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


SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER From My View: The “government shut-down,” is about three days away and, for some strange reason, I haven’t started to pack my bags and lock my office. It seems to me that I have heard this shutdown stuff once or twice a year for the past ten years and I can no longer make plans based upon the “screaming wolf.” I am planning on showing up to work on Tuesday and expect that by then planet earth will have continued to spin and the political decision-making can will have again been kicked down the road. Don’t lose sleep over this issue because it will continue to come up until such time as decision-makers are the first to “not get paid,” during a shut-down. You might want to go to the website for It is Interesting ideas are being discussed by this group and many of them seem to make sense to me. The Affordable Care Act will kick-in earnestly on January 1, 2014. There is a huge outcry and concern that this law is socialized medicine and that the health care world will fall unless it is stopped. There are strong, loud, and sometimes preposterous allegations being forwarded about how this is going to affect you and me. In my view the vast majority of us in the United States won’t notice much difference at all. I hope that you continue to stay abreast of this issue. You might even want to listen to an interview with the CEO from the Mayo Clinic on the issue. Go to: or you can just Google: Mayo CEO Breaks down Obama care. On Monday, September 30, 2013 I will start my final year with Tri-Valley. As you may recall, the Board of Directors developed a CEO Succession Plan a few years back and the transition process started over a year ago. Jason Carlson has been named to succeed me as CEO on October 1, 2014. The details of the Succession Plan are detailed and ongoing. At this juncture we have completed nearly 30% of the necessary transitions from me to Jason Carlson. The pace will accelerate over the weeks and months to come. After January 1, 2014 most of the essential functions of the CEO will have been transferred to Jason and he will start representing the Board of Directors more thoroughly. Our plan is to have Jason fully responsible for the execution of corporate issues by mid-summer of 2014. As I withdraw from the role of CEO I will continue to carry my load and to mentor Jason in his transition. And, it is the expectation of the Board of Directors that when I walk out the back door on September 30th, 2014 – you won’t notice a difference. (Continued on next page)

In This Issue:

* From My View- Report from CEO Dennis P. DeMers * Empty Seats Campaign Photo * West Central Family Service Center Parent Meeting * Tri-Valley Fall Leaf Tours * Senior Programs Cornstalk Jamboree

In This Issue:

* Brenda Johnson at the Twin Game

* Homeless is My Address... Not My Name Exhibit * Owatonna Story Hour * Grafton Family Service Center Car Seat Check Up * North Metro “Silly” Staff Meeting

(From My View continued)- This coming week I will be in Washington, DC at the National Head Start Leadership Conference and the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Board of Directors meeting. While there I will join Jason Carlson and Laurie Coleman in making visits to our Congressional Delegation. This, too, is part of the Succession Planning set forth by our Board of Directors. There is going to be a flurry of “non-activity,” that will take place on Capitol Hill over the next few months. Still, it remains our duty to develop relationships with members of our delegation and their staff in order to get access to the decision-making process as it unfolds. The recent federal sequestration and the flat funding of most of our programs and services over the past 12 years have cut our purchasing power by nearly 20%. And, with that 20% cut has come higher expectations for more accountability and outcomes. We have hit the wall and we simply can no longer do more with less without imploding or exploding. Consequently, we must put our best foot forward in Washington, DC as well as in St. Paul, so as to be effective in making our case for continued and increase funding.


Empty Seats = Lost Opportunities

In September, Tri-Valley took part in the Head Start Empty Seats campaign. The photo was not only featured on the Tri-Valley Facebook page but on the Minnesota Head Start Association and National Head Start Association’s Facebook pages.

As the leaves turn color and a chill seeps into our bones I happily embrace the autumn of each year. I like the richness in the scenery and the briskness in the air to refresh my body and my mind in preparation for the cruelty that can come with winter. I hope that you enjoy this autumn as much as I and that you store-up for the winter to come. A thought that came to me the other day has to do with getting a definitive answer to an open-ended question. The thought I had was: “Never succumb to the allure of an answer to a thoughtful question. Inquire, inquire, inquire.”

On Thursday, September 12, the West Central Family Service Center in Danube, MN held its parent meeting. The staff and families designed tie dye t-shirts! The center had a great turn out and lots of fun with the families and children.

Tri-Valley Transportation Embarks on Fall Color Tours Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. offered a convenient way to get out and see the seasonal colors on September 27th & 30th. Tri-Valley Transportation and T.H.E. Bus welcomed back autumn with Fall Leaf Tours to Park Rapids and Warroad. T.H.E. Bus traveled to Park Rapids and Warroad on Friday, September 27th and again to Park Rapids on Monday, September 30th.

Brenda Johnson, Database Administrator at Tri-Valley, won the Twins tickets given away by TVOC. The game was scheduled for April but was snowed out. The game was rescheduled for August 19 and the Twins lost to the New York Mets 6-1. But overall it was a fun day! (Pictured is Brenda and her husband Steve.

Tri-Valley Senior Programs is taking part in the Crookston Chamber and Visitor's Bureau Corn Stalk Jamboree. The display promotes the Senior Companion Program and the Foster Grandparent Program.

The Care & Share in Crookston hosted an audio/photo exhibit on Sept. 26-29 and Oct. 2-5 called Homeless is My Address... Not My Name. Developed by Margaret Miles, this unique professional exhibit offers pictures and stories collected from people who have experienced homelessness in Minnesota. Selected photos in this national traveling exhibit include a phone number that visitors can call to hear the person tell his or her own powerful story. Learn more at

The Owatonna Center had their local librarian come out and do story hour with the kids at the center. She will also be coming to the parent meeting next week where they will be having a literacy event. The theme will be Dr. Suess and the center will have literacy activities for families that will focus on their school readiness goals!

The North Metro Center held a fun staff meeting in September. “We played the dice game and if you got doubles you got to roll a huge dice with a office staff face on each side. Whoever’s face ended up you got to silly string them for five seconds. It was a blast! Then we silly stringed all the staff at the end! We were all laughing so hard! Good staff morale team builder!” Pictured in front left to right are Lindsay Vokaty (Center Manager), and Pam Blank (Data Quality Support Assistant). Standing from left to right are Ginger Carlson (Data Quality The Grafton Family Service Center held a car seat Support Assistant), Tina Harren (Assistant Center Manager), checkup event on Tuesday, September 10. Parents were Jorge Romo (Recruiter and Family Advocate), and Milton shown how to properly install their car seats and how to Rodriguez (Recruiter and Family Advocate). properly secure their children. The Head Start and Safe Kids Grand Forks collaboration focused on keeping kids safe in and around vehicles. Did you know… Nearly 4 out of 5 car seats are used incorrectly! Be sure to learn * Oct. 2-5- Homeless is my address... Not my name exhibit how to secure your children the right way. Pictured * Oct. 7 - Region V Head Start / Early Head Start Policy Council from left to right are Jasmine Wangen (CPS Technician), * Oct. 8- Tri-Valley Board of Directors meeting Claudia Martinez, and Tami Northagen (CPS Techni* Oct. 12- Crookston Chamber Cornstalk Jamboree cian / Grafton Center Manager).

Upcoming October Calendar Items:

* Oct. 21- Crookston Moonlight Madness

* Oct. 23- South Eastern Learning Site (Rochester, MN) Open House * Oct. 28-31- In-Service training for EHS teaching staff For more information





This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800584-7020 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

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 www.tvoc. org, 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.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Septembernewsletter 2013  

2013 September Tri-Valley Newsletter

Septembernewsletter 2013  

2013 September Tri-Valley Newsletter