On Wednesday, April 30, 2008 The J.L. Bedsole Alumni Planning Council met for lunch on the 29th Floor of the new RSA Tower in downtown Mobile. The View was spectacular. The following Bedsole Alumni were in attendance: Kimberly (Fredere) Dolbear, Dara Steele, Sarah (Bond) Dorger, Carla Holk, Travis Guest, Sam Schjott, Casey (Crow) McCorquodale, Patrick Goff, and Lynn (Sprouse) Kilgore. Members of the Bedsole Staff: Stephen Dill, Scott Morton, Patty Patton also attended.
The first topic for discussion was Workforce Development in the Greater Mobile Area and how to make the business and professional community aware of the valuable resource provide by Bedsole Scholars as they become available for employment. Carla Holk suggested that representative alumni attend the quarterly breakfast sponsored by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Carla will make inquiries and find out who is in charge of these breakfasts. It would be the intent of the Alumni attending to make area businesses aware of The J.L. Bedsole Foundation Scholars Program, seek local employment for the graduates and also inform the business community aware of the Career Preparation Intern Program.
It was reported that Ms. Leigh Perry Herndon at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce expressed an interest in publishing an article in the August issue of Business View featuring Bedsole Scholars returning to Mobile for work after completing their education. Ms. Herndon suggested the article might feature four or five Bedsole Alumni working in Mobile for members of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Carla Holk agreed to coordinate this project with Ms. Herndon.
The discussion then turned to mentoring opportunities at the 2008 Convocation. The council discussed having a team building activity after the banquet that would allow the scholars to interact with the alumni. One suggestion was to get additional ideas from Youth Leadership Mobile; another was for the Scholars to engage in an alumni information “scavenger hunt.” Scott Morton agreed to ask if a meeting place were available at the GM&O Building. Another location and transportation to that location was also mentioned as a possibility.
Travis Guest suggested having mentor information on the alumni website so that scholars can easily find a mentor that fit their needs. This information could be categorized by college, major, occupation, etc. The foundation’s webmaster would have to be involved in this.
When the question was raised as to the best way of obtaining contact information from the Bedsole Alumni, it was recommended that the foundation make contact with the each graduating class via email and urge them to join the alumni association and keep the office updated on any changes. Rosters of each Bedsole Class were distributed and the council members were asked to help get in touch with those that had no email address listed on the roster.
When possible agenda items were requested for the business meeting at the Alumni Spring Gathering at 5 Rivers on May 17th, Sarah (Bond) Dorger and Casey (Crow) McCorquodale agreed to present the goals and accomplishments of the past council meetings. It was also suggested that those attending the Spring Gathering should be urged to register in Alumni Central on the Bedsole Scholar’s website either by an available computer or by filling out a contact information form.
Sam Schjott urged the group to continue plans for a more formal organization of the Council such as by-laws, number of council members, representation and a selection process.
No decision was made regarding future meetings, however Carla Holk and Travis Guest indicated they could validate parking at the RSA Tower parking garage and the Whitney Bank parking lot.
The meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.