NYSFAAA EXEC COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
December 13-14 , 2007
Council: , Kerry Lubold, Heather McDonnell, Nancy Teodecki, Angela Van Dekker,
Ursula Bisconti, Earl Trethway, Tom Dalton, Lynn Chilson, Maria DeInnocentiis , Gina Soliz, Cindy Kohlman, Nancy Brewer, Curt Guame
Absent :Maria Barlaam
State Chairs: Anne Barton , Laura Worley, Kathy Michalski, Dan Dunn, Wayne Harewood, Dan Hunter, Mark Schwartz
HESC liaison: Jennifer Dwire
Meeting Called to Order, 1:04 PM – Heather McDonnell
Secretary’s Report- Nancy Teodecki
Minutes of the September 10-11 meeting were distributed prior to meeting.
MOTION: To approve minutes of September. E.Trethway/M. DeInnocentiis. Motion unanimously approved.
Issues: On Profit And Loss Budget report , line item ‘109 Misc’- when paying by credit card, the income is falling into this line. For the most part it is conference registration and dues. Tom will look into this further.
Conference 2007 may be a $40,000-50,000 loss. Checking still has $30,000+ but we’re now showing a negative cash flow.
MOTION: To draw $30,000 from Long Term investments and move over to the checking account. N.Teodecki/N Brewer.
Discussion: question if $30,00 is adequate and if we should reduce revenue sharing given our current financial status. Question raised if the June revenue sharing may have only paid out $5 per member versus $10. It was updated to $10 on November 2006 according to our Policy and Procedure manual
MOTION: Fulfill June revenue sharing and forego the January payment. K.Lubold/C Kohlman. Further discussion concerning the effect on each region’s budget if not receiving January payment. During this discussion this motion was suspended since there was already a motion on the floor. MOTION withdrawn by K. Lubold.
MOTION to Table the current motion ( “To draw $30,000….”) on the floor. C Guame/T Dalton. Motion unanimously approved.
MOTION: To move up to $60,000 from Long Term investment to the checking account. C.Guame/ N. Teodecki. Motion unanimously approved.
MOTION: Pay June revenue sharing according to amount stated in the current Policy and Procedure Manual. C.Guame/A.Van Dekker. Motion unanimously approved .
MOTION: For January revenue sharing per member for this one-time only will be $5.00. M. DeInnocentiis/N/ Brewer.
VOTE on the January Revenue Sharing Motion - 7 Approved, 5 Opposed. Motion carries.
Heather commented that we need to continue to look at revenue sharing for the future and our budget issues- keeping SLATE in mind and the monetary needs for our ‘philanthropic activities’.
2nd Vice President’s Committees:
Professional Development – Ursula Bisconti/Mark Schwartz. Co-chairs (full report in Addendum)
Brought to committee’s attention regarding a concern of a ‘bank’ hosting a location for a Jim Briggs Tax training session. Heather asked co-chairs to be explicit in their notification of event that this complies with SLATE. Lynn Chilson will contact region to reach out for interest in a joint Region 1 & 2 session.
Novice Training – Lisa Simpson, co-chair, reported by H McDonnell
Brockport site visit by L. Simpson, B. Mack, D. Hunter & H. McDonnell. Would like to move Novice , to be held June 7-13, 2008, to this site, but still reviewing contract.
Committee meetings regularly. If you have any session topics in mind, let Gina know.
Committee is suggesting that the Awards Banquet be held on Wednesday evening and have the Thursday evening as the 40th Anniversary Celebration. Gavel would still be passed on Thursday evening.
1st Vice President’s Committees:
Membership – Adrienne King, co-chair, reported by Angela Van Dekker (full report in Addendum)
Membership down even after the conference. Adrienne had conference calls with regional membership representatives. Some concerns identified- remind membership of renewal & notification of non-payment on renewals. The good news is that now the total numbers are now up from last year at this time in December.
Question regarding a SUNYFAP member attending a NYSFAAA function- must be a NYSFAAA member to attend, unless we do a SUNYFAP/NYSFAAA ‘co-sponsored’ training event
Issue: Angela had a list of member applications or renewals for institutions not approved and reviewed these with council. She will contact the individuals at institutions who need to supply the documentation for council approve their membership.
Awards – Kathy Flaherty, reported by A VanDekker-(full report in Addendum)
Extra copies of the awards program from conference is available.
Mentoring – Dan Hunter, co-chair (full report in Addendum)
Would like to have 2 representatives in each region to co-ordinate the mentoring effort.
Set of recommendations via a power point presentation that the regional representatives can use to assist with recruiting ‘mentor’ volunteers. Dan presented this excellent presentation to Council. FYI, January 24th is “Thank You Mentor Day”
School Outreach – Kathy Michalski, co-chair (full report in Addendum)
Will do mailing to High School & Middle School counselors in January – joint letter from NYSFAAA and HESC with ‘Applying for Financial Aid guideline piece and the 2008/09 Wall Chart.
Concern voiced by from Region3 regarding costs for these workshops: the region is requesting that we request funds from the Attorney General Office that has been collected to fund our counselor training workshops. Also, requested to provide a ‘Certificate of Completion’ to the counselors who attend the workshops.
Heather mentioned that she has asked Judi Miladin to be our ‘grant-writer’ and to request
all the funding that has been collected. She is waiting for Judi’s response.
Nancy Brewer asked other regions for their feedback regarding less time scheduled for workshops (since no lunches were provided.). Response: some regions had only provided ½ day workshop in the past , so no impact. Some regions in the past who had served lunch commented that folks leave after lunch
Laura Burns has accepted to co-chair due to Anne Barton’s move over to Development Committee. Committee member C. Kohlman gave update on website ideas- suggested an E.A. ‘Resource Page’ where materials can be ordered.
NYS Gear-UP- Cathy Patella, chair, reported by N. Teodecki
Calendar designed in collaboration with the Early Awareness Committee. Will be available for council’s February meeting.
With New State Fair Director there is a major reorganization underway. No contracts are available yet. The AGO attended the December 11 planning meeting and will have a table this year.
Web Communications: .
Report was e-mailed to council prior to meeting to assist with discussion at meeting.
Question on Training Materials: If securing all training materials, this may affect access for Guidance Counselor. Also disclaimer should be mentioned on the training materials for those “Non-NYSFAAA Logo’ materials.
Would like added to site: Frequently Asked questions added, the Resource Center, Membership blocked for non-approved institutions, Template needed for Event Management to review costs,
Would like to see a fix on listserve: the ‘link’ provided in e-mails does not wrap
Issue on the Technology- are members up to the level of training to access?
For proposed design, council would like to see first before going live.
Nancy will review further with Ideta on all these issues. Dan Dunn also volunteered to work with Ideta on the technology issues.
MOTION: To move forward with designated upgrade and redesign as proposed along with the additional changes discussed. K.Lubold/N. Brewer. Motion unanimously approved.
Professional Ethics and Standards- Howard Leslie, chair, reported by T. Dalton
New draft of Statement of Principles. Will present to council in February. Question from chair- when does committee engage membership in discussion? Council is to review first and then committee can request review by membership.
Budget issues were discussion during Treasurer’s Report.
Development – A. Barton, chair( full report in Addendum)
Discussion on how to solicit donations from members. Anne will send out e-mail regarding donations and highlight the ‘tax deductible’ clause.
College Goal Sunday 2008- W. Harewood, co-chair (full report in Addendum)
Heather will do e-mail blast in early January to recruit volunteers. Regions can follow-up to their respective regions with their specific needs.
Funding raising issues- reaching out to community- again looking at AGO pool of funds. NYSFAAA may need to utilize grant writing as a constant endeavor for resources versus just utilizing the lending community.
Next Generation – Dan Dunn, Co-chair (full report in Addendum)
No longer “age” limit to volunteer for committee. Angela will send Dan any names of members who volunteer via website.
Governance – Curt Gaume (full report in Addendum)
Constitutional Amendment passed. Discussion of Associate Member as part of council with voting rights. Perhaps have a member as a Liaison as a ‘voice of the associate members’? Curt will take back to the Governance committee. Heather mentioned that any member is always welcome to council meetings.
Government Relations – Christine Sears/ Jim Vallee- reported by H. McDonnell (full report in Addendum)
Legislative forum set for 1st week in March
Scholarship – Debra Evans- reported by H. McDonnell (full report in Addendum)
T-shirts left over from conference. Some regional representatives asked that some be made available in the regions. Heather will contact Debra. Heather read a ‘Thank-you’ note from one of the scholarship recipients.
Diversity – Sharon Karwowski – no report
President’s report – Heather McDonnell (full report in Addendum)
Issue: AGO presence at regional meetings. Heather asked Cindy to report on the Region2 meeting that recently occurred. Several comments were made at that meeting from both schools and lending representatives. One comment was about showing up a high school nights. Heather mentioned that she has worked with the AGO to co-ordinate their appearances at these nights and has worked with them since mid-November. Cindy said that this was not the message given at the Region2 meeting; this particular AGO was not contacted nor aware of any co-operative effort.
After much discussion Heather addressed council- that the message needs to be out there: to get past the rhetoric, keep moving forward , do our jobs, keep doing Financial Aid presentations. Suggestion that Heather send out message to the list. She stated that by council’s February meeting that we hope to see the language from Mr. Frey.
NASFAA Leadership training - Gina Soliz, Curt Guame and Cindy Kohlman will attend.
HESC Report- Jennifer Dwire (full report in Addendum)
Student Loan “Market Place” initiative: Feedback from student users at a few designated campus. Also invited schools to HESC’s site on 12/18 for further discussion. Another round of student feedback along with parents will be scheduled.
Regional Reports (full reports in Addendum)
Question from Nancy Brewer, Region7- how to come up with topics for meetings and exchange ideas amongst regions? Nancy Teodecki mentioned that Judi Miladin, when President, had asked regions to post their training presentations to the website for members to utilize in their respective region.
Discussion: Should there be a ‘Regional Chair’ listserv? Heather asked Regional Representatives to give her the names of their Regional Chair to pursue further discussion.
A Van Dekker: Event Management
Get our hands around the costs so we can re-instate using at regional level. N. Teodecki discussed that there are costs for a ‘standard’ template and then add-on costs to enhance.
Nancy will check further with Ideta. Nancy also mentioned that regions had asked about credit card usage for their events.
MOTION: Credit card payment only be utilized for donations, membership, conference and novice. A. VanDekker/M. DeInnocentiis. Motion unanimously approved.
Issue: G. Soliz had a request to re-establish Graduate Concerns Committee. Heather said this committee has been reinstated and it is a sub-committee of Membership.
Issue: J.Dwire- can a focus group be formed to investigate a “Certificate Program” which would provide certification of Financial Aid Professionals? Council discussed the past history of investigating this. There was a ‘Certificate of Education Units’ thru Onondaga Community College at one time. Heather asked Gina to contact Lorna Roberts at OCC for an update on this program . Further suggestion- can attendees receive some sort of certificate for completing training at Guidance Counselor workshops, Novice, Annual Conference?
Heather decided to establish a TASK Force to discuss these issue further and asked J. Dwire, G. Soliz, K. Lubold, Dan Dunn, and M. DeInnocentiis to serve.
Issue: A VanDekker- need to revise Membership brochure. Asked that members of council to review brochure on the website and send recommendations to Angela and cc’d Adrienne King by January 30th.
No further new business.
MOTION to Adjourn 11:15 A.M. K.Lubold/U. Bisconti
Angela VanDekker, VP for Membership, received request for organization, Urban Ed Express, to be added to our approved institutions. MOTION via e-mail on October 3, 2007: To add Urban Ed Express as an approved institution. N. Teodecki/A. Mason.
8 Ayes from those who responded via e-mail. MOTION carries.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE- King/Van Dekker
NYSFAAA MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT
Angela VanDekker, 1st Vice President
Adrienne King, co-chair; Claire Jacobi, co-chair
Region 1 - Carrie Newman; Leigh Bove
Region 5 - Anne Gorrick
Region 2 - Margaret Christian
Region 6 - Michael Taylor
Region 3 - Kathy Flaherty
Region 7 - Barbara Hazard
Region 4 - Gerald Christie
Region 8 - Bonnie Evans
The committee has met twice via phone conference. The first meeting occurred on October 26 & the beginning of the meeting was a review of the history of the past 2 years of NYSFAAA’s membership. The history consisted of information regarding the change in personnel in the NYSFAAA 1st Vice President position. We also discussed our organization’s role in the new age of SLATE. We came up with ideas on how to reach the current & future members. We also welcomed new regional membership representatives for Regions 4, 6 & 7. After the first meeting, Angela sent a reminder email regarding membership renewal. These emails made our membership spring into action & renew their membership or begin sending their membership payments.
The second meeting occurred on December 7. We discussed the update in membership numbers; payments & adjustments to certain reports. The membership numbers were at 906 after the NYSFAAA Conference & are currently at 1,238 this is down by 137 from 2006-2007.In between the two meetings each regional representative was charged with contacting the membership within their respective regions. Some completed the charge via email or through the regional meetings.
During these past months the committee has discovered certain things:
Each regional representative has begun the process of reviewing their perspective regional statistics. They have contacted persons on those lists & begun strategizing ways of increasing our membership & decreasing the number of non-renewals. We have found that there are many persons on the non-renewal lists that have left the financial aid profession. We want to have those persons put on an inactive list instead of having them totally deleted from the system. All regional meetings are required to be membership only meetings. Some of the Regional Chairs or Regional Representatives have cross referenced the meeting attendees with Angela in terms of membership payments received. We have also noticed that our members have gone online, renewed, & forwarded their payment information to their employers billing offices only to be surprised to learn that NYSFAAA hasn’t received payment.
Report of Membership Vice President. – A. Van Dekker
Since September the primary objective has been to resurrect the membership committee, lead its efforts and build membership from 306 on September 6, 2007 to a level similar to last year.
· Resulted in identification of several outstanding checks. Contacted SUNY Albany. They contacted Brenda Wright who found she had several checks. They were overnighted to me. Several other checks showed up with Tom.
Improve membership processing.
Duplicate memberships and separately duplicate invoices.
To put in place edits to prevent duplicates.
Plan --to work with the treasurer to clarify processes, reconciliation and questions about credit cards and refunds. –request improvements to website to expedite membership concerns.
Questions to discuss:
· How to handle inactive members in the database.
· Whether to reprint the brochure
· SUNYFAP members attending NYSFAAA events and not members
· Outstanding Payment Issues; unpaid membership invoices and unpaid conference fees.
· Approved institutions and regional list serve opt out rather than opt in.
· Website improvements to support membership.
An updated spreadsheet comparing 10 years of membership data is attached.
AWARDS COMMITTEE- Flaherty
The Awards Committee is responsible for coordinating regional awards and presenting these along with the statewide awards at the annual conference each fall.
In October 2007, the Conference Committee requested that the regional awards be presented at a luncheon while the statewide awards continued to be presented at the Banquet. We believe this arrangement worked well and would recommend that this become part of the conference schedule.
Also, this year for the first time we presented regional Rising Star awards. This new award category was well received. We do have copies of the banquet program if anyone is interested. Please contact Kathy Flaherty for a copy.
We met last week to discuss some of the directions for the committee. The following are some of our recommendations:
1. Request from the regional chairs through the NYSFAAA Councilperson for two persons to serve as co-regional members of the mentoring committee.
2. When selected, they will be sent a copy of the renewal and mentoring power point presentation that Dick and Dan have prepared. This is to serve as an orientation to the concept of mentoring.
3. They will be asked to contact up to five (5) relatively new members of their region and personally invite them to the next regional meeting or training event.
4. During the next month and the remaining months of the spring semester, personally invite the same five persons to each regional meeting or training event.
5. Sometime in spring, we would like to invite the co-regional members to a statewide focus group meeting in Syracuse for a brainstorming session to discuss strategies and direction for the committee.
6. At Novice training, will try to find an hour to do the mentoring presentation and elicit names of people who are interested in being contacted regarding regional and state training activities. These names could be forwarded to the co-regional members of the committee.
Are there any questions or comments?
School Outreach COMMITTEE– Michalski/Bridgewater
The school counselor workshops went very well. This is a preliminary report due to many workshops just being completed. I will submit a final report at a later date.
Region I Chairs – Kathy Michalski and Brian Levy
11/6/07 St. Bonaventure workshop
43 Attendees - Cost: $255.00
11/7/07 Classics V workshop
129 Attendees – up 27 counselors from prior year
Cost: $1564.23 food & screen rental
Mailing was $147.19
TOTAL COST: $1966.42
Region II Chair – Nancy VanZetta
No information at this time. Workshops were held on 11/29 & 11/30
Region III Chair – Kate Bellefeuille & Shane Rauh
11/2/07 Binghamton Regency
47 Attendees – Cost $573.07
11/14/07 Syracuse Fairgrounds
119 Attendees - Cost: $1431.00
Mailing was $185.37
Mileage was $200.30
Supplies was $17.82
TOTAL COST: $2407.56
Region IV Chair – Ronni Jones
11/13/07 Hudson Valley Community College
85 Attendees – Cost $856.00
Still needs final postage bill
Region V Chair – Janice Hilbrink
11/9/07 Dominican College
100 Attendees – Cost $839.00
Postage, printing, supplies were $416.21
TOTAL COST: $1255.21
Region VI Chairs – Brian Ghanoo & Lucy Villaquiran
11/16/07 Fashion Institute of Technology
Name badges: $65.16
Waiting for remaining figures
Region VII Chair – Debra Evans
No information at this time. Workshop was 11/30/07
Region VIII Chairs – Kerry Lubold & Bonnie Evans
No information at this time. Workshops were 12/4/07 & 12/5/07
Thank you for considering me for the Co-Chair position of the Early Awareness Committee. Cathy and Anne are great leaders and I hope to learn much from both of them.
I met with Anne Barton on November 12, 2007 and discussed the plans of the committee. She agreed that the guidance counselors are being supported through the School Outreach Committee and it would not be necessary at this time to send letters/pamphlets/posters.
The Early Awareness Committee felt that the NYS Fair giveaways are a great way to send the message “I’m Going To College” and would like to continue with these giveaways. The pencils, bracelets and ipod drawings brought much traffic to their table.
I will be contacting Ideta Daniels to discuss the electronic initiatives and developing a more extensive web-page for the NYSFAAA Early Awareness page. I had sent some ideas to the committee in early September and will work with the committee to fine tune this page.
Website Recommendations per meeting with Anne Barton and Cindy Kohlman (EA committee member) :
-Have one “Resource Center” that is in an Excel format so that a member or visitor can sort it by topic, medium, etc. and find what they want quickly. Everyone would have access to this center (School Counselors, FAA, Parents, Students, etc.).
-Each Region could still post presentations, handouts, etc. from their Region Meeting under their applicable region but could also choose to include it in the Resource Center if it would be helpful to all. (I found some helpful information in this area but someone would have really had to dig to find it if they were not in that Region).
-Website is still not kept current (I am not pointing fingers here) but I am concerned as it is crucial for a page to be as up to date as possible. For example, College Goal Sunday’s date for February 2008 was not on the website at our meeting in September (may be it is now) but we need to get the information out there as soon as things are set/organized. We were given the date but it wasn’t on the website yet, why? We can only make this “goal” (no pun intended) if all members take the responsibility for it.
Here is a sample of a spreadsheet layout that could be used for the first recommendation (I guessed on some of the information only to give examples):
Ordering Instructions (if applicable)
Distribution (if applicable)
The Path to College
Link to order
Mailed to all New York Middle Schools in November each year
The Path to College
Link to order
Medium codes: H=Handout; V=Video; P=Poster; B=Brochure; PP=PowerPoint Slide Show; PO= Poster; PC=Podcast; O=Other
STATE FAIR COMMITTEE- Karwowski
The New York State Fair is going through a major reorganization of the twelve day event. The representative we work with is unable at this time to work a contract with us. She said she hopes to be able to offer us a contract after the first of the year. She is hopeful because we have so many state agencies involved with Higher Ed Day that they won’t want as many changes with us.
With that in mind, we had an organizational meeting Tuesday December 11th at the state fair grounds. All that participated last year were invited along with those that wanted to join us and were shut out last year. The purpose of the meeting was to judge interest in the event and put together our wish list to present to the State Fair. As of this writing it is safe to say that we have 16 tables that are a definite. Assuming we can get a contract similar to what we have had in the past. They are:
2008 State Fair Tables
Cayuga Community College, Cazenovia College, Crouse School of Nursing,
Bryant and Stratton College, New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, Empire State College, New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association
(2 tables), Finger Lakes Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Excelsior College, Wells College, New York Attorney General’s Office,
Syracuse University(3 tables).
Additionally, SUNY Oswego is seriously considering joining us. Our capacity is 26 tables and I foresee no problem renting them out. As the details get worked out I will keep Council informed.
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE- Barton
2007-08 Development Committee Members:
Chairperson & Past President: Anne Barton, NSLP
NYSFAAA Treasurer: Tom Dalton, Excelsior College
Upstate Council Rep (Region 1): Lynn Chilson, Buffalo State
Downstate Council Rep (Region 7) Maria DeInnocentiis, Marymount Manhattan
Downstate Vendor Rep Jason Cook, Citibank
Next Generation Committee Rep: TBA
Next Generation Committee Rep: TBA
COLLEGE GOAL SUNDAY- Harewood/ Storms
Sites in Jamestown and New Rochelle
Marketing and outreach flyers
Donation and thank you letters
Migration to high schools
Shirt sizes for volunteers
Confirmation e mails to registrants
Targeting Hispanics (ASPIRA) and Foster Care students
Mailings to students will be sent early January
Two Issues for Council
Fundraising, how do we proceed?
Need assistance in securing volunteers
NEXT Generation Committee- Constable/Dunn/ Dwire/Kopit/ Patterson-Stanley
Since our last Executive Council meeting the NGC co-chairs have made phone calls to members soliciting volunteers for the various tasks, had one teleconference to discuss the next steps and one in-person meeting.
The NGC was to continue working as a full fledged committee to “inject new blood, ideas etc.” into NYSFAAA. There was even discussion of asking Executive Council (EC) members to allow NGC members to shadow them. The goal would be to have people that could pick up if necessary, understand the “role” of the EC and not have to “re-invent the wheel.” NGC members should be coaxed into working on something no matter how nominal. As stated at the conference even if you volunteer at a booth, table or make some phone calls everything is appreciated and it gives younger members an opportunity to get involved. This concept fell in line with Heather McDonnell’s “donate 5” campaign.
The President and the co-chairs felt it would be good to have in-person meetings with committee chairs such as the Long Range Planning, Professional Standards and Ethics, Novice, Diversity, Membership, Mentoring, and Communications.
Meetings were very amicable and allowed for the committee chairs to share how they could utilize the NGC members and/or how their work is in sync with the NGC findings presented at the last EC meeting. It was also discovered that some NGC members are already a part of several of these committees and could be used as a link.
NYSFAAA committees decided on the following:
· Novice would review the list on members to review who could be used as “small group leader.”
· Long Range Planning would continue utilizing Charles Boland as our direct link as he sits on the committee as well.
· Howard Leslie has opted to mentor.
· Diversity would continue to use Tanya Patterson-Stanley as a direct link as she sits on that committee as well.
· Communications would wait for final word from ATAC as to what updates can be done before working with Steve Dwire, Dan Dunn and other NGC members.
· We were unable to meet with Membership and Mentoring. We must make plans to reach out to these committees in the near future.
After meeting with the various committees the co-chairs convened and decided to send out an email letting members know where we are and giving everyone another opportunity to “volunteer.”
After the 39th NYSFAAA conference the following email was sent out by the co-chairs:
“It has been a while since the co-chairs have communicated with you. Thank you for your patience as we worked with the association to hammer out a few details. The good news is as follows: we are a permanent committee! At this time we will be reporting directly to the President. In the future, as things get more finalized in this time of transition, we will be a sub-committee reporting to the membership committee. We would like to thank Heather McDonnell for her support and leadership in ensuring the survival of our committee and its original vision. We would also like to thank Curt Guame, our new President, for his continued support, as well as all the other leaders in our association that have vocalized their support.
To get all of you up to speed: the co-chairs met with a few committees during the NYSFAAA conference last week. We met with the Novice, Website, and Long Range Planning, and diversity committees to see how we could best carry through the agenda that was determined in the spring by all of us. Each person was very excited to have our support, and they all look forward to working with us.
In order to move forward, we need a few things from all of you. A response from all of you is very much appreciated. They are as follows:
1. Please indicate if you still wish to be an active member of this committee.
2. If yes to number one, please indicate which project you would like to participate in: Website, technology initiatives (webcasts, podcasts, etc.), Mentoring, intermediate training.
3. Please note that you NYSFAAA membership must be current in order to participate.
Once we have responses from all of you. We will move forward in breaking into groups and sinking our teeth in each of these initiatives. Again, we would like to thank you for your patience as we work to get this group running; as well as your willingness to serve NYSFAAA through volunteering.
Update listing of NGC members who wish to volunteer on various tasks: Done
Meet with the Mentoring and Membership Committees: Pending
Establish clear objectives of what is to be done and with whom: Pending
Try to establish a timeline when work will begin: Pending
GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE- Guame
Vote on the Constitution and By-Laws
The proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-laws passed by a vote of 219 Aye’s and 15 Nay’s. The revised Constitution and by-Laws will be posted to the website shortly
Judi Miladin, Chairperson of the Governance Committee is planning to convene a Spring meeting to discuss “out of the box” issues that could enhance the Association.
Long Range Strategic Planning Committee
The Committee will be meeting next week on December 18th and 19th in Syracuse. Fran Hunter our consultant will have a first draft of the plan for the committee to review next week. Once the committee completes its work next week a draft of the plan will be presented to the regions to receive input from across the state. The goal of the committee is to complete its work on the strategic plan to be presented to Executive Council at the April meeting.
Election of Officers
This spring I will begin the process of electing the officers or the association for the next two years. I will need a person from each region to serve on the Election Committee. I would ask that the regional councilperson provide me with the name of some in their region to serve on the committee by February 15th. Please encourage members in your region to consider running for office.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS- Sears/Vallee
The Co-Chairs have been monitoring legislation on the state and federal levels, and posting updates through NYSFAAA-L. More such updates will be forthcoming, as the recently released House Reauthorization bill gets conferenced with the Senate bill from this past July.
Christine and Jim co-presented a legislative advocacy session for a past Region II meeting, and Jim presented a modified version for Region VIII at the end of October. Jim has provided government relations updates at meetings of Regions IV, V, and VIII, Counselor Workshops in Regions II, IV, and V, and a meeting of regional Gear Up school counselors at SUNY Cobleskill.
The annual NYS Legislative Forum has been scheduled for March 3 and 4, 2008. Jim and Christine are on the planning committee for the event, and will be working to develop the financial aid portion of the “talking points” that will be used to bring consistency to the meetings with various legislators. Because the dates were set only last week, it wasn’t possible to schedule the Executive Council meeting to coincide. We will attempt to entice as many Executive Council members, Government Relations Committee members, and general members as possible for the Forum. With the state budget shortfall that is being predicted, we may have a fight on our hands to hold TAP at its present level. If not TAP, other valuable state programs may be threatened.
Christine and Jim will again organize and present the Legislative Training Workshop for legislators and their aids a week-or-so prior to the Forum. This workshop attempts to provide a general understanding of how financial aid works, and to share our views of the importance of NYS programs. It is intended to help prepare the legislators/aids for our visits during the Forum.
Our visit to our Federal Legislators a couple of years ago was successful largely due to members of the Federal Relations Committee of the Tri-State Region (Maryland, D.C., Delaware) because of their experience visiting “the Hill” and their contacts. For various reasons, the leadership of their committee faltered, and two sets of plans to repeat our visit didn’t materialize. There is now new leadership on this committee, and we believe they will be energetic. Jim will once again reach out to see if a joint visit to D.C. will be possible.
SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE- Evans
This year, donations to NYSFAAA designated to be specifically for scholarship totaled $7,775.00.
Income from the sale of tee-shirts and paperweights at the Conference in October totaled $1,010.00. Expense for purchasing the tee-shirts was $965.20 ($832 for the shirts + $133.20 shipping), yielding an income of $44.80. While this was disappointing, the remaining shirts are being held by Vince Scalise until the 2008 conference, where we will once again make them available for purchase.
Scholarships totaling $12,000.00 were awarded to 7 individuals (5 sector scholarships @ $2,000 each and 2 State Fair scholarships @ $1,000 each).
Many thanks to those who worked on the committee this year:
Region 1: Roseanne Johnson, SUNY Buffalo
Region 2: Mark Stoll, Rochester Business Institute
Region 3: Jackie Darquea, Cayuga Community College
Region 4: John Curtice (co-chair), SUNY System Administration
Region 5: Robert Zasso – Dutchess Community College
Region 6: Tania Degen, CUNY Central Administration
Region 7: Crystal Krudis, Adelphi University
Lender Rep: Patty Herbst – College Loan Corp.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT- McDonnell
Since we last met….
I am very pleased by the sense of renewed commitment found in many of our standing committees. Many have simply grabbed the “golden ring” and have begun the work charged to their committees in earnest. I will let the committee reports speak for themselves.
Since our conference, my NYSFAAA time has been spent on writing the SLATE compilation of answers to Joe Frey’s questions posed at this session at the conference. I have the final attached to this report. It was sent to Mr. Frey on 12/3/2007. I have offered the services of the SLATE Summit group should Joe want another face – to – face meeting.
I attended the EASFAA Executive Council on 10/29-30/2007 in Portland, Maine. EASFAA struggles with the same SLATE issues we are and having several New Yorkers on Council makes our work with SLATE important for EASFAA as well. With few exceptions, the EASFAA states are anxious to see our regulations once posted. We need to send a “state gift” for the raffle at the annual EASFAA Conference. Susan Howard is seeking session proposals for the conference.
I attended the NJASFAA conference 11/5-7/2007 and had a wonderful chance to talk with NASFAA National Chair Michael Bennett. Mike expressed some concern that NYSFAAA did not invite any NASFAA officer to our conference. I assured him that this was an oversight and I would bring it to Region 3’s attention. This was especially embarrassing because Michael lives less than two hours from NYC. I presented SLATE along with Janet Dodson’s NASFAA Code of Conduct as the last session of their conference.
I will be attending several regional meetings:
Region 7 - 12/19/2007
Region 1 - 02/21/2008
Region 2 - 03/18/2008
Region 8 - 05/08/2008
Our next schedule meetings are:
February 7th and 8th, 2008 – Crowne Plaza White Plains. NY
June 18th – 20th, 2008 – Summer retreat tentatively scheduled at the Craftsman Inn
in Syracuse NY
September 15th and 16th, 2008 - Saratoga Springs Courtyard Inn
September 27, 2007 – hosted by SUNY Fredonia
November 8, 2007 – hosted by Hilbert College
Region I Awards
Region I Concerns
November 7, 2007 – Region Meeting hosted by Nazareth College
High School Counselor Workshops
December 12, 2007 – Region Meeting hosted by SUNY Brockport
Since the last Exec Council meeting Region 3 has had three meetings: September 28, 2007 at SUNY Oswego; November 9, 2007 at Mohawk Valley Community College; and December 12, 2007 at the Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles. On average, approximately 40 people have been in attendance at each meeting. The focus of our meetings is to plan the 2008 state conference, which will be the 40th anniversary celebration for NYSFAAA. The conference theme is, “A Celebration of Education.” John View and Bill Cheetham are co-chairs of the conference committee. The Program Committee, co-chaired by Gina Soliz and Sean View, is requesting session proposals by January 4, 2008.
Region 3 held a Support Staff Workshop on November 1st at the Craftsman Inn in Fayetteville, NY. 64 people attended. A $15 fee was charged to defray the cost of lunch. The sessions included John Austin from HESC who presented on the SLATE Act and Mel Smith of NSLP presented, 'Small Effort, Big Return - What Saving Can Do for You!' and 'Be a Financial Champion - Recruiting a Winning Team of Financial Advisors to Build Wealth.’ Sharon Halpin chaired.
Two School Counselor Workshops were held in Region 3 in November: 119 guidance counselors attended the Syracuse workshop and 47 counselors attended the Binghamton workshop. The registration in Syracuse was down from prior years, perhaps because of the school counselors being busy helping their students with early college admission deadlines. Topics included a legislative update, a HESC update, financial literacy, loans, a forum, and Novice Training (in Syracuse only). Kate Bellefeuille and Shane Rauh co-chaired.
Region 3 has inquired about the funds that the AG Office has acquired from SLATE (approximately $6 million?). The thought of requesting a grant to fund state-wide school counselor workshops was presented. Could Exec Council sum up the total costs of this year’s School Counselor Workshops and request a grant for 2008 in order to fund the workshops? In Syracuse, a large number of counselors indicated they would not be able to attend future training if a fee to attend was assessed. Additionally, the idea of Executive Council providing certificates of attendance for school counselors was proposed. And finally, the idea of partnering with guidance counselors during their conferences has discussed. For example, someone from the financial aid community could present sessions regarding financial aid to the NYS Counselor Association (the name or names of their professional associations was unclear to me). The idea of partnering with school counselors, School Boards, and Parent-Teacher Groups was briefly discussed at the last meeting. Evidently CCRAA has over $60 million in grants for training, available if the states are willing to match the grant.
LaSonya Griggs from Ithaca College has reported that Syracuse has 10 volunteers for the College Goal Sunday event scheduled for February 10, 2008. We have a snow date of 2/17/08. Around January 2nd 1100 invitations will be sent to people from 4 Syracuse city schools. A second notification email or snail mail reminder will be sent in late January.
Sharon Karwowski and Cathy Patella held a State Fair Meeting. The AG Office attended the planning meeting and has requested a table at the event. No contracts have been made yet, but 16 tables have been tentatively reserved.
REGION 4- Earl Trethway
Correction to September Report: It was incorrectly reported that Elizabeth Key was the Region IV secretary. The newly elected secretary for the region should have been reported as begin Kristin Carey.
Our school counselor workshop was held on November 13th. Regional Chair Ronnie Jones reported that there were approximately 85 attendees. This is low compared to past years. Some potential reasons for lower attendance could be because the workshop date fell the day after Veteran’s day or perhaps because lunch was not provided. Overall evaluations were favorable; however, some felt SLATE was not relevant to them.
Regional meeting was held at HVCC on November 27th. Agenda items included:
§ Presentation of the 2007 Regional Awards:
o Service Award to Becky Cozzocrea from Fulton Montgomery CC
o Rising Star Award to Ronnie Jones- Hudson Valley Community College
§ Beyond Prime and LIBOR, presented by Jim Gathard and Charles Boland (Bank of America). This interactive private loan presentation covered indices, margins, how borrower rates/fees can be affected, and finally the role of capital markets.
§ Establish the criteria/process for selecting the future Regional Award Recipients.
REGION 5- Ursula Bisconti
Although we had a nice turn-out half of the attendees were Lenders and we had hoped for more school participation based on the topics we were holding.
At our December meeting we had presentations from the Long Range Planning Committee and an Update from the Next Generation Committee. The members feel there should be mentoring. They also said we should have more webinar training to reach more members in their offices.
For our January meeting at MMC, we plan presentations on Strategies for helping undergrads prepare financially for grad/professional school and a presentation on Principles of Needs Analysis. Heather will be attending our meeting.
Tri-Regional Meeting (Regions V, VI, VII). This will be held in May. We do not have a venue yet. Region 6 has its 3 volunteers. Jennifer Trauman (Access Gp); Theresa Weimer (Wagner College) and Justine Alessandroni (Fordham University). Justine worked on last year's Tri-Regional.
Support Staff Workshop for 2008. Christina Roarke will head the committee. They will be looking for a site and planning the Agenda for 2008.
Our First regional meeting for 2007-08 was on October 5th, with approximately 30 NYSFAAA members in attendance. Debra Evans was introduced as new Chairperson, Nancy Brewer as Councilperson, and Diane Beltrani as Secretary/Treasurer. Jim Gathard gave a federal legislative update. This was followed by a Roundtable discussion on ‘August in Financial Aid’, designed to allow NYSFAAA members to discuss the workload and student processing issues that seem to come, year after year, during peak periods.
Below are some of the student scenarios that prompted a lively, interesting and engaging discussion.
1) I got my federal pin (here) now where’s my money?
2) You told me I had ‘no need’ but my parents separated last week and my mom’s attorney told me to come in to get a professional judgment. My bill is due Thursday.
3) Last year I applied this late and didn’t have a problem.
4) I gave you all that stuff already. You lost it.
5) My bill is due today. I can’t pay it. Can I apply for aid?
6) My sister goes to (insert any college name here) and they didn’t ask us for any of this.
On 11/30, Region VII held our annual Guidance Counselor Workshop at SCCC Grant Campus. It was successful, though attendance (78 participants) was down from our highs of about 100, which disappointed us. We ran back-to-back general sessions instead of breakout sessions, which we will continue to reconsider; that may have had something to do with the numbers, though one cynical person suggested that ‘no lunch’ was a factor.
Region VII is planning a one day novice training for new counselors. We have tentatively agreed to charge a $50 fee to non members which would cover membership. The event is still in the planning stages but I think we will get it off the ground for early February.
I would be interested in sharing agendas, including guidance counselor workshop agendas, with other regions.
REGION 8- Kerry Lubold
Were held on October 26th at SUNY Potsdam, and December 7th at the Lake Placid Resort. We had good attendance of NYSFAAA members at both meetings. In October, Jim Vallee with M&T Bank presented on the topic of “Effective Communication with your Federal State and Local Politicians.” He did a terrific job. In December, Abbey Linsner with Nelnet presented “Making the Most of your RFI/RFP”. Another well-received training topic resulting in a lot of conversation. WE have planned two region meetings for the spring. SUNY Plattsburgh will host our regional meeting on February 22nd, and St. Lawrence will host our May 8th meeting.
School Counselor Workshops
Held on December 4th and 5th at Jefferson Community College and the Lake Placid Resort. 86 attendees. Workshops were very well received and very interactive.
Raffle for Local Families
During our December gathering, Shalena Clary (North Country Community College) and Theresa Gieseke (TERi) organized a raffle containing gifts donated by local merchants to raise money for three needy families in our region. All three families reside in the Beekmantown School District. Two of the families are being raised by Grandmothers, and one of the households has three 14-year old girls. The members of Region 8 donated approximately $1300, which will be used to purchase gifts and gift cards for the families. The Vice Principle at Beekmantown Central School has expressed tremendous gratitude for our efforts and generosity.
HESC’s Holiday Processing Schedule:
Monday, December 24, 2007
· EFT Escrow and refunds will be run at regular times
· EFT Express will not run
· Normal processing will occur during the day. Any batch files will not be processed until the evening of December 26th.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
· HESC Offices will be closed
· Any batch files will not be processed until the evening of December 26th.
· Inquiry and Online updates will be available
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
· All processing will resume at 6:00 am
· Regular production schedule will be run
Typically, the period surrounding New Year's Day is very slow, with low telephone call and processing volume. Most schools and some lenders are closed. HESC is taking this opportunity to shut down processing and update its systems from Noon on Saturday, December 29 through 6 AM on Wednesday, January 2. This will give us the time needed to:
· Update the Grants & Scholarships database so that we can start processing TAP with the 2008 ISIR records
· Enable lenders to view Credit Reports
· Add first disbursement date instead of guarantee date when calculating origination fees paid by the lender for EFT Express.
· Make behind the scenes updates
We anticipate the benefits from these updates will outweigh the inconvenience which may be experienced by our customers.
The following schedule covers the period surrounding New Year's Day.
Monday, December 31, 2007
· No processing will occur
· Inquiry and Online systems will not be available
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
· HESC Offices will be closed
· Any batch files received will not be processed until the evening of January 2nd.
· Inquiry and online updates will not be available
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
· All processing will resume at 6:00 am
· Regular production schedule will be run
New York State Math & Science Teaching Incentive Payment
HESC is in the process of finalizing payments for eligible New York State Math & Science teaching incentive award recipients for the 2006-07 award year. Awards will be paid directly to schools on behalf of students upon their successful completion of each academic year. Recipients shall receive an annual payment equal to the average SUNY tuition or actual tuition; whichever is less. The maximum annual award for the 2006-2007 academic year is $4,350.
Awards will be paid for fall and spring at schools operating on a semester based calendar and will be paid for fall, winter and spring terms at schools operating on a trimester based calendar. Although there is no provision for New York State Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships to pay summer awards, credits earned during summer study may be used toward the 27 earned credit hour requirement.
Since the NYS Math & Science recipient is required to complete the academic year and have earned at least 27 credits, HESC advises school officials to not disburse funds until all term certification is complete and the Remittance Advice has been received. Do not disburse funds for the Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship until a remittance advice has been received and payment authorization confirmed.
As with all Consolidated Scholarship Roster-SU8069 (CSRs), each institution’s TAP certifying officer must print their institution’s CSR and use it to certify each listed student’s scholarship eligibility. Once each CSR is certified and returned to HESC for processing, HESC will generate a related Consolidated Scholarship Remittance Advice – SU8071 (CSRA). Again, do not disburse funds for the Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship until the remittance advice has been received and payment authorization confirmed.
NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship payments for the student(s) appearing on Consolidated Scholarship Rosters (CSRs) will be sent to schools upon the successful completion of each academic year. Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) or checks will be made payable to the college for the total value of the awards on the list. If it is determined that a student on the CSR is not eligible for an award, an amount equal to the award must be refunded within 30 days of the receipt of payment. Please return any refund checks to:
TAP Cashiers Unit
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255
Applications for the 2007-08 academic year will be available in January 2008.
Online Access to Consolidated Scholarship Roster and Remittance Advice
you with online access to your school’s Consolidated Scholarship Roster –
SU8069 (CSR) and Consolidated Scholarship Remittance Advice – SU8071 (CSRA).
The CSR displays the scholarship identification number, name, award amounts and eligibility points for each student. Each institution’s TAP certifying officer must print their institution’s CSRs, complete them, and use them to certify each listed student’s scholarship eligibility.
There is a separate line entry for each scholarship or grant held by a student. Each entry must be certified. Once each CSR is certified, returned to HESC and processed, HESC will generate a related CSRA. The CSRA shows the certification activity as well as an itemized list of total dollars paid for each scholarship, the supplemental payments to schools, and the refund amounts that must be returned to HESC.
The 2007-08 CSR for the scholarships listed below are available now.
· World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship (WTC)
· Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer
· Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers (MS)
· Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS)
· Flight 587 Memorial (FM)
· Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
· Math and Science Teacher Incentive Scholarship
CSRs for prior academic years, listing students who are eligible for the above programs and who have indicated acceptance at your institution, are routinely updated as new student awards are processed.
as well as CSRs for prior years may be viewed and printed from HESCWeb. To get
to HESCWeb, visit the HESC Transaction Center in the College Administrator
section of HESC.org. Click Transaction Processing, select Grants and
Scholarships and log in. Select the Reports tab then Details to view the report.
HESC no longer mails CSRs and CSRAs schools. CSRs and CSRAs are not available as electronic files.
For more information, refer to HESC
Financial Aid Services Bulletin 2005 - 021 on Scholarship Modernization,
issued September 8, 2005, which describes the Consolidated Scholarship Roster
Process. If you have questions
regarding Consolidated Scholarship Roster certifications or the Consolidation
Scholarship Remittance Advice, additional information is available in the Programs,
Policies and Procedures manual, Appendix F.
ED Publishes Loan Discharge Application for Spouses and Parents of September 11, 2001 Victims
November 9, 2007, the Department of Education published Dear Colleague Letter, GEN
-07-08, which announced the approval of the new loan discharge application
for spouses and parents of 9/11 victims.
The Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 (THEEA) authorized the discharge of the outstanding balances of certain FFEL, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan program loans. The eligible loans were those made to the spouses or parents of eligible public servants and other eligible victims who died or became totally and permanently disabled due to injuries suffered in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The loan discharge benefit created by the THEEA is available only for FFEL, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan program loans on which amounts had been owed on September 11, 2001, and on which amounts are still owed on the date the discharge is requested. The THEEA does not authorize the refunding of any loan payments that a borrower has made prior to the loan discharge date.
The new Loan Discharge Application: Spouses and Parents of September 11, 2001 Victims is made available to borrowers for immediate use.
Questions regarding this guidance should be directed to the Office of Regulatory Compliance at 518-473-3986, toll free at: 1-866-431-HESC (1-866-431-4372) press 6, or: email@example.com
WEBSITE COMMUNICATIONS REPORTS
ATAC’S RESPONSE FOR NYSFAAA’S WEBSITE REDESIGN/UPGRADE
Below is information on the various costs and options. There is also a cost listing for a server upgrade. Depending on the number and popularity of blogs, a dedicated server may be required for the increased bandwidth. The dedicated server provides much more storage and bandwidth usage.
We haven't established pricing on podcasts yet since the direction is now to move into vidcasts. As those costs and specifics are developed, I'll pass them along.
For an item like the webinar, I would recommend using a service like "GoToMeeting" (www.gotomeeting.com). This is an extremely reliable, highly rated service, that has fine-tuned the webinar functionality. The costs are significantly less than developing a stand-alone webinar function on your website. Of course, anytime that webinars were planned, all of the necessary information and links would be placed directly on the NYSFAAA website.
Database Upgrade - $1125 (50% deposit paid) New Site Design - $2600
-- includes completely new home page design and redesign for all subpages
-- new navigation
-- initial flash animation design panel Quarterly Change of Flash Animation Panel - $250
Dedicated Server Setup - $1200
Monthly Increase in Hosting/Maintenance costs - $325
Setup - $175 per blog
Monthly Fee - $5 per blog
We plan to implement the upgrade in the early part of the new year, so any design/server changes should be made at that time as well.
PROPOSAL FOR NYSFAAA WEBSITE REDESIGN
Appended information (in green).
This proposal addresses the need for a redesign of the NYSFAAA website. The website is the primary vehicle for NYSFAAA's communication of its activities to the membership and the public it serves. This redesign will lay the foundation for the website's continued development, focused on addressing the needs of the membership and building an architecture for the site that will allow us to add additional components and offer additional services in the future.
The key issues of the website redesign are:
In looking at ways to enhance the website's effectiveness in serving as a communication venue, some of the specific design changes we would like are:
o An area called “Events” that would list in chronological order the events for that month, and you would also have the ability to click on the event for more details. If there are lots of events in a particular month or if you want to view what’s coming up, there would be a bar you can click on to “view all events”. How would this differ from the current online calendar where council and chairs can post events? We envisioned the current online calendar remaining as it is, people would go there to enter the dates, time, and descriptions of there events, and that “Events” would be a feed from there to the homepage. The ‘view all’ button would take you to the calendar. This is just an example:
11/5/2007 Region VI Tax workshop
Or just a straight listing:
Monday, November 12 Region VII Support Staff Workshop
Friday, November 16 Tax workshop
Friday, December 7 Exec Council Meeting
View all events
The links for the Event Calendar option can be added in a panel on the opening page so it’s easy to reach.
Have a “What’s New” or “News of the
Day” feature where one can get a quick look at what’s happening. Could be internal or external. Who would provide this information and how often would it be
updated? What are RSS feeds? Can they be
sent/linked directly to a website? If
so, that would be one way. Could a
NYSFAAA member have access and be trained to do the update. Do you know how a site like NASFAA does
it? They have a feature “Today’s News Headlines”.
With the upgrade, there is a function for all committee chairs and Board members where they can post news items directly from their Chair Access Admin area. These are text only posts, and appear on the page in the order that they are posted. This section would be linked directly from the opening page.
Develop a “Membership History” form that would be part of the membership application. Need clarification on what this means – i.e. specific fields, how this will be used, etc. The fields can be adapted from the NYSFAAA DATA FORM (http://www.nysfaaa.org/docs/forms/NYSFAAA_DATA_FORM.pdf), This would be in a secure environment (for members only) and would allow a member to input all of their involvement with NYSFAAA, similar to a bio. The information would be used as part of the overall selection process when nominating someone for office or for an award, and as other situations develop. Members would have the ability to update at any time, and anyone i.e., Exec Council, could then access this information through canned reports
Many associations use online awards and officer nominations forms. The Data Form is similar and can certainly be developed as an online submission form. The issue becomes in connecting it to the database and having any meaningful output. Because the form, as it stands, is open ended, the number of fields needed in the database could be endless. For example, there is an area to list any NYSFAAA work done at the Federal or Regional Level. A person could enter 50 things into this. This won’t work for pulling data into reports. We’re looking at some other directions to go for collecting and storing this information. I don’t have specifics at this time.
The redesign of the home page and navigation should address much of this.
As a general note regarding the last 4 items, it’s important to determine if these will really be used by the membership. Over the years we’ve seen many clients make a costly investment in the “latest” trend only to find that it ultimately wasn’t used at all or was only used by 4 or 5 people. In addition, if the services are public, copyright and liability issues come into play. If we have more clarification on how some of these will be used, we may be able to recommend some other cost effective options.