The Roy Williams Foundation Meeting Minutes, Meeting 37

Date of Meeting: Meeting 37 6/26/2022 1300 MST
 

Roll Call:

 

Chairman: Alhaji Bangura- Present

Vice-Chairman: Dave Newton- Present

Managing Director: Ashley Ottmer- Present

​Board Members/Directors:

Zach Krause- Present

Dexter Pitts- Absent/Riot Detail (Roe vs Wade Repeal)

Travis Garvin- Present

 

​Secretary/Treasurer:

Bret Collyer- Present

Assistant Secretary:

Amber Collyer Holmes- Present 

 

Alternate Director:

Kit Steimle- Absent/Traveling

 

Call to Order:
 

Additions, deletions or changes to the agenda?:
Collyer Suggested discussing needed changes to the website at end of the meeting.

 

Adoption of Meeting Minutes, Meeting #36: 6/5/2022:
Director Garvin made a motion to approve, seconded by Bangura. Unanimous vote to adopt

 

Old and continuing Business:
1) Determine date for in-person meeting, with consideration for those members that have more complex
careers and children:
Brief Discussion led to a Tentative timeframe of the first weekend in November, with a
meeting date for the evening of Friday, November 4th, with other informal (fun) activities planned for the 5th
and 6th.

 

New Business:
1) Consider Markus Hugle for Alternate Director Position: Secretary Collyer informed the board that Mr.
Hugle is a contractor and is recovering from an injury he suffered the other day, but offered an apology for his
absence.

 

2) Grants in application process, Bangura: Chairman Bangura began the discussion by stating that “Wal-
Mart's grant process is different, but he has submitted all of the preliminary information they asked for.
Next, their ‘clearinghouse’ will clear us to actually apply for the grant. These grants are very specific and

somebody needs to be the point of contact for each grant we apply for. I will continue to apply as the point of
contact for now, but for us to be effective, this will eventually have to morph into a ‘grant team’ or
committee. But we need everybody to use their spare time on their phones or computers to identify grant
opportunities that we can apply for and refer them to me (Bangura). This is a test case for us and we will
probably learn a lot from it. Are there any questions? There were none. He continued; Ashley (Director
Ottmer) can track and report on the people she helps with the First Responder Friday Program. But I will need
access to our email and they (granting agencies) will need to vet us. Collyer asked Bangura if has been able to
access our email, he replied, ‘no, not yet'.
Note: During the meeting Assistant Secretary Holmes texted and
emailed him the necessary information (again) to access the email and he found more information in his spam
folder.
Bangura then challenged members again to spend time searching for grant opportunities instead of
‘just scrolling on the internet’. Director Garvin spoke about several national grants he has been looking into as
part of his ongoing college capstone project, for which he will graduate from in August. He spoke of the need
to have quick access to information to answer general questions about the RWF. Secretary Collyer reminded
all members that many answers can be found in the packets and founding documents that he physically
mailed all members last year. The discussion then trended towards the need for a “Quick access, cheat sheet
type document” to access information. Collyer noted that the IRS Application packet was ‘about 60 pages’
with a lot of information and its hard to discern what each granting agency will be looking for. He added that
‘all of us are learning and we will figure it out together’, but that he would try to email everybody the founding
documents so they could store it on their hard-drive.

 

3) 8th annual Heroes Banquet, Saturday, July 16th at the Historic Abbey event center in Canon City. A fundraiser
for “Freedom Service Dogs of America” a nonprofit organization. Freedomservicedogs.org Ottmer will attend
to represent RWF, suggested donation Discussion:
Director Ottmer relayed that she was going to represent
the RWF and was looking forward to the Networking Opportunity, adding that it looks like they do an amazing
job and really help a lot of people. Secretary Collyer asked members about a reasonable dollar amount they
would feel comfortable with donating to the cause. Chairman Bangura led the discussion and amounts ranging
from $150-$500 dollars were considered. During the discussion a few members explored the website for the
organization and were excited about their cause. A consensus of $500 seemed to be reached and Collyer
noted that we would likely have another meeting prior to the event where a final amount could be decided.

 

Critical Path/Structural Discussion for the RWF:
1) Fundraising/Events and Grants: As discussed above

 

2) Structural Evolution. Bangura: Chairman Bangura began the discussion by acknowledging that creating
a “Managing Director” position for Ottmer was a big structural change and a good first step. He
continued: “Next we need to work on building out a team to help and work under Ashley without
overwhelming her. These will need to be paid positions and that will depend on fundraising and grant
(acquisition). We can always get new Directors, 50 or 100 of them, but that won’t pay the bills or
advance our mission. We need to set up infrastructure for Fundraising, Grant writing, and especially
outreach. Right now, we don’t have a budget, we have an amount’’. The discussion continued with all
agreeing with Bangura. Ottmer noted that she is not charging for her First Responder Friday program
and is taking that approach out of her love for the people/mission, but that as we grow and eventually
become nationwide, all providers that we work with will need to be paid, either a flat-rate or on an
hourly basis, but that we would have to vet them first. There was a lot of discussion about the

interstate recognition of her credentials that will eventually (once in effect) will allow her to help
people in other states. Collyer added that what she is learning right now through her efforts will go a
long way toward refining our mission and approach. The conversation ended by all members
expressing gratitude to Ottmer for her help, sacrifice, and leadership.

 

3) Advertising/Outreach. Is our Social Media Effective? (Holmes): Assistant Secretary Holmes updated the
group about the social media platforms she operates for the RWF. She stated that she had changed
Instagram from a personal to a business account which now enables her to better track how many
people each post reaches. She stated that on average, each post reaches about 100 people, sometimes
they are ‘shared’, and other times it happens ‘organically’ which means they are following us or it drops
into their feed as a common interest. Chairman Bangura asked her “What platforms are you currently
managing for us; what do we have?” Holmes replied “Facebook and Instagram”, Bangura thanked her
and suggested that we get a Twitter account so we can track “Hits” and suggested that we needed to
generate an archive of news stories, especially locally (Salida, Colorado). All members expressed
Gratitude for Holmes’ efforts.

 

4) First Responder Friday’s and Managing Director Update (Ottmer): Managing Director Ottmer updated
the Board about her “First Responder Friday Program” by stating that she ‘Has good news, through
Veterans outreach and word of mouth, she is now helping three combat veterans.’ She is still doing her
best to work with local First Responder Organizations by ‘pestering’ the Chiefs at least once per month,
to let them know that she is ‘not going away’. She is chipping away at the culture and policies of silence
and stigma against addressing Mental Health Care. A general discussion followed regarding the desire
to change policies nationwide regarding active-duty Military and FRO’s consequence-free access to
Mental Health Services with Ottmer noting, that ‘this is especially true in rural areas where there is a
lack of Mental Health resources in general, which is even more lacking for Veterans and FROs.’
Secretary Collyer spoke to the desire of the RWF to eventually change national policy on these matters,
noting that once we are ‘at the point where we have plenty of money and our structure is sound, we
will have to change our filing with the IRS to allow us to lobby congressional lawmakers to change
these destructive and counter-productive policies, by hiring professional lobbyists’. Ottmer announced
that she recently spoke with a clinician representative from a local Mental Health care service who was
unaware of the service Ottmer was providing free of charge with the FRF program. Ottmer stated that
the representative indicated that her organization did not currently have anyone on staff that
specialized in PTSD trauma of the type frequently encountered by Veterans and FRO’s and would refer
any clients from this category to Ottmer. Which, Ottmer noted could ‘backfire’ and overwhelm her, but
she does have a couple of qualified colleagues willing to back her up and help with some overflow
clients.

 

5) Task assignments/Action Items and Follow Through:
All members were again encouraged to research grants and fundraising opportunities

 

Financial Update:
Checking Account Balance       $2,498.18
Savings Account Balance:        + 4,587.92
Monetary Assets:                         $7,086.10

 

Paid Credit Card Balance of $39.00
Deposits: $400.00 -$300.00 Angel of Shavano VFW and Dee and Dana Nachtrieb $100.00 Amazon Smile $9.83

 

Anything Else/General Discussion:
Secretary Collyer informed members that he would be talking to his son (Cody) about updating the website
and in addition to ‘general updates, such as changing Ottmer to a “Managing Director”, what other changes
would they like to see? Ottmer suggested removing the fliers, but prominently placing the Academic
Scholarships announcements and First Responder Friday’s program should be prominent. She then spoke
about her desire to find a way to post the schedule for the FRF program so potential clients could view her
schedule to merge into a timeframe. Secretary Collyer suggested that Cody might be able to place a link to her
website on our (RWF) website, she said, that would be ‘perfect’. Assistant Secretary Holmes suggested the
addition of a “Current events” button to showcase upcoming events such as the upcoming
Freedomservicedogs.org fundraising event.
Note: After the meeting, Holmes revealed to the members (via
texts) new versions of the RWF logo that she has been working on. If a consensus is reached as to which new
logo we will adopt, it can be added to the website during this update effort. Also, Secretary Collyer would like
to see our “Form 990-N” tax filing for the past few years.

 

Next Meeting:
July 10th

 

Meeting Adjourned:
1416