Board Meeting Minutes: July 20 2013



PRESENT: Andrea Horbinski, Cat Meier, Eylul Dogruel, Franzeska Dickson, Ira Gladkova, Kristen Murphy, sanders

GUESTS: none

ABSENT: none



1. Update from Development & Membership: The OTW meetup at Comic-Con was Wednesday night. Heidi said there were about 90 people there and we took in $365 in donations. She also said “Everyone had a great time! There was a lot of fic talk, great prompts from Cards Against Humanity, and, well, margaritas. And a lot of people asked if we could do it again next year.” Heidi from Legal did a lot of legwork to host the event, as did Communications to promote it, so big thanks to them.

2. Update from Volunteers & Recruiting:

a) We are in the last stage of the Annual Report project, as we run through a debrief to assess how the project went and how we can improve it for the future. We’ve created a category on the internal wiki for reports (both Annual and Quarterly), report templates, and related documentation.

b) We’re beginning the transition of the Recruitment Revision Project out of the project stage and into an ongoing committee task. More information about this project is available on the internal wiki.

c) The Chair & Lead Training project is still in progress. We are embarking on Stage Four soon.

d) The proposal for the VolCom Training Plan project has been approved and moved to the wiki as an established process. We’ve begun work on the documentation for completing committee-internal tasks, with a goal of external recruiting in late August so the committee will be well-staffed for the end of term.

e) We’ve recently closed the role for recruiting Communications Graphics Volunteers. Communication is currently in the interview process. We’re working with Tag Wrangling to open wrangling recruitment, this time for targeted recruiting. We’re continuing the policy of opening three roles at the beginning of each week. If chairs or leads have questions about the process or requirements, please e-mail [email protected] and we’d be happy to assist in any way we can.

3. Finance update (see chart below).

13-Jul 20-Jul Difference BoA 135530.35 135121.60 (408.75) PayPal 11637.28 12034.00 396.72 CD 10100.22 10100.22 0.00 Total 157267.85 157255.82 (12.03)

13-Jul 20-Jul Difference
BoA 135530.35 135121.60  (408.75) 
PayPal 11637.28 12034.00 396.72
CD 10100.22 10100.22 0.00
Total 157267.85 157255.82 (12.03)

4. Update from Internationalization & Outreach: I&O should be submitting new staffers for approval within the week.

5. Discussion of Board meeting times. We voted to change to a rotation of two meetings at 19:00 UTC, followed by one at 24:00 UTC. Andrea volunteered to add the next few meeting dates to the calendar.

6. Discussion of the following proposal from Volunteers & Recruiting: “Volunteers & Recruiting is developing a library of resources to use to continue building on our documentation as well as providing resources for other leaders within the organization. You can learn more about this project below at the wiki: [internal wiki link redacted]. We would like an initial budget of $500 with which to acquire resources so we can begin making strategic decisions about which e-books to purchase. Could the Board let us know if that amount is reasonable at this time? Additionally, we would be happy to accept a larger budget if the Board considers it feasible and within the organization’s means.” The Board voted to approve the proposal with an initial budget of $1,000.

7. Discussion of possible dates and discussion topics for the August org-wide meeting. Kristen volunteered to send an e-mail to allchairs to solicit topic suggestions. sanders suggested that a future discussion topic could center on how staffers and volunteers can represent the OTW in our everyday lives and how to give the “elevator speech” about what we do. We will start an e-mail thread on the Board mailing list to share our personal experiences with giving the “elevator speech.”

8. The Board discussed and approved Phase 1 of a four-phase hardware purchase proposal from Systems: “Phase 1: We need to purchase a new server for test and infrastructure in the UK, at a capital cost of $11,200 and an estimated extra $900 a year ongoing. We also need a temporary new virtual server [vendor name redacted] at an estimated expense of $20 a month to build and test the configuration for the new incoming email server we’ll bring up after Phase 2. And we’d like approval now for the eventual doubling of our bandwidth at the [U.S.] datacenter, at a cost of $3,000 a year; due to our rapid growth we cannot exactly predict when we will need to upgrade it, but the need can arise suddenly. We will let Finance know the minute we’ve determined we are enacting the bandwidth change so they can be aware of the change in charges.” We will continue to discuss Phases 2-4 via e-mail.


1. Debriefing of the Board’s recent open house chat for staff and volunteers. We discussed the perception, shared with us by a staffer at the chat, that the Board has excessively interfered in committee matters. A Board member raised the point that if multiple staffers have interpreted the Board’s actions as interference when we perceive it as just doing our jobs, the communication breakdown is most likely on the Board side and we need to work to improve it. We discussed the importance of more/better documentation as a foundation for improving the Board’s relationship with other parts of the org, but noted that documentation is not a panacea and that we shouldn’t put off trying to address issues in other ways just because relevant documentation isn’t ready yet.

2. Discussion of the planned in-person Board retreat. We decided on the dates of November 1-3. We acknowledged that some staffers may have questions or concerns about the retreat since it’s something the OTW hasn’t done before, and we discussed how we can work proactively to address any such questions/concerns. We also discussed the possibility of including a conference call or videoconference for chairs and/or for everyone in the org. The meeting was adjourned at 21:15 UTC. Minutes approved by the Board on 17 October 2013.

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