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NMC Foundation Leadership Clarifies the Role of Mr. West (December 19, 2012)

First and foremost, this is a Contract entered into between the NMC College Foundation and Mr. West.

The NMC Foundation is controlled by its own board of directors. Dr. Hart is a non-voting member of this board.

According to Dr. Markoff, “The Foundation’s Board retained Mr. Steven West to provide consultative services in relation to fundraising and strategies for the development of a new Foundation. When the Foundation presented this to the College, Dr. Hart identified the potential conflict of interest, recused herself from participation, and delegated authority for review and approval, if necessary, of any such agreement, to the Dean of Administration. Thereafter, the President did not participate in the process. Additionally, the College Procurement Department procured written justification for sole source procurement and services, as is required by NMC Procurement Policies.

Mr. West, is known throughout the fundraising industry. As a prior Chairman of the Board of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, a 5,000 (international) member organization, he is a leader in the fundraising arena and is known world-wide. Mr. West has helped numerous organizations and non-profits over the years to raise millions of dollars. Having his talents here in the CNMI, and becoming aware of what he could bring to our Foundation was remarkable, to say the least.

Based on the fact that all of this is coming up once again in the media, it is extremely disappointing, states Dr. Markoff.

According to Dr. Markoff, it was great to have Steve West, who is located on Island, to conduct the personal interviews with key stakeholders in the community.

All written deliverables and activities were performed in an exemplary manner. I am thrilled with the results. The information Mr. Steve West compiled for us will be extremely useful on the road ahead.

I want to correct the error that was stated in the Saipan Tribune on Monday, Dec 17. Mr. West was not paid “$14,000 for a 5 week contract.” In fact, he was paid that amount over a 10 week time period, as his contract required a substantial amount of work.

According to Dr. Markoff, Mr. West was able to meet with the selected number of key community leaders for one-on-one interviews. He provided a great final Report that reviewed the fund raising efforts of the College over the years, the community interviews, an organization structure for the new Foundation, fund development philosophies, a series of internal operations, public relations and then a significant amount of fund-raising guidelines and activities for us to pursue.

Dr. Markoff states he made good faith efforts to comply with the College’s procurement procedures, even though he is not affiliated with the College, but serves as a volunteer to the Foundation.

With these tools in hand, the Foundation can now begin to move forward to add qualified Community leaders to the Foundation Board, to raise funds for the betterment of the College, and to especially help support the efforts of the faculty, staff, and students!

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