Communicators for Women Religious

"Our mission is to be a network of professional support and education for members who promote understanding of women religious, enhance their image and advance their mission."

Report from the Board

May 30, 2019

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The CWR Board of Directors met in Chicago, Illinois, May 14-16. The Board spent two days addressing a variety of issues before shifting on the final day of meetings to strategic planning for 2020 through 2022. On the evening of May 14, the Board, along with area CWR members and collaborators, gathered for a 25th anniversary reception at Catholic Theological Union, site of the CWR office.

Vice Chair Jennifer Brandlon led the opening and closing prayers each day.

After the Board voted to approve the April Board meeting minutes, CWR Board Chair Kathy Gatliff provided the executive team report, during which the Board voted to accept a new conflict of interest policy, a new grievance policy and a new code of conduct for Board members. After its approval, Board members signed the conflict of interest statement.

Sister Joanne Gallagher, CSJ, updated the Board on the Nominating Committee’s progress in identifying potential candidates for Board service.

During his Executive Director’s report, Nick Schafer reported on the recently concluded UISG Plenary Assembly.

Stephanie Hall outlined the activities of the Crisis Communication Task Group, including plans for a crisis communication handbook and the development of a member survey.

During Treasurer Jean Merry’s finance report, the Board accepted a proposal that established limits on potential fee increases. The policy is detailed on the CWR member website. The report also included a preview of the 2020 budgeting process and a status update on CWR’s 2019 audit.

Jan Parrott delivered an overview of the Development Committee’s plans in advance of the committee’s inaugural meeting.

Stephanie Manseau’s Conference 2019 Committee report focused on the conference brochure—which was reviewed and revised by the Board—and plans for conference video recording.

In her Conference Development Committee report, Kim Westerman summarized efforts to procure sponsors and exhibitors, including distribution plans for a conference sponsorship/exhibitor brochure.

Jane Strittmatter provided application and advertising updates during her Conference Scholarship Committee report.

The 25th anniversary reception was previewed during Corporate Secretary Cecilia Rupell’s 25th Anniversary Committee report.

Sister Maxine Kollasch, IHM, detailed the latest plans for Cycling with Sisters, including logistics, areas of focus, outreach efforts and a mobile video training program.

International Outreach Committee Chair Sister Angela Szczawinska, CFSN, laid out plans for an international “come-and-see” conference scholarship program.

Sister Patricia Lenihan, RSC, updated the Board on CWR: Ireland, which has established task groups to focus on social media and website training; spiritual messages in mass media; training blocks; and development of a CWR: Ireland landing page on the CWR website.

Committee Co-Chairs Tammy Townsend (who joined the Board meeting for one session as a guest) and Russ Mancl presented the Membership Committee report, which addressed the new member ambassador program and CWR regional groups.

Spalding Hurst informed the Board of the Marketing Committee’s work on a digital advertising campaign, plans for printing the Communications Manual for Institutes of Women Religious—which were approved—and A/V and social media strategies for conference 2019.

Jennifer Brandlon shared the Education Committee’s plans for upcoming member webinars—which include a tutorial on corporate statements and a second webinar in the “New to the Field” series—while also reviewing educational offerings already provided this year.

Rob Cogswell’s Conference 2020 Committee report included updates on theme and logo development, identification of potential speakers, scheduling and promotion.

The Board also confirmed its meeting schedule for the remainder of 2019. The Board will next meet July 9 via video conference.

CWR 2019 Board of Directors
Kathy Gatliff, Chair
Jennifer Brandlon, Vice Chair
Jean Merry, Treasurer
Cecilia Rupell, Secretary
Robert Cogswell
Joanne Gallagher, CSJ
Stephanie Hall
Spalding Hurst
Maxine Kollasch, IHM
Patricia Lenihan, RSC
Russ Mancl
Stephanie Manseau
Janice Parrott
Jane Strittmatter
Angela Szczawinska, CSFN
Kim Westerman

CWR Staff
Michelle Izguerra, Office Administrator
Brian Lavelle, Communication & Membership Manager
Nick Schafer, Executive Director



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