Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Words from our Board President

(below is the address from Rev. Jason Butterick, President of the Dove Board of Directors given to the Delegates at the Fall Meeting)

Dove Fall Delegates Meeting

Monday, October 26, 2015 7 pm

Prairie Avenue Christian Church – Decatur, Illinois


Good evening. As pastor of Prairie Avenue Christian Church, I welcome you to our fellowship hall, and warmly invite you to feel free to explore our space following my presentation. You might need my assistance in figuring out exactly which staircase takes you to your vehicle.


Tonight, I also am privileged to welcome you as president of the board of directors of Dove, Inc. My work as president is made easier by the dutiful work of the other board officers as well as those who volunteer their time and talents faithfully through our regular meetings and Dove’s many events.


To say this year has been unusual is perhaps an understatement. In June issues involving the professionalism of our executive director Jim Walters required the board to act quickly in termination.  For the first time in Illinois history, we stand exactly 4 months into a new fiscal year without an approved budget. 2015 also marks the 45th anniversary of this fine organization and its programs.


Following the termination of Jim Walters, the board elected Tami Wilcox, finance director as interim executive director. Board officers and as well as program directors and Dove’s staff have also step forward to assist Tami as needed. We certainly appreciate Tami’s willingness and her skills in being able to sustain Dove in the midst of these difficult times.


Some of our difficult times were not of our own making. The lack of compromise and consideration between the executive branch and legislative branch of Illinois government has introduced considerable uncertainty in our own annual budget. Dove, Inc. is fortunate in having more than one egg and one basket in this unnecessary crisis. One egg we did have to crack was the position of Community Services program director Francie Johnson. Neither the legislative nor executive proposed budgets for FY 2016 included any funding for both Chicago & statewide area project programs. Anticipating other state funding cuts also resulted in our elimination of a position at Homeward Bound and the position of shelter cook in the Domestic Violence Shelter.


About 30% of Dove’s annual budget comes from state sources. We just received notice from the state that we have received all FY 2016 federal funding for Domestic Violence. If Illinois continues to be ran by politicians and not statesmen through December, more staff cuts will be inevitable for Domestic Violence, Homeless housing, and seniors programming in January.


Since the termination of Jim Walters, the board has been reviewing the job description of the executive director and addressing the professional issues that were raised, as well as clarifying role and responsibilities of the position. A search committee consisting of board officers, Dove, Inc. staff and community members at large has been formed, a final job description approved, and the position will begin to be posted next month for qualified applicants. We anticipate reviewing applicant submissions in December-January, and hopefully a short list of interviews next Spring.


On July 7, 1970, Ray Batman began working as a coordinator for a new community ministry movement, called Disciples on Volunteer Enlistment, or DOVE. His office was the furnace room of First Christian Church on North Church Street. The budget for that first year of Disciples on Volunteer Enlistment is set at $6,380.  45 years later, its budget is over $2 million.


Working in social services is not for the faint-of-heart. Nor is it probably the best move to feather your retirement nest or increase your pay. Dove, Inc. has been blessed over the years by devotion of its staff regardless of their compensation, which is always barely adequate for the important work done by so few willing people. 


This past month at Dove staff meeting, two individuals were recognized for their extraordinary years of service. Teri Ducy began as a legal advocate for the domestic violence program in 1990, just one year after Back to the Future II was released. We recognize tonight again 25 years of devoted service on the behalf of others.


We also recognize Patty Plato, who began her years of service in 1985, the year Back to the Future was released. Thank you Patty for your 30 years of devoted service on the behalf of others.


We also want to say thank you to you and your representative congregations for your many years of faithful volunteers, financial contributions, and assistance provided to benefit Dove and its programs. You are partners in an extraordinary way; you meet the unmet needs of our surrounding community. Our work is made easier by many hands helping. Our sixty religious member organizations often make the impossible possible within our needy community.

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