developing people's abilities to resolve conflicts
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 Conferences Past Conferences 1999 Winter Board  Minutes


February 12-15, 1999

Place:  Albany, New York Friends Meetinghouse

The meeting was conducted following AVP's Advanced Workshop format with the focus topic: What should AVP/USA look like in the future?  No separate business session was held.  Instead, the routine business was conducted at various times throughout the weekend.  Facilitators: Rick Krouskop, Kaki Sjogren, Henry Bernstein, Marjorie Kerr, and Janet Lugo.


Gathering:  What rewards I get in AVP/USA.



Adjective Name Crossword

The Riddler

Evaluation & Closing


Present on Saturday were: Rick Krouskop, Diana Couch, Janet Lugo, Marjorie Kerr, Henry M. Bernstein, Tom Truitt, Jan Krouskop, Fred Feucht, Ann Ward, George Sinnott, Candace LaRue, John Shuford, Ellen Flanders, Toby Riley, Robin Willetts, Lloyd Bailey, Richard Nethercut, Steve Angell, Pat Beetle, Khaki Sjogren, and Grace McGrath.


Elders Circle

Brainstorm Mission and Goals

Life Auction

A short time was given to business and, during that, Fred Feucht reported on the status of the Transformer. He has an issue just about ready. We lost our grant for printing services when the printing company that had awarded us the grant was bought out by another firm. He proposed sending the next issue to all facilitators with an appeal for subscriptions. The question of funding printing and postage expenses came up. Tom Truitt committed to finding the funding for a future issue of the Transformer with the focus on youth workshops.


Gathering: My Truth song

Open presentation of proposals.

The group heard the various proposals for reorganizing AVP/USA's internal structure.

From Another Point of View

During this exercise, the groups reported good points they found in each of seven proposals. Following that report, the group checked to see if there was consensus on making the decision regarding closing the national office. The group had not reached consensus at that point. We recessed for supper.



Fishbowl on Blocks to Decision

The fishbowl lead into discussion of closing the national office which culminated in the group reaching consensus to close the national office. The board then recessed until the next morning.


The meeting reconvened Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. at Parson Childrens and Family Center

Present were: Rick Krouskop, Marjorie Kerr, Diana Couch, Khaki Sjogren, Tom Truitt, Lloyd Bailey, George Sinnott, Grace McGrath, Henry M. Bernstein, Robin Willetts, Steve Angell, Ann Ward, John Shuford, Pat Beetle, Toby Riley, Richard Nethercut, Candace LaRue, Janet Krouskop, Ellen Flanders.


The board addressed several routine business items beginning with a review of the following Leadership Team's decisions since the previous meeting in Dickinson, Texas:

October 7, 1998 Leadership Team agreed on conducting the Winter Board Meeting in a workshop format. The Leadership Team considered Tom Truitt's offer to act as interim Treasurer of AVP USA. Due to the limited time that Tom was able to give to this task, it was felt that he could not satisfactorily fulfill the requirements of the position, and so reluctantly felt constrained to decline his offer, with thanks for his consideration.

October 29, 1998 The Leadership Team authorized Marjorie Kerr to apply for a credit card arrangement with Wells Fargo Bank and sign any agreements necessary.

November 30, 1998 The Leadership Team decided to postpone reprinting manuals at this time and to encourage local organizations to reproduce manuals locally in the interim. The Leadership Team noted a recent donation of stock in Royal Dutch Shell and decided to not sell it at this time.

December 13, 1998 The Leadership Team discussed how to handle agreements concerning translation and publication with AVP organizations in other countries and responded to an inquiry from Russia by expressing concerns on several issues. The Team authorized an expenditure of $200 from the Ambassador Fund to support Val Liveoak participating in the team going to Cuba. In the absence of any offers to host the National Meeting, September 1999, the Leadership Team investigated the availability of Burlington (NJ) Conference Center (site of the 1997 Meeting). It was available, and a verbal reservation was placed pending final decision at the Winter Board Meeting.

Following discussion, the Board ratified these decisions.


Marjorie Kerr then reviewed the Executive Director's report including a financial report.
The meeting then recessed so that participants could attend religious services.



The meeting reconvened at 1:30 p.m. at the Meetinghouse.

Gathering: A moment of silence

Executive Director's Report

Marjorie Kerr continued the Executive Director's report.

Small Groups:

The meeting then chose to break into two small groups, one to focus on the tasks and activities identified by the previous exercises and the other to focus on the structure and governance of AVP/USA. The two groups reported back before supper.

The Tasks Group presented the following outline:

  • Committee of Committees
    • Policy
    • Financial budgeting
    • Committee coordination
    • Strategic planning
  • Treasurer
    • Bookkeeping
    • Checking
    • Regulatory reporting
  • Fund-raising
  • Communication Technology & Policy
    • Website
    • Telephone
    • Listserve
    • E-mail
    • U.S. Postal
    • Database development & maintenance
  • Advisory
    • Regional representatives
    • Respond to inquiries
      • local
      • public
    • Quality assurance
    • Conflict management
  • Products Distribution
    • Materials
      • manuals
      • kits
      • videos
    • Archive maintenance
  • Networking
    • Regional & Local communication
    • Activity report
  • Conference Planning (ad hoc)

The meeting then recessed for supper.



Following supper, the group returned to the Task and Governance small groups for further work. The groups reported back.

The Task Group had completed a list of timeline components for the transition period.

  • Create new organizational structure & governance--when, who?
  • Task ID & prioritization
  • Tasks assigned to committees
  • Populate committees & find chairs
  • Notify locals of AVP transition plan
  • Committees develop and present plans & deadlines
  • Assign coordinators of transition (they budget)
  • Coordinate transfer of tasks & deadlines with Marjorie Kerr
  • Transfer materials from Texas to committees
  • Committees take charge May 1, 1999
  • Employee severance package
  • Find Treasurer and Products person

The Governance Group then reported as follows:

  • Regional Support Committee
    • Responsibility to empower regions and ensure participation
    • Serves communication function
    • Supports creation of new regions
    • Nominates chair of corporation
  • Conference Planning Committee
  • Education Committee
  • Newsletter/publications Committee
  • Finance & Fund-raising Committee
    • Nominates Treasurer
  • Communication Committee
    • Nominates Secretary
  • New Groups Committee
  • Technical Assistance Committee
    • Technology
    • Other forms as appropriate
  • Committee of Committees
    • Information sharing and coordination
  • Officers are nominated by specific committees and approved by Annual Meeting
  • Policy making done by Annual Conference
  • Committee of Committees with officers serves as Board of Trustees to fulfill fiduciary responsibilities
  • Each committee will have co-clerks
  • People can serve on two committees and consult on others if asked
  • Transition Process
    • Every existing board member makes a commitment to at least one committee
    • Before end of this meeting, committees have appointed conveners
    • Existing Leadership Team will continue until annual meeting (9/99) with charge of devolving
  • Maintain 501(c)(3) status
  • Insure new structure does not increase legal liability exposure of officers
  • Day-to-day decision will be made at the committee level.
  • Each officer must be a member of a committee.
  • Decision-making remains at the committee level.
  • Officers are responsible for only those legally required duties.
  • Major energy will be given to empowering the regions.

The meeting then recessed for the evening.




The Board first took up the balance of general business items.


National Conference Site (Labor Day 1999) Approved to be held at Burlington Conference Center. NJ AVP has agreed to host the meeting and is requesting the sponsorship of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on our behalf.  PYM sponsorship reduces our costs and insurance burdens.  Tom Truitt said that were NJ AVP unable to obtain sponsorship, Community Peace Trainers would approach PYM, as well.


Candace reported that the Youth Manual might be ready by the National Conference. The Basic Manual probably won't be ready that soon. We will ask locals to photocopy manuals and will look into printing a small number of current Basic Manuals pending publication of the new manual. Leadership team was given authority to undertake this interim printing.


Local councils will be asked to furnish names for group subscriptions ($10 each). People will look at editorial content. Ellen Flanders will try to get AVP/NY to help pay for the next edition. Tom Truitt and Steve Angell guaranteed that funds would be found.


Marjorie Kerr proposed that a $5/person fee (voluntary) be added to every AVP/USA general meeting to finance the Ambassador Fund.  Approved.


Toby Riley introduced a project he is working on: To track released inmates to keep them apprised of AVP functions and resources in their area. He will get compose a release form for inmates to sign, giving local groups permission to contact them following release. He asked for the Board's feedback and permission to pursue the matter further. Lloyd is interested in helping on the project. There are issues to be considered. Toby was listened to and given encouragement to proceed.

Minutes of the Board and Annual Meetings, September 1998 approved.


Marjorie Kerr noted that many tasks must be continued. She will have to orient people, divide up tasks, and organize things. This will be very time consuming. The Board agreed that she must be paid for shutting down, and it will be her only job.  She will get tools out to people. In order to not lose all we have done in the last 10 years, we have to get things done.  It will be frustrating and painful.   She will need much practical support.  After everyone's tools are out, she will become a consultant.  Any unpaid, volunteered activity she performs will be by her priorities.

Rick Krouskop proposed that the National Office be closed on May 31, 1999, at which time the position of Executive Director will be terminated.  A financial termination package was proposed and with revision, the final package is (in round figures):

1. Contractual salary obligation through May 31     $ 5400

2. Accrued vacation time (3 weeks)                          1000

3. Additional 1 years vacation time (never used)        1000

4. Pay way to year 2000 International Conf.              1000

5. Donation of office computer and copier

6. Expression of extreme gratitude and appreciation of all
        her work, with hope for long continuing relationship

TOTAL                                                                  $ 8400

Leadership team was authorized to negotiate disposal of any other equipment.  Board members will need to be involved in Fund-raising to meet the salary and termination package.  Starting June 1, through Labor Day, Marjorie act as consultant (up to $30/hour), with specific tasks contracted by Leadership Team.

Having concluded the remainder of the general business items, the group then returned to the reorganization and transition discussion.  The board took the Task and Governance groups work products and melded them into the following:



        Committee's function to be consultation and technical assistance.

        Email manual

        Voicemail mailbox

        Members:  George Sinnott, convener, Toby Riley, Khaki Sjogren


Committee Charge:  Confidential & public communication, assist locals to create new regions, empowers each region and assures that each region is represented, nominates a committee member to serve as Chair of AVP/USA, compiles yearly activity report, arranges "gatekeeper" function (voice and USPO mail). Two associated working groups will be: communication & Transformer, advisory (elders with wisdom and advice, not policy setters). A member will sit on the Committee of Committees. Membership to be representation from each region.

Interim (pending regional appointments) membership: Candace LaRue (convener), Ellen Flanders, Janet Krouskop, Lloyd Bailey, Fred Feucht, Grace McGrath, Robin Willetts, Khaki Sjogren, Tom Truitt (activity report).  Kaki, Lloyd, and Candace will explore gatekeeping.


Raises funds, financial oversight in conjunction with the Committee of Committees, finalizes budget to present to annual conference, nominates a committee member to serve as Treasurer

Members: Ann Ward (convener), Lloyd Bailey, Tom Truitt, Steve Angell


Physical production and distribution of manuals, products, and mass mailings, maintenance of the database/mailing lists. Janet Lugo and Diana Couch will continue to manage the database.

Members: Diana Couch (convener), Alan Taplow (products), Janet Lugo


Plans and facilitates conferences, including materials. Interim function: develops minimal bylaws changes needed by reorganization, that will allow us to function (need to send out at least 30 days in advance of Sept. Annual Meeting).

Members: Rich Nethercut (convener), Fred Feucht, Toby Riley, John Shuford, Steve Angell


Committee is charged with information sharing and coordinating only, not policy decisions. Performs strategy planning, facilitates inter-committee consensus, proposes budget to Finance Committee, creates policy proposals.

Members: Chairs of committees; not populated at this time.



In the interim, the Leadership Team will be responsible for fiscal decisions and will serve as liaison between the Executive Director and Committees, particularly as to coordinating the Executive Director's time. Additionally, the Leadership Team will deal with defining the interim gatekeeper functions.

After September 6, the LT will cease to exist and all decisionmaking is with the committees.  Each committee is charged to come to Annual Conference with recommendations on how to continue.  Current approach is to minimize damage and then build for the future.

Following this, we returned to the business agenda.

The Board accepted Tom Truitt as Treasurer for a term lasting until the next Annual Meeting in September 1999. The Board then approved a general form of banking resolution authorizing Tom Truitt to establish a new bank account, and authorized the execution of agreements necessary to carry that out.

The Governance and Tasks Groups will co-author an article for the Transformer on the reorganization and transition.  Candace LaRue and Khaki Sjogren will be primary authors.  There will be more than one Transformer before the Annual Conference. This will begin to give people information on what's happening and where to go for items they were getting from the national office.

The Workshop was then adjourned



Henry Bernstein,
Recording Secretary

Revised: 02/26/2014            © 2014 AVP/USA, Inc.