of the moving company. e. Preliminary inspector doesn’t think there’s a leakage in the tank. f. Eli and Tom will be in charge of old AIC building during move and Les & Adam will be in charge at new building. g. We need to be out of old AIC after March 5th.

ACTION: Les made the motion to accept Sharon Taylors’s resignation as a Board Member. Bobbie 2nded. All in favor. Motion carries.

  1. Finance Committee: a. After the audit there will be a final finance report so the information provided is preliminary. b. Will be working on looking for a work study for the Finance help person. c. CIMC: has 2 OHT position. CIMC would pay for someone to do the work.
  2. Personnel Committee: a. Will talk about it at Saturday’s January 14th meeting.
  3. ED Report a. Received 49 Jewel gift cards for food came from Lutheran Church. d. Winter Feast: Had 250 meeting. e. Father Powell, Mary Greenberd, Susan Power (3 last Indian Center Founders). Father Powell has mass on Sundays at Center. f. Want to do cultural exchanges with Turkish General Consulate. g. Northwestern Advisory Committee on Native issues met. h. Review for Illinois Arts Council for grant renewal: Dave Spencer. i. Need to have a report for how much money is left for each grant and how we are meeting the objectives of the grant. j. Need to have job descriptions. k. AIC Employees: 8 people: 3 full time Vince, David, Dave. Emily Lorezel will come up as a full time employee when her grant starts. Project Beacon. Trafficking of children. 3 years. Capacity/Direct Services. 2nd increase direct services. 3rd year continue programming. Option for renewal for 3 more years. There will be site visits.
    l. We have stopped senior meals because of the move. We have stopped our social services. Food pantry. m. We’ve been covered by the following media: Chicago Tribune, WBEZ radio, Turkish news agency, Discovery Channel, First Nations Experience (FNX). n. Archery: Steven Smally, IT guy, recommended by Sharon Taylor. He will go inside the computer and get the information we needed.

Report’s Reviewed

  1. Reviewed Emily’s report.
  2. Did not receive a report from Dave Bender & Dave Spencer.
  3. Dave Spencer used to write a lot of grants with Lynne Wendler.

Adjourned 8:45 pm.

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