Meeting Minutes – 2015

May 14, 2015  (approved at the May 12, 2016 Annual Meeting)

Lise Bernstein called the business meeting, held at Alberici headquarters, to order at 7:00 pm. After business was concluded, members celebrated Women’s Voices 10th anniversary.

Minutes  On a motion by Mary Clemons, seconded by Bethany Curtis, the minutes of the 2014 Annual Meeting were approved with a unanimous vote.

Budget  Lise presented the financial report for July 2014 to March 2015 and the proposed budget for FY 2015-16. She explained that 85 percent of Women’s Voices income comes from membership dues, and three quarters of the budget is spent for advocacy activities. The proposed budget was unanimously approved on a motion by Mary Clemons, seconded by Barbara Richter.

Board Election   The following board members were unanimously elected on a motion by Bev White, seconded by Ruth Ehresman. No nominations were made from the floor.

President                             Lise Bernstein

Secretary                             Allison Hile

Treasurer                             Barbara Newsham

Director of Advocacy           Barbara Paulus

Director of Education           Susan Flanagan

Director of Membership       Judi Jennetten

Immediate Past President   Mary Clemons

Appointed member              Judy Arnold

Appointed member              Ruth Ehresman

Lise said two board positions remain to be filled: vice president and director of marketing. She asked anyone who is interested in the position to contact her.

Lise thanked Bethany Curtis for her service as marketing director and introduced Evie Hemphill, who will now coordinate the newsletter. She also thanked Chery Green for her 10 years of creating and maintaining the Women’s Voices website. Lise noted that Chery tirelessly gave Women’s Voices a voice on the internet, a vital part of our social justice work.
Tenth Anniversary Lise presented a video celebrating Women’s Voices 10-year anniversary, by showing highlights of activities during the past decade. In anticipation of a full annual report that will be distributed at the end of the fiscal year, Lise pointed out a few accomplishments of the past year: membership has increased from 189 to 270; 8 educational programs have attracted 562 attendees; the Lock It for Love program was introduced at the March program, which had 150 attendees; the redesigned website was introduced in April, making it easier to donate to and to join Women’s Voices; Facebook (with 855 “likes”) and Twitter, maintained by Mary Clemons, have made it possible to get our messages out to an increasingly large audience.

Ruth Ann Cioci, Barbara Finch, Joanne Kelly, and Ann Ruger, the four original founders of Women’s Voices, were thanked for their long and tireless service to Women’s Voices: In turn, they thanked the members for their many contributions in a humorous presentation. Award-winning singer Jan Marra entertained the audience with inspiring songs, some of which recalled activism of the 1960s.

The meeting concluded at 8:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Judy Arnold, Secretary

May 15, 2015


Minutes of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice

Board Meeting, April 10, 2015

Present:  Lise Bernstein, Judy Arnold, Mary Clemons,  Bethany Curtis, Ruth Ehresman, Chery Green, Judi Jennetten, Joanne Kelly, Barbara Newsham,  Barbara Paulus


Lise Bernstein called the meeting to order at 9:30 am. She discussed the following items:

  • 2015-16 Board of Directors. Lise reviewed the slate of nominees and asked us to send her recommendations for nominees for the positions of Vice President and Director of Marketing.
  • Program meeting location. Lise said we are at capacity at our current location at the Ethical Society. She proposed relocating to The Heights community center in Richmond Heights. The center offers a larger, more flexible space. After discussion, the board approved a motion by Mary Clemons, seconded by Ruth Ehresman, that Women’s Voices move its meeting location to The Heights.
  • Website update. Lise demonstrated the newly designed website, which will go live on April 14. She noted that the site improves data gathering and offers users an opportunity to interact with Women’s Voices on almost every page.

Treasurer’s Report – Barb Newsham distributed a financial report and a fund activity report for July 2014-March 2015. The reports showed the budget is on target in all areas.  Barb also submitted a proposed budget for FY 2015-16. For the proposed budget, the board discussed Women’s Voices’ annual contributions to organizations that have provided us with assistance over the past year. On a motion by Mary Clemons, seconded by Barbara Paulus, the board voted to contribute $200 each to Progress Missouri, Missouri Health Care for All, Missouri Budget Project, and Vision for Children at Risk in recognition of their help. The board discussed a few modifications to the proposed budget categories. On a motion by Mary Clemons that the board accept the reports with the modifications discussed, the reports were unanimously approved.

Education Committee Report–  Lise reported that final arrangements for the April 16 meeting are complete. Joanne Kelly reported that the May annual meeting will be held at Alberici headquarters. Alberici is providing the space, including clean-up, at no charge. Alberici’s caterer will provide appetizers at a cost of $8 per person. The meeting will be a party to celebrate Women’s Voices 10th anniversary and will be open only to members, who may bring one guest. Nonmembers who wish to attend may join on site at the party.  Mary Clemons reported that Women’s Voices will sponsor a summer program for members on June 16, 2015, at Earth Dance Farms, Ferguson, MO. EarthDance encourages local, organic farming and offers educational programs and tours.

Membership Committee Report – Judi Jennetten distributed a quarterly membership report (below). She noted that 37 new members have joined in the past 3 months. We are on track to reach our membership goal of 300 by the end of 2015, as there were 271 dues-paying members as of March 31. Judi distributed a monthly meeting report, which showed that attendance at the February and March meetings was high, at 132 and 150, respectively. Judi distributed a member retention report showing a slightly lower rate in March and April compared to previous months. To encourage renewals, it was decided to seek a head of membership retention. In response to a question about opening membership to men, the board decided to explore having a “supporter” category for people who want to support our mission but are not members.

Advocacy Committee Report – Barbara Paulus distributed an update on advocacy committee membership and activities (below). Mary Clemons reported on the Health Advocacy Committee (below). She said we must continue to work for Medicaid expansion and that many are interested in working on other health issues, such as cuts to mental health and other funding made by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Campaign for Common Sense Gun Solutions submitted a report (below). Lise said Lock It For Love events have been scheduled for April 18 and May 9.

Marketing Committee Report—Bethany Curtis distributed a marketing report (below). She also reported that Loud & Clear open rates (37.7% as of April 2015) consistently remain well above industry average (20%). She said in April clicks dropped below the industry average of 12%. She attributed the 10% rate in April to having fewer articles with “read more” links. She said the number of Facebook and Twitter followers is growing; followers increase after every Women’s Voices program.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Judy Arnold, Secretary

April 11, 2015

Minutes of Women’s Voices Annual Meeting, May 8, 2014

(approved at May 2015 Annual Meeting)

Mary Clemons called the meeting to order at 8:10 pm after presentations by Barbara Fraser and Tishaura Jones, who spoke about their experiences as state representatives. 

With a unanimous vote, the minutes from the 2013 Annual Meeting were approved.

 Financial Report 

Barbara Richter presented the financial report for the past year and the projected budget for 2014-2015. She said the organization is in good financial shape. She explained that the higher income projections in this year’s budget are based on increased dues income from increased memberships following special events such as the Common Sense gun forum and grants. On a motion by Chery Green, the budget was unanimously approved.

Annual Report of the President 

Printed copies of the annual report were available at the annual meeting and at President Mary Clemons answered the same questions that the speakers had addressed. Like them, she said she served as president of Women’s Voices because she was asked, and her rewards have been many. She said she appreciated the opportunity to meet all the women in Women’s Voices and many women across the state. It has been gratifying, she added, that advocates of many issues call on her, knowing that she represents women who will act when asked. She thanked many women who have contributed their time and talents to the organization during her tenure—“people who care about issues and the people affected by them.”

Nominating Committee Report 

Ann Ruger presented the slate of candidates for the 2014-2015 board:

  • President – Lise Bernstein
  • Vice President – Ruth Ehresman
  • Secretary — Judy Arnold
  • Treasurer – Barbara Newsham
  • Director, Marketing – Bethany Curtis
  • Director, Membership – Judi Jennetten
  • Director, Education – Joanne Kelly
  • Director, Advocacy – Barbara Paulus

Mary Clemons will continue on the board as past president.

There were no additional nominations from the floor. The slate was accepted by unanimous vote.

Other matters 

Lise Bernstein presented Mary Clemons with a necklace and bracelet made by Etchika, a woman who started her jewelry business with the help of Healing Hearts Bank, a project initiated by the National Council of Jewish Women. In addition, Lise said the board members made contributions in honor of Mary to the Missouri Budget Project.

Lise noted that Women’s Voices has 189 dues-paying members and 550 subscribers who receive Women’s Voices e-mails. A goal in the coming year will be to encourage subscribers to become dues-paying members. As Women’s Voices moves into its tenth year, she said, it is important to strengthen its capacity to work in partnership with others to promote social justice in the face of the many challenging issues on the horizon.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Judy Arnold, Secretary

May 12, 2014