Board of Trustees Meeting
March 21, 2017, 5:00 pm
5:00 Call To order- Heidi Lang
5:05 Consent Agenda
5:10 Financial Report-Tom Hartman
5:15 Executive Director Remarks- Matt Powers, Town Appropriation
5:25 President’s Remarks
• Gift/Personnel Policy Updates
• Joan Harvey
• Board Self Evaluation
5:30 Review List of Potential Trustees
5: 45 Annual Meeting
Confidential: Potential Trustees
Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2017
5:01 call to order
1. Present: Powers, Lang, Hartman, Dagger, Degener, Fuller, Bradley, Goodenough, Fiske, Harvey, French
2. Notified Absent: Holt, Endicott, Drufovka, Walsh
3. Leave of absences: Moore
4. Consent agenda
a. Motion to approve made by Camp. Seconded by Dagger.
b. Approved unanimously.
5. Treasurer's report.
a. Motion to approve made by Bradley. Seconded Degener
b. Approved unanimously.
6. Presidents remarks
a. Recent Bruce Coffin lecture was a big success despite other events going on.
b. Updating gift acceptance policy. Matt has revised policy, and went before development committee, is now going to finance committee, will then go to a lawyer and then come to the full board for approval.
c. Conversation about posting minutes on the website. Worries about over sharing and lost opportunity for candor. Transparency is a good goal, but remarks made that people can already come and read our minutes, but clarification is that minutes are actually NOT public. Comments made that the library does post minutes. Separate question if we wanna post an annual report/synopsis. Difference with annual meeting is we invite people. Motion to post the annual report. Degener motion, fuller second. Passes unanimously.
d. Issue raised on if there can be an update for board members every time Matt posts on the website.
e. Discussion of absentee board members receiving information while absent. Concerns that they may be out of the loop upon return. Absent board members still have website access. The fact there is no limit on numbers of absent board members.
7. Motion to adjourn.
a. Made by Camp. Seconded by Dagger.
March 21, 2017
Collections Committee: Chair, Susan Fuller/Staff Liaison, Becky Talcott
The collections committee met on February 15, 2017 with 10 members present. The committee's focus was on Inspection and discussion on a number of possible accessions to the library (books and photos submitted for donation) See Committee meeting minutes for specifics. Ensuing discussion centered around the number of family bibles WHC currently has, storage space, how many bibles we really need and/ or should we copy the genealogy information and return some bibles to family descendants. Discussion to be continued.
Committee on Trustees: Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Present: Isabel Bradley, Joan Harvey, Heidi Lang. Absent: Charlie Degener
The Committee met at 5:30 March 2nd, 2017. Joan Harvey announced that due to a recent decision to publish her memoir, she must now devote all her time to that effort and therefore must sadly resign from the Board of Trustees. President Heidi Lang accepted her resignation with regret. Joan was therefore excused from attending the remainder of the meeting.
• We developed a short list of potential trustees to present to the full board in the spring.
• We set September 2017 as the month for the Board of Trustees to complete a selfevaluation.
We reviewed sample evaluations from other non-profits. We will finish drafting our own, at our next meeting on July 6th. Adjourned, 6:30.
Development & Marketing: Chair, Edith Phyfe/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Executive Committee: Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Present: Isabel Bradley, Bob Holt, Susan Fuller, Heidi Lang. Notified Absence: Edith Phyfe (Tom Hartman and Barbara Drufovka planned to attend but due to unforeseen had to miss) Others Present: Matt Powers
The committee met February 28th 2017 from 5-7:15 pm to review and update the WHC’s Personnel Policy. We advise a brief, annual review of this policy going forward as laws/statutes/affordable health care act are all fluid. Heidi incorporated changes made to the draft and will send it, along with a list of the committee’s questions, to WHC’s legal counsel, Ms. Debra Bouffard of Sheehey, Furlong and Behm. Once Ms. Bouffard has reviewed the policy, it will go before the full board for ratification.
Next meeting: Thursday April 20th 5:30 pm, John Cotton Dana Library with a donor.
Education & Scholarship: Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff
The Education and Scholarship Committee has not met since our last meeting in January. The scholarship application has been released to the high school counseling office with a deadline of May 1. The committee will meet within the first week or two of May to reviews applications and choose a recipient(s).
Finance Committee: Chair, Tom Hartman/ Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Here’s a recap of our 2/21/17 finance meeting:
Present: Heidi, Matt & Tom; Absent:Rick & John - Rick was at the general meeting and was briefed afterward
- After reviewing bids from A.M. Peisch, Graham & Co, and Tyler Simms, it was decided to change firms from Aaron MacAskill to Janice Graham. I will contact them with the update. The previous engagement was tax preparation only. The scope for the internal control review is new and will be defined by the finance committee. Benefits include locality, familiarity, and pricing. While they all had the same price for tax preparation, Graham’s pricing for the internal control review was the middle bid.
- The calendar for 2017 was review and the following additions were made: March - Gift acceptance policy review.The finance committee will provide comments via email.
- March - Education Scholarship
- Account establishment with an investment policy allocation and yield of 4% with Vanguard index funds. The initial funding discussed was $12,500 from operating with an over endowment target of $25,000 and an $1,000 annual distribution.
- March-Captial Reserve Fund at TD Bank
- Matt will move this account to Mascoma along with the other accounts since there are no further benefits to keep it at TD.
- BNY review June-TH will coordinate and confirm
Oral History: Chair, Ward Goodenough/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff
No new update as we wait on our training session for 3/31.
Research & Publications: Chair, Vacant/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Special Events Committee: Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff
The committee met on March 4. We debriefed about the Wassail house tour and discussed including the WHC in the Pentagle house tour only every other year, while continuing to hold the WHC Open House on the Friday evening for WHC members. The next event will be the Band Concert and Ice Cream Social on July 7. The Cemetery Tour will be held on July 15 at the Cushing Cemetery this year with all new reenactments. Script writers, actors, and tour guides are needed.
March 21, 2017
- Helped to edit and prepare a new Gift Acceptance Policy for review of the Development & Marketing Committee, Finance Committee, WHC legal counsel, and the Board of Trustees.
- Submitted a donation request for $1,500 to the Mascoma Savings Bank Foundation in support of the House History Initiative. The monies would be for the purchase of a new filing cabinet and associated supplies to rehouse our realty and building history collection. Our goal is to not only rehouse the current collection but to expand it to create a larger repository of historical information of the many buildings (residential and associated structures) of the Town of Woodstock. Information in this database will include the location, background information, contextual information and photographs. This new repository will hopefully dovetail to Woodstock’s Town Clerk’s archive and the Listers’ Office building records. The House History Initiative would be a valuable service for use by real estate companies, architectural firms, builders and home owners alike. The information could be used to promote residency in the area, historic preservation efforts, alternate energy uses etc.
- I am almost finished creating a multiple-phase plan for developing funding for the scholarship. A meeting with the Education & Scholarship Committee needs to be planned to review the draft document.
- Attended the Woodstock Rotary’s “Night of Giving” to receive a $500 donation.
- We acknowledged the Lawrence and Mary Rockefeller/Woodstock Foundation Fund for their generous donation of $2,500.
- 48 volumes of the Vermont Standard might be added to our archive. We will conduct an inventory of the entire collection and potentially reorganize a portion of the archive to accommodate this collection.
- The History of The Green exhibit is being installed in the gallery.
- Rachel Kurland is almost done installing a new hat exhibit on the second floor of the house.
- I went to the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier to discuss a potential WHC exhibition to be installed in their newly renovated Leahy Room.
- We have decided to move the art exhibit to 2019 due to immense amount of material that needs to be compiled and the opportunity to publish an art book/exhibition catalogue at the same time.
- We are planning an exhibit entitled Character for 2018. We will be choosing to highlight Woodstock residents that have demonstrated honorable character and have contributed to the overall well-being of our community and the more peculiar and interesting characters of the town. It is my hope that we will be able to incorporate our oral history collection into this exhibit.
- We hosted a pop-up workplace day in our library. It was not well attended but we made some good contacts.
- We received approximately 90 people to Bruce Coffin’s program on February 19. The held the program at the Little Theater. The last two programs have had a packed house.
- We are collaborating with Pentangle Arts to present a Vermont Humanities Council program entitled: Vermont vs. Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film. Amanda Kay Gustin of the Vermont Historical Society will provide background and share clips ranging chronologically from 1919’s Way Down East to 2005’s Thank You for Smoking. The program will be held at the Town Hall Theater.
- The book release for the publication of J. Frank Barrett’s Arcadia book on Woodstock will be on June 5. The WHC will be hosted a lecture and book signing event on June 11. The program will also allow for attendees to view the newHistory of The Green exhibit.
PR & Marketing:
- We have a new Pinterest page.
- Helped edit a new rack card. They will be published in the next couple of weeks.
- We are taking out an ad in the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce’s Area Guide.
- We are continuing to distribute our new rack card at the Guilford and Hartland Welcome Centers.
Building & Grounds:
- Conducted the annual category one inspection of the lift.
- Conducted a state inspection of the lift.
- Attended a meeting with the P&P to discuss the future of our properties and the creation of a potential outlet for their business via the parking lot. This would eliminate vehicle traffic in the alley between our buildings and have the dumpster moved. They are very interested in partnering with us in the future on several projects.
- Contributed to the editing of a new Employee Policy to be reviewed by the Executive Committee, legal counsel, and the Board of Trustees.
- Scheduled the staff evaluations of the Education & Program Coordinator and the Collections Manager.
- We are hosting the Center for Northern Woodlands Education for their board retreat on April 4 & 5th. We give a nonprofit rate to these groups in exchange for donations to our silent auction. The CNWE will be donating several subscriptions to their magazine.
- Met with the President to discuss a future strategic planning retreat for 2018.
Minutes of the Collections Committee Meeting, February 15, 2017
Attendees: Charlie Degener, Susan Fuller, Joan Harvey, Rachel Kurland, Gina Moore, Matt Powers, Jane Soule, Becky Talcott, Lin Thompson, Wayne Thompson
No updates from prior meetings.
Items reviewed (details attached):
· Personal effects of Jane and Willard Norman, correspondence, photographs; plus six books from the donor’s father. Accessioned. The materials had been stored in a barn and have an odor. Susan said there had been a moth infestation at the Norman’s house, so we should be especially careful with these artifacts to be sure we don’t bring an infestation into the library.
· Pamphlet “Something About Old Woodstock” and an old Woodstock Historical Society brochure. Accessioned.
· B&W postcard of the White Cupboard Inn, c. 1931. Accessioned. We talked about the eagles associated with the Inn. Lin said that there were two eagles: the wooden one we have in our collection and a metal one that we don’t know where it is.
· Spiral bound cookbook: “Recipes from a Vermont Farm Family” by Jean Nelson Conklin. Accessioned.
· Three Bookstock programs. Accessioned.
· 39 Books, mostly late 1800s and early 1900s, separate list attached. Wayne asked if we have an appraisal for the books, which we do not. Any appraisal will be the responsibility of the donor. We only had photographs of these books, because the donor is in Florida (born in South Pomfret). The books were owned by his great uncle Guy Moxley in Vermont. We agreed to accession them, but we need to make clear to the donor that we may not keep all of them—if, for example, they’re in poor condition.
· Ephemera, mostly photographs, from the Green Mountain Perkins Academy. Accessioned.
· Book: “What Makes Vermont Special – An in-depth look at Vermont State Symbols” by Greg Carpenter. The author used a photo from our collection, and agreed to donate a book in return. He will also be speaking at our monthly lecture series in April. Accessioned. Matt mentioned that we are hoping to have all speakers/authors donate a copy of their book, and we will have a special section in the library with their donations.
· White binder with bound scrapbook: compiled by Marbara Bagley and/or Myrtle Lord. Accessioned.
Matt said that the donor (Dave Doubleday) showed him a clipping about a film being made of the final run of the Woodstock Railroad in 1933. We will try to find out if there is still a copy of that film in existence.
- There was a Bible from 1811 on the list of items to be reviewed. However, the donor has not yet brought it in, so discussion was postponed. This Bible had information pages from the Cutting family. We have a number of Bibles in the collection, some published locally; but we are mostly interested in the family details included in the books. We talked about maybe scanning the family records and deaccessioning some of the Bibles. Matt said that, in a prior job, his organization wanted to dispose of some Bibles. They contacted a church in their area, which performed a process/service to dispose of the Bibles appropriately (similar to what veterans’ organizations do with US flags). We also talked about checking to find out if there are still local families mentioned in the Bibles to see if they might want the books. We also discussed the possibility of asking local residents who have Bibles with family information pages to bring them in and let us scan those pages for our collection.
The next Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 5 PM at the History Center.
Present: Isabel Bradley, Bob Holt, Susan Fuller, Heidi Lang
Notified Absence: Edith Phyfe (Tom Hartman and Barbara Drufovka planned to attend but due to unforeseen work complications, canceled. Each notified the Pres. via email just before start of meeting)
Others Present: Matt Powers
Call to order at 5:05 by Chair, Heidi Lang
The committee reviewed and updated the Personnel Policy. The committee advises a brief, annual review of this policy as laws/statutes/affordable health care act are all fluid. Heidi will incorporate all changes made by the committee and send the document along with the committees questions ( many around health care benefits) to WHC legal counsel, Debra Bouffard of Sheehey, Furlong and Behm, for review. Once Debra has reviewed the policy, it may go before the full board for a vote.
Next meeting: Thursday April 20th 5:30 pm, John Cotton Dana Library
Please note time change since last night’s announcement: I have moved meeting from 5pm to 5:30pm to accommodate committee members’ work schedules.
Our LISWHIT Foundation donor will attend this meeting and would like to hear our educational “wish list”. Please come prepared with your vision and dreams for WHC’s educational programming and outreach. No staff will attend this meeting.
TO: Deborah L. Bouffard , Sheehey, Furlong and Behm
FROM: Executive Committee, Woodstock History Center
DATE: March 1, 2017
RE: Personnel Policy
The Executive Committee reviewed and updated the WHC Personnel Policy and has identified the following questions for legal counsel:
Section III. Sexual Harassment:
-Is it necessary to include the level of detail outlined in the 2010 policy version? For example, is it necessary to list examples of sexual harassment? Or is it sufficient to provide a link to a state website, for example, which provides all that detail?
-Do we include part D. “Consequences”?
-Are there any changes in the laws we have not included?
Section IV. Employee Classifications:
Under Regular Full Time: Is there a particular number of hours worked which triggers a law requiring us to provide health care benefits? Are we correct in our understanding that number is below 30? In other words, we may provide health care benefits to anyone who works 30 hours or more, but we are not legally required to do so?
Special Events Committee
March 2, 2017
Members Present: Barbara Drufovka (chair), Charlet Davenport, Isabelle Bradley, Bill Dagger, and Jennie Shurtleff
1. Wassail Debriefing
Attendance: The 2016 Wassail attendance was as follows:
• Friday Evening: 137 guests
• Saturday: 638 guests
• Sunday afternoon (Holiday Program): 10 guests
While the attendance for 2016 was lower than the attendance for 2015, the 2016 attendance was a more manageable crowd size and better suited to the venue.
Food at Friday Open House: Fancy hors d’oeuvres were passed on Friday evening. Less fancy hors d’oeuvres were served on the tables. There was plenty of food for the entire open house and leftovers for Saturday.
Volunteers: In 2016 there were far more volunteers (both Friday evening and Saturday) than in 2015, with an interpreter in each exhibit room as well as floaters. The addition of the extra staff allowed for greater safety of the collection and more interaction with guests. There were also several volunteer decorators (including Charlet Davenport, Heidi Lang, and Isabelle Bradley) which led to much more lavishly decorated rooms in the museum.
Silent Auction: The silent auction was well received and most of the items sold.
Suggestions for Wassil 2017: Matt has suggested that we may not be open on Saturday for Wassail next year (or that we may be open, but not be part of the formal house tour). The Committee felt that since many of the people who attend the Pentangle Tour do so every year, that having the History Center on the tour every year may lead to dwindling attendance over time, and that it might be a good idea to only be on the Pentangle Tour every other year. They also noted that it is hard to get volunteers to work during Wassail Weekend because many people have guests in town or want to participate in Wassail themselves. The Committee reiterated that the Friday night event with food was a worthwhile community event and a nice way to show appreciation for History Center’s members.
2. Band Concert/Ice Cream Social
Jennie has secured the date of Friday, July 7, at 7 pm, for the Band Concert/Ice Cream Social with the South Royalton Town Band. This event is on the Chamber’s calendar, and at this point there are no scheduling conflicts with that date.
Band Concert Action Items:
• Contact White Cottage about ice cream
• Arrange for volunteers (Bill, Isabelle, and Charlet said they would help scoop ice cream at the
• Marketing (posters, press release, etc.)
3. Cemetery Tour
Jennie contacted Greg Camp who indicated that the History Center could hold the cemetery tour at Cushing Cemetery on Saturday, July 15, at 5:30. She has also checked the Chamber’s calendar, and currently there are no scheduling conflicts with that date. In January, Barbara and Jennie met to discuss who would be the focal characters for the cemetery tour this year, and they selected the following based on gender diversity, compelling stories, and availability of research materials.
A. Aaron and Margery Hutchinson
• Aaron Hutchinson: First minister in the area; father of Titus Hutchinson; delivered the convocation when Vermont’s first Constitution was adopted
• Margery Hutchinson: Aaron’s wife
B. Seth Taft (of the Taftsville Taft brothers) who died of lock jaw. Seth will relate highlights from the history of Taftsville.
C. Asenath and John Darling
• Asenath Vaughan Darling: Wife of John Darling. Daughter of Jabez Vaughan of Pomfret. She will relate stories about local people during the Indian Raid of 1780.
• John Darling: Son of Joseph and Huldah Darling. Came to Woodstock in 1773, when he was 13. At the age of 17, he went to fight in the Revolutionary War in place of his neighbor – Nathan Fletcher (who had been drafted) – in return for Fletcher’s equipment.
D. Joseph Burnham: Scoundrel convicted of rape who died in prison. The soap opera of the day!
E. Lois Paddock Doton (Hosea Doton’s first wife) talking about Hosea Doton. Hosea Doton was a teacher, author, map maker, and surveyor.
F. Unknown Grave: “Oswald.” Story of how skeleton was in a classroom and later buried.
Assignments of scripts and actors:
Aaron & Margery Hutchinson- Jennie
Seth Taft-Charlie Wilson
John & Asenath Darling- Jennie
Joseph Burnham- Gary Horsman? Jennie Isabelle
Lois Paddock Doton- Barbara
Student who remembers “Oswald”- Jennie
Jennie has currently written rough drafts for the following scripts: Aaron and Margery Hutchinson, John and Asenath Darling, Oswald, and Joe Burnham.
Charlie Wilson has volunteered to write the script for Seth Taft and to portray him. Isabelle asked Gary Horsman if he would participate once again in the cemetery tour, and Gary agreed. It was suggested that he might do well at playing the role of Joe Burnham which is a very interesting script, but a challenging role to play.
Charlet Davenport indicated that Tom Bourne, who lives near the Cushing Cemetery, knows a lot of the local history. She will contact him about possibly participating in some way (perhaps sharing anecdotes about people buried in the cemetery, the history of the cemetery, reviewing and/or writing a script).
Barbara, Charlet, and Isabelle all had some ideas of who we might be able to contact for actors. Jennie will keep a master list of who has been asked and accepted a role. She will be in contact with Barbara, Charlet, and Isabelle to coordinate contacting potential actors so that we don’t inadvertently offer a role to two people. Barbara noted specifically that she will contact Harriet Worrell and Jennie will contact Patty Arrison to see if they are available to participate this year.
Note: Given the serious nature of the Joe Burnham story, it was discussed that we should make it clear in our marketing and promotional efforts that the Joe Burnham story is not appropriate for younger guests.
Cemetery Tour Action Items:
- Discuss rain plans
- Decide whether we want interpretive panels at the cemetery
- Finish writing/refining scripts
- See if Mr. Bourne is interested in participating in some way
- Procure actors and volunteers to run the event
- Procure costumes
- Post party?
The Excursion, scheduled for Sunday, August 27, from 1-3 pm, was only covered tangentially. At this point, there are no conflicting events scheduled for this day. Thus far, we have contacted the following people:
1. Eric Wegner: Eric gave permission to use the grounds owned by the Aquaduct Company and park by the building on the road – as long as we don’t block the entrance. He will consider being an “interpreter” and answering questions about the Aquaduct Company, if we need him.
2. Leslie Askwith: Leslie is willing to come and share information on the Cobbs, etc.
3. Peter Thompson (a former geology professor) is willing to come and talk about the area’s geology
4. Chloe Powell and friends would be willing for $100.00 per musician to play fiddles at the event. We need to confirm with her the date, number of musicians, etc.
5. Hiram Allen has been contacted and is considering being an interpreter at the event to discuss mills.
Note: Matt’s History Fair group will be working on the Aquaduct Company; they may be able to participate in some way as well.
- Confirming again with all participants
- Procuring proper insurance
- Working out logistics of stops on the tour, parking, transportation, etc.
- Creating maps/guides
- Determining what we’ll have for food
- Rain plan
5. Old Time Fair
To be discussed at next meeting.
Next meeting of Special Events Committee: Thursday, March 30, at 4:30 pm.
File: Special Events Committee Minutes 3.2.2017
Committee on Trustees
Present: Isabel Bradley, Heidi Lang. Absent: Charlie Degener, Joan Harvey
Call to order 5:40 by Chair, Heidi Lang
• Joan Harvey announced she regrets she needs to resign from the Board of Trustees so as to devote more time to publishing her memoir. The President accepted Joan’s resignation with regret. Joan will submit her resignation in writing, will stay on the Collections Committee, and will consider donating a copy of her book to the WHC. She was therefore excused from attending this meeting.
• Potential Trustees List
The Committee identified and discussed potential trustees and established a short list to present to the full board. In an attempt to maintain/create a gender-balanced board, we selected four women and two men. Feeling it prudent to add parents of school-age children to the board, we included the names of two parents with children currently in our school system. Some of the candidates have business or art backgrounds.
It is imperative current board members keep this list confidential so as to prevent insult/hurt feelings to people in our community, or to add even greater competition for board members with other local nonprofit organizations: Charlotte Danley, Steve Hiller, Hans Meir, Blakely Murrell, Jane Soule, Sonja Stover*.
• Running for a seat on Woodstock Selectboard. The outcome of election may effect an invitation to serve.
• Board Self-Evaluation we suggest the board complete a self-evaluation to determine how well we perform, and where we might improve. We recommend this evaluation begin in September 2017. We recommend the Board thereafter complete a self-evaluation every three years. We looked at sample evaluations from the website of the National Council of Nonprofits, and decided to utilize two forms edited to fit our organization. The first evaluation will ask the question, “How am I doing as a board member?” The second, “How are we doing as a board?” Rating are: “Excellent”, “Good”, Needs Improvement”, with a comment section on each evaluation. This committee and the Executive Director will edit and shape the evaluation forms before submitting to the board this fall.
• Next Meeting: Thursday, July 6th 5:30pm John Cotton Dana Research Library
• Adjourn: 6:50 pm