May 26, 2004 – The V. I. Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. sponsored a two-day Capacity Building Training Workshop for 31 council members and guests in mid May at the Tamarind Reef Hotel Marina Room.
Donna Hunter, communications director for the national association, and Smith Covey, national coordinator for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, conducted the interactive training. They presented information on the roles and responsibilities of Council members, how to expand the organization, strategic planning, finances and media and public relations.
"The objective of the training was to develop our council members' leadership skills and strengthen the V.I. program," stated Council President, May Adams Cornwall. "Our goals for the council this year are to broaden our member-ship base and increase the council's visibility in the community," she continued. "The council offers unique challenges and opportunities. It is a thrill to work with them as they begin to expand their program," added Hunter.
USDAs and the council's programs help people in rural areas plan and carry out activities that increase conservation of natural resources, support economic development, and enhance the environment and standard of living in local communities. The council is a locally-initiated and directed program staffed with volunteers from all walks of life.
"You're doing a super job," Covey told Council members. "The services you provide and the meaningful projects under-taken are commendable for the combined size of the islands you serve." Covey also encouraged members to think big and said the training will help members meet the challenge of achieving a balance between conservation and development.
Among the new Council members present was Cordell Jacobs, executive director of the St. Thomas / St. John Anti-Litter & Beautification Commission. "The training helped me to understand the important tools needed to run an effective organization. The information on legal issues, lobbying and accounting were especially insightful," Jacobs stated. "It developed me both personally and professionally."
To find out more about projects or how to join or assist the Council, call 692-9632.
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