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Advocacy & Leadership Committee Minutes, Nov 2014

Advocacy and Leadership Committee
Thursday, November 20, 2014
9:45 am – 11:45 am

Members Present: Advocacy and Leadership Committee – Caroline Ambrose, Adonis Brown, Michael Groves, Danielle Matula, Renate Macchirole, Katie Holler, Rick Zechman

Members Absent: Lourdes Fernandez

Visitors: Mary Edwards, Mike Mayer, Jonathan Ellis, Matthew Potter, Barton Cutter, David Taylor, and Sarah Potter

Staff in Attendance: Joshua Strasburg, JoAnn Toomey, Melissa Swartz, and Chris Egan


Welcome: Chairperson Caroline Ambrose welcomed all members and provided an opportunity for all to introduce themselves.

Approval of Minutes:

MOTION: Rick Zechman made a motion to approve the August 2014 Advocacy and Leadership committee meeting minutes. Mary Edwards suggested that the motion be revised to change her status in the August minutes from “member” to “guest” because the DAAS primary member has not been appointed yet.  Adonis seconded the revised motion.  Motion was carried.

Initiative Review: NC Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

Renate Macchirole provided an update on the activities of the NCADSP initiative as their first year comes to a close.  She began with a brief review of the last year including highlights such as including all people receiving support services, not just people with I/DD.  Renate explained that the NCADSP movement has support from every LME/MCO, including giving opportunities for presentations, hosting kick-off sessions for middle management, and supporting Direct Support Staff to attend the DSP conference, in which 108 DSP’s attended.  Renate briefly discussed CMS’s core competencies for DSPs and how that can positively affect the profession.  The NCADSP webpage wasn’t developed in the first year of funding as planned, however the initiative staff have set up a Facebook page to have a web presence. 

Fiscal Update

JoAnn Toomey, NCCDD’s Director of Operations, gave an overview of the fiscal status of the organization.  She provided Council members with information on each initiative housed in the Advocacy and Leadership committee.

Initiative Update:

Mike Mayer and the Advocacy Ambassadors (Jonathon Ellis, Matthew Potter, and Barton Cutter) presented their final report with recommendations to the committee.  Each committee member was given a copy of the final report to refer to during the presentation.  Matt summarized four major issues that were reported frequently: infighting, conflicting personal agendas, lack of a cohesive vision, and lack of resources and support (both monetary and organizational support).  As far as recommendations for strengthening the self-advocacy movement in NC, the three immediate areas of emphasis suggested by the Advocacy Ambassadors are technical assistance to current groups, communication and technology support for self-advocates, and leadership development for self-advocates.  

Wrap Up and Reminders:

Chairperson Caroline Ambrose reminded committee members to fill out their financial reimbursement forms, and to let Cora Gibson know as early as possible when there are conferences they would like to attend.

MOTION: Rick Zechman made a motion to adjourn the November 2014 Advocacy and Leadership Committee meeting.   Renate Macchirole seconded the motion.  The motion carried.


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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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