Connections - 03.30.23

Across the Board: A Dispatch from the Latest ANCOR Board Meeting

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Charleston, South Carolina, was the location of ANCOR’s most recent gathering of its Board of Directors – convenient since Barbara Merrill was already there keynoting the South Carolina Human Services Provider Association’s annual conference. Barbara’s keynote included ANCOR’s work advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, a recurring topic over the two-day Board meeting, spanning multiple agenda items.

Board President Diane Beastrom kicked off the meeting by welcoming our newest Board member, Linda Timmons, President & CEO of Mosaic, who was recently appointed to complete Charles Hooker’s Board term following his retirement in January.

The Board then dove into a conversation about the ANCOR Global Council’s recent study tour to India. The conversation was led by ANCOR’s CFO, Cindy Ramos; Board members Rita Wiersma, Zach Wray and Heidi Mansir; and me. Guided by photos and images of the 10 days spent touring services and meeting with people with autism and I/DD and their families, the Board asked all the right questions: what do we do with what you’ve seen and learned? How do we integrate this experience into ANCOR’s own work and how does it move our own strategic priorities forward. Ninety minutes into the conversation and well over the allotted time, the Board agreed to continue the discussion when then meet again in July.

The discussion about our time in India provided a nice segue into the next agenda item, which was a Strategic Plan update, during which Barbara and I shared progress on projects and initiatives directly related to ANCOR’s Strategic Priorities for 2018-2023, timely because it’s almost time to revisit and renew those priorities for the next few years.

Shannon McCracken, Vice President for Government Relations, then joined the meeting virtually and reviewed updated language to clarify and fine tune ANCOR’s government relations priorities and goals for the year. Government Relations Committee Co-Chairs Yadira Holmes, Lori Kress and Josh Rael reviewed objectives around workforce, integrated employment, and visa and immigration reform. These and other guiding documents will be online at soon.

Every couple of years, the new ANCOR Board President and members of the Executive Committee attend Board trainings offered by ASAE, the association for association professionals (yes, really!). So the next agenda item was led by Barbara and our Executive Committee: Diane Beastrom, Lori Kress and Heidi Mansir. Together, Barbara, Diane, Lori and Heidi shared the (mostly affirming) takeaways and recommendations from the recent ASAE Chief Executive Officer/Chief Staff Officer workshop they attended.

Its hard to discuss finances without a little uncertainty these days, given the shape of the global market. The Board discussed the volatility of the market and affirmed that the association has solid reserves and good processes in place. The recent ASAE workshop affirmed that ANCOR is appropriately benchmarked as having a high-performing board and following best financial practices.

On the second day of the Board meeting, ANCOR Foundation Board President Rita Wiersma and I were invited to provide a “Mission Moment” focused on the ANCOR Foundation. We shared the mission, vision and history of the ANCOR’s 501(c)3 component and delighted in the generative thinking and conversations around possible future collaborations.

Following the mission moment, Sasha Sencer, ANCOR’s Director of Education & Intersectional Collaboration, joined the Board to share a recently completed internal review of ANCOR’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) efforts, another conversation that was so robust that we’ll need to continue it in July.

Next on the docket, Donna Martin, Senior Director for State Partnerships & Innovation, presented ANCOR’s third white paper on alternative payment models alongside the co-chairs of ANCOR’s Alternate Payment Model Work Group, Mark Davis and Kathy Carmody. Their presentation highlighted potential next steps for ANCOR. Now that the work has been approved, look for the new publication in the coming weeks!

While the next meeting of the ANCOR Board isn’t until July, I encourage members to connect with ANCOR Board members at the ANCOR Annual Conference next month if you’d like to discuss these or any other ANCOR initiatives. The ANCOR Board of Directors represents you and welcomes your feedback!

Gabrielle Sedor is COO & Foundation Director at ANCOR.