Annual Meeting Recap and Leadership Announcements

On January 26, SMGW held its first-ever virtual Annual Meeting over Zoom, with strong participation – about 30 Partner Representatives participated. At the Annual Meeting, the Executive Director reports to the Partner Council on the prior year’s results (both programmatic and financial), and presents the approved budget for the coming year, and the Partner Council elects the new Board members officers. At the meeting the Council also recognizes and celebrates departing leaders including Board members, Partner Representatives, and staff, both paid and volunteer.  

The meeting began with a welcome by Partner Convener Carol Coonrod, and a blessing by ED David Wolf.  The group then approved the minutes of last year’s annual meeting, after which David gave a brief overview of 2020 financial results. We had a good year in 2020, which was notable given all the uncertainty we faced due to the pandemic. These results demonstrate the very strong support SMGW continues to receive from our donors, led by individual donors, who actually increased their support versus 2019. We also saw good support from partner churches and schools, who faced their own struggles in 2020, and from government grants and foundations, including several COVID-related funding opportunities that really helped us continue our vital mission to those on the edge of poverty – our Neighbors in Need.  

We thanked eight leaders (Board members and/or Partner Reps) who retired from SMGW service in 2020 and welcomed nine new leaders including seven new Partner Reps: Matt Bode from St. John’s, Lafayette Square (DC), David Perry, St. Mark’s, Capitol Hill, Michael Konefal from St. John’s, Norwood (Chevy Chase), Yvonne Lee from Calvary, DC, Sally Ethelston from St. Stephen & the Incarnation, DC, Walter Douglas from St. Dunstan’s, Bethesda, and John Duncan from St. Francis, Potomac ; and two new Board members: Ladi Grey-Coker from Transfiguration, Silver Spring, and Rev. William B. (“Bill”) Lewis, retired former rector of St. Philip’s in Southeast DC-Anacostia and currently Interim Rector of St. Michael & All Angels in Adelphi, MD. Both were elected for full three-year terms on the Board. Welcome, Ladi and Bill!  

The new Board officers are Joe Kolar, President; Rasheen Carbin (formerly Secretary), Vice President; Steve Brushett, Treasurer, and Carl Kaiser, Secretary. We look forward to their leadership contributions. Former President Dan Costello remains for one year in the position of Immediate Past President. And we say farewell and Thank You to Kathy Sommerkamp, whose term has expired but who remains active on the Program Committee. 

The meeting concluded with a reminder about the upcoming Next Step Breakfast, to be held virtually on Saturday, March 20th (see details here), and closed with a shared prayer for our mission, a litany entitled “Taking the Long View.” This powerful prayer reminds us that the critical work we do at SMGW is to make an essential difference where we can, as part the infinitely larger plan that God has for his creation. We may never see the end results of the seeds we plant and water, but our work is crucial to those end results becoming reality, for our Participants and, indeed, for ourselves. Amen!