(Community Matters) We attended the Austin Community Foundation’s Celebration of Giving last night at the Four Season. I so enjoy when Steven and I get to attend something together, even if he can only stay for part of the event.
Jolynn Free and Max Sherman co-chaired a wonderfully intimate event of mostly friends, nearly all significant community contributors. Spent most of the cocktail hour connecting with Jolynn, Max, Lynn & Tommie Meredith, Michael Barnes, Nancy Scanlan, Etta Moore, Linda Benge & Paul Robshaw and Cindy & Gary Valdez.
ACF honored Etta Moore, Foundation Communities, the Three J’s (Joanne Christian, Jane Sibley & Jare Smith) and Donna Stockton-Hicks & Steve Hicks. Ken Gladish delivered the evening’s keynote.
Lots of great friends and colleagues in attendance including our table mates: Deborah Edwards & Lynn Sanders (Deborah headed to India this month), Janet Harman & Kent Mayes and Heather and Bobby McBride. As well, Christopher Kennedy, Kerry Tate (Susan doing well and about to enter treatment again), Nona Niland and David Braun, Steve Shook, Katherine & Doug Jones, Cliff Redd, Walter Moreau, Lynn Sherman, Maline McCalla, Mike Cook, Greg Marchbanks, Cookie Hilliard and Sandy Gottesman.
(Community Matters) Yesterday, Paul Hurdlow, senior partner at DLA Piper gave a presentation on effective for-profit boards at the Entrepreneur Foundation’s Legal Bites breakfast at the Headliners.
Interesting how there really shouldn’t be too much difference between for-profit and non-profit boards. Paul noted that a survey found that 95% of public company boards believed themselves to be effective or highly effective, while for-profit CEOs think “almost universally” only 1 or 2 directors make meaningful contributions. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard nonprofit EDs complain about the same. This isn’t smoke, EF’s lucky, we scope out targeted contributions from each board member and haven’t been disappointed by any.
Also, not a big surprise but good to be reminded, management and board members usually frustrated that not enough time at board meetings is spent on strategy – not just reports about strategy but the engagement of board members in development & oversight of strategy. I know this challenge, too easy for governance to dominate agendas.
Another good reminder, Paul talked about how any organization with loan covenants ought to include a summary compliance review at every meeting.
(Community Matters) Monday, attended a luncheon for the Seedling Foundation as a guest of Mel Waxler, AISD’s general counsel and a longtime friend. I didn’t know about the organization though I should have. Established by John Blazier and run by Mel’s wife Sari Waxler, they bring together individuals, companies & foundation to promote and support schools in Central Texas. John’s been doing this forever, I’ve even helped out as treasurer of two start up foundations for Austin High and Johnston High School, both back in the 90s.
Aside from their campus beautification programs, I am especially interested in their program – Seedling’s Promise - providing resources and mentoring to the children of incarcerated parents. In the ideal world, I would have already had time to learn more. Steven and I have spoken about the need for ministry in prisons, think this may be the most natural starting point.
At the luncheon, they honored Superintendent Pat Forgoine - well earned recognition for Pat. He’s done an extraordinary job. Hard to believe it’ll be 10 years since he fist arrived. Can’t remember who initially introduced us, but I enjoyed connecting him early with several business and political colleagues.
Lots of friends and colleagues at the Green Pasture luncheon. I especially enjoyed sharing a table with Mel, Councilmember Sheryl & Kevin Cole, AISD board chair Mark Williams, David Mendez and James Byrom.
(Community Matters) Eight more shows remaining. We had great houses Saturday and Sunday. People liked the shows and have been talking about it.
Presales for Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun this week and next weak. ughh, Austin so bad about prepurchasing (and rsvping). We’re hoping our friends & acquaintances will support us by seeing the show and bringing their friends! I love reading the names of those who have on the daily reports. thanks !
btw, thoughts on the two, short plays (*Highway Home* & *Them*): *Highway Home* is a nontraditional play – more about poetic language and dialogue than a traditional story, plot & conclusion. Them is more traditional in that there is a discernible story with a plot. The audience usually emerges enthralled by *Them*. Interesting how the day 2 and day 3 conversations tend to focus on Highway Home
(Community Matters) Even when you are paying others to do so. I found $2,700 today.
Earlier this year, on another project which had engaged a very competent staff in the accounting, we found another $10,000 while reconciling their numbers.
No one minds your business like you.
(Community Matters) At dinner last night a short side conversation about prosecuting Bush administration officials for war crimes. First, I’m all for an investigation, and if crimes and evidence confirmed, prosecution of the decision makers, including GW. One of my dinner companions disagrees and thinks we need to put that behind us. I’m hearing reports that Obama wants to rule out war crimes investigations. I’m against that.
This isn’t about vengeance, it’s about justice. It’s about no one being above the law – not even our president, vice president or other, national executive officers.