By Mai Hoang
About 20 people among Board of Directors, Funders, Advisors of a non-profit organization SEARCH came together in the beautiful resort, the Caribou Highlands Lodge along north shore of the lake Superior in the weekend of Friday 17- Sunday 19, 2010. Driving almost 350 miles away the Twin Cities is big commitment for the participants. The positive outcomes were based on the constrained discussions which conducted by Mr. Gary Miller and his assistant Jeanette Lieberman, monitory by the retreat chairperson and board member Laura Wittstock.
The retreat was organized in family manner, board members can bring along their spouses and children so that they enjoy the beauty of nature while the members of the board had worry free to concentrate their agenda.
The social reception had started with a good dinner which was in the evening on Friday, like a reunion of the retreats. This is the third retreats of SEARCH. The breakfast on early Saturday had offered more understanding and commitment to devote their supports for their chosen organization. The main program was started on time at 10 AM on the Saturday. This had concentrated its presentation, discussion on several issues concerning planning, board involvement, community services and supports. Another half of the morning program had focus on Internal and External Analysis. The good strategic dialogue of the trainers were listening all participant‘s ideas and compromise proposed agenda. During the lunch session, there were many good feed backs about the morning program. The lunch break gave some time for those who want to hike the beautiful trails near by. The afternoon had offered in the first half with internal issues, special SEACH now in management transaction between current president Hoang Tran and selected president Curtis Aljets. They had devoted on issues of New Building and Financing, Financing History and Future, Organizational Structure, Board Composition and Subcommittees and Program implementation Outcome data. In the second half, they well focus on the external issues such as Demographic Changes, Changes in Funding Environment, New Funding Sources, Partnerships.
There are many good resolutions as the results of the retreat. Among those are including moving forward with purchasing of the new building, more active roles for members of the Board, work harder during the management transaction period.
The conclusion of working retreat was treated a nicely dinner with a lot of excitements from participants.