June 13th Area Team Meeting Minutes

Area Team Leadership Meeting - June 13 2016

Meeting Minutes

Present: Mariah O, Deirdre O, Danielle A, Cary Y, Marie T, Greg R (note-taker)
Excused: Nancy D, Marian C, Marika (temporary TDS)

I - Old Business

1 - Rental of a Storage Unit for Materials
Joanne C had proposed in previous meeting that we rent a storage unit for coolers, marketing material, etc. Marian C weighed in by email saying she and her husband could continue to store things. Greg shared a conversation with Caren who said that there is no ideal place - that she has different things at different homes.
Decisions - Team decided not to make a motion
Team agreed that Marian and Joanne work together to transfer belongings from one home to the other.

2 - Online Advertising for generating new Host Families
At our previous meeting some volunteers noticed that new host family online applications went up at the end of the summer. They wondered if AFS Marketing had specifically targeted our area at that time. Greg agreed to contact marketing and ask. Marketing said they would get back to him then never did. Greg agreed to try agin.

3 - Presentation of AT communication tools
Nearly a year ago former Chair Jim C had asked present chair Greg R to work on identifying the best communication tools for the AT. They met and discussed possibilities
Greg asked other Area Teams, two Team Development Specialists and the NY Field Digital staff. The proposal:

A - For confidential communication across the entire region: volunteers are to use online listservs like Googlegoup or Yahoogroup. Greg created the Steinbeck Volunteer Googlegroup. 15 volunteers have begun using it.
To join email steinbeckvolteam@googlegrups.com

B - For communication between volunteers and participants (participants are host families and students - both inbound and outbound) as well as returnees.
AFS NY recommends the use of a Facebook Group (not a FB Page). Greg discussed how at the beginning of each school year we can wnsure all students and families are connected to it. Some of the features:
- we can use the event invitation tool to coordinate orientations (Maps, RSVP’s, online invites,)
- we can post photos of events to give the team a human face
- we can invite in potential AFSers so they can get to know us.

II - New Business

1 - Treasury question
Greg discussed a conversation with treasurer Mary Turnbull about the delayed checking signing.
Motion (Cory): Mary can sign checks up to $150 without Greg’s signature as long as he continues to update the team.
Vote: Unanimous for the limit

2 - Salinas Leadership Call - Take Aways
Two weeks ago Danielle, Deirdre, Mariah, and Greg me for an informal meeting to discuss the life of the chapter.
Volunteers identified the primary event as three times per year gathering with each hosted student presenting. Greg’s proposal that they do something bigger met with the need for more volunteers.
We discussed the definition of a chapter, the history of chapters and Area Teams.
Greg reminded folks that any two non-family volunteers can come together as a chapter within the AT and host students; one must be a chair, the other a treasurer.
We discussed what roles are for the Area Team and what roles for chapters.
Greg discussed his hope to meet with other groups of volunteers in other areas: Carmel/Monterey and Santa Cruz.

3 - Proposal - Change the “Launch Day” from Arrival Orientation to: AT Potluck
All volunteers agreed we need to have a time when “everyone is on the same page” at the beginning of the school year: host parents, hosted students, volunteers. Greg shared that a second wave of students will arrive early September so some families/students won’t be at the Arrival Orientation at Stephen’s and Jayanti’s home on August 13th.  We discussed the way Arrival Orientations have changed over the years: pros and cons of each set up.
Greg’s proposal: we change the date of the Potluck Event and make it a mandatory meeting of all families, students and liaisons as a launch date. Everyone will walk away with a printed roster with the dates and contact information as well as the Facebook page and knowledge of who is in their area, who the other families are, etc.|Marie suggested we use the Monterey Youth Center. Greg agreed to champion this event.

4 - Hosting status and lead management
At the moment we have eight hosted students. Two of them are YES students.

5 - Open discussion
Cory said she would like to have a bonfire event for the students. Greg pointed out this is exactly the kind of thing that is typically organized by a chapter - that the Facebook page would be a great place to announce it. Santa Cruz seems like the best place for a bonfire.

III - Next meeting:

Saturday July 9 at 10 AM - Greg will call in from abroad

For next meeting:
How to recruit and match liaisons for the coming school year (Danielle)