Happy 2017! With the “100-Days” timeline looming for others, we thought we should take this opportunity to let you know what’s up with OMA. This begins the start of regular missives we plan to send this year to keep us connected to you. We hope you will connect with us in return.
You have not heard a lot from the board because winter storms foiled a number of Board meetings such that the December meeting actually occurred February 5th. At that meeting the Board took a number of important actions:
- We reviewed and discussed the Leadership Committee’s Post-Conference Report .
- Had a full board orientation which included the Oregon Department of Justice’s advice about the rights and responsibilities for non-profit board members (http://www.doj.state.or.us/charigroup/pdf/nonprofit.pdf), as well as a grounding in OMA’s history and structures led by Molly Keating with input from Jim Brooks, Amy Chase Herman and Donna Silverberg;
- Reviewed and approved of our finances (we are happy to report we have a healthy $50K plus in our account again!);
- Assessed the year ahead; and,
- Unanimously approved one-year terms for new board members Amy Chase Herman and Donna Silverberg who expressed a willingness to help the board and organization in its next phase of development.
In addition, we voted on our executive committee. This year, to help build our internal and external capacity, the board voted to enlist the assistance of two former OMA board presidents to co-lead the organization. Our 2017 OMA Board is:
- Amy Chase-Herman
- Tera Cleland
- Brian Egan
- John Inglish
- Rudy Lachenmeier
- Wes Lucas
- Gail McEwen
- Donna Silverberg
- Lynn Steyaert
- Jennifer Tenorio
And our executive committee is:
- Co-Presidents: Amy Chase Herman and Donna Silverberg
- Co-Vice Presidents: Wes Lucas and Lynn Steyaert
- Treasurer: Gail McEwen
- Secretary: Jennifer Tenorio
- Immediate Past President: Brian Egan
Board Members Convening Committees
In addition, Board members also signed up to convene and be on OMA committees. The list of our committees and board conveners/liaisons is at the end of this letter. Please feel free to connect with them if you would like to join the committee, ask any questions, or provide input. Their contact information is located on the OMA website.
Once we got our organizational house in order, the Board DID review the input that so many of you provided at the conference and via the online survey. We hear that the following points are important to our members…and our friends:
- First, we were struck by how many people look to OMA as a primary “community”. With that reflection was a request that OMA enhance opportunities for mediators to come together more frequently in both formal and informal settings.
- We also were impressed to see how many of you expect/hope for OMA to:
- Educate our members and the public;
- Help our members connect:
- To each other;
- To trends in the field; and
- To work and learning opportunities.
- Continue to provide:
- Advocacy for mediation at the state and local levels;
- Professional liability insurance for our members who do this work as their paid career;
- Mentorship to new members/new-comers to the field; and,
- Oregon’s premier Mediation Conference.
The board is eager to do all we can to realize these goals AND…you may recall that OMA has been “staff free” for the past sixteen months. Board members have been getting and opening the mail, answering phones and emails, keeping our books, updating the website, reminding you when to renew your membership or directory listings, etc.
The board has been keeping the engine running and now we are starting to rev it up!! How do we propose to rev?
- You may have seen that we are seeking an energetic and skilled administrative professional to do the administrative task the board has been doing (link to job description)
- We need YOUR help!
- If you have energy, passion and a willingness to help one of the above committees we need you to contact the board liaison listed so we can help you get and stay engaged!
- We are starting to plan for yet another terrific fall conference and hope you can help us identify and attract speakers you want to see/hear/experience. We noticed many of you asking for new speakers…and, we need you to help us identify them. If you or someone you know would be a good fit, let us know.
- We had a “soft launch” of our new website and online membership management system which will make membership renewals, reminders and connecting you to OMA and other members much much easier. We expect this system will help us all stay connected in the ways you/we said we want to!
Finally, many of you may know the organization hit a financial bump at the end of 2015. As noted above, we are on the way to a healthy recovery. The 2016 board worked hard to learn from the lessons of the past in order to develop certainty for the future. To that end, we recently had a third party finance professional review our financial processes, systems, accounts, and budget. He addressed the Board at our April 7th meeting, providing everyone a solid grounding in non-profit financial management and an assessment of his review. His report about where OMA now sits (after great time and effort of last year’s board, Treasurer Gail McEwen and volunteer book keeper, Cynthia Moore) was VERY encouraging and as follows:
“OMA has exemplary financial systems and processes in place (even better than some million dollar 501(c)(6) corporations)! The board and the organization’s members can rest easily knowing the money is being well handled, accounted for, and managed.”
In closing this initial communication with you all, we hope you will join us in our effort to rev OMA’s engine in order to move OMA/us further towards our shared mission of the development, support and advocacy of mediation in the state of Oregon. We hope you will join us at one of the upcoming Spring Trainings and want to be sure your calendar is marked for another engaging Fall conference: November 3 & 4th in Portland. Details about all will be coming in separate missives to you.
We hope you and yours are well and look forward to hearing from you soon,
Your OMA Board
Standing Committee & Board Convener/Liaison(s)
Other Board Members on Committee
|Advocacy: John Inglish||Rudy Lachenmeier, Gail McEwen, Donna Silverberg, Lynn Steyaert|
|Conference: Wes Lucas||Rudy Lachenmeier, Gail McEwen, Donna Silverberg, Jennifer Tenorio|
|Executive: Donna Silverberg and Amy Chase Herman||Wes Lucas, Brian Egan, Gail McEwen, Lynn Steyaert, Jennifer Tenorio|
|Financial: Gail McEwen||Wes Lucas|
|Leadership: Amy Chase Herman||Donna Silverberg|
|Member Services: Donna Silverberg|
|Standards of Practice: Tera Cleland (Liaison)||Rudy Lachenmeier|
Ad Hoc Committees
|By-Laws Review: Lynn Steyaert||Brian Egan & Wes Lucas|
|Education: Jennifer Tenorio||Amy Chase Herman|
|Hiring: Gail McEwen and Lynn Steyaert||Amy Chase Herman, Donna Silverberg, & Tera Cleland|
|Technology: Brian Egan||Wes Lucas|