Black River Independent School Committee

Date/Time: 03/21/2019 @ 6:30pm

Location: Black River High School Middle School Library


  1. Call to Order-Called to order by John @ 6:37 pm

A. Roll Call-Uli Donohue, John Bannon, Joann Wilson, Pat Pullinen, Marissa

Selleck; Craig Huttvater @ 6:39pm.

B. Approval of Agenda: Additions & Deletions-Add III. B. 3) Fundraising Input from Fundraiser Consultant; and, 4) Town Tax

Motion made by JW, 2nd by UD; Passed

II. Approval of Minutes

A. 03/14/2019-Motion by JW, 2nd by UD; Passed

III. Business

A. Updates

1. Conference with Lawyer, & 501(c)3 Status, via UD/JW/MS-Pertinent

Q’s for the lawyer revolved around some clarification on some sections of the application to upgrade the 501(c)3 status; lawyer will follow up with us on some of the questions she couldn’t answer immediately.  One of her key instructions is to find an accountant

*Follow up on possible accountant contacts.

UD also reached out to previous grant resource contact, who will reach

out to some of his possible accountant contacts.  Furthermore, explained

that there is a new process for General Ed as well as Special Ed, which he

assisted the State with for years, which he assisted the State with for years contracted out but since the State might be going to in house personnel it might mean it would no longer be a conflict of interest for him to help us from here on out.

JW-Lawyer also mentioned the lawyer explained we should look for an accountant with non-profit expertise especially.

UD-Estimates she could have the application completed in a few weeks; could take about 6 months for it be returned by the State.  UD also might need a member to type up some synopsis answers for those questions on the application.

2. Rotary Luncheon Update via JB/SB/MS-Meeting was well over a half hour; a lot of tough but pertinent questions.  Rotary members were ready for and engaged in conversation, want to be supportive just need to be to be informed and see progress.  Invited us back in the near future when we have more updates to share with them.  Ralph Pace also offered to have BRISC on as a guest speaker on the OVTV program “Spotlight” once they are reopen following their renovations on the studio.  

        *Follow up with Ralph Pace in regards to opportunity, as well as

        wonderful postings about the lunch he posted on Mt. Holly

        Newsflash and Front Porch Forum.  Pat Pullinen also suggested

        we ask Ralph if he has any accountant suggestions since he is so

        involved with non-profit organizations here.

Question from Pat about whether or not taxes came up-yes, Rotary member just ask about tax; however, we are still considered a sending town so taxes as it stands now do not change on that front.

3. Marketing/Sign Shop Contact Update via JW-Talked to the contact at the Okemo Sign Shop about a banner; she is interested but will be away, will be in touch when she returns.  Also, JW talked with another employee there who said that the process has changed now that Vail runs the mountain and it could potentially take 6 months to get stuff done.  Materials to consider: banner, brochure, bumper stickers, bracelets (ie: swag items).

         B. Discussions

                1. Sub-Committee for Mid-Tier List-MS has reached out to potential

                members for the sub-committee.  Hyle Daley and Megan Jenkins so far

                have responded and made the affirmative.  Next step will be to drafting

                Google Documents to share with sub-committee members to begin

                working on and adding names to the list for mid-tier outreach contacts

                (see below in accordance with this an update via MP’s conversation with

                Christine Graham, fundraising consultant for a suggested approach here).

                        *Follow up: MS draft google docs for sub-committee lists

                Pat also followed up with his BR Alumni contacts; willing to facilitate, their

                yearly newsletter requests funds which is their main revenue but they

                could provide a reference or update for BRISC.


                2. Calendar of Events Review and Planning-Agreed to do an interview,

                press release, luncheon, etc at least once a month.  For April, follow up

                with Ralph Pace to schedule an OVTV “Spotlight” appearance for April.  

                        *Follow up with Ralph Pace for “Spotlight” Appearance

                3. Fundraising Input from Fundraiser Consultant-MP had email/phone

                conversation with Christine Graham, our fundraising consultant, at the

                beginning of the week; Christine suggested our next approach for the

                mid-tier outreach is for each one of us to host a small gathering (15-20

                people) with maybe wine and cheese or a coffee and donuts/bagels/etc to

                review BRISC goals/progress with potential donors in person.  Facilitate

                w/ one other member, and maybe host @ your own house or schedule

                with a local eatery/restaurant a time at their convenience (be conscious of

                their operating hours).  Make it a personal invite and follow up prior with a

                reminder (phone calls are best but email is ok, then follow up again with

a letter as people then tend to actually write things down); keep the

keep the presentation casual; make the lists for these invitees based on the largest donors or areas/neighborhoods or anything that makes sense;

lastly, don’t request a certain amount, it could be too big or too small so it’s something you never get “right” & could miss out on possible larger donations.  Suggestion amongst group that revisiting list with potential BRA board members would be a great place to start for invitees.  

*See earlier follow up for sub-committee: doc with potential invitees

for mid-tier phase.

4. Town Tax-As mentioned above, we will still be a sending town to

Education Tax will not change currently; hold off on Town Tax request.

As Craig pointed out, though, $ from tuitioning students will be huge.

Further discussion about building: advocate to Select Board benefits of Town retaining the building, Pat suggested drafting a list of reasons

PP, & JW plan on attending Select Board meeting

*Agreed upon sentiment that the building is a historic local landmark, first thing you see when you come into town; JW suggested asking Ralph Pace for contacts in regards to the building.  

*Furthermore, as Pat suggested, building is very important to students; need to be able to sell this location to kids, let them know it’s solidified;

        *Follow Up: JB with student outreach

Craig also mentioned it could be a possibility, if the student population is small to begin with, that with the remaining empty space it could be viable utilize it for alternative learning opportunities.

IV. Public Comment-N/A

V. Suggested Items for Next Meeting

Sub-Committee Mid-Tier List Update via MS

Ralph Pace Outreach Update via MS

Student Outreach Update via JB

Prep for April Select Board Meeting

501(c)3 Application Leg Work

VI. Adjournment

Adjourned @ 7:53pm by John