OTW Board Candidates Announcement

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The OTW is pleased to announce the following candidates for the 2015 Election (in alphabetical order by given name):

  • Alex Tischer
  • Aline Carrão
  • Andrea Horbinski
  • Atiya Hakeem
  • Daniel Lamson
  • Katarina Harju
  • Matty Bowers
  • Nikisha Sanders

Because we have 2 seats to be filled and 8 candidates, the 2015 election will be contested—that is, the members of OTW will vote on which candidates fill the seats.

The Elections Committee is excited to begin the process of introducing the candidates to all of the members of the OTW! Included in this post are links to short bios and manifestos written by the candidates. This post also marks the beginning of our Q&A period, during which we invite the public to submit questions for the candidates. Additionally, we will be holding a series of live chats – dates and times for those are to be announced based on candidate availability. Information on the voting period and how to vote will also be posted shortly.

In the meantime, there is a timeline of Elections events available here for your reference. Read on to learn more about our candidates and how you can submit questions for 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 following 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 11:59pm UTC on September 21. (What time is that where I live?) All 8 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.

The posting date for answers will be chosen depending on the number of questions received.

  1. MD commented: It would be good to know which two seats are being filled (are these open seats or seats due to people timing out/leaving) Current board is here: https://transformativeworks.org/about/people
    • elz commented: Agreed! It's gotten a little confusing over the years. I know that the current board is six people out of a total seven seats (that was lowered from nine in July). Andrea and Eylul were elected in 2012 and Cat was appointed the same year, so they've all served three years and Andrea is presumably running for re-election. The other three board members were all just elected last year, and the open seat was due to a resignation after that. Is either Eylul or Cat stepping down? Or is it the empty seat being filled this year?
    • Kiri Van Santen commented: Hi MD and Elz! Thanks for your question. The Board isn't comprised of specific seats, but rather of a certain number of Directors in general. The Board has reduced themselves from 9 to 7 members for next year. Since 3 were seated last year, only 2 can be seated this year (and next year) to prevent us from seating more than 7 total people. There are 3 people leaving (Eylul, Andrea, and Cat), but only 2 new people will be seated this year - so the numbers are unrelated. We hope that helps! Kind regards, Kiri Van Santen, OTW Communications Co-chair, on behalf of the OTW Elections Committee
      • MD commented: OK I think I get it. of the 3 people leaving this year because their terms are ending (Eylul, Andrea, and Cat) one is hoping to return for an additional "term" after she finishes the current one in 2015 (Andrea). Nikisha Sanders was on the Board (2011-2014) and is now running again. I think she timed out last year but continued serving as Treasurer (until today). I totally understand you not wanting to spell too much detail in the original post. Hopefully, this info will help people who might want to look at candidates previous track records and experience in the position.
  2. Madelyn commented: http://elections.transformativeworks.org/timeline - there's question marks next to the "Deadline to become a member in order to vote in the upcoming election." Do you have any clarification on that date? I assume it'd be sometime in October?
    • Kiri Van Santen commented: Hi Madelyn! Thanks for your question. You're right - this year's deadline to become a member in order to vote is October 6, 2015. For more information about why it wasn't on the timeline before now, check out this post about the membership deadline. We hope to see you at the polls! Kind regards, Kiri Van Santen, Communications Committee Co-Chair, on behalf of the Elections Committee
  3. jae commented: I think I see why some of the candidates keep harping about transparency. Shouldn't we already know who is leaving Board? Why the secrecy?
    • Kiri Van Santen commented: Hi jae. I have an official response from OTW Elections for you: 'Hi jae! Thanks for you question. No secrets here - the Board members Eylul Dogruel, Cat Meier, and Andrea Horbinski will be completing their terms this year. In this case, Elections made the choice to not explicitly state that information in the candidacy post because the number of exiting Board members doesn't correspond to the number of seats available in this election. Hopefully that clears things up for you! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to use the Elections contact form.' Kind regards, Kiri Van Santen, OTW Communications Co-Chair
  4. Madelyn commented: I haven't been able to find a copy of the strategic plan on the site. I received this email when I asked about it in November of 2014: I'm writing to you on behalf of Strategic Planning, in response to the note you left on our contact form. Strategic Planning has spent the last two years gathering data through surveys like the one that you filled out. The data is being used in two ways: Firstly, we are writing reports on each of the committees and releasing them publicly as we complete them. We haven't finished writing all the reports yet, though most of them are started and in various stages of completion. You can read the reports here: https://transformativeworks.org/strategic-planning-reports-2012-2014 Secondly, we are synthesizing all of the responses, including the ones not yet included in reports, into the first strategic plan for the OTW. Issues like volunteer attrition are front and centre in terms of what we hope the plan will address over the next three years. We hope that the completed Strategic Plan will be published early in 2015. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us again! -- Can you please give me a link to that? I see mentions of it in a couple of the board manifestos/info.
    • Kiri Van Santen commented: Hi Madelyn! I apologise for the delay in getting you an answer. Since the Strategic Plan was drafted in early 2015, the Strategic Planning Committee has been workshopping the document—soliciting and implementing suggestions from the rest of the OTW. The completed Plan is scheduled for publication on this site in late October or early November. Kind regards, Kiri Van Santen, OTW Communications Co-Chair