Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Make a Monarch Homepage

Hooray for Carrie, the first of the Movers & Shapers to personalize her homepage with Monarch features (see below)! Who's next, folks?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

M&S Core Committee Minutes - 2/5/09

Monarch Movers & Shapers Core Team
Meeting Minutes: February 5, 2009
12:30 PM, Monarch Learning Center

Core Team/Faculty Members:
Present: Justin Fox, Stephanie Wheatley, Carrie Logan, John Hardesty, Julie Meaux, Dr. Marty Webb, John Barone, Shannon Woodruff, Linda Caruso, Marion Defalco, Jennalee Wolf and Dr. Neal Sarahan.

Meeting called to order at 12:37 p.m. by Chairman Fox.
Lunch enjoyed by all.
Current projects lists and agendas distributed.

Opening greetings by Chairman Fox
• Chairman Fox opened the meeting by recognizing John Hardesty for an outstanding concert performance January 23 at Unity Church. John Hardesty announced plans for future performances in Houston, Phoenix and Austin. John also updated the group on the two music classes he has had with his student at Monarch; John is very excited and enthusiastic.
• Chairman Fox recognized Stephanie Wheatley for becoming an American citizen.
• Chairman Fox complimented Rachel Weber, Monarch Administrative Assistant at the Challenger campus, for her help in updating the M&S membership Directory, as well as ordering the tasty lunches at our Core Team meetings.
• Chairman Fox requested that in the next month, he would like everyone to bring and/or recommend a friend to the Terrific Tuesday Tours, as well as provide Shannon Woodruff with at least 10 email addresses of friends to add to the Monarch data base to receive the monthly newsletter.
• Chairman Fox has been looking everywhere for his Monarch M&S shirt. Linda Caruso let him know it is in transit and delivery is anticipated in the near future.
• Chairman Fox initiated conversation about the status of Monarch’s participation with the Houston Zoo Discovery Garden. After discussion with the Builders Committee chair, Stephanie Wheatley, input from Dr. Webb and Linda Caruso, the follow up will be Linda Caruso is to have a discussion with Richard Klein to become a liaison and create and/or arrange a transfer of the garden management, possibly to the U.S. Vets, via Operation Interdependence.
• Dr. Webb recognized Marion Defalco on her recent nomination for the Mayor’s Community Award.
Remarks by John Barone, Director of Communications

• A Place for All is selling well. John requested M&S group and friends go to and St. Mary’s Press ( Each has an area for endorsements of the book. The more popular the book is, the longer it stays on the website; therefore increasing the opportunity for sales. Haven’t had an opportunity to read the book? You can read Chapter 1 for free online. Read the chapter and review that. Just get your thoughts on the websites as soon as possible
• In October, John Barone presented a Monarch homepage to the M&S group and requested that the M&S members use it on their own computers. Carrie Logan will be the M&S member to use it on a trial basis.
• The Monarch hour will be on KPFT March 23rd, 2009. The topic for presentation/discussion is ADHD.
Remarks by Shannon Woodruff, Director of Development
• Shannon thanked the following M&S members for assistance in the email update project: Marion Defalco, Carrie Logan, Justin Fox, Julie Meaux & Joe Merrill. Shannon Woodruff still has about 350 obsolete email addresses in the Monarch data base, which need updating so that the recipients may receive the Monarch monthly e-newsletters and other important information. Therefore, Shannon needs only five of us M&S volunteers, each of whom will be assigned 75 persons, to telephone those persons with the obsolete email addresses. Shannon will provide you with a spread sheet of the names and telephone numbers of these persons, as well as a brief "script" to follow. This is a much-needed project, which easily may be done from your home in approximately 2 or 3 total hours. Please email Shannon at to volunteer this week.
Remarks by Dr. Webb
• Construction is progressing well at the new campus. There will be a faculty “sneak peek” on February 16th, which is faculty retreat day for Monarch.
• A Sneak Peek Cocktail Party (Punch & Peek?) is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Life Academy is to cater the event. The guest list includes donors of over $1,000 and donors presently being courted. Monarch is just shy of the balance of $1 million to finance the Chrysalis building (Building No. 1).
Remarks by Jennalee Wolf
• On Tuesday, Feb. 10th, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at The Monarch Learning Center, Jennalee Wolf, Monarch Admissions Director, will hold a luncheon training session for our initial group of M&S volunteers. Basically Jennalee will provide us at this session with the all necessary information to help her and other Monarch staff members, whom we M&Sers will accompany at various times, to help represent The Monarch School at selected expos, exhibit halls, open houses and conferences for organizations dealing with neurological differences. If you have not already informed Jennalee that you will be attending this session, please email her at if you can make it to this Tuesday session. If you cannot attend this training session, there will be another one later in the year. All are welcome, in order to learn more about most effectively spreading the word about Monarch, which is an M&S members primary job!
Remarks by Dr. Neal
• Dr. Neal discussed the recent $10,000 grant received by the Life Academy. The grant is funding a project that requires the students to give away the money to worthy charities. Life Academy students will research levels of need for various groups. They are partnering with Association of Christian Area Ministries (ACAM) to determine the projects they’d like to support. ACAM is a coalition of 12 ministries that serve the neediest in our city. Mentors from various foundations are to collaborate with the students as they determine the group(s) with the most need for the giveaway to be announced in April. More mentors are needed in the area of philanthropy, decision-making and what generates value.
Builders Committee update by Stephanie Wheatley
• Stephanie announced work continues on the scrapbooks. A project completion date of June 19, 2009 was given by Dr. Webb, as that is the date of the alumni event for Monarch.
Educators Committee update by John Barone
• John Barone requested a reinvestment in the M&S blog. He also added that Miranda Bennett is preparing for her return to her duties with the Educators Committee.
Heralds Committee update by Marion Defalco
• As usual, Marion has been heralding hither and yon.
• -Marion has contacted St. Francis Nursing School, the largest in Illinois. She is promoting “A Place for All” through St. Francis. They are very enthusiastic and receptive.
• Marion has created a binder of celebrity contacts and is researching the best methods for cultivating relationships with them. She has faxed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as she discovered the most effective method for contacting various foundations is through fax.
• She has also contacted the Peace for the Children Foundation of Don & Lisa Pliner. Lisa is a Houstonian. Marion expects a “hometown” connection through Lisa and therefore through the foundation.
Developers Committee update by Justin Fox
• Justin noted that the pending project is proceeding well for finding someone to help finance the new campus audio/visual system.
Meeting Adjourned at 1:30 PM
The next M&S Core Committee meeting will be Thursday, April 2 at 12:30 PM.

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