April 18, 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, Craig Dunigan, Jose Gutierrez, Christopher Ritter, and Egberto Willies. Directors missing the call included Treasurer Eric Whinery, and Frank Kirkwood.  Staff on the call included Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears. We opened the call with 30 second check-ins.

As a current events issue, the Coffee Party USA web site has been down most of the day and the resolution is not near. Our level of problem solving focused on our previously identified problem that our system has been too dependent on too few people with high level skills that most volunteers and staff do not have, affording failures like the one today. Our commitment to the new system outlined by the Internet Infrastructure Work Group was underscored. While the change will be an adjustment to our members and followers, it will be liberating to system volunteers and technologically elegant. HOORAY!

All meeting minutes are up to date and posted. I let everyone know I have added a page to the blog called MEMBERSHIP that includes a link to the CoffeePartyUSA website. This compliments my newsletter article encouraging members and followers to visit and “follow” our minutes blog in WordPress. I also requested that all board and staff “follow” this blog so that everyone will see any comments made.

Debilyn gave the report for Eric W who was unable to attend the call. The focus of the report today was tracking membership, converting all past financial information to a unified presentation, and the need to change our bank.

Debilyn reported on her recent email to those whose memberships have recently expired. Her email gave folks the chance to renew or give us feedback as to why they chose not to renew. We received a favorable renewal response as well as great non renewal feedback.

Unified Financial Records
As a part of the effort to codify our internal controls, it became clear that we need to bring all financial information from the inception of the Coffee Party to one, easily accessed place. All previous records have been called in, regardless of format. Treasurer Eric W has personally hired an accountant to transfer all prior information to QuickBooks Online. No more digging for financial history! Thanks so much, Eric.

New Bank
Despite heroic efforts on the part of our treasurer and staff, the community bank we now use has proven to not serve our needs. An extensive search for a credit union that we are eligible to join and is accessible to the appropriate staff and directors has come up empty handed. Reviewing the multi state banks available, most socially responsible that can meet our set of needs is US Bank.

WHEREAS Coffee Party USA needs a full service business banking account, electronically accessible to several signers in several states, and with convenient locations in several states, and
WHEREAS US Bank provides all the services we require, and
WHEREAS US Bank is ranked better than most large banks on the social responsibility scale, it is
RESOLVED that Coffee Party USA shall open a business account with US Bank, and it is
FURTHER RESOLVED that the initial signers on the account shall include Executive Director (Debilyn Molineaux at this time) and two Directors (Jeanene Louden and Egberto Willies at this time).

The motion was made by Jeanene, seconded by Craig and passed: 6 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, and 2 not present (Frank and Eric W).

Debilyn has found and implemented a tool called Little Green Light to help us make these calls in an efficient manner. She gave us all a quick tutorial on accessing and using the tool, and the link we needed to get started. We set a deadline for ourselves of the first weekend in May, with a few exceptions for folks with serious conflicts.


Bi-Weekly ONT Call
We discussed the best day for the call given current schedules and conflicts and determined that Sunday, April 29th was the best date. Egberto will assist Eric W on the call.

Chapter Development
We had a lengthy discussion about the series of breakdowns that have held up the implementation of the new chapter development strategy. These problems range from technology challenges, to personnel issues, to miscommunications among various teams. The result has been an impressive willingness to withhold benefit of the doubt. This lack of charity among the players has caused emotional deadlock.

We, the board, declared a breakdown, drew a line in the sand, and stepped over it to the decision to implement the chapter development strategy as intended using the tools currently available to us. Our self imposed deadline is to be ready for National Coffee Week.

National Coffee Party Week
Billy presented this proposal from the Elections Task Force Committee. It is very similar to the Coffee Day action in 2010, with a slightly different theme. The proposed details follow:

  • June 4-10
  • “Civility” is the theme of the first meeting
  • Voter Guide template will be ready
  • Coffee Vote 10 week plan outlined
  • Materials prep by Billy, & volunteers Frank Maurizio, DeLann Williams

We had a second extensive discussion, this time about how best to go about filling the empty director position. We used the recommendation of the Board Development Work Group as a starting point, but as is our practice, if one director is a NO vote, the conversation is expanded.

We discussed lessons learned in the three and a half months we have been seated in terms of skills required to be a director, the time required, the talents and passions needed to fill this particular chair (it includes functioning as liaison to the Development Work Group), and addressed the issue of gender balance in our group. We decided we will look for candidates between meetings.

The process will be to nominate, vet, and then appoint the new director.


Internet Infrastructure
Chris introduced the concept paper, BRINGING IT BACK HOME, on how to reorder the technology “machine behind the scene”. Given some of the other issues we had to discuss, we agreed to study this document with the intent to review/ comment/ approve this concept paper by email between meetings.


The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 25, 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