Minutes August 3, 2021

The June meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women was called to order at 5:02 P.M. by Chair Lisa Thayer Welch. Meeting was located in GIEC Building, Room 102 with teleconference available.   Also present were Erin-Ruth Natividad, Juliet Sanders, Amanda Mattingly, Michelle Harman, Linda Carr, and Melita Friend.  Present via teleconference were Rose Gordy, Caroline Blizzard, Maureen Sheaffer, and Pam Trickett. No guests were in attendance.

A moment of silence was recognized, and the Pledge of Allegiance had been recited.

The agenda for the August 3, 2021 meeting was reviewed. Linda Carr motioned for approval, and Michelle Harman seconded. Unanimous approval was received.

Secretary’s Report: No report other than the presentation of Minutes from the June 1, 2021 Meeting as prepared by Erin-Ruth Natividad. Melita Friend made a motion to approve the minutes, and Amanda Mattingly seconded.  Unanimous approval was received.

Treasurer’s Report: Linda Carr reported a beginning balance of $4,172.07. $2,500 in scholarship funds were disbursed to the five GCCW Scholarship Winners, and $250 was issued to Cindy’s Fund on behalf of the Woman of Tomorrow Winner. $120 was spent on floral gifts for the Hall of Fame Celebration. Current GCCW  balance is $1,302.07. Upcoming expenses are MLAW and the banner for WED. A request to the Commissioners will need to be made for funding. Linda Carr will send a letter to Lisa Thayer-Welch  for review of past letter as template. Erin-Ruth Natividad reported all signature card changes and resolutions have been taken care of at BB&T by herself and Melita Friend.  Linda Carr  can no longer sign checks as she is not on the signature card .

Committee Reports:

1. Hall of Fame-. The ceremony was held June 19, 2021 at the Commissioner’s office from 10 AM-12 PM. Caroline Blizzard reported the event was successful even with the contingencies due to the pandemic. Erin-Ruth Natividad reported the Live stream reached over 1.4K people, with 1.1K views. We received 122 Reactions and comments. The video was shared 10 times. It was noted all future events should be live streamed to reach a broader audience and/or cater to those who cannot attend. 

2. Scholarship- Lisa Thayer-Welch identified there is no present report as all scholarships were issued at the Hall of Fame Event.

3. Legislation- Voting to continue membership with MLAW is needed for the upcoming year.

4. Public Relations- Erin-Ruth Natividad reported she had been updating the social media and site on schedule. She went how simply it will be to update the Instagram account at the same as the Facebook posts once the Instagram is up and running. Erin-Ruth Natividad identified the upcoming observance month: Immunization Awareness Month, National Wellness Month, and Black Business Month.

5. Membership- Rachel Bruch’s resignation was received and sent to the Commissioners. A new committee lead is needed. Michelle Harman asked what it entails. Lisa Thayer-Welch said this committee will report and record on recruiting and updating membership referrals. Erin-Ruth Natividad said meeting attendance as logged in meeting minutes should also be included in this committee so that membership in accordance to the Bylaws is followed. Pam Trickett volunteered to head this committee. There are 3 soon to be open positions with GCCW. Melita Friend said we need to come up with leadership categories and skills within GCCW.  Membership can suggest the range of subgroups of membership that can be recruited at the next meeting.

6. Historian- GCCW historical materials need to be moved. Rose Gordy reported she still needs materials for storage. Lisa Thayer-Welch will transport the materials and will hold off until the spacing issue is resolved.

7. By-Laws- Maureen Sheaffer said she had nothing new to report.

8. Community Projects- It has been previously discussed to collaborate with GS Troop 55004 on their badge work and mentorship endeavors.  Kristal Huber said she reached out to her point-of-contact, Constance, and was told she is moving. Erin-Ruth Natividad is once again a troop leader at GS Troop 55004 in Oakland, working with the Cadettes (middle school aged group). She will be attending a leadership meeting shortly and will be clear what is needed for the Commission.

Strategic Plan Guiding Principles:

  1. Promotion of Services/Issues/Activities-This will be achieved through our Public Relations and Community Projects this month and next.
  2. Political Participation/Leadership Roles- Erin-Ruth Natividad still putting out clips of Patty Jamison, former Mayor of Oakland that are designed to encourage women candidates. Erin-Ruth Natividad said there is a lot of new female school leadership and administration that should be highlighted. 
  3. Pressing Issues affecting GC Women. Erin-Ruth Natividad spoke of the approval of the Diversity and Inclusion advisory group to the GC Commissioners.
  4. Hall of Fame- 2021 Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 1.
  5. Higher Education/Scholarship-Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 2.

Old Business:

  1. Hall of Fame Plaque- Lisa Thayer-Welch sent an email with a sample and is working with a local business, Trophies Unlimited. to come up with an estimate and design plan to include plates in plaques.
  2. Use of Commissioner Tax Exempt Status-It was previously identified GCCW was using the Commissioner’s Tax-Exempt Number, and identified GCCW is no longer to do so. Lisa Thayer Welch said we need to revisit the issue on the legal side. The State Commission  said we are a county appointed board and should be able to use the county tax exempt number. Lisa Thayer-Welch will reach out with local accountant, Brian Boal, to get advice. Melita Friend said we don’t fundraise to the capacity of needing our own non-profit designation Melita Friend said the GCCW small amount of tax exempt usage should be able to be reported to the county.
  3. Meeting with Commissioners- Lisa Thayer-Welch said she went to the Commissioners meeting July 20, 2021, where she outlined community outreach progress and efforts. As requested, Paul Edwards is the direct point-of-contact and will be invited to the next meeting. Lisa Thayer-Welch said she would be sharing GCCW positions and concerns with the correct persons.

New Business:

1. Leadership Elections and Committee Leads- Maureen Sheaffer emailed everyone the ballot with nominations and completed by 6:30 today. For chair: Lisa Thayer-Welch and Erin-Ruth Natividad, 2nd Chair: Sadie Liller, Secretary: No one, Treasurer: Melita Friend and Juliet Sanders.  The Secretary position will be tabled until the next meeting. Officers do not start until September. Linda Carr said she had been working diligently to transfer to Melita Friend and documentation with the bank had been updated. Juliet Sanders said she would happily drop from her nomination to make that transition easier. Erin-Ruth Natividad said she would remain as Secretary if not selected as Chair.

2. MLAW Membership- Linda Carr said MLAW Membership dues are due for 2021-22. The price is $75. Erin-Ruth Natividad motioned to approve the issuance of payment and continuance of membership, Michelle Harman seconded. Unanimous approval was received. Erin-Ruth Natividad highlighted the continued need to share GCCW’s position on MLAW Sessions to local representatives.

3. Breastfeeding/Healthy Families- Lisa Thayer-Welch said she has been writing a letter to the editor on this topic regarding the private family decision to breastfeed and  the public awareness regarding legality and rights. She said she will send it once her computer is unlocked. Juliet Sanders spoke to Maria Friend of Healthy Families, and they’ll partner with us for information. Juliet Sanders shared a breastfeeding education pamphlet. Maria Friend agreed she will provide education, laws, and safety information regarding breastfeeding. Social media platforms will share content on this topic. Erin-Ruth Natividad there should be an annual announcement of GCCW’s position on breastfeeding. Lisa Thayer-Welch said members of the Chamber of Commerce who are employers should be sent the information so they’re following employee rights.  Lisa Thayer-Welch will approach the Chamber regarding putting this topic in their newsletter. Linda Carr said this would be good to share at the HR Roundtable for the topic and now is a good time to ask. Lisa Thayer-Welch will send an email today or tomorrow on this topic.

4.  Women’s Equity Day Celebration- Caroline Blizzard said the event is being held August 28, 2021 at Sang Run State Park, and several women’s organizations and clubs are involved. Caroline Blizzard said a large area had been mowed for the event. Lisa Thayer-Welch attended the last organization meeting on behalf of GCCW. Lisa Thayer-Welch had been in contact with the fire dept on regarding chairs. The chairs will need to be picked up and delivered. A picture of the banner has been sent out to members for viewing. Gold and purple sharpies will be there for guests to fill out and sign on the banner. There was a consensus that the banner is approved as is. Caroline Blizzard said a banner with an aluminum case is  $125. Pam Trickett motioned to purchase the $125 banner, and Michelle Harman seconded. Unanimous approval was received. Shirts will be available for purchase, and Caroline Blizzard will send out an email asking who is interested in purchasing one. Caroline Blizzard said she would purchase the supplies for the GCCW table. Linda Carr said we are not allowed to fundraise, but are allowed to collect for another organization. Erin-Ruth Natividad said GCCW should not give out the pretzels for free as that may take away from the fundraising efforts of the other groups. Melita Friend said GCCW is missing opportunities to give back to our community, and GCCW should figure out the non-profit situation. Caroline Blizzard said if GCCW goes through the trouble of its own non-profit designation, then a serious level of fundraising should be done to make it worth it.  Melita Friend motioned pretzel funds collected should be issued to Foster Appalachia, and seconded by Erin-Ruth Natividad. Unanimous approval was received. Volunteers for the event are Melita Friend, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Caroline Blizzard, Maureen Sheaffer, and Lisa Thayer-Welch. Set up is from 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM, and a finalized schedule will be sent to the volunteers.

5. Letters to the Editor- Lisa Thayer-Welch will submit a letter on breastfeeding. Erin-Ruth Natividad talked about immunizations, especially with kids going back to school.  Vaccinations are not just about Covid-19 vaccinations. Lisa Thayer-Welch said it would be a good time to talk about meningitis since some kids are headed to college at the end of the summer. Melita Friend said it would also be a good time for a discussion on the HPV vaccination. Juliet Sanders will write a letter on the topic of immunization. September letter to the editor will be regarding drug abuse awareness. Melita Friend will write on that topic.

6. Covid-19 Grant Assistance- Lisa Thayer-Welch made an announcement on housing funds.GC Community Action has money to help people, and there should be no evictions. Eviction orders are not needed to get the funding, and people should be directed to GCCAC to apply. GCCAC also has Covid money to assist to cover issues with jobs, etc.

Michelle Harman motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Amanda Mattingly seconded. Unanimous approval was received. The meeting was adjourned at 5:47 P.M. The next meeting is Tuesday, October 5 , 2021 from 5 to 6:30 P.M.

Submitted by,

Erin-Ruth Natividad