July 31st, 2013

by JKL


The Maestro call was called to order by President Eric Byler at about 5pm PST. The attendance of other Directors is noted below. A quorum was present. We all took 30 seconds to check in.

P– Eric Byler, President
P– Egberto Willies, Vice President, Director for Campaigns and Actions
P– Jeanene Louden, Treasurer
P– John Cashon, Secretary
P– Michael Charney, Director for Strategy and Organizational Design
P– Dan Aronson, Director At Large
P– DeLann Williams, Director for Pathways to Participation
P– Cameron Kruger, Director for Development
A– Justin Brown, Director for Internet Infrastructure

MINUTES are posted – John Cashon

The minutes were approved by John, Del, Jeanene, Cameron and Michael. [Eric, Dan, and Justin did not vote.]


As far as branding for the Coffee Party, Dan had a document ready for all of the board to review, and Michael laid out some questions:

1)  Who are we now?
2)  What do we want to be when we grow up
3)  Gap analysis
4)  What consistent messaging can we adopt gets us there?
5)  How do we get our messaging out there

a. Board must be in lock-step
b. Consistently and constantly delivered through all media outlets
c. Publish Guidelines

  • i. Discuss ideas, not the people espousing them
  • ii. Don’t label others, self-identification only
  • iii. Don’t assume you know what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification
  • iv. Don’t generalize

6)  What actions support the messaging, i.e. walking the walk

a. Lead by example

b. Editorial control/critique

c. Coaching

d. Enforcement

i. Consistently applied

ii. Three strikes and you’re out

Eric brought up the issue regarding editorial guidelines for our pages versus the decision to keep the status quo, and how it can affect our branding. He said the secret was getting the message out correctly and how it helps build a community by allowing everyone to be heard by giving some the ability to post to empower them, which in the long term, it will add value to our brand. Cameron added that allowing dissents to be written to allow more views to be heard.

Michael thought that the pages were encouraging liberals to beat up on conservatives and thought that a balance was needed. He thought that allowing dissents would be bipartisan but not transpartisan. Egberto added that he thought we should put out positions on political issues. Jeanene and Cameron stated they believed two sides should not be invented for every issue, and Jeanene added that a point-counterpoint system could be used, but it is the truth that is the most important thing to remember.

Jeanene continued by saying that the left was as bad as the right regarding non-civil arguments, and in the end, it hurts our brand, because we aren’t creating a safe place for our members to visit. Michael added that we need to recognize and admit that many times the left on our pages beat up on the right, and because of this, we have already been branded in this way.

Egberto stated that he felt Michael’s pain, but thought it was more important to have a place where all voices could be heard. Michael responded that our job as a board was to find strategies to finding more of a balance, which he believed we still have not figured out yet. Cameron was open to allowing all groups to listen, but if it was only echo-chamber points, then if will not be very effective. Dan said that it was most important being a safe place, and he thought an idea would be for Egberto and other progressives call out the left if any get out of line, while Michael could do the same for the right, in order to protect the brand. Egberto agreed.

The subject changed to how people reached our Facebook page and the reasons they had for doing so. Michael stated that some are actually taking action to get to us, and if they took the time for two extra clicks for a survey and also weren’t civil when they got to the page, this doesn’t mean they are trolls.

Eric took a quick poll from all of the board to determine if their was a consensus for making plans to present ourselves as being more trans-partisan and to strive to make our pages safer to those that aren’t seeking confrontation. John, Michael, Del, Jeanene and Eric were in favor, but Cameron disagreed. He thought it would be a good idea to do a video explaining our brand showing our ideas. Eric stated that he thought it was more important to be honest with these problems and it would take work to accomplish this goal, but seeking out moderate conservatives would add a balance to the Coffee Party.

Michael reflected on what would happen if we didn’t have the page and what was the value that it was bringing. Del thought it was an interesting thought, but added that shutting down shouldn’t be an issue saying that she thought it was more important to fixing it.

A motion was brought forward by Michael and Jeanene seconded it. The motion called for a task force, run by Dan, to create a Brand Statement and prepare it to be promoted on our sites. Eric, Jeanene, John, Del, Dan, Cameron and Michael voted yes, while Egberto abstained. Justin was absent for this vote.


The board agreed to work with RootStrikers and Represent.US that are developing technology for 535 projects of their own, and it was agreed to not work against these organizations by creating our own technology. Jeanene brought up the idea of bartering services with these organizations. We can promote them using our Facebook pages if we could get access to their technology.


Unfortunately, time ran short and Cameron was not able to give his report on an idea for getting professional social media help online. However, he did copy his outline for the board.

  • Social media Management Agency
  • Been around since 2009 – Operate out of DC and NY
  1. Over 50 clients
  2. Celebrities
  3. Olympians
  4. Pro-athletes
  5. Non-profits
  6. Small Business
  • What They will do
  1. Initial Contest that will create a product (Coffee) That will fund us and give us national distributive exposure.
      1. Create a FB APP within a current FB PAGE that is custom. It will include automatic Email capture, information about the first contest and a video about the contest.

      2. Contest is going to be a coffee tasting contest to look for a coffee manufacturer for 1 year to be our Coffee Partner and provider. They will get exposure with us as well as we will get exposure with them on whatever shelves they put their products on. Basically Leveraging our brand and giving their product another channel to distribute and sell through.

      3. They will be interested as we have 445K people on Facebook and this will give us not only leverage but a structured way to monetize our brand.

      4. They must solicit there grinds to us by a specific date.

      5. Must agree to put our logo and info of who we are on their

      6. We can then branch out to other cities exposing our brand to them hosted by local chapters.

      7. Votes for best coffee can be voted on through the FB Page.

      8. Same can be done for any product that we license our brand too.

      9. We will have our message on every product we are licenced too.

      10. SHO will want to have all access to schedule times to post our media.

      11. They will put together CP Statistical data to show what is working and what is not.

  • They will also help us generate all content. They will post it and encourage engagement.

  • They will get to know our organization and ensure that our community engages, donates, shares, and buys our coffee/products.

  • 1.6 Billion cups of coffee are consumed each day which is a HUGE market.

  • Talking to Ben & Jerry’s about having them make a coffee party coffee Ice Cream flavor – (Coffee, Butterfinger, Heathbar, and Caramel if I had my say.)
  • The bottom line is we need exposure, brand value building, and media exposure. If we are not wanting to try and reach out to mass media, doing this through public distribution makes a lot of sense.


The next meeting will be held August 14th, 2013 in Maestro, at 5 pm Pacific (8 pm Eastern). We all took 30 seconds to check out, and all mics were opened so we could say goodbye to one another or as we say in Kentucky, “Have a good one!”

John Cashon
Secretary of the Board of Directors