April 5, 2012

by JKL

Our Maestro conference call meeting was called to order by President Eric Byler at 5:02 pm PST.  Other directors present included: Secretary Jeanene Louden, Treasurer Eric Whinery, Craig Dunigan, Jose Gutierrez (25 minutes only) Frank Kirkwood, Christopher Ritter, and Egberto Willies (a little late). Staff on the call included Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears. We opened the call with 30 second check-ins.

The posting of the last set of minutes is behind schedule. I have asked several people to help out with filling in the blanks on the last meeting minutes because I was calling in from a car and I lost contact several times in Detroit Canyon. The notes were not enough for me to do a couple of topics justice. I will post those minutes as soon as those agenda items are filled out.

We learned that we are still behind our membership / fundraising targets for March. Billy asked if the Board would like daily update emails on how this effort was progressing, but we decided what we would prefer access to a Google Doc that was updated daily that we could check in on as we felt the need. Because such a document already exists, the information was immediately available. Excellent!

The accountant Eric W hired personally to help us catch up on bookkeeping is in tax season, but will soon be working on financial reporting in Quickbooks Online.  Many thanks, EW,  for this act of generosity.

Several of us have volunteered to make thank you calls to members who made significant donations when they joined or renewed their memberships. Debilyn volunteered to help, bringing the calls per person down to between 30 and 40 at this point. Let’s hope we get to make a lot more calls soon!

The resignation of Vice President Kerry Helmer leaves us with a vacancy to fill. We spent a good amount of time interpreting both the letter and the intent of the bylaws as to how this should be done. We will send our thoughts on how to proceed to the Board Development  Work Group to take the next appropriate steps.

Just for fun, I’m including the sections of the bylaws we are working with in this effort below.

Section 5.  Vacancies.  Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors and any directorship to be filled by reason of an increase in the number of directors may be filled,by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining members of the Board of Directors at any annual, regular or special meeting.  A director elected to fill a vacancy shall be elected for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor in office and until his or her successor is elected and qualified.

Section 6. Filling of Vacancies.  Any vacancy in any office shall be filled by a person appointed by the Board of Directors, which person shall otherwise be qualified for such office in accordance with these Bylaws and shall serve for the unexpired term of the office or until his or her successor shall have been duly elected and qualified.

Between meetings Frank introduced a resolution to add to the Coffee Party staff by funding a part-time position for 10 hours per week at a rate of $400 per month to assist with these tasks:

  • Human Relations type function to insure we have needed Non-disclosure and Tech volunteer forms completed, and IDs (currently Drivers License) stored in a safe manner.
  • Work with IT team to keep (online) access up to date as volunteers come and go.
  • Provide training with online tools.
  • Create training videos.

The employee will require knowledge of Coffee Party structure, workflow, and volunteers and an ability to work with multiple learning styles.

We discussed the sustainability of this position given our current funding position. We are finding ourselves in a double bind: we need to be able to empower volunteers if we are going to implement our strategic plan, and we need to raise money in order to be able to provide the volunteer empowering infrastructure. We decided to launch this program on a three month basis, give our strategy everything we have, look for all cost savings and efficiencies we can, and go for it. We will reevaluate our position July 1.

WHEREAS implementation of the strategic plan included support for volunteer and affiliate/chapter activities, and
WHEREAS a paid position would ensure continuity and security in sensitive matters, and
WHEREAS we have confirmed that the cash flow will support a three month trial of this position, it is
RESOLVED the Board of Directors hire the recommended temporary staff.

The motion was made by Frank, seconded by Jeanene, and passed: 7 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, and 1 not available (Jose).

Chris presented a plan that distributed responsibility for outreach and content to seven teams. Each team would have utilize at least blogtalkradio, scoopit, Facebook, and newsletter/blog formats in a systematized way to cover topics and breaking news of interest to the Coffee Party Community. Content would be organized by a collaborating editorial board of participants and interested parties to prevent both duplication and omission.

It became clear to me that, while the plan expanded our reach, it also distributed the task to include the possibility of participation of an almost unlimited number of people. These seven teams could include many people, or could morph into many more teams. It would be a pleasure to reduce the risk of volunteer burnout and system failure that occur when plans are too dependent upon too few individuals.

WHEREAS The Coffee Party Mission Statement drives us to connect communities, and
WHEREAS one of our main methods for connecting communities is to use social networking tools as a lense through which vetted information is re-distributed, it is
RESOLVED that the new plan submitted by the Internet Infrastructure Work Group be adopted.

The motion was made by Egberto, seconded by Chris and passed: 6 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, and 2 not available (Jose and Craig).


The next meeting will be held on April 12, 2012, 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern. We all did 30 second check outs and then opened all the mics in order to say Aloha to one another.

Respectfully Submitted:
Jeanene Kay Louden