June 9th, 2008
This past weekend TCASK held its annual Board retreat at Pickwick Lake in Southwest Tennessee at the lake home of our incoming Board Chair, Reverend Amy Howe and her husband, Dave. The purpose of such a retreat is to gather the board in a special location, develop a multi-year strategic plan, and build camaraderie amongst the board and staff of TCASK. This was my first board retreat, and I was very excited to work on the strategic plan—and get out on the beautiful water of Pickwick Lake.
TCASK has a wonderful Board of Directors. All are devoted to honoring life by abolishing the death penalty, the mission of TCASK. After dinner the first night, we gathered at the table to begin the board meeting. Admittedly, board meetings can be a little long winded for my taste. This time, however, I felt energized by the enthusiasm of those sitting around me and the meeting’s idyllic location. The board had a successful meeting, and we retired to our beds in anticipation of a full agend the following day.
Sarah Craft from Equal Justice USA was at the retreat to help us develop our strategic plan. Craft is a seasoned organizer and has been a resource of TCASK for many years. In fact, Sarah helped develop our strategic plan three years ago (from which almost all of the goals have been accomplished). Sarah and TCASK’s board and staff worked for 7 hours straight to develop our new strategic plan for 2008-2009. Weary from the intensity of the planning process, I was a bit overwhelmed when I viewed my responsibilities over the course of a year and a half.
But, I couldn’t have been happier. Those seven hours of focus produced an exciting plan for the next months. Sometimes our work can feel indefinable, but with a plan you receive a sense of direction. When you are part of the planning process, one feels compelled to ensure that these goals are accomplished. And I can assure you that our TCASK team of staff, board, and membership will do everything we can to accomplish the plan’s goals—and to accomplish our mission of honoring life by abolishing the death penalty.