As many supporters of TIRF are well aware, the Foundations’ Board of Trustees meets two times per year, once during the annual TESOL Convention in the spring (Northern Hemisphere) and again in the Washington, DC area in the fall. Like nearly all organizations, however, TIRF’s meetings this year have moved online. With this backdrop provided, in this piece, we share highlights from TIRF’s two-hour virtual meeting, which was held earlier this month.
The pandemic has certainly influenced TIRF’s operations this year. Programs such as the TIRF Speaker Series for Chengdu Duoweimingju Institute of Education and the TIRF Masters Research Grants have both been postponed. Taken together, the Foundation has not been able to secure revenue for these activities it budgeted for in 2020. However, as we continue to forge ahead in a year that many of us are ready to put behind us – for so many reasons – 2020 has not been all bad for the Foundation.
TIRF has continued to enjoy support from many of its partners and individual supporters. There have been new opportunities available to TIRF under its “Professional Services” offerings. The Foundation continues to work with its Trustees and individuals within its network to explore ways in which TIRF can conduct program reviews, provide speaker services, and develop training opportunities. Some of the services TIRF is providing are underway already and others are being planned for delivery later this year and/or early in 2021. We will continue to report on these activities in the months ahead.
As TIRF’s programmatic endeavors continue to expand, the Foundation’s Trustees – along with Chief Operating Officer Ryan Damerow – are working on important capacity building efforts. It has become evident that TIRF’s areas of expertise are both needed and in demand, perhaps more than ever before due to COVID-19. And in order to help individuals and organizations move forward in these uncertain times, TIRF is working toward systematic approaches to ensure its operations remain efficient and productive.
Finally, TIRF’s newest Board members – Dr. Joan Kang Shin and Mr. Erik Gundersen – were greeted by their fellow Trustees as they attended their first Board meeting. Although Joan and Erik already knew many of the TIRF Trustees, it was the first opportunity for some to get to know one another. We are delighted to have them join us!