Monday, March 29, 2010

Steering Committee Minutes and 2010 Planning

Mohawk Valley Nonprofit Leaders Group
May 8th

C. Sonia Martinez, MVLA, Inc.
Cornelia E. Brown, MAMI Interpreters
Darlene Ford, Mid York Library System
Lorraine Kinney-Kitchen, Mid-York Child Care Coordinating Council
Rev. Bill Dodge, Rescue Mission
Tim Trent, Future Development

• Discussed March 31st presentation on improving audits and their quality by NYS Society of CPA’s president, David Moynihan.
o Participants at about 30
• Discussed remaining meetings for year
o Will continue to be quarterly: June 18; September 8; and December 1
• Discussed theme for year
o Proposing Online Technology and Tools as the focus
o In preparation for 2nd quarter meeting (6/18), a survey will be sent out asking for EDs input on social networking tools and ranking/interest (10 to 15 tools)
 Will cover different tools during the year
 Will base meetings at computer lab locations
• Discussed Utica School of Commerce for June 18th meeting
• Discussed idea of having joint meeting with other ED Groups in region
o Need to pick location and date and put invitation out
• Discussed other ideas and needs
o See a need for board responsibilities training and training around EDs and boards working together
o Need an assessment for ED group
 Ask about problems and priorities
o Discussed electronic newsletter for ED Group
o Request for Steering Committee to start meeting monthly to maintain momentum and strengthen the Group

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hundreds work to improve health at regional summit

The OD reported that Ideas for increasing the health of the region range from holding more farmers markets, to working with schools to educate children on are health issues, to helping food pantries provide more fresh fruits and vegetables.

More than 200 people gathered at Hart’s Hill Inn Friday for the second regional health summit planned by a Regional Health Advisory Board to discuss areas identified as priorities in the area’s health: healthy mothers, babies and children; access to care; chronic disease and mental health and substance abuse.

“There are so many things we need to tackle together as a region,” said Phil Hayne, executive director of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area and chairman of the Regional Health Advisory Board. “We need to develop really clear strategies with how to help our communities.”

A recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin ranked Oneida County 54th out of 62 counties in the state for health status. Herkimer County placed 41st. Read more here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Community Foundation Appoints Richardson Executive Director

At its meeting Tuesday, the Northern New York Community Foundation board of directors appointed Rande S. Richardson as the Foundation’s executive director. In 2008, Mr. Richardson was selected as the organization’s first associate director as part of a plan to place a successor to Alex C. Velto upon his retirement. Mr. Velto died December 17, 2009. Mr. Richardson has been serving as acting director since that time.

Mr. Richardson, 39, was executive director of the Jefferson Community College Foundation from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that, he was a licensed funeral director for 15 years. He has served on various community boards including the Watertown Urban Mission, Hospice of Jefferson County and the City of Watertown Planning Board. In 2001, he was elected to a five-year term on the Watertown City School District Board of Education. He was also chairman of the committee that raised funds to restore the Gov. Roswell P. Flower Monument located in Downtown Watertown. Read more here.

Autism Awareness Seminar

Exciting Opportunity…
Brought to you by Legal Services of Central New York, Inc and ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy

Autism Awareness Seminar
How to get the best education for your child
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
From 6:00pm-9:00pm

At Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
(Use rear parking lot entrance)
310 Genesee Street Utica, NY 13502

With the rate of Autism Spectrum Disorders on the rise and education playing such a pivotal role in children’s development, it is important for parents to acquire the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for their children. In honor of Autism Awareness Month we are providing this learning opportunity to better help parents address their children’s educational needs.

Topics Covered will include:
•Common difficulties experienced by students on the Autism Spectrum
•Best Educational Practices in supporting students on the Autism Spectrum
•Learning how to ask for services at a special education meeting
•Learning what services your school district must provide to your child
•Learning what to do when the school district says “no”

The first two hours of the presentation will be informational and the last hour will be a panel discussion where the audience can ask the professionals specific questions.

Registration cost is a nominal fee of $10.00 per person
Register in advance for ONLY $5.00 per person
Space is limited!
To Pre-Register Call
ADHD & Autism Psychological Services and Advocacy
At 315-732-3431

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Common Council passes Utica budget, 7.43% property tax hike

WKTV reported that its been a long process but after several different proposals, and many cuts the Utica City vote on the budget passed Thursday night. The final city budget is $64.6 Million Dollars, and it means property taxes will go up 7.43% in Utica. Read more here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Upcoming Genesis General Meeting March 23

The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region
Celebrating our 10th Anniversary

Tuesday March 23rd - 7:30am
Hotel Utica 102 Lafayette Street, Utica

Join us for an informative discussion with......

Mr. Rob Simpson
President & CEO of the Metropolitan Development Association, (MDA)

Rob will discuss the recent merger between the MDA and the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
He'll also provide an update on the 12 County Essential (Economic Developemnt) Initiative

The meeting is FREE and there'll be complimentary coffee and muffins!

Please send your RSVP to Genesis Executive Director Ray Durso, Jr., by calling 315.792.7187 or by email,

Genesis is proud to be joined by the following meeting sponsors:
The Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley which includes the chambers of Boonville, Camden, Clinton, Herkimer County, Kuyahoora Valley, Marcy, New Hartford, Rome and Trenton
Mohawk Valley EDGE - Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce - Oneida County Tourism

Raymond J. Durso, Jr.
Executive Director
The Genesis Group
100 Seymour Road
Utica, New York 13502
315.797.1280 fax

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Excellus board voted itself a 37 percent pay raise

The Syracuse Post-Standard related that the directors of Excellus voted to raise their pay by 37 percent last year after a consultant hired by the insurer determined they were underpaid.

The raises for the 17 outside directors came at the same time the nonprofit insurer lost money on its operations and cut the pay of its top executives.

The same year, Excellus increased health insurance rates on average 8 percent. For 2010, the insurer raised its rates an average of 8.8 percent. Both years, some customers saw substantially higher rate increases.

The company paid the directors $1.08 million in 2009, up from $795,338 in 2008. Director pay averaged $64,040 last year. Pay varies depending on a director’s responsibilities. Read more here.

The article also points out that this is a nonprofit with a compensated (and highly) board, which is a rarity. With rising health insurance costs, this issue seems problematic and worthy of serious examination.

State Budget Issues Pose Serious Challenges for Nonprofits

New Report from NYCON's national partner, the National Council of Nonprofits
Washington, D.C. - How are states looking to close their budget deficits? One way is by taking money away from nonprofit organizations at a time when the need for food, shelter, health care, and other community services is rising - a serious threat explained in a new report issued today by the National Council of Nonprofits.

This special report, entitled "State Budget Crises: Ripping the Safety Net Held by Nonprofits," examines the alarming condition of state budget deficits and identifies three resulting trends putting nonprofits in jeopardy - state and local governments slashing funds for programs they expect nonprofits to administer, government agencies withholding contract payments for services nonprofits have already delivered, and governments taking operating money from nonprofits through new fees and taxes.

"When governments shortchange their nonprofit partners, people lose their jobs, the economy suffers, and vulnerable citizens go without the help they need," said Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. "This report serves as a call to action for community leaders at nonprofits, foundations, and governments to come together and find ways to solve some of the daunting challenges our communities face because of the state budget crises."

State and local governments in recent decades have increasingly turned to nonprofits to administer essential services, forging a public-private partnership that has served the nation well. But now an increasing number of cash-starved governments are wondering how they can generate new revenue from nonprofit organizations. The special report details some of more worrisome stories emerging across the country, explains the importance of a strong nonprofit sector, and encourages nonprofit leaders to engage in the policy process as states grapple with how to close budget gaps this year and beyond.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Boys and Girls Club: Deputy Director Job

DEPUTY DIRECTOR of Boys & Girls Club: Start immediately! Proficient in public finance, A/P, A/R, payroll, grants, financial statements, etc. Email to

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cornhill Neighborhood Association

Tuesday Evening, March 16, 2010
6:30 – 8:30 pm
The Thomas Lindsey Public Safety Center
Public Welcome Reception
Meet The Chief!

Come to the Cornhill Neighborhood Association's
Welcome Reception for our new Police Chief!
Chief of Police, Mark Williams grew up in Cornhill . . . now the Cornhill Neighborhood
Association is taking this opportunity to welcome him and his deputies with a public reception
to the neighborhood and to reintroduce him to the neighbors who have been working together
with the police since 1994.

Chief Williams will give an overview of the department’s current plan to recruit
candidates from the neighborhood for the upcoming Police Civil Service Test.
Success in crime prevention requires action by individuals and groups. Each of us has some
responsibility for our own security and well-being. We look out for each other. Crime
prevention is a team effort that works best when all members of the community become

Come and Bring a Friend – Give us your ideas as to how we can improve Cornhill by working together!

In addition the Agenda will include:
• Update on Kemble Basketball Court & Soccer Field (School District wants to sell it)
• April Event – The 16th Annual Cornhill Cleanup Which weekend? Which Streets? Potential volunteer groups? Note: Earth Day is April 22
Light Refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Cornhill Neighborhood Association

The Utica Symphony announces its move to the Stanley Center for the Arts!

The Utica Symphony Executive Offices are now located at:
261 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501

Our phone and fax numbers remain the same:
Phone: 315-732-56146
Fax: 315-732-5147

But please note our email address change:

Thank you!

Marilee J. Ensign,
Executive Director
- Wait 'til You Hear Us Now! -
Utica Symphony, Inc.
261 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
(315) 732-5146
(315) 732-5147 - Fax

Monday, March 8, 2010

Genesis Group: Discovery Tour March 11th

The Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley Region
"Celebrating our 10th Anniversary"

"Welcome to Genesis, a group of community volunteers working to advance regional economic, social and cultural interests and to foster regional unity and cooperation!"

Join us for our next Genesis Discovery Tour at.

DeIorio's Frozen Dough Products & Violet Packing, LLC -
2200 Bleecker Street, Utica (in the former Chicago Pneumatic building)
(this) Thursday March 11th - 5:00pm

Have you ever been to Madison Square Garden in NYC and ordered a slice of pizza?
Well, the dough used to make that pizza is made "right here" in Utica at DeIorio's!
Don't miss this informative and exciting tour! Bring friends, colleagues and family members.
There is NO charge for the tour.

For reservations, contact Genesis Executive Director Ray Durso, Jr., by calling 792.7187 or by email,

Thank you for your continued interest & support, we hope to see you there!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Nonprofit Tax Exemptions at Risk Across the US

The NY Times reported that faced with steep declines in tax revenue, an increasing number of states and localities are considering eliminating various tax exemptions for nonprofit groups.

A bill before the Hawaii Legislature, for instance, would require charities to pay a 1 percent tax, and Kansas is considering making them subject to sales taxes.

Revoking the nonprofit organizations’ exemptions from property taxes is also under scrutiny in several counties in Kansas, as well as in Pennsylvania.

And last fall, Minneapolis made charities subject to the fees it charges businesses and residents for streetlights in hope of gaining an additional $155,000, an exercise Jon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, describes as “looking under the sofa cushions.”

In most cases, churches would be exempt from the tax measures, but all other nonprofit groups, including private schools and colleges, would be affected.

City and state officials say they have no choice.

“We’re having to look at the public services nonprofits use and how we can adequately cover those costs,” said Matt Greller, executive director of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. “We can’t give them away for free any longer.”

Nonprofit groups say the moves to wring revenue out of them are shortsighted and will produce cutbacks in critical services that governments rely on them to provide, like mental health and emergency foster care services.

“Nonprofits are really hurting in this economy,” said Tim Delaney, chief executive of the National Council of Nonprofits, a trade association. “Their revenues are down, too, and demand for the services they provide, services that government expects them to provide, is way up.” Read more here.