Board of Directors Meeting
April 28, 2013
Board Members in attendance: Beverly Block (OSFCI President), Car Bostick, Jason Bostick, Aaron Curtis, Rick Lindsley (OSFCI Treasurer), John Lorentz (OSFCI Secretary), Devlin Perez (who had to leave early), D. Stephen Raymond, Lea Rush and Debra Stansbury.
Also attending were James Fiscus (Clayton and Endeavour), Sam Justice (OSFCI Attorney), Tracy Penner (OryCon 34 Chair), as well as Fi Booth, Brian Emin, Dawn Hewitt, Anna Holiday, Fargo Holiday, Jenn Perez and Sara Ruth.
The meeting started at 2:05PM Cell Phone Time.
I. Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted unanimously
V. New Business
A. Chair for OryCon 36 (2014)
Since Devlin Perez needed to leave the meeting early in order to get back to work, the board changed the agenda in order to take up this item now. This item had been announced on several mailing lists and in the board meeting announcement, and Devlin was the only bidder for OryCon 36.
Devlin presented a written proposal (see below), that was also circulated earlier to the Board mailing list. Several questions did pop up there and he had answers for some of them: the budget is strictly preliminary and there were items that will likely be cut (he’s waiting for the results from OryCon 35); and he has added some people to his initial proposed committee. He understands the concern about having his wife (Jenn Perez) as the vice-chair (the worry was that something that might cause problems for him in fulfilling the job as chair might also cause the same problems for Jenn), so he will be adding an additional vice-chair, Shryl Hester, to oversee operations.
He proposes extending OryCon’s media footprint to get us recognized in more media, and be more visible to the public.
Any questions? Rick: You said in your proposal that you’ll use the lessons you learned from OryCon 33. What were these? Devlin: There were departments that I thought were doing their job, and they weren’t. I learned that I need to be on top of things more, rather than just assuming everyone is doing their job. We also need to be more proactive with advertising. We will have a registration team that’s three years into running reg.
Devlin is thinking of changing the price structure, so that the committee pays $10 rather than just whatever the beginning rate is (which he’s proposing to be $30–the rest of the rates would stay the same, since they’ve already been raised this year for OryCon 35). Beverly: Do you have a breakdown on how many committee/staff memberships there were last year? Devlin: Not yet. That’s one of the things we need to determine before deciding whether we’re doing this. Lea: We had 82 who paid the staff rate this year, and there were 155 people who paid the (initial) $25 rate who were not staff.
There was some discussion about a possible Editor GOH (someone who was asked for this year but had a conflict). Jim asked about public relations, since no one was listed yet. Should there be an OSFCI-based PR push? It was decided this would be a topic for discussion at a future meeting.
Beverly: Any other questions or comments? Stephen moved that we accept the bid, and Lea seconded the motion. The vote in favor was 6-0 with Aaron, Devlin, Jason and one other person abstaining. (The secretary didn’t catch who.)
IV. Other Continuing Business
A. Storage Manager Report
Also moved to the beginning of the meeting, since storage manager Devlin would be leaving in a few minutes.
There were some items left in the refrigerators after GameStorm (eggs, apples, etc.)–additionally, the refrigerators were left with their doors closed, rather than propped open (like they should have been). Luckily this was discovered early (when NWRE came to borrow them). Beverly suggested that there be signs prominently displayed in the storage unit that, before refrigerators are stored there, they need to be clean & empty, and the doors propped open.
Jenn is going to be Devlin’s second as storage manager, in case someone needs to get in while he’s unavailable at work. (Additionally, Beverly lives very close to them, and Devlin works at Bridgetown Games, so there are numerous ways for people to get access to the keys.)
It’s been clarified with the storage company on who has access to the units (the list had gotten too long). We are still one of their few customers that is allowed 24-hour access.
NWRE: Everything they borrowed has been returned, except the computers. Arrangements will be made to return those separately. They aren’t stored in the storage unit, so they’re not part of Devlin’s report.
John handed over three large (2′ x 3′) cork boards that he picked up at no cost at the neighborhood swap meet, for use at OSFCI activities. Devlin took charge of those to take them to the storage unit.
There will be another work session schedule at the storage units. The first session was a success.
Devlin’s report was accepted unanimously. At this point, Devlin left the meeting so that he could get back to work. Further votes did not include him.
Back to the regular agenda…
II. Treasurer’s Report (Rick Lindsley)
(A report was distributed–see below.)
Not too much to report. Rick is still waiting for Paul Brinker, the OryCon 34 treasurer, to respond. Stephen: Do we know where he is? Yes, he’s in Texas, but he’s not responding to e-mail. Rick would like to get the information from him on where the income came from (how much was memberships, dealers, art show, etc.) and to verify that the $3300 withdrawn just before the convention was the starting cash in the cash boxes. Car said that when Paul was showing her the ropes during OryCon last year, he did tell her that he’d withdrawn $3000 for the starting cash for the convention.
The failure by Paul to respond is no longer affecting the budgeting of OryCon 35; they’ve given up on getting the information from him and have already built their budget. And it may not affect filing the information with the IRS, since we know the total amount of revenue and should be able to extrapolate the dealer and art show numbers from the records for those departments.
Rick is working on the corporate taxes, which are due May 15th. He should be able to file them in time, without needing an extension.
Diana Cerasin has had her medical bills paid (from an injury that occurred during the wrap-up of OryCon 34). We may also reimburse her for her physical therapy, but she’s not sure she has those bills anymore.
Strangely enough, there was a large surge in the funds in the “GameStorm Odd” account. It may have something to do with GameStorm 15 taking place a few weeks ago…
The report was accepted unanimously.
IV. Reports on Sponsored Activities
A. Conventions and Bids
1. OryCon 34 (Tracy Penner)
John suggested that, since the gross numbers aren’t going to change (we know the total revenue and what the expenses were) and the only thing left is for the OSFCI treasurer to try to determine the source of the revenue, maybe it’s time to close the books on OryCon 34 since the gross amounts aren’t going to change.
Jason moved that we close the OryCon 34 books. This passed unanimously.
2. GameStorm 15 (Jason Bostick)
(Registration and financial reports, and the security log, were circulated at the meeting.)
GameStorm experienced another 11% growth this year, continuing the trend of recent years, for a total attendance (people actually at the convention) of 1188. Another continuing trend was that approximately 30% of those people were comps (committee/staff/gamemasters). There was a staff t-shirt added at the last minute, and Jason is planning on reimbursing concom members for one night if they had rooms at the hotel.
Stephen: At this point, 33 of the 36 budget areas have been closed, and the deadline for submitting expenses is April 30th. The areas remaining are merchandise (because of the last-minute addition of the staff shirts), GameLab and Hospitality. There was also an existing OSFCI bad debt of $137 that collected at the convention.
There was a question about the rates for staff vs. volunteers. The staff memberships (for people who commit ahead of time to work at least 12 hours) are free. Volunteers (people who just come to the convention and pitch in) receive “GameStorm Bucks”, Stephen suggested that, once the revamped web site is ready, that this policy should be posted there, to distinguish what GameStorm calls “staff” and what GameStorm calls volunteers”.
The books should be closed by the next meeting.
Following the new OSFCI policy, Jason submitted the security log for GameStorm 15 within a few days of the close of the convention. He’s also already submitted the committee list for OSFCI credit.
Security report: There was some discussion about the events at GameStorm. Jason started by saying that he will not be voting as a board member on any of the actions that the board might take in conjunction with these items, and he is passing on reports that were submitted to him, rather than giving an eye-witness report.
The discussion started with the actions of Aaron Freeman (see attached security report). Jason said he was basically violating the first “rule of con-running”–don’t let the attendees see any problems that are going on behind the scenes. He was causing problems, and then compounding them by refusing to listen to people above him in the GameStorm hierarchy. After Jason spoke to him on Friday, there were reports of him harassing a staff member Saturday night. After this, Jason made the decision to take his badge and ask him to leave the convention. (His spouse also left at this time, causing a need for a replacement to be found to be in charge of swag.) Jason felt that if they did chose to come back next year (which he’s not sure they will), Freeman should first receive a warning from the board.
There was discussion on whether a warning was sufficient. Beverly said that even a warning would need to include a zero-tolerance of Freeman being in a staff-only area, or staff meeting. Stephen said it’s beginning to sound like his presence is a detriment to attracting other people to attend GameStorm. Maybe a ban is warranted–it may be the only thing that gets across to him that he needs to change his behavior. Several other people at the meeting described encounters they’d had with him at conventions. Rick said he was worried that, with the number of people who have reported problems, how many other people have had problems with him and not reported them?
Beverly read some parts of an email that she and Aaron (Curtis) received from Freeman after the events at GameStorm. (Stephen: Should we have that read out in its entirety? Beverly: It’s five pages long, so probably not.) Among other things:
- He was complaining that we were discriminating against him because he was Hispanic, something that was a surprise to people at the meeting, because they didn’t know that he was Hispanic.
- He claims that he used an expletive only once, in conjunction with a computer problem. Someone at the board meeting said she’d asked him at least five times at GameStorm to quit swearing at someone in the office. (“At one point, he did switch to German–but there were at least three people in the office who knew German.”)
- He claims that he didn’t know that the person who was telling him to change his behavior was the head of operations, even though he’d been introduced to him at the start of the convention.
Is there anything in the letter that indicates he’s trying to resolve the situation? No. Rick said that there seemed to be three options: we take no further action, we ban him from staff and issue some sort of formal warning, or we ban him from attending for a period of time.
Tracy felt that a warning would likely not have an effect, since it seems like he doesn’t understand that he has a problem. Car: He should definitely be banned from any staff areas at conventions and any staff meetings. Stephen: If we do ban him, and he takes advantage of the ability to appeal, then he’d be appearing in person and we’d be able to see if he actually understands the problem. Car moved that he be banned from all OSFCI activities for one year (though April 28, 2014). Stephen seconded the motion. John suggested an amendment, that Aaron Freeman be permanently banned from staff positions at OSFCI events (acting as staff, or being in any staff-only areas or meetings), and in addition be banned from attending the events for one year. This amendment was accepted.
The Board voted 7-0 (Aaron Curtis and Jason abstained, and Devlin had left the meeting) to ban Aaron Freeman from attending any OSFCI events through April 28, 2014 (including, but not limited to, GameStorm and GameStorm game days, and OryCon) [Secretary’s note: the 2014 World Horror Convention was also mentioned, but that is after the end of the one-year ban.] Additionally, he will permanently barred from all staff-only areas at events, and he will not be allowed to attend any staff meetings. Beverly will write a letter to him explaining the ban, and his opportunity to appeal. Jim: Should the letter come from Sam, as our attorney? Sam: No.
Tim Troupe (see attached security report): It was reported that Troupe was harassing another attendee at GameStorm, including threatening to follow her to her room after she rebuffed his advance. After investigating this, the Chair decided (with the Operations head present) to pull his badge and remove him from the convention.
After hearing this report, Beverly said she’d consider giving him a warning, because he did express some contrition after the convention. Aaron said this was the type of incident for which we adopted the new Code of Conduct, and other conventions have run into problems because they did not apply their anti-harassment policies evenly. Because of this, Aaron thought a ban of at least one year was appropriate.
At this point, the board decided to adjourn briefly for a committee-of-the-whole meeting with only board members in attendance, to discuss the events at the convention in more detail
Jason reported there were a few other minor things (see the rest of the attached security report).
Stephen suggested that we push notice even more of the Code of Conduct, so that people know of its existence, and will feel comfortable with reporting incidents. There was some discussion about posting the Code. Will it fit on the back of the badges? (No) Maybe have a space on the back of the badge “By signing this, I agree to abide by the OSFCI Code of Conduct”? Maybe.
The report was accepted unanimously.
3. OryCon 35 (Lea Rush)
(Reports were circulated.)
They have a budget. (There was much discussion about the color scheme they used, and what the color codes mean.) The budget submitted included a lot of detail on how they arrived at the budgeted numbers. (The detail on the left-hand side is not officially the budget, just the info on how they got to the budget; the right-hand side is the budget that’s being submitted.) Beverly: Is there anything that differs greatly from last year? Lea said she based the hotel costs directly on the hotel bill from last year. The hotel cost will be less because we’re using a suite for child care rather than three sleeping rooms). Jason has some questions about the cost of the ribbons, which also includes the art show awards, and the GOH dinner. (There was several minutes spent on comparing GOH dinners over the years.)
Rick: One thing that can cause problems is budgeting the travel costs for guests of honor. Are the amounts here just broad estimates? Lea said the amounts did start out as rough estimates, with a “travel overage” item as a contingency, but we’ve checked with a travel agent and the amounts look to be pretty solid.
Jim mentioned that, with OryCon planning on not automatically handing a program book to everyone (people who want one can pick them up from a table at Reg), then a notice in the program book about the Code of Conduct wouldn’t be sufficient by itself, since not everyone will have a book. (Just something to keep in mind.) John: We also can’t depend on the program book to be the primary notice about the Code, because they need to see the Code before they buy their memberships.
Lea had some questions. She’d been told that, with our non-profit status, we could accept ads in the souvenir book but not the pocket program. Is this true? John: No, it is not. There’s no difference between ads in the two publications. Beverly mentioned that ads could make the pocket program too thick to be useful. Sam pointed out that we might have to check to see if the ad income might be (taxable) unrelated income. And it would be good to review the OSFCI copy of the Comfer book (The Oregon Nonprofit Corporation Handbook).
Lea asked if someone could review that book to determine if sponsorships of nonprofit groups by profit entities are allowed. John said that he did research that, and sponsorships are fine, as long as it’s something of the order of printing their logo or a statement like “sponsored by xxx”. Other people agreed with this. Jim said that we should be prepared to issue a form valuing the contribution to the donor. John said that we don’t want to be in the position of determining the values of noncash donations–if someone donates cash, we’ll state the amount received; if someone donates a thing, we’ll simply describe the item that was donated to OSFCI. Jason said that’s the method they used for thanking donors for items donated to GameStorm.
Lea has an item in her budget for reimbursing concom for their memberships, which would only be paid if there’s enough money left after the convention (she’s not comfortable with the budget to comp them from the beginning). She’s budgeting for up to 20 people, at $25 each. Any comments? John: The way you’re budgeting this is how most of the worldcons have handled this over the last 20+ years, and is also how at least one OryCon has handled it in the past. Aaron: Is budgeting for 20 concom enough? Lea: I put that number in when I was feeling crunched for money, but things are looking better now. Jason: Is it fair to reimburse some of the people who work on the convention and not others? Rick: These are the people who don’t get to see any of the convention because they’re working on it all weekend. It makes sense that they don’t also have to pay for the privilege of working. John: It seems like we’re getting into the workings of OryCon itself. The only question here is whether it’s appropriate to reimburse some memberships, and it sounds like it is.
Jim: As you are doing this for people for whom this is a hobby, at the same time you are eliminating the second memberships for professionals who are attending the convention, who are doing it as part of their job and are coming to work. So you are reducing their compensation. Lea: I am comping their membership. It is their choice on whether they’re bringing someone with them, just as when I go on a business trip and chose to bring along my husband. Jim: This is a change in a decades-old policy. John: But it’s still an OryCon policy, not that of the OSFCI board.
At this point, the board decided this was a topic of discussion for a later meeting, not the current OryCon report.
Lea is still frustrated with the hotel room rates. The Doubletree is offering group rates during November that are lower ($89 to $109 a night) than OryCon’s rates. She’s traded e-mail about this with Tammy, and Tammy will be talking to Monica Pea (sales manager at the Doubletree) about this. Aaron pointed out that this discussion belongs in the hotel committee report.
The OryCon 35 report was accepted by the board.
Later in the meeting, it was announced that OryCon 35 currently had 379 members, 82 of whom had not attended OryCon 35.
4. GameStorm 16 (Aaron Curtis)
GameStorm 16 got off to a rip-roaring start with the kickoff meeting a few weeks ago. There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of excited people. The first big push is to revamp the web site, and there is a group of people working on that. Shane Hensley is the one confirmed GOH so far. The first game day is scheduled for June 15th. (Later update: The game day has been postponed until sometime in July.) Most of the concom is in place, and they’re working on a budget, which it’s hoped will be ready to submit at the next meeting.
Stephen reported that GameStorm 15 is holding just over $9,000 to pass on to GameStorm 16.
The report was accepted by the board.
5. The 2014 World Horror Convention (Tammy Lindsley)
Tammy sent out a report just before the meeting but unfortunately it was not received by most of the board until later in the day:
I will not be able to attend the meeting this afternoon, so here's my report. We have 11 paid memberships to date and there will be press release going out today announcing that our rates will go up from $100 to $125 on Wednesday, May 1st. We will have flyers at next weekend's HP Lovecraft festival and I'm working on have bodies there as well. The next concom meeting is scheduled for May 11th and we have a good group put together.
I'm looking forward to attending this year's WHC in June, where we will have a half-page ad placed in their souvenir book and we'll also be sponsoring a catered lunch in the con suite Friday afternoon. I also plan to have a fan table during the event not only selling memberships at $10 off current price if they purchase during the con, but also dealer's room and art show packets that they can get a slight discount with if they also sign-up and pay at the con.
With all that I'm planning on doing at this year's WHC, I would love assistance if there is anyone able to attend. I have a membership available to sell at the original rate of $125 (on May 1st the cost goes to $175) and I have a room that I may be willing to share, depending on who takes me up on this. :-)
Thank you and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
6. GameStorm 17 (Debra Stansbury)
Nothing to report currently. That report was accepted.
John had a question about the management agreement. Since we’re still in negotiation with the hotel for that year, and the standard management contract includes the location, should we: (a) wait until the hotel is decided before signing the management agreement; or (b) sign an agreement that assumes GameStorm 17 will be at the Vancouver Hilton and add an addendum later changing the location, if that is needed? The board thought it would be better to sign an agreement as soon as we can, realizing we might have to change it later. (This had to wait, since the draft that John had prepared had the wrong dates for the 2015 GameStorm.)
B. Funds and Awards
1. Clayton Memorial Medical Fund (James Fiscus)
(A report was circulated–see below.)
Powell’s Books (Beaverton) is holding a fund-raising event for the Clayton Fund on Thursday, June 13th, as part of the SF book fair/author they’re holding then.
The Clayton report was accepted.
2. Endeavour Award (James Fiscus)
(A report was circulated–see below.)
Forty-six books are in this year, and Helen Umberger has been circulating them to the readers. Jason: Are the books public knowledge that you’re judging? Jim: Yes, they’re listed on the Endeavour web page, and the finalists should be known by mid-July.
The board accepted the report.
3. Susan Petrey Fund (Paul Wrigley and Debbie Cross)
(A report was distributed at the meeting–Paul and Debbie were unable to attend)
John: In addition to the report, Ruth and I were speaking with Paul and Debbie a few days ago about a some possibilities for fund-raising in the Fan Lounge at OryCon.
The Board accepted their report.
4. John Andrews Worldcon Grant (Beverly Block)
There has still no expression of interest whatsoever. Ruth volunteered at the last meeting to write a press release about it, but we haven’t heard anything about that since then.
Aaron: Have we already purchased the membership? (Yes.) If we don’t find a taker, what happens to the membership? It can be resold. John: At what point do we give up (trying to find a taker)? Tracy: Was there a committee set up to try to draw in someone? John (skimming through the minutes of the last meeting): No. Debbie suggested we review the general idea of the grant to see if we wanted to do something different, and then that topic was tabled until the next meeting (this one).
After some discussion, it was decided that we’d keep trying to find a recipient until the next meeting. If we have no one then, we will discuss then what we want to do instead of awarding a grant this year.
IV. Other Continuing Business
B. Hotel Committee
Aaron hasn’t received any updates from the Hilton since the last meeting, and has been somewhat distracted (due to GameStorm), so he will be contacting them again.
The big question is whether we need to expand our space there. The cost of carpeting the parking garage would be about $10,000. (And the carpet would be needed there because of the noise.) But it also would be a significant increase in the amount of space available, adding roughly 12,000 to 15,000 square feet, since the basement is the size of the entire first floor. We’d calculated that we could hold 1500 people in the space we have now, but there’s already noticeable noise with 1200 people and we expect to continue to grow.
Beverly: Can we set a membership level where we add the garage space later? Aaron said his intention is continue to negotiate with the hotel for a new contract, that will likely have the option of adding the garage space if it is needed. One of the downsides with using the parking garage level is that you can’t use pipe and drape if you want the HVAC turned on–it’s either one or the other. Aaron will be running gaming, which will be on the basement level, for Kumoricon at the end of the summer, so he’ll get a better idea how it works. There’s also the question of security when using the parking level as program space.
As for OryCon, we know we’re negotiating a contract with the Doubletree for 2015. There wasn’t a status report on that yet, but Patty Wells had lunch with Jennifer at the Marriott to talk to her about a competing bid. The sales manager who was there previously, and who didn’t want any business from nonprofits, is now gone and they will put together an offer. It was felt it had to be significantly better than the Doubletree (and be on our preferred weekend) in order for us to move back there because of several reasons (including other costs, like parking, which are higher at the Marriott).
There more discussion on the group rates which the hotel lists as available in November for someone reserving five or more rooms, which are lower than the OryCon rate. Tammy will be investigating these. [A later update: while the hotel was offering lower rates for groups during some of November, those rates were not available during OryCon weekend.] John: If we had stayed the Marriott, the next year we would have been paying a higher rate than we are now at the Doubletree, several years later. But that was with the sales manager who was trying to get rid of nonprofits. The rates have not been going up by a significant amount–it’s just that, save for the special Thanksgiving rate the first year, we just started at a higher level. [2010 – $139, 2011 – $140, 2012 – $141, 2013 – $144, 2014 – $144.] Debra: But we aren’t getting any staff rate rooms at the Doubletree. John: We didn’t at the Marriott, either. That’s just been an incentive from the Vancouver Hilton for GameStorm. Lea: The GameStorm hotels before the Hilton did not offer them, either.
After some more discussion on room rates, the hotel report was accepted unanimously.
C. IT Committee
Beverly: The GameCon software is coming along. They are working with Jim and Robert to integrate the scheduling system with the web site. Aaron: When do you think it will be ready for testing? Beverly: We’re probably about three months out from being ready for first level testing.
Aaron: The gamestorm.org domain has been renewed with Network Solutions for one year. It will likely be moved to a cheaper registrar next year, but there wasn’t enough time to do so before it expired this year. Stephen: Any idea when the GameStorm web site (currently being revamped) will be ready to accept online membership sales? Jason: Probably about a month.
Who is on the IT committee? Rick, David Levine and Arthur Aldridge. Rick reiterated that he is willing to work on the committee, but not lead it. It’s likely that the committee won’t be doing much until we get a new person in charge of it. Beverly suggested that it’s time to actively recruit someone to be in charge. We want to get off of DreamHost, but that won’t happen until we have someone to lead the effort.
After some more discussion on who to recruit for the committee, the report was accepted.
Some of the items below were discussed out of order, so that we could get Sam’s input before he left for another event.
Also, the board voted unanimously at roughly 4:40PM to extend the meeting, since we’d passed the 2½ hour limit for meetings, as stated in our standing rules.
D. Long Term GOH Search Committee
No report. Should we table this again until the next meeting? Aaron: I thought we created a committee for a reason–not to just go away and die. Tracy (who is on the committee, but not the head of the committee) will endeavor to try to get it moving.
E. Review of Standing Rules (John Lorentz)
A copy of the final version of the proposed revised rules was distributed. For the most part, the only changes to the old version were to clarify some of the definitions and provide references for those definitions in the bylaws. The only exception was dropping the obsolete reference to how appeals to the board were handled).
The report was accepted, and the committee was dissolved.
F. NWRE Equipment Loan (Tracy Penner)
The person with whom Tracy dealt with at the convention was very difficult to work with. (Other people she met there did a very good job.) We have some of the equipment back, but not the computers yet. Tracy was required to purchase a membership (which was reimbursed by OSFCI) just to oversee our equipment. Their liaison refused to give Tracy the signed documentation until Tracy stood outside her room for two hours with the paperwork–and then she made some misstatements about what was equipment that was borrowed from us, even after Tracy pointed out where it was labeled “OSFCI.” Tracy finally had to call Devlin to get a list of what was borrowed.
Aaron: Do we have expectations that everything will be back by the next meeting? We hope so. (Note: the computers were returned a couple of days later.) Tammy said that we need to make sure we have a detailed signed agreement with them if we loan them anything again, and we need to treat NWRE each year like a completely new entity–we can’t assume that if everything goes fine one year, it will automatically do so the following year, because they change so much each year.
G. Possible Switch from DeamHost
This was covered under the IT committee report.
H. Bylaws Review (John Lorentz)
John: The original idea was to shift to primarily sending out meeting notices via email rather physically mailing them (saving time and money). After researching Oregon law regarding nonprofits, I found that there’s not much that we can do. Chapter 65 of the Oregon Revised Statues hasn’t been changed since 1989, and doesn’t take into account email or the Internet. (They do recognize telegrams!) Only notices sent by first-class mail can be sent out less than 30 days in advance of the annual general meeting (AGM). (This is just for AGMs–board of director meetings don’t have the same requirement.) We can have people sign waivers to allow them to receive electronic meeting notices. These waivers are only good for 11 months, so if we have them sign the waivers at one AGM, it would cover the following year’s�if we send out the notices at least one month in advance. It was suggested that we might solicit waivers at OryCon this year, to cut down on the notices that will require regular mailing for the following AGM.
Some notes (after reviewing both the ORS regarding nonprofits and the Comfer nonprofit handbook):
- Electronic meeting notices can be sent out to board of director meetings, although it’ would be good for OSFCI Board members to sign a waiver for physical notices. (John circulated a waiver sheet for people to sign.)
- Decisions by the Board can be made via e-mail, but Oregon law still does require a unanimous vote in favor (not just a majority). So it’s important that we have everyone vote when we decide something in e-mail.
- Decisions can be made by phone by the Board, but only by a conference call where everyone hears all that is said. (Sequential calls to board members does not satisfy this requirement.) The idea is that everyone should hear everything that was said in reaching a decision.
- The Board can designate an operating group to make these decisions after giving them advice via e-mail, such as the three officers, but this group would still have to meet in person.
- Given that the Board often is often in total agreement on a lot of these decisions, we’d probably be safe in not sticking entirely to the rules–but we could be in a lot of trouble if a disgruntled board member filed an objection.)
Since Oregon law is preventing us from making any major change in our Bylaws regarding electronic meeting notices, the board unanimously voted to disband this committee.
I. Design Week
Aaron was out of town during their last meeting, so he doesn’t have anything to report. He’ll have a report at the next board meeting, after he has a chance to attend a Design Week meeting.
The board unanimously accepted this report.
J. Murder Mystery Dinner
Sam would like to talk to Paul Brinker (who made the arrangements for the later-canceled murder mystery dinner), before contacting them to try to get the refund because he needs some proof and needs to be able to talk to a witness, that they agreed to reimburse us. Various people said they will try to make contact with Paul. Stephen: Do we want to write this off? Sam said he will contract them in any case, but it’d be much better if he could talk to a witness first. John: It is $750, after all.
V. New Business
B. Kumoricon-OSFCI Agreement
A proposed formal written agreement was distributed (see below) for sharing resources between OSFCI and Altonimbus, the entity behind Kumoricon. This was negotiated between Aaron and Kumoricon representatives, and their board approved it on April 20th. For several years, we have been loaning them equipment, and they have been loaning us equipment. We wanted to formalize the relationship so that neither group got blindsided. Altonimbus is also a nonprofit, fan-run convention. The list of items that we will loan each other is essentially what we’ve already been loaning. It’s all basically common sense–we’re borrowing equipment and insuring it to make sure it will get replaced, if needed, and if you’re loaning stuff, you’re providing staff to make sure it gets taken care of, with the borrower providing memberships for that staff. Each convention will provide free ad space for the other convention, and space for a fan table.
There was some discussion about the free memberships for staff from the other convention. What if the staff names submitted include someone currently banned from this convention? We’d like to be able to have some control over who the Kumoricon staff person(s) is. (The Kumoricon representative at the board meeting said there’d be no problem with adding this provision. Any person designated to act as their representative would have to adhere to the other convention’s policies, including bans.) (He was able to get approval from his board a few minutes later.) Sam suggested we also add that “proof of insurance will be provided 20 days prior to the event”. A copy of the declarations page from the insurance policy would be sufficient.
After more discussion about approval or disapproval of the staff persons sent by the other convention, Beverly suggested this phrase to be added to section 1 of the agreement: “Staff subject to approval by the borrowing convention.” This amended agreement was approved unanimously by the board.
Jason: If the chairs of the events are required to abide by this agreement, should that be included in the management agreements? No, the chairs have already agreed to abide by OSFCI policies.
C. GameStorm Committee Question (D. Stephen Raymond)
Jason wanted to take this offline and discuss it with Stephen personally. Stephen wanted to discuss this at a board meeting because he’s been trying to deal with it offline for more than a year.
This had to do with someone who Jason did not want on the GameStorm 15 committee. Jason felt it was his decision who he had on his committee; Stephen disagreed, saying that when there were two competing bids for GameStorm 15, the plan was that the person not chosen to chair that year would work on the committee of the other’s convention (ideally in preparation for bidding for the following year). Aaron: The board did later release Jason from being required to have this person on his committee. Beverly: But someone still should have talked to him and given him a response to his queries. Aaron will speak with him. John searched through the minutes, and found that it was the April 29, 2012 board meeting when Jason asked for, and was granted, a release from being required to have this person on his committee.
D. Other New Business
John asked the Board to approve up to $400 for a special project. The board voted to approve the project.
The next meeting will be held at 7:30PM, Monday, June 17th, 2013–probably at the Doubletree hotel.
The meeting adjourned at 5:21PM.
OSFCI Treasurer’s Report 4/27/13
1. Current Status
Still waiting for final numbers from Paul on O34. He’s gone unresponsive and we may be left not knowing what income came from where. Still trying to pester and guilt him into responding.
Taxes are being completed now and should be completed without an extension.
Diana Cerasin has had her medical bills paid. We need to discuss how/if we are going to pay for physical therapy.
The Petrey Fund and the Clayton Fund are in different funds and their totals are not included below. All other OSFCI accounts are below.
Current (as of 4/27/13) account status:
|Acct||Balance||Change from 2/24 report|
2. Old Business
3. New Business
GameStorm 15 Chair Security Report:
Thursday Incident Log
During Setup, there were reports of a Staff Member being rude and complaining to a con goer, causing severe distress among others in the office staff. After discussing with various members it was decided to give a verbal warning. Operations went to deliver warning, and staff member told them that he would only listen to the chair, and said the chair “didn’t have the *expletive* to handle it himself”. I then went there personally and told staff member that if he could not keep his attitude in check around con members and staff, or listen to instructions given by Senior ConCom, he would be asked to leave the convention. Staff said he understood and Operations was advised of this status.
Saturday Incident Log
Saturday evening, Reports came from office regarding same staff member continuing to be invading personal space, tampering with other staff members equipment (PR laptop and equipment) and stalking a member of ConCom continuing an extremely inappropriate discussion. Based on reports delivered and previous warning given to this staff member, the decision was made to remove his badge and ask him to leave. Operations handled this removal without incident, though the spouse of staff member also left, leaving a ConCom position for swag open, however she did make sure to advise logistics so they knew she would not return for last shift.
Badge was left with Registration
Recommendation: Warning from legal/OSFCI President
Staff Member ID: Aaron Freeman
Sunday Incident Log
Sunday Morning, I was informed that a Convention attendee was harassing a member of the LARP staff to the point of driving her to tears. Harassment included threats of following her to her room after she had rebuffed his advances. Based on current anti-Harassment policies, the decision was made to pull the badge immediately. Operations Head (Head of Security was not available due to Medical reasons) was present. Attendee requested to hear reasons from Chair, which I did, and advised him we would need badge, which he turned over and security escorted him out of convention space.
Recommendation: 1 Year based on this years incidents.
Member ID: Tim Troupe
Head of Security Report
(Note: Head of Security was Changed midday on Thursday and he was in ‘training’ most of Thursday)
Was informed by a con-goer that a group of individuals were drinking on the con floor. Individuals were being loud and belligerent. Did not confront the con-goers reported about because initially they were unable to be found. Afterwards they were guaranteed to be at a game table. Stayed in the area, but no further reports or issues from that group of individuals. Determined that since further action was not required, approaching the con-goers and addressing the previous issue would of caused unnecessary tension or additional problems.
I cannot find anything else necessary to add to the security report. If anything else has happened I or my staff was not involved or was not informed about it.
Head of Operations Report
Hotel unhappy about pizza board, thought was put up without permission. Moved the board to hospitality. Hotel is happy.
Had a guest leave a necessary item and could not gain access to the room (hospitality). In process of trying to resolve locked the door to office and could not regain access. Suggest including night security on open list. Guest was very upset but ultimately got their stuff back.
After repeated reports of aggressive attitude and swearing and negative comments chair requested removal of Aaron Freeman from the convention. Badge was left with registration.
Chairs disappearing from miniatures tables also being moved by con-goers
Ashleigh Mahoney approached head of security and discussed a con-goer who she’d spoken with and was not taking the hint that she wasn’t interested in him and was following her around. Head of security approached the con-goer and without dropping any specifics asked him to “chill out and back off a little” the same con-goer came back and was agitated that I had spoken to him while I was on hospitality’s door. I informed the con-goer that “this has been taken care of and there is no problem unless you want to make it so.” Did not hear from Ashleigh as to conclusion. Operations Head Note: Ashleigh says that the con-goer did not approach her or even make eye contact for the remainder of the convention.
Andria ‘Dee’ Hastings approached the head of operations with a complaint about a con-goer who was harassing her after she requested him to leave her be. After some confirmation on the identity, head of operations, con chair, and witness Rich Hastings discussed the event and con chair chose to pull offender’s badge. Head of Operations grabbed Kate Pope from security and they approached Timothy Troupe about the situation. After some discussion, Mr. Troupe requested to hear the information from the chair, who was called in and relayed it as well. Held an escort ton him until he was out of con space. His badge was left with registration.
On the morning of Thursday March 21 I was introduced to a woman, Antonia, and her husband, Aaron. He is approximately 6’6″, brown eyes, short hair, and was at the time dressed in a Stanford hat, sweatshirt, and lanyard. He was of a sturdy build, perhaps 200-230 lbs. His size and proximity were substantially intimidating to me, and with my PTSD, I found myself trapped in the Office chair I had taken early that morning in preparation for my Volunteer shift.
Upon entering the room, he took over the position next to me, previously occupied by the Office Manager’s computer. The computer had been set up for official use, but I was too confused by his wife’s position in Con, and by the fact that this was my first day at my first con, to know if I should remind him that the office computer should be left online, and in service. Looking back I should have, but he was brash and rough, and I was afraid. Several times, I remarked that he was cursing, and loud, and requested that at very least he keep it down so as not to offend con-goers.
He began our acquaintance with a seemingly innocuous question about my hometown. When I replied that it was Eugene, Oregon, he went into a tirade about the Oregon Ducks, apparently under the mistaken belief that sports mattered to me. When I informed him that I was more likely to root for the debate team than the football team, as an effort to get him to drop the subject and leave me alone, he began to say sniping things about the debate team. I shrugged this off, figuring he had too much time on his hands and was looking for a fight. At this time I had been cornered in my seat for around 45 minutes, while he delivered curses and invective about the University where I grew up. I have PTSD, and so I tend to avoid confrontations, but I finally asked him politely to stop cursing in my vicinity as I am working on removing that portion of our language from my vocabulary. He then switched to German, and began singing a rather filthy drinking song. I do not speak German, but I know enough to have caught the odd word, and be mildly offended. During this entire time, Antonia worked at Swag–her husband would occasionally go over and grab her in a very aggressive, extremely sexual manner, placing his hand on her behind and nearly lifting her off her feet by her backside.
During this time I was working my assigned position in the Convention Office, helping people find what they were hunting, printing signs, and otherwise attempting to perform my duties, while this man Aaron, was alternatively haranguing me on the one hand about various things, including politics and the place of women in the world. When I failed to rise to any of his comments, he finally settled in to playing solitaire or something on his computer, which I reiterate, he had replaced the Office machine with his own, and usurped the wifi connection. My shift finally ended, and I took a break in the Hospitality room- where I ran into Aaron, talking about his intelligence versus that of the average Oregonian, again in disparaging terms. At this point, I truly believed he had come to con looking for a fight.
On the Morning of Friday March 22, I returned to my duties in the office, and all was well until around 10 or 11 am ( I am unclear on this point), when Antonia and Aaron returned to Con space. Antonia was doing her job, which was to merchandise and sort Swag, as I understood it. Aaron started cursing and otherwise behaving as I had come to the conclusion was his normal behavior; I requested he stop again. At some point, I don’t recall exactly when as my disability tends to erase traumatic memories, Aaron stood directly behind Sara while she was working at her computer (which had been placed on the table between swag and office at this time) while Aaron loudly and with some invective held a “conversation” about politics in which he derided the other gentleman involved (who I believe was from Switzerland, but do not know for certain which foreign nation it was) for his nation’s politics. A few minutes later–maybe an hour, Jason sent one of his female runners up to the office, to remind Aaron that there were children and con goers in the next room and ask him, politely to stop cursing. Aaron responded that, “If Jason wants me to [mend my ways] he should come upstairs and tell me like a man, instead of [hiding behind a girl].” (The brackets indicate paraphrases, as my memory is imperfect.)
A few minutes later, Jason and Car, knowing my terror of confrontation sent me to Hospitality. I went, and got a soda, and drank it. At this point it was nearing the time when I needed to leave for the day–around 1:30 or 2, as I had a family obligation that night and the next day. I returned to the office for my things and went home.
I missed most of day 3 (March 23rd) of the Convention, as I was involved in family business, but arrived back at the hotel around 5 pm. I spent that night playing games until late. He was at one of the Werewolf games, and there was some conversation between Aaron and a GM after which he and his wife left.
On day 4 of the con, Which was Sunday, March 24th, I arrived at my position in the office. Aaron and Antonia were not yet at the Convention Office. At around 9 am, they came in and Antonia immediately started sorting and pricing swag with convention buck prices. Aaron… I think he set up his computer on the long back table, between Swag and the Office space. He kept up a running stream of invective and cursing, as he had for a good portion of the weekend. He seemed discontented to be at the convention, and was confrontational with everyone who came in about everything. I’m not certain how the scene played out, as I was asked to remove myself from the Office in anticipation of a confrontation between Aaron and Jason. Afterwards, I was informed his badge had been pulled for belligerence and cursing at con-goers, and that he had been asked to leave the premises and not return.
I found the man obnoxious and unlettered, and he frightened me. He commonly sprinkled curses and foul language into his conversation, with no regard for who might be around him; disregarding age and youth alike. He was angry from the moment he stepped on the property, for no reason I could ascertain, and remained that way throughout my experience of him. When specifically asked. multiple times by multiple people, to kindly refrain from using unprofessional language and behaving in a way that tarnished the convention atmosphere, he refused. He was constantly rude to the runners who ran messages between departments, to the customers who came to request office help, and to myself, Sara, and his wife. He had about his person an aura of violence barely held in check and used that, I believe deliberately, to intimidate and persecute myself and anyone else he could corner in the office. Despite this, I remained polite and mostly silent except for a brief period of time in which I told him I was certain Jason had sent the runner because he (Jason) was at the time too busy with some other crisis to come himself, and Aaron might consider listening to his wife and the runner.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in this matter,
The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund Award
Report to the OSFCI Board
April 28, 2013
Requests for Aid:
We have made no grants since our last report.
Account Balance and Fund Raising:
We have a bit under $3,200.00 in the bank.
Powell’s Books, Beaverton, plans to hold an in-store book fair to benefit the Clayton Fund on June 13 from 6-9pm. They expect to hold a mini-SF Authorfest and tie the event to Jay Con. (Jay Lake suggested us to them as a charity.)
As we know more about the event, we will get the word out through the various OSFCI email lists.
Board of Trustees
|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|
James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Clayton Board of Trustees
The Endeavour Award
Report to the OSFCI Board
April 28, 2013
Judging is well underway on the 46 books entered 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|
James W. Fiscus
Chairman, Endeavour Award
Income Statement: Q1 2013
|Microsoft Matching Funds||$200.00|
|OCF Balance (12/31/2012)||$60,453.36|
- June Yang (Singapore)
- Samuel R. Delany (Susan C. Petrey Fellow)
PROPOSED STANDING MEETING RULES
OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
OREGON SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTIONS, INC.
- Items under New Business shall be considered in the following order:
- Items received by the Secretary
- Items submitted to the President prior to the start of the meeting.
- New items introduced during the body of the meeting.
Items may be discussed out of order upon a two-thirds majority assent of the Directors.
- Board of Director meetings shall be no more than 2½ hours (150 minutes) in length. After that time, no new items will be considered–however, consideration may continue on items already under discussion. This time limit may be extended upon a two-thirds majority assent of the Directors in attendance.
- OSFCI officers who are not elected Directors shall be considered ex-officio Board members.
- Motions may be presented to the Board by any Board member, including ex-officio members. However, only elected Board members may vote on a motion.
- Motions put to the Board of Directors pass with a simple majority of affirmative votes by all directors who vote on the motion.
- Proxies are not allowed in votes taken at OSFCI Board meetings (they are not allowed at board of directors meetings under Oregon law).
- With the exception of the person making a proposal report, and someone answering a direct question by another Board member, no person shall speak more than once on an item under discussion until all Board members present have had a chance to speak.
- With the exception of a person who is presenting an item of business to the Board, discussion shall be limited to Board members (including ex-officio members). However, the President may invite other persons to participate in the discussion.
- The President has the power to determine whether discussion is germane to the item under consideration, including whether it is simply repetition of points already made.
- These Standing Rules may be amended at any time by a majority vote of all Directors in attendance.
OryCon 36 Bid Proposal
Location: Double Tree Hotel at Lloyd Center
- Chair: Devlin Perez
- Vice Chair: Jenn Contreras-Perez
- Treasurer: Jacob Engstrom
As the board knows, I have been Chair for OryCon previously. I would like to apply what I learned the first time around to OryCon 36 in 2014. In addition to being Chair I have also run Operations, Security and volunteers for many years for both OryCon and Gamestorm, have been Vice Chair (and am currently Vice Chair), assisted Logistics, Tech and Hospitality and helped with Security at Cascadia.
Jenn Contreras-Perez has been Treasurer, run Hospitality for both Gamestorm and OryCon more than once, run Child Care and assisted with registration for many years. She also ran the at Con registration for Cascadia, been the written communications liaison to the chair and volunteered in many other positions.
Jacob Engstrom has assisted with treasury and is currently Treasurer for Gamestorm. He’ll be happy to share his other experience and expertise upon request.
There has already been interest shown for other committee positions including Operations, Art Show, Dealers, Registration and Web Master.
My goal for OryCon 36 will be to increase membership by utilizing more outside advertising opportunities.
Possible Guests of Honor:
Author: William Nolan
Artist: This is in the air with so many excellent artists to choose from.
Media/Special Guest: Will Wheaton (long shot)
Editor: Would like board input on the editor.
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.
Agreement of Cooperation
This is a formal agreement between Altonimbus Entertainment (“Altonimbus”) and Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Incorporated (“OSFCI”).
Whereas both parties are engaged in fan-run, not for profit annual conventions in the greater Portland, Oregon area, we hereby pledge mutual support for these conventions as described below.
- Each party will loan equipment and provide staff to manage that equipment to the other party�s conventions.
- Equipment loans are limited to the following list:
- Altonimbus may borrow: game library, shelving, hospitality equipment, art show panels.
- OSFCI may borrow: computers, monitors/TVs, game consoles, video games, projectors, projector screens, microphones, speakers, sound mixer board, cables, manga library, shelving.
- The borrowing party is responsible for insuring borrowed equipment against damages.
- The borrowing party will provide free convention memberships to the staff provided to manage the loaned equipment.
- For each convention borrowing action, each party will appoint a liaison. Unless communicated otherwise, the default liaison is the President of Altonimbus and the Chair of the appropriate OSFCI convention. The liaison may appoint an agent to coordinate, but responsibility for the relationship lies with the two liaisons.
- Each convention will provide (at no cost) ad space for the conventions of the other party in the program book of all of their conventions. This is commonly known as an ad swap. Swaps should be of similar sizes, but not less than half a page and not more than a full page. It is the responsibility of the convention management to provide the ad to be used within the usual deadline for ad submissions.
- Each convention will provide (at no cost) a guaranteed space for a fan table for each convention run by the other party. It is the responsibility of the convention management to confirm their need for a fan table within the usual deadline for fan table applications.
- This agreement can be ended by either party. If this occurs, then after notifying the other party, the agreement will remain in force for 60 days and then additionally, if needed, until reciprocity is fulfilled on a year-to-year basis for all conventions for which equipment loans, ad swaps, or fan table swaps previously occurred under this agreement.
Each party’s signature represents that the respective party has duly entered into the agreement.