Also attending were James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour), Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Michael Monical (GameStorm 14 Chair), Tracy Penner and Paul Brinker (OryCon 34 Chair and Treasurer), Jason Bostick (GameStorm 15 Chair) and Ruth Sachter. (And possibly others who did not sign in.)
The meeting started at 7:30PM ACPT (Aaron Cell Phone Time).
(At request of James Fiscus, who had to leave early, the Clayton and Endeavour reports were presented out of order, at the beginning of the meeting.)
Aaron asked how much money was raised during the last year. About $4000-$4500 last year, much of it due to Jay Lake's efforts. (A follow-up email put the amount at $6,617.47.)
The reports were accepted by the Board.
(Returning to the regular agenda.)
The biggest change is in the OryCon 33 (OryCon Odd) account, since that convention is paying the final bills, and the bank balance is appropriately going down. Other than that, there's been very little change since the last meeting on February 6th.
Rick requested an increase in the amount budgeted for meeting space, since we now have two more Board meetings each year, raising that amount to $900 (from $650). This was approved by the Board.
He is working with OryCon treasurers (past and current) to prepare a budget template for OryCon treasurers to use, so that they can compare their finances to previous years. Andrew: Why isn't GameStorm included in this? Rick: This is somewhat of an experiment–GameStorm may be included later.
The treasurer's report was then accepted.
Aaron: Do we have an explanation why the actual membership income is $12,000 less than budgeted? Stephen: It's my understanding that we had a larger number of daily memberships, and a lower number of full weekend memberships, than in previous years. Rick: Is this dealer income number correct? ($7200 actual vs $3500 budgeted.) Lea: Yes. (It does include the memberships that came in with the dealer applications, so it helps counter the lower membership income a little.)
There was discussion on how to determine the number of people attending, and how to better estimate the expected income. It's unclear how many of the unclaimed badges were actually duplicated badges, or comped program participants who did not attend (and therefore would normally not be counted in the membership numbers). Aaron: We need to determine if the $35K figure for registration income is correct (the budget was $47,750, which was based on previous years), and if it was–why the drop? Tracy thought that we just might have seen fewer at-the-door registrants. Devlin confirmed that we did see more one-day memberships than we've had before. Andrew: We haven't been seeing the traditional breakdown in the OryCon reports listing how many memberships were received at which rate. If the current OryCon would start doing that again, it would make the Board's job easier.
Aaron: The reason for us focusing on this is that last year's low registration income threatens the budgets next year's OryCon if the same thing happens. So we need to monitor this a little more closely than we have in the past. Stephen: The full OryCon treasury report (which is many pages long) includes detail on how much was paid at what rate.
OryCon 33 will close its books no later than the next Board meeting.
The OryCon 33 report was accepted by the Board.
The concom is meeting about twice a month, and there were about 100 people who made it to the Game Day in January. They've gone through the storage unit in preparation for the convention. About 700 people have been scheduled for events at GameStorm, with a few more weeks before the cut-off. The room block is close to filled, and they're trying to add some more rooms.
Currently, there's a bit over $8,000 in assets. There should be enough with that, and our usual at-the-door income, to meet our bills. Rick: I see that registration is about a third of what you're budgeting. Is that what you would expect at this point? Michael: We are a little ahead of where we were last year at this point. Stephen: The registration income in the treasury report is updated at the end of each month. The current report doesn't have February's numbers yet, and we're almost at the end of February (and there's been quite a bit of income this month). The total income in hand is significantly higher than $8,000. (Beverly: February so far has been $3,280.)
There was some discussion on the registration numbers, in that "ConCom" and "Staff" are listed separately, while last year they were combined into one number.
The report was accepted.
There are 187 members for OryCon so far this year. Rick, who helped work out the problems with registration last year, said this was slightly ahead of last year. Paul: We have a budget. It's not as good as we'd like to get it, and it's definitely higher than last year's actual (income) numbers. There was some discussion of how we might set up a scaling budget (one amount for x number of members, a higher amount for more members, etc.). It was felt that the dealer income last year was probably higher than we can expect for this year, and that will be budgeted for $6000, rather than last year's actual amount of $7200+.
Rick reminded Paul that the special $4000 credit we received from the hotel year won't be repeated this year. (Paul discovered that $2000 of that credit was still included in this year's budget this year.) Aaron: Are any of the budget items significantly different from last year. (No.) John: It does worry me that the registration income is still budgeted for 20% than OryCon actually received last year in memberships. Aaron: How much are you budgeting per membership? Paul: $30 a person. Aaron: So that's 1400 paying people, in order to reach the budgeted $42,000. Paul said that the per-person amount does take into account the comped memberships, so that would be 1400 memberships of all types (comped and paid).
Andrew said that he would like to see a somewhat more conservative budget, and Aaron would like to see it scaled for various levels of memberships numbers (1200, 1400, etc.). Rick: Does the GOH expense line include the hotel room? Paul: Yes–it's included there, and not part of the "Hotel" budget line. (The budgeted GOH costs are based on last year's, and will likely be lower this year because some of the guests are local. However, the GOH lineup is still in flux, so that might change.)
There won't be an Editor GOH because so many of the folks will be at World Fantasy Con in Toronto (which we're in conflict with this year). Aaron: When was the last time OryCon did not have an Editor GOH? Someone thought that it was likely the last time that OryCon conflicted with WFC; someone else said it was around OryCon 29. Andrew: Not having an Editor GOH has more of an impact on Programming, because an editor attracts authors. Aaron: Does this then trickle down to making it harder to attract memberships? Yes, but it's likely that WFC itself will draw people away from OryCon, although it won't be a high percentage of the attendees (probably a lower percentage than in times past).
Aaron: Is the web site up-to-par? Yes. How is the recruitment going for committee? We're in need of a couple of people, including someone to run Gaming. Do you have an ad ready for the GameStorm program book? (Tracy gave a flyer to GameStorm, and they'll put together an ad from that.)
Are we ready to sign a management agreement? Andrew: There is a budget, and we said we'd sign one as soon as the budget was ready. (The management agreement was signed after the meeting.)
The OryCon 34 report was then accepted.
Michael: It's getting harder to schedule everyone–should we have a contingency plan for when we can no longer fit everyone in? Stephen: That shouldn't be a problem for GameStorm 15, although it might sometime in the future. We've calculated that if we get as crowded as we were at the previous hotel, it would mean we have 1500 attendees. There was some discussion on this, since the space used for scheduled games is growing faster than the total attendance. It was felt that it is important to keep open gaming space available, and not allow scheduled gaming to infringe on this.
The GameStorm Odd checkbook was given to the GameStorm 15 treasurer (Stephen), and the management agreement was signed after the meeting.
The report was accepted.
We have already circulated our annual report for 2011 which includes the 4th Quarter financials. Updates since the end of the quarter include the $20,000 donation from Renovation, and shortly the issue of a newsletter to our supporters including information about the third annual beer tour fundraiser.
Aaron: At what point do we give up on trying to find an applicant for this worldcon? Arthur: The only factor is how late can we sell off the membership. Ruth: Having publicity about this at GameStorm (program book notice, flyers, or posters) might give us some applicants. Andrew: I had thought this was intended to reward someone who was doing good work. Simply tracking down a warm body to use the grant doesn't seem like a fruitful use of time and money. Stephen: We can sell the membership off and try again next year. Beverly: We don't need to cut this off yet. I'm not sure how many people have paid attention when it's been posted on the GameStorm staff (e-mail) list. Having information at GameStorm itself might be more productive. Has this been mentioned at OryCon meetings?
Aaron: It sounds like the guidance from the Board is not to go to extraordinary lengths to find someone.
Andrew: One of the weaknesses with the current policy is that there is no middle ground between actions that will get you thrown out immediately, and incidents that you need to be written up twice before anything happens. There should be some things that would be discussed after the convention, but only one such incident might be enough for you to be banned. We do want to avoid having a chair that is arbitrarily powerful, or letting personal feuds determine what happens. Stephen: Can an event chair ban a person from OSFCI events? Andrew: It's been rarely done, but a chair can eject a person from an event and then this results in a ban for all OSFCI events for the next year.
After some discussion, the report was accepted.
Lea Rush will be presenting a formal bid to chair OryCon 35 (2013) at the April Board meeting, and already has some committee people in place. However, she would like to tentatively invite a possible Guest of Honor now, rather than taking the chance that waiting two months will result in him already being booked. (Any invitation would make it clear that Lea wasn't the authorized chair yet, and the invite was contingent on her bid being approved in April.)
There was some discussion on this. Overall, the Board felt that this was allowable, as long as the possible bid chair receive approval from the Board first. Andrew moved that Lea be allowed to make a conditional invitation to a possible OryCon 35 GOH. This was seconded and the Board approved it unanimously (save for Lea, who abstained). Lea will copy the OSFCI secretary on any tentative invitations.
This only applies to Lea's request for OryCon 35, and any future tentative GOH invitations will also need to be approved by the Board at that time. This was also conditional that Lea have a formal bid ready to present at the April Board meeting (since this conditional invitation commits OSFCI to making a decision on OryCon 35 at the April meeting).
The Board also approved a motion by Andrew that the OSFCI secretary shall make a general announcement that the Board will be considering bids at that meeting, in case anyone else desire to bid for OryCon 35.
Back to the item order listed on the agenda.
Beverly: This is result of discussions with the OSFCI IT committee, including David Levine. The discussion showed that it wasn't clear in the previous draft that this was specifically not an agreement for OSFCI to hire ODS (Phoenix and Rachael) to write software for GameStorm (which would be owned by OSFCI). So this is a licensing agreement, showing that OSFCI would not own the software–in exchange for OSFCI advancing them the money to create the system, OSFCI would receive a perpetual license to use the software. It would include the code being held in an escrow account–so that if something happened to Beverly or Rachael, OSFCI would still have access to it.
Question: What makes this different from something that's commercially available?
Beverly: There probably is some commercial software out there that would work for us, but only if we had lots of money to spend on it. The software used for Origins costs them $5000 or $6000 a year, and they have to pay additional for modifications.
Devlin: Are we going to require future GameStorms to use this software? Probably. Michael: It's like a hotel contract–OSFCI signs the contract with the hotel, and the convention is obligated to use that site. John: If OSFCI is going to lay out the money for this project, we need to commit to use the system–I think for at least a three-year period. Jason: Would this work for programming at OryCon? No.
Sam has some reservations. All contracts need to define what is a breach, and this document is very ambiguous. It doesn't define what would constitute a breach and what the consequences of a breach would be. It also doesn't state what compensation would be required for any requested changes, or how to determine what is reasonable compensation for the changes. OSFCI and ODS may have very different ideas on what constitutes a breach and the consequences of a breach are.
Beverly: On the point of determining compensation for changes, we thought we would negotiate then on the cost if the changes, and they would be outside the scope of this agreement. It's difficult to define now what the cost of future changes would be because it depends on the scope of those changes.
Sam: What happens if the initial payment of $3000 is made and then everything goes off the rails? Right now, there's no way what OSFCI gets that money back. Phoenix: We'll fix that.
Andrew: it seems like rewriting this contract to make it work would be more work than would be covered by the annual amount we pay Sam. How much would it cost? Sam: I'm not asking for additional compensation.
Sam: There is no perfect contract. There is a point where we're reasonably comfortable with what we have.
Andrew: I would be willing to pre-approve that the Board pay $5000 if the support agreement can be re-written to meet Sam's approval and the specifications be approved by an appointed group. Rick: During the IT committee discussion on this, it sounded like some people were uncomfortable with the whole idea of paying OSFCI (Board) members for software. Andrew: I don't think it's a violation of our responsibility to buy professional services from people who are professionals and are producing a product we need. Arthur: I'm not against entering into an agreement like this–I just want to make sure it (any potential conflict of interest) is discussed.
Michael: If this isn't decided tonight, then the new system is off the table until GameStorm 16 (2014). Andrew: There's more to this than simply developing a new system for GameStorm. We're talking about taking money from a non-profit and paying it to a profit (entity) that involves a member of the board of directors of that non-profit. While Sam assures us this is legitimate, it appears illegitimate. Dealing with the mechanics of this, and writing it all up in the minutes is about as good as we're going to be able to handle this. John: We have purchased services from people involved with the group in the past–we used to often purchase typesetting from Michael Pearce for the program book. The IRS does allow for non-profits to have business transactions with people involved with the group, but it has to be carefully documented. Phoenix: This has been in the minutes, and listed in the agenda, so we are being very open about this. Sam: If Beverly abstains from the (Board) votes concerning approval of this, there's no legal impediment against her staying on the Board.
Arthur: I'm not against this proposal, I just want to make sure we're spending the time needed to evaluate it. We keep hearing that we need to move now to have it ready for next year, but we're talking about software that we're planning on using for many years in the future (not just next year). I want it to be done right. Andrew then again moved that we pre-approve this project, with the provision that the final agreement first meet Sam's approval. Lea: I am not comfortable in approving something (the final agreement) that I have not read yet. (Andrew's motion did not receive a second.) Sam would like to see another draft from ODS, based on his comments on what constitutes breach and what the consequences of breach are. After that, he would suggest recommended changes, and will hope that by the next meeting we'll have a contract ready to discuss. Likewise with the specifications, those need to be reviewed by a committee so that a final draft will be ready for the Board at the next meeting. We need to define who is going to be reviewing the specifications.
Aaron: If this software is not available for GameStorm 15, how would that affect that convention? Jason: We'd just have to rely on our current staff and it would continue to be a clunky pain-in-the-neck.
Andrew moved that, at the point that these two documents are ready (the specifications and support license), the Board would agree to discuss them–either at the next meeting, or by e-mail if they are ready before the next meeting. John seconded this, and the motion passed 8-0. Jason Bostick will approach Car (Bostick) about also being part of the specifications discussion.
Sam suggested that, when the Board does approve a contract with ODS, that someone be appointed to act for OSFCI in case of emergencies, so that we don't need to wait for the next Board meeting to handle everything. Aaron said that he would be the logical person for this role.
Insurance Coverage for the OSFCI Games Library
Aaron's wife has realized that their homeowner insurance will not cover the games library being stored at their house. We will investigate coverage for this, and determine exactly what OSFCI's current insurance policy does cover.
The next meeting will be on Sunday, April 29th at 3PM, at the Doubletree Portland Hotel (assuming hotel space is available).
The meeting adjourned at 10:23PM ACPT
The Petrey Fund and the Clayton Fund are in different funds and their totals are not included below. All other OSFCI accounts below are at a single bank to which I have easy access.
In general, much of the OryCon Odd monies went to OSFCI to pay back the $10,000 loan made in October and the membership charges. GameStorm is happening in less than a month, of course, and GS Even had a variety of activity.
The O33 treasurer was able to collect on $110 of old unpaid debts from previous conventions. Kudos!
Current (as of 2/26/12) account status:
|Acct||Balance||Change from 2/6 report|
b) In order to make comparing one convention's finances to another from year to year, I'm working with OryCon treasurers current and past to make a spreadsheet template for the OryCon treasurers to use. At this time it will not be required, but it's something of an experiment – if it succeeds in making reports easier to compare, it may be required in the future.
There is no plan, at this time, to do the same for GameStorm.
|Area||Department||Budgeted||Actual as of 2-25-12|
|Publications||Souvenir Book Advertising||$1,000.00||$60.00|
|CREDITS AND DONATIONS (C/D)|
|Total Revenue and C/D||$59,910.00||$50,624.85|
|Area||Department||Budgeted||Actual as of 2-25-12|
|OSFCI Overhead (@ $2.00)||$3,000.00||$2,798.00|
|Events||Events/Tech/Pipe & Drape (3)||$3,000.00||$2,044.60|
|Member Services||Artifacts (T-Shirts) (4)||$1,800.00||$1,800.00|
|GoH Gift Baskets||$250.00||$186.20|
|GoH Per Diem ($225x4) (6)||$900.00||$900.00|
|GoH Travel Expenses and Dinner||$4,500.00||$3,589.95|
|Musical Guests (Tempest)||$1,160.00||$1,160.00|
|Fliers & Publicity/Sponsorships||$800.00||$580.84|
|Pocket Programs (1500)||$1,750.00||$1,587.00|
|Progress Reports 1 & 2||$525.00||$0.00|
|Souvenir Books (1500)||$6,350.00||$5,144.45|
|INCOME||Received as of 2-24-12|
|Chair General Fund||$5.00|
|Publications (Program Book Advertising)||$400.00||$320.00|
|EXPENSES||Spent as of 2-24-12|
|CHAIR Operational Area|
|Chair General Fund||$1,350.00|
|Sub-total Chair Operational Area||$9,450.00||$1,510.73|
|EVENTS Operational Area|
|Events General Fund||$150.00|
|Organized Roleplaying Campaigns||$250.00|
|Printing and Supplies||$550.00|
|Sub-total Events Operational Area||$3,250.00||$236.09|
|OPERATIONS Operational Area|
|Operations General Fund||$100.00|
|Sub-total Operations Operational Area||$8,950.00||$1,411.31|
|OUTREACH Operational Area|
|Sub-total Outreach Operational Area||$6,400.00||$2,555.59|
|Checkbook Balance 2-24-12||$7,941.28|
|PayPal Balance 1-31-12||$948.69|
|Minus: Pending debit card transactions|
|Ryder Truck deposit||-$705.00|
|Plus: Transfers from PayPal||$2,500.00|
|Minus: Total Expenses||-$5,713.72|
|Plus: OSFCI Seed Money Loan||$1,000.00|
BOLD within an operational area indicates a department or subdepartment name.
Otherwise, the line item budget is controlled by the head of that operational area.
* Name changed from Artifacts
** Combines previously separate items Scheduling System Programming and Website
|Purchased at Previous Con||186||158|
|Purchased since Previous Con||207||183||* (as of 2/26/2011)|
|Rollovers from Previous Con||32||7|
|Total Membership to Date||620||601|
* All GS13 figures are end-of-con except for Purchased since Previous Con
** ConCom & Staff were combined for GS13
*** Comped dealers included in table fees
|Art Show||2,500||Estimated Income||55,100|
The Fund's response last year and in January totaled $7,031.91. While our most common grant is for $1,000, we have several times had to exceed that amount. Our balance is now low enough that we will not be able to respond to a major request for aid without fund raising.
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2014|
|Page Fuller, Treasurer||October 1996||November 2014|
|Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep.||July 2005||While serving on OSFCI Board.|
|Geri Jeter||November 2002||November 2013|
|Ruth Sachter||November 2002||November 2013|
|Marc Wells||November 2003||November 2013|
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|Sarah Bryant||October 2006||November 2012|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2014|
|Page Fuller||October 1996||November 2014|
|Marilyn J. Holt||September 2000||November 2014|
|Sara Mueller||October 2003||November 2013|
|Alan Rosenthal||January 2006||November 2012|
|Sheila Simonson||October 1996||November 2013|
|Shawn Wall, Treasurer||November 2005||November 2013|