Board of Directors Meeting

September 18, 2002





·        Capital campaign: All board members agree to make their pledges by 9/30/02.

·        Staff representative proposal: The board affirmed its interest in having formal staff representation on the Personnel Committee Board, and invited staff to choose representatives who will immediately start attending and participating in these meetings. These representatives are asked to work with Executive and Personnel Committees to work out the details of this representation, to be brought back to the staff & board for approval.

·        Community newspaper proposal: The board agreed to a potential model of "sponsorship" (outlined below).  Chris Browne & Brad Lander will follow up with Jill.

·        Red Hook Advisory Council:  The proposal to establish a Red Hook Advisory Council was approved with minor amendments (see below).




Present:  Pat Conway, Chris Browne, Linda Techell, Michelle de la Uz, Jean Berman, Susan Wefald, Peg Fox, Guillermo Ochoa, Shennetta Porter, Mitty Owens, Dany Cunningham, Regan Grusy, Chastity Davis, Lesil Burns, Annette Hall, Brian Colon, Brad Lander (staff), Sandy Boyer (staff), Regan Grusy (staff)


1)                  Introductions

a)                  The new board members (Peg Fox, Susan Wefald, Guillermo Ochoa, and Chris Browne) introduced themselves.

b)                  The FAC Mission Statement was read.

c)                  The Board did a brief brainstorm of themes and/or names for the new building on 4th Avenue and DeGraw Street.

d)                  Minutes from 6/26/02 board meeting were approved by acclamation.

e)                  It was agreed that minutes should be circulated shortly after the meeting.


2)                  Fundraising Update (Peg Fox and Regan Grusy)

a)                  Capital Campaign:

i)                    Board contributions:  We are asking all board members to make their pledges by the end of September.  So far, we only have 20% board participation.  We have about 10 pledges in total so far, ranging from $100-$5,000.

ii)                   Lisel asked about the possibility of institutional collaborations (e.g. with local churches).

b)                  Kim Klein training:  Kim Klein, the guru of grassroots fundraising, will be conducting a training at FAC.  It will focus on helping board members and others in becoming comfortable with asking for individual donations.

c)                  Walk-a-thon for affordable housing:  FAC is taking part in a walk-a-thon for affordable housing, sponsored by Washington Mutual bank.  It is a 5 mile walk on Sept 29, 2002.  Meet at FAC at 11:30 a.m. or register at 99 Street / 5th Avenue at 1:30 p.m.  Goal of $250/person who is walking.     

d)                  FAC 25th Anniversary:  We will hold our first 25th Anniversary Planning Meeting on Tuesday Oct. 29, 6:00 p.m.  Contact Regan Grusy or Peg Fox for more information.


3)                  Organizational Issues:

a)                  Motion:  Linda & Michelle nominated Chastity Davis as a member of the Executive Committee.  Passed by acclamation.

b)                  Staff representative proposal:  Brad presented the proposal for staff representatives to the FAC board and personnel committee.  The proposal was developed by the staff, over a several month period, facilitated by Eugenia Acuna.

i)                    Discussion:

(1)               General agreement to establish a staff representative, but numerous concerns about the details. 

(2)               No one person on any committee should be able, by their non-participation, to stop committee process.

(3)               Specifically invite staff to name representatives to the Personnel Committee and the full board, who can then work with board to finalize details.

(4)               It was recommended that we consult with a lawyer about legal implications of the proposal.


ii)                   Motion: The Board affirms its interest in having formal staff representation on the Personnel Committee and at the Board. We invite the staff to choose representatives who will immediately start attending and participating in Personnel and Board meetings. These representatives are asked to work with the Executive Committee and the Personnel Committee to work out the details (including the voting status and term of service) of this representation and details which will be brought back to both the Board and the staff before being finalized.  Approved by acclamation.  Linda and Michelle will communicate this decision to the FAC staff.

c)                  Red Hook Advisory Council:  Motion:  The board considered the proposal for a Red Hook Advisory Council, developed by Ibon Muhammad.  The proposal was approved by acclamation, with three amendments:

i)                    Change the section allowing election of a representative to the FAC Board, to clarify that the Advisory Council can nominate someone to the FAC Board of Directors, but they must be elected by the board.

ii)                   Advisory Council members will be elected to one-year terms.

iii)                 Add wording that clarifies that the Advisory Council operates with the parameters of FAC’s mission.

d)                  Community newspaper proposal (Chris Browne reporting):  The board discussed the community newspaper proposal from Jill Grossman, as well as the recommendation by Chris Browne and Brad Lander. 

i)                    Discussion:  One model might be the model of City Limits, where several not-for-profits are "sponsors."  FAC could act as a "lead co-sponsor."  We could serve as a fiscal sponsor, suggest other organizational co-sponsors, and help to recruit volunteers.  In this model, the newspaper's mission would have to be somewhat aligned with FAC's mission.  However, we would not be "publisher" in the sense that we would not have any editorial control, and we would not commit financially.  Some concerns were raised about trying to make sure the paper was viable, since our name will still be associated with it as a sponsor.


ii)                   Motion:  Board agrees by acclamation to deputize Chris and Brad to act on our behalf to move this proposal forward.

e)                  Inside (see package): No objections were raised.

f)                    Fiscal sponsorship of 15th St. garden: Deferred to Executive Committee.

g)                  FAC- Activist speak-out event / Planning Our Future (Chastity Davis):  The emphasis will be on getting active FAC-activists to give feedback to FAC.  Which issues should be on the agenda that evening?  A committee  will be fleshing out an approach to the agenda.  Mitty volunteers to work on creative/cultural aspects possible for the approach to the agenda.  There was general agreement expressed by the Bd. that a positive, creative approach be included in mtg. planning.

4)                  Committee Reports:  See Brad’s written report, and the "Keeping our Communities Working” document, which was distributed to all.

a)                  Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (Mitty Owens reporting)

i)                    Two rounds of financial literacy training held, with great new curriculum developed by NEDAP.

ii)                   IDA "matched savings" program nearly ready for launch.

iii)                 First Source Staffing - a positive trend, with two consecutive profitable months.  We are seeking a manager- see job description.

iv)                 Brooklyn Woods (woodworking & cabinet-making training program) - joint venture proposal with FAC is going to be considered by committee.

v)                  Brooklyn Networks is struggling, because telecom industry is struggling - trends are being analyzed.

vi)                 BWI elected a new Bd. chair: Peter Serafino

vii)               Fund balance is over $350,000.

b)                  Developing Justice (Brian Colon reporting)

i)                    Currently 158 participants - only 10 have been rearrested; 41 are employed thru FAC; 7 have found affordable housing thru FAC.

ii)                   New campaign beginning, organized by family-members of people incarcerated, seeking to change telephone bill policy of NYS Corrections, to stop charging prisoners/families a 60% surcharge.

iii)                 Leadership development training is underway- curriculum, which was run through one test group, is being used with a new group of participants.


c)                  Affordable Housing (Dany Cunningham reporting):  We will be participating in 3rd party transfer project - preserving 5 or 6 multifamily buildings as affordable housing.  Resident council- 12 residents toured about 8 of the buildings.

d)                  Displacement Free Zone (Shenetta Porter reporting)

i)                    Big win: 77 St. Mark’s Place, a 5 yr lease with only $25 increase in rent!

e)                  Finance Committee (Chris Browne reporting):  We will have first draft of audit at the next meeting.  Reports were circulated.  On budget comparison report YTD Actual (negative #) reflects a planned deficit, for use of Edna McConnell Clark Foundation money which came in last year.

f)                    Personnel Committee (Pat Conway reporting):  Eugenia Acuna reducing hours, will focus on staff development, but not staff the personnel committee.  Miguel Roman will staff the committee.  Staff representative will join.


5)                  Executive Director’s Report

a)                  FAC has applied for a $1.5 million grant thru the NYS Empire Opportunity Fund, for our new building.  We are holding our breath.

b)                  We are exploring doing more work integrating arts/culture into the new building (and perhaps the 25th anniversary).  We will work with Groundswell Community Mural Project on a mural, have garden sculpture, and potentially other ways of filling the building with FAC's spirit.

c)                  CGNW merger:  The legal work continues to go slowly, but it is at last moving forward.  We are redrafting the job description for the education director.

d)                  Ecomat update:  7 workers on payroll at time it closed, 4 currently working; others are still in a job search.  Of 26 total employees, 22 are currently employed.

e)                  Check out to get information about the proposed anti-displacement tax credit legislation.

f)                    We are considering using consultant money to explore another social venture business - this one related to Developing Justice program.


Meeting adjourned 9:45 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Pat Conway.