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Board Meeting for September 20th 2010

Board of Directors Meeting

September 20, 2010

ATTENDING: (Board members) Arthur Aldridge, Beverly Block, Aaron Curtis (OSFCI President), Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Andrew Nisbet III, Mike Pinnick, and Debra Stansbury.

Tammy Lindsley (death in the family) and Marc Wells (illness) were both missing. Their absences were excused.

Also attending were James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour ex-officio member), Sam Justice (OSFCI attorney), Ruth Sachter, D. Stephen Raymond, Joyce Zimmerschied and David Lohkamp.

The meeting started at approximately 7:30PM.

I. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Aaron Curtis asked the Board members if they had read the minutes when they were distributed (nearly everyone had).

The minutes from the previous meeting were then accepted by general acclamation.

II. Treasurer's Report (Rick Lindsley)

There was discussion at the last meeting from Rick's report, but no actions were taken (as far as he knows) because he wasn't able to attend the meeting. Updates since the last meeting include

  • The OryCon 32 treasurer now has been added to the account and has the checkbook for that event. There are still a few extra people still on the account as signers–that will be taken care of.
  • The GameStorm 11 and 12 materials have been received, although he hasn't had a chance to process them yet. Effectively, the books are closed for those events.
  • OryCon 31 still needs to be closed. There is a surplus from that event–it's just a matter of know how much.

He has filed for a second extension of filing the tax forms. This is the last extension we can get, so getting the books closed is a priority.

GameStorm 12 bought a large number of memberships in Gamestorm 13, thereby becoming an expense for GS 12 and income for GS 13. This seemed odd. Stephe: This has happened for the last couple of years–it's for guest game masters. Rick: This method of moving money forward from convention to convention should probably be discussed, to make sure we're OK with that. There is still a problem (in general) with getting books closed in a timely manner. Rick still needs copies of the signed management agreements.

The one major change was $680 for new radios (this was previously authorized by the Board). Rick realized that the copies of the spreadsheet he brought didn't include the income page–he'll send that out.

Right now, we're earning less than 1/10th of 1% in interest on our savings. He'd like some guidance of how much flexibility he has in exploring options. This will be discussed by the officers at a later meeting.

The Treasurer's report was accepted.

The annual insurance policy need to be renewed in the next few months. (After this year's OryCon.)

IV. Reports on Sponsored Activities
A. Conventions and Bids
1. OryCon 31 (Debra Stansbury)

Still waiting for the books to be closed. She has met with her treasurer, and they have found the previously-lost notes. Rick and Aaron and John will meet to finalize the numbers (as well as Stephe and Paul Brinker, as training for future OryCons). The leftover artifacts (the tote bags) will be given away to other conventions, and to her committee. Eight were donated to Kumoricon.

2. GameStorm 12 (Aaron Curtis)

Aaron: The books are closed, the checks have been written (and cashed). Rick has the final financial report, and he will pass on a copy to the Secretary to include with the minutes. GS 12 is no longer an open item.

GameStorm has a collection of dice, with the GameStorm logo. They're generic and can be used at future GameStorms.

There was some side discussion on artifacts in general. (Nothing seems to be selling in recent years.)

3. OryCon 32 (Rick Lindsley)

Seeing very good things in terms of the content, but discouraging things in terms of getting items done. Programming is running behind, but has received some good ideas. OryCon has just changed treasurers, and there have been some challenges with registration (both in terms of the people running it, and in the number of memberships coming in) that are being addressed. Some people who wrote checks many months ago which hadn't been deposited and they don't know if they are members yet. OryCon will try to make good to these folks. Rick is working with the reg people to get the system working right again.

The latest count from Reg puts OryCon at about 400 paid members, but that's a very fuzzy number because of the registration system problems.

The next meeting will be October 16th.

4. GameStorm 13

The chair of GS 13 (David Schaber) was not present, so there was no formal report. Stephe: Currently there are about 170 people registered for GS 13. There is a committee meeting this Saturday.

Aaron: GameStorm ran the board game room at Kumoricon, and OSFCI loaned them kitchen supplies. The supplies are still in their storage area. Michael Pinnick is working with them to get the supplies back.

Debra: There is a mini-game day on October 30th, in combination with Kumoricon.

5. OryCon 33

Not much to say at this point. John: We need to get the management agreement signed. John will send a draft copy to Devlin. Stephe: Who will sign the contract? The OSFCI President, the OryCon 33 Chair and Treasurer.

B. Funds and Awards

1. Campbell Pin Fund

Waiting for Jay to get better before checking on the status of this.

2. Clayton Memorial Medical Fund

Copies of the report were distributed at the meeting (see below). Still have $7500 in the bank. One person has asked about the fund and Jim responded, but we didn't hear anything more from that person. This actually is in line with the original idea of the fund: to have the money readily available when someone suddenly finds themselves in need.

3. Endeavour Award (James Fiscus)

Copies of the report were distributed at the meeting (see below). There is about $3,850 in the bank, which means they're OK for this year, but will need about $500 for next year. Ursula K. Le Guin has donated so autographed books to the fund, some of them quite rare. They are working out the best way to sell them, maybe in conjunction with some other items. They are trying to make a bigger production out of the presentation this year. Steve Perry is coming in to do something for them. The award is always looking for money, if any of the events has a surplus. Debra: It's my intent that some of the OryCon 31 money will be given to the award if we can get our books closed. Jim: What a wonderful thing to hear.

The Award is still looking for an administrator–may pay that person in nominated books. Ruth: Are any of the nominees coming to OryCon this year? Rick: Some of them are.

4. Susan Petrey Fund

Copies of the report were distributed at the meeting (Paul and Debbie are arriving back from Europe tonight and could not be at the meeting.) Their report was accepted.

Andrew: It's still their intent to pull away from administering the scholarship and there still is no one else in place. John: They've said there are four options (in order of preference) : (1) they find someone to take over everything; (2) they find someone to take over just the fund-raising; (3) leave the fund as it is; with no new fund-raising, giving out the scholarships until the fund's balance is down to zero; and (4) donating the funds to the two Clarion organizations. Debra: Have they thought about putting an ad on Craig's List? John: They want to be careful about who takes over–they want someone who knows what Clarion is.

John: This is all planning towards turning it over to someone a year from now, so there is still time to get someone in place. They have been talking to people both here and in the cities where Clarion is held.

Have we ever settled on what is the status on the money that was turned over to OCF? Sam has tried to contact OCF about this, but hasn't been able to talk to anyone yet.

IV. Other Continuing Business

A. Hotel Committee

John: There have been some changes in the room block for Orycon 33 (2011), to help the hotel accommodate a large event at the convention center that runs through that Friday. We're moving a small number of our rooms that year to the Red Lion Convention Center and the La Quinta. In return for moving one-seventh of our block, they're giving us a credit of $4,000. This was something they'd asked us if we might be willing to do–they, in no way, demanded it of us. $4000 is basically half of our hotel costs. Aaron: This is good business when we can make them happy without affecting us very much.

B. Storage Committee

Michael Pinnick has the key to the storage unit.

V. New Business

A. Game Library Fund (Aaron)

In times past, Aaron has purchased games for the games library, hoping that the Board will then approve him being reimbursed for the purchase. He'd like to be more efficient and get prior approval from the Board. Andrew: The game library in the past has been considered a capital budget item, with support coming from the corporate funds. Stephe: There is money in the GameStorm 13 budget for games. Andrew: And that should probably be spent first but OSFCI should also pay for purchases (for items used on a continuing basis).

Andrew: How much money to you want to spend? I have spent up to $500 on the Sunday of an OryCon or GameStorm, but I don't want to wait until the last day of the convention to buy the games. I was thinking of $200. Andrew moved that the president (Aaron corrected that to be "Aaron", since he wasn't doing this in his role as OSFCI President) be authorized to spend up to $200 between now and the next Board meeting; Debra seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Rick: This is another item that falls under Miscellaneous Expenses, for which we've allocated nothing. We're modifying the budget as we go along? John: The answer might be that we need to make sure to budget for capital and miscellaneous expenses from the start. Rick: If we keep changing things, then at the end of the year we can't tell how much we were off. We'll know how much we spent, but not what we'd budgeted for. John: In the past, we've allocated $500 or $1000 for capital expense, because we knew we've be spending something. Aaron: We will continue to use the budget that we've previous approved, and we will track the exceptions.

B. Event Committee Comping Policy

Rick: GameStorm has comped people working on the convention; OryCon has not. There is no OSFCI policy on this–should there be? Or do we continue to leave it up to the event chair? There is the question: Does it affect our non-profit status if the recipient (of the comped membership) is a Board member or officer? Or even if the recipient is not a board member or officer.

Sam: The practical consideration is that the actual value involved is so very small that the IRS wouldn't really care. Andrew: Back when Cecilia was OSFCI Treasurer, we needed to track any payment given to an OSFCI board member/officer, for any amount, for reimbursement of an expense. Sam: As far as the IRS is concerned, there's a big difference between someone taking a stamp, and someone being reimbursed for a stamp used for OSFCI business. Reimbursements don't bother me at all–reimbursements are not income. And it would seem reasonable to say that anyone working at the event could be allowed free entry (e.g. receive a comped membership). Rick: There's a real difference between that, and paying the chair $200 for his/her work.

Jim: I serve on the SFWA Board. As part of that, SFWA paid my way down to the SFWA meeting. I checked with my accountant, and he said that was not income. He did suggest, though, that the per diem should be declared as income, and charged against actual expenses. John: I did the taxes this year for the Reno Worldcon, and there isn't any requirement to list payments made to Board members. (There used to be, when he did the OSFCI taxes years ago.) Also, while OSFCI probably won't be audited, a lot of Worldcons have. And almost all of those was made reimbursements to committee and program participants, and that's been fine.

Andrew: The problem you have with any blanket rule is two-fold: you have people who are going to push the envelope–if you give out X for Y, people are going to try to make the Y as small as possible and the X as large as possible. (He gave several examples.) Aaron: I thnk you are trying to say that a blanket permission can be abused. Andrew: No, a blanket permission will be abused. Rick: The Board could allow a chair to comp committee members, but they should let the Board know how many people received the comps. Ruth: Since I joined the group, it's certainly not been the policy to comp OryCon committee members, but other events we've sponsored have comped staff membership. It should the convention's call, but it should be stated in the proposals and in the budgets.

It was felt it would be good to include it on the financial statements that the events are supposed to provide to the Board. Beverly: It seems like it would be better to reimburse the staff memberships after the convention rather than comp them ahead of time. That way, the people who actually do the work are the ones who get the benefit, and would exclude the people who volunteer ahead of time and then never do the work. Rick: That was what Tammy was proposing for OryCon 32–issuing refunds to the people who she felt deserved them, rather than just comping everyone. Beverly: There are some people for GameStorm for which $25 is a lot of money. John: Has there been any problem with GameStorm with people abusing the comps, in a way that affects the convention? Not really. Rick: There have been a few people abusing the program participant comps for OryCon.

Aaron: Do we have a summary? Debra: We will leave it up to the chair, but we'd like to see that event's policy in the initial proposal, and any comps listed on the financial statements. Andrew: There is no reason to change the program participant policy–we're only talking about a staff comp or reimbursement here.

Stephe: We have included the number of paid members and the comped members in the report given to the OSFCI treasurer. John: It would be good to get these reports for distribution to the Board, as have received in times past (and as is required in the management agreements). We used to get reports from all of our events at every meeting, which would include what the current budget is, what the current number of memberships is–and this doesn't really happen any more. It gives us something to refer back to for planning for the future.

Andrew: This seems to be a time to address the problem we discussed earlier. Right now, we have a job without a function, the Board's representatives to the event committees. If we attached the responsibility to this function making sure at each meeting that there is a financial report, a registration report (or an explanation on how they were going to hunt down and hang the treasurer). Then you would have a job that required someone to do something.

Aaron: We have appointed representatives to all these events…or have we? Two of the three upcoming events have chairs who are on the Board. The chairs who aren't present, didn't realize they should at least give reports by proxy. If the Board representative from that com con would make sure that reports were given at these meetings, it would make these meetings a lot more effective.

Arthur: It's already in the management agreements that the events need to make reports to the Board. The question is, does it matter if we don't have any teeth to enforce it. Are we going to take over the convention and run it for them?

Aaron: I believe what Andy is saying is that we make explicit the duty of the Board representative to cajole or otherwise encourage the chair or other management to make the reports, so that we don't come to this meeting and find out there is no report. Jim pointed out that the Board does have some legal obligations that appropriate reports are made.

There didn't seem to be any currently appointed Board representatives to the events. The following people were appointed:

  • OryCon 31 – Rick Lindsley
  • (GameStorm 12 – closed)
  • OryCon 32 – Michael Pinnick
  • GameStorm 13 – Andrew Nisbet
  • OryCon 33 – Beverly Block

Andrew requested that the Secretary inform the event chairs and treasurers of the new Board reps.

Back to the committee comping policy:
It was decided any committee comping will be left up to the discretion of the event chair. And the Board requests reporting of how many staff members are comped (and this will be included in any new management agreements). Will this policy include OryCon 32? Yes.

Has the requirement for events to make reports at Board meetings been mentioned before? John: Yes (and he read a paragraph from the minutes of the July meeting, where Paul Wrigley said that the events have been failing in this duty).

C. John Andrews

Ruth: Since OSFCI has some reasonable assets at the moment, I propose that, in John Andrews' memory, OSFCI purchase (on an ongoing basis) two Worldcon memberships each year, which we will disperse to people in a manner which we'll determine late. John: John Andrews attended the Worldcon nearly every year, even when he was confined to a wheelchair. The Worldcons were a big part of his life. Ruth will work on a proposal on how we will disperse them, and present that at the next meeting. Or maybe one membership each year, and combine that some money, such as $200, to help the person go to the convention and pay expenses there. Aaron pointed out that if we purchased the memberships now, and decided in the end not to award them, we could easily resell them, since the current rates will be higher then. Andrew moved that in anticipation of creating a more formalized process, that OSFCI purchase a membership each in Renovation and Chicon V. Aaron amended that to say that Ruth will be administering this project. This passed without dissent.

D. Treasury Follow-up

Rick: We've clarified tonight what we want people to do, but we have not specified what sanctions can we use if they chose to ignore us. And having seen the management agreements that have gone out over the last few years, I'm wondering we want to standardize (or at least create templates for) these agreements for the conventions we sponsor. Debra: A template sounds like a good idea. (There was some discussion about this, and the history of management agreements, as many sirens went by outside.)

John: Are we saying we want the management agreements to specify the charities that would receive surplus funds? (No.) The form of OryCon agreements hasn't changed much since about OryCon V–the first $500 is controlled by the chair, the next $500 goes to OSFCI, and everything after that is split 50/50. Aaron: GameStorm starting out by rolling much of the suprlus each year to the following year's convention. It was small back then, and needed a cushion. Later, the folks in charge of GS didn't want money going to OSFCI and they sort of made the surplus disappear (by continuing to roll it forward to the next year's convention). Stephe: The cushion is now sufficient enough that it's time to change that tradition.

Rick: Has GameStorm always been an OSFCI event? Aaron: Yes, GameStorm is not its own entity; it's an offshoot of OSFCI. Rick: OSFCI now has enough money to weather an OryCon or a GameStorm tanking. GameStorms seems to be still operating like it's famine time, but OSFCI now has enough to provide the security. Jim: Maybe the standard OryCon language should be put into the GameStorm agreements. David: Has GameStorm ever been a draw on OryCon? Aaron: GameStorm has made money every year. Jim: OSFCI being a 501(c)(3) organization provides a major benefit to OSFCI. Beverly: 90% of the people who work on GameStorm don't know about what OSFCI is and don't care about how much money is kept or how much goes to OSFCI. Andrew: Maybe one-third to OSFCI, one-third distributed to charities and one-third kept by GameStorm. Rick: If money is kept by the convention, it makes a mockery of the budget process. If they just keep moving $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 forward, what does that say about how accurate their budget is now? And if we do have this large surplus, we could do better than just keeping it in a checking account. Ric: What I would like to see is that every convention starts out with the seed money ($500, $1,000, whatever is need to avoid fees on the account) and then at the end, everything is distributed and the balance is back down to that $500 or $1,000 level. Right now, with large amounts carried forward, it muddies the water as far as how much we actually have.

Rick proposed that, since we don't have a signed agreement yet for GameStorm 13, the agreement that gets signed has the standard OryCon language. Aaron: And it's the responsibility of the OSFCI rep to GameStorm (Andrew) to get it signed. (This also applies to OryCon 33.) This motion passed.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Susan Petrey Clarion Report

OSFCI BOD Meeting - September 20, 2010

We cannot attend in person as we don't return from Europe until the day of the meeting. This written report therefore is our report to the BOD Meeting.

There is no update on the Financial Situation since we report on a quarterly basis and the third quarter has not yet ended.

As you know, last year we tried some different things for fund raising at OryCon. We are hoping to make some changes at OryCon 32 based on what we learned last year. At present, it is still unclear exactly what form our fund raising will take as we have not yet received a reply from either the Chair or the Programming Department Heads in response to our wish list that we submitted it some weeks ago. We have, however, received a confirmation from the Dealers' room coordinator that we will have Dealer space for the popular egg sales.

Debbie Cross
Paul M. Wrigley

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Award
Report to the OSFCI Board

September 20, 2010

There have been no changes in the Fund since our last report. The individual asking for information has not replied after being sent the eligibility criteria.

Requests for Aid:

The Fund received one request for information about the fund.

Funds Available:

The Fund has approximately $7,500 in the bank.

Board of Trustees

Committee Members First Appointed Term Expires
James Fiscus, Chairman October 1996 November 2010
Page Fuller, Treasurer October 1996 November 2010
Arthur Aldridge, OSFCI Rep. July 2005 While serving on OSFCI Board.
Geri Jeter November 2002 November 2011
Ruth Sachter November 2002 November 2011
Marc Wells November 2003 November 2011

James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Clayton Board of Trustees

The Endeavour Award
Report to the OSFCI Board

September 20, 2010

Administrator Needed:

We are still looking for an administrator to run the Award on a daily basis. The Administrator's main jobs are to manage circulation of books to readers and aid in obtaining books from publishers.

Financial Report:

We have received no donations since our last report. The Award has approximately $3,850 in the bank, which means that we have enough to cover this year's expenses and about $500 short of money for the 2011 Award.

Books Submitted and Judging:

We had 44 books published in 2009 entered for the 2010 Award, up 18 from last year. Our finalists for 2010 are:

  • City Without End by Kay Kenyon, Pyr Books
  • Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight by Cat Rambo, Paper Golem Press
  • Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs, Ace Books
  • Mind Over Ship by David Marusek, Tor Books
  • Push of the Sky by Camille Alexa, Hadley Rille Books

Our judges are:

  • Robin Wayne Bailey
  • Laura Anne Gilman
  • Madeleine Robins

Endeavour Committee

Committee Members First Appointed Term Expires
Sarah Bryant October 2006 November 2012
James Fiscus, Chairman October 1996 November 2011
Page Fuller October 1996 November 2011
Marilyn J. Holt September 2000 November 2011
Sara Mueller October 2003 November 2010
Alan Rosenthal January 2006 November 2012
Sheila Simonson October 1996 November 2010
Shawn Wall, Treasurer November 2005 November 2010

James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Endeavour Award