SYOSSET, NY — At its two-day meeting on March 13-14, 2007, the members of the Metropolitan Council heard, discussed, and decided matters of importance to the faithful of the Church, in accordance with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America. The following is a summary of those reports, discussions, and decisions, as officially recorded at the meeting.
1. The meeting began with the Service of Prayer.
2. Roll call verified that 25 of the 28 Council members were present on Tuesday, March 13, and 26 members were present on Wednesday, March 14.
3. His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN made opening comments (later published at http://www.oca.org)
Organizational Task Force/ Search Committee Report
4. Bob Kornafel, Chairman of the Organizational Task Force, reported on the recruitment process for key OCA Chancery positions. The Council approved his report and recommended appointments of V. Rev. Alexander Garklavs as Chancellor, Kevin Kovalycsik as Treasurer, and Rev. Andrew Jarmus as Director of Ministries and Communications. The Task Force, operating through 3-member Selection Teams, made no recommendation for selection of a Secretary of the OCA, but rather recommended the position be re-announced to attract additional highly qualified candidates. (Notice of nominations and re-announcement were subsequently published at http://www.oca.org)
Transition Officer Report
5. Dn. John Zarras reported progress in implementing the approved reorganization of the Chancery offices, including personnel changes, equipment and software upgrades, and management improvements such as the institution of regular staff meetings.
OCA Best Practices / Conformity to NY State Law Report
6. V. Rev. Paul Kucynda informed the Council that the Best Practices document previously approved by the Metropolitan Council, pending legal review to assure its conformance with NY State law, has been reviewed by qualified attorneys at the Proskauer Rose law firm and found to be in conformance. After discussion, the Council agreed to direct its Best Practices Committee to continue its work by developing policies and procedures for compliance and enforcement before the document is approved by the Metropolitan Council.
OCA Investments Report
7. Mr. Vincent Dotterweich, Senior Vice President - Investments / Financial Advisor from Wachovia Securities, reported that OCA trust, endowment, and investment accounts, previously dispersed in numerous institutions, are now consolidated and more effectively invested, with drastically reduced risk and greatly improved diversification.
Computer Upgrade Project Report
8. Rev. Jonathan Ivanoff reported on action now taking place to install a new computer server in the Chancery and to acquire and implement financial management software.
FOS and Development Report
9. V. Rev. Eugene Vansuch, Director of Development and FOS, reported on fund-raising accomplishments and goals. In discussion, the Council clarified financial policies and practices for use of FOS funds received annually. All FOS contributions are used exclusively to support the work of the Church’s Departments. The salary and benefits of the Director as well as program-related expenses are included in the annual, general operations budget of the OCA.
Special Investigation Committee Report
10. During the late afternoon and evening on Tuesday and for most of Wednesday morning, the Special Investigative Committee appointed by His Beatitude Metropolitan HERMAN at the Joint Meeting of the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council in December, presented and discussed a written and oral report. The report consisted of a summary of the investigative work conducted by Proskauer Rose LLP and Lambrides, Lamos and Moulthrop LLP, and specific Committee recommendations for further action to be taken by the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council. After considerable discussion, the Metropolitan Council members present unanimously endorsed a majority of the recommendations, which will be presented to the Holy Synod for their consideration next week. The Holy Synod will be meeting on March 20 - 23, 2007 and will be presented the complete report for their consideration and determination of appropriate next steps.
OCA Pension Plan Report
11. V. Rev. Michael Westerburg, Pension Board Chairman, reported that the OCA Pension Fund is sound, audited, and both acquiring and distributing funds in compliance with law and sound financial practices.
OCA Audit Committee Report
12. V. Rev. Paul Suda, Chairman of the OCA Audit Committee, reported on his Committee’s review of January—September 2006 transactions. The review confirmed that all transactions and routine disbursements for operating expenses during that period were properly documented. Restricted funds from designated appeals have been restored to original balances, and all transactions related to them also have proper documentation. Payroll transactions revealed no unauthorized payments.
Independent Audit Report
13. Stephen Lamos, CPA, from the firm Lambrides, Lamos, Moulthrop, LLP, presented 2006 financial reports prepared by the OCA finance office. Mr. Lamos reported the 2006 financial reports appear reasonable, although his firm has not yet audited the OCA financial records for the year. The audit is expected to take place by the end of June 2007.
Martin Drive Property Report
14. Attorney Greg Matalon of Cappel, Barnett, Matalon and Schoenfeld reported on the contract for sale of the 216 Martin Drive real estate for $600,000.00. Metropolitan Council members approved the sale and signed required sales documents.
All American Council Report
15. A memorandum from V. Rev. Myron Manzuk provided the Metropolitan Council with updated information on plans for the next All-American Council scheduled for 2008. It is planned that the Council will be a cost-conscious event, held Monday through Thursday afternoon during the late summer or fall of 2008 in a city to be determined.
Finance Committee Report
16. V. Rev. Matthew Tate, Chairman of the Metropolitan Council Finance Committee, reported, based on preliminary reviews, that the general fund of the Church ended 2006 in a positive financial condition. Though legal and accountant fees exceeded initial projections, other budget areas were higher than actual expenses during 2006. To provide for similar situations in the future, he proposed that the Council adopt a policy and process for authorizing expenses in excess of budget, within budget categories.
Audit Committee Report
17. Mary Caetta presented the Metropolitan Council Audit Committee Report, consisting of general goals and a commitment to report specific plans and strategies to the Council at its June meeting.
Charity Committee Report
18. V. Rev. John Reeves, Chairman of the Metropolitan Council Charity Committee, reported on the work accomplished by his committee, which was established with the Audit and Investment Committees, in December 2006.
Investment Committee Report
19. V. Rev. Philip Reese presented the Metropolitan Council Investment Committee report consisting of start-up plans and membership proposals for this newly- established Committee.
Final Distributions Report
20. Acting Treasurer V.Rev. Paul Kucynda reported that all money owed to designated funds of the Church was restored from the $1,700,000.00 Honesdale National Bank loan immediately after the loan was approved. Since the November 2006 meeting of the Metropolitan Council, nearly all special appeal funds have been distributed by the Acting Treasurer’s Office as directed by decision of the Metropolitan Council at that meeting. Proposals for distribution of the designated funds in the amount of approximately $140,000.00 will be presented the Metropolitan Council for decision at their next meeting. Included in the $140,000.00 is approximately $90,000.00 in September 11th Appeal Funds, and approximately $35,000.00 in Beslan Appeal Funds. Also to be discussed at the next meeting is the contribution of approximately $67,000.00 in grant funds received in 1992 and commonly referred to as the “Bibles for Russia Fund.”
After closing prayers, the Council adjourned with plans to meet next in June 2007.