2009 Minutes, November 13


November 13, 2009

A regular meeting of the board of trustees of Peninsula Endowment was held at the home of President Westman in Santa Cruz on November 13, 2009. The meeting was called to order at 11 am.<!–more–>
Present: Mmes. Bitting, Dunham, Tedrow and Westman; Messrs. Fowler, Hamel,
Kohler and Waud

Minutes of the meeting held on June 3, 2009 were approved.

President Westman welcomed Fred Kohler, Chair of the NORCAL Unit Of RFB&amp;D  to membership on the Peninsula Endowment board. Cathy Nessier leaves the board with warm thanks for her two years of valuable contributions to its meetings.

Treasurer Hamel reported the total value of the Peninsula Endowment portfolio as of 11/10/09 to be $3,618,486. This includes proceeds from the sale of property at 488 W. Charleston of $2,812,421. Currently, 96% of Endowment assets are in cash and with continued instability in financial markets predicted,  limited investment activity is forecast in the near term.

The final copy of the audited Financial Report for the year ended 5/31/09 has been emailed to trustees. Supplemental financial reports emailed included the Five Year Financial Plan (revised 11/10/09). Hamel pointed out the need for more Endowment income to cover the cost of housing the studio in its new location, an expense 50% higher than anticipated. He hopes to have one-third of the portfolio  invested in stocks by the end of the year,  an order of magnitude increase from its current level. Bonds currently make up 3% of portfolio assets. Maximizing interest
was discussed.

Mrs. Bitting asked if the board had ever formally established what Endowment’s investment policy/strategy should be and if not, suggested it be done or revisited. She noted that as part of their fiduciary responsibilities, trustees should review Legacy’s performance from time to time in light of those goals and the current economic environment. Mrs. Bitting, Mr. Fowler and Mr. Kohler offered to examine these ideas and report back at the February meeting.

Mr. Hamel stated that while recent years’ minutes and financial reports are  now available to board members only on Google Docs,  an awkward arrangement, and asked authorization to engage a website firm to create and maintain a dedicated online repository for all board business and documents. Mrs. Dunham volunteered to establish a site and serve as webmaster. Board members accepted her offer with enthusiasm. It was moved, seconded and carried that she be authorized to set up and manage such a website.

Mr. Kohler announced that the NORCAL Unit took possession of the new 2500 sqft studio location at 2445 Faber, Suite 103, Palo Alto 94303 on October 1. It is a five year lease. The last work day at Charleston will be November 25; work begins at the Faber site on December 15. Volunteers have already had a tour of the new facility. He invited the PE board to hold a future meeting there. Five new booths are coming soon. Headquarters has divided the country into seven Regions for administrative purposes; Cindy Jackson has been hired as executive director of the Western Region. She has hired Trish Bubenik to oversee the northern California community, working out of the NORCAL studio. Accounting functions for all Units are now centralized in Princeton.

Mr. Fowler displayed a Victor Reader Stream, a book player the size of a deck of cards which students find a valuable tool. Its essential feature is the ability to play and navigate digital books in the same manner as the CD players do. The chip holds 32 gigabytes.

Jim McCarthy, Legacy Capital Management, reported by phone that they continue to maintain a defensive position; the Endowment portfolio has not changed that much since his last report. They will spend little on bonds till coupons come out to a more reasonable level “It is a real commentary when  holding even General Electric makes us a little nervous”. At Legacy they feel economic fundamentals do not justify where the market is trading today and a sizable correction is overdue.

Meeting adjourned at 12:20.

Virginia V. Tedrow