Plan to Submit Award Applications

All NEAFCS MN Affiliate members are encouraged to submit award applications to be recognized and highlight their 2018 work. Information on the process and available categories can be found@

Award applications are due February 15, 2019 to allow for state judging prior to the national deadline. If you have questions or are looking for insights or guidance please contact a MN Awards Committee member — Kelly Kunkel, Mary Caskey or Sara Croymans.


December 12, 2018 NEAFCS MN Affiliate Executive Board Meeting Minutes

NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2018 — 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Call to Order – President Kelly Kunkel called the meeting to order at 1:03 pm via Google Hangout..

Present on the call were Kelly Kunkel, Anita Hering, Megan Hruby, Antonio Alba Meraz and Sara Croymans

Addition to the agenda – information on the MN Affiliate handbook

Secretary’s Report – M/S/C (Megan/Antonio) to approve the minutes of the May 15, 2018 Executive Board meeting Minutes. There was a question on whether there had been an additional meeting in August. Anita will check with past Secretary Mary Schroeder about

Treasurer’s Report – Megan Hruby shared the current account balances: Checking – $5,561.81; Savings – $851.06; Foundation Account – $10,391 (as of 8/16/18); and University CF String –  to be used in FY 19 – $4117.94. There was a question on whether the University CF String balance should be $2000 less and the Foundation Account should be $2000 more.

It is believed that the Endowment fund is the result of hosting the annual session administered by the University Foundation.  This is our Quasi Endowment fund. The University CF String Account is money from when MAEE dissolved.

Megan indicated she had found an email from Sharon Powell about conversation with Sue Young; we can take 20% of Foundation Account monies and transfer to the University CF String. Accessing funds in the Foundation Account requires a signature from Dean Durgan.

There had been some issues in submitting forms for the money in the endowment; so some professional development expenses this past year were paid from our checking account.

University String Account is used to pay for expenses such as the budgeted amount to support JCEP & PILD participation. The Authorization to Request To Access FD Gift Funds Form used to request Endowment Funds/Quasi Endowment Funds has incorrect information in the footer (it references the Quali Skjervold funds, not the NEAFCS Endowment/Quasi Endowment Fund). Megan will check with Heather Lee on the need to update the form for NEAFCS Foundation Fund requests.

Megan noted that this past fiscal year budgeted funds for Professional Development (JCEP & PILD) conferences were paid out of our checking account due to challenges accessing the Foundation funds. In the future, support for these conferences should be paid out of theFoundation Funds. Note: Foundation funds cannot be paid deposited into NEAFCS account, it must be paid directly to a member or a vendor.

M/S/C (Kelly/Megan) for Megan, Anita & Kelly to meet with Karen Shirer to see if a process has been developed to access the Foundation Funds.

Old Business –

  • NEAFCS Professional Development Day and Annual Meeting – held September 14, 2018 in St. Cloud. Speakers were great. Karen Shirer received the Friend of NEAFCS – MN Affiliate Award. It would be great to promote the association to the non-members in attendance. We could have used 2 hours rather than 90 minutes for the annual meeting.

Committee Reports

  • Awards Committee – Sara  reported she participated on National’s Awards webinar last week. A few award categories have been combined. National deadline is again March 15; MN typically has a state deadline of February 15. Sara will pull the committee together.
  • Public Policy/Public Relations – Kelly noted that Suzanne Driessen sent a recent email encouraging people to submit Impact Statements by January 11 to Becky Hagen Jokela.
  • Professional Development Committee – no report.
  • Ad Hoc Treasurer’s Report and Audit Recommendation (Megan & Mary Caskey) – Megan reviewed the audit recommendations.
  • Area Representatives – Antonio is southern area rep. There is no area rep for the northern and metro regions.
  • Ad Hoc Membership – Mary Caskey is currently the only member. Purpose – to change wording in bylaws to be more inclusive of who qualifies for membership. Anita will join the committee. Suggested revisions will require a membership vote.
  • Membership Committee – Megan reported that we currently have 9 members and had 16 in 2018. We are waiting on checks from 2 members and three members are choosing not to renew and one member is retiring. Megan has sent Karen Shirer information on life membership.
    • M/S/C (Sara/Megan) for Kelly as President & Kathy Brandt as Membership Chair to send Trish Olson, new ECFD Associate Dean, a letter inviting her to join the association.

New Business –

  • President Elect Vacancy – all eligible annual members and life members have been asked.
  • NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session  September 30 – October 3, 2019 in Hershey, PA
  • 2019 JCEP – February 6-7 in San Antonio, TX; President Elect typically attends
  • 2019 PILD April 14-17, 2019 in Washington DC; Kelly plans to participate as President
  • Kelly will schedule 2019 Executive Committee meeting dates for March, June & August
  • The MNAffiliate Handbook needs to be updated to reflect the National Handbook. Anita has will share these again with committees for additional input.
  • Other
    • As President, Kelly will submit the Affiliate Annual Report Form by December 31, 2018
    • Anita will submit the new officer’s names to National.
    • NEAFCS MN Affiliate presented Karen Shirer a retirement gift at her recent retirement party.

M/S/C (Megan/Anita) to adjourn the meeting.

Minutes by Sara Croymans, Secretary

You do good work! Applying for an NEAFCS Award!

As we near the end of the calendar year we often times start reflecting on all of the programs we’ve been working on …. & typically we start organizing evaluation data, summarizing program outcomes & adding citations to our vitae.  I know we have some great programming happening in Minnesota … & it is so important to showcase that work — so please consider submitting a NEAFCS awards application.

Information about the NEAFCS awards process & categories can be found on the NEAFCS Awards web pages.  To be eligible to submit an award application please have your dues paid by December 31.  Typically, our MN Awards applications have been due by February 15 .. so plan accordingly.  The awards committee will confirm due dates and communicate with membership in the next several months.

To get some ideas … view the 2018 NEAFCS National Winners’ award packages on the NEAFCS website @  It is fun (& educational) to see what national winning award applications look like!

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to brainstorm about which programs or categories you might submit in.

Sara Croymans, 2018 NEAFCS MN Affiliate Awards Committee Chair

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 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