Nonprofit leaders representing a broad spectrum of missions had a rare opportunity this week to meet with Governor John Lynch and all five Executive Councilors as the Council held its regular breakfast meeting at the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits on June 20.
The meeting was facilitated by Governor Lynch with Councilors Ray Burton (District 1), Dan St. Hilaire (District 2), Chris Sununu (District 3), Ray Wieczorek (District 4) and David Wheeler (District 5) in attendance as well as NH Attorney General Michael Delaney, Dept. of Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon and other members of the Governor’s staff.
Executive Director Mary Ellen Jackson and Board Chair John Gilbert led the discussion that touched upon the impact of the sector, current trends and specific challenges. Jackson states, "We all appreciated the informality of the first part of the meeting when there was a very rich discussion on topics ranging from the need for nonprofit overhead and competitive compensation to board governance and outcome measurement to the needs of people and communities."
Jackson noted that having the opportunity to meet with such key decision makers in a relaxed and informative environment allowed for us all to "talk openly and share ideas about the sector's current state, its vital impact and to talk about the need for intentional partnership."
Partners and nonprofit leaders in attendance included Mike Ostrowski, Child & Family Services; Joan Goshgarian, NH Business Committee for the Arts; Katie Merrow, NH Charitable Foundation; Chris Santaniello, Lakes Region Community Services; Judge James Michalik, Family Resource Center of Gorham; and Michael Bartlett of the NH Audubon.
The Governor and Council conduct their business in monthly meetings that are open to the public by state statute. A regularly held breakfast precedes that meeting, and in it an overview of the matters at hand are discussed. Councilor St. Hilaire accepted the Center's invitation to hold the breakfast meeting at the Centers' Silk Farm Road location as an opportunity for his colleagues to hear directly from the Center about its mission and to learn more about issues impacting nonprofits across the state.
The Executive Council oversees, with the Governor, the administration of the state's affairs and approves all state contracts over $10,000 as well as the appointment of judges, state commissioners and board appointees. Each of the five Executive Councilors represents one fifth of the population, or approximately 247,000 citizens. Councilors are elected every two years, concurrently with the Governor. For more information about the Executive Council, visit their website www.nh.gov/council