Monday, June 23, 2008

Update on Strategic Planning


The regularly schedule meeting of APVA Preservation Virginia’s Trustees was held in Richmond on 18 June 2008.

The meeting focused on continuing the Strategic Planning Process with the goals of approving the new vision statement, the revised mission statement, and the goals for the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan. In addition, the Board committees and task forces reported on the progress in each of their areas to determine objectives to meet the draft goals.

President John Guy summarized the planning since February. He asked Board Members Eric Thorpe and Gennie Keller, and Executive Director and Secretary Elizabeth Kostelny to report on different aspects of the planning process and the drafting of the vision, mission, and goals.

Vision, Mission, and Goal Statements Approved.
The Board approved the preamble, vision, mission, and goal statements below. The preamble provides context for the vision and mission statements and concisely describes the heritage, statewide activities, and influence of APVA Preservation Virginia. We will use it on our website and other communication venues.

APVA Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural, and historic heritage, thereby ensuring that historic places are an integral part of the lives of present and future generations. Our mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia, benefiting both the Commonwealth and the nation. APVA Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences. Results are achieved by saving, managing, and protecting historic places and by developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies. We partner at the local, state, and national levels with individuals and organizations.

Vision Statement.
We envision a Virginia recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for preserving and promoting its distinctive historic structures, landscapes, collections, communities and archaeological sites—guided by the expert leadership, stewardship and advocacy of APVA Preservation Virginia.

Mission Statement.
The mission of APVA Preservation Virginia is to preserve, promote, and serve as an advocate for the state’s irreplaceable historic places, thereby providing cultural, economic, and educational benefits to everyone.

--Historic places are preserved in perpetuity―Partner to Preserve Historic Places.
--Through a strategic communication plan and educational and public programs, a strong preservation ethic will be developed that supports the stewardship of historic places—Promote Places and Programs.
--The organization is capable and financially sustainable in effectively fulfilling its mission. Attract Supporters and Members and Organize for Future Success.

Executive Director.
Executive Director Elizabeth Kostelny announced the close on the sale of Gay Mont in Caroline County. She stated that the gift by Mr. and Mrs. Patton in the 1970s was intended to help support the long-term preservation of the property and to benefit the organization. The new owners of Gay Mont are bound by easements on the property and will reconstruct some of the structural elements not reconstructed by the Pattons. In addition, the purchasers are keeping the majority of the furnishings with the house, as was the Pattons’ desire. The funds from the sale of the house will be invested in the long-term reserves. The long-term cash reserves help to produce interest income that offsets the operational expenses. The funds from the sale of the collection will be restricted for the reimbursement of acquisitions to and conservation of the collection. She recognized the Pattons for their generosity and vision.

Chair Anne Cross reported that the Committee was renewing its efforts to identify Board candidates to help support the needs of APVA, including candidates with the capacity to give or influence gifts at a high level. She also reported succession leadership plans had been implemented by naming vice chairs to all Board committees.

Chair Bob Sedivy presented a chart that analyzed the allocation of revenue and expenses to the major operation components of programming—public policy, membership, properties without Historic Jamestowne, Historic Jamestowne, and the Revolving Fund. The chart illustrates how in each area of the organization incurs a deficit. Committees and staff will use the analysis in planning to see where additional revenues can be raised, expenses can be trimmed, and activities discontinued. It was acknowledged that there would always be a tension between worthwhile programs we must subsidize and those that can carry them. This exercise is a way to create a proactive strategy going forward to close the gap between revenues and expenses.

Organizational Task Force.
Chair Barry Kerkam reported on the President’s Council meeting that took place on 16 May. Thirteen branches attended and discussed issues related to the draft criteria for branch participation. The Branches representatives have been asked to comment by 15 July. The Task Force will review those comments and present a final proposal for the structure, and criteria related to Branches and Partners to the Board at the 17 September meeting.

Historic Jamestowne Task Force and Historic Jamestowne Archaeology.
Chair Carter Hudgins reported on the first meeting of this group and the consideration of a draft mission statement for Historic Jamestowne. The group is also looking at the long-term strategies needed to plan for and sustain the continued research, expanded public programs, marketing, and promotion of the site. Dr. William Kelso reported on the field school and recent finds.

Preservation Services.
Chair Katty Mears reported on the Committee’s work to draft criteria by which to evaluate and rank the properties. The Board approved the criteria and asked that the ranking process begin. The criteria will be used to evaluate the best long-term stewards of the properties. It also will be used to evaluate the consideration of any properties in the future. Mrs. Mears presented benchmarks that will be used to evaluate all APVA programs for their effectiveness in supporting the mission, returning investment to the organization, and achieving our goals. Two rugs were deaccessioned from the Mary Washington Branch properties.

Revolving Fund.
Manager Sarah Cooleen updated the Trustees on the status of properties in the Fund and on strategic planning goals of finding dedicated funding for the operations of the Fund, as well as ways to expand the marketing of the program and properties within it.

Interim Director of Development Mary Ellen Stumpf shared the objectives of the development effort to review recommended models for the staffing structure of the department, test a satellite office in the Williamsburg area, and expand the Development Committee. She also noted the necessity to prioritize short- and long-term needs, determine endowment goals, and review the Historic Jamestowne Campaign Phase Two and Three priorities. In membership, set a goal to increase membership to 6,400 units by 2014—effectively doubling the membership role; pilot acquisition stations at Historic Jamestowne and Old Cape Henry Lighthouse; coordinate with the National Trust on appeal to Virginia members; and to increase and sustain a renewal rate from 67% to 75%.

Branding Initiative.
Marketing and Public Relations Director Tina Calhoun reported on the branding initiative to be launched this year. The first step will be an on-line survey to test organizational name and its effectiveness in conveying our mission. The survey also will clarify existing logos for the APVA, Historic Jamestowne, and Jamestown Rediscovery. The results will be used to create corporate identity guidelines, design new materials and develop statewide templates for various printed pieces. We will partner with the VCU Design School. The partnership has the following advantages: 1) supports the concept of partnerships that is listed as part of APVA’s vision and goals and helps forge a new relationship with VCU; 2) offers an opportunity to involve younger people in our work and perhaps introduce the concept of historic preservation to college age students; 3) offers the opportunity to leverage the partnership in future media opportunities; and 4) the APVA's first logo of three ships was designed by VCU students and used by APVA for almost thirty years, an interesting angle to pitch to the media. The results will be a corporate identity package that will be used by all programs, properties, services and branches.

Regional Trustee Reports.
Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Mears, and Dr. Wills reported on the Branches in their region. Mrs. Kenneweg was not present.

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