September 2015 Board Notes




Board Attended: John Koniges, Morgan, Dave Vetrovec, Michelle Webber, Lauren Ganann
Board Absent: Connie Mohs
Observers: Jayson Stobb, Heather Bufkin, Kale Ganann, Kim Hoffer, Max Vandervelde, Matt McMillan


Heather – Who is responsible for creating ATC ads? Morgan as Media Coordinator has this job. Heather to re-send last year’s ad to Morgan as an example.

Finance – Budgets have been sent out to all coordinators except Jayson. Fiscal year closes at the end of September. Budgets for next year due October 9th to be reviewed at the October 12th board meeting. Detour budgets will be sent out this Saturday. Departments will not receive a budget until they have turned in their inventory.

Como is having an event October 13th to recognize their Japanese garden as one of the top gardens as ranked by a John Koniges to do board announcements at this weekend’s Detour meeting.

magazine. John to coordinate board members who wish to attend.

AUSM sent us a thank-you note and a copy of their newsletter which contains our ad.

Few expenses at this time of year. $191,617 currently in general fund, $6004 in scholarship program fund, $12,535 in LEG fund. $31.76 came in from Amazon Smile for the past quarter.

Jayson (Anime Detour) – Interviews for the next division head were held on Saturday. A decision has been made but not yet announced. Candidates will be notified this week and the new division head will be announced to the staff at this weekend’s meeting. Jayson will be developing project assignments with each division head to involve them more in the work of the convention and lighten the chairman’s project load. Only one venue has responded to Jayson’s email of interest for future bids so far, out of 4-5 potential locations.

Heather (SOS) – Budget will be done at this month’s SOS meeting. Cosplay Fest coming up in two weeks. Scavenger hunt and Valleyfair next month. Working with GPS to find a January date for Outpost Anime; if we can get all 3 rooms there should be enough space to continue having it at the Waterbury.

Morgan (Media) – Looking for staff, ATC please announce that at the Detour staff meeting this weekend.

Kale (Charities) – AUSM has requested us for an October 10th trolley event at Como. Charities team will be meeting this Thursday. Light the Night coming up October 25th. ATC will be handling the kids’ area again. A general request for help will be sent out after the team meeting. Waiting to hear from the venue on restrictions regarding cosplay volunteers. Games for the children are being ordered and/or constructed. Bike reflectors with the ATC logo are being ordered. Pancake breakfast October 11th. Considering running a socks and scarves drive for those in need of warm winter wear, this would be an expanded effort involving GPS and outside volunteers. Autism Speaks has emailed ATC to request our presence at one of their events; we have decided not to participate in that at this time. Kale will respond to their email.

Lauren: JASM has been emailing us offering networking event opportunities with their other supporting organizations. Charities will consider including events like this in their budget for the future.

Dave will contact the adult club organizer that emailed us to offer them the services and assistance of GPS.

Clubs – What should be done with this part of the organization? Should it be combined with another area? Better to refocus Clubs on its original purpose of supporting existing clubs and fostering new clubs in schools and other places. We will need a new coordinator for this as Jei is looking to step down from the position. The open position will be mentioned during the announcements at the Detour staff meeting this weekend.

Discussion: Should an Events Coordinator position be created for things like Obon, Pride, etc where ATC has a presence? So far the events have been divided between Charities and SOS. We should develop clearer descriptions of each of the coordinator roles. Coordinators to write up their own job descriptions to be reviewed by the board. Dividing the events among Charities, SOS and Media as appropriate is working well enough at this time. General publicity events such as Obon and Pride will be handled by Morgan as Media Coordinator.

Lauren: For Saturday announcements, Clubs position is open, Media is looking for additional staff, and we still have the second Site Committee position open.

Jayson’s annual review – Jayson thanks everyone for their feedback. He has consolidated the criticisms into a few key problems he has identified to work on. Michelle: What goals have you defined? Jayson: This is difficult to define as much of it is interpersonal communication and the image of the chairman. He plans to put it in writing along with his write-up of goals for the coming year.

Note: Coordinator goals for the upcoming year will be due at the same time as the budget. John to announce this to the staff this weekend in case they would like to make suggestions to the coordinators.

Jayson: Confused by the comment about micromanagement in his review. He would like clarification on this issue. Dave as an outgoing division head says some of his departments felt Jayson stepped in and made decisions for them instead of guiding them as leaders and giving suggestions.

Lauren feels the first three items on the chairman’s criticisms list should be a main focus for Jayson in the coming year. Michelle agrees Jayson should be more solid and firm with the staff on his decisions instead of trying to make everyone happy.

Heather’s annual review – Rebuttal to event promotion item: Events are announced to a very long list of places already. Rebuttal to survey item: Didn’t know who was part of the problem and wanted to be the third party to be objective. Used to be Department of Social Corrections. Strongly feels it needs to be separate from the con. John: Felt it was duplicate from existing form. Dave: It was good information, but gave the impression someone was judging other departments. Heather: Results were given to the chairman and division heads to evaluate. Rushed in to make sure there wasn’t a serious issue. Didn’t know if there was a serious issue or if it involved the chairman. Jayson: Wanted to add more questions to the survey. Michelle: Appreciate what the survey represents. Heather agrees to give the chairman and/or board advance notice before future surveys.

Kale’s annual review – Dave recognizes that some of the follow-up issue (he made the relevant criticism) is due to lack of staff support and real-life challenges. Michelle notes that sometimes there have been emails to Kale that have not been replied to.

Morgan’s annual review – Lack of staff is the main issue affecting her department.

Lauren: Jayson is looking to set up tours with the board of the potential future venues for Anime Detour. A few board members responded. Jayson: At this point will wait another month to set up tours, most likely to take place following a Detour meeting at the Doubletree for convenience.

Michelle: Photos of board members for the ATC website? Board agrees this is a good idea. Michelle agrees to take the photos, planned for the next board meeting.

Lauren: The board had been considering the possibility of having a neutral third-party mediator on retainer to help with issues between staff members. She has a friend who is not part of the ATC community in any way who would like to take conflict mediation training. Lauren plans to look into training classes before the next meeting so the board can decide if ATC wants to pay to send a potential mediator to a training class.

The board had not voted on Dave’s proposed amendment to require the ATC membership to ratify appointed interim board members. Lauren moves that the amendment proposal for the replacement of a board member with an interim board member be sent to the membership for a vote. Seconded by John. All voting members present vote Yes.

John considering a $2400 digital media storage solution, if we are certain it will be used. Morgan says she is specifically looking for a video editing staff member for her team, so Media would definitely be using it. It would be used to host the website as well.

Matt McMillan – Michelle’s report on his complaint was sent to all the voting members of the board for review. Lauren: Clarification on how much of the Gaming staff did not want to work with Matt? Michelle: Total gaming staff who responded to the poll was 21, 17 of those voted no confidence. Out of the entire Gaming department, only 55% had voted no confidence. Matt: Some of the staff did not even receive the poll email. Michelle: One of her recommendations is to ensure we have all correct contact information for staff members before sending any polls.

Matt’s comments: Thank you to the board for investigating this. The harassment item was not addressed in the report but he concedes that item as it is up to the board to define those terms. Matt gave an item-by-item response to the incidents noted in the report, with comments that these items were in fact addressed at appropriate times. He recommends officially stating “this is a verbal warning” when such a warning is being given. He notes that he was not given a chance to remedy the reported issues before being released and asks Jayson how this situation can be resolved in a constructive way.

Jayson’s comment: His initial meeting with Matt was to present the issues. He mentioned to Matt at the time that he was going to approach the Gaming staff members for information. Matt comments that Jayson had said at that time he had asked Matt to step down temporarily to sub-head until improvement was shown. Jayson says Matt declined that option. Dave points out that the chairman’s word is final and even if the report concludes that Matt’s release from his department head position was improperly handled, he has still been released and that is non-negotiable. Jayson confirms Matt is not banned from the con and can still join staff in another position or run for the board if he so desires. A position on Gaming staff would be Troy’s decision to make as the new department head. As there has been no determination of malfeasance on the part of the chairman in Michelle’s investigative report, this is not a board matter and there is no remedy to be asked of at this time.