[Nfbc-info] Board retreat

Serena Olsen olsen.serena at gmail.com
Sun Jan 23 16:54:41 UTC 2011

Greetings Fellow Californians and Leaders:

The East Bay chapter of the NFBC (est. May 2010) is happy to report
that we have started 2011 with a very successful board retreat, held
yesterday in my home.  All of our board members were present.  Each of
us pitched in to bring food items for the days meals and snacking.

We started the day at 10 a.m. with brunch and spent the rest of the
morning with Dr. Jernigan's _Blindness: Handicap or Characteristic?_,
played an informative and fun NFB trivia game with a $5 Starbucks gift
card going to our president, Jason Holloway, for answering the most
questions correctly, and closing the morning with a Seth Godin video
about leadership and spreading ideas (he comes from the marketing
world and is sort of a hipper, more progressive answer to Zig
Ziggler--I recommend searching for him on You Tube and watching a few
of the many short videos there).

We had a late lunch around 3 (scheduled for 2, but didn't get it in
the oven to warm soon enough--a logistics lesson) and in the
afternoon, we got more focused on the brass tacks of running our
chapter for the coming year.  We listened to Diane Starin's piece on
organizing a new chapter (Braille Monitor 3/1991) and Barbara Pierce's
_Open Letter to New Chapter Presidents_ (Braille Monitor 5/99).  In
the discussion that folowed, we reflected on our accomplishments and
strengths in our short but powerful history and listed some of the
things we could improve upon.  We agreed that the basics, membership
and fundraising, are our two priorities and should underlie everything
we do.  We subsequently set two goals: 1) to double the number of
dues-paying members from 10 to 20 by this time next year, and 2) to
raise $500 to send an East Bay chapter member to Dallas in 2012.  In
addition, we agreed to start with a 2-month lead time for event
planning, since, despite the variety of great things we _have_ done,
we have also had several false starts on projects that didn't launch
due to inadequate lead time/planning.

Next, on 3 by 5 cards and small pieces of paper, we all wrote down
ideas for events and activities that we thought would be good for
April 2011 to March 2012 and organized them by month on a large blank
stretch of wall in the hallway.  As we each taped our ideas to the
wall, we were able to read other's ideas and once they were all up, we
went through, month by month, and agreed on a tenative event schedule
for the next year, with the understanding that October to December
will be action-packed (and we will be preparing for it from at least
August) and the summer may be a little slower or different than usual
with people out of town on vacation or going to national convention.

The agenda was set for us to stop there for dinner and something fun
like games or a movie, but brunch and lunch were heavier than I
anticipated and no one was hungry (I anticipated an easy dinner, like
ordering pizza) and we were about an hour behind schedule at that
point, so, with everyone eager to go home and not miss connecting
busses, we called it a day.

We focus so much on fundraising, that it can be easy to lose sight of
or take for granted the time and energy that we need to give to the
Federation to make all this work--I can not express deeply enough my
gratitude to my fellow board members for 100% attendance and
whole-hearted, enthusiastic participation, when we all could have been
doing any number of other things, particularly with the glorious
California winter weather we've been having the past few days.  The
investment they made in our chapter yesterday will make the coming
year even more powerful and dynamic than our first 8 humble months as
a chapter and I see an extremely vibrant future for the blind of the
East Bay!

Warm regards,

Serena Olsen, MAIPS

Please support my run in the Team LightHouse Half-Marathon--your
contribution will empower blind youth with the skills and confidence
they need to succeed!!  THANKS!

More information about the NFBC-Info mailing list