Darin Preis

First, let's all congratulate Erica Armenta for earning her U.S. Citizenship! Erica is a bilingual teacher at Moniteau Head Start. What a great accomplishment! We take for granted so many things about being citizens and it is inspirational to see people do everything they need to do to earn citizenship. Let's make her proud to be an American.

This week I had several meetings with my peers in the Missouri Community Action Director's Association and the Missouri Community Action Network. Our Missouri network does a great job of working together for the benefit of struggling Missourians and we should all be proud to be a member of such a strong state network. For those of you who are members of Missouri CAN, your responses to the Annual Training and Technical Assistance Survey provided great direction for planning the 2018 State Conference. 91% of respondents stated that over the past year, the tools, information, and resource that Missouri CAN shared were timely, sufficient, and responsive to their needs. That's pretty high praise! The Missouri CAN board also reviewed and extended the strategic plan (you know how I love strategic planning!). The Missouri CAN strategic commitments are:

  1. To be an effective advocate in policy and program development to positively impact low-income Missourians and the Community Action Network.
  2. To increase the capacity of the individuals and agencies of the Missouri Community Action Network.
  3. To further develop Missouri CAN as an effective statewide organization.

It's never a bad time to join the Missouri Community Action Network. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the Vice President of the board and I'm also a member. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is the President of our local chapter. Any of us would be happy to tell you more about the network and help you sign up to be a member if you'd like.

We are losing two board members at the end of the month and I've been starting to plan our recruitment for their replacements. Elaine Kime is a low-income representative from Callaway County and has reached the maximum term of six years on the board. She has spoken at Step Up to Leadership many times and reflects the realities of poverty in her personal story. Lucy Betteridge is a private sector representative in Cooper County and is moving to Kansas City to practice immigration law for a firm there. She is passionate about community issues and we will miss her. If you know either of them, please express your appreciation for their service and contributions to CMCA. Also, if you know of people in those counties that might be good successors, please let me know. We have a great board of directors and they are critical to our success.

Have a great weekend!

(Welcome back Raj!)