Notice of Public Meetings….New November 28th

Notice to all our Hummingbird Friends……Public Meeting – November 30th 7 p.m., Henderson Public Library (lower level) 110 S. 6th St. Please attend this 7th Session of the “Strategic Planning of the National Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Center.” This session will include our annual meeting and discussion of several important issues regarding the Center. Bring your ideas and show your support to help make this project a success. Any questions please call Brenda, 507-665-6570. THANK YOU!

Past Sessions!!!!

Session #5: Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 7 p.m., in the lower level of the Henderson Public Library. All welcome!!!!

National Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Center project: Session #4 summary from October 19th.
Guest speakers for Session #4 were veteran nonprofit leaders Ted Suss of Nerstrand and Becky Pollack,
executive director of the Ney Nature Center. Both shared their experience and knowledge of nonprofit
management and structure.
To start, Ted indicated that Henderson Feathers is up-to-date on its 501c3 nonprofit status with both the
state and federal agencies. That’s great because there wouldn’t be a need to reorganize or establish a
new, different nonprofit.
Also, participants of the sessions have been consistent: Henderson Feathers should be the nonprofit and
the controller of the National Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Center.
Importantly, by session end, an annual meeting date of Henderson Feathers was scheduled for
Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m. in the basement meeting room of the Public Library.
With that set, it’s important to have a consensus with who currently is on the Henderson Feathers board.
On official state and federal documents, here’s what we’ve seen: President – Pat Steckman; Secretary –
Brenda Kotasek; Treasurer – Beth Cornish. Also, consensus is that Sue Felmlee would also be
considered a current board member.
Others who have participated in the Hummingbird Sessions and expressed interest in joining the board
include: Fred Wiese, Joe Tafs, Linda Kunkel and possibly Sarah Malchow. Sarah was at the first two
sessions but missed session #3 when participants were asked about their interests. Also, Brenda has
indicated two Mankato-area individuals who have expressed interest in being board members, in the future, not at this time.
That brings the total of current board members and those interested in being on the newly-established
board of Henderson Feathers to 8. By-laws state that there must be at least 3 but no more than 15.
Importantly, according to the by-laws, the current board can appoint vacancies. So, the four current
Henderson Feathers board members could present those new board members as an official slate by the
annual meeting date of November 30.
At Session #4, Becky stressed the need for a diverse skill-set among board members, such as nonprofit
structure, finance, volunteer management, programs, etc. With the potential for 5 more potential board
members to bring the total to 15, a good look at possible missing skill-sets, or gaps in leadership, is
critical, she said.
Potential committees: An executive/management committee is very common, usually the three or four
officers, in case decisions (often, financial) need to be made between official meetings. Other potential
committees considered:
● Facilities (including garden?)
● Programs/Exhibits
● Gift Store/vendors
● Fundraising
● Volunteer coordination
● Hummingbird Hurrah

Location of the Center: No official decision has been made, but Henderson Feathers board members and others involved in the organization agree that the Catholic Church’s hall would make a good location for the Center. Mayor Keith Swenson says the city is in negotiations with the Diocese and will likely be gifted the church and hall for “a nominal fee.”
(The new board, in partnership with the city and a possible facilities committee, eventually will need to make any formal location decision.)
Membership organization? Becky, who guides the Ney Center’s membership organization, notes establishing Henderson Feathers as a membership organization would likely help with those potential “gaps in leadership,” as well as expanding organizational capacity and ideas. Also, as a membership organization, Becky says there would be more accountability because members would share in the election of board members.

National Ruby Throated Hummingbird Center

Strategic Planning Project

The National Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Center, soon to be located in Henderson, Minnesota, and its non-profit corporation Henderson Feathers, Inc. are launching a series of strategic planning sessions throughout the months of September, October, November and December.  The process will include eight 2-3-hour sessions, professionally prepared and facilitated, and open to the public.  The goal is to open the Center in April, 2024.

The following purpose, session topics, schedule and outcomes are designed to provide a written document to follow in preparation for opening and sustaining operation for the next two years.  The first four sessions will be for the general public, those wishing to impart ideas and interest in the Center and consider further involvement.  The second four sessions will be more focused and involve 15-20 people wishing to continue volunteering and possibly serving as steering committee or board members. 

NOTICE OF 4TH SESSION! October 19th at 7 p,m,

National Ruby Throated Hummingbird Center – Strategic Planning!!

Our 4th Session will be this Thursday, October 19th at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Henderson Library.

Please ask your friends and family to attend….we welcome all for ideas and input to our planning.

Session #4 is a very critical one, as guest facilitators Becky Pollack, executive director of the New Nature Center, and veteran nonprofit leader Ted Suss of Nerstand will share their experiences and knowledge of nonprofit management and structure.

Here’s some notes and thoughts from Session #3 on Oct. 5: By Dana Melius

  • Offered/interested to be on the board: Fred Wiese, Beth Cornish (treasurer), Joe Tafs (Bloomington), and Brenda Kotasek (secretary). NOTE: Best practices from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits recommends at least 7 to 9 board members. But the initial Hummingbird/Henderson Feathers board may opt to be larger, maybe up to 15.
  • Other participants offered to remain involved in other ways: Grant writing, fundraising, garden and gift shop volunteers, in partnerships (city of Henderson/Ney Nature Center), or as historians and social media volunteers.
  • At session end, Mayor Swenson announced that the local Catholic Church has offered the church hall to the city for “a nominal” fee to serve as the National Ruby-Throated Center. There were brief discussions about the pros & cons of the center being there, but overall, it was deemed as a very possible and attractive location.


Session One:  Thursday, September 7th, 7-9 p.m.

Henderson Community Building

At large meeting- ALL WELCOME

What is a National Center?

What do you want this Center to be?

Prioritizing what we want?


Session Two:  Thursday, September 21st, 7-9 p.m.  Henderson Comm Bldg.

At large meeting- all welcome

Presentation by the National Owl Center, Houston, MN



Session 3 – Thursday October 5th, 7 p.m. in the

Henderson Library – lower level.

We will go over the information received from the last session

with Karla B. of the International Owl Center and have a

discussion of how to proceed with the National Ruby Throated

Hummingbird Center in Henderson, to open April 2024.

ALL WELCOME to attend!!!