top of page

Board Meeting Minutes for 3/21/2024 - 5/3/2024 are included below. 

NEIGHBORHOOD FALMOUTH                                                                    3/21/2024


Location:  Falmouth Public Library


DIRECTORS PRESENT:  Michael Bihari, Jack Easterling, Marcia Easterling, Rev. Nell Fields, Margaret Gifford, Susan Loucks, Vicky Lowell, Michael McNaught, Kit O’Connor, Karen Roberts, Bob Spadafora.  DIRECTORS ABSENT:  Joe Andrews, Marion Bihari, Sue Gnospelius, Carol Kenney, Bill Laberis, Karen Smith-Lovejoy, Janet Totten.

ALSO PRESENT:  Candice Geers, Executive Director


President Bihari called the meeting to order at 3:00PM


VOTED:  To approve the minutes of the 2/15/2024 board meeting with the correction that NF has $350K in bank accounts (not $360K).


TREASURER’S REPORT:   Karen Roberts reported that monthly revenue for February was 50% below budget, but she is not concerned as timing of revenue is hard to predict.  Expenses have been somewhat below budget; the year to date loss is $6.7K vis a vis $6.4K in the budget.  She noted that scholarship funds are currently very low, but it is anticipated that fundraising will replenish the scholarship account.  VOTED:  To accept the Treasurer’s Report. 


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:  Candice Geers reported that current membership is 135 of which two were added in January and 2 are pending.  The number of people on the waiting list is 5O.  Volunteers in these winter months are in short supply and last minute help may be needed.  She added that February 23rd Volunteer Resource Program which featured a speaker from Elder Services  was very informative and well received. Prospectives plan for future volunteer resource programs are a speaker re Smart 911 and a Town Nurse.


Re: the Gala on May 3rd.  875 invitations are to be mailed next week.  They are being sent to anyone who has donated to NF in the last five years.  Other fundraising notes:  NF will be on the list of non-fits in competition for a Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank community grant.  After Candice spoke to the Waquoit Congregational Church women’s group, they voted to fund a scholarship.  Other requests are in process for more scholarship funds.


Re: a new location for the NF office.  Agreement has been secured to rent the 941 square foot office next to the Howling Bird on the Queen’s Byway!  The rent will be $2,200/month and the projected cost to relocate will be c $30K.  The plan is to move in early May after the Gala.  An updated annual budget will need to be voted on at the May board meeting. 

VOTED:  To approve entering into a lease for the office space and for a capital budget expense of up to $30K for relocation expenses.


Re:  Date for the May board meeting.  Because of a conflict with a regional Village meeting, the date was moved from May 16th to 23rd.  (Note: it subsequently was changed to Tuesday, May 21st at a location to be determined.)



VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE:  Statistics for 2023:  3,600 member requests for services were fulfilled, averaging 75/week.  65% of requests were for rides.  Bob Spadafora reported that there were 322 requests for service in February with a 95% fulfillment rate.  The Committee has e-mailed or called every inactive volunteer.  The outreach revealed that volunteering tends to be habitual.  Emphasis remains on recruiting more volunteers.The committee will be providing mentorship to new volunteers.  On April 11th there will be a volunteer appreciation luncheon at the Waquoit Congregational Church.


MEMBER SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE:  Marcia Easterling reported that in spite of stormy weather the Library talk on gadgets for seniors was well attended and received.  The next two presentations in the Library/NF series will be:  Micheal Bihari speaking on plant-based diets on March 27th; a panel on loneliness on April 18th;  Barbara Schneider speaking on Senior Accessibility on Falmouth Beaches on May 30th; and, Mary Pat McKenzie speaking on Practical Gardening for Seniors on June 13th.  Dates and locations for monthly member luncheons have also been set.


 PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE:   Michael Bihari reported that NF is developing a great relationship with the Falmouth Enterprise.  Under the heading “Neighbors of Falmouth” a profile of one of NF members will appear monthly.  Re the NF website:  the updated website will be launched in May.  The committee is also working on a “generic” power-point presentation that any NF speaker can use.  It should be ready in June.


GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE:  Ballots for the Annual Meeting are scheduled to be sent to members in the next week with a return due date of April 6th.  Three strong candidates have agreed to be nominated to serve on the board and two more are pending.  A by-law change to allow the board of directors “the ability to extend by one year the term of any specific Director deemed to be pivotal to the operation of the organization”  is included on the ballot.  Vicky Lowell recommended that at a board meeting prior to the Annual Meeting the Governance Committee as a regular practice should brief the full board on the first-time nominees and any proposed by-law changes.


DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE:  Karen Roberts, wanting to keep the momentum going, reported that she is the self-appointed chair of the Development Committee.  She emphasized that the staff needs to capitalize on the Donor Perfect software.  In that regard both Candice Geers and Janet Thibodeau are receiving two  sessions of  training.   She further reported that she and Candice had participated in a fundraising webinar.  Takeaways were: work on relationship building with top donors: do not be afraid to ask for general operating funds; ask for what you need - be bold.  A contract is in the works for a grant writer to work 10 hours a week for three months. 


Karen emphasized NF needs a strong case statement.  In that regard she distributed some additional language to be included in the case statement draft that had been prepared by Bill Laberis.  She asked board members to review it and send her comments/suggestions.


President Bihari adjourned the meeting at 4:20PM


Respectfully submitted,


Vicky Lowell, Clerk

NEIGHBORHOOD FALMOUTH                          4/25/2024

Location:  West Falmouth Public Library

7 Members were present; 38 voted by mail

Board President, Michael Bihari opened the meeting at 10:00AM

He praised and thanked Candice Geers and said that his last year on the board was the very 
best.  He felt very connected and committed to the important work of Neighborhood Falmouth  He also noted that Susan Loucks had been great mentor for him.  

VOTED:  To approve the minutes of the 2023 Annual Meeting.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT:  Candice noted that she has been one full year as Executive Director and recounted some of the highlights of NF’s year.

Completed 3600 service requests - 65% for transportation
Successful Gala Spring 2023 @ Flying Bridge Restaurant
Two annual appeal letters: one in July; one in December which together raised $35,000.
Ramped up Volunteer Acquisition and Retention efforts
Launched a quarterly program of Volunteer Resource Reviews
Presented 5 public programs in partnership with the Falmouth Public Library
Hosted a lovely Member luncheon in October with 50 in attendance
Renewed NF’s relationship with the Enterprise resulting in:

  •    First Friday Aging in Place articles

  •    Monthly profiles of members/volunteers


New Logo debuted in early 2024


New website is in the works - June 2024 is the target launch date
Gearing up for the 2024 Spring Soiree:  There’s No Place Like Home (May 3, 2024)

A most exciting development is that NF is securing new office space on the Queen’s Byway.  It will be easily accessible (no steep stairs to climb) and highly visible.  The goal is to make it a hub for meetings and socialization/


Candice closed by enthusiastically thanking Sarah Rogalewski, Volunteer Coordinator, and Jamie Thibodeau, Office Manager, for the great work they have been doing. 


TREASURER’S REPORT:   Karen Roberts gave the Treasurer’s Report which summarized the financial highlights of the year.  She noted that NF budgets to break even financially and 2023 was no exception.  The year ended with a net surplus of $7,400 versus a budgeted surplus of $2,700, a slight positive swing.  Expenses were 3% over budget, primarily the result of expenses associated with staff turnover, upgrading of computers and additional tax preparation fees.  However, the higher expenses were offset by $8,500 of unbudgeted interest income and revenue $3000 over budget. The year ended with $360,000 cash in the bank.


She noted that approximately of 30% of NF’s revenue comes from membership fees, 10% from the fundraiser, and 60% from grants and donations. 

STRATEGIC PLANNING:  Karen Roberts reported on the NF board’s strategic planning process and provided five key takeaways, things we want to do, from the board’s deliberations:

  • Increase awareness of the organization and the accessibility of our members

  • Focus on attracting and retaining volunteers

  • Expand relationships with other service providers in town

  • Reduce the member waitlist

  • Be the Aging in Place (AIP) resource for seniors


She noted that many of these activities will impact the 2024 and future budgets.


2024 BUDGET:  Karen explained that the NF Board had approved a balanced operating budget for 2024 (with a budgeted surplus of $60) realizing that it would have to be amended to account for new office space and other planned initiatives.  Memberships are projected to account for only 27% of revenue.  She stressed the importance of pursuing grant donations to fund the planned initiatives and reminded everyone of the upcoming Gala, the only significant fundraiser planned for the year.  Lastly she thanked all those putting in enormous work to plan and orchestrate the Gala.


G0VERNANCE:  Joe Andrews as Acting Chair of the Governance Committee thanked the NF Board officers and members.  He said, “It is a lot of fun to be on the board.” And then presented a gift to outgoing President Bihari.  

He then asked for a motions to adopt the slate of Directors and the proposed by-law amendment as recommended by the Board of Directors.


VOTED: To elect to the Board of Directors:

Joe Andrews (second term)
Rev. Nell Fields (second term)
Dr. Roger Landry (first-time nominee)
Dan Leader (first-time nominee)
Amy Loewenberg (first-time nominee)
Kit O’Connor (second term)
Dr. Stephanie Prior (first-time nominee)
Bob Spadafora (second term)
Phil Walker (first-time nominee)


VOTED:  To amend the Neighborhood Falmouth By-Laws as follows;

Through a majority vote, the Directors shall have the ability to extend by one year the term of any specific Director deemed to be pivotal to the operation of the organization.

The meeting then adjourned c 11:00AM

Respectfully submitted,

Vicky Lowell


NEIGHBORHOOD FALMOUTH                                                                    4/25/2024


Location: West Falmouth Library


DIRECTORS PRESENT:   Joe Andrews, Marion Bihari, Marcia Easterling, Margaret Gifford, Roger Landry, Dan Leader, Susan Loucks, Vicky Lowell, Michael McNaught, Kit O’Connor, Karen Roberts, Bob Spadafora, Phil Walker.   DIRECTORS ABSENT:  Rev Nell Fields, Sue Gnospelius, Amy Loewenberg, Stephanie Pryor


Michael Bihari (as his last official act) opened the meeting which took place immediately after the Annual Meeting adjourned.


VOTED:  To elect Bob Spadafora as President.


VOTED:  To have Michael Bihari serve as President Emeritus.  (Note the President Emeritus is invited to attend the board meetings but according to the by-laws has no vote.)


VOTED:  To extend the term of Karen Roberts for one year (as under the newly adopted amendment to the by-laws, she is deemed pivotal to the operation of the organization).


VOTED:  To elect Joe Andrews as Vice President; Karen Roberts as Treasurer and Vicky Lowell as Clerk.


Bob Spadafora noted the need for new sources of revenue.   The new office space on the Queens Byway will increase NF’s visibility and be much more accessible, but the cost per year will be $30,000/year vis a vis $7,200 for the space in the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce building.  


The meeting adjourned c 11:30AM


Respectfully submitted,


Vicky Lowell, Clerk

NEIGHBORHOOD FALMOUTH                                                                    5/3/2024


Location:  Coonamessett Inn, Falmouth


DIRECTORS PRESENT:  Marion Bihari, Margaret Gifford, Amy Loewenberg, Susan Loucks, Vicky Lowell, Michael McNaught, Kit O’Connor, Stephanie Prior, Karen Roberts, Bob Spadafora

DIRECTORS ABSENT:  Joe Andrews, Jack Easterling, Marcia Easterling, Rev Nell Fields, Sue Gnospelius, Roger Landry, Dan Leader, Phil Walker

ALSO PRESENT:  Candice Geers, Executive Director




Bob Spadafora opened the meeting c 4:45PM


Karen Roberts explained that the lease we would be voting on had some very minor changes from the lease agreement which had been emailed to the board members.  These changes were proposed by our attorney and accepted by lessor’s attorney.


VOTED: To enter into a lease for 115 Unit 2A, Palmer Avenue, Falmouth for a five year term, renewable on an annual basis subject to an annual increase of 3% in the rent.


VOTED: To authorize Board President, Bob Spadafora, to sign the lease.


The meeting adjourned within five minutes, and the board members dispersed to enjoy the Gala. 


Respectfully submitted,


Vicky Lowell, Clerk

bottom of page