Minnesota affiliate of NEAFCS needs a President-Elect

Greetings, everyone! After a wonderful professional development conference last Friday (September 14), the Minnesota affiliate of NEAFCS held their annual business meeting. We elected Sara Croymans to the position of Secretary. The position of Secretary is a two year term. Thank you for your service, Sara. You will do a wonderful job.

As of the annual meeting, no one had come forward to run for President-Elect. I’ve included a description of duties below. If you would consider running, please send a picture and bio to me, Sharon Powell, at spowell@umn.edu. Thanks and have a good afternoon!


President-Elect Position Description:

The NEAFCS-MN President-elect is elected every year, serving a one-year term moving to the office of President. The President-elect is a member of the Executive Board.


  • Coordinate all state committees. Communicate the importance the committees have in the work of NEAFCS-MN.
  • Serve as liaison for Executive Board and committee discussions on goal setting and yearly work. (Committee goals should be submitted to the president-elect before the December meeting.)
  • Preside and/or serve as a representative at meetings in the absence of the state President.
  • Work closely with the state President to meet membership needs.
  • Attend JCEP Conference. ($750 allotted in budget to be divided between JCEP and PILD attendees)
  • Coordinate and prepare NEAFCS-MN Annual Report.
  • Provide information on achievements of state members who serve in national positions.


Committee Liaison

  • After the NEAFCS-MN Annual Meeting, review each committee sign-up and solicit unfilled/vacant committee positions from membership.
  • Email or call members not signing up for a committee. Invite them to join a committee.
  • Ensure there is a chair(s) for each standing and ad hoc committee.
  • Once committee chair(s) are named and committee members secured, work with Secretary and President to complete the NEAFCS-MN Executive Board and Committee List. Secretary will distribute to board and committee members and post to blog.
  • Welcome and thank each committee chair and members for their involvement. Communicate purpose of each committee and responsibilities as outlined in the by-laws and manual. See sample message at the end of this section.
  • Communicate with committee chairs regarding National initiatives and State goals related to each committee. See NEAFCS website.
  • Serve as the liaison between the exec board and each committee, communicating yearly goals, and regular updates at each board meeting.
  • Relay pertinent board discussions to appropriate committee chairs.
  • Work with committee chair(s) to update responsibilities and timelines for the Manual for Officers and Committees. Updates to be submitted to President-elect by the summer face-to-face meeting or as decided by Executive Board, allowing time for Manual to be updated by state annual meeting.
  • Request and collect written reports from committee chairs for state annual report.
  • Discuss with the President and prepare the needed standing and ad hoc committee sign-up sheets for state annual meeting.


Annual Session (National)

The President-elect (PE), if attending Annual Session, serves as state coordinator. If PE isn’t attending, another member is designated as state coordinator. Responsibilities of the state coordinator include: planning State’s Night Out (select restaurant, receive RSVPs); arranging for members to attend national committee meetings; creating a reference sheet of who is attending with travel details; ordering (usually from Tennessee Affiliate), paying for and picking up corsages for individuals attending Annual Session, receiving the Distinguished Service Award and Continued Excellence Award winners, first place national award winners and national Board and committee chairs from Minnesota; and securing a silent auction item (either donated or purchased).


Annual Meeting (State)

Annual Report:

  • Request and collect written reports from committee chairs and President.
  • Compile annual report for distribution to membership. President will send the report out with the annual meeting notice.
  • Bring a few copies of annual report to annual meeting. Members should print and bring their own copies to meeting.
  • Facilitate committee report at annual meeting. Alert committee chairs about their role at the annual meeting i.e. give a brief summary with 1-2 highlights. Committee chairs or PE can ask for acceptance of the committee report. President will ask for motion to approve the committee reports.
  • Post annual report on NEAFCS-MN blog.

President’s Recognitiongift presented at close of annual state meeting:

  • Purchase gift for outgoing President. There is $25 allotted in the budget for the president’s recognition. Give the bill to the Treasurer after you’ve taken over as President.
  • It is the President-elect (PE) who recognizes the President with a gift. At the end of the meeting, after the gavel is turned over to PE, PE recognizes the outgoing President. (It could be somewhere else too.)
  • Closing annual meeting – close and adjourn the annual meeting

A Few final photos from MN Affiliate Annual Meeting

The NEAFCS – MN Affiliate Annual meeting was held on Friday, September 14 following the Professional Development event.

Thank you to President Elect Kelly Kunkel and President Anita Hering (pictured below) for all of their work for our organization!

President Anita Hering & President Elect Kelly Kunkel - 2018 Sept 14

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the MN Affiliate’s silent auction donation for the NEAFCS Annual Session scheduled for September 24-27 in San Antonio. Members contributing to the gift card bouquet include Suzanne Driessen, Colleen Gengler, Sara Croymans, Becky Hagen Jokela, Mary Schroeder, Anita Hering, Mary Caskey, Kelly Kunkel and Lori Hendrickson. (Apologies if I missed someone!) Special thanks to Suzanne for finding the idea for the flower bouquet, Sara (& her son Joey!) for making the bouquet, and Lori for delivering our donation to the Annual Session.

MN Affiliate Silent Auction Donation to 2018 Annual Session



NEAFCS MN Affiliate Awards Presented

The 2018 NEAFCS MN Affiliate Awards were presented at the Stearns County Museum in St. Cloud on Friday, September 14 following the Professional Development Day and prior to the Affiliate’s annual meeting.

The awards presented were:

Communications – Internet Educational Technology, “Military Families Learning Network FT/PF Generations Webinars & Wrap Arounds”; Anita Hering, Sara Croymans, Karen Shirer, Barbara O’Neill, Molly Herndon, Jen Chilek, Karen Jeannette, Brian Fredrickson, Lisa Hinz, Vickie LaFollette, and Robert Bertsch; 1st place MN Affiliate, 1st place Central Region and 1st place National

Communications – Photography: Signs of Community Support for Military Families”; Sara Croymans; 1st place MN Affiliate and 1st place Central Region

Continued Excellence – Kathy Brandt, recognized at Affiliate, Central Region and National levels

Florence Hall Award; “RentWise: Assisting Renters When Housing is Out of Reach”; Becky Hagen Jokela and Lori Hendrickson, 1st place MN Affiliate and 1st place Central Region

Innovation in Programming; “Military Families Learning Network 2017 Virtual Conference”; Sara Croymans, Sarah Baughman, Robert Bertsch, Rachel Brauner, Alicia Cassels, Jen Chilek, Andy Crocker, Robyn DiPietro-Wells, Betsy Graham, Anita Hering, Hannah A. Hyde, Karen Jeannette, Stephen Judd, Kyle Kostelecky, Vickie LaFollette, Rebecca Lombardi, Melody McDonald, Terry Meisenbach, Kacy Mixon, Michaelene Ostrosky, Coral Owens, Chris Plein, Amy Santos, Anne Schulte, Brigitte Scott, Karen Shirer, Bari Sobelson, Kerry Walker, Barbara Wilson, and Naomi Younggren; 1st place MN Affiliate and 3rd place Central Region

School Wellness; “Supporting Schools to Increase School Breakfast Participation”; Mary Schroeder, Mary Caskey, and Kelly Kunkel; 1st place MN Affiliate, 1st place Central Region and 3rd place National

Snap-Ed/EFNEP Educational Program; “Forks Well Fed”; Megan Hruby, Molly Soeby; NDSU Extension Service, Caryl Lester, Stable Days Youth Ranch, Jean Noland; NDSU Extension Service, and Linda Kuster, NDSU Extension Service; 1st place MN Affiliate and 2nd place Central Region

Friend of NEAFCS – MN Affiliate – Karen Shirer, UMN Extension Center for Family Development Associate Dean

  • Those present to receive awards were (L to R): Anita Hering, Mary Caskey, Becky Hagen Jokela, Lori Hendrickson, Karen Shirer, Mary Schroeder, Kelly Kunkel and Sara Croymans.
  • Award winners 2018 sept 14
  • Friend of NEAFCS – MN Affiliate Karen Shirer shared reflections from her career and her time with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Family Development. She shared that one constant over the years has been the presence of change — some planned and some not predicted. Karen indicated that one mantra she has used over the years is “It is what it is. I may not like what it is …”. Learning to accept change, figuring out paths forward and selecting battles are skills Karen has utilized over the years. To weather the storms Karen often asked herself “What drives me?” The promotion of health has often been her response. Karen also shared the importance of using resources wisely, having a commitment to our mission, believing in relationships, building networks, and remembering our history.
  • Karen Shirer, Friend of NEAFCS MN Affiliate 2018 Sept 14

NEAFCS MN Affiliate Professional Development Day Huge Success

Over 25 people participated in the NEAFCS – MN Affiliate Professional Development Day which was held September 14, 2018 at the Stearns County Museum in St. Cloud. The day focused on mental health, adverse childhood experiences and trauma, and secondary stress and burnout. Thank you to the Professional Development Committee of Shawna Thompson, Megan Hruby, Mary Caskey & Lori Hendrickson for planning a great event!

Committee member Shawna Thompson served as MC for the day.

Shawna Thompson, NEAFCS Professional Development MC 2018 Sept 14

Cari Michaels, Extension Educator presented on “How do you define ‘mental health’? She helped us explore common definitions of ‘mental health’ and helped us learn strategies to shift our approaches towards prevention and resilience.

Cari Michaels - Defining mental health - NEAFCS MN Affiliate Prof Dev - 2018 Sept 14

CYFC Scholar in Residence Dr. Katie Lingras, UMN Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, provided insight on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma and how they affect children and families.

Dr Katie Lingras - ACES & Trauma - NEAFCS MN Affiliate Prof Dev - 2018 Sept 14

Tracy Schreifels, Infant Mental Health Specialist, shared information on how we can avoid ‘burnout’ in our work with struggling populations, reviewed the signs and symptoms of secondary stress and presented techniques for self-care.

Tracy Schreifels - Avoiding burnout - NEAFCS MN Affiliate Prof Dev - 2018 Sept 14

Here is one key piece of advice Tracy provided:

Always fill your own cup first


Executive Board Minutes August 10, 2018


Anita Harris, Megan Hruby, Sharon Powell, Mary Schroeder, Antonio Alba Meraz

Called to order at 8:04 am

Approval of May 2018 Minutes


Sharon moved to approve minutes and Megan seconded. Minutes approved.

Treasure Report-

Megan presented treasure report.

  • Checking Balance $5,636.81
  • Savings Balance $850.97
  • University Foundation Account – $12,359.55

Discussed the need to have two people’s name on the checking account in case someone is on leave. The purpose would be as a back-up if the treasurer is unavailable for an extended time such as a leave versus the need for both to sign the check. Sharon will check with Wells- Fargo about options since Megan will be on maternity leave.  

Anita shared that  Sara Croymans, Mary Caskey and Suzanne Dreissen will do audit.

Megan has arranged for support staff to collect checks for professional development day since she will be on leave.

Megan met with the ad hoc committee, Mary Caskey and Kathy Brandt, to look at specific line items for JCEP and PILD with a possible increase in next year’s budget. No changes recommend.

Suzanne Driessen joined the call at 9:00 to provide some history and clarification to budget.

  1. Audit: 3 people are appointed by President. Should be done before the annual meeting so it can be included with annual meeting materials.

     2. Line Items on Budget:

  • President reception and living well line items can come off as they were used in the past and no longer needed.
  • Transfer from cd. We no longer have cd. Could probably delete this line item too..
  • National meeting funds – from when Kathy was president?
  • MAEE fund –
  • Quais fund is line item 17  – can use interest fund. only interest each year goes in the budget.
    • Money for PILD and JCEP should come directly from quasi account string. People need to request reimbursement from this account instead of from general fund.
    • Quasi funds based on fiscal calendar year starting with July 1.

Sue Young emailed Sara VanOffellen that NEAFCS University account $2,3974 but used $236. Question as to what this account is. Sharon will follow-up with Sue Young since Megan will be on maternity leave.  

Next meeting Aug 16 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm

Meeting adjourned at 9:22.

Donate to MN Affiliate Silent Auction Item for Annual Session

National NEAFCS has again asked each Affiliate to donate an item(s) to the 2018 Annual Session Silent Auction. Given the conference is in San Antonio we need something that is easy to transport.  The Membership/Awards Committee requests that members donate gift cards (or cash that could be put towards gift cards) for national chains such as Barnes & Noble, Subway, etc. We will ‘package’ the cards in a basket, frame or some other creative way to entice bidders.  Donations in any amount are welcome!

Originally we had asked that donations (gift cards or cash) be sent by September 1 to Sara Croymans (1716 381 Ave Boyd, MN 56218) and send an email (croym001@umn.edu) to let us know to watch for the donation. Donations can still be mailed to Sara … but in addition … items can also be brought to the MN Affiliate Professional Development day on September 14 in St. Cloud.

Donated items will be handed over to Lori Hendrickson on September 14 to transport to the Annual Session.  To date, we have not received any donations.  Please consider donating some cash or a gift card!

Thank you in advance for contributing to the MN Affiliate’s silent auction donation!

Sara Croymans

NEAFCS-MN Executive Committee Agenda and Minutes
May 15, 2018

Anita Harris, Antonio Meraz, Sharon Powell, Megan Hruby, Kelly Kunkel, Mary Schroeder

Call to Order –
Anita called the meeting to order.

Secretary’s Report

Approval of January 2018 Minutes
Sharon moved to approve minutes. Kelly second. Minutes approved.
Mary S. will check to make sure that January minutes were posted to blog.

Treasure Report
• Checking Balance: $5,986.81
• Savings Balance: $850.91
• University Foundation Account:
• Additional areas to follow-up from Annual Meeting
• An ad hoc committee will look at specific line items for JCEP and PILD with a possible increase in next year’s budget.
• Treasure books need to be audited. The audit will be done at an office where there are 2-3 NEAFCS Members housed, such as St. Cloud. Megan will check with Sara Van Offelen about the audit.

Old Business:
NEAFCS Professional Development Day and Annual Meeting 2017
• Policies that were discussed at the Annual meeting with ongoing follow-up

• Electronic vote – Anita will follow-up with Sharon Powell regarding contacting Lori Hendrickson about by-law changes

• Reviewed proposed changes in organizational structure from Regional Representatives to Center Representatives. This would reflect current structure of University of Minnesota Extension and require by-law change.
• Divide the Awards and Membership Committee into the Awards Committee and a Membership Committee. By-law change required.

NEAFCS National Officer Handbook 2017/18 https://dochub.com/anitaharris7f17e8ea/y5B18g/2017-2018-neafcs-affiliate-officer-toolki
• Anita Hering and Antonio Alba are reviewing the new National 2017/18 handbook and comparing it to the MN Handbook, and will make recommendations for the Minnesota handbook so that it is current and in compliance with National.

Ad Hoc Committee
Scholarship Process An ad hoc committee. Action from May. mtg: Megan will contact Kathy Brandt and Mary Caskey

National Annual meeting
An ad hoc committee formed to develop a proposal. Sharon, and Sara C. and Mary C. agreed to work on it ad hoc committee.
• Investigating a “state only” active membership in order offer membership to those who don’t have college degrees. They would pay minimal dues. This would require a by-law change. Committee would need to look at implications. For example, could state only members apply for awards even though they are not eligible for national awards.
• Scholarship form for annual meeting should be posted in June.

Awards Committee
Sara Croymans has updated Friends of NEAFCS application. 2018 award applications due June 1, 2018.
Is there an official place the Friends of NEAFCS should be kept besides the blog. The blog seemed like the best place.
Awards of been submitted to national but have not received announcement yet.

Public Policy/Public Relations
Several impact statements moved on to National and then Suzanne wrote an article and send out that people could use in their newsletters, etc.

Professional Development Committee
Shawna Thompson, Mary Caskey, Lori Hendrickson, Megan Hurby discussed the 2018 professional development day. Looking at holding the Professional Development Day one of the first 2 weeks in September. Possible location in St. Cloud. A “Save the Date” will be coming out soon.

JCEP 2018 February 14 – 15, 2018 Orlando, FL
• Kelly Kunkel attended
• She applied for a $350 scholarship and got it.
• There is a summary on the blog. National speakers were on the first day and breakouts on the second day. 60% of national members will be able to retire in the next few years. The organization needs to be aware of this and keep relevant.
PILD 2018 April 8-11, 2018 – PILD Conference at The Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia
• Sharon Powell attended along with approximately 500 others.
• Highlights: Focus on civil discourse. Favorite part, meeting with national leaders on upcoming grants, programming. Funding coming on opiods. Visiting with legislators is good. Impact statements were helpful.
2018 NEAFCS Annual Session Call for Proposals
• Deadline was January 31, 2018

• Anita wanted to send out the National goals or publish in the blog each week of February but due to unforeseen events was unable too.
• Anita will send out plan in a blog or email in May 2018

New Business
National Nominating Committee
• May/June duty – be prepared to nominate a member from your State/Territory Affiliate to serve on the National Nominating Committee. Each Region is represented on the committee. Elections will be conducted at the Regional and National Business Meetings held during Annual Session.
• Best to put down everyone’s name who is going to Nationals so we have a voting delegate.
• Anita will watch for information about delegates that will be coming from nationals

Annual Session – San Antonio, TX, Sept. 24-27, 2018
• Encourage members to attend Annual Session
• National has TWO NEW SCHOLARSHIPS for Annual Session in San Antonio this year!
The 1st Timer Annual Session Scholarship Application Form – Deadline is June 15th
Affiliate Leadership Complimentary Scholarship Application Form – Deadline is September 1st
• Due to last year’s Annual Session in Omaha being a great success, the board would like to give back some of the net proceeds to benefit NEAFCS members attending the 2018 Annual Session.
• These benefits include first timer annual session registration scholarships, one free annual registration per affiliate (president or a designee), a small stipend for concurrent session and poster session speakers, and a free annual session registration to be awarded to the App winner. More information on the speaker stipends will be provided in the proposal acceptance letters. Additional information on the App winner will be forthcoming.
• For those who completed the member survey, thank you. Your responses were very helpful in making the decision to provide these member benefits.

• Did not have time to discuss on call. Anita will start a google doc so we can make comments prior to our next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 4:30.