The Board of Trustees will be meeting Saturday-Sunday, April 30-May 1. We are super-excited because this will be our first face-to-face meeting in over two years! Some of us have never met each other in person (most of us have never even met Frances in person), and fully half of our Board has never experienced a face-to-face meeting, so we will spend some time settling in as a group.
This is also the first time we will be meeting as the Farm & Wilderness and Farm & Wilderness Conservation, Inc. Board of Trustees. Recently we finished the necessary work to transfer all of F&W’s land and water assets to our conservation arm, the Ninevah Foundation, following which we changed that entity’s name. Farm & Wilderness is a name easily recognized in Vermont and among our community; we expect this will make it easier to raise money for our conservation programming and conservation efforts. FWC is now one of the largest – if not the largest – private conservation groups in the state of Vermont. The Boards are the same, and the missions are the same: F&W runs outdoor educational programs, and FWC is all about conservation.
There are many models of good governance for boards; what is ours? We have a very strong operations team, which allows Trustees to focus on vision, finances, and strategy. How will we be accountable in those areas? How can we give our ED (our sole employee) autonomy as well as accountability? What metrics do we plan to use to measure annual goals? We have a lengthy session on this topic planned for Saturday afternoon.
The Executive Director’s report will focus on admissions, hiring of summer staff, an update on F&W strategy development, and introductions to our new camp directors. Frances and the Finance Committee will also be asking us to be thought partners on the topic of camp affordability, with a focus on middle- and lower-income families, and policies and processes regarding our campership program.
Although we don’t expect to add new Trustees this year, we will say goodbye to four: Adam Keller, Steve Burwell, Katsi Cook, and Andrea Taylor. Our Board Stewardship Committee will also present the proposed new Executive Committee (Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, Recording Clerk, and Executive Director). This is the group that acts on behalf of the full Board if there are urgent matters in between our quarterly gatherings.
As of May 1, I will no longer be Clerk of the Board. I will remain on the Board as Recording Clerk for the next year. It has been a huge honor to be trusted by my fellow Trustees with this job, and I have loved (most of) it! I hope to see all of you at the Fair in August and in future F&W gatherings.
In the Light,