Oregon Science Fiction Conventions

(OSFCI)

Board of Directors Meeting

December 16, 2007

ATTENDING: (Board members) Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, Aaron Curtis (OSFCI President), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Andrew Nisbet III, Michael Pinnick, Debra Stansbury, Patty Wells; Debbie Cross and Paul Wrigley (Susan C. Petrey Fund); Steve Criss (OryCon 29 Chair), Melvin Krehbiel (OryCon 30 Co-Chair); Tammy Lindsley and Ruth Sachter.

Board members Mark Burns (family business) and Linda Pilcher (illness), as well as Sam Justice (OSFCI attorney), were unable to attend the meeting. Mark and Linda's absences were excused, John Lorentz held Linda's proxy.

The meeting started at about 1:05PM, Aaron cell phone time.


IV. Other Continuing Business
A. Hotel Committee [moved to the beginning of the meeting since Patty had to leave early]

Patty: No proposal yet for the 2009 OryCon hotel contract, because Megan left and the new person hasn't figured it out yet. (We're all set for 2008.) She is promised one real soon. The Marriott general manager and sales director saw how "really dull and middle-aged" we were, and they know now that we're no problem for them.

One thing that has to worked for next year is to solve whatever was causing the problem with dealers unloading in the front of the hotel. (There were at least three different stories on what caused that problem.) The key for next year is to not clog the area for dealers. (Debbie: And to not require the dealers to use the loading dock, since that's only suitable for semis.)

There were no problems with the hotel this year, and now they are willing to give us a larger room block.


I. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Referring to the check mentioned during the September 16, 2007 meeting, for the Oregon Festival & Events Association–the check was never actually written. (The outstanding check was a donation to Equality Now, Joss Whedon's charity.)

In the last paragraph in the previous meeting's Treasury report–it show have read "The audit committee had not met yet."

With these corrections, the minutes were accepted as correct without dissent.


II. Treasurer's Report

[Reports circulated at the meeting can be found here and here.]

Arthur: He has still not been able to get signing authority on two accounts–the Endeavour account (which he's not worried about) and one other account that only John Williamson and Linda Pilcher are authorized signers (as well as Lisa Axmaker and Melanie Schaber.). He has to be able to meet with one of them at a bank branch in order to transfer the account over, and has not been able to accomplish this yet. (There is about $500 in that account.) The plan is to use this account for OryCon 30, once it can be signed over.

There is about $5,000 in the merchant account–$100 left in there as a base balance, and the rest, about $4,800, belongs to OryCon 30 pre-reg. (Once the account is ready to receive it, it will be transferred over.) The CD will expire next month, and Arthur will try to find a higher-paying alternative. There hasn't been much activity on either the GameStorm Odd or Even accounts–he will try to meet with Mark Burns to go over that. (Mark has been busy with family issues.) There's $2,298 in a savings account, which belongs to GameStorm 8 and needs to be dealt with, once he can discuss it with Mark.

Insurance: The insurance ended up costing a lot more for Orycon than was expected. This was because, when Arthur went in and said "we want the same thing as last year", the response from the insurer was "You didn't have insurance last year." (John W. didn't arrange for any insurance last year.) So he had to arrange a special event liability policy just for OryCon 29, at the cost of $1,700. He will make sure to have a full year policy in hand before GameStorm 10.

OSFCI reimbursed OryCon 29 for the cost of the credit card terminals (on the assumption that the overhead fee paid by the events included the cost of these terminals.) GameStorm hasn't used the terminals in the past, but they may well use one next Spring.

Paul: Are the 2002 and 2005 tax penalties still outstanding? (They have been paid, but we haven't requested refunds yet, like we did for 2006.) Arthur has checked with the IRS, and we are now current on all years. Aaron: Regarding 2002, we thought we'd filed and it turns out we hadn't. Do we have any records from that year? (No.) When he talked to the IRS agent when dealing with the 2006 penalty, the agent said usually all that an organization needs to do is to say why the forms hadn't been filed and that's good enough to have the penalty waived–but we don't know why the 2002 forms weren't filed. (Melanie's mother was treasurer then.)

There were various small questions about the financial statements (and other things). There is a stale art show check (written to an OryCon 28 artist). Arthur will write a new check.

There is a question on the OryCon 29 starting funds. We know (roughly) what the starting amount should have been. But it's been difficult to backtrack to what actually went into the OryCon 29 account. Initially, there was a deposit of $8,942 last May. And then there was an additional transfer of $1,419 from the OryCon 28 account when that account was closed. So it started with $9,912 when it should have started with $4,560–and that doesn't include the $700 in checks that were deposited. So it should have started with about $3,900. Looking back at John W's records, it looked like he thought that OryCon 28 started with about $8,000.

Aaron: It seems like what each con should start with was what they sold as pre-reg on the Sunday of the previous convention. Our two larger conventions (OryCon & GameStorm) don't need any seed money. So John W. transferred this money into the OryCon 29 account because he thought was a good idea–was he transferring the money from the OryCon general account? Arthur: That's hard to determine. John W transferred in $3,000–but we can't determine from where.

Paul: We should be able to figure out the right amount–we know how many memberships there were. John: We can determine the exact amount of OryCon 29 memberships taken in last year, with the exception of know how much were in bank card transactions and how much in cash (the checks were dealt with separately). We'd need that breakdown to accurately calculate the bank card charges that should be subtracted from any money transferred to Ory29 from Ory28. At the most, OSFCI might eat those charges and transfer over the full amounts paid. But certainly no more than that. Debbie: How much was overpaid? Arthur: It looks like $6,063. Debbie: Before we take that much back, shouldn't we figure out how much they have? Arthur: After talking to Ryan, the current surplus (including the money transferred from OSFCI) is about $6,000. So reclaiming the entire amount would clean out their account. (There is more money coming in, including about $1,000 in ad revenue.)

There were a few bounced credit card transactions at OryCon. (We had to run the transactions through in batches later while registration is closed.) Arthur will work with Ryan to contact those people (Ryan should be contacting them himself, he's been busy closing the books.) Andrew: Those names should be passed on to OryCon 30 and GameStorm 10 (in case they don't pay up).

It is very important that we make sure the right amount of money is passed on to OryCon 30, so we can get back to keeping careful track of how much each convention earns (on its own).

Aaron: Between now and the next meeting, we need the tax information. Arthur: Ryan is busy between now and the end of the year, and Mark Burns (GameStorm) is also busy. Arthur is trying to have the taxes ready by the end of January. (The AGM is the deadline.)

The Treasurer's report was accepted.


III. Reports on Sponsored Activities
A. Conventions and Bids
1. OryCon 29

Steve Criss: OryCon 29 drew more than 1400 people, which was nice. Some new things didn't work, other things did. (The "Goth makeover" was very well attended.) People liked the DJ. The Ball was not well attended.

There was only one minor incident. Andrew: We should know who that person is. Security is supposed to keep written logs, which get turned over to OSFCI. Can this person's identity please be reported to us?

The hotel security was very happy with us. Saturday was the biggest day they've had at the restaurant. The dealers had enough room (with the updated layout), and the art show used all available panels–so they'd need more panels if they had more room. This year's size was a good fit.

Gross sales at the art show were about $10K.

John: We need the committee list for them to get proper OSFCI credit. (The list was received on December 27th.) Aaron: That list should be circulated through the various lists, so that people don't get accidentally left out.


2. Gamestorm 10 (2008)

Beverly: Work is progressing. There is a new scheduling person, and the new system is just about ready to turn on. She is still trying to get together with Mark Burns. Aaron: Mark is working to get things together, and retrieve stuff from Aaron Nabil. (Aaron N. was going to be doing Reg–and that he's resigned, Beverly is trying to retrieve it to pass on to the new Reg person. So they don't have any reg numbers right now.) The new web site is up. The dealers room will be very full. The management contract is ready to sign (it is slightly changed from the proposed draft from the last meeting, now including a donation of part of the surplus to Portland Public Schools). Arthur will be working on the (hotel) credit application for GameStorm, once Aaron gets it from the hotel to pass it on to Arthur.


4. OryCon 29 (2007)

Michael: Everything is progressing as well as it can be before we've had the first real committee meeting. Committee so far includes:

The first meeting is Saturday, January 12th at the Round Table Pizza on SE Foster Rd.

GOHs: Writer–Harry Turtledove, Editor–Ginjer Buchanan, Artist–Jeff Fennel, Fan–Cecilia Eng. They're also hoping to have Ursula K. Le Guin as a special guest.

We need to track everyone who's been to all of the OryCons, as well as all the people who are still with us that attended the first OryCon.

About 190 memberships were sold at OryCon 29, with about a dozen more coming in since via PayPal and many more via the regular mail. (About the same as last year at this time.) Arthur: Money-wise, it's also about the same as last year.

Ruth: Is OryCon 30 going to sell memberships at local stores as was done in the past? They'll be talking to a few stores to see if they're interested.

John had the management agreement for the appropriate people to sign.

Arthur: With the Marriott raising the rates as of OryCon 31 (due to the end of the contract with the city of Portland for overflow parking, meaning it'll cost the Marriott more to find replacement parking for the space we use for dealers and art show), it might be a good idea to raise the OryCon 30 membership rates to start to build a fund to smooth out that extra cost. (Especially since the membership rates have not changed for a few years.) Michael: The cost of the dealers space has already been raised for this year, to help cover the additional space there. John: GameStorm has already done something similar, to provide for the rising hotel costs they anticipated–it seems like it would be a good idea for OryCon to follow suit. (Keeping the existing $25 rate until the end of the year, and decide the following rates after the books are closed for this year.)

There is some thought of bring back the program book bags, and there was discussion on the possible time costs for that.


A. Funds and Awards

1. Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund

Paul circulated a report [see below]. Income during the quarter ending September 30 included a donation from scholarship recipient Gord Sellars, who's living in Korea now. The 2008 Petrey fellow at Clarion West will be best-seller Chuck Palahniuk, who is probably the biggest name in the industry to be a Petrey fellow.

Not reflected in the quarter's financial summary is OryCon. Activities there raised approximately $4,000: auction–$2,700, eggs–$800, a $300 donation from one of their customers who donated the money (since the celebration of the fund's 25th anniversary helped bring in Ursula K. Le Guin, Kate Wilhelm and Vonda N. McIntyre, who signed his books–he donated $100 in each of their names), and they sold seven copies of Gifts of Blood and received a few other donations. And they still have some bar stools that were donated by City Liquidators. These were egg prizes, but the people didn't want them, so they'll be sold on Craig's List.

The Pizza Schmizza promotion didn't raise much money (although they were very good to work with)–probably due to the pouring rain which meant that not many people wanted to leave the hotel. Maybe if OSFCI all went over as a group (an "OSFCI Night at Pizza Schmizza"), it would work better.

The $250 (donated by OSFCI) paid for a very nice reception (Paul and Debbie paid for the suite rental themselves, since we got a cheap convention rate from the Hotel–all the money went to the reception) and it was well-attended. Having Kate, Ursula and Vonda at the convention did bring in attendees to the convention.

Paul: OryCon 10 had a Susan Petrey GOH, OryCon 20 had a Susan Petrey GOH. OryCon 30? Those previous years, that GOH was subsidized by OSFCI–we will see if this can be done again. (We'll have a better idea once the 2007 books are closed.) Syne Mitchell (Seattle) is likely the best choice.

Debbie: It was an exhausting year–successful, but really tiring. She would really like to have more people involved in running the activities at OryCon (the auction and selling the eggs). There was also mention of the great brochure on the Petrey fund prepared by Teresa Pridemore.


2. Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
3. Endeavour Award

[Reports were received from Jim Fiscus after the meeting–they are included below].

Ruth will be trying to make the funds more visible this coming year at OryCon, and maybe this will draw more donations.

Andrew: A few years ago, there was a write-up put together about the funds. He will forward a copy to Ruth. Debbie: It would be good to have this information on the web site, also.


IV. Other Continuing Business

A. Hotel Committee

Patty has already given her report. Aaron: It would be real nice to have the GameStorm 11 (2009) hotel contract signed before GameStorm 10 (2008)–it would be a nice change of pace.


B. Audit Committee

Arthur: The committee has not met yet, and probably won't before the AGM. He sees the audit committee as going back to try to figure out what happened before he took on the position, and he's been putting in all his work now at just keeping the fires from spreading. (He's been making good progress in that.) His top priority now is to have the taxes ready before the AGM. There will be a “pre-audit” meeting while putting together the taxes. Putting the taxes together will help him know what is really needed from the audits.

Andrew: Will the committee ever meet? Arthur: Yes.


C. Other Old Business

None.

V. New Business

1. Equipment Purchase

Tammy Lindsley put forth a request that OSFCI purchase light to be used in the art show (similar to what we had before all the equipment was lost in the storage garage). These would light up the dark corners in the (hotel) basement art show location. The options run anywhere from $20 to $70 each, for fluorescent lights (to cut down on the heat). These would be pole lamps mainly, with possibly a few clip-on lights.

Light is needed for the complete back row of the art show. The Board felt this was a good idea–she'll come back to the April meeting with a specific proposal.

2. Oregon Festival & Events Association Membership

This was approved by the Board last year, but nothing was done. The cost would be $100 plus at least one donated convention membership. The Board approved the $100 cash donation, OryCon 30 and GameStorm 10 will each donate a membership. The OSFCI Secretary to send this in, along with the certificates for the donated memberships.

3. OryCon Logo

Tammy had an idea for an OryCon logo. Take the word "OryCon" and have each letter in the word be different characters tied back to the various conventions. Maybe a graphics designer, such as Nancy McClure, Teresa Pridemore or someone else, could take this idea and make it concrete. Debbie: Maybe something a far simpler, so that it could work better in the future as themes change? Ruth suggested a design contest, such as several worldcons have done. Andrew: This seems like a lot of effort for a problem that we don't have, with resources that we don't have. John: The flavor of OryCon changes each year right now, it'd be hard to come up with a logo that would adapt to all the changes. For now, the Board decided to take no action on an OryCon logo.

This tied into the discussion that OSFCI had sometime back about trademarking their logo. John: Trademarking names is very simple; trademarking graphic images costs several hundred dollars and is more complicated.

4. Radios

Mel: This year at OryCon, we had three radios die on us. Does OSFCI pay for replacements? Does GameStorm use these radios, also? (No, but they might in the future.) Replacements would cost $25-$30 each. For that much, maybe OryCon could pay for them. John: Traditionally, OSFCI pays for equipment that's used for multiple years, so that the cost is shared over several years.

Debbie moved that OSFCI pay for no more than $150 (total) for new radios. This was approved by the Board.

5. GameStorm 11

Beverly Block would like to chair GameStorm 11. Andrew: This does seem like the right time to discuss this. He moved that we approve it tentatively, with the provision that she comes up with a budget, committee list and the name of her treasurer, for the Board meeting following the AGM. This was approved 5-0.

6. Treasury Business

Arthur: Paper banking statements are a pain to deal with. They have a tendency to be sent to the wrong person. He would like to switch the accounts to online statements, which would allow him to download PDFs at any time, and also would give us seven years of history available online. The Board thought this was a good idea, but he will check it with Sam first.

Web hosting: we're paying a lot of money for limited service. Do we want to change companies? Will David continue to act as webmaster if we switch to a new hosting company? Maybe set up an IT committee? Andrew so moved, and it was passed unanimously. Suggestions for the committee included Arthur, David Levine, Teresa Pridemore, Rick Lindsley. Arthur will set it up.

7. Storage

Ruth suggested that we might want to investigate a new storage location, since the current location now has very limited hours, especially on Sunday. Ideally, if we do make a change, it would be good to have it in place next November, so we could move out of the old location to OryCon, and then back from OryCon to the new location. And also need more room than we currently have (or at least a lot better organized than it is now).

Arthur: Still needs to go in to the storage center's office with John Williamson, in order to change the contact info from John to a current OSFCI officer, but he hasn't been able to get hold of John yet.


Aaron: Due to work demands next year, he will not be able to run for re-election as OSFCI President next year.


The next meeting is the Annual General Meeting on February 4, 2008. We will try to arrange for space again at Portland State University.


The meeting adjourned at 3:16PM.




Susan C. Petrey Scholarship

Income Statement – 2007 Q3

Balance (6/30/20076) $3,300.31
 
Income
 
Donations $867.10
Interest $1.43
 
Expenses
 
PayPal Fee (for receiving Sellars donation) $19.80
 
Balance (9/30/2007) $4,149.04
 
OCF Balance (9/30/2007) $56,896.27


2007 Recipients

2008 Recipients

  • Chuck Palahniuk (Susan C. Petrey Fellow)

    2007 Activity

    Above donations from Gord Sellars, Potlatch and auction at Westercon.

    Activities at OryCon raised approximately $4,000.



    The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Award
    Report to the OSFCI Board

    December 16, 2007

    Requests for Aid:

    We responded to a request for aid with a grant of $850.00.

    Funds Available:

    The Fund has about $6,000.00 in the bank.

    Board of Trustees

    No changes at this time.


    Board of Trustees, December 16, 2007

    Committee MembersFirst AppointedTerm Expires
    James Fiscus, ChairmanOctober 1996Novermber 2008
    Page Fuller, TreasurerOctober 1996Novermber 2008
    Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep.July 2007While serving on OSFCI Board
    Geri JeterNovember 2002November 2009
    Ruth SachterNovember 2002November 2009
    Marc WellsNovember 2003November 2009

    Submitted,
    James W. Fiscus
    Chairman, Clayton Board of Trustees




    The Endeavour Award
    Report to the OSFCI Board

    December 16, 2007

    Financial Report:

    We have a bit under $500.00 in the Award's account. An additional $340.00 was raised at OryCon by CBR. We expect a matching grant for the money. An additional $38.00 was donated by inidividuals. A fund raising event is planned at RadCon by CBR. We continue fundraising to ensure the future of the Award.

    2007 Winner:

    Forest Mage by Robin Hobb

    2007 Finalists:

    Tenth Endeavour Award in 2008:

    Next year we will hand out the tenth Endeavour Awards. We are working on plans now and hope to work with OryCon and OSFCI to make a bit of a splash at the con.

    Endeavour Committee, December 16, 2007

    Committee MembersFirst AppointedTerm Expires
    Sarah Bryant, AdministratorOctober 2006November 2009
    James Fiscus, ChairmanOctober 1996November 2008
    Page FullerOctober 1996November 2008
    Marilyn J. HoltSeptember 2000November 2008
    Sara MuellerOctober 2003November 2007
    Alan RosenthalJanuary 2006November 2009
    Sheila SimonsonOctober 1996November 2007
    Shawn Wall, TreasurerNovember 2005November 2007

    Submitted,
    James W. Fiscus
    Chairman, Endeavour Award