VNC Minutes – August 2015

VNC Minutes August 8, 2015

The VNC met in the CNM lunchroom.

Attendees: Tavio del Rio, Becky Wieder, Dave Boyer, Kathy Wellbrock, Mark McFann, Ann Chaitin, Ken Glaze, Randal Rand, Cat Chiu Phillips, and Pamela Zuckerman

Tavio called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

The minutes from the July 11, 2015 meeting were approved. Please note corrected date of Whipstaff meeting under Committee Reports below.

Old Business
  • VIP Five Year Plan: Tavio reported he has spoken with Eileen and will be adding a few more things to the draft plan.
  • Report on Interns: In addition to the interns named at the last meeting (Alex Warneke, Austin Parker, Melonie Brown, Brian Hong, Adam Taylor, Pauline Geisler, Becky Wieder, Dan Wieder, Drew Smith and Lorraine Kelley), Tavio added Blake McCormick and Maria Yakovleva. Blake recently finished his internship and is now volunteering, and Adam has been hired as a regular employee of the park. Tavio explained that interns come and go at different times, so there is not a static comprehensive list. Tavio also said there will be some new interns coming on board in October.
  • Volunteer Mentoring: Because VIPs are the strongest supporters of the Park Service, Tavio wants to have a better infrastructure for the care and ongoing training of volunteers. To that end, the group discussed having a lead volunteer(s) on site each day to assist other volunteers. Tavio also mentioned the possibility of walk-in volunteers (people who can help on a specific day but are not ongoing volunteers. They would still sign a waiver). It was unanimously agreed that we need dedicated space for our volunteers. The group discussed possible options and decided that a letter should be crafted that can be signed by VIPs and others detailing the need for dedicated space. Becky agreed to draft a letter, and Randal agreed to look at online options for collecting signatures.
  • There will be a volunteer recruitment event on August 22, 2015 at 6 p.m.
  • There will be a volunteer orientation/training on September 12, 2015 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The morning will be devoted to general information, while the afternoon will include an introduction to the tidepools.
  • Artist-In-Residence Cat Chiu Phillips is using recycled materials to create art. Cat enjoys community collaboration; she has an ongoing project at Horton Plaza, and she’s working with the schools and the city of Pasadena to make a float that will be in the viewing area at the Rose Parade. She turns plastic bags into plarn, and Tavio has gotten permission for her to use pieces from old electronics to create works of art.
  • Artist-In-Residence Ann Chaitin has been an art teacher at La Jolla Country Day School for many years. She’s retiring soon and is looking forward to her time at CNM. Ann works with mixed media and sometimes uses found objects. There was discussion about the possibility of doing something with pages from discarded books.
  • Tavio is meeting with CNMF Chair Raymond Simas about selling AIR creations in the bookstore.
  • Mark McFann was born and raised in San Diego and volunteers as an ambassador at the San Diego Zoo. He is helping with the Trails and Rails program (see report below). He is also an EMT trainer and he’s willing to do CPR training for VIPs.
  • Ken Glaze is currently doing most of the planning for the Military History group (see report below).
Committee Reports:

Whipstaff (Gail, Mike): Tavio reported the group will be meeting on August 19, 2015, not August 25 as reported at the July meeting.

Trails and Rails (Mark, Tavio): Mark and Tavio reported:

  • Thirteen people have been trained so far (more are needed; contact Tavio if interested).
  • Two new iPads are available for use in the program.
  • Blake put together a manual for the program.
  • Will check to see if the program is listed on the park’s website and on the VIP Voice.
  • Right now the route is from San Diego to Los Angeles and back (same day). They are working on a route from San Diego to San Luis Obispo (with a layover).
  • Possible topics include whales, kelp beds, Channel Islands, Catalina, etc.

Volgistics (Gail): Tavio reported the list of volunteers has been culled, but the park will still be upgrading its software to accommodate the increasing numbers of volunteers. Tavio also mentioned creating organizational charts for special events to ensure that VIPs are being used effectively and in keeping with their roles as CNM volunteers. Tavio will send an email to VIPs asking them to review their job assignments in Volgistics and to let him know of any assignments they’d like removed or added to their lists.

Tidepool Committee (Bonnie; Dan, Becky, Pauline): Becky reported:

  • The new magnetic sign is being used at the entrance to the Tidepool Trail. It is only put out when the education table is open.
  • Items are being ordered for use in the TPERP program.

Website (Dan): Becky reported:

  • There have been some ongoing discussions about a possible website for volunteers. But the consensus is that we should try to use the VIP Voice and Volgistics as much as we can rather than trying to add another layer of information.

E-Binder Reference Manual (Dan W., Dan Z., Beth, Becky): No report.

Military History: (Ken Glaze): Ken reported:

  • One of the MH VIPs is attending the Spirit of ’45 event.
  • The group is doing some internal fundraising, including selling copies of Ken’s book, The Illustrated Fort Rosecrans (available on demand; Randal purchased one for the CNM library). Ken also has a friend who is making molds of various things (oozlefinches, horses) to display in the bunker (and possibly sell at some point).
  • The group doesn’t yet have funds to purchase a pop-up searchlight for the park (costs range from $1,500 to $4,000).
  • Tavio is researching acquiring a Howitzer for the park.

Special Events: See latest postings in VIP Voice (

Centennial: No Report

Community Outreach (Bernie): No Report

Internships (Tavio, Keith): See Old Business above

4Rs (Tavio): Tavio is going to check with Dan Z. about possible triggers in Volgistics to alert staff when volunteers reach certain milestones at the park.

VIP Voice/Blog (Dan Z): All VIPs need to go to the site ( and enter their email on the right side menu and then select ‘follow’ to stay up-to-date on new posts. For step-by-step instructions on how to use the VIPVoice, see the minutes from the July 11, 2015 VNC meeting.

CNMC (Randal): Randal reported:

  • Over 1,300 people attended the July 4th event. Next year the number of cars will be limited to the number of parking spaces available in the main lots.
  • There will be a Full Moon Walk on August 29.
  • The group is also working on: A lunar eclipse event (with CNMF) on Sept. 27; a Tower to Tower event (in cooperation with the Museum of Man); a Holiday Lights event in December; and a Meet the Interns event on Oct. 17.

CNMF (Mike): Becky reported:

  • The Foundation is giving Centennial pins to all volunteers. Please see Eileen or Tavio if you have not yet received your pin.
  • The Sunset 5K Event was lots of fun. The results and photos are posted on the CNMF website.
Review Action Items
  • Becky will create a draft letter requesting a dedicated space for volunteers.
  • Randal will research websites for signing letters/petitions.
  • Tavio will check with both Dans about putting the Trails and Rails program on the park website and the VIP Voice.
  • Tavio will send an email to VIPs asking them to check their job assignments in Volgistics and let him know if there are assignments they’d like removed from (or added to) their lists.
  • Tavio will check with Dan Z. about possible triggers in Volgistics to alert staff when volunteers reach certain milestones of service.
Review Open Action Items
  • Becky and Setara are still working on the Volunteer Training Manual. Tavio, Emily, Debbie and Keith are to provide updates to VIP job descriptions.
  • All VIPs need to log FY 2015 hours in Volgistics.
  • All volunteers should sign up for VIP Voice.

Next Meeting: September 12, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the CNM lunchroom

Adjournment: 12 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Becky Wieder

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