Board Members in attendance: Beverly Block (OSFCI President), Car Bostick, Jason Bostick, Aaron Curtis, Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), D. Stephen Raymond, Lea Rush and Debra Stansbury. Devlin Perez missed the meeting because of illness and his absence was excused.
Also attending were Debbie Cross and Paul Wrigley (Susan Petrey Fund), Jacob Engstrom (GameStorm 16 Treasurer), Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Tammy Lindsley (WHC 2014 Chair), Guy Holaday (WHC 2014 Co-Chair), Ruth Sachter, and Tracy Penner (OryCon 34 Chair).
The meeting started at 7:32PM PCPT (Phoenix's Cell Phone Time).
The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted unanimously.
(A report was distributed–see below.)
Rick is still waiting for Paul Brinker, the OryCon 34 treasurer, to finish his report. (Several people are poking Paul about that.) The finances for OryCon 34 are 80%-90% done (the same as the last meeting). Rick has physical custody of the checkbook, and can write checks if any are needed. He also knows how much money was deposited for the events–he just doesn't have the breakdown for the sources of that income (registration, art show, dealers and misc.).
The World Horror account was started with $1000. $9.95 of that was spent for a domain name.
$500 was donated to the effort to perform gene sequencing on Jay Lake's tumors (thanks to Ruth for pointing out that there was deadline swiftly approaching shortly after the early February Board meeting).
There is a brief end-of-year report included, so that we could review last year's budget. It looks like we increased our surplus by the end of the year, but that's only because we hadn't paid all the OryCon 34 bills by the end of the year (most notably, the hotel bill). Two items that dropped our funds over the year was the necessity to pay for room nights at OryCon (when we didn't satisfy our room nights there), and increased storage facility cost. We did have the money to cover this (the shortfall was less than 10% of our savings.) Rick believes this year was an anomaly–we will just need to continue to monitor our budget and make sure there aren't any long-range problems.
As of the end of the year, we hadn't used any of the capital budget. (The scanner we just purchased was paid for in 2013, so it comes out of this year's budget.)
Other than that, most things went as planned for the year. The Miscellaneous Expenses line was high because of the money for the GameCon software, but we also had an unexpected donation from last year's GameStorm to help cover that cost.Paul Wrigley had two questions: (1) The "change from" date on the account balances list in the report seems wrong (that was an error on John's part when he copied Rick's information); and (2) the Endeavour balance from the accounts list doesn't match what Jim Fiscus reports in his Endeavour Report. Rick will work that out with Jim–the amount he (Rick) listed was what was in the bank account as of the day before.
The report was accepted.
[Following up on this the next day, Rick and Jim determined that Rick's figure was correct–there was a typo in the Endeavour report submitted by Jim.]
There is nothing to report. Tracy asked if there was a way to just close the books with the amounts we have now (since it's been extremely difficult to get information from the OryCon 34 treasurer)? "We have all the information we're going to get from him." Rick said that he would like to see if they can get more information about the deposits.
John: Have all the bills been paid? Rick: We believe they've been paid now. There were some items that had been sent to Paul so that checks would be sent out, and they were not followed up on. Tracy and Rick went through everything and found a few people who were still due checks. Rick would like to know about the some of the withdrawals, especially the $3,300 that was withdrawn the day before the convention. It's likely it was cash for the various tills and per diems but Rick just doesn't have the information. There was some discussion of how to get the needed information from Paul, and whether he still has a working OryCon debit card. (He doesn't.)
The report was unanimously accepted.
(Registration and financial reports were circulated at the meeting.)
There have been a few staffing issues. The registration person decided he wasn't up to the task, so reg is now back in the hands of Beverly. They lost their board game scheduler, so Car Bostick has taken that on.
669 events have been scheduled so far, with still a lot more to go in. New things this year include Geek Trivia, run by Dawn Hewitt. And they've finally figured out where they are going to put the 4-foot high Jenga tower.
Memberships are going well–well ahead in paid memberships over last year. Financially, GameStorm is flush. There have a been a few problems with PayPal. After pre-reg is over this year, online registration will be down for a little while after GameStorm to migrate it to the new server, and some work to be done to improve the process (rather than immediately opening up pre-reg for next year at the close of the con).
The report was accepted.
(Reports were circulated.)
There is roughly $10,700 in the bank. They still don't have a budget ready yet–Lea had been hoping she could base it on what was actually spent on OryCon 34, but that's been hard to determine. She does have a Salesforce report that Paul Brinker had generated, and will be using that for budgeting income.
There are 334 members so far. It's great the numbers are up, but Lea is worried that this might mean less income overall because people are buying the memberships at a lower price.
There are extra expenses this year, because there are three GOHs that are coming in from the east coast. They've identified a couple of places where they can immediately cut $1500 from the budget–one is room rental. They expect to have a budget ready shortly after GameStorm (late March) and will sent it out to the Board list then.
Publicity is going great. And the party at Radcon had a phenomenal response. Early on, Lea is concentrating the publicity on out-of-town folks–she wants to fill room nights.
Paul asked a question to help him understand the registration report. Also, the amount listed in the OryCon 35 financial report didn't match the amount in Rick's report. (The difference was the amount currently in OryCon's PayPal account, which isn't included in Rick's list of accounts.)
Aaron: Are there any significant gaps left on your concom? Lea: Events Tech is in flux. The person who was going to handle it had some odd ideas about what he would receive in return.
The report was accepted by the board.
Aaron has been recruiting and has about two dozen people signed up for specific roles, many of whom are doing something new. Jacob has a preliminary budget (unfortunately, there aren't any copies to pass around at the meeting). There will something more formal for the next meeting.
He is trying to get the GOHs in place, but his top two choices are spendy. One lives in New Zealand, and the next choice is two people from the Czech Republic. Neither one has said yes, yet–he should have something to report on that at the next meeting.
There are two groups that are interested in getting more involved with GameStorm. One is the Portland Indie Game Squad. The other is Design Week Portland, a group of designers that works together and shares ideas. There is an annual Design Week in October (more about that later). One of the people involved in those groups is going to be doing a marketing survey for Aaron, to try to figure out what GS hasn't been doing so far, to improve the marketing. He's recruited Dawn Hewitt to be in charge of social media, and the first thing she's doing is taking many pictures at this year's GameStorm to use for advertisement for next year.
The report was accepted by the board.
Tammy has been recruiting and has much of the concom put together, some of who have been working on WHC for the last several years. Locally, Lea is doing dealers, Brigid is doing art show, Carol Cole is doing the writer's workshop, Jaki Hunt is doing publications, Arthur is Treasurer, Guy Holaday is vice-chair and head of special events. Jeremy Reardon (from Eugene, who started up the Northwest Horror Writers association) is handling publicity and ad sales.
The first committee meeting will be Saturday, March 16th. Tammy is working on a press release to be sent out to several mailing lists and publications. She was told, after being awarded the bid, that most of them come in in the red (with the deficit being paid off by the local group putting on the convention.) She's not intending this to happen with the Portland convention. (The convention this year in New Orleans has already passed 300 memberships– the total is usually 400-450 people–so maybe the trend is already changing.) She's noticed that the WHC doesn't usually advertise very much They just seem to assume that "This is a professional convention, so the writers will come"–and only writers want to come. This is why she already has someone working on publicity that is used to working with publishers and publications (he does ad sales as his living). She's trying to get up to 500 attendees.
She is looking for someone to handle tech. (This would be for both the few large events, and all the small tech needs.) She has a couple of people in mind for that.
Paul: When is the website going up? Tammy: Very soon (within a week). We do have the domain registered (worldhorror2014.org). The PayPal account is all set up, a local artist is working on creating a logo.
Question: We had to go through the World Horror Society to be awarded this convention. Is there going to be any control of the event by them? Tammy: They are very hands-off. The only requirement for us is to pay for the grandmaster award (around $100) and send out ballots for that award (Mike Willmoth handles the actual count). Then the winner of that award is invited as a guest of WHC 2014. (Although often the grandmaster doesn't attend, such as when Stephen King won the award.)
The other requirement is that all of the WHS board members (there are eight of them) get to pay the lowest membership fee ($100) no matter when they join.
And the WHS is completely separate from the Horror Writers Association, which will be presenting the Bram Stoker Award at WHC 2014.
There was some discussion on how to avoid the trend of losing money. Paul pointed out that OSFCI has run several conventions smaller than OryCon or GameStorm (Potlatch, Smofcon, Left Coast Crime and the 1996 WHC) and they've all made money. Tammy: New Orleans this year should end up making money, since they're drawing a lot of people. Tammy will be in New Orleans and will be strongly promoting Portland in 2014. She is planning on having more fan-based activities than in the past, and wants to involve gaming, since there are a lot of horror-based games.
John will draft a management agreement and send a copy to Tammy for her review. Tammy's report was accepted.
(Jim was unable to attend. He submitted reports which are attached below.)
Rick Lindsley is now the OSFCI Board representative to the Clayton Board, replacing Arthur Aldridge (who was not re-elected to the OSFCI Board this month). (This was the Clayton board's decision, but the OSFCI board also agreed with the choice.)
The board accepted the reports.
(A report was distributed at the meeting–see below.)
Debbie: Should Patty & Lillie Wells be given committee credit for OSFCI for running the egg prizes at last November's OryCon? The Board voted unanimously to give them that credit.
There was a question about the beer tour fund raisers that Debbie & Paul have been organizing. Unfortunately, their schedule probably isn't going to allow them to run one this year.
The Board accepted their report.
Beverly sent emails to the current, future and immediate past chairs for OryCon and GameStorm and got no names back, and there have been no applications. The comment she got back was that $500 (plus the membership) isn't enough to make the trip affordable, unless it's within driving distance. This just may not be viable.
There was some discussion about possible changes to the mission of the grant. Debbie suggested we think about this, and come back with suggestions of possible changes. Stephen: The original idea was to help someone go to the worldcon, not pay their entire cost. Ruth: Also part of the original idea was to have it open to anyone who participates at OSFCI events, not just those on the committee. She suggested that we send out a press release, and volunteered to write something up.
After some more discussion, the issue was tabled until the next meeting.
Devlin Perez could not attend, but sent email reminding people of the storage unit work session at noon on April 5th.
Jason said that they have discovered more refrigerators in the storage unit than they'd expected (as opposed to earlier, when it seemed that some where missing), as well as four boxes of OryCon 34 program books. There was some discussion about what to do with the leftover program books. Jason suggested that we save one box until the nest year's convention (and a few in a permanent archive). (Besides the four boxes of last year's book, there are also multiple boxes of books from previous years currently in storage.) John: When we've discussed this in the past, we decided we'd keep 20 copies, and the rest could happily go away. It was decided that for now, we'll keep one box from each year.
Stephen: Back to the mini-fridges. Are we planning on checking them before GameStorm to make sure we know which ones work? Yes.
Nothing to report right now. Aaron will be talking to the Vancouver Hilton concerning the 2015 and 2016 GameStorms, and Tammy will be talking to the Portland Doubletree about the 2015 OryCon.
Who is on the hotel committee? Aaron, John, and Tammy, as well as Patty Wells and Ben Yalow. Tracy: Have the discrepancies from last year been discussed with the hotel? Aaron: Yes, they were resolved to my satisfaction. [A report from Tammy about this was included with the minutes from the December, 2012 meeting.]
The report was accepted unanimously.
There is nothing to report right now about GameCon. They are working on it, but Beverly hasn't had much time for it recently because she's had to take back GameStorm registration. (Rachael continues to work on it.) It's still on target for next year's GameStorm.
Rick: I continue to be upset with DreamHost. Tracy: Are you still looking for another host? Rick: I'm in favor of moving to another company, but don't have time to research it right now. Jason: The first thing we should determine is what we need, and whether what we have for GameStorm would work. Beverly: For GameStorm, we're on a VPS and I don't think we want to use that (to replace the DreamHost service). Rick: If we lose DreamHost as a web service, we also lose them as a host for our mailing lists and SQL databases. These are all replaceable, but if you pull the plug, you have realize exactly what you're turning off. John pointed out that there was an item under New Business to discuss moving off of DreamHost.
Lea: Is this something that Lisa can help with? Rick: I tried to abdicate leadership of this committee (because of lack of available time), but that has been unsuccessful so far. She would be a good addition to the committee, because she'd have some knowledge on what we're lacking in our present service and what would be desired in a different host.
Aaron: Will GameCon be ready to use on a test basis for a fall game day? Beverly: For OryCon, possibly. But the number of events that are scheduled for OryCon is small, and might not show us much. We're planning on recruiting a number of people to test it, and have them pound on it pretty hard sometime this summer.
The report was accepted.
Nothing to report. Ruth hopes to do some work on it this week.
The report was accepted.
The committee had some email discussions on the current standing rules. (A copy of the rules were distributed at the last meeting.) The committee realized that, other than dropping the one rule having to do with appeals (which has been superseded by the new procedures for implementing the Code of Conduct), the rest of them work pretty well. We do want to add some references to the Bylaws, to provide some context to the rules (since John is the only elected Board member now who was involved with drafting these rules originally). There will be a draft of the modified rules presented at the April board meeting.
The report was accepted.
NWRE Equipment Loan
Jason met with Morgan (of NWRE). The amount of equipment they wish to borrow is small: a couple of reg computers, the laminators, possibly the art show panels, and some hospitality equipment. They're talking about getting their own insurance, but right now they don't have coverage so we aren't covered on a rider with them (yet).
Tammy pointed out that they will need to rent a large truck, since the art show panels and steel can't be broken up. There was some more discussion–Beverly will put together a group to draft an agreement with them. Lea suggested that we put together an estimate of what it would cost to replace the panels and steel. Tammy suggested that the Board appoint someone to be a watchdog over the equipment, and that don't agree to the loan until we have a copy of their insurance, and an agreement with them is signed by both parties.
Murder Mystery Dinner
Rick asked about the status of the refund for the canceled OryCon murder mystery dinner. There has been no response from the group after John sent them a letter last October, requesting a refund (the event was canceled months earlier, and supposedly Paul Brinker also requested a refund when the event was canceled. John gave Sam a copy of the letter he sent, so that Sam can follow up on it.
A proposal was distributed from Debra Stansbury to chair GameStorm 17 (see below). She already has several people lined up to work with her. The hotel contract isn't in place yet for that weekend, but she is planning on returning to the Vancouver Hilton. The budget will be based on the final numbers from GameStorm 15 and the budget for GameStorm 16. For GOH, she would like to approach Mayfair Games, and their Empire Builder design team. If they say no, then Debra will speak with Aaron Curtis and some of the other people involved with running GS in the past, and get their suggestions.
Rick: Is this earlier than normal? Somewhat–it's usually been decided around 18 months out. Debra felt that it will help her be better prepared, having the extra time. And for some of the Guests of Honor for GameStorm, it really is necessary to book them far in advance. They're busy professionals, who go to a lot of different conventions. Jason: GameStorm is on the calendar near some large events, but it does help being able to invite guests well in advance of the convention. John: The two real questions we have to decide are:
Rick is concerned that, since we're all drawing from the same pool of GameStorm and OryCon volunteers, those same people will now have additional responsibilities to think about. Debra: Some people are returning to the positions they love, and don't plan on not doing that same job year after year. Other people are trying something completely new to them. Aaron: I think it's an advantage for people to know what they're going to be doing in the year following.
Paul: I look at this proposal, and at least half of the board of directors in on the list of supporters. So why don't we just close discussion and take a vote?
Jason: Every year for the last few years, we've been adding something new. What kinds of things are you thinking of adding the continue the growth fo the con? Debra: Nothing specific yet, but there are so many things at GameStorm that are fun.
The bid was accepted unanimously.
Rick is in favor of this, but nothing has been done so far. The IT committee consists of Rick, David Levine and Arthur Aldridge, and somewhere along the line Rick became the nominal leader. He is willing to participate in this effort, but has a lot on his plate and cannot lead. Do we want to change the membership of the IT committee, or do we want to enlarge it? There were some suggestions of other people to add to the committee–people will send these suggestions to Rick.
Lea moved that we expand the committee with the people being mentioned and then discuss moving forward with the purpose of determining what we need, and whether we should stay with DreamHost or change providers. Rick, at least for the time being, will still lead the committee.
John: Most of the Bylaws were written decades ago, long before email. Putting together the annual meeting notices recently was a good reminder on just how much of the Bylaws were specifying or assuming that information would printed and physically mailed to members. (A) This costs us a lot of time and money; and (B) we have events that don't make it a priority to collect mailing addresses from their members, so that we often cannot mail notices to people newly eligible to join OSFCI. I'd like us to form a committee to review the Bylaws for possible changes we can put forth to the OSFCI members to move away from a paper-based organization.
The Board voted to form a committee to review the Bylaws for possible changes. The committee shall consist of John, Jason and Debra.
Aaron asked to be appointed the OSFCI liaison to Design Week Portland (http://www.designweekportland.com). This is a series of related events in early October, and they want to make game design a more significant part of this. He'd originally asked to attend their meetings as a representative of GameStorm, and they suggested that he instead be a representative of OSFCI, in case there are other ways we can collaborate.
The board unanimously voted to appoint Aaron as the official OSFCI liaison with Design Week Portland.
The next meeting will be held at 2PM, Sunday, April 28th, 2013–probably at the Doubletree hotel.
The meeting adjourned at 9:29PM.
Still waiting for final numbers from Paul [for OryCon 34]. He's gone unresponsive the last two weeks and we may be left not knowing what income came from where. I can track deposits but not what generated them. We have also stumbled over cases where he was supposed to write checks to people but never did. We remain at 80%-90% done with the books. I still have physically custody of the O34 checkbook if needed.
World Horror 2014 account has been started with $1000. Treasurer will be Arthur Aldridge.
Per last meeting, $500 donated to Jay Lake's sequencing efforts. $9.95 paid to HootSuite.
End of year report:
Strictly speaking, OSFCI increased its surplus last year, but that's only because O34 had not yet paid all its bills on 12/31. When one takes into account those bills, then OSFCI's funds will have dipped a bit as O34 lost money. As mentioned, we are still awaiting final numbers but we are certain there will be no surplus to distribute, and it seems likely that OSFCI will not get its per-member fee from O34. Biggest contributor to this was the need to buy up rooms to meet our room block. O34's needing help is one big reason why OSFCI will end the year with fewer assets than they started, but another significant contributor to OSFCI's operating costs is the jump in storage costs.
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 2/23/13) account status:
|Acct||Balance||Change from 10/6 report|
We have made a grant in aid for $ 1,823.46
We have a bit under $3,200.00 in the bank. At this time, I am hoping to use the Nebula Awards in May to recruit people to help with our fund raising.
The departure of Arthur Aldridge from the OSFCI Board means that we had appoint another OSFCI Board member to serve as OSFCI representative on the Clayton Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has appointed Rick Lindsley to the position.
|Committee Members||First Appointed||Term Expires|
|James Fiscus, Chairman||October 1996||November 2014|
|Page Fuller, Treasurer||October 1996||November 2014|
|Rick Lindsley, OSFCI Rep.||Febraury 2012||While serving on OSFCI Board.|
|Ruth Sachter||November 2002||November 2015|
|Marc Wells||November 2003||November 2015|
Several more books are on the way to us, and we expect to have about 40 titles entered for this year.
We have a bit under $5,000.00 in our account.
|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|
|Helen Umberger||November 2012||November 2015|
|OryCon 34 Income||$1,662.00|
|Oregon Community Foundation||$1,944.00|
|Microsoft Matching Funds||$260.00|
|Oregon Community Foundation||$15,000.00|
|OCF Balance (12/31/2012)||$60,453.36|
Rest are TBA, but interested in helping out:
Why do I want to chair GameStorm 17?
Because I have been trained up for the position and feel this is an excellent way to pay back all the help and care that has been invested in me over the last several years. Plus, it is something I feel confident in accomplishing and something that I am looking forward to doing.
My convention running resume includes: running hospitality for GameStorm for 5 years, Vice Chair and Events Coordinator for GameStorm one year and Hotel Liaison for GameStorm for three years. I have also chaired Orycon, run Orycon's Opening Ceremonies 9 times, and am currently the Vice Chair of Notes for Orycon 35. Outside of OSFCI, I have also volunteered for Kumoricon as Assistant Secretary, Assistant Director of Relations and as the cosplay Stage Manager. In general, I have been trying to make myself helpful and useful wherever and whenever required for the last 20 plus years. Professionally I am an Office/Personal Assistant–I specialize in organization and streamlining processes in order to make an office (or my client's life) run more smoothly.
Though we do not currently have a contract in place, I am hoping to return to the Vancouver Hilton and Convention Center as we have an excellent rapport with them. This depends on growth in both 2013 and 2014, however. If necessary, a larger space may be required. If so, I will work with the Hotel Committee to find something that works for GameStorm's needs.
Proposed Budget is in progress
As GameStorm 17 is two years away, it is impossible to set a budget at this time. It will, however, be based off the final budget of GameStorm 15 and the working budget of GameStorm 16, as I feel that the treasurers and chairs of those two conventions have an excellent grasp of the particular needs this convention has.
Guests of Honor
My current plan is to approach Mayfair Games (www.mayfairgames.com) publishers of EuroRails, Martian Rails and Nippon Rails, among others (such as Catan). I would like to invite members of their Empire Builder Design Team to come and participate at GameStorm.
If this is not feasible, I would ask Aaron Curtis for guidance in finding another suitable choice.
I welcome questions, discussion and helpful advice.
Bid Chair GameStorm 17