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Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. “People Helping People”



This will be my last From My View as Chief Executive Officer of Tri-Valley. As has been widely reported the Board of Directors of Tri-Valley voted to accept my recommendation appointing Jason Carlson to the CEO position on February 1, 2014 instead of waiting until October of this year. My decision to make this recommendation to the Board was based on two factors. These were: 1) Jason is ready! Working closely with him over these past two years in transition has displayed his maturity, professionalism and leadership. He has a keen sense of the day-to-day-operation of the corporation as well and the intricacies of the numerous programs we manage. 2) There is a need to preclude any perceptions of dual authority. I didn’t want to have internal or external forces wondering about who was in charge. This will make for a smoother operation and efficiency in adapting to ever-changing environments. As President of Tri-Valley (new title) I have been directed by the Board to continue in the work I am presently doing but without day-to-day responsibilities. I will be in the office on my regular schedule, will not be traveling as much, and will fill in for Jason when called upon. I have been given eleven items that I will continue with until my retirement scheduled for September 30, 2014. Should staff members or programs need my assistance, I will be available to provide such help as I can even in this new role. I will also be doing some coaching in the Head Start community and providing counsel when called up. I will be working on a Head Start Bonding Bill as well as Appropriations and Reauthorization of Head Start. And, I will be identifying, labeling and cataloguing the history of Tri-Valley primarily through photographs. It has been 50 Years since the War on Poverty was identified and declared by Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union message in 1964. Ronald Reagan shared in his 1988 State of the Union message that, “Lyndon Johnson fought a War on Poverty and Poverty Won.” I am not sure which speech writer got credit for that line but it resonated and many feel it to be a fact. It isn’t. Over the years I have pondered some of the assumptions that we as Americans are given. For example, when the poverty levels of income are published every year do we assume that they are correct? Yep. So, in 2014 the poverty level of income for a family of four is around $23,000. Believe it or not – this figure is spot on. I have checked and double checked the income poverty index going back to 1964 and the figures have, in fact, been indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and updated annually. Did we lose the War on Poverty? I don’t think so. But, we didn’t win either. It’s an ongoing process. In 1964 the poverty rate in the United States was 19.6%. In 1998 it fell to its lowest level of about 12%. Since 2000 it has risen to about 15%. (From My View continued on next page)

In This Issue:

In This Issue:

* From My View- Report from CEO Dennis P. DeMers * Upcoming February Calendar Items * Tri-Valley Succession Plan Moves Forward

* MNsure Information/Enrollment Sessions

* Tri-Valley Hosts BLAST! Program

* State Establishes Public Propane Hotline

(From My View continued) Looking back at some old records at Tri-Valley there is a slide from 1971 that identified the poverty rate in our area was over 25%. And, areas that Tri-Valley was concerned about were unemployment (8%) and skyrocketing prices for healthcare. Today, our poverty rate approximates 11% and our unemployment rate is less than 5%. Alas, health care costs continue to climb at rates nearing double digits. This picture is not that of defeat. It is a picture of slow but steady success but not conclusion. The battle continues, the cause endures and the need for our services remains. We must remain vigilant and faithful to our mission. And, each and every day we provide additional opportunities to individuals, families and our communities in their quest to improve the quality of their lives. For forty-two years I have been blessed to be a part of this endeavor. I have seen success and I have seen failure. The Boards and Policy Council and Advisory Council and Groups we have worked with lend great leadership and support. Our clients are not lazy and shiftless. They want a chance at success and that’s what we provide. The staff at Tri-Valley has been, is and must remain committed, adaptive, energetic and persevering. This work is not for the meek or the weak. It takes a toll on the worker and the worker’s family. But, it is worth it. We may not be the richest folks in the world and we may have harsh weather to live with – but we are the heart and soul of this nation. We are average with a positive attitude. We care about our neighbors. We work hard and we play hard and we enjoy the process. And, in the final analysis we bring integrity to our lives and those around us.

Tri-Valley’s CEO Succession Plan Moves Forward Ahead of Schedule The Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Board of Directors announced the company’s two-year Chief Executive Officer Succession Plan has gone more smoothly than anticipated. The Board concluded that there is no need to wait until the end of September and will move forward with the succession plan in February 2014. Tri-Valley Operations Officer Jason Carlson will be appointed CEO effective February 1, 2014. Current CEO Dennis P. DeMers will be appointed President of Tri-Valley and will focus on specific functions and duties established by the Tri-Valley Board of Directors. “Denny and Jason have been so successful in moving the Succession Plan forward, that they concluded and the Board accepted their recommendation to accelerate the transfer of leadership from Denny to Jason on February 1, 2014 instead of waiting until October as previously planned. This will advance us positively, accelerate the transition, eliminate perceptions of dual leadership, and improve our ability to meet our Mission,” says Tri-Valley Board Chair Dr. Linda Neuerburg. Since 1965, Tri-Valley has been a leader in providing services to clients and communities throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Michigan. Over the past 20 years the execution of programs, services and community collaboration has been the responsibility of DeMers who has been with the corporation in leadership roles for over 40 years. The Tri-Valley Board Chief Executive Officer Succession Plan helped the company move forward and made this major leadership change smooth, seamless and effective.

MNsure Information/Enrollment Sessions Mary Johnson is pictured second from the left.

Tri-Valley Hosts a BLAST! Program for Young Babysitters Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. recently held a Babysitter Lessons and Safety Training (BLAST) program in conjunction with its Migrant & Seasonal Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council meeting in Alexandria, MN. Policy Council members had the opportunity to bring their children, ages 11-14 years of age, to attend the BLAST training while parents attended the Policy Council meeting. Mary Johnson, Tri-Valley Assistant Program Design Manager, who is also an American Heart Association certified BLAST trainer, was kind enough to share her expertise with the group. BLAST is a program designed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to train future babysitters. The program provides the necessary basic child care information to transform a young adult into a responsible babysitter capable of handling a multitude of common situations that may arise while caring for a child.

Upcoming February Calendar Items:

* Feb. 3- Region V Head Start / Early Head Start Policy Council Meeting * Feb. 7- In-Service training for Head Start teaching staff * Feb. 7- Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion In-Service * Tri-Valley Board of Directors Meeting * Feb. 13- MNsure Outreach in Crookston, MN * Feb. 13- MNsure Outreach in Stephen, MN * Feb. 17- President’s Day * Feb. 19- MNsure Outreach in Twin Valley, MN * Feb. 19- MNsure Outreach in Ada, MN

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. in collaboration with Northwest Community Action, Inc. (Badger, Minn.) will host four information/enrollment sessions in the month of February. Appointments are strongly recommended but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, call Misty Lundbohm at 218-528-3258 or email her at mlundbohm@nwcaa. org. The goal of the sessions is to help individuals and families familiarize themselves with MNsure and its options, ask questions, and get enrolled. MNsure marketing materials will also be available if individuals or families don’t have questions but would like to learn more about MNsure. MNsure Information/enrollment session locations: *Thursday, February 13- Crookston Public Library Crookston, MN 10 am - 2 pm. *Thursday, February 13- Location not determined Stephen, MN 2:30 - 5:30 pm. *Wednesday, February 19- Valley Pines Senior Center Twin Valley, MN 9-11 am. *Wednesday, February 19- Law Enforcement Center Ada, MN 1-4 pm.

Did You Know?... * You can receive more information on Tri-Valley’s programs and services by calling 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020. * You can keep up with Tri-Valley news on the TVOC website at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TriValley_TVOC. * Everyone can receive the Tri-Valley Newsletter. If you know of anyone who would like a copy please have them contact Mitch Bakken at 218-281-5832 or

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. (TVOC) is a community action agency headquartered in Crookston, MN. It is our Mission to provide opportunities to individuals and communities in order to improve the quality of our lives. In existence since 1965, TVOC provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northeast North Dakota. For more information on services offered by TVOC please call 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020. This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800-5847020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer/provider. EOE/M/F/D/V

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Januarynewsletter 2014  

January 2014 Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Newsletter

Januarynewsletter 2014  

January 2014 Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Newsletter