CONFERENCE OF STATE COUNCIL PRESIDENTS “ZOOM” MEETING
AUGUST 29, 2020 @ 1:00PM
AGENDA: BRIEFING BY VVA NATIONAL OFFICERS
QUESTION & ANSWER PERIOD

 

REPRESENTING PA – LARRY GOOGINS INCOMING PRESIDENT AND JAKE BARSOTTINI, ALTERNATE & PA STATE COUNCIL TREASURER.  TOM HABERKORN HAD A PREVIOUS ENGAGEMENT.

JOHN ROWAN, VVA NATIONAL PRESIDENT SPOKE FIRST!

  • He addressed the issue of VVA legacy

  • VVA will not be going out of business in the near future barring some other catastrophe.

  • VVA will remain the same.  The officers will not pursue any name change or admission of non-Vietnam veterans any further.

  • VVA remains busy on Capitol Hill addressing veterans’ issues with congress in particular the three new diseases approved by the senate.   John suggested we contact our congressional representatives and push them to approve the bill.

  • John asked that any new State Council presidents or alternates present to please introduce themselves.   Larry Googins introduced himself as the incoming president running unopposed.  Tom Haberkorn will continue as the primary CSCP rep for PA when he attends meetings until we have official elections.

  • The VVA staff cuts and service officer program will be addressed by VP Tom Burke, financials by treasurer John (Jack) McManus and reports by secretary Bill Meeks.

TOM BURKE, VVA NATIONAL VP

  • Tom burke addressed the necessity for the elimination of 11 staff positions and 2 attorneys in the face of reduced revenues.   All staff members, who were let go, were briefed individually beforehand and all received severance packages commensurate with their time of duty.   No one was fired.  They were either laid off or resignations were submitted.

  • Tom addressed VSO plans for the future.  He explained that those states who operate through the VVA via the Veteran’s Trust Fund will continue at least through this fiscal year.

  • The trust fund is somewhat limited and does not have the resources it needs but they are hoping fund raising will increase shortly.

  • Those states who are VVA accredited but works for the state through state grants are asked to prepare and submit a plan for their future operations.

  • VVA retains liability for all claims not adjudicated even if a service office closes.  This is a major concern. 

  • Another major concern is tracking claims since under the new system a claim can be submitted by one VSO and end up in a regional office anywhere in the country.

JACK MCMANUS, VVA NATIONAL TREASURER

  • VVA lost 62% of its revenue as a result of the coronavirus, in particular the loss of household goods income.

  • The 2021 budget was reduced substantially.   Personnel were reduced.   All travel was stopped.

  • The thrift stores laid off 4,000 employees and some independent stores may never reopen.

  • In May, a few areas began to reopen but had to close again in June.

  • Many warehouses and stores are filled to the maximum and will have to sell inventory before they can again start pickups.

  • At open stores sales are very slow because of Covid-19 restrictions.

  • VVA expects and hopes that the program will reopen in October.  As stores and pickups resume, Jack will notify state presidents of the amounts collected by each catchment area so that state treasurers can begin to distribute funds to chapters.   Reopening is only expected to be a 50% of the pre-Covid-19 rates for some time.

  • LMP rebates were held and paid quarterly based on advice from the vva national financial advisors.   The fund is a separate reserve and as it stands does have the money to continue but initially the investments lost about 2% in March.  The current market is encouraging.

  • The 1st installment of LMP rebates were paid to state councils in March.  The second installment was paid in July and the 3rd installment is anticipated to be paid on the third Thursday of September.

  • VVA is not abandoning its support of AVVA and will continue to provide them the support in accordance with the MOU.

  • Good news!  VVA mail fundraising is bringing in more than expected and if this continues into the main fundraising season this fall it will be very helpful.

  • VVA would like feedback from states on how they are doing financially and what problems they may be facing.   Note:  at the present time PA is ok.  The PVAF is solvent but not raising funds since last winter.   We will need to take a much closer look at grants we approve and travel necessary.

  • The 2021 convention is expected to go on and will cost vva national around $400,000 of which they will recoup about $300,000.   National will keep the conference of state councils informed and updated on the status of our convention.

BILL MEEKS, VVA NATIONAL SECRETARY

  • National hopes to have all election reports by February 2021 so that delegates can be certified before the convention.   For those states who cannot have meetings national will work with you.

  • About 75% of election reports are still not in.

  • There is no extension for financial reports granted by the IRS or VVA.   VVA National does not see any reason states and chapters cannot submit their financial reports with the exception of those who filed for an IRS extension and received one.  Those chapters should submit their approved extension and their report when it is filed.

  • Bill will keep all SC presidents aware of board meeting dates and minutes including e-votes taken.

  • All state council presidents and alternates were asked to update national, Cortina Foster and Rex Moody with their updated personal information: name, address, mobile phone number and email.  We have a number of new sc presidents.  Once Cortina receives the information,  she will send a new list to rex moody and all SC presidents and  conference members.

  • Rex Moody will keep the conference of state council presidents up to date on meeting dates, minutes and votes taken.

  • Reminder to all state councils:  all SC presidents and alternates are welcome to attend every meeting.  Only the primary representative present at t meeting may speak or vote.

  • Chapters with feedback relevant for the CSCP should provide it to their state council presidents.

TO ALL PA CHAPTERS, PLEASE SUBMIT ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS IN WRITING BY EMAIL TO TOM HABERKORN WITH COPY TO LARRY GOOGINS AND JAKE BARSOTTINI.

EMAIL ADDRESSES:

TOM HABERKORN – haber2@atlanicbb.net

LARRY GOOGINS – ljgoogins.vva862@comcast.net

JAKE BARSOTTINI – jbarsottini@gmail.com

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