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Quarterly Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator's Meeting Minutes—September 18, 2013

The Earth Team (ET) Volunteer Coordinators’ meeting was held September 18, 2013.

Attendees were as follows:

  • Jan Klaus, State ET Coordinator
  • Area Volunteer Coordinators
    • Toni Flax (Area1)
    • Jamie Johnson (Area 2)
    • Leslie Spikes (Area 2, new)
    • Joyce Wade (Area 3)
    • Mechelle Foos (Area 4)
    • Diane Edwards (State Office [SO] and Plant Materials Center [PMC])

The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m.

Jan welcomed everyone and introduced Leslie Spikes, the new Area 2 coordinator.

Action Items Completed

  • Volunteer article online was updated
  • Wrote and sent out a new “Did you Know” to all employees

Action Items Still To Be Completed

  • Jan will work with Sheila Forrester (Public Affairs Specialist, PAS) to post ET information on Twitter—may contact other state coordinators
  • Jan will train office assistants on reviewing ET file folders and ET tracking system during Administrative and Management Reviews—she will work on this as time permits
  • Completing an article for the “Volunteer Showcase” on the Pollinator Project in Pratt

State ET coordinator Report—Jan Klaus

  • July 22, 2013—Provided ET Volunteer Coordinator Training to the new Area 2 Coordinator, Leslie Spikes, at the Dodge City Field Office (FO) with Jamie Johnson assisting
  • July 23, 2013—Sent email to ET coordinators with award Information along with past winning nominations
  • July 23, 2013—Prepared the 2013 ET Volunteer Awards Nomination bulletin to be posted to the Kansas Web site
  • August 1, 2013—Provided “Did you Know” fact sheets to Debbie Newton to be posted to the Kansas Web site
  • August 12, 2013—Conducted a Management and Administrative Review of the Hoxie Management Unit (MU) and reviewed all volunteer files in the Hoxie, Goodland, and Colby FO during the review; prepared a write up on the review and will provide this information to the Area 1 volunteer coordinator
  • August 28, 2013—Created Template Award Nomination Forms and emailed to all area coordinators to send out to offices
  • September 5, 2013—Participated in the ET Awards Process Thematic Training; was asked to provide information to the coordinators participating on the Kansas ET Volunteer awards process
  • September 12, 2013—Participated in the 4th Quarter National Earth Team Teleconference
  • September 16, 2013—Prepared the AD-700 requesting the 2013 ET Award Plaques for Kansas award winners
  • Prepared reports for the ET Coordinators’ Meeting
  • Solicited for 2014 ET Volunteer Award nominations from coordinators and FOs and prepared the nominations for review
  • Prepared for the 4th quarter meeting
  • Answered questions and requests from coordinators and the National Volunteer Office on an as needed basis

Area Coordinator Reports

Area 1—Toni Flax

  • National quarterly teleconference
  • Sent out reminder to get hours posted
  • Answered several question about what hours to count and the tracking system
  • Prepared award nominations

Area 2—Leslie Spikes and Jamie Johnson

  • Training with Jan and Jamie in Dodge, July 22, 2013
  • Emailed Delores photos of recognition items August 19, 2013
  • Training/cleanup with Carolyn Quillin on correcting Liberal ET Volunteer folders/tracking system
  • ET Volunteer Teleconference on award nominations September 5, 2013
  • Teleconference with Jamie to brainstorm nomination ideas September 6, 2013
  • Emailed solicitation for NRCS employee nomination Adam Elliot September 6, 2013
  • DC meeting presentation for meeting 2 employee/60 volunteer requirement September 12, 2013
  • Worked with Rita Schwartz on ET hours ideas September 12, 2013
  • ET Volunteer recognition items with Delores Eberle September 12, 2013
  • Sent updated list to Assistant State Conservationist (ASTC) Sheldon Hightower in Area 2 on September 13, 2013
  • Sent ET award email reminder to offices on September 13, 2013
  • Addressed eligible hours for Dennis Wieberg, Pam Stasa during the week of September 16, 2013
  • Assisted Jan Klaus with training Leslie Spikes, the new area 2 ET coordinator
  • Wrote award nomination for ET coordinator category
  • Wrote award nomination for partnership category
  • Pulled current report and sent to ASTC Sheldon Hightower indicating which FOs in Area 2 have not met their performance goal
  • Emailed all Area 2 NRCS employees and DC’s encouraging them to submit nominations for the ET awards
  • Assisted and responded to any questions from the FOs pertaining to the ET or the ET tracking system
  • Checked and corrected the ET tracking system for volunteer activities which were inadvertently captured under “No Activity”
  • Checked ET tracking system for duplicate entries

Area 3—Joyce Wade

  • DC meeting on August 27, 2013—handed out the “Did You Know” pictures of gifts we have available and award nomination forms, discussed hours and reporting hours
  • Listened to Thematic Training Teleconference and National ET Awards on September 5, 2013
  • Listened to 4th quarter National ET Teleconference on September 12, 2013
  • Sent email to offices on reporting hours and any new information
  • Worked with several offices on their hours
  • Reported to ASTC Clifford Thornton in Area 3 that offices that may be short on their volunteer goals
  • Worked with several offices on nominations; sent out templates

Area 4—Mechelle Foos

  • Visited with ASTC about volunteers for the Manhattan Area Office
  • Provided Jefferson County Conservation District a volunteer recruitment poster for use on their Facebook page
  • Answered questions about driving a government vehicle and volunteer ID cards
  • Worked with Manhattan Area Office on getting hours reported—soil scientist used a volunteer while in the field
  • Sent an email about ET awards on August 6, 2013, and August 29, 2013
  • Volunteer needs assessment completed at a Hiawatha MU meeting which involved three FOs
  • Potential award nominations talked about at Hiawatha MU meeting
  • Sent eleven individual emails to DCs that did not have 60 hours reported and gave several ideas for capturing more hours
  • Listened to the ET awards thematic training on September 5, 2013
  • Ran area report several times during quarter to look for errors and check progress
  • Sent ASTC report of offices with less than 60 hours
  • Contacted two offices about submitting award nominees
  • Sent an email on September 17, 2013, to all Area 4 employees about getting hours entered by September 30, 2013, and reminded them about ET awards

State office/PMC—Diane Edwards

  • Two new volunteers and one at the PMC
  • Need to finalize with Rich at PMC on a needs assessment and anticipating more hours for the PMC
  • Working with a student on background checks in order to become an apprentice in the SO

Earth Team Third Quarter Report

  • Area 1 – 5,384.25 hours and 859 volunteers
  • Area 2 – 4,657.25 hours and 620 volunteers
  • Area 3 – 3,706 hours and 402 volunteers
  • Area 4 – 3,408.25 hours and 523 volunteers
  • State Office/PMC – 115.25 hours and 18 volunteers

Statewide Office Participation—100% (101 of 101 offices)

Current Apprentices

  • Area 1—1 (Hays FO)
  • Area 2—2 (Ashland)
  • Area 3—1 (Erie)
  • Area 4—1 (Alma)
  • State Office—1

New Action Items

  • Jan will send the Thank You Templates that Jamie designed for thanking employees; Area Coordinators will let Jan know if they want her to ask their area offices to send them the conservation district board meeting minutes
  • Jan (with input from the area coordinators) will work on the next “Did You Know” email to include facts about the People’s Garden
  • Discussed all Earth Team Volunteer nominations submitted; will now submit to ET voting committee for final vote

Old Business

  • Kansas will attempt to obtain the new national office exhibit template banner stand to have one made for each area to utilize for recruitment
  • 2014 Business Plan was reviewed
  • Discussed new forms
  • Keep track of errors in system
  • Remember awards can be given any time of the year
  • Need success stories for Volunteer Showcase and Kansas Web site
  • Photo release permission will be added to the new Form-301A

New Business

  • Volunteer referrals—the National Office will contact Jan and she will contact referral to ask what they are interested in; if we are able to utilize them based on their interest, the area coordinator will be contacted to work with referral and local office
  • Discussed Friends of Conservation—we will keep what we are currently doing

Meeting Adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

Our next meet will be held on January 15, 2014, in the SO Conference Center, Salina beginning at 10 a.m.