January 12, 2012

by JKL

Call To Order and Note of Attendance
The Maestro Call meeting was called to order by President Eric Byler at 5:07 pm PST.  Other directors present included Jeanene Louden, Eric Whinery, Craig Dunigan, Egberto Willies, Frank Kirkwood, and Christopher Ritter.  Directors Kerry Helmer and Jose Guiterrez were late to the call but present.  No directors missed the call.  Staff present were Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears.  Those present did a 30 second check in.

Timing of the Board Planning Meeting
Funding challenges have delayed the board planning meeting, originally planned for January.  At the last meeting, we discussed paying our own way (to the degree possible) in order to prevent delaying our meeting any longer.  Everyone agreed on the importance of not excluding those who could not self fund.

Resolution 004-2012
Self Funded Board Retreat
WHEREAS there is interest on the Board of Directors to meet in person in order to flesh out our plans for Coffee Party USA, and
WHEREAS there is a commitment among Directors to fundraising, and
WHEREAS some members of the Board of Directors expressed a willingness to pay their own way to get to an in-person Board of Directors meeting, it is
RESOLVED that we shall resume planning for an in-person Board of Directors meeting by selecting a weekend when the majority of the Board of Directors can meet, and a location that would be most economical for both transportation and accommodations.

The motion was made by Craig, seconded by Frank, and passed: 8 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain and 1 not present. Debilyn will let the SOD/Board Development/Development Work Groups know to have the materials prepared for the retreat by the second half of February.

Board Transparency
We continued a conversation initiated by email prior to the meeting about: How transparent do we want to be about releasing upcoming meeting topics and meeting minutes to members? What is a reasonable expectation for exposure of ourselves?  Our discussion first focused on collaborative v institutional decision-making models, with most choosing to pursue a more collaborative approach.  Discussion turned to how we could enhance, and not become a barrier to, Work Group efforts and local affiliate activity.

Resolution 005-2012
WHEREAS the Board of Directors (BOD) wishes to be open with our members, and include them in our decision-making process, it is
RESOLVED that the following strategy be implemented:

  • the Secretary takes responsibility for posting BOD meeting minutes to our website within 48 hours of each meeting;
  • the membership will receive minutes, with a friendly introduction written by the Secretary;
  • the Secretary, President and Vice President (to be elected) will take a lead in communicating personal stories to members (knowing that our communications can also be shared with the general public either by us deliberately, or by members who receive our communications);
  • the Secretary, President, and Vice President (and other directors if they choose) will communicate issues to be discussed/decided upon in upcoming meetings using email blast, blogs, FaceBook exchanges, Coffee Party Radio, etc.;
  • the Secretary, President, and Vice President will encourage members to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and opinions to the BOD, and make them part of the conversation as we make decisions for the movement.

The motion was made by Chris, seconded by Craig and passed.

Vice President
We discussed the pros and cons of having a Vice President. Directors interested in the position may contact Debilyn by email.

Financial Reports
A cash flow and draft January-June 2012 budget was presented by Treasurer Eric W  Our discussion focused on the reductions in staff up to this point and predicted in the budget as presented.  Concern for the ability of the Coffee Party USA to function responsibly and effectively without staff led the conversation to the need for significant and sustained fund raising.

Fund Raising
The motion was proposed by Eric B by email and discussed at length. A major point of concern was the interface (or lack) with the efforts of the Development Work Group. We are in the inquiry of how to balance board effectiveness, use of the work group structure, and best use of dedicated volunteer time and talent. The board liaison role is hoped to help empower our chosen structure to allow the Board to effectively steer the Coffee Party.

Resolution 006-2012
Fundraising Plan
WHEREAS our track record shows that building a rapport between leaders and members, plus a personal request, is a good model for fundraising, and
WHEREAS the first two essays have started to shape our 2012 narrative that collaboration, volunteerism, and everyday folks can make a difference, and
WHEREAS the Development Work Group strongly urges the Board of Directors to embrace periodic asks for membership sign-ups and/or donations, it is
RESOLVED, we shall weave our 2012 Collaboration Narrative with the Development Work Group’s schedule:

  • All nine board members write an “Intro Blog”
  • The newsletter go out every other week via email blast, and include at least one Intro Blog
  • An email blast go out in the intervening week with the Intro Blog messaging from a different Director each time until all are introduced.
  • Intro Blogs are then scheduled on the FaceBook page with the author of the blog present to engage with members.

IN ADDITION, The Board of Directors recognizes and appreciates the hard work of the Development Work Group in 2011, and intends to revisit the November 2011 plan to raise funds using position paper in the near future.

The motion was made by Eric W, seconded by Kerry and passed unanimously.

Board Member Assignments To Work Groups
There are vacancies in the board liaison strategy. We need to honor this important component of the interactive and organic quality we are hoping for in our organization.

Work Group Assignments
WHEREAS all Coffee Party USA Work Groups have a board liaison, it is
RESOLVED that Frank Kirkwood will serve as Chapter Development director liaison in addition to Pathways to Participation director liaison, and it is
RESOLVED that Chris Ritter will serve as Internet Infrastructure Work Group director liaison.

Motion was made by Eric W, seconded by Jeanene, and passed unanimously.

Management Team Relationship to The Board
We discussed the membership, structure, and function of the management team.  The possible future interactions and relationship structures of the management team and the BOD were touched upon with the hope the subject will be revisited soon.

However, Debilyn reported that unless something changed before the end of the month, the only paid staff member remaining would be the membership director.  All other paid staff are phasing out for budgetary reasons on January 31st.  AN APPRECIATION for staff and a commitment to fundraising was expressed by the board.

Schedule Next Meeting and Adjourn
The next meeting will be held either the 18 th or 19 th of January, to be determined by online poll.  We agreed that to keep meeting weekly until the agenda can be handled in one hour.

The Directors and staff closed with a check out at 7:02 pm PST.

Jeanene Louden