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Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Year in Review from our Board!

2019 Year in Review from Our Board of Directors! 


Oh, what a busy year the Mayan Families Board of Directors has had! We are so proud of everything this organization has been able to accomplish, and we know that the seeds that have been planted this year by Erin and the preparation of the soil by Staff and Board will surely result in a bountiful harvest of impactful change in 2020. We thank you for all of your support, and wish you a very Happy New Year.

Below, you’ll see a list of the key activities and changes the Board has implemented this year to stabilize the organization and ensure that our work is impactful, ethical, and transparent in the years to come.


Correcting the Past

  • The key to everything that follows was the selection and retention of a highly qualified and culturally attuned Executive Director, and we found that (and more!) in Erin Mooney.
  • After a comprehensive investigation conducted by Board, staff and professional advisors, we produced a Corrective Actions Report which summarized our findings and noted the actions underway to prevent future abuse of power or donor assets.
  • Our Board Treasurer, Mark Vorobik, led the task of completing and submitting three years of past due Tax Returns in the course of one year, bringing Mayan Families into IRS compliance.
  • Organization Bylaws were amended to include term limits, require visitation to Guatemala, and expect financial support from all current and future Board members.
  • Proper signatory and access practices for all Banking and Financial Service Accounts and a detailed Inventory of all organizational assets were attained.
  • Property and Vehicles Titles were secured under the rightful ownership of Mayan Families or Amigos de Mayan Families, as designated in our Partnership Agreement.
  • All Founding Board Members have now resigned from their Board positions.
  • The first ever In-Person Board Meeting was held in March in Panajachel, and a second in-person meeting and donor event was held in Boston in October.
  • All labor practices have been reviewed and improved, and all staff now have formal employment contracts, earn a Minimum Wage, and enjoy a supportive work environment.


Laying the Groundwork

  • Board and staff collaborated on Vision, Mission and Values Statements that come straight from our hearts and are truly a reflection of our collective sense of purpose.
  • A formal Partnership Agreement, outlining full financial transparency and roles/responsibilities, was established with our local partner, Amigos de Mayan Families.
  • Significant Policy Creation was achieved including Child Protection, Conflict of Interest, Whistleblower, Travel Expense, Document Preservation, Visitor/Volunteer Policy, Gift Acceptance Policy, and more.
  • And Internal Procedures were created for financial management responsibilities including Procurement, Cash Handling, Transfer Requests, etc…
  • Expectations and clarity of Board contributions has been detailed in Role Descriptions for Directors, Officers, and Committees.
  • Additionally, formal Board Position Application and Expectations documents have been created to ensure that candidates understand their fiduciary responsibilities.
  • A Document Storage and Collaboration Tool has been acquired to assure proper historical record keeping and to assist with the challenges of working across multiple time zones.
  • Monthly Meeting Minutes are taken, approved and securely stored, and all formal documentation has and will continue to be uploaded, organized, and accessible.
  • A Performance Metrics Dashboard has been created and is presented by our Executive Director for review by the Board on a monthly basis.
  • Engagements with consultants or partners are fully documented through the consistent use of Contracts and Memorandums of Understanding.


Preparing for the Future

  • After a successful first year, the Board has entered into a formal Employment Contract with our Executive Director (and we’re really thrilled about it)!
  • Anticipating the broadening of our support network, Advisory Committee Applications for fundraising, technology and human resources have been created.
  • Additionally, an intake form for our Ambassador Program is ready for take-off.
  • Leadership for Nominating and Governance Board Sub-Committees has been established, and the search is underway to fill two vacant Board seats in 2020.
  • A Governance Calendar, outlining specific monthly actions and activities has been approved and is aligned with non-profit best practices.
  • The first formal Annual Budget, accompanied by a corresponding Organization Chart and Development Plan has been created by Staff and approved by the Board for 2020.


Planned for 2020

  • At the conclusion of Erin’s first year, she will receive a formal Executive Director Performance Assessment, including a self-review and feedback from staff, partners and donors.
  • Likewise, a Board Self-Review will be conducted mid-year to ensure that, both collectively and individually, we are meeting or exceeding the expectations that have been placed upon us.
  • Our commitment to becoming a Learning Organization is reflected in our desire to incorporate an element of Board Professional or Cultural Development in each Annual Meeting.

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