AIR Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Tuesday July 29, 2008. 9-10aPT/10-11aMT/11-noonCT/12-1pET
Sid Selvidge, Sue Schardt, Joan Rabinowitz, Amy Mayer, David Freedman, Jake Shapiro, Karen Lewellen, Robynn Takayama  
Absent:  Jim Russell

Sid called the meeting to order at 12:00 EDT July 29, 2008

  1. Approval of Minutes: David moved to approve May minutes, Robynn seconded.
    1. Discussion: none
    2. Minutes approved.
  2. Approval of agenda
    1. Robynn asked whether her proposal from Claire Schoen would come up? Sue said slated in new business.
  3. Treasurer's Report (Joan)
    1. Been focused on finishing audit, switching accountant (management to Boston)
    2. Hope to get regular reporting in place next month, certainly by following month
      1. Finished audit w/ NY accountant+auditor
      2. Included Bob (Boston accountant) in that process
      3. Now focus can shift to at-hand issues:
        1. budget, financial statement format.
        2. Sue meets w/ Bob Thursday, reporting on their agenda
      4. Robynn says feels like more is coming in that going out, is that true? Sue and Joan agree reports are necessary to figure this out, but process is moving forward very well.
      5. Next month or so reports should be forthcoming and thereafter regular
      6. Process for tracking grants is also big goal once Bob is up to speed
    3. Winnie's Report
      1. Vote necessary to approve; then can submit 990
      2. Some end of fiscal year changes needed to happen, Sue/Joan reviewed/approved
      3. Dave: 990 reporting requirements changing, aware of that? Might put more on Sue. Joan knows about them—more on EDs, not accountants (procedures, processes, etc.)
      4. Joan moves to accept accountant's review for year ended Dec. 31, 2007. Amy seconds.
        1. Karen question: anything in treasurer's report in writing? No. NEA money question, 5K left unspent/lost? Joan says all is under control, being used appropriately, reports submitted as appropriate. Allowed to spend money over course of grant period—no money lost, no requisite amounts to be spent at certain time. All is fine.
        2. Vote on report: unanimously approved.
  4. ED's report
    1. Membership reports will continue to come out monthly. 690 members as of today.
    2. Staff: new accountant, comes in a few times a month (once a week this month). Anna Hamilton and Guanlei Ren working as interns (working on back-end: database; mapping out/making more visible AIR members). Anna: through SALT and Guanlei Ren from BU; Angelynn Grant moving into webmaster position. Aiming for Aug. 1 as handover. Barry very helpful w/ transition.
    3. Upcoming conference activities: great response to intensives (social networking attracted, producers with <1 year experience up through >30 years exp. Intensive will be a good way to attract candidates for CPB project. Look at landscape of digital media. (?) Sounds Elemental HarvestWorks filled up. Lots of mentoring requests, Erin managing those.
    4. Questions: Amy: Staff: part-time vs. contractor; intern compensation? Interns get free membership, webmaster is contractor, Erin and Sue only staff, Bob is contractor. New people for CPB project will be contractors. Karen: webmaster's background in compatibility/accessibility issues? Angelynn is interim/transition person. Trying to find Boston-based permanent person. Putting together job description for permanent position. Great if Karen could provide language to include in job description to address this area. Karen agrees to.
  5. Sid proposes to do Old Business before New, partly b/c Robynn has to leave early.
  6. Old Business
    1. Committee and board development. Sue proposes formal manual for board w/ officer roles, etc. Looking for what is probably essentially standard operating procedures for a non-profit but that AIR has never spelled out. Robynn agreed to pull together materials. Sue and Sid have gotten started on some of this, and she will send Robynn what she has. Robynn asks: committee of one? Sue says Robynn can bring in members to assist her, but Sid says need to check by-laws on that. Dave says task Robynn with initial work (on her own or with others) then when Robynn comes back, form committee to review. Robynn: timeline? Sid: by November board meeting? Robynn: Okay.
  7. Robynn has to leave but regarding Claire's proposal for a Berkeley session on long form documentary production that could be co-sponsored with AIR or otherwise affiliated.
    1. Robynn interested in AIR doing more courses in Bay Area/on the West Coast.
    2. Claire is proposing intensive on long form production.
    3. Win-win, legitimacy for Claire; AIR promotion
    4. Sue's response: gets a bunch of class proposals looking for AIR support (money, promotion, etc.). The proper route for such requests is not through the board, but through the staff in Boston. Regarding Claire: AIR definitely in position/ready to promote worthy efforts of AIR members through distribution lists, etc.... This opens up a larger board discussion re: how the organization prioritizes and chooses programming activities. Sue comments that, when a member comes with a proposal, "How do I prioritize when members come and propose a class? What should AIR's involvement/role be? There is a broad range of possibility in term of topic and focus. We need a clear way to choose."
      1. Combination now of inheritance (e.g. Duke, HarvestWorks in place already) and new things cropping up
      2. Need to streamline what we'll support
      3. Committee? Amy volunteers to be (on) programming committee
      4. Dave: good question for retreat; how to use resources, what's the mission and what supports it?
      5. Karen: this type of workshop is exactly what we've been doing and should be doing. If members step forward with offers, that's exactly what we're here for.
      6. Sue says another board member raised question about 1-hour documentaries b/c not viable format for money-making for producers.
        1. Amy: why not support/endorse workshop that won't make people money?
        2. Karen: of course we endorse b/c members want more hands-on workshops
        3. Joan: different levels of support/endorsement. What's the process? How do we evaluate.
        4. Sue: continuum of support. Yes, we've provide members with support getting the word out about almost any effort. That's what the listserv is for, certainly, but we also can target groups of members. But putting AIR's name on a project as a collaborator is a different matter.
        5. Sue and Amy will talk and figure out how to move forward.
        6. Dave: make sure this item is on retreat agenda
  8. Sue: are we forming committees now?
    1. Amy: no, Robynn and I can be chairs and find committee members once we're ready and have proposed agendas.
    2. Sid says he'll be de facto member of every committee, then a board member chair and other committee members from general membership (look for committee members as potential leaders in organization, way to groom new board members)
  9. New business
    1. Need to know who on board/staff has disabilities; tell Sue by Monday if you should be counted
    2. Karen's question regarding terms (Amy in second term?): talk next meeting when election planning comes up
  10. Back to Old Business
    1. Strategic retreat
    2. Sue met with Andy and Steve last week. Talked about process, moving forward. Will meet again next week.
    3. Dave would like materials to read on plane. Sue will check into that.
    4. Karen wants to know what will happen after the retreat. Will decisions be implemented? Sue says a report will result and then be presented to the board for review and discussion. Intention is to enter with an open mind and hope that all possibilities will be discussed, evaluated and then appropriate actions can be pursued after.
  11. Open Board Meetings
    1. Sid: try it. Set up a protocol. See if anyone shows up and whether they like it.
    2. Dave: important, support it. But very difficult on teleconference. How to manage participation?
    3. Sue: how manage who participates? RSVP? Sid: sign up. Sue: how, who?
    4. Karen: lots of tools in to manage who is talking, who is listening. Annual meeting already open.
    5. Sid: RSVP worthwhile? Karen: yes, Create a structure, people get individual access information.
    6. Amy: would agenda need to be public ahead of time? Should it be?
    7. Sue: so many questions of how to manage this prospect. Distribute agenda, answer questions. Are we going to open the gates?
    8. Karen volunteers to manage open board meetings; will find peaceful option for everyone using
    9. Dave: his board has public comment period at start of meetings; he welcomes prospect of hearing from members more; to get on his public comment agenda people have to sign up in advance so board isn't overwhelmed.
    10. Karen: contrived to have public comment planned in advanced.
    11. Dave: clarification, comments not told ahead of time, just number of people wanting to make them.
    12. Sid: next meeting? Sue: maybe review next time THEN open it up. Sid: first open board meeting would be end of January.
    13. Amy: consider length of meeting, need to schedule for more?
    14. Sue: how to proceed? Review process in November, hold open mtg. in February for regular board meeting (January meeting will be annual meeting, elections in January)
    15. Sid: asks Karen to draw up protocol and e-mail to everyone for approval before November meeting. Once protocol is established, can invite public to November.
    16. Sid: willing to be "mute man" and have open discussion at beginning of mtg and then mute non-voters for balance of meeting.
    17. Sue: Sid should announce to membership that board meetings will be open.
    18. Karen: clarification. Open mtg before or after annual meeting? Dave: November, before. Karen may need help with set-up aspects of freeconference, could Erin do that? Erin or someone else will help Karen as necessary.
  12. Next Steps
    1. Next exec comm. mtg: Sept. 23, noon Eastern
    2. Next board mtg: Tuesday Nov. 18, noon Eastern
  13. Sid adjourned meeting at 1:11 pm EDT.