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General Meeting Minutes for March 27th, 2006

Annual General Meeting Meeting
Smith Memorial Student Union, PSU Campus
March 27, 2006

ATTENDING: Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, John Bunnell, Steve Criss, Debbie Cross, Aaron Curtis, Karen Hoffert, John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), David Lohkamp, Martin McClure, Aaron Nabil, Andrew Nisbet III, Linda Pilcher (OSFCI President), Michael Pinnick, Daniel Reitman, Ruth Sachter, Pat Steed, Marc Wells, Patty Wells, John R. Williamson (OSFCI Treasurer), Paul Wrigley, and Joyce Zimmerschied.

Proxies (held by): Gene Armstrong (Patty Wells), Rodney Barnes (Aaron Curtis), Joseph Bullock-Palser (Aaron Curtis), Diana Cersasin (Aaron Curtis), Cecilia A. Eng (Andrew Nisbet III), James Fiscus (Ruth Sachter), David Levine (Linda Pilcher), Nancy McClure (Martin McClure), David Schaber (Aaron Curtis), Meanie Schaber (Aaron Curtis), Debra Stansbury (Aaron Curtis), Pam Wilsonsage (Aaron Curtis), and Ben Yalow (Patty Wells). OSFCI membership was accepted by Joseph Bullock-Palser and Michael Pinnick.

The meeting started at 7:31:45PM, according to John Lorentz's watch.

I. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes have been available on the OSFCI web site. There were no corrections needed and the minutes were accepted.

II. Treasurer's Report (John Williamson)

John W. presented his report (see below). The total of all the Wells Fargo accounts adds up to about $18,000, including the two CDs. There is about $1,500 in OSFCI's general funds, about $500 more than last year at this time.

The only thing that seems really curious is that OryCon 27's bank account has over $19,000. Detail isn't available for that account, but it seems to be a combination of a large surplus for OryCon 27 and at least $7,000 which is pre-reg for OryCon 28. It was decided to transfer $8,000 of the money to OryCon 28 and absorb the rest of the money as an OryCon 27 surplus.

Paul Wrigley: What happened to the logic of having odd & even bank accounts, so there wouldn't be this blurring of the two OryCons' accounts? John W.: That became inconvenient with the US Bank account that OryCon was using. These will be set up again, with Wells Fargo accounts, with the US Bank account being phased out. Paul: Do we know for sure how much of that money was actually OryCon 27's? No, due to database issues because of a crashed computer, and uncertainties on how much OryCon 28 money was taken in, we are overestimating OryCon 28's portion of those funds to make sure that convention isn't shorted. That still leaves a ton of money ($10,000 to $11,000) for use to work with.

Paul: Does OryCon 28 know how many memberships it has? John Lorentz: As of the end of OryCon 27, there were 280 memberships. Marc Wells will be going through the materials he was given to determine if there are any more memberships there. (Marc just recently took over as OryCon 28 treasurer, and John L. just recently took over handling OryCon 28 pre-registration.) John L.: Part of this confusion was due to the fact that all bank card purchases went into one account, whether it was an art show purchase at OryCon 27 or someone buying a membership for OryCon 28.

Patty Wells: I just wanted to mention that it's only through the help of Andrew Nisbet and his friend that we were able to recover the data from the crashed computer, and Marc and John have stepped in to try to make up for the six months of inactivity by the previous people handling those jobs.

John W.: Because of the unclosed OryCon books (all the other activities and funds got their information to John in a timely manner), we will be delayed in filing our tax forms for 2005. This means we will have the state of Oregon another $10. Paul: Do we know the balance as of December 31st? John W.: Not yet.

John W. spoke about the insurance, and how it's been going up. It would be likely be reasonable to purchase a single-event policy for OryCon. Aaron Curtis: What about the GameStorm game days? There is that–we need to determine if it makes sense to pay to cover those events. John W. Will check into that.

Dan Reitman: What about Errors & Omissions coverage (to cover the corporation for failings of the Directors)? It's worth considering–John W. will also check into that, as well as if it's cheaper to purchase a single year-long policy to cover the 2007 Potlatch, GameStorm and OryCon, or cheaper to get separate single-event policies.

Storage Space: John W. was able to make use of the surplus funds (over $3,000) left in the account for the Eugene World Horror Convention in 1996 (an OSFCI event) to pay for three years rent of new storage space for OSFCI. He found this account by giving US Bank our tax ID and saying "I don't remember our OryCon account number is–can you tell me?" He was given three accounts: the OryCon account, and account that was empty and about to be closed and this old World Horror Con account. [Patty: "Have you thought about going to the other banks and seeing we had any money there?" John W.: "Yes, I went to all the major banks, but this was only one account, and it was closed."]

John L.: We should mentioned that the Board adopted a new policy this last year for the sponsored events. From now on, the events will be paying an "overhead fee" that will pay for the insurance and will also keep refilling the fund for storage, so that in three years we don't need to find another lost bank account to pay for the storage space. Joyce Zimmerschied: Does the storage space include insurance for the items there? Yes, to a minimal amount. ("It's in a building with an elevator that's really slow. If they want to steal our stuff, it'll take them a l-o-n-g time to take it out of the building.") And these people are more professional to work with, so that we shouldn't encounter the same problems we did when we rented the storage garage. The insurance does cover damage and incidental theft.

The Treasurer strongly suggests the incoming Board of Directors sit down and determine the actual costs that OSFCI pays, and determine the policies on how to get these funds from the events. OSFCI has a good number of fixed costs each year, and we need to raise the money somehow.

III. President's Report (Linda Pilcher)

[John W. already stole much of her first paragraph, with his Treasurer's report.]
Probably the biggest thing to report is that John Williamson has arranged new storage for us and it is paid up for three years. And that he married Khayl. Congratulations, John and Khayl!

Our conventions did well this year. We held a wonderfully well_attended SMOFcon. With 155 members, it was one of the largest SMOFcons ever. Featured speaker Tyra Banks proved to be a huge draw in a standing room only crowd. OryCon survived its first year in the Marriott. Congratulations and our sincere appreciation to the committee and staff for their time, efforts and energy to make it work. GameStorm was terrific according to my teenager who really enjoyed himself there.

Mary Olsen was accepted as chair for OryCon 28, (thank you, Mary!), and has arranged for Cory Doctorow to be the GOH this year. GameStorm is approved but we do not yet have a chairman and the Board authorized Ruth Sachter to bid for Potlatch in 2007. [Which we are indeed hosting.]

We have hotel contracts successfully negotiated for both OryCon and GameStorm. We thank Patty Wells for that.

Karyn Hoffert let us know at the last board meeting that she was engaged. Good luck and our best wishes to Karyn.

Any questions or comments? John W.: GameStorm does have an operating chair (or is it chairs?) now.
Hotel Update (Patty Wells): Following Linda's presentation, Patty followed with an update on hotel status on our events. GameStorm next year will be at the Sheraton, near the airport. Our excellent hotel person there inherited some money and is retiring to raise a child. But she did give us a good contract to work with before she left. The layout is very good for us, but it is the first year there so we want to make sure we rent plenty of rooms.

This will be OryCon's second year at the Marriott. We're renting more space (10,000 ft2 this year. If we can make our room block this year, we should be pretty much set at this location. If we can keep from changing locations, it will help our membership numbers.
Bylaw Changes (John Lorentz): John L. had circulated some proposed Bylaw changes, one of which would have changed when people became eligible for OSFCI membership. He had intended to ask this meeting to consider this motion out of the agenda order, with the idea that if it was accepted, it would immediately make this year's GameStorm committee members eligible to be counted. Unfortunately, there aren't enough OSFCI members represented at this meeting (either attending in person or represented by proxy) for us to make any Bylaw changes. It takes a majority of all members voting in favor of a change (which would be 43 of our 84 members) to pass it, we only have 32 members represented tonight. So he will not be making any of these motions at the meeting tonight.

IV. Election of Board of Directors

The continuing members of the Board of Directors are: Karyn Hoffert, John Lorentz, Patty Wells and John Williamson. The terms of five directors are expiring tonight: Aaron Curtis, Aaron Nabil, Andrew Nisbet, Mary Olsen, and Linda Pilcher. (There is one vacancy.) It was decided by the meeting to elect five people to new two-year terms, and request that the Board appoint a six member for one year, in order to try to get back to a 5/5 split in the terms.

The recorder was accidentally unplugged at this point, and the Secretary didn't get around to writing down all of the nominees at the time—so we don't have a record of everyone who was nominated for the Board.

Members elected to two year terms: Arthur Aldridge, Steve Criss, Aaron Curtis, Andrew Nisbet, and Linda Pilcher. The meeting requested that the Board appoint Aaron Nabil to a one-year term (which they did).

V. New Business

Czarcasm: OryCon doesn't need food handler permits are all. (Or maybe it does—we'll check with the hotel.)

Susan Petrey Fund: Andrew had some questions about the structure of the Susan Petrey Fund—is there a worry that it might be vulnerable to a financial failing of OSFCI, should that happen. Should that fund be set up as a stand-alone entity? John L.: This might be a discussion for the Board, but isn't the vast majority of the Fund in Oregon Community Foundation so that it would be harmed by a financial failure of OSFCI? (We didn't have an immediate answer, as Debbie Cross and Paul Wrigley—the administrators of the Fund—were out of the room, counting the ballots for the Directors' election.)

VI. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:19PM.


OSFCI AGM 2006 Treasury Report

Treasurer's Absence

In early March, my beloved girlfriend and I took an impromptu tour to see the defacing of an ancient sacred mountain with the gigantic monumental heads of significant presidents, more commonly known as Mount Rushmore. Under the watchful gaze of the Gods, the Great Spirit, Mother Nature, and carved visages of Founding Fathers of this peculiar nation, I asked her to marry me. She accepted and it took us over a month traveling the West to get back home. My absence was never really planned or announced and the board had to deal with several things while I was gone either cruising through the Badlands, traipsing the snowy Rockies, exploring Death Valley, or on a roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm. I literally fell of the face of the Earth for month having the time of my life while others on the board and comities of GameStorm and OryCon had to deal with the void. For all of those who picked up my slack, I am very grateful, and so is my lovely wife Khayl.

Bank Accounts

OSFCI General Funds currently consists of $1,507.56.

This is up slightly from the balance at this time (June) last year of $1,011.85.

Note that this year a few recurring expenses were paid by the Secretary John Lorentz from a surplus of last December's SMOFcon either due to convenience, expediency, or negligence/absence on my part.

Total Assets in Wells Fargo Accounts:

OSFCI General Funds $1,507.56
OSFCI Savings $152.48
Cashed CD $3,334.36
Maturing CD $3,127.48
Merchant Funds $100.00
OryCon Even $2,888.13
OryCon Odd $90.00
GameStorm Even $5,212.05
GameStorm Odd $1,701.43
Reserve Con Account $70.00
Subtotal $18,183.49
OryCon 27's US Bank Account $19,771.95

Convention Books

The books for GameStorm 7 in 2005 closed with a surplus split of $456.80.

SMOFcon in 2005 also had a decent surplus which was never turned over, but they have used that money to help pay OSFCI bills. [The remainder was given to the OSFCI Treasurer at this meeting.]

OryCon 27 in 2005 still has open books due to real life issues and lack of time with their original treasurer. Her books have been handed over and they expect to be closed in the next month or two. The surprising good news is that their US Bank account has over $19,000 in it! It is estimated that at least $7,000 belongs to OryCon 28 for Pre-Registrations paid via credit cards, so $8,000 will be transferred to the OryCon Even account and the rest will float in to the OSFCI General funds and that account will be closed and some loose ends tied up so all of our accounts are with Wells Fargo and easily monitored on-line by this Treasurer.

GameStorm 8 in 2006 still has open books but it is estimated their surplus will be similar to last year.


I would like to applaud the people involved in our Awards and Funds, as well as GameStorm [and SMOFcon], for getting their financial statements to me in a very timely manner this year and it was much appreciated. However, due to the issues with OryCon's books we do not have all the information that was needed to file our federal and state taxes which were due on May 15. So I have filed for an extension until we get those books together and can add them into the financial picture for our taxes. The consequences of this are that we will get a limp slap on the wrist from the IRS, and the State of Oregon will charge us an additional $10 beyond the standard $50 at our typical asset totals during the year.


A happy accident happened this year partially due to my absence and dragging my feet. We had spent a lot of insurance last year, over $1600 to cover our events which is roughly double what we might have paid 5 to 10 years ago. Our coverage lasted 1 year, and due to me taking over the Treasury of OSFCI kind of all of a sudden and kind of late we did not get insurance until right when GameStorm of 2005 happened. What little work I did to get insurance for this year did not come to fruition partially due to our old carrier no longer being available and our agent having to shop around. Well basically, because I went out of town, we just never really got insurance. However, GameStorm 2006 was already covered due that convention being a little earlier in the year and still being covered from last years insurance. By the time I got back and in contact with our agent, she said there were no good deals to get so perhaps we do not need a full years worth of insurance since one event already happened and there is only one that may need insurance coming up (OryCon 28) in November and you could just get insurance for just that one event and it may be half the price. So the long story short is that we may save some money this year on insurance.

Found Money

It so happened when dealing with US Bank, because OryCon 27 was using this rouge account originally used by OryCon 25, that it was discovered that there were two other bank accounts related to OSFCI with US Bank. One had no money in it and was practically closed, but the other was an old account used around 10 years ago for a World Horror Con, and later for an other Con that we sponsored in Eugene and it still had in it a surplus of over $3,000 that was never dealt with. When I discovered this account it was early in the year and I was about to purchase a new storage space. I called various people related to World Horror and the Eugene Con and confirmed that all that money belonged to OSFCI. When this was brought forth it was decided by the board and I to leverage this small wind-fall to get a special price by getting a few years paid in advance for our new storage space. So consequently we paid for 3 years of our new space and it was paid all with found money having little impact on our current bank account. In fact we gained about $500.

Future Expenses and Better Balanced Budget

Now that I am more familiar with our yearly cycle of expenses and board members are more aware of where our money comes from and were it goes we have noted why it seemed like OSFCI seemed to run into a financial crises over the last couple of years when OryCon surpluses started getting lower. The over simplification is that OSFCI relies too much on the over success of an OryCon to pay most of its bills instead of charging a correct but reasonable sponsorship fee for services it provides to the Conventions it sponsors. The approach that may be taken to rectify this may seem like a burden on the budgets of the Conventions it sponsors, but the reality is that this burden was always there, it was just not obvious or out in the open and it was never realized that there is a potential problem until we had a couple of years without OryCon windfalls.

Also the board should spend a meeting making a more realistic budget compared to years past or figure out how it guarantees to pay for its yearly budget though the sponsorship of cons, regardless of their success or failure. It is almost sad though that many will see this as not-an-issue, considering that we have once again received a large surplus from an OryCon and it will tide us over for a couple of years. But my goal is to make sure we never have a problem budgetarily and that those involved on the board and running conventions are more aware of financial responsibilities and benefits.