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VLCT Employment Resource and Benefits (VERB) Trust, Inc.
Board of Directors Meeting
August 3, 2017
VLCT Oiffices, Montpelier, Vermont


Directors present:  Carrie Johnson, Joel Cope, Charles Safford, Todd Provencher, Joe Colangelo, Kathleen Ramsay and Bill Shepeluk (10:45 a.m.)

Directors absent:  Todd Odit  

VLCT staff present: Joe Damiata, David Sichel, Jeremiah Breer, Kelley Avery, Larry Smith, Abby Friedman and Jill Muhr

The meeting was called to order at 9:32 a.m.

A board quorum was confirmed.

Upon motion (Safford/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to approve the meeting agenda.

Upon motion (Safford/Cope), duly adopted, the board voted to unanimously approve the minutes of the June 8, 2017 meeting.  

Joe Damiata provided a brief overview of recent activities.  VLCT has initiated technical support services with VC3 and is working with an on-site technician. Upgrade and Cloud migration processes will begin in late August and complete sometime in November.  The new VLCT web site went live in June, and VLCT's 50th anniversary celebration took place shortly thereafter.  Mr. Damiata reminded everyone the next board meeting will take place in Killington on October 4th, the day before Town Fair.

Jeremiah Breer provided a brief overview of the financials through June 2017.  These numbers are unaudited.  Mr. Breer noted he would send the finalized financial statements to the board once they are completed.  Mr. Breer reminded the board the difference between the budget and actual figures was due to the budget being drafted before the accounting change was made last year regarding UI Program credit distributions. Actual revenue to date stands at roughly $634,000.

The board discussed the appointment of the Nominating Committee.  Terms for Charles Safford and Bill Shepeluk will be expiring at the end of the year, but President Shepeluk announced Charles Safford will not seek continue on the board after his term ends as he is also serving on the VLCT Board. President Shepeluk appointed Joe Colangelo, Carrie Fisher and Charles Safford to serve on the Nominating Committee, and Mr. Colangelo will chair the committee. The committee will meet five minutes preceding the scheduled October 4th board meeting, and staff will send out a request for nominations prior to Town Fair.

Kelley Avery reviewed the UI Program claims analysis and reports through June 2017.  Q2 claims costs are down 46% compared to the second quarter of 2016 and are also down 54% compared to the first quarter of 2017.  Claims frequency is also down nearly 3% compared to Q2 last year and down 31% compared to Q1-2017.  Year to date claims are down 38% compared to this same time last year.

Upon motion (Cope/Safford), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to accept the Q2-2017 UI Claims Analysis and reports as presented.

Abby Friedman and Jill Muhr provided the board with a brief update on the HR Consulting Program and the most recent HR Program Committee meeting.  The program is increasing in popularity, and requests for personnel policy reviews, general inquiries and special project work are on the rise.  The committee decided its next meeting would not be held until September 2018.  Meeting two times a year no longer seems necessary since the program is running smoothly.  Ms. Muhr and Ms. Friedman will check in with the committee members prior to that time should any significant changes arise.  Director Colangelo pointed out Ms. Muhr is currently assisting with their personnel policy updates and feels VLCT is providing an outstanding service with this new program.

Larry Smith reviewed the Hickok & Boardman (H & B) HR Intelligence Annual Stewardship report.  All H & B staff are in Boston attending a conference today, so Michael Kilfoyle was unable to present the report in person.  H & B has served VLCT since 2010 providing a myriad of services including assisting with RFPs for life and disability to negotiating renewals for large group medical coverage.  The report illustrated various examples since that time where the firm has provided our members substantial savings in their efforts on our behalf.

Kelley Avery reviewed the latest Health Advocate Utilization report.  Although utilization had fallen to a low of 10% in 2014, recent marketing, outreach and member educational efforts have increased this utilization to 22% in the past year. Health Advocate's contract renews on March 1, 2018, so the board will need to decide if they want to renew the contract and include it in the 2018 budget.  

President Shepeluk noted the board has previously discussed the possibility of paying for Health Advocate for all VERB Trust members.  Mr. Damiata noted the trust currently pays roughly $35,00 annually for Health Advocate for groups grandfathered which were Health Trust members prior to the 2014 VT Exchange implementation.  Staff estimated the cost to expand the program to all VERB Trust members would be an additional $20,500 annually, or $55,500 annually in total.  The board agreed this is a valuable service and agreed to renew the contract and expand its availability at no cost to all current VERB Trust members.

Upon motion (Safford/Johnson) duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to renew the Health Advocate contract for 2018 and to budget for 2018 to pay for Health Advocate for all current VERB Trust members.

Michael Kilfoyle's summary of the board's June 8th Strategic Planning session was included in the board's packets.  Staff is asking for the board to adopt VERB Mission and Vision statements today based on the proposed recommendations.  Director Cope proposed the following language for the board's Mission Statement:  "Serving Vermont local governments by delivering quality human resources and employee benefit solutions at an affordable cost."

Upon motion (Colangelo/Safford), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to adopt the Mission Statement as proposed.

Director Safford proposed the following language for the board's Vision Statement: "To be the trusted expert resource in delivering employee benefit and HR solutions for Vermont municipalities."

Upon motion (Colangelo/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to adopt the Vision Statement as proposed.

Staff is also looking for board guidance in developing the board's Strategic Plan.  Staff crafted a summary of issues discussed and the various options proposed for each and included this summary in the board's packet.  Staff asked for the board to decide which options under each issue should be eliminated.  Under the VERB Member Definition issue, the board asked for staff to eliminate Options 3 and 4.  Under Confidence Levels for UI Rates, the board asked to keep both options but wanted to staff to come back to the next meeting with more information on the feasibility of cutting distribution checks.  On the Net Position issue, the board asked staff to eliminate Option 1.  On Dissolution Options, the board asked staff to eliminate Options 2 and 3.

Upon motion(Safford/Johnson), duly adopted, the board voted unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 12:16 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

David Sichel
Assistant Secretary

Board or Committee: 
VERB Board of Directors

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