CHHSM Board Builds on Strategic Vision, RDEI-J Goals for Future at June Meeting

CHHSM President and CEO Jamar Doyle with former Board Chair Abby Drane, president and CEO of Bellewood & Brooklawn/Seven Counties Services, and current Board Chair Michelle Just, president and CEO of Beatitudes Campus. (Jamar Doyle photos)

In sessions that laid the foundation for further strategic planning, the CHHSM Board of Directors met June 21-23 at Aloft Cleveland in Beachwood, Ohio. The board meeting marked the first for CHHSM’s president and CEO, Jamar Doyle.

The meeting was split into generative sessions, discussion, and educational presentations. During the visioning session June 21, staff shared with the board key insights from its retreat in April, and worked with the board to determine best ways for channeling staff energies into areas important to CHHSM’s members and mission. The discussion included feedback on the ways in which CHHSM provides value to its members, and how best to communicate that value.

“This was my first CHHSM board meeting, and I am grateful for the time and genuine dedication each of our board members puts toward their work with CHHSM,” said Doyle. “It was a blessing to have the opportunity to meet our board members in person and have a number of substantive conversations regarding the value CHHSM provides to our members — and how that aligns with our efforts to place an RDEI-J framework at the center of our work.”

The early afternoon session June 21 was spent discussing CHHSM’s Race, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (RDEI-J) efforts. Board and staff members reviewed accomplishments to date, along with discussion on how CHHSM board members can work with staff to achieve its long-range RDEI-J goals.

“Our time together allowed us to hear of Jamar’s first 90 days and the wonderful ideas that were generated during the staff planning retreat,” said Michelle Just, board chair and president and CEO of Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix. “But most importantly, it allowed us the time to plan the work of the new RDEI-J Committee of the board.”

The hybrid board meeting included some members connecting online.

Instrumental in accomplishing CHHSM’s RDEI-J goals is the work of the RDEI-J Standing Committee, which was formed during the board meeting at the Annual Gathering in March. During the meeting, the board passed revised Committee Charters, including the work of the RDEI-J Committee. The charter helps give shape to the work of the committee as it moves forward.

The meeting also included in-depth discussions about the then-impending Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, as well as CHHSM’s mental health advocacy work and the UCC’s WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged) movement to help congregations support members with mental health issues.

“The meeting went a long way in laying important groundwork as our new president and CEO begins his work with CHHSM,” says the Rev. George Graham, vice president, “with discussions about organizational vision, the work of the RDEI-J Committee, and our responses to the Supreme Court decision reversing Roe.”

The board also accepted the first external financial review of CHHSM in place of an audit, a change approved during the board meeting in March. The review was completed and presented  by RSM, an audit, tax and consulting firm.

“The move to a financial review went smoothly and saved both organizational funds and staff time while still ensuring accuracy of our financial reporting,” said Graham. “This change allows CHHSM to put more time and resources into programming that supports our members.”

After a long day of meetings, CHHSM Board and staff eat together.

A special education session also was held, run by Matthew Wagner, vice president of institutional relationships at United Church Funds. Wagner gave a presentation on UCF’s commitment to racial equity and climate change within the work they do, and discussed ways CHHSM can align its RDEI-J efforts with UCF’s work.

Both Doyle and Graham commented on the spirit and work of the board, with Graham noting “everyone’s passion and commitment to CHHSM’s mission.”

“My heart is full from our time together, and I look forward to working with each of our board members moving forward,” said Doyle.

Board Chair Just echoed their remarks, reflecting on the group’s time together. “How blessed we were to all be together (although some virtually) as we begin our work together in partnership with Jamar and the CHHSM team,” Just said. “Under Jamar’s leadership, exciting times are ahead for CHHSM.”

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