Board of Directors

Who We Are

Current Directors are listed with their bios on the Board Members page. Non-Director Board Officers are also listed at the end of that page. To see a list of previous Board Directors, check out the Former Directors page.

The OTW Board of Directors is responsible for leading the organization—defining big-picture goals and strategy. The Board is also responsible for supporting and overseeing all committees’ work and ensuring that the entire OTW works towards the same objectives.

In practice, this means that much of the Board’s work is listening. We listen to OTW members and fans as they provide feedback on the organization and its projects, and we try to respond to their concerns. We listen to volunteers as they tell us what they like and don’t like about serving in the OTW, what they’d like to see change in the future, and what should’ve already been changed long ago. We listen to Committee Chairs as they talk about the challenges their teams are facing, and we try to help them brainstorm ideas or connect with other teams that have overcome similar issues.

There’s little that the OTW Board can concretely affect all on its own. Our committees and projects are structurally complex and run on volunteer labor; strict hierarchy and top-down commands are not how we operate. Instead, decisions are made via discussions, often with multiple teams—sometimes many rounds of discussions over time. This can mean that changes take a long time, and it can make Board work somewhat frustrating. But it’s also an important safeguard, ensuring our work is the result of many people’s deliberation and not one person’s impulse decision.

Internal Structure

The OTW Board is made up of seven Board Directors. This number has varied in the past, but has since stabilized at seven. Usually, two or three Directors finish their terms each year, and the same number gets elected. This can vary if, for example, someone decides to step down before the end of their term. To learn more about how Board Directors are elected, check out Running in an OTW Election.

Within the Board, there are also Board Officers. These are Board members with special responsibilities in addition to their regular Board Director duties. The OTW Board Officer roles are elected internally among Board members near the beginning of term (in October) annually. Currently the Board elects two positions: Board President and Board Secretary.

The President is responsible for making sure the Board itself is functional, efficient, responsive, and making progress towards its own goals. They take on additional oversight and management responsibilities in addition to their Board Director duties. The Secretary is responsible for scheduling Board meetings, keeping minutes up to date, and compiling and mentioning all decisions made between meetings.

The Board can also appoint Non-Director Board Officers who have specific responsibilities attributed to them by the Board. Here’s a link to find out more about nonprofit officers.

Currently the OTW Board has one Non-Director Officer who holds the Treasurer role. The Treasurer is also always the Chair (or Co-Chair) of the Finance Committee.

The Board may also appoint temporary Non-Director Officer roles to carry out specific projects. This is particularly useful when the Board wants to ensure a significant OTW project or change takes place. After all, large changes always take considerable time and cross-team coordination in the OTW. Making sure that someone unhindered by term limits and focused on that specific project is in charge increases a project’s chance of success.

Board Director vs. Committee Chair

Board Directors and Committee Chairs both provide leadership to the OTW; however, the specifics of what that looks like are very different between the two.

Committee Chairs are responsible for many important tasks involved in leading their committee’s work. Each committee has a set purview and Chairs are responsible for making sure that their committee completes those tasks. They manage individual volunteers, communicate both within and about their committees, set priorities for their committee’s goals, and ensure that administrative work gets completed. Their work is hugely important for making sure that the day-to-day work of their committee and the OTW gets completed

By contrast, the responsibilities involved with being part of the OTW Board are at a broader, organization-wide level. For example, Board Directors are often the ones who respond to write-in campaigns or mediate discussion if two OTW committees have different proposals for how to proceed with an important project and cannot find a satisfying compromise. They take on and propose OTW-wide initiatives and policies. They approve the formation of new committees and the selection of new Committee Chairs.

In general, Board Directors oversee Committee Chairs and developments at an Organizational level, while Committee Chairs manage their own committees and the day-to-day work of the OTW.

Contact Us

If you’d like to speak with the Board live, the Board hosts public meetings on Discord approximately every three months. The exact dates are publicized on the Board meeting calendar. We also post minutes from all public meetings on this site, which you can view under the board minutes tag.

If you have other questions about the OTW Board, our structure, or our meetings, or if you simply want to learn more about us, please contact us—we will be happy to hear from you.