Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes March 25, 2021

Extension Leadership Team Meeting Minutes
March 25, 2021
Virtual Meeting (8:30 AM – 11:30 AM)

Facilitator: Jon Prichard
Note taker: Dennis Harrington

Please note: Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of some agenda items, these ELT minutes do not represent the full content of each meeting.


Frank Wertheim, York County Educator, joined the ELT virtually and discussed the future of York County staffing and anticipated changes.  He expressed his ongoing dedication to Extension in York County and the needs of the County’s citizens. The ELT appreciated his strategic thoughts and will take his concepts under considerations as things evolve.


The ELT participated in a discussion about current and future staffing needs–taking into account recent and anticipated retirements, resignations, recommendations made by the theme teams at the organizational meeting and other statewide needs. We committed to filling a number of vacant positions and creating new positions to meet current and anticipated needs. More specifics will follow in Dean Carter’s EXTENSION CONNECTIONS updates as details are able to be shared.

UMS Transforms
The Harold Alfond Foundation’s historic investment in Maine and its people (External PDF) includes a $240 million commitment to the University of Maine System to bring transformative change to the state’s largest educational, research, innovation and talent development asset. The grant is both a gift and a challenge that inspires everyone who believes in the transformative power of education to come together and do more. We will proceed with  a commitment to inclusion that makes sure that no one is left behind.

Hannah Carter proposed that an administrator(s) take the lead on coordinating UMS Transforms efforts for Extension, and work with potential academic partners. Lisa Phelps and Jon Prichard agreed to work together in this role.

Call for 2021 Presidential Award Nominations
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2021 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award, the Presidential Public Engagement Achievement Award, the Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award, and the newly created Black Bear Award for Extraordinary Impact. These awards are open to both faculty and staff (see the guidelines for each award). Nomination forms and guidelines are available at:  https://umaine.edu/provost/awards-recognitions/ or by contacting Dianne Avery in the Provost’s Office at 207-581-1595 or diannea@maine.edu. The deadline for nominations is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021.

I want to put forth Extension nominations in the Engagement, Research and Extraordinary Impact categories.  We will discuss people and programs and decide who will lead nomination efforts.

Notes: ELT members will make suggestions to Dean Carter for nominations and formulate a plan to turn in the appropriate forms by next Friday April 2.


SalesForce Implementation Update
The SalesForce Implementation Team (SFIT) met to begin mapping out the implementation process for using SalesForce as Cooperative Extension’s unified CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Dennis Harrington shared information about how we will interface with UMaine System IT assets and staff and plans for the team to meet next week with the SalesForce representative who is assigned to UMaine. The mapping process will begin by creating “use-case scenarios” that describe how SalesForce will be utilized to meet our objectives (see Customer Relationship Management System Objectives at the end of these minutes).

The core SFIT includes Cindy Eves-Thomas, Dennis Harrington, Michele Lodgek, and Michelle Snowden and will include many others with a focus on specific areas as the project unfolds.

Announcements & Congratulations

Congratulations to Cooperative Extension faculty member Dr. Ellen Mallory on the award of $332,967 from USDA/NIFA through Cornell University to support ongoing research for organic farmers in Maine. The project will work to add value in multiple ways to wheat and specialty food grain crops, thus substantially increasing their production and enhancing the diversity and sustainability of organic farms.

Congratulations to Lisa Phelps, Laura Wilson, Sarah Sparks and Carla Scocchi on the award of $785,000 from the National Aeronautics & Space Administration for a project called Real World Real Science. This five-year project will focus on climate change education and data literacy for youth and will engage formal educators, informal educators, schools, 4-H camps, community organizations, public libraries, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

Congratulations to Cooperative Extension faculty member Caragh Fitzgerald (principal investigator) and co-PI Richard Kersbergen on the award of $26,046 from USDA/NIFA to fund season extension strategies to enhance profitability in dairy and livestock operations in New England. This work will be supported by forage research trials of various species to improve yields.

Search Updates

Agricultural Engineer Professional – Advertising
Assistant Extension Professor/Dairy Specialist – Advertising
Assistant Extension Professor and Fish Nutrition Specialist – Advertising
Climate Services Specialist/Assistant Extension Professor (search waiver) – Approved
Program Coordinator – Bryant Pond – Screening Applicants
Research Assistant, Lowbush Blueberry Research and Extension Program – Offer stage
Small Business Specialist and Assistant (or Associate) Extension Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation – Pending acceptance/approval

2021 ELT Meeting Dates

Meetings are from 8:30 am to 11:30 am via Zoom – unless otherwise noted

Dates Facilitator Notes Location
April 12 Harrington Brzozowski Virtual


Customer Relationship Management System Objectives

[DRAFT DH, HC, SFIT, update 2021-1-8]

  1. Cooperative Extension will obtain and maintain comprehensive relationship data about all people and organizations with whom we interact through educational endeavors, programs, partnerships, and other stakeholder interactions, including self-reporting by select volunteers and participants. Those audiences include
  • Customers
  • Program Participants (youth & adult)
  • Volunteers
  • Stakeholders
  • Partners
  • Advocates
  • Donors
  1. Cooperative Extension will offer a professional, efficient, and satisfying customer service experience to anyone choosing to learn about, participate in, ask questions, and/or pay for scheduled events and programs; to purchase Cooperative Extension educational materials or merchandise; or to submit volunteer programmatic data.

II.a. Financial transactions will be clear, auditable, and allocable consistent with University processes and practices, UMS Administrative Practice documents, and Federal guidance.

III. Cooperative Extension will maintain world-class communication with customers, volunteers, partners, advocates, and/or stakeholders for the following purposes:

  • Information dissemination
  • Questions and answers
  • Marketing
  • Advocacy
  • Evaluation & customer satisfaction surveys
  • Needs assessment & evaluation
  1. Cooperative Extension will have the ability to generate data about all of our interactions and endeavors so as to better document history, understand trends, and create reports.
  2. We will collect and share relevant data with appropriate UMaine offices and units for the purposes of marketing and recruitment.

Customer Relationship Management System Elements

[DRAFT DH, HC 2020.12.23]

Customer management [Input: staff, WebForms, data from customer actions]

  1. Customer information
  • Relationship
    • Entity [ Customer/Program Participants (youth & adult)]
    • Volunteer
    • Advocate
    • Partners
    • Stakeholders (BOA, County Commissioners, etc.)
    • Donors
  • Area(s) of interest
  • Demographics
  • Critical data (contact information, special instructions)
  • History (see #4 below)
  1. Communication [Input: staff]
    • Information dissemination
    • Advocacy
    • Marketing
    • Evaluation & Customer Satisfaction Surveys
    • Needs Assessment
  1. On-line Registration, Commerce [Input: staff, WebForms, volunteers, data from customer actions]
  • Events/Programs
    • Registration
      • Liability release
      • Photo release
    • Payment
    • Discounting, special audiences
    • Free events
  • Camp Registrations
    • Registration
      • Liability release
      • Photo release
      • Medical
    • Payment
    • Discounting, special audiences
  • Sales
    • Publications
    • Merchandise
  • Volunteer reporting
    • Volunteer hours input
    • Work documentation input
      • Examples: Master Gardener Projects, Gleaning amounts
  1. Data/Reports/History
  • Interactions/history
    • Program participation
    • Purchase history
    • Communication history
  • Capacity to share data
    • Example: UMaine student recruitment