Oregon Science Fiction Conventions

(OSFCI)

Board of Directors Meeting

April 29, 2012

ATTENDING: (Board members) Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, Aaron Curtis (OSFCI President), Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Andrew Nisbet III, Devlin Perez, D. Stephen Raymond, and Lea Rush. Marc Wells was in Boston on a business trip and was unable to attend. (His absence was excused.)

Also attending were James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour), Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Tracy Penner (OryCon 34 Chair), Jason Bostick (GameStorm 15 Chair), Carole Cole, Rachael Madsen, and Debra Stansbury.

The meeting started at 3:02PM Aaron Shiny New iPad Time (SNiT).


I. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted unanimously.


II. Treasurer's Report (Rick Lindsley)

(Copies were distributed at the meeting–see below.)

Not a lot to report on this time around–one convention is wrapping up and another is ramping up. GameStorm is finished, and they did have a surplus. Rick is working on the tax forms (which are due May 15), and they should be ready in the next couple of days.

OSFCI has received the overhead fee from GameStorm and should be receiving the surplus distribution soon.

Stephen: Has the corporate treasurer accepted the final financial report from OryCon 33? (Yes.)

Wells Fargo has waived the bank fees on our accounts, and the account type on one account was changed to one needing lower balances to avoid future fees.

What was the miscellaneous income? Reimbursement from Renovation for the games purchased for use at that account and then rolling over into the OSFCI Game Library.

The treasurer's report was then accepted.


IV. Reports on Sponsored Activities
A. Conventions and Bids
1. OryCon 33 (Devlin Perez)

The total surplus is about $1200. Everything is done except the final distribution of the surplus.

The OryCon 33 report was accepted by the Board.


2. GameStorm 14 (D. Stephen Raymond)

A convention summary, with financial and registration reports, were distributed.

GameStorm 14 had a record-breaking surplus, as well as a record-breaking attendance (1072)–up about 9% from last year.

There was an issue with a dealer selling new games in the flea market (the swap meet), where items are only supposed to be traded. (The swap meet will likely be canceled next year.)

The surplus was $10,027.03 with $5,013.52 going to OSFCI and $5,013.51 to be distributed by the chair. (This is addition to the $2,144 overhead fee that's already been paid to OSFCI.) Mike (Monical) is willing to give $3,000 of the surplus to help pay for supporting the GameCon software–otherwise all of it will go the Doernbecher Children's's Hospital. (The remainder of the surplus is going there, in any case.)

GameStorm 14 still has some outstanding checks, but the books should be closed by the next meeting.

There were some questions concerning the security report. There was someone Saturday night who tried to come in wearing a day badge from a previous day. And Devlin said that it's not uncommon for a few children to try to ghost the convention. When they're identified, they're escorted out of the convention are and asked to please return to their rooms. And the homeless people in downtown Vancouver are always interesting…

The report was accepted.


3. OryCon 34 (Tracy Penner)

A re-vamped budget was distributed for this meeting, based on lower membership numbers. There has been a 15% budget cut across the board, and there's still a chance of a $5 or $10 price increase (but that would hinder efforts in attracting more members). What is the current at-the-door rate? ($60) When was the last time the price was increased? (Four years ago–which is the usual gap between increases.)

Everything seems to be on course. The PR team is selling ads. Vance Kovacs is the Artist GOH.

Aaron: The budget amount for Hotel is $14,000. What items make up that amount? After some discussion, it was decided that Tracy will work with Paul (Brinker, the OryCon 34 treasurer) to get more detail for this Hotel budget line.

The OryCon 34 report was then accepted.


4. GameStorm 15 (Jason Bostick)

They are working with the hotel to adjust the space usage. This coming year, the hotel will be charging a slight fee for the function space (it's been comped prior to this), but in return GameStorm will have the space for four full days.

The budget should be ready to submit to OSFCI by the next meeting. There are currently about 250 members (there were 191 this time last year). Pre-reg is now open online. The at-the-door rate will be $55 this year (it was $45 last year). GameStorm currently has about $5680 in the bank, plus money in the PayPal account that hasn't been transferred over yet.

The date of the first game day should be set within the next two weeks. They probably will increase the level fo staff support (maybe have a staff lounge). GameStorm is still working on an artist GOH.

They had a table at Stumptown Comics this weekend, and the lot of flyers were picked up. There will be promotions at other upcoming conventions (maybe have the game library there).

Jason had a question for the Board. Rodney Barnes (who had also bid to chair GS 15 and was going to be bidding for GS 16), hadn't been working out as a committee person for GS 15 and was no longer going to be bidding next year. After some discussion, Aaron recommended that the Board release Jason from any commitment to keep Rodney on the GameStorm 15 committee. This was generally agreed to (since there wasn't a formal commitment to Rodney, the Board didn't need to vote to drop the commitment).

Jason is willing to increase the amount of money that GameStorm 15 pays OSFCI to $3 a head, in order to provide more support for the GameCon software (meaning approximately an extra $1000 towards that project), with the provision that it's ready for use by GameStorm 15.

Stephen: To counter possible time conflicts with getting future GameStorm GOHs, the Board should encourage getting chairs in place earlier.

The report was accepted.


B. Funds and Awards

1. Campbell Pin Fund

John spoke with Jay Lake (the Campbell Pin Fund administrator) recently, and Penny Press (the owner of the Campbell Award) is covering the remaining costs of the pins. This fund can now be closed–Jay's request was that the remaining money in the account be transferred to the Clayton Medical Fund. The Board approved that request, and this fund is now closed.


2. Clayton Memorial Medical Fund (James Fiscus)

(See report below.) The fund is down to about $6,400 now–we'd like to build it back up to about $12,000 so that future large requests could be covered. What has been the largest amount given? Jim: Other than the initial grant to Jo Clayton (about $20,000), the largest has been the $7000 given out last year to the latest recipient. (The normal grant as around $1,000.)

The report was then accepted.


3. Endeavour Award (James Fiscus)

(See report below.) There have been 46 books submitted for the next award.

Sara Mueller and Alan Rosenthal have both left the committee–Alan because he's moved to Los Angeles and Sara because of personal reasons. Jim would like to have the Board thank them for their service to the Award and for their help over the years. Sara, in particular, was the administrator for two years. Meanwhile, he is trying to bring in some local people to fill the vacant spots on the committee.

There is enough money for the next two years. After that, they will have to ask for money again.

The report was then accepted.


4. Susan Petrey Fund (Paul Wrigley and Debbie Cross)

A report was submitted (see below) via e-mail, as Paul and Debbie out of the country.

Jim asked Sam Justice if there were any legal implications from $15,000 being transferred from the Petrey account to Oregon Community Foundation. Sam replied that, since Debbie and Paul were authorized by the Board to administer the Petrey Fund, then that transfer was within the scope of their duties.

The Board accepted their report.

Sam asked that the Board authorize (or re-authorize) Debbie & Paul to act as the Petrey administrators, since they're acting in lieu of a Petrey Fund board. Andrew said that they've asked to be reappointed on a two-year basis. We didn't have the records available to let us know when the last time was that the Board did this–it's been at least a year–so the Board voted to authorize Debbie & Paul to continue to administer the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund for the next two years. (While they are retiring as fund-raisers, they do want to continue as administrators.)


5. John Andrews Worldcon Grant (Beverly Block)

There have been two applications for the grant. Beverly has sent the information about the applicants to the two other people on the committee (Marc Wells and Ruth Sachter), but has heard anything back from them yet. In her mind, it's pretty clear which of the two it should go to. Andrew: It is bothersome that the Board is ending up doing the work that the committee was appointed to do (because Beverly wasn't able to get a response from the other committee members). Aaron: We appointed the committee to be our agent in this matter, and whether or not they carried out their work it's the Board's responsibility to make sure it's done. After some discussion the Board voted 8-0 to award the grant to Jenn Contreras-Perez. (Devlin Perez, who is Jenn's spouse, abstained from the vote.)

Beverly asked that the stipend be raised, since airfares have gone up. The Board decided that we might do this in the future, but not this year.


IV. Other Continuing Business

A. Appeal by Elliott Mitchell

Elliott Mitchell had submitted a written appeal to the one-year ban from OSFCI events that the Board issued last December, after problems at the last two OryCons. The Board decided to go into a Committee of the Whole executive session (which included all Board members, both voting and ex-officio, as well as the corporate lawyer) in order to discuss the appeal. During the executive session, the Board voted 9-0 to uphold the appeal. Mitchell cannot attend any OSFCI events until December, 2012.

Stephen: Would it be useful to have a set form for trouble log reports? Devlin will try to put something together for this.


B. Banning Policy

Still nothing to report. Andrew will try to get a committee meeting together.


C. Storage Manager Report

Devlin needs to get the keys back for the storage units, from GameStorm. (Beverly will get them to Devlin.) He will be setting up an organizing session soon. Aaron passed on a suggestion from Mike Monical, the GameStorm 14 chair, that shelves with wheels could be purchased to make it easier to transfer items. Devlin said there was a height issue with using that type of shelf unit.


D. Hotel Committee

Nothing to report.


E. GameStorm Scheduling Software (Beverly Block)

The current version of the proposal was sent out to Board. If we don't agree to this tonight, it's probably not going to happen (it's already very late for having it ready for GameStorm 15). Sam is satisfied with the language of the proposal, although he is confused about the deadlines, since the only deadlines is the copy he received are already in the past. Beverly said she'd updated the dates, but it looked like the new dates didn't make it to the draft that was sent out.

Rick said that the IT Committee report (that was distributed had the meeting) summarized their opinions about this proposal. Their feelings are mixed–some thought it was a great idea, some still had reservations about it. There wasn't a clear-cut recommendation, either way. Jason (Bostick, the GameStorm 15 chair) said that this software was absolutely necessary. Rachel: It is going to be tight in getting this ready for GS 15 because of this late date. (It would certainly be ready for GS 16.) We would know by the end of August this year if the software is going to be ready for next year's GameStorm. Beverly: We are committing to GameStorm 16; we are trying to have it ready for GS 15. If it is not ready, we will provide support to make sure the current system works for GS 15.

Jim: Is there only legal problem with contracting with a company for this software, with one of the principals in the company being on the Board? Sam: It's not inherently a problem. It requires full disclosure (which we've had) and for the Board member abstain from voting on the proposal. That doesn't answer any policy questions, just the legal questions.

Rick listed the pluses and minuses, as he saw them:
(Pluses)

(Minuses)

There was some discussion on whether there's a necessity for an escrow service and what would be needed to protect OSFCI if ODS went under. OSFCI will probably receive a flash drive with the source code, which will be stashed away in a safety deposit box.

Rick said that he and David Levine reviewed the specifications, and Rick knows as a software professional it's possible to review specs for years and still miss something. (Sam: Legal contracts are the same way.) But they felt that the newest draft of the specs was acceptable. The only reservations were philosophical–that OSFCI shouldn't be paying OSFCI members to do this work. It worried Andrew that Beverly was such a major component of this project. It might not possible for the final result to be independent of her being around. Beverly said they were going to work hard to avoid this. Also, concerning the possible cost of a new hosting service, the expected annual cost would be less than $1 for each GameStorm member that year. This would be an on-going GameStorm expense, not an OSFCI corporate expense. Racheal: Whether or not GameStorm has new software, they still need more computing power than they have now.

Jim: Is there conflict-of-interest language in the Byways that would cover this? (No) Has the Board contracted with a sitting Board member before? (OryCon committee members, but not–as far as we know–a current Board member.)

John had a couple of questions: the draft doesn't say that the license that OSFCI is receiving for the software is a permanent license. (That also fell out of the draft that was circulated, and will be put back in. It was left out in error.) John said he'd be more comfortable with a two-year warranty, rather than a one-year.

Racheal and Beverly expect must of this project will be open source within a few years, if not right away.

Andrew said that if Sam tells him there aren't any holes in the contract, and GameStorm says they desperately need this software, then he has no difficulty moving forward at this point. Sam said he's comfortable with the contract (after the corrections we've discussed here).

Andrew moved that the President sign this contract on the behalf of OSFCI.This motion was seconded and passed by a vote of 4-1 (with 4 abstentions).


V. New Business

A. OryCon 35

Lea Rush presented a bid to chair OryCon 35 (2013). Committee people she has lined up so far:

For Guest of Honor, she has a conditional acceptance from Anne Bishop–if Lea is approved, she has agreed to being the Guest of Honor. She's having a difficult time lining up Artist GOH–she's not even getting answers from many of them. She is attempting to contact Wil Wheaton to invite him as a Media GOH. Can we afford him? He was agreeable to attend Renovation as a toastmaster without an appearance fee, had his schedule worked out. Lea will work with James Fiscus on an Editor GOH.

Lea felt that she could do this, since she does have experience running a small convention, running several departments while also overseeing the convention. She can organize people well, and has good grasp on who to talk to within the OryCon community. She is working with Tracy and Devlin to this year to learn how OryCon runs. One of her goals is to pick out a reliable registration system for OryCon, maybe using GameStorm's membership system. She asked that the Board approve the bid without a formal budget, since the best she could do right now is to point to OryCon 34 and say "I'm doing what they're doing." (She plans no major changes.)

Jim: Is there anyone else who's said they're interested? (No.)

There was some discussion on how to grow the convention–should the various aspects (gaming, costuming, writer workshops) be more integrated? Jim: The only groups that get isolated are those who isolate themselves.

Lea's bid to chair OryCon 35 was accepted 8-0.


B. Sponsorship Request for the 2014 World Horror Convention

Tammy Lindsley (who was ill and could not attend the meeting today) asked OSFCI to act as sponsor for a proposed World Horror Convention in Portland in 2014 (Rick made the presentation in her stead).

A couple of years ago, Chad Savage was an OryCon GOH. He's also been a WHC chair in the past, and encouraged Portland to host one. Last year, Tammy attended a WHC in Salt Lake City. She saw that it's mostly geared to the professionals and there's not a lot of fan stuff. She'd like (if it's held in Portland) to broaden its appeal to the fan side, also. She spoke with Mike Willmoth of the governing body, and he was hoping we'd bid for 2013, but Tammy told him that it would have to be at least 2014.

It would be a four-day convention, and would be primarily a professional con for authors and publishers, and as such the membership would be smaller (about 400 to 700) with a higher membership cost ($90 to $150). Tammy would chair and handle hotel; Guy Holady would be vice-chair and handle special events; Lea would run the dealer's room; Writer's Workshop would be Carole Cole; Dev would run operations and James Byrd would run programming. In Utah, they ran only two tracks of programming–one of which was readings. So it is a much simpler convention.

Tammy has spoken to the Doubletree and found two sets of dates that would work: February 5-9 and May 7-11. (This is a convention that does not have a traditional weekend, but instead bounces around.) Sometimes it coincides with the Bram Stoker awards, but 2014 isn't going to be one of those years.

Tammy is asking use of OSFCI's non-profit status, and to be covered under OSFCI's insurance (paying the usual $2/attendee overhead fee). She'd like some assistance in obtaining the WHC2004 web domain, and setting up a web site, as well as some seed money ($500 to $1000).

Andrew: We've sponsored World Horror once before (in Eugene) and in this case we probably won't have the problem we had then of bank accounts wandering off in the snow to die (not knowing who had charge of the bank account after convention was over). If we say "yes", is it then a go or do we have a bidding process? Rick: If OSFCI approves it, she then presents a bid to the World Horror Society. John: There's no site selection voting as there is with Westercon or Worldcon, and their board has been anxious for years to have us host the convention. Stephen: Does she have a treasurer? Rick: Not yet, although she has someone in mind who she is going to ask.

John: The committee for something like WHC is much smaller than for OryCon or GameStorm, since it's a much more limited convention (maybe a dozen people or so)–and because the membership is so much higher, there's a lot more money to work with (the staff rate would only be about $25). The one in Eugene was a vary enjoyable convention.

Aaron: Tammy wants to put a 400-person convention in the same hotel we use for OryCon? Rick: Yes, although it wouldn't use the business center (or the exhibit hall)–just keep everything in the main ballroom and the rooms across the hall from it. The total cost for the function space would be $2000, and the agreement would include complimentary overnight parking for guests ($3 a day for non-guests) and complimentary wireless internet in the guest rooms. Debra: Will there be a dinner or a hospitality suite? Rick: They don't have a hospitality suite.

Beverly: How many people who come to World Horror purchase their memberships in advance, and how many at the door. John: Virtually all will purchase them in advance. Debra: How would Tammy hope to bring in more fans to what is a professional writing conference? Rick: Possibly by adding more fan-oriented programming, maybe by having three tracks of programming instead of two.

The Board voted unanimously to sponsor the 2014 World Horror convention bid.

GameStorm 16 (2014)

Aaron announced his intention to bid to be chair of GameStorm 16. He will present his formal bid at the June Board meeting, where the Board will hear any other proposals for that convention and make the decision then. Aaron will not be running for re-election as OSFCI President next February, so there would be no conflict with him being the chair of the active GameStorm starting in March.


D. Other New Business


The next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 19th at 7:30PM, at the Doubletree Portland Hotel (assuming hotel space is available).

The meeting adjourned at 5:44PM SNiT



Treasurer's Report 4/28/12

1. Current Status

Final report received from Gamestorm 14. Not yet reviewed, but anticipate no problems. There was a surplus (GS14 will supply the details.)

In terms of activity, OryCon Odd (33) is almost quiescent, and OryCon Even (34) is ramping up. Nothing significant to report on either.

Taxes are due 5/15. While they are not yet completed, neither are there any missing components ၳ I believe everyone who owes me information for calendar year 2011 has provided it.

The Petrey Fund and the Clayton Fund are in different funds and their totals are not included below. All other OSFCI accounts are below.

Current (as of 4/27/12) account status:

Acct Balance Change from 2/26 report
Orycon Odd $2351 (+$1202)
OSCFI checking $24935 (+$2613)
Endeavour $5295 ($0)
GS Even $11634 (+$2737)
Merchant $568 ($0)
GS Odd $5690 (+$4680)
Orycon Even $7203 (+$844)
Campbell $288 ($0)
OSFCI savings $19415 ($0)

2. Old Business

– none –

3. New Business

– none –




The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Award
Report to the OSFCI Board

April 29, 2012

Requests for Aid:

We made a single grant of $1,000.00 to a writer facing major dental work. We have had another request for aid, but it appears that the applicant is not a professional writer and does not write in science fiction, fantasy, horror, or mystery.

Donations:

We have had no donations since our last report.

Funds Available and Fund Raising:

We have approximately $6,229.78 in the bank.

I expect to talk with a number of people during this year's Nebula Award weekend next month to recruit help with our fund raising campaign.


Board of Trustees

Committee MembersFirst AppointedTerm Expires
James Fiscus, ChairmanOctober 1996November 2014
Page Fuller, TreasurerOctober 1996November 2014
Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep.July 2005While serving on OSFCI Board.
Ruth SachterNovember 2002November 2013
Marc WellsNovember 2003November 2013

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



The Endeavour Award
Report to the OSFCI Board

April 29, 2012

Books Entered:

We received 46 books this year.

Financial Report:

At the end of March, we had $5,294.57 in our account, which is enough to run the Award for at least this year and next year. The only account activity since the start of the year has been the clearing of an outstanding check. We have had no expenses since our last report to the Board. We are going to resume fund raising later this year.

Committee Membership:

We are seeking several new members for the Committee, as Sarah Bryant and Alan Rosenthal have said they do not want to be re-appointed: Alan has moved and doesn't feel he can give the Committee his proper attention and Sarah has a number of personal issues that prevent her from serving. As the members of the Board likely noticed, we have publicized the openings on the OSFCI and OryCon lists.

The Award's Charter requires that we have at least five members of the Committee, and even without immediately replacing Sarah and Alan we have six members.

Endeavour Committee

Committee MembersFirst AppointedTerm Expires
James Fiscus, ChairmanOctober 1996November 2014
Page FullerOctober 1996November 2014
Marilyn J. HoltSeptember 2000November 2014
Sara MuellerOctober 2003November 2013
Sheila SimonsonOctober 1996November 2013
Shawn Wall, TreasurerNovember 2005November 2013

Submitted,
James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Endeavour Award

Susan C. Petrey Scholarship

Income Statement: 2012 Q1

Balance (12/31/2011)$10,297.10
 
Income
Renovation$20,000.00
Mission Fish$7.84
Interest$6.51
Total$20,014.35
 
Expenses
Scholarships$2,000.00
OCF$15,000.00
Total$17,000.00
 
Balance (3/31/2012)$13,311.45
 
OCF Balance (12/31/2011)
(Does not include $15,000 transfer)
$42,499.49

2011 Recipients

2012 Recipients


Sponsorship of the Bid to bring the 2014 World Horror Convention to Portland, OR

A couple of years ago, the OryCon Artist Guest of Honor Chad Savage, me and a few others were talking about the possibility of hosting the World Horror Convention here in Portland. As a member of the World Horror Society, and a past WHC Co-Chair, Chad was a very enthusiastic and persuasive proponent of this idea. So, I did some research about the con: membership counts, traditional events, specific requirements for hosting the event, etc. With this information in hand, I attended this last World Horror that was held in Salt Lake City, UT at the end of March. While this convention is much more an event for the professional and aspiring author in the horror genre, it did have some programming and events just for the fans. And everyone I encountered was very friendly, open and enjoyable to be with.

In speaking with Mike Wilmoth at the World Horror Society business meeting Sunday morning of the convention, he also encouraged me to submit a formal proposal to the board of directors of the WHS to host the 2014 convention. Actually, he wanted us to host the 2013 convention, but I told I didn't think that would give us the time necessary to host the event successfully. So, with the information I've gathered and with the assistance and encouragement of the WHS, I would like to formally request the sponsorship of Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. for my bid to host the 2014 World Horror Con here in Portland, OR.

For those of you unfamiliar with WHC, here is a brief synopsis:

WHC is a four day convention and is primarily a professional con for authors, editors and publishers in the horror genre. As such the average membership for the convention is between 400 - 750 people, much smaller than either GameStorm or OryCon. The membership cost is in line with the costs of World Fantasy Convention, which will be $90 - $150 for a full membership and $35 for a supporting membership. The costs will start at $90 when the bid is accepted and be increased by $10 each quarter until the convention. There will a reduced staff rate of $25 which is in line with WHS regulations. Another difference to our conventions is that there are no special membership rates for children. While kids aren't forbidden, there aren't any special accommodations made for them either. There are primarily two programming tracks dedicated to the aspects of writing and publishing and two tracks of readings. I plan on adding a third track of programming dedicated to more art, costuming and other fan friendly panels with a horror industry focus.

For committee members I have commitments from the following people, other positions are still in negotiations:

I have secured two sets of dates from the Portland Doubletree Hotel, February 5 - 9, 2014 and May 7 - 11, 2014, and I'm in discussion with the WHS board as to which dates they would prefer. We have secured rooms rates for both dates as follows:

February 5-9, 2014
Standard – $124.00 single/double
Premium – $134.00 single/quad

May 7-11, 2014
Standard – $129.00 single/double
Premium – $139.00 single/quad

We have the necessary function space for $2000 for duration of the event (set-up thru tear-down), complimentary overnight parking, day parking of $3/day or a weekend pass for $12 and complimentary wireless internet in our guestrooms.

So this is what I am asking the OSFCI board to grant:

Thank you very much for your consideration,

Tammy J. Lindsley