Making sure WAEF performs at its best and aligned with the tree fruit industry.

 Last week WAEF directors met at Central Washington University for their quarterly board meeting.  They had a full agenda and high levels of participation!

While the Scholarship Celebration Luncheons were top of mind, directors provided input from their personal experiences and comments shared with them by other guests.  With the increasing number of scholarship recipients (a very good thing!), some changes were proposed to the program that would allow additional time for networking while still keeping the event in the target 12n-1:30pm time frame.

 Quarterly, board members are recognized for the efforts they make on behalf of WAEF outside of board meetings to share appreciation with donors, help keep them informed and stretch the impact of WAEF.  This quarter, Laurie Knebusch, Ruth Pringle and Ben Jensen were our top "point" earners for their efforts.  An extra-special thanks to the three of them for their efforts!

 Members divided into groups and tackled pieces of the WAEF mission to ensure broad understanding and assess alignment of current activities.  Some interesting thoughts surfaced around specific language in the mission that could be interpreted differently than intended and the lack of other language so central to the foundation's work.  Ideas and thoughts will be taken up by the Strategic Planning Committee when it does its bi-annual work starting this fall.

 Next year WAEF celebrates its 25-year anniversary!  Discussion of priorities for this meaningful milestone were discussed.  It was determined that the most valuable way to celebrate is to make sure those that have made WAEF what it is are recognized.  This priority will be built into the existing fundraisers and events already planned for the year.  Additionally, the anniversary provides an opportunity to capture the impact that has been made and communicate the vision for the future.

 Over the years the focus of WAEF has shifted from awarding scholarships to investing in student success.  As this has occurred, the number of scholarships offered and students receiving WAEF awards has increased dramatically.  To stay consistent with our intent to invest in student success and effectively manage the growing number of students, student accountability was a hot topic on the agenda.  Discussion around which responsibilities for scholarship award administration belonged to WAEF and which should be responsibilities of the student were debated.  This was a lively discussion with strong opinions and valid points and counterpoints shared.  The motion passed at the close of the discussion did place greater responsibility on the student than in years passed with the caveat that we move slowly to make sure we're truly keeping the students' interests central.  A rarity for WAEF, the motion passed without unanimous consent.

 Board members perform an annual evaluation of the executive director during their August meeting.  The evaluation includes an assessment of prior year goal attainment, establishment of priorities and goals for the coming year, and a general discussion of strengths and weaknesses.  This occurred as in years passed.

 Other business included approving a proposal for audit of the 2018 and 2019 WAEF financial statements and planning for board member elections.

 The next meeting of the WAEF board of directors occurs in November.