March Update on CDC

Minutes: Board of Directors Meeting
Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC)
Mainstreet Community Center, March 22, 2014, 10 a.m. -11:00 a.m.
Attendees: Jan Costello, Calvin E. Sims, Sr., Nadine Rivers-Johnson, Joyce Russell, Phyllis Frierson
Absent: Char Taylor
1. Welcome. We shared pumpkin bread that came from the bounty of a plant growing wild in a Hidden Hills neighbor’s yard. Jan noted that the pumpkin seed travelled here from Tennessee. It brought joy to the neighbors and, many months later, enriched our meeting. The metaphor may be too simplistic, but it is encouraging to think how small things can lead to great outcomes. We cannot know the future, but we can predict that positive action now will incline us towards positive results.
We congratulated Nadine on organizing the successful meeting with law enforcement and county representatives on March 18. More than 100 people from nearby neighborhoods attended it.

2. Finance
Checking account status. We now have a checking account! We are banking at Georgia United Federal Credit Union. We have basic savings and checking accounts. The great news is that there is only a one-time fee of $5. As long as we have fewer than 50 transactions per month, our account is free!
Phyllis provided the Treasurer’s Report. We have $98.22. The report is available at

Accountant status. After tax season, the Board will meet with Jerome Chavis, a partner and CPA at NTRC and a resident of Mainstreet. He volunteered to work pro bono, set up our accounting structure, and provide tax advice. Nadine will work on setting up a meeting for late April.

Budget. Joyce agreed to set up a proposed budget so that we would have it ready for the accountant to review. She will research the annual fees associated with the corporate license. The Board is sending her expense items, such as the $550 for insurance.

Dues. The Board voted unanimously to set a modest level of dues in order to have membership in the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation. Our bylaws stipulate that membership last a calendar year (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). Since we are just getting started, the inaugural membership will last through Dec. 31, 2015 (pending Board approval).
We have two membership classes, each with the following dues:
Residential Members (individuals who reside in or adjacent to the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay zone) will pay $20 per membership year.
Business Members (members with a business in or affected by the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay zone) will pay $75 per membership year.

3. Marketing
Newsletter Seed Money Grant Request. Nadine put together a comprehensive grant request for newsletter seed funds. The money would cover printing costs for the first year (four issues). The request has been sent to the DeKalb Economic Development department and to Commissioners Sharon Barnes-Sutton and Stan Watson. Nadine and other GHHCDC members have discussed the request in person with various parties. We await a decision.
Here is an excerpt from the request:
1. The Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation, Inc. (GHHCDC) was established in 2013 with a goal of developing the Greater Hidden Hills area.
2. The GHHCDC operates as a not-for-profit business, and it is our desire to seek seed money for a quarterly newsletter to further support this marketing effort.
3. The purpose of the proposed newsletter will be consistent with an objective of informing and engaging marketing in the area and forming partnerships between businesses, schools, and the community-at-large.
4. The proposed publication will serve as the marketing and advertising medium for commercial tiers in the Greater Hidden Hills Overlay District and 19 neighborhoods located in the GHHCDC. Community news is also a vital part of the publication.
5. Currently, there are more than 200 businesses in the area, and this newsletter is a great opportunity to foster commercial growth with a successful, locally specific publication.

Newsletter Update. Calvin said the graphic artist is willing to make changes to the Memo of Understanding he submitted. In particular, he does plan to give us the digital file of the newsletter as well as send the file to the printer. His freelance work with individual businesses will be entirely up to him. The Board is free to recommend his work as well as the work of other graphic artists. The Board voted unanimously to give the graphic artist credit in all issues and to give the artist a business card-sized ad in the first issue. Calvin will send the Board a revised Memo for our approval. Calvin will also create an advertising rate sheet, a Memo of Understanding for the freelance advertising sales people, and a Memo of Understanding for the contributing writers.
The Board will vote on the proposed Memos via email. Once the design artist’s Memo of Understanding is approved, we will vote to ask him for the prototype.
Calvin will solicit articles for the prototype. Jan will create the interior masthead with the newsletter name, the corporation, address, policies, and so forth. She will write an introductory column and a sidebar on what the GHHCDC is.
Nadine will research ways to create “aliases” on Gmail so that we can have an exclusive address for advertisements.

Proposed Festival – Calvin suggested that we stage an annual festival as a fundraiser and community celebration. There was concern about trying to do too much too soon, so we tabled the idea for now.

Kick-off Meeting – We still want to do an economic development-focused kickoff meeting. We will aim to have the kick off on a Saturday morning (8 a.m.) in late June. The idea is to have a light breakfast, a keynote speaker, and representation of our local businesses. It will be timed to coincide with the newsletter. Joyce will check with Berean Church about using the community space. We will discuss the idea further in April. We are soliciting a volunteer to manage the event.
4. Update on Old Business
Board of Directors Insurance. The “Directors and Officers” liability insurance and general liability insurance does include fiduciary coverage. The cost is about $550. When we have employees, Williams Turner & Mathis, Inc., advises that we add Employee Dishonesty insurance.
Brochure. We will print the brochure once Char delivers the paper to Nadine. Char expects to be able to deliver the paper by March 29. A copy of the brochure is posted on the website:
Letterhead/Logo. Still in production. Jan visited, but the minimum fee is $199, and we do not have the money. Phyllis and Jan are going to work on the logo.
Phone. Jan and Phyllis will work on setting up a Google phone account.

5. New Business
Succession and Continuity Plans. Joyce suggested we start using our Gmail account for all corporation business. That way, we keep records in one place. She suggested setting up a Google Drive for important documents. Jan will work on that project and provide the Board the access code information. In addition, access information to our website and other corporate information will be put on the drive. Only Board members will have access.
General Membership Meetings. All meetings are open now, but we will make a pronounced effort to invite all members to the first meeting of each quarter. The Board voted unanimously to do so, beginning with the 2nd quarter.
501 (c)(3) status. Jan will research and begin the process.

6. The next meeting will be April 26, 10 a.m., at the Mainstreet Community Center. All interested residents and businesspeople are welcome.




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