3 October 2014 Minutes (Retreat)


October 3, 2014, 9 AM – 6 PM Eastern

BOARD DIRECTORS PRESENT: Andrea Horbinski, Anna Genoese, Cat Meier, Eylul Dogruel, sanders

OTW STAFF PRESENT: Legal: Rebecca, Betsy; Strat Plan: Hana Lee, Elliot Oberholtzer, Gryph, Jessica Steiner, M. J. MacRae, Niko Thompson; VolCom: Michelle, Curtis, Tianrui 

GUESTS: Jules (Communications facilitator)

1. Discussion of procedure of retreat and roles during retreat

  • Strategic Planning to take point
  • Volcom to help and add
  • Legal to support
  • "Transparency" = detailed notes

2. Discussion of "rules" for discussions

  • What do we expect of each other as human beings?
  • What does Jules bring to the table as an attendee?
    • Burnout expert
    • Taking care of us while we take care of fandom

3. Nonviolent Communication Exercises

  • These questions reveal values:
    • What gives you energy?
    • What drains your energy?
  • Write down one thing people in the org say that bugs you. Then we use empathy to find the "need" behind the statement.
  • Write down a need we have the org is not meeting to discuss at the end of the retreat

4. Discussed NVC mediation training

  • "Everyone who showed up for the live chat showed the best of themselves"
  • Question: How do we get that to happen everywhere/every time?

5. Dispute Resolution Procedure

  • Walked through Dispute Resolution Procedure with all participants contributing edits


– break for lunch –


6. Brainstorming exercise

  • Where do you want to see the org in 3 years?
    • consistent
    • leadership
    • communication
    • functional / better than functional
    • $100,000 per drive
    • $300,000 per year budget
    • paid executive director
    • working with allied orgs (more public work)
    • What should Board purview be?
    • focus on strategic planning
    • overall governance
    • fundraising
    • networking with outside allies
    • not doing day-to-day management/conflict resolution
    • one full term without intra-Board conflict
    • fundraising
    • vision
    • networking
    • collaboration
    • more reasonable time commitment
    • split executive committee / board roles
    • accountability
  • Discussion of what people/ the org need from Board
    • "appropriate" interaction
    • acceptance that the "Board hat" does not come off
    • "transparency":
      • what is the Board doing?
      • acknowledgment of mistakes
      • background/context
    • trust that Board will support the staff
    • trust that Board will do their job(s)
    • clear definition of Board purview
    • Board shouldn’t be responsible for onboarding staff
    • Board shouldn’t be involved in mediation
    • Board should be working on outreach

NOTE FROM STRAT PLAN: Some of the inconsistency of the feedback has to do with whether the committee is functional (happy), not functional committees want more Board intervention

  • Board feedback:
    • Don't want to / can't give emotional support
    • Supporting committee jobs is different from emotional supporting
    • Being public face = fulfilling
    • Board doesn’t want to become the public face at the cost of other committees/chairs/staffs not being out in the public
      • there are good reasons to delegate this (at least in part) to qualified staffers
    • Difficulty with taking over liaising role during board transitions 
      • There is no formalized liaising policy/how to
      • No documentation / process

7. Discussion of Board needs

  • Executive assistant(s)
    • possible paid position/contractor
    • can we find/trust volunteers to do this
  • separate out officer positions from Board positions
  • improve liaising system:
    • email whole Board instead of one/two people
    • define what issues should come to Board instead of Communication Facilitation Team/Dispute Resolution Team
    • Board taking point by skillset instead of committee
  • Develop "Board skills" in staffers
    • "Board track"
    • Elections Committee already working on training process

8. Discussion of elections

  • Elections are supposed to bring on people with great executive skills
    • This does not always happen
  • The "Board" is actually an elected executive committee
  • Do we need elections?
    • Decouple fundraising from membership
  • Change from "Board" to Executive Board and Advisory Board

NOTE ABOUT THESE MINUTES: There were no votes taken. These discussions were discussions only.

Minutes approved by the Board on 5 October 2014.

Comments are closed.