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VOAD Meeting Notes

September 24th, 2019
Valmont Presbyterian Church

Attendees: Bernard Lodge, Ryan Airey, Aaron Titus, Philip Foster, Garry Sanfaçon, Katie Arrington, Joan Cernich, Dave Greenwood, Andrew Notbohm, Lynn Heydt, Kevin Esmail (Longmont OEM), Mary Eldred, Shannon McVaney (Longmont OEM), Joycelyn Fankhouser, Chris Campbell, Ian Anderson, Toshen Golias, Kristen Westhoff, Joe Campbell, Justin Bukartek, Dennis Whalen, Richard Brandon, Ann Huggins, Joyce Glazier, Tiernan Doyle, Craig Schmidle, Jack Laub


Summary

  • Keep VOAD running, but reexamine whether it is most useful to have a potluck style, social membership where peace times are spent on bringing volunteers together and maintaining relationships; or if there should be a larger, more active organizational board that holds regular exercises and does community outreach
  • Actions: Volunteer to be a board member on the VOAD by getting in touch with Joyce and Craig
  • Next meeting: November 19th, 3 to 5 p.m. Location TBD

 


 

Opening Address by Craig Schmidle (VOAD Chair) 

  • Overview of the function of VOAD at the county level
  • What is the future of the Boulder County VOAD when Boulder County has so many ESFs?
  • Is the VOAD necessary at the county level?
  • How is the VOAD of value to your organization?

Discussion by members on whether the VOAD provides enough value to continue as a network:

  • The VOAD creates value by helping coordinate resources throughout an entire event, while individual organizations provide discrete functions at specific times. 
  • Vetting voluntary organizations and maintaining a list of trusted organizations in the county is a valuable service that the VOAD provides
  • Relationships between organizations is really the paramount value of the VOAD. Many groups will never have an MOU with the county, but the relationships provide a lot of value

Discussion on relationship between VOAD and County:

  • The County needs to supplement volunteer organization; they would like to be able to rely on the VOAD if they need to, especially for understanding which groups are working on relief and are trusted. The County may offer to fund a person from the VOAD to provide volunteer coordination after an event (assuming there is need, sufficient money donated, and that money is directed by the county)
  • There is another proposal to offer a Volunteer Reception Center through or for the VOAD. Jack Laub created that plan for Foothills United Way but it got lost in the merger with Mile High United Way and now there is no organization designated to do volunteer management.
  • The County wants VOAD to provide a gateway for partners from out of state, emergent groups, or other unvetted/unknown aid groups
  • Holding a series of exercises that includes VOAD members would be useful for illuminating the expectations between VOAD and County and also for recruiting more VOAD members
  • Socializing plans with the county is an important task to do so different groups know what the expectations and roles are for different plans
  • Justin and Andrew can put together information on what ESFs do, what the roles and expectations are from the EOC and the DOC

Discussion on VOAD organization and relationships with communities in need:

  • Local people will rise to the top to provide volunteer oversight and they would be valuable connections for the VOAD
  • Larimer VOAD does a good job of community outreach as they have organizations connect with one another, put on tabletops, and drive people to the Larimer Connects program
  • Disasters are overwhelming, things will break, start by accepting that things are broken, wait for community members to appear to lead
  • Many VOAD members will not be available when the disaster hits, people come forward to fill that void
  • It is a trap to create bureaucracy within a VOAD. Any energy pent-up after an event lends itself to creating hierarchy and org charts during peace time
  • The community will organize itself into constellations all by itself
  • What about a liaison position? (educate people and reach out so everyone has the same information and can make decisions and get their feedback reflected back to them)

Final thoughts:

  • Recruit volunteers for the VOAD Board
  • Consider working more closely with the county – including a county member on the board
  • Consider longterm plans for conducting tabletop exercises with the county, and making the county plans more transparent to VOAD members

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