By: Tia Politi, ORHA President
September 1, 2021
ORHA has undergone significant changes over the past couple of months. We have lost our employee Virginia Delco and due to the uncertainty in the job market as well as our plan to outsource forms printing and shipping, the board decided a few things. First, I and the Executive Team have been given emergency powers until the September meeting in order to keep the association up and running. Secondly, if the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that in many cases, people can work from home, so the board also decided that we don’t need a physical office space any more. Cloud Miller, Dennis Chappa, Jill Maricich and I finished dealing with scanning, purging old docs, hauling paper forms to my office in Eugene, removing office cabinets and furniture, returning equipment and canceling our lease. Keys were turned in on August 31, 2021. At some point we may decide to hire an employee or Executive Director, but we should be able to find someone who can work from home.
We also decided to cancel our phone service. Folks can always reach us by email – email@example.com. With no employee, no office rent to pay, and no phone or internet payments, no monthly fees for the copier and UPS, we will be saving a substantial amount of money. Different board members are taking on the tasks that were part of Virginia’s duties, and being paid to do so in line with our reimbursement policy.
Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to fill in for the following duties:
- Bookkeeping – Jill and Dennis are hard at work taking care of updating the books and searching for a bookkeeper to handle bill paying. Once we hire a bookkeeper, all reimbursements will flow through them for payment. The finance team of Jill, Dennis, Sibylle and Chuck DeSeranno are developing a reimbursement process, Cloud is developing the reimbursement form. This will result in some differences to the way things have been handled in the past. We will update you on the new policy and send out the form as soon as we have the process nailed down.
- Email inquiries and eblasts to the state – Cloud and Tia
- Forms orders – Tia
- Forms store queries – Cloud and Tia
- Mail pickup and forwarding – Violet and Kathleen are regularly checking the post office box as they both live in Keizer, and we will be keeping our mailing address the same for the foreseeable future – PO Box 20862, Keizer, OR 97307.
- Meeting arrangements & board packs – Tia and the Executive Team
- Newsletter – Maria Menguita
- Quarterly ethics filings – Jason Miller
- Wild Apricot updates and revenue sharing – Jill and her staff are performing this task at this time. The revenue sharing will likely be handed to the bookkeeper at some point. Membership fees and updates can continue to be sent to the PO Box, but in the near future, we will be implementing changes to that procedure, and will notify everyone once a new process is created.
Many thanks to everyone who helped in this fast and furious transition, including Dennis Chappa, Jill Maricich, Jason Miller, Violet Wilson, and especially Cloud Miller. One of the most challenging aspects of Virginia’s abrupt departure was gaining access to our accounts. In many cases, the passwords she had written down were not current and the ones we were sent by her friend were also not accurate. Cloud spent countless hours finding work-arounds, and was able to work some special magic juju to get into her desktop computer to retrieve essential info to cancel or update accounts. Cloud and his dad drove out to Keizer from Ontario and spent three days with us taking care of essential business. I cringe to imagine where we would be without him.
This crisis has shined a bright light on how important it is to have our passwords safe and protected, but available to essential personnel. At this time, Cloud and I have developed a list of those passwords and they have also been shared with vice president Ben Seamans for safekeeping. Cloud is working on setting up a program called M-Secure where our essential data will be held. Access to that program will be limited to the Technology Chair (Cloud), ORHA President (me), and ORHA VP (Ben), and as those positions transition, will be passed on to the new officers. Once a bookkeeper is identified, we are considering utilizing either them or our tax professional to also hold the password to that file just in case the president, vice president and technology chair happen to get hit by a bus at the same time.
It’s been an exhausting couple of months for us, but I really believe these changes are going to propel our organization to a new level of efficiency and cost savings while continuing to meet the needs of our local associations.
If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please reach out to me or another member of the Executive Team (Ben Seamans, Jill Maricich, Cloud Miller, Dennis Chappa, Jason Miller or Violet Wilson). We will be providing an update at the September Board Meeting in Redmond this September. Hope to see you there!