Board Candidate Manifestos, Q&A, and Chats

Banner by Lisa inspired by Diane's of a 3 line checkbox with the choices 'OTW' and'Elections News' and including the year

Last Thursday, we announced the Board candidates for 2014. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be offering 3 ways to get to know them.

Manifestos and Bios

We asked each candidate to provide us with a bio that sums up their professional and fannish experience, as well as to write a manifesto about their goals for their term on the Board by answering the following questions:

  1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
  2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
  3. What goals would you like to achieve during your term?
  4. What is your experience of the OTW’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Please include AO3, TWC, Fanlore, our Legal Advocacy work and Open Doors, though feel free to emphasize particular areas you’re interested in.
  5. Choose two topics/issues that you think should be high priority for the OTW, both internally and externally. What do these topics mean to you and why do you value them? How will you make them a part of your service?
  6. What do you think the key responsibilities of a/the Board are? Are you familiar with the legal requirements for a US-based nonprofit board of directors?
  7. How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the OTW, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?

You can read both the candidates’ answers to these questions and their bios by clicking the links below.

Question & Answer (Q&A)

Candidates will also answer questions from the public. Anyone may submit questions via the Elections form. Please submit all questions by 23:59 UTC on October 19th. (What time is that where I live?) All three candidates will answer each question submitted, subject to the following restrictions:

  • Questions must not be repeats of questions from the manifestos. This is to allow candidates to spend their time answering new questions.
  • Similar questions will be grouped together so candidates don’t have to repeat themselves. Elections staff will decide which questions are similar enough to group.
  • If you have a follow-up to a manifesto question, please specifically mention that it is a follow-up so it isn’t treated as a repeat.

Answers will be posted on October 28th.


There will be three public chats, each attended by two candidates and lasting 90 minutes. They are scheduled for:

During these chats, OTW members and volunteers will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their manifestos, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. If anyone isn’t able to ask all their questions by the end of a given chat, you’ll have an hour to submit your questions via the Elections form.

We will announce the link to the chatroom when we post the Q&A responses. We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats!

  1. CrimsonTyphoon commented:

    I have a few questions for the candidates. First for Jessica Steiner:
    You seem to favour a board that would take on a more advisory role than the current executive role(if I’m reading this correctly), is this something you would like the board to consider?

    Follow-up to your answer regarding your goals for your term: You state that you would like to turn board into a cohesive team, that knows what it is supposed to do. Does that mean you consider the board as it is right now not to be cohesive, or knowing what it does? If that is the case do you not think that board being an executive board right now – as you say yourself – is not a good thing?

    Follow-up regarding your answer to the question of what should be high priority for the OTW: Your answer seems focused on the staffing and volunteering side, which is good, because this has been and continues to be a big issue for the org, but considering the fact that currently board only has 4 active members out of 9 sustainability at that level seems to be important as well. Do you have any plans/ideas on how to deal with the burn-out on board?

    Questions for Margaret MacRae:

    Follow-up to your goals: You say you would like the org to diversify its funding, including grants. Are you proposing that the Grant Comittee be reinstated, or should the Development and Membership Comittee widen its scope so to speak?
    You say you want the org to be committed to supporting all fandoms, considering the sometimes less than ideal dealings the Org has had with non-Western fandoms in its history, what would you say are the things that are most important, so that the org can fully support more non-Western fandoms? There are limitations currently, just due to the fact that the Archive can only natively support fanfic, but even with those limitations, how would you ensure this commitment?

    Follow-up to your answer regarding the key responsibilities of board: Why do you think that the org needs an executive board first and foremost? You state yourself that there are certain committees that benefit from a hands-off approach. I also ask, because I’m wary of more decisions being made by a board with time-sensitive issues without truly considering the work the committees would have to put in, how would you try to resolve a situation like that?

    For Soledad Griffin:

    Follow-up to your answer to question 7: How long do you expect the re-structuring process to take? It sounds like a lot of work, and like it could take a while, so my next question is: would you put aside Board work to focus on the re-structuring?

    • Kiri Van Santen commented:

      Hi CrimsonTyphoon! To reach the candidates, please submit your questions through the Elections contact form. Jessica, Margaret, and Soledad will be asked all the submitted questions, so there’s no need to address the candidates separately. Thanks!