January 10, 2022
Greetings WESTAF trustees and colleagues:
So glad to be in touch with our first biweekly of the year. Also, new in 2022, we are adding our WESTAF equity and inclusion committee (EIC) members-at-large in this twice a month missive on all the news, activities and happenings from all corners of the WESTAF-iverse. We are thrilled that Cynthia Chen and Rene Asanga have joined the WESTAF community! You can learn more about them below. So glad to have you, Cynthia and Rene! There is a lot of important information to follow, including an update on our board meetings planning, huge news about our successful bid to conduct a creative economy strategic plan for Washington state, news about our sophomore South Arts ELC outing coming right up, details on our historic Pacific Jurisdictions partnerships, and more encouraging news on the general recovery of CaFE and ZAPP, among lots of other key developments.
There is loads to catch up on, so let’s jump right in:
NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO WESTAF STAFF (CG)
(This message went to all-staff on January 4, 2022 and is also included here for trustees and committees as a bit of an organizational “mood check.”)
In some of my conversations so far, I know that the holiday season was a bit of a mixed bag for some — great to have a break and be with loved ones, but the latest COVID variant and new infections among family and friends have caused stress and anxiety, and it just keeps dragging on. For me, hopefulness and optimism can only get me so far. Sometimes, sadness, frustration and uncertainty get the better of me. But, I’m trying. Added to this, the Denver area experienced some horrific trauma during the holidays. First, a senseless shooting in Denver and Lakewood on December 28 that left six people dead and two wounded. Second, the fast-moving Marshall Fire in Louisville and Superior just before the new year that destroyed nearly a thousand homes and businesses, with two people still missing.
I hope that your friends and family have been spared from being directly affected by these events. But, even being indirectly affected can be tough and traumatic. So, I want to make space for you to process all of this. At WESTAF, we believe that your mental health is as important as your physical health, so listen to yourself. If you are having a tough time through any of this, it’s ok to take a break and take care of yourself. Your supervisor knows this and will understand.
Yesterday, I received emails from Michael Orlove from the National Endowment for the Arts, and Eddie Torres from Grantmakers In the Arts (GIA), offering links and resources and offers of help for Colorado. I was heartened by how our sector rallied, knowing that this was a tough time for us. In particular, I wanted to share with you what Eddie said about the meaning of our work in the face of tragedy: “GIA believes that arts and culture is uniquely capable of humanizing issues, such as climate change, among others. We believe that no effort to prevent or respond to any disaster or emergency is complete but must be executed in concert with other strategies. We cannot respond to disasters without the embrace of the full humanity of all peoples, including valuing their cultural approaches to one another and to the environment. GIA believes that the valuing of our full humanity is the power of arts and culture.”
To me, this is an important reminder that the work each of you do every day is a critical part of a holistic, determined journey towards healing, hope, and human connectedness. You have my admiration and gratitude for showing up and “valuing our full humanity.”
BOARD MEETING PLANNING (CGREEN)
Green has assembled two planning committees for the upcoming February (HI) and May (WA) board meetings. The February planning committee met for the third time on January 3, where Kwinana gave the group presentation of the equity gathering, which will occur before the board starts their committee meetings. The committee agreed with Kwinana’s recommendation to hire a program manager, an LC alumni in Hawai’i, to organize and host the gathering. Later in the week, Green and Horn met with the team from Under My Umbrella to start planning logistics and catering for the board of trustees dinner at Hawai’i State Art Museum. Green and the MarComm team collaborated in sending out multiple communications about the board meeting over the last couple of weeks. The May planning committee met for the first time before the holidays. The group determined that the theme for the May BOT meeting and ED forum would be the creative economy. They also selected general meeting locations in the greater Seattle area and began to brainstorm potential forum facilitators and potential ways for the trustees and EDs to intersect in meaningful ways. Green and Holland met on January 4 to start planning the September in-person executive committee meeting and WAAN gathering. The location of this meeting and gathering has yet to be determined. However, the two determined four topics of interest: support for rural communities, support for indigenous communities, cultural stewardship, and grassroots organization for the arts. All of these topics help set the stage for the trustees, ALAS, and WAAN to convene together in Washington D.C. in February 2023. Additionally, they are actively in the process of forming a planning committee.
WESTAF PLANS EQUITY GATHERING LED BY HAWAI’I-BASED EMERGING LEADERS OF COLOR ALUMNI (AK)
In conjunction with the Equity and Inclusion Committee meetings which will proceed the Board of Trustees meetings in Hawai’i, the Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team is designing an Equity Gathering in partnership with members of the Hawai’i-based ELC Alumni and staff of the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture & the Arts (SFCA). The gathering will bring together invited stakeholders from Hawai’i, the Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Equity Cohort and the Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team for a robust conversation on the current and future state of race and equity issues in Hawai’i. The sessions will be grounded in community building and seek to build a broad agenda and next steps driven by those who are closest to them. WESTAF equity structures will be there to participate, learn and reflect. The sessions will take place from February 22-23.
CYNTHIA CHEN JOINS WESTAF AS MANAGER OF PUBLIC POLICY AND ADVOCACY AND HAS BEEN INVITED TO JOIN THE CULTURAL ADVOCACY GROUP AND OTHER FEDERAL CULTURAL POLICY WORKING GROUPS (CC)
Cynthia Chen joined WESTAF on January 3 as WESTAF’s inaugural Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy. Cynthia’s portfolio includes: managing of State Advocacy Funds; managing WESTAF’s artist visa consultation letter service; serving as a Policy Researcher on the State of Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan project; serving on the project team for the Bay Area Arts Advocacy and Policy Seminar funded by the Hewlett Foundation; representing WESTAF on federal arts policy working groups; and engaging state arts agency and state arts advocacy groups on the development and implementation of WESTAF engagement strategies and programming in their states. Cynthia has been invited to join three federal arts policy coalitions, the Cultural Advocacy Group, the Performing Arts Visa Working Group, and the Arts Education Working Group per recommendation by David. Cynthia will attend her first CAG meeting on January 12.
RENE ASANGA JOINS WESTAF AS DEVOPS SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR (PN)
We are also happy to announce another new member of our team! Rene Asanga will be joining WESTAF as a DevOps System Administrator with 7+ years of experience in Linux administration across a wide range of industries in IT, health, software development, and communication. In his previous roles, he moved companies from on-premise to the cloud and helped maintain, monitor, and upgrade infrastructures. As a certified AWS solutions architect and SysOps administrator, Rene will automate and streamline our development processes, expand our internal knowledge and strengthen our security. We are off to a great start in Q2 and look forward to working within this new team dynamic, exploring the value of a centralized data lake, and implementing Single Sign-On (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) on critical services.
WESTAF SELECTED AS THE APPARENT SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR FOR THE STATE OF WASHINGTON CREATIVE ECONOMY STRATEGIC PLAN AND IS IN CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (DH/CV)
WESTAF has been selected as the Apparent Successful Contractor for the State of Washington Creative Economy Strategic Plan project, a legislatively supported two year initiative that will create a sector development plan for the creative economy of the state of Washington. Christina Villa and David met with the Washington Office of Economic Development & Competitiveness to discuss contract finalization on Friday, January 7. After the contract, which has a financial value of roughly $500,000, has been finalized, agreements with subcontractors, Cultural Planning Group, Third Way Creative, and Crazy Horse Consulting will be finalized.
BAY AREA ARTS ADVOCACY AND POLICY SEMINAR PROGRAM PLANNING UNDERWAY AND MOU SIGNED WITH CALIFORNIANS FOR THE ARTS (DH/MH/CC)
Over the last three weeks, David has met with the Hewlett Foundation, Californians for the Arts, and WESTAF Board Chair Tamara Alvarado to begin planning for the Bay Area Arts Advocacy and Policy Seminar. Cynthia, Moana, and David are currently building out a list of prospective participants and partner/host organizations in the Bay Area. Californians for the Arts has signed an MOU with WESTAF that sets the terms of our engagement on the project, and they will announce this partnership in upcoming Regional Conversations being programmed in the Bay Area.
WESTAF COLLABORATES WITH COLORADO BUSINESS COMMITTEE FOR THE ARTS IN SUPPORTING STATE REPRESENTATIVE LESLIE HEROD TO SUBMIT A $50 MILLION REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING OF THE COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION GRANT PROGRAM (DH)
After meeting jointly with Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod, Meredith Badler, deputy director, CBCA, Megan Wagner, lobbyist, BBMK, and David collaborated on drafting an Economic Recovery and Relief Task Force (ERRTF) policy submission requesting $50 million in additional investment for the Community Revitalization Grant Program that Representative Herod has submitted. The additional funds would expand this successful initiative led by Colorado Creative Industries that has already awarded $59 million in funding to 30 projects across the state, including the FreshLo Hub in Montbello. Representative Herod, the first LGBTQ African American in the General Assembly, is the recipient of the 2021 Public Leadership in the Arts Award and the Chair of the House Finance Committee in the Colorado General Assembly.
WESTAF DEPUTY DIRECTOR TO PRESENT AT THE WASHINGTON CULTURAL CONGRESS (DH)
David will present on regional and national arts advocacy trends at the Washington Cultural Congress, organized by WAAN member Inspire Washington, on Tuesday, January 11.
WESTAF MEETS WITH ARIZONA COMMISSION ON THE ARTS TO DISCUSS MESSAGING FOR AGENCY REAUTHORIZATION (DH/MH)
Moana Palelei HoChing and David met with Alex Nelson, interim executive director, and Stephen Wilcox, director of communications of the Arizona Commission on the Arts on December 21, 2021 to discuss strategies for preparing for an upcoming legislative hearing on reauthorization.
NASAA AND WESTAF IN DISCUSSIONS ON PROGRAMMING PARTNERSHIP FOR FY22 (DH)
David met with Kelly Barsdate, Chief Program and Planning Officer at the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies to discuss collaborating on programming in FY22. Tentatively, we will be working together to develop content for the WESTAF Executive Director Forum in May and the NASAA Assembly in September, and consider ways of aligning our services for state arts agencies in order to enhance support to the Western states,
CREATIVE STATES COALITION UNVEILS AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR 2022 (DH)
Ernesto Balderas, Claire Rice, and David, as the newly elected Co-Chairs of the Creative States Coalition, have been busily building infrastructure and a work plan for this national arts advocacy coalition focused on local and state-level policy. The work plan for this quarter includes:
- Establishing the Fiscal Sponsor for the CSC – early January
Finalizing and codifying the Co-Chair and expanded leadership structure.
- Scheduling monthly Federal Advocacy Update calls with accompanying topics of interest.
- Further delineating what our relationship is with various local, regional, and national advocacy organizations.
- Publicly unveiling the CSC across news outlets, website, and social media channels.
- Providing a 2022 Roadmap for CSC efforts and programs.
- Setting up CSC committees and beginning work.
- Deliberating on and establishing what a new economic impact study could and should look like.
- Setting up CSC’s Presentation/Event at NASAA Assembly in September.
WESTAF ESTABLISHES AN AD HOC COMMITTEE ON EQUITABLE GRANTMAKING (AK)
The Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team is working with a group of Trustees to engage them in high-level discussions to receive input on our strategy for our growing grantmaking portfolio and to discuss trends they are seeing in their states and the field overall when it comes to equitable grant making, to help inform WESTAF’s processes. After two brainstorming sessions that took place in November and December 2021, respectively, the SRI team will reach out to the committee again for input on particular work and design around new and/or re-imagined grant programs. Subsequent meetings will take place as needed between February and September.
WESTAF AND SOUTH ARTS FINALIZE PREPARATION FOR THE SECOND SOUTHERN EMERGING LEADERS OF COLOR PROGRAM (AK/JEC)
WESTAF, in partnership with South Arts, is gearing up for the implementation of the second ELC cohort with the South region. Visiting faculty members Salvador Acevedo, Margie Reese and Madalena Salazar, along with WESTAF staff Jade Elyssa Cariaga, David Holland, Anika Kwinana and Ashanti McGee, as well as South Arts staff Ethan Messere and Joy Young has been meeting to finalize the revised core curriculum, plan new aspects of the sessions and work through logistics. The program is well on track to be executed by the scheduled dates of January 31 – February 2, and February 4.
WESTAF INVITED TO NASAA PEOPLE OF COLOR AFFINITY GROUP LEADERSHIP TEAM MEETING (JEC)
WESTAF’s Jade Elyssa Cariaga will participate in the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) leadership meeting in preparation for the 2022 People of Color Affinity Group (PoCAG) season of activities. Joining with arts leaders from NASAA and across the nation, the group will convene virtually on January 12. The PoCAG, launched and is supported by NASAA, is a NASAA members-led group open to all state and regional arts agency staff and council members who identify as persons of color. Its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is articulated within its policy statement, which affirms the importance of ongoing reflection, dialogue and learning to accomplish this work authentically and alongside state arts agencies.
WESTAF MEETS WITH CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL’S ACCESS AND EQUITY STAFF (AM/JEC)
As a follow-on from joint leadership meetings between the California Arts Council and the Social Responsibility and Inclusion Team, members of the SRI team met with access and equity-focused staff members from the California Arts Council. Conversations between these program team members will continue on a monthly basis to explore ways to mutually support the access and equity work. This work will be modeled in other states in the region over time.
WESTAF GENERAL STAFF PARTICIPATE IN NASAA ANTI-BIAS TRAINING SERIES (AM/JEC)
In the second phase of NASAA’s series of anti-bias training sessions for state arts agencies (SAA) and regional arts organizations (RAO), SRI managers participated in the general staff workshops. Recognizing the breadth of populations with whom state arts agencies regularly interact, Team Dynamics, a national strategy firm based in Minnesota, took an intentional approach that ensured that a robust diversity of lived experience, expertise and vantage points informed the program.
WESTAF PREPARES FOR THE FUTURE OF TOURWEST (AK/AM)
In preparation for a re-imagining of TourWest to ensure the program is deeply impactful across the region, WESTAF will launch a past-grantee survey, stakeholder focus groups and conversations with the Endowment. As the TourWest 2022 cycle approaches, Ashanti McGee, Anika Kwinana, and David Holland are redesigning the current cycle to ensure an accessible application process and have received preliminary approval from the Endowment to run the current cycle as a general operating support program. SRI and the GO Smart Team are reviewing the details of the grant and making changes prior to the launch. Details for the upcoming TourWest cycle and the launch of the past-grantee survey, will take place in late January.
WESTAF PARTICIPATES IN THE LEAD® (LEADERSHIP EXCHANGE IN ARTS AND DISABILITY) CONFERENCE BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS (AK/AM)
In December 2021, the SRI Team attended brainstorming sessions with accessibility leaders in preparation of the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) Conference this August in Raleigh, North Carolina hosted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Conversations were led by Charles G. Baldwin, Access and Inclusion Program Officer at the Mass Cultural Council, and Sarah, Arts Grant Director for the City of Raleigh- Office of the Arts. Discussions included the state of accessibility in arts organizations, potential session topics for new and existing accessibility managers, and developing scholarships for the upcoming conference and beyond. In preparation for the conference, opportunities for funding for both the LEAD conference and mini-grants to fund accessibility initiatives throughout the West will be matched by the Arts Endowment. The SRI Team will continue to partner with DisArt in developing relevant sessions for state arts agency accessibility coordinators. These will be announced at a later date.
WESTAF SET TO EXPAND REACH TO PACIFIC JURISDICTION THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS WITH US TERRITORIES IN OCEANIA (MPH)
In September 2019, WESTAF attended the Regional Arts Representation for Island Territories meeting organized by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). This meeting drummed up enthusiasm to explore and create a way to connect Pacific Island Territories and WESTAF, and WESTAF has engaged with leaders of these territories since. Today, WESTAF is establishing partnerships with Pacific Territories — American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and Guam — to strengthen networks and bring together diverse art organizations and artists across the western region. These efforts have been well received by both our Pacific neighbors and states within the WESTAF region. So far, our engagement of the Pacific Territories has resulted in the following:
An MOU with CNMI Arts Council for the joint-delivery of CARES Relief funding from the National Endowment of the Arts ; Due to the success of the CARES program, the Arts Endowment has awarded WESTAF funds for the delivery of an American Rescue Plan (ARP) with the CNMI Arts Council. The program will launch this quarter
Development of relationships with Guam’s and American Samoa’s arts and cultural leadership to develop MOUs for territory level partnerships and communication
A partnership with the National Pacific American Leadership Institute (NAPALI), which will invest in emerging leaders in the WESTAF region through leadership training in NAPALI’s upcoming summer leadership institute (coming July 14-22)
A new NEA partnership. WESTAF has entered into introductory conversations with the National Endowment for the Arts about WESTAF providing technical assistance on federal partnerships to the Pacific jurisdictions with NEA support. This builds on the success of WESTAF’s partnership with the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands on the delivery of CARES funding. Details and conversations regarding the nature of this partnership are ongoing and updates will be provided at the February 2022 WESTAF Board Meeting.
US REGIONAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS UPDATE (CG)
The USRAOs are meeting for the first time in the New Year today, 1/10. We have some pending items on the agenda, including developing separate MOUs with the Wallace Foundation to embark upon our in-flight, 3-year community orientation project with lower budget BIPOC organizations in our regions. Also pending, our planned national arts equity initiative in collaboration with the Arts Endowment. This project is on hold until Congress moves beyond continuing budget resolutions, and passes a FY2022 budget. The RAOs are also putting out an RFP to redesign the RAO website, and also will be making a final determination on investing in and launching a national Emerging Leaders of Color program following a wonderful presentation about the program from Anika and Salvador, just before the holidays.
GENERAL BUSINESS (CV)
As Lori mentions further down, Christina is working on an RFQ for the expansion and updates to PAA. She hopes to work with Leah in the future to help develop a standard RFP and RFQ template for WESTAF-wide use. We’ve kicked off our Q1 recap meetings in business to discuss our teams’ progress on our FY22 OKRs, which we’ll provide a detailed update for in the forthcoming Q1 Quarterly Business Recap (QBR). Christina worked with the SRI and finance teams to create a workflow using Formstack to securely collect banking information for grantees to receive their awards via ACH/EFT, and this process is now being used. Blair and Natalie developed a new email for the MarComm team to help plan out communication strategies for upcoming releases of new, sellable features.
CaFE is at a 36% renewal rate so far this year, and we processed 165 renewals in Q1, compared to 63 renewals in the prior year. The team is working on adding a Multi-show E-blast pricing option for organizations that have more than one call for entry open at the same time (similar to the ZAPP Promoter e-blast option). The multi-show e-blast will allow for up to 10 listings to be promoted within one email instead of 10 separate email blasts. This will allow us to make more dates available for other interested organizations who want to purchase an e-blast. We discovered six minor bugs in the last month, two of which are affecting the artist-side text boxes when users type quotations or apostrophes in their answers. These are in the queue to fix. The other four bugs are less-critical backend issues where a workaround is available. These will be fixed in the next round as they do not impact use of the service.
CVSuite just finished with the quarterly progress update meeting. The team updated on accomplishments for Q1 and began to start planning Q2 and reported that the work is mostly on track. CVSuite reprioritized some of our December OKR tasks to make time for a collaboration with Cultural Planning Group on an RFP for the new strategic plan for the Washington State Creative Economy. WESTAF won the bid and the CVSuite team will work with David on this project. In other news, CVSuite successfully launched the newest data update smoothly. The team, in collaboration with marketing and communications, are working on material that will explain the 2020 data and generate excitement around potential uses for the data.
GO SMART (JG)
The team has finally been able to pass the program cycles enhancement ticket with a release date of 1/13/21. Chattanooga Tourism is continuing their onboarding training. A new department at the city of Miami Beach (a current client) is hoping to use GO Smart for their new Property Damage grant application. Several clients are busy building in the new year and Jessica has been in close contact with many, assisting with refresher trainings, reviews of their builds, and other assistance.
PUBLIC ART ARCHIVE (LG)
PAA is pleased to announce that we received over 100 applications for the newly created coordinator position. Lori, Christina, and Becca began interviews on January 5 and will continue with interviews through January 14. We are excited about the slate of highly qualified candidates and look forward to announcing the new hire soon. The PAA team, with the direction of Christina, is working on an RFQ for a new technology development firm and plans to distribute this by the end of the month. In the meantime, the internal tech team is working on tasks associated with reports, and Lori is working with the CollectionSpace team to iron out new details for fields to document indigenous lands, time-based media, and maker-supplied identity information. Lori also made additions to Santa Monica’s Art of Recovery program’s growing collection of artworks and will begin work on a Monument Lab exhibition page in conjunction with Mural Arts Philadelphia.
Ken ended Q1 with 11 new sales, putting our lead conversion rate at 46%, which is fantastic! One of the new sales, Art in the Park in Plymouth, MI, was a standard contract (the organization collects 500+ applications), another big win for Ken and the team! Tim has been busy with training for new clients that signed right at the end of the new year and those that are signing early in 2022. We have seen a decrease in those using our in-person jury system, Jury Buddy. Four clients have secured use of this system compared to about 20 in past years for juries happening January to April. With us working remotely, we have had to shift some operational tasks to have someone at the Alliance Center, and we need to work out a few additional details during this process to ensure we are still providing a quality product.
STRATEGIC PLANNING COHORTS (CGREEN)
The cohort leaders met prior to the holidays to discuss goals and strategies going into the new year. The group decided that in order to better engage trustees, each cohort leader would reach out to their trustee advisors and give them an open invitation to attend their cohort meetings at-will; rather than only inviting trustees to meetings for a presentation on a finished product. The goal behind this initiative was to involve the trustee advisors’ perspectives and engagement with their expertise throughout the process. The policy cohort met in late December. Holland shared with the group highlights from the AAP division recap for FY21 and the FY22 game plan so we can all have a better understanding of what’s in store for the department this next year. The cohort continued to work on a regional partner handbook, and in lieu of time constraints, they hope to have an outline ready this quarter that they can begin to share with their trustee advisors and other members of the western states network to get initial feedback. The business, communications, and equity cohorts all have planned meetings later in the month.
The MarComm team has been busy working on Q1 OKR progress reports for all of the technology platforms, queueing up several social media announcements, and finalizing various project plans. We will also soon begin an SEO audit of existing CaFÉ blog posts as we begin to implement new SEO strategies for that program. This week, the team will hold its very first WESTAF website planning meeting with a Collaborative Committee with representatives from every team and department/division in WESTAF.
The team was excited to share a welcome announcement about our new Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy, Cynthia Chen. We were also busy creating and distributing various communications for the upcoming February board meeting and are finalizing the RFP for the rebrand, which will be released via social media and sent directly via email to a list of nearly 20 vendors/agencies we received recommendations for — thank you for sharing your suggestions for vendors for this project!
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION (AH)
Amy is working with Anika on hiring the grants & finance specialist position. This added capacity is needed given the significant growth in the granting work continuing this fiscal year. This position will be a part of the Finance & Admin dept and will manage the complex data for the federal grants as well as for other private grants. In addition, this position will become the knowledge expert regarding federal grant rules. Amy and Becky are working on providing 990 tax form information to our auditing firm. The draft will be compiled in late January. In addition to the cash financials, Amy will also start sharing accrual financials on a monthly basis with the executive committee, the board and the full staff. Thank you for joining us on this learning opportunity! Amy and Christian continue to work with our broker on the investment of long-term funds and corresponding social impact investing screens. Lauren and Amy are working with our finance system consultants to increase automation and reduce manual data entry work. Three new tools have been identified and are being scoped for implementation:
- A report to pull uncashed checks categorized by program.
- An integration to automatically update new bank EFT information for existing clients.
- A tool that will allow cash financials to be pulled automatically vs the current manual system (VERY exciting!).
The old Sherman office has officially been cleaned out and our lease has ended as of December 21, 2021. Much gratitude to Becca Dominguez, who worked many unexpected hours over the holidays to get that space cleared out.
HUMAN RESOURCES (AH, RD)
The grants & finance specialist job description was posted on Wednesday. Becca is working to enroll in payroll taxes in new states as we continue to hire nationally. She is also working with Lori on the PAA Coordinator hiring process. Two new staff members started work this week, and Becca is working with hiring managers regarding the onboarding for both Cynthia Chen and Rene Asanga. The consulting group that presented the anti-bias training for the NASAA and RAO groups this winter, Team Dynamics, has provided a quote to WESTAF for similar training for staff. The Equity Cohort and SRI teams will be involved in this discussion. A brand new WESTAF employee handbook is nearly ready and will be shared with staff in January. Given many changes in CO employment law and the expansion of staff throughout the county, an update is sorely needed!