July: A sunny outlook at D2
Exciting new projects ahead
Despite the unpredictable and not-so-sunny weather, July has been an exciting month here at Decisions Decisions. We are happy to end this month by sharing a couple of great new projects that have recently come our way. Here is a quick glance at what’s coming up for us in the next few months and beyond:
In the Works
Clean Energy Works Oregon
Clean Energy Works Oregon (CEWO) is a public-private partnership that delivers high-quality job creation, energy savings and carbon reductions through energy-efficiency retrofits across multiple building types. The organization initially started out as a pilot program and bloomed into an official non-profit organization in July 2010. We will be helping this new non-profit organization with their compensation strategy and human resources infrastructure.
Rotary Club of Portland
We will be assisting the Rotary Club with their executive transition as Debra Dunn, the current executive director, prepares to leave. We also look forward to continuing our strategic planning work with them this coming fall.
Portland Cooperative Leadership Institute
As part of a year-long contract, Decisions Decisions will be creating and running the first year of a leadership development program focused on 30 emerging leaders representing three different Portland Bureaus. The program will commence with two half day retreats, one for mentors and one for participants, in the fall of 2010 in addition to a kick-off conference.
Retreats, Retreats, Retreats!
– Coalition of Communities of Color
– Planning and Sustainability Commission
– Revenue Bureau Management
– Free Clinic of SW Washington
– Portland Police Review Board
Moving to ‘The Cloud’
A bigger server to serve better
Decisions Decisions is moving to “The Cloud”! No, we are not literally moving to the puffy white things in the sky but we certainly are electronically. After only two years we have already outgrown our network server and on July 16 will be transitioning to a bigger and better server dubbed: “The Cloud.”
Why this matters: This transition is important for a couple of reasons. First, it will most likely be the culprit behind any interim trouble you may have communicating with our office on Friday, July 16th (although no trouble is anticipated). Second, in addition to adding even tighter security on some of our most confidential files, it will provide us with a significantly larger (rumor even has it “unlimited”) amount of space, which will increase our capacity to save more of our work with fewer glitches. Fewer glitches mean we will be able to focus 110% of our efforts on what’s really important: our clients. It also promises that we will never again suffer from the oh-so-common office woe of losing a document that someone (usually yourself) has worked on for several months.
“The Cloud” Expert: Given this relatively large undertaking, we knew it would take someone with incredible technical expertise to help us get through this transition smoothly….which is exactly why we didn’t hesitate in calling our very own Albee Kara (Faster Connections Inc.) for the job. Albee has been an independent technical consultant for D2 for the past year and is often referred to as a local superhero for his magical ability to make all things electronic suddenly work.
We look forward to our transition to “The Cloud” and anticipate a forecast with lighter, airy days ahead.
Playing for The Pangaea Project
21 students look to life-changing journey
On Saturday June 26, Decisions Decisions’ Allison Handler and her duet partner, Mary Rondthaler, performed at a benefit concert for The Pangaea Project, held at Mississippi Pizza. The intimate setting provided the perfect atmosphere for people from near and far to come and enjoy an evening of music for a good cause. One of the many highlights of the evening came from the announcement that the Maybelle Clark MacDonald Foundation, along with another anonymous donor, would triple-match each donation.
The Pangaea Project will send 21 high school students from disadvantaged families on a life-changing journey to Ecuador this summer. The students will participate in a month-long experiential learning program focused on Environmental Justice. They prepare for their international experience by studying local and global issues related to solidarity, human rights, social change and community organizing. Through service-learning projects in Portland and Ecuador they build leadership skills to become effective “changemakers” in their communities and the world.
A second group of students initially planned to study Fair Trade and Labor Rights in Thailand. However, in the wake of a US State Department travel advisory noting increasing violence, Pangaea Project board members made the decision to have the Thailand class join students going to Ecuador. The purpose of Saturday’s fundraiser was to help defray increased costs due to the switch in travel plans.
Allison isn’t the only D2 connection to The Pangaea Project, D2’s Carri Munn also serves on The Pangaea Project’s advisory board.
Making good on the promise of perpetuity
The Great Hawaiian Land Trust Merger
This story begins with protecting land. It all started two years ago with a conversation among land trusts in Hawaii that wanted to figure out a way to better protect their land through collaboration. It was obvious that this level of collaboration would require someone skilled, strategic and savvy in land trust mergers to step in and facilitate the large undertaking. Luckily, Marc Smiley and the team at Decisions Decisions were available and ready to help.
The goal: To bring together four large land trusts “in an effort to take a major strategic step toward more comprehensive conservation, more permanent protection, and more engaged and committed communities.”
The challenge: To create a single, high-capacity organization that partners with high-profile community leaders, supports local leadership around conservation projects, and establishes strong support among donors at every level.
The outcome: The four Hawaiian land trusts – Hawaii Island Land Trust, Kauai Public Land Trust, Maui Coastal Land Trust, and Oahu Land Trust – that started a journey two years ago began a new chapter when they voted to merge on Thursday, June 17, 2010. The new collective land trust that emerged is most certainly destined to become of the most effective statewide land trusts in the country and will protect some of the most sacred places on the earth.
The merger was not only an extraordinary undertaking, but also a sacred journey. Decisions Decisions was privileged to be a part of it. And although the merger is now complete, Marc and his team at D2 will continue to provide guidance to the new statewide land trust to help ensure a successful future, a future that D2 considers to be critical to preserving the revered lands of Hawaii.