July 1, 2013

RSVP – Lead With Experience

Meet the RSVP Advisory Council

An abundance of good things are happening these days at RSVP because of good advice and active support from the RSVP Advisory Council. Examples of RSVP Advisory Council accomplishments are:

• Continuing to have two high quality Volunteer Recognition events on each side of the Mississippi River despite major budget cuts in 2011. Recognition committee members were responsible for planning and finding affordable venues and food that was delicious.

• The Public Relations Committee helping to develop a Public Relations plan and letting staff know of PR opportunities. One such opportunity is the monthly RSVP Volunteer Spotlight in 50+Lifestyles magazine. This has helped to raise RSVP’s profile in the community and increase volunteer recruitment.

• The Resource Development Committee has put together a number of successful fundraising activities helping RSVP to offset cuts from other funding sources and assure continued high quality service to members and agencies with whom RSVP partners.

• The Assessment Committee helps staff to identify community needs and determine how best RSVP can help agencies to address those needs. This assessment helps RSVP to stay relevant and effective in the communities we serve.

• All Advisory Council members are advocates and ambassadors for RSVP. Their efforts have helped us to connect with legislators and community leaders to make sure they understand the value of RSVP to the community.

As you can see, we are indebted to our Advisory Council for their great service. Here’s a little information about each of the wonderful volunteers who make up this group:

• Kirsten Adams is our current Advisory Council secretary and Co-Chair of our Recognition Committee. Kirsten and her husband Dan own Lighthouse Homecare and 50+ Lifestyles magazine. Service to seniors is Kirsten’s mission, and she considers supporting RSVP to be part of that mission.

• Donna Allman is one of the longest standing members of the RSVP Advisory Council. She has a real awareness and dedication to volunteering in our community. She has volunteered through RSVP in more different ways than almost all of our members.

• Bonnie Beechum is Chair of the Evaluation/Assessment Committee and Co-Chair of our Recognition Committee. She works for United Neighbors, a strategic partner for RSVP. Bonnie is also a RSVP member.

• Joe Hutter is currently Advisory Council vice-president. Joe is leader of the Scott County Sheriff’s Senior Volunteers and Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS). Joe is also one of RSVP’s most effective advocates, and a number of RSVP successes are directly related to his efforts.

• Virginia Jarrett represents Rock Island Schools, one of RSVP’s key education partners assisting with tutor trainings, placements and community needs assessments. Education is RSVP primary focus area and Virginia’s advice and support are invaluable. She and her husband Edward are both RSVP members.

• Rachelle Kunde is a deputy with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department and an advocate for senior security. She advises us on how our volunteers can help to make our communities safer better places to live.

• Jamie Long, an Elder Law attorney and owner of Jamieson Long & Associates. Jamie’s legal expertise has come in handy when RSVP made critical decisions. Jamie is also owner of GolderCare Solutions and is represented at Advisory Council meetings by his community outreach advocate, Beth Martinez.

• Beth Martinez (formerly Maxwell), with GolderCare Solutions and Jamieson Long and Associates, is the RSVP Advisory Council president. Keeping Jamie informed of Advisory Council actions is only a small part of what Beth does for RSVP. She has a long history of working with seniors and is highly respected by both her colleagues and the seniors she serves. Beyond being an effective leader of our Advisory Council Beth has played an integral role in nearly all of the council’s recent successes – especially the high quality of our Recognition events.

• Bev Mital is the CEO/President of Guardian Family Care. Originally recruited by Beth to help at our Recognition event, she was impressed with the good work RSVP volunteers do and joined RSVP herself. She then joined the Advisory Council and soon became Resource Development Chair where she created a remarkable transformation of RSVP’s fundraising with high energy, great ideas resulting in a string of successes.

• Ed Mitchell is another long time Advisory Council member. He’s a past president and has been in a leadership role all the way back to the early 1990’s when RSVP was sponsored by the Voluntary Action Center. As a board member of RSVP’s sponsor, the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging, Ed also helps keep RSVP connected with our sponsor.

• Margie Mitchell is another high energy volunteer and leader on the Council. She brings the same passion to the council that earned her Davenport’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012. Margie has been instrumental in helping RSVP to develop services for highly at-risk youth, part of RSVP’s primary focus area.

• Jack Wismer is a new RSVP member and Advisory Council member. He is a retired vice president of Black Hawk College and brings good leadership talent to the team. He will also help RSVP to develop our disabilities outreach.

• Barbara Wommack represents Semper Fidelis, one of RSVP’s key partners in the minority community where Barb also serves as a RSVP Minority Recruiter. Barb is also a key member for making sure that RSVP activities are reported in the Quad-City Times. She also helps connect RSVP to community leaders.

RSVP has a couple more openings on our Advisory Council. If you have a passion for service and a willingness to both lead and assist, you can learn more about RSVP Advisory Council membership by calling the RSVP office at (309) 793-4425 or emailing dlayton@wiaaa.org