10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – May 2023

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – May 2023

Board of Directors Meeting
May 23, 2023
12pm – Thee Garage Showroom

Members Present:  Jodi Varner (President), Krista Nemitz (Vice President, Kevin Dukart, Sharon Gookin

Members Absent:  ), Karol Zachmann (Treasurer), Sandy Kinsey

Staff Present:  Vaughn Zenko (Executive Director), Shannon Johnson (Assistant)

Meeting called to order at 12:02pm by President Jodi Varner

Approval of Previous Meeting:  Vaughn pointed out that the March and February minutes needed to be re-signed due to lack of quorum in the April meeting. Sharon motioned to approve the meeting minutes from the May 23, 2023 general meeting, as well as re-sign the previously approved March and February minutes. Kevin seconded.  All in favor, meeting minutes approved.

Public Comment:  none

Financial Reports:  Vaughn presented the Financial report prepared as by Shannon Johnson.  SMART currently has 414,207.50 in total assets, $396,296.82 in total assets, an increase of $17,910.68 over April.  SMART has $108,165.45 in the general operating fund. This is decrease of $11,641.56.

Director’s Report:    Vaughn and Shannon attended the Montana Nonprofit Association’s Eastern Montana Leadership Summit in Miles City on April 26th.  It was primarily focused on organizational succession planning. Vaughn said he and Shannon have been focused on creating a system within SMART so that any board member or new employee can quickly get caught up on SMART’s day-to-day operations.  EMEDA paid the travel and registration fees. 
Vaughn and EMEDA Chairman Steve Zachmann also attended the 2023 Montana Housing Partnership Conference in Helena May 15-17 on behalf of EMEDA. Vaughn reported that the affordable housing issues facing every community are a complex, multi-faceted issue that may be too big for SMART to take on with our current level of staffing, but still a major drag on economic development, so an issue that SMART needs to be cognizant of in future decisions and projects.

Vaughn has become a mentor in the Montana Childcare Business Connect Mentorship program. Only eight business leaders from around the state were selected as mentors for this inaugural program paid for with a grant through DPHHS, so it’s an honor that SMART was selected.  He will be mentoring Amy Paden, a childcare provider in Missoula.

Old Business:

               SMART Board Terms:  Kevin Dukart’s term on the board has expired.  Sharon motioned Kevin be re-elected to a 3-year term, expiring in 2026. Krista seconded.  All in favor, motion passed. Kevin Dukart re-appointed to the SMART board.
Vaughn brought up that Fallon County wishes the SMART board terms to coincide with the EMEDA board terms, with two members serving 5-year terms, two members serving 4-year terms, and so on. Vaughn pointed out that SMART has been operating with this structure since before he arrived as Executive Director, but that has not been reflected in the By-Laws which state each board member serves only two or three year terms.  Kevin motioned that the SMART by-laws be changed to reflect the current board structure. Sharon seconded. All in favor, motion carried. The by-laws will be updated. 
Sandy Kinsey indicated to Vaughn that due to personal reasons she could no longer serve on the SMART board. No action was necessary, as Sandy has already missed three consecutive meetings. As stated in the by-laws, Sandy’s position on the board will be terminated.  SMART currently has four open positions for board members. The board suggested an increased presence on social media to recruit new members.

Interlocal Agreement with City of Baker for Community Food Forest:  Vaughn presented the board with the final agreement with the City of Baker for use of the land for the Community Food Forest. He also presented a draft MOU with Lacey Berg for her use of the land.  Krista motioned to accept the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Baker as written, and to approve the draft MOU with Lacey Berg for use of the land. Kevin seconded. All in favor. SMART will enter into the agreement with the City of Baker and present Lacey Berg with the MOU.

Project update:  Visitor Center:  Vaughn reported that the initial request for bids received no bids, so the timeline has been extended. However, the board members and volunteers could begin interior demolition work on the building that could be counted towards the grant match as in-kind labor. The board set up a work day on May 30th to begin demolition to the interior of the Visitor Center.

Project Update:  World’s Best Pocket Park:  SMART has received no official bids for the pocket park, although Shannon has been in contact with a landscaper in Dickinson who was interested.  The board members suggested other potential landscapers in the area who could be contacted for the work. No other action was taken.

Project Update:  Baker Arts & Culture Council (Community Theater & Art Walk):  The second annual Baker Art Walk is scheduled for July 15. Nine businesses are signed up to take part. There is some concern about the number of artists actually available. Vaughn requested the board reach out to anyone they know who may be interested in being involved, otherwise the Art Walk is in danger of being cancelled due to lack of artists. Vaughn is scheduled to meet with the City Council to request approval of lifting the open container laws from 3-8pm on July 15th for the event.
The Community Theater’s presentation of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is July 9,10, 15 and 16th in Baker. Vaughn requested that the board members provide some baked goods to be sold for concessions. He also informed the board that their time will be needed on show dates for taking tickets and running the concession/merchandise stand. Jodi, Sharon and Kevin said they will be available on the 9th and 10th.  Krista said she will not be available. No other action was taken.

12:36pm:  Shannon Johnson left the meeting

New Business:

SMART Assistant Probationary Period Employment Review: According to the contract between SMART and Shannon Johnson as Assistant, she has reached the six month probationary period for her employment and is due a fifty cent per hour raise. Vaughn presented an employee review form for the board. After going over the form and on Vaughn’s advice, Kevin motioned to end Shannon’s probationary period and give her a fifty cent per hour raise, as stipulated in the contract from September 30.  Krista seconded.  All present in favor. Shannon will be given a fifty center per hour raise to $17.00 per hour. She is due for her next review in October, whereupon the board will vote on another $1.00 per hour raise.

               SMART Budget Review:  Vaughn noted that SMART is performing better in FY 2023 than the initial budget expectations. No other action was taken.

Decision on acquiring SMART Credit Card:  With the two signature account at the Bank of Baker, making on-line purchases is difficult. SMART has been using PayPal for such purchases, but PayPal doesn’t present an itemized list of expenditures. Vaughn requested the board approve a business credit card, with credit expenses to be approved and paid at the monthly meeting. Sharon motioned to attain a SMART credit card. Kevin seconded. All in favor, motion carried. Vaughn will approach the Montana Non-profit Association for advice on the best credit cards for non-profits.

Red Ants Pants Foundation Grant and Scavenger Hunt:  Vaughn reported that Baker had been chosen as one of eight communities in Montana to take part in the Red Ants Pants MontANTa Scavenger Hunt. A large red ant banner has been hung on the Junction 39 building and participants are asked to travel to participating communities and take a picture with the ant, with the winner receiving a prize package worth over $1500.
SMART also sent a letter of interest to the Red Ants Pants Foundation and was accepted to apply for a $5000 grant to fund the Women In Blue Jeans project, highlighting rural women in Fallon County. We will be notified in June if we received the grant.

Fundraising Ideas:  Vaughn mentioned that he had recently digitized an old 33 rpm album, and now had the capability to do that and digitize old VHS tapes as well. He said SMART could now begin this community service as a fundraiser. After discussion, the board generally agreed that the service be a free will offering, with a $10 suggested donation. 
Vaughn also revisited the idea of Pizza Puzzles and Pints night at the OS Brew Pub as a fundraiser.  He suggested $120 per team, with one pizza and eight beers provided. The winners would get $250, second place would get $150, and last place would receive a surprise gift. The board thought it was a good idea, but the profit to SMART only amounts to $16 per team. They suggested that if SMART is going to do this as a fundraiser, we should find sponsors for the event to cover costs and prizes to increase our profit margin for the fundraiser. No other action was taken.

Having no other new business, Sharon motioned to adjourn.  Kevin seconded.  All in favor.

Meeting adjourned at 1:29pm

The next scheduled meeting is June 27, 2023 at noon at Thee Garage Showroom. Krista noted that she will not be able to attend.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________                         _____________________________

s\ Jodi L. Varner, President                                          s\ Vaughn Zenko Jr, Executive Director