Board Members in attendance: Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, Aaron Curtis (OSFCI President), Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Devlin Perez, D. Stephen Raymond, Lea Rush and Marc Wells. Andrew Nisbet was in Seattle and his absence was excused.
Also attending were Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Jason Bostick (GameStorm 15 Chair), Paul Brinker (OryCon 34 Treasurer), Ruth Sachter, Anna Wilsonsage and Fargo Holiday.
The meeting started at 2:01PM ACT (Aaron's Cellphone Time, the Shiny New iPad being in exile).
The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted unanimously.
(Copies were distributed by e-mail before the meeting and in printed form at the meeting–see below.)
Not much to report. He is working with Beverly on setting up the account with the virtual private server service. Jenn Contreras-Perez has received the John Andrews grant and is making her plans for the trip to Chicon.We've received all the expected (major) income for this year, since the OryCon (November) payment usually doesn't come in until after the first of the year. We've spent less than half of the expected expenses, but most of those come in late in the year. Right now, it looks like we'll break even for the year, because GameStorm donated $3,000 to offset the money we've paid so far towards the GameCon software (which wasn't in the budget at the beginning of the year.) This isn't including the changes in the storage facility that we'll talk about later.
The GameStorm Even and OryCon Odd accounts have been cleaned out and are down to their $1000 seed money level. [An update from the GameStorm 14 Treasurer after the meeting–The GameStorm Even bank account actually has $1,450, with $450 being the uncleared checks discussed below.] The check has been sent to Westercon, as was discussed at the last meeting.
Stephen: Has the money allocated for the cart wheels been spent yet? No–but that money was given already to Devlin last year and won't come out of the 2012 capital funds allocation. There was some concern that the wheels still haven't been installed. Devlin said that it takes a lot of work to get the carts unloaded so that the new wheels could be installed, and he hasn't been able to arrange that yet.
Speaking of the storage unit, Devlin said that the old CRTs have been taken away (freeing up more space).
So far, there have been no capital requests for this year (which isn't necessarily bad–we're not required to spend it). Some people mentioned that there might be some requests coming soon. Aaron: Was the $2,000 in the budget based of what we've spent in past years? (Yes.)
The treasurer's report was then accepted unanimously.
Stephen is still trying to track down the last five uncashed checks, which were for honoraria for people from Game Land. They were sent out by KC Humphries, and KC hasn't heard back from them–and Stephen himself doesn't have contact information for those five people.
Lea: At what point do we assume that they decided they didn't need the payment? Stephen: I don't think they received the checks, let alone decided not to cash them, since not a single one was cashed. It's more likely they were lost in the mail.
This is the last item needed in order to wrap up GameStorm 14.
The report was accepted.
Vice-chair Lea thought she was going to become co-chair Lea on Wednesday, following Tracy's trip to the emergency room. Tracy is doing better now, and her doctor says it was likely not a heart attack, but Lea will be shouldering more of the load.
They're been working on the new web page and it's almost ready to go. There are 293 pre-regs so far, and they are working hard on publicity–including co-sponsoring a grand prize on August 21st at Geek Trivia. (She's also trying to get Geek Trivia into OryCon.) They have several ad swaps in place. Matt is the head of Publicity, with Tracy as an advisor.
How does 293 compare to last year? Rick: We don't have accurate information form last year, but it generally seems low. But we need to be careful in planning for a very low turnout the last few years, we've seen more of a shift towards at-the-door memberships and this year might not end up as low as it would seem.
There are 130 confirmed panelist so far, with probably a few more to be added. The Programming work session will be in early September. This year there will likely be a higher percentage of presentations and workshops, as compared to panels, than in previous years. Jim Fiscus: Can you tell what the effect of the conflict with World Fantasy Con has been. Rick: About 10-15% of our regulars have said they're going to be at WFC instead.
The total cash on hand is just under $14,000 (that includes PayPal). So far, there's been no sign of the $750 refund from the canceled murder mystery dinner, so Paul is going to follow up on that.
Aaron: What help is needed? Publicity is the biggest challenge. If anyone is going to any conventions, any events–take flyers.
The next committee meeting is September 8th, at the hotel. The OryCon treasurer was reminded that the Board needs to receive regular financial reports, and an updated budget (including a breakdown of the $14,000 hotel lump sum.)
The OryCon 34 report was then accepted.
Registration and financial reports were circulated at the meeting.
It's still happening. The Game Day last month was full–people were sitting on the floor. The tentative date for the next game Day is October 7th.
It doesn't look like the Game Con software will be ready for GameStorm 15 (though there's still a chance), so the current system will be ported over to the new VPS system (which will help a lot) and some minor fixes will be made it to before GS 15.
The one committee position he needs to fill right away is Registration (both pre-reg and at-con), since the person who was going to handle this has had some medical problems and won't be able to continue.
Memberships are still running ahead of last year. There is $5600 in the bank, and $900 in PayPal, so about $6500 total. Question: Once the VPS service is set up in OSFCI's name, should GameStorm immediately reimburse OSFCI for the year's service, or should it wait to be included with the overhead fee payment after the convention is over? It was decided to wait and include it with the overhead fee.
Also still working on GOH. One invitee has asked to be able to put off making the decision until September. There was some discussion on possible venues to promote GameStorm. GS is getting some good publicity through the Vancouver Hilton and the city of Vancouver, since downtown Vancouver is very happy with GameStorm (and the city owns the Vancouver Hilton).
The report was accepted.
They are getting ready to copy over the OryCon 34 web page to use that structure for the OryCon 35 page, in order to have that ready to go as soon as this year is over. Lea does have a pre-reg person in place for next year. She's thinking of changing the price structure so that the initial $25 price is only good the Sunday of this year's OryCon, with the price going up immediately afterwards. It was suggested that she post plenty of notice about this at this year's convention, since people are used to having through the end of the year to join before the price changes.
There was some discussion at this point about Kumoricon borrowing some of our equipment. Beverly mentioned that we'd discussed in the past having a signed form from other groups who have borrowed our equipment, listing what was being borrowed and an agreement that they'd pay for any damages. Paul said he's done that when he's loaned them the Clearwire equipment in the past. Paul also mention that Kumoricon has paid a nominal $20 for the use of the equipment (to cover maintenance of the equipment). How should he handle that (should it go to OryCon or OSFCI)? Sam said that we really didn't want to start taking money for the use of the equipment, since then we're wandering into "unrelated income", which can be a mess. It's far better just to trade in-kind.
The report was accepted by the board.
[The following came up later in the meeting.]
Lea said that there's a chance that her preferred treasurer for OryCon 35 may not be able to make it to all the meetings. Is there a reason why she (Lea) can't take a checkbook to the meetings in order to reimburse people for their expenses (sending the receipts on to her treasurer), or do all the checks need to be written by the treasurer? Rick: In the past the chair has had access to the funds, as a backup to the treasurer. (For OryCon–this hasn't been the case for GameStorm.) The corporate treasurer [Rick] does have access to the accounts online, and has sometimes sent notes to treasurers, to make sure he understands what the money's being spent for.
Copies of the management agreement were signed by everyone but the OryCon 35 treasurer. Jason will have his wife (Car Bostick) sign those and mail them in.
Aaron has some potential GOHs.
The report was accepted by the board.
Everything is ready, the bid just hasn't been formally submitted to the WHC board yet. (Tammy is waiting to hear back from the potential GOHs so that she has at least one in hand before submitting the bid.) Portland is still the only city interested in 2014.
Jim: How many people attend this convention? Normally 400-800 people. (Although it would use the Doubletree hotel that OryCon uses, it would probably not use the exhibit hall, the executive meeting center or the Pacific NW ballroom.)
The report was accepted.
The report was distributed. The Clayton board requested a change to the charter to drop the phrase "financially destitute" (thereby allowing more people to be assisted–they already haven't been investigating the state of recipients' financial affairs before now when people have requested aid), and to also allow for dental emergencies to be covered (they've been finding more people having dental problems and issues in recent times).
The change was approved by the OSFCI board. And the report was accepted.
The report was distributed. Jim said he's always looking for more readers. He's had several people volunteer to take on parts of the administrative chores, but it's been hard to break that job into pieces. He's still trying to find someone to take over the entire job of administrator.
The board accepted the report.
A report was submitted (see below) via e-mail, since Debbie had a conflict with today's meeting.
The Board accepted their report.
This year's letter (and form) requesting applicants was distributed (very little has changed from last year), and it will be going out soon to the various OryCon and GameStorm lists. The deadline will be January 15, 2013.
The report was accepted.
We distributed two competing draft policies that came from the committee (as well as a copy of the existing policy.)
There was a lot of discussion (including some before the start of the board meeting). There was a suggestion that we simplify the list of transgressions to "everything that's at least a misdemeanor" but Sam strongly advised against using a legal term of art. What leaps to minds is that someone would argue that the action would not be recognized by a court as a misdemeanor, and therefore it should be allowed. Rick said he's heard two different directions in the online discussion about this. One is that the written policy should be as specific as possible, so that every possible infract ions list; and the other was that the policy should be as subjective as possible so that the transgressor can't try to wiggle around the specifics of the written policy.
Jason: Looking at this from the viewpoint of a chair, and from the OSFCI viewpoint–OSFCI could be sponsoring any number of different styles of events. Some might ban weapons, others might allow them. Should OSFCI try to have a policy that explicitly tells events what type of policies they need to have in place (weapons, children, removal of memberships, etc.), and leave it at the con level for those discretionary aspects? If I'm kicking someone out of my convention, I don't want to have to go to OSFCI [first] and tell them I'm kicking someone out. Beverly: You don't have to do that. You sign a management agreement with OSFCI which gives you the power to make those decisions. OSFCI's policy then says they can't come to any other OSFCI functions.
Aaron asked for a straw poll on who would prefer a more detailed policy, and who would prefer a less detailed policy. Stephen said he'd like to see an example of a less-detailed policy. John passed around a copy of Capricon's:
Capricon (Phandemonium/Capricon) Comprehensive Code of Conduct includes note that "Discrimination (based on, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical/mental disability) is not tolerated. Harassment of any kind is not tolerated. If someone tells you "no" or asks you to leave them alone, your business with them is done" and advises harassed persons to speak to the harasser if they feel able to do so, and to con staff if they do not. Includes media policy. Con staff reserve the right to enact penalties, up to and including the immediate revocation of con membership and banning from future events. Code of Conduct is printed in program book and featured on signage, as well as online and publicised through social media tools.
While that is just an harassment policy, it is general in form, without listing a lot specific violations. It's a board-level policy, which includes what we'd expect our event committees to do. Beverly: It reaffirms that the events have the ability to throw you out if they don't like what you're doing. John: The way I see it, as a board we need to: (a) give the events the power the police their activities; and (b) deal with the continuity between effects (such as banning someone for a year from all events if that person is ejected from an event, as an example). I don't think we should be telling events specifically what their policies should be.
Aaron returned to his straw poll. It turned out that pretty much everyone was in favor of a minimalist policy, rather than a detailed list of violations. Sam: If we try to control it more, we're opening ourselves up to potential liability if someone makes a mistake (or even worse, does something criminal). We'd make them our agents, and we don't want to do that. It'd be better if we just provide some guidelines, and the events would make the decisions (on how to handle problems). If a security person finds someone who is a problem, they can't go to the OSFCI board in order to get a decision on how they should handle it. (Similar to how the police don't wait to go into a judge to find out if they should take drunk off the street.) Having the Board to oversee it, and provide a means to appeal the convention's decision is a good approach.
Marc: We should be clear in the policy that the OSFCI board would be reviewing what the convention committee did (such as ejecting someone from the event), not making the initial decision to eject that person. Sam: It's important to distinguish between the guidelines we might be giving to conventions and the Board procedure for banning. It would be a good idea to take suggestions from an event (or from a board member), or maybe simply state there is no banning until the board decides on it.
Aaron proposed that we set up a new committee to put together the OSFCI policy. A convention can eject someone–this would be the policy for determining bans for future conventions. Beverly suggested that the potential for a lifetime ban be included in this new policy. Rick and Sam suggested it should include the possibility of receiving recommendations from event committees and board members concerning people who have a consistent pattern of just staying short of being ejected from an event, but have a long history of causing problems. Jim recommended that conventions should be urged to use "may" rather than "shall", giving them more flexibility in their actions.
Jim suggested that the policy allow for someone who felt they'd been unjustly ejected from an event to come to the board and have the ejection overturned, with an apology. Sam said that we want to avoid a situation where the board (or OSFCI in general) become liable for the actions of the event committee. Jim: Because we are sponsoring them, are we not already liable? Sam: There are degrees of liability. By putting ourselves in the position of second-guessing the event committee, we're crossing a line. As far as exoneration, if the Board does not further ban someone after they've been ejected, then the board is saying that the ejection wasn't justified.
The committee will consist of John Lorentz (committee chair), Ruth Sachter, Lea Rush, Devlin Perez, Beverly Block, Rick Lindsley and Arthur Aldridge (and possibly Andrew Nisbet), and will meet sometime in September. (That was approved unanimously by the board.) Ruth also suggested that, because of events recently at other conventions, we adopt a broad non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy, something that's listed in print by every OSFCI event. This will be part of the same discussion (and Sam's legal advice is to keep it general).
Devlin had a partial inventory list from the units. Both his work schedule and the hot weather we've had recently (the annex especially gets very hot in the summer) have worked against him having the compete list he'd hoped to have by this time. And he does have some photos to show how full the 10x20 unit is on the 3rd floor.The old CRTs in the storage unit have been donated to Free Geek. (There was no cost to us for them to take the monitors.) The units are missing some stuff (such as three of the small refrigerators), and he's trying to track them down. There was some discussion about some of the other things that have shown up in storage, include some planters filled with gravel. Stephen suggested that, for ease in the future, we print lots of labels that say "OSFCI" and put them on everything.
We've been informed that we are losing our free unit on the third floor. (We are losing the no-cost aspect of the unit, not physically losing the unit). Devlin did talk to the person in the office. Although they are now going to start charging us for the unit, we don't have to have our items out of the unit by September 1st, even if we don't want to start paying for that unit. (The rent is supposed to start in September.) We could get a smaller unit at no cost–but we wouldn't be able to fit everything in it. We can keep our old unit, and they'll discount the regular price by 10%. We very likely would not be able to find another storage location for less (especially considering how central this one is). Arthur mentioned that this place already was one of the cheapest in the are, and then they ended up comping the unit for us for several years. Here, also, we are one of only four groups that get 24hr access to the units (the other three are two rock groups and a contractor). How much will this be costing us? Roughly $200 a month, counting the 10% discount. How many units are we renting? Two 7x10 units on the ground floor in the annex (holding the art show steel and panels), and a 10x20 unit on the third floor of the main building (holding most everything else).
Rick said that they said that we might be able to discount the rates more in exchange for some advertising in the program books, so he's going to explore that. Arthur: Are there units larger than our 10x20, or are there units on the ground floor that are larger than our 10x7's there. (Trying to think of ways to use space more efficiently.) Unfortunately, the answer is no to both of those questions. The ground floor in the main building is completely full, and all the units in the annex are around the size of our 10x7's.
Devlin is going to go through and recycle the large number of program books and guides, saving no more than five (later changed to ten) of each of them. Jason said he'd like some copies of the previous GameStorm program guides, and John suggested posting some e-mails in case anyone else wants copies of the books.
John moved that Rick be authorized to negotiate with the storage facility and be able to pay at least as much as they're talking about through the end of the year. The board approved this motion unanimously.
[Followup: Later discussions between Rick and the storage facility resulted in an additional 15% discount in the annual rate in exchange for logo placement in our publications.]
We should try to determine if there are any items that we can get rid of and free up more space, and we'll try to try down those missing refrigerators. (They were pretty beaten up, so it's possible they died and were disposed of.)
Anna Wilsonsage proposed a new, OSFCI Lost & Found Policy:
Proposed Lost and Found Policy
Following a convention or event, all unclaimed lost and found pertaining to that convention or event will be logged and placed in a box with the convention year and a list of the contents. Also listed on the box will be a date three years later. Every year, for three years, this box will be brought to the corresponding convention where its contents can be claimed. After three years, as marked on the box, the contents remaining will be donated to an appropriate charity, or thrown out as deemed appropriate.
After some discussion on implementation details, this policy was accepted by the board. Devlin, as storage manager, will have a list of what's in lost & found, and Rick will create aliases "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com" for this use.
The report was accepted.
Paul may be moving out of town in the near future and is no longer pursuing this idea.
As for the previous attempt (as part of OryCon), Paul is still waiting for the refund from that. He will be contacting them again very soon.
Nothing to report. Beverly: How long does GameStorm have a contract? Aaron: Through 2014. The hotel wanted to start talking about 2015 this summer, but Aaron asked to wait until after the 2013 GameStorm next March. OryCon's contract is for three more years (including this fall).
There was some discussion about the e-mails that the Marriott's been sending out to try to draw us back there. We told them that right now, we already have other long-term contracts in place.
The report was accepted.
A new subdomain for OryCon 34 was created, to allow them to create the new web site while the current site is still running, and the same is being done for OryCon 35. (This helps address the problem with the change in permissions at Dreamhost.) This compartmentalizes things from year-to-year, and allows different years to co-exist, even if they're using different software. They still need to work out things with Dreamhost about the free VPS.
They are in the process of setting up the new VPS account for GameStorm. Beverly and Rachael can't commit to having the Gamecon software ready for GameStorm 15, although they're still hoping to. But the current software will be running on the new (faster) VPS (including the GameStorm web page), and there'll be some small fixes to that software to make it run better. ("It will suck less.") Should GameStorm reimburse OSFCI for the VPS service at the end of the con, or now (since there are funds available now)? It was decided that GS will make that payment to OSFCI at the same time they pay the $2/person overhead fee (i.e. after the convention is over).
The report was accepted.
No report (Aaron forgot all about this until he saw it listed on the meeting agenda).
Arthur got a Google alert about another "GameStorm". Do we know about this? (Yes–there are actually several.) Marc: Do we have "GameStorm" trademarked? No, It's difficult and can cost a significant amount of money.
Sam: We probably want to send letters to anyone we run across using the name, telling them "We have been using the name GameStorm since xxx" and that we would really appreciate it if they stopped using the name. We want to make sure they know we have prior use of the name, so that we're not foreclosed from using the name by someone claiming the trademark (assuming we are prior to them). If people can get the names and addresses from the other groups, he'll get letters out to them. The point is to make sure they know of our prior use of the name.
Aaron mentioned the defunct "Gamestorm.com" web site (owned by Electronic Arts). At the time, GameStorm was using another domain, and he contacted EA and they reassigned the "gamestorm.org" domain to use. Sam asked Aaron to send him a memo summarizing this transaction, for his files. John mentioned OryCon Technologies, owner of "orycon.com". We came to a reciprocal agreement with them, that each would have links to the other's web site on their own web site. Sam said that reciprocal links is a very good way to handle issues with the other Gamestorms who are not really competitors.
The next meeting will be Monday, October 8th, at 7:30PM at the Doubletree hotel.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30PM ACT.
Fairly quiet. O34 active, O35 active, GS15 active.
I will shortly be arranging payment for the hosting services required by ODS. They are selecting Arvixe.
Jenn Contreras-Perez has received her stipend and is eagerly awaiting her trip to Worldcon.
We've received all the income we expected to receive this year, but have not spent all the money we intend to spend this year. Right now, it appears we will end the year slightly in the black, despite the decreased surplus from OryCon, and the marked increased cost of storage. There's been no requests for the $2000 allocated for capital equipment; if that goes unused, it will help offset other expenses. If GameStorm had not given back $3000 for the scheduling software, we would not likely have been so close to break even.
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 8/6/12) account status:
|Acct||Balance||Change from 6/17 report|
Sent a check to Westercon for $500, per previous discussion.
We are losing our free storage space. (We are losing the "free" aspect, is all; history is not repeating itself.) More on this as a formal agenda topic.
We have had no requests for aid since our last report.
We received a donation of $675.48 from OryCon 33 (2011). We very much thank OryCon and Chairman Devlin Perez.
We have $6,860.26 in the bank after the donation
The Fund's Board of Trustees has voted to amend the Fund's Charter, and we ask the OSFCI Board to ratify the Amendment.
The Amendment is to Article I: Status and Purpose of the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund.
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund is a special fund created by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. [OSFCI], to aid
financially destitute science fiction, fantasy, horror, or mystery writers living in the states of
Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska.
PROPOSED NEW LANGUAGE:
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund is a special fund created by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. [OSFCI], to aid science fiction, fantasy, horror, or mystery writers living in the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska who need financial help with medical and dental emergencies.
The change would drop "financially destitute" which is too harsh and would block most of our grants and formally allow us to deal with both medical and dental emergencies.
|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.|
|Ruth Sachter||November 2002||November 2015|
|Marc Wells||November 2003||November 2015|
We received 46 books this year, and the past two months has been taken up with finishing the preliminary judging, which is nearly complete, and recruiting our three professional judges.
We have approximately $5,300.00 in our account, which is enough to run the Award for at least this year and next year. We have had no expenses since our last report to the Board. We are going to resume fund raising later this year.
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|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|
|Sheila Simonson||October 1996||November 2013|
|Shawn Wall, Treasurer||November 2005||November 2013|
|Microsoft Matching Funds||$260.00|
|OCF Balance (6/36/2012)||$58,269.65|
Fund raising, in the form of the 3rd Annual Brew Pub Tour, scheduled for September 29-30 continues. The tour is not yet sold out.