Here at Folsom Street East, we are working year-round — not just to bring you the street festival each June, but to grow and nourish the organization which makes that possible.  In another first for the FSE board, we gathered at secretary Gary’s home upstate over a weekend in mid-November for some intensive brainstorming on our mission and our vision, as well as developing a strategic plan for the years ahead.  The weather was chilly, but the fire was warm, the tunes were carefully curated, and the food we made together was delicious.

During the day on Saturday, we achieved consensus on a number of matters, certainly not least of which was that giant Post-Its are pretty much the best thing ever.



After enjoying a contemplative moment in a magic marker-induced haze, we conducted our final business meeting of 2014 and welcomed four new board members — Marie, Paul, Robert and Rudy — with a celebratory dinner!

As we moved from Saturday night into Sunday morning, the Post-Its only increased in number.



Whether it was the markers, the strong coffee, or simply the mental effort, our giddiness only increased as well.



But we left Sunday afternoon with the draft of a new mission statement — no small feat!

All these warm fuzzy vibes inevitably culminated in our first-ever board selfie:



From left to right: Robert Lopez (at-large), Paul Phillips (at-large), Matt Johnson (chair), Dick DeWilde (treasurer), Gary Martin (secretary), Dave Hughes (president), and Doc Hoskins (at-large).

Not pictured are Marie Gagnon and Rudy Flesher (of Providence, RI, and Philadelphia, respectively), who were unable to join us for the retreat but will be working with us both virtually and in person in the new year!