Madison Township officials plan to gather for a daylong retreat saturday, March 31, to set goals for the future, identify problem areas and improve communication.

The group includes trustees John Kershner, John Pritchard and Ed Dildine; township Administrator Susan Brobst; police Chief Gary York; interim fire Chief Jeff Fasone; Public Works Superintendent Dave Watkins and fiscal officer Laurie Vermeer.

The meeting begins at 11:30 a.m. at township offices, 4575 Madison Lane, and is open to the public.

Kershner, who is trustee chairman, said he's seen a lack of structure in planning the township's future and he's hoping the retreat will change that.

"We need to be able to articulate our goals," he said. "I'm bringing in what I'm used to in the corporate world.

"Nobody has been happy with the level of communication and I think this is a good first step in getting that going."

Kershner, who owns his own video and production company and has worked at L Brands, said he intends to use the retreat to help formalize a blueprint for Madison Township's goals and future.

The township has approximately 100 employees.

"We've discovered the only five-year plan we have is for fire, and it's outdated and inaccurate," he said.

"We just don't have the type of planning that should go into multimillion- dollar organizations. This is us putting that together."

The township hired facilitator Mia Turpel of Performance Support Partners to lead the retreat.

According to its website, the company "brings methodologies to your organization and leadership team that addresses the problems of employee engagement and how to really influence others."

Turpel, who was hired for $700, has interviewed employees and asked them to fill out a questionnaire, which included expectations about the meeting and communication.

"One of the things that I focus on is that I help people understand their strengths to deliver that full contribution," she said. "That, I think, helps bring the best out of people and helps them work with higher performance and higher energy."

Kershner wants to use the facilitation process to identify weaknesses and ways to improve.

"We want this to be a collaboration, rather than just being led by the trustees and administrator," Turpel said. "I'm trying to make this a meeting where they can feel positive and really try to see their strengths more."