April 25, 2012

by JKL

The Maestro call meeting was called to order by President Eric Byler at 5:06PM PDT. Other directors on the call included Treasurer Eric Whinnery (a little late), Secretary Jeanene Louden, Frank Kirkwood, and Chris Ritter. Directors not present included Craig Dunnigan, Jose Gutierrez, and Egberto Willies. Staff present included Debilyn Molineaux, Executive Director and Billy Sears, Membership Director.

Up to date minutes are posted on our blog.


We have decided that actual financial reports should be given once a month, when updated information is available. Eric W did report that the consolidation of all past and present banking information is almost complete.

New Bank
We opened the new US Bank business checking account today, as Egberto was driving through Albany, Oregon, on his way to the airport in Portland (returning to Texas from a conference). Debilyn (Oregon), Jeanene (Oregon), and Egberto (Texas) are signers. The implementation of the transition from the current bank is underway.

National Coffee Week is the biggest news on the membership front. The 2010 materials are being updated but additional volunteers are needed to get the job done on time. Meanwhile, Billy is busy with catch-up on membership cards, DVD distribution, and other day-to-day activities that have been sidelined by technology glitches and reduction in staff.

Fools on the Hill, a film about how legislative bills are introduced, altered and not read before they are passed may be our next fundraising DVD. Another film Koch Brothers Exposed about their influence in policy is also available.  Debilyn and Eric B will keep us posted. We discussed whether Facebook or email blasts were the best way to know about this kind of promotion, membership, or any other activity that might have a cost connected to it. We ruled out the Facebook – money connection by the end of the conversation: it appears to work better for information sharing and actions like petitions, but is much less effective for membership drives or fundraising efforts.

Our membership renewal numbers are well below our goals and we need to address the reasons given by those who take the time to tell us.

The nation wide ONT conference is scheduled for next weekend. The National Coffee Party Week will be announced. Local organizers want to be in action, but are waiting for guidance from us.  As people organize, work together, find solutions, etc, we will encourage everyone to blog, report and tell their own story as we create the Coffee Party narrative for the country.


Bring It Back Home To WordPress
We all had a homework assignment to read Chris Ritter’s proposal from the Internet Infrastructure Work Group to restructure our net tools and capacity. This is an integral part of the 99% Media Strategy we embraced during our board “non-retreat” in Chicago. The details of the plan aside, the intent is to make our inner workings more accessible to a larger pool of people with the responsibility to respond to requests and changes in the environment. Our current platforms are generally so proprietary that too few people can respond to too many challenges. The result is a clunky, often broken, and difficult to update experience.

The new proposal takes us to WordPress, ScoopIt, and other user friendly domains in an integrated way. It allows for the inclusion of new actors on the horizon, like Big Marker, as well as the incorporation of volunteers into the media management process.

A motion to accept the plan, Bring It Back Home To WordPress, was made by Jeanene, seconded by Eric B, and passed: 5 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, and 3 not present (Egberto, Jose, and Craig). We were comfortable passing this plan with only five directors present because this was not the first time the plan was made available to us and no objections in principle or detail had been raised prior to today.

The second part of our conversation focused on the website specific to local organizers. While everything else can be phased in, this must be ready for the National Coffee Week effort and must have top priority. A motion to make GROUP SITES job one for IIWG was made by Jeanene, seconded by Eric B, and passed: 5 yes, 0 no, 0 abstain, and 3 not present (Egberto, Jose, and Craig).

Board Vacancy
The saga continues to find the perfect replacement to appoint to the board vacancy. One replacement candidate is now running for public office, so is no longer eligible. We again discussed the need for someone with experience in fundraising to be the director liaison to the Development Work Group. We again discussed our gender imbalance. We again set out to identify candidates between meetings.


Pathways to Participation Work Group
Frank reported that his group is not quite ready for the SOCIAL MEDIA NATIONAL CALL. Eric B is preparing a video with Jessica English as the subject learning about The 99% Media Strategy. The new web site is almost ready. The volunteer forms are up and running! The radio show hosts are calling out for volunteers for their 99% Media Teams!

Coffee Talk Radio on iTunes
Eric B let us all know that all Coffee Talk Radio shows are now available for free on TUNES!

Our next meeting will be held by Maestro call Wednesday, May 2, 2012, at 5PM PDT / 8PM EDT.  We all did 30 second check outs, then all mics were opened so we could say Aloha.

Respectfully Submitted:
Jeanene Kay Louden