Board January 2018
Add your topics here. Please provided links to any materials or documents needed so that participants can prepare:
Format: Topic description - Is vote needed? - Presenter - Time in minutes - links
- Intro statement - No vote needed - Pierre - 5 min
- Officer/Org work time - No vote needed - Officers - 15 min
- time designated for org tasks that increase board involvement in org functions and visibility in community
- Stipend Change for President - is vote needed? (?) - Crafty - 5min
- Current stipend doesn't match current contribution
- TE Small Claims Lawsuite - is vote needed? No - Group - 20 min.- See current distributed version of paperwork
- Decision needed for course of action so we have enough time to work on it.
- Mid-month meeting - no vote needed - Nicole - 10 minutes
- Discuss/schedule mid-month meeting with officers
- Closing tasks
- any unfinished business or final announcements
- 1 Attendance
- 2 Notes
Pierre Grandin, Nicole Scherm, Jacob LaBay, Mark Johnsen, (Crafty) Rachel Sadd, Chris O'Sullivan, Renee Green
(1) Intro statement
Pierre - 5 min
PG: I just wanted to acknowledge Nicole's work on the board: she is the fastest to have onboarded and has gotten the most done
(2) Officer/Org Work Time
Officers - 15 min
Monthly time designated for org tasks that increase board involvement in org functions and visibility in community
RS: Homework assignment for all board: spend a few minutes on Slack and find somone to praise so the leadership team does not just look like Rachel
RG: Please don't change board meeting times on the day of the board meeting
NS: On that note, should we set the next board meeting time now?
RS: Great idea!
PG: I already have Monday, Feb 5 scheduled
NS: How does this interact with the incoming board members?
RS: We can inform the nominees. The first meeting is usually a get-to-know-you dinner and maybe we can ask them to come prepared with five questions or something.
(3) Stipend change for President
Crafty - 5 min
Current stipend doesn't match current contribution
RS: Originally, during the budget game, I took off $200 of my stipend to budget for a vice president, but the reality is that we don't have a VP and I've been doing on the work, so I'd like the $200 back
PG: I think it comes down to: Are you willing to spend 3 days a week working on Ace?
RS: That's an additional $1440/month, which is much lower than my normal base pay?
PG: Is this prorated with your current stipend? How is this related to your freelance rate?
RS: In order for me to give 3 days, I can't work freelance, so that number is set based on how much I would need to make up the difference. I'm currently doing 60 hours for $640 before tax, so the third day, I cannot give that same rate. Not including the aforementioned $200, when I put those numbers in to our budget spreadsheet, that's an additional $8k from budgeted before, but we are also not stipending a lot of officers that we had originally budgeted to stipend.
PG: So how does this affect the overall budget? VP stipend is $200/month?
RS: We budgeted the following stipends that we are currently not spending: Monster Corps $150/month, VP $150/month, Marketing Coordinator $200/month, Fundraising Coordinator $200/month, Membership Coordinator $200/month, so $900/month is available
PG: Do you know where we can find that money?
RS: We are already making that 3X over. It's made up of either money we didn't spend that we thought we would spend or extra income we didn't anticipate. In December, we made $2700 more than we expected to make due to a big jump from Techshop, but we can expect half of them to leave, which still leaves us with $1600/month more than we expected, so multiply that by 6, and we have $9600 extra in the next 6 months. As long as nothing significantly unexpected happens, we will have made ~$129k this year. Hooray!
CO: A round of applause!
RS: I am confident that if we keep doing what we're doing, we can maintain our membership
CO: A significant portion of the people from Techshop came from the East Bay, so it is unlikely that we will lose them.
RS: There are also a lot of people who didn't come directly from Techshop, but are friends of people associated with Techshop.
PG: If you dedicate a third day to Ace every week, what does it cover?
RS: It would cover VP tasks and it's making up for Emma getting her thesis. It's not giving us the same thing that a dedicated VP would give us, because what I'm going to do is informed by the other roles that I'm doing.
PG: The thinking behind my question is that if you take on a third day, do we want to continue looking for a VP?
RS: I think having endless zombie positions unfilled is not healthy for the org, and it looks bad for the org.
RG: It reduced diversity of the leadership
RS: It gives the leadership one voice. I don't want to take these positions off the table for the future, but we shouldn't pretend that I'm not doing it. The membership thinks they can ask more and more from me because I'm taking on all of these roles, so there is a benefit that comes from me taking on a third day, but also letting the membership know that I'm only taking on a third day to fill the void of all these other positions. Is there a way to say, "She is officially doing this job, until we find someone else who wants to do this" or "We are constantly iterating; right now she is doing this, but if better people come along and new ideas come along, we are open to change." That is where I am personally, that's what I think is best for the org, and it's also a communications challenge. It is disingenuous to say we are actively looking for people to fill these positions when we aren't really doing anything. This also begs the question: "Is this sustainable?", which is something Kat has brought up. She is pretty adamant that sometime in the next 3 years, AMT is either going to have to grow or shrink, because at our current size, we can't fill the both the board and officer positions. We're going to have to start looking at paying people.
CO: We have a lot of "gym" memberships
RS: And coworking is full. The thing that's holding us back is purely square footage, which is out of our control.
NS: [time check]
RS: I am open to either option, but I am also open to doing 3 days short term.
CO: Do we have a motion?
PG: Motion to raise President stipend and have her work 3 days a week for 3 months?
[motion passes unanimously to add $1440/month for Rachel's President stipend and her committment to an additional 8 hours/week for the next 3 months]
PG: Do you want to set a day or be flexible?
RS: Probably Friday
(4) TE Small Claims Lawsuit
Group - 20 min
Decision needed for course of action so we have enough time to work on it
RS: Apparently it is a thing to get small claims court legal advice, but a lawyer cannot represent you in small claims court
CO: I think we should budget $500 for legal advice
RS: That sounds good, because I am morally opposed to rewarding bad behavior. We do have homework to do, because we need copies of all records: Slack conversations, emails, documents, etc. On the upside, we have reocrd of when we offered $400 compensation and record that he saw it because of Docusign.
MJ: I noticed he made a mistake and he needed to include another form.
CO: Small claims court tends to be pretty forgiving of such things
RS: Print out everything ever, put it in chronological order, show it to a legal advisor, and have them point out the areas that refute his claim so we can go down the line and logically remove our obligations.
MJ: We offered to pay everything that was on his list.
CO: He also states "loss of income" while he was unemployed
[redacted due this being a live situation. Slack #governance thread confirms plan of action]
RS: How about (in my new 3rd day), I do some research and find a legal resource that tells us how to do this and I report back to the board within 2 weeks?
[everyone nods, motions pass]
(5) Mid-month meeting
Nicole - 10 min
Discuss/schedule mid-month meeting with officers
NS: I think it would be lovely (if people had time and inclination) to have a mid-month officer/board lunch meeting that is more brainstorming and happy things instead of getting down to business
RS: I'd be into hanging out with you guys and being present without the pressure to produce a result
PG: This was the idea when we started talking about this back in November
NS: The idea was to do this every other month.
RS: I think this is workable. I'm definitely feeling a lack of connection with the people on the board because I'm doing all this work and producing all these reports and I feel like I'm shouting down a well. When we had more officers, we had a regular coworking time and the synergy was really helpful.
PG: are you saying you want this more than every other month?
CO: Are you saying you want a higher-touch board?
RS: That would be great! Even if one or two of you showed up for coworking, that would be really beneficial.
PG: To be honest, the reason why we were trying to do it every other month was for budget to fund a lunch
RS: And that's why I see a lunch as separate from more frequent coworking time.
NS: I think with a new set of board members, it will be good to revisit how we work.
RS: A lot of how I work with all the reporting is an artifact of what worked with previous board members, but maybe the new folks will have a different style and something else will work.
PG: Do we want to schedule the next lunch if it is agreed that this is a good thing?
RS: My preference is either weekend or MW
NS: I would also like weekend, but I can also work remotely during the week
PG: Weekends do not work for me, but how about Wednesdays? They work for everyone here. 17th or 24th?
[group decides on Jan 24th]
NS: Does anyone have a preference on how to do this, or should I do some budget research to see what we can do?
RS: I can look this up now; we're underspending
NS: I've been trying to spend about half of the budget
RS: I have a weird thing to put on the table, but I can probably pay for our next thing, because I have a lot of credit at two fancy restaurants, but not everyone may want to go, because they are Charlie Helliwell's old restaurants and he has had sexual harassment charges, and I wasn't going to make someone go where they didn't feel comfortable. No need to worry about costs. Oh wait, they don't do lunch.
NS: I'll look into lunch spots.
PG: I'll help.
(6) Closing tasks
NS: I think we are done with board topics, unless anyone else has anything to add
RS: If anyone has resources to become aware of things, I can make you aware of things:
- Kat is not available Jun 17–Oct 17 because she will be working on our 990 in her role as accountant, but this may not be a problem, because there is a dedicated bookkeeping resource in Monster Corps, because the Monster Corps expansion has been going very well.
- By April 11, yearly goal-setting needs to start and needs to wrap up by May 11. This our Top 5, and includes sending out a survey and collecting and collating data.
- We need to start recruiting for the Budget Game because the Game needs to start getting played by May 21 and gameplay needs to wrap up by Jun 10, leaving enough time to work in the budget and get it ratified before we lose Kat. It helps that we have a freeze on discretionary spending for the month of June.
- Just as an FYI: We had a member backcharge for several months in Stripe and didn't cancel their subscription. They never asked for a refund, which is a violation of our Terms of Service. We took all that documentation and, using accountant Kat's brain, submitted a dispute for the backcharge. The member also owed $95 for unpaid laser fees. This person is now blocked and cannot be a member. We're not trying to get anything; we're just trying to keep the money we already collected. The board can override this descision. ['everyone shakes heads]
[board meeting adjourned]