May 2, 2012

by JKL

The Maestro conference 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, Jose Gutierrez (a little late), Frank Kirkwood, and Chris Ritter. Directors not present included Craig Dunnigan and Egberto Willies. Staff present included Executive Director Debilyn Molineaux and Membership Director Billy Sears.

Meeting minutes on our blog are one week behind.

The Email Blast from today, a petition for Congressional Reform that links to Fools on the Hill got a great response from three organizations this afternoon, but has crashed the originator’s site due to incoming volume. Billy intended to resend a “Wow, we crashed the site” update in the morning, so folks can try again, but the site was back up before the end of our call.


Our financial position is not improving and, as projected, will falter at the beginning of the next fiscal year if things do not change. Our larger discussion of this is included under NEW BUSINESS / Strategic Plan. We all felt that if we had done a good job of letting members and followers know what the Coffee Party was up to today, we would not be in this financial predicament.

Board Vacancy
The lack of a Development Director was discussed as it pertains to this issue. One idea was to ask a highly qualified fundraiser to volunteer for one month to get us on the right track, and then appoint a board member who could keep the plan rolling.  As it turns out, one of our At Large directors has education and training in this area. We discussed the possibility that he be shifted into this position and our search to fill the board vacancy be shifted to an At Large position. More on this possibility after a little homework on idea feasibility. Meanwhile, any thoughts between meetings about potential candidates will be shared with Eric B.

Again, because our finances are membership driven, failure to meet membership goals is resulting in our failure to meet our financial goals. Several new membership appeal ideas were discussed. We even discussed the question, should we suspend more membership “drives” until National Coffee Part Week? The Strategic Plan discussion below is also key to this issue.


The need to funnel volunteers into Work Groups for our current initiatives is essential at this time. The web link will be up and running in a day or two.  We were reminded that Work Group liaisons need to let Leah know what skills are needed in each Work Group ASAP.

Little Green Light, the volunteer and membership management software we have been trying on for size, has extended our test period. We have another week to use it for making thank you calls to major donors and to review the software for value to us. Suggestions were made as to how we might be able to afford another bit of overhead.

Internet Infrastructure
Chris talked to us about the implementation of the new media strategy. The ability to meaningfully connect Big Marker within our network of options was discussed at length. Chris has submitted a request for assistance in integrating it within our system.


Strategic Plan
We have come to the collective realization that we went 90% of the way with our strategic planning efforts and then stalled. We decided at this meeting to go for completion on this project.

The completion effort will involve taking all the plan comments we have received from our emails sent out from Chicago, as well as the work completed at and since our “non-retreat”; putting our work in a format recognisable as a Strategic Plan; and distributing the final document to members and followers. Parts of our plan are already being implemented, but it is fair to say we have not lived up to our own standard of transparency by having shared what we are up to piecemeal.

Our unique proposition is the combination of local organizing and 99% media. It will take a good strategic plan document to deliver the power of this possibility. It must also include exactly what our money is being spent on so that members understand where their dollars go once they hit “send”.  We want to be transparent about all of this.

We agreed to put this on fast track, to use a team approach, and give ourselves a deadline to release the plan in time for Coffee Party Week. Jeanene and Debilyn will work together to form a team to put all the plan pieces together in an appropriate format. Frank will make sure the volunteer data base will send send team members in their direction. Craig and the SOD (Strategy and Organizational Development Work Group) will be called upon as is possible in this time frame. Other directors and staff will be kept in the loop for input, questions, comment, etc.

This is very exciting!

The next meeting will be held by Maestro conference call, Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 5PM PDT. We all did 30 second check outs and all mics were opened so we could say Aloha.

Respectfully Submitted:
Jeanene Kay Louden
Secretary of the Board of Directors