2011 Directors Nominations

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Free Geek's Board of Directors provides legal and financial oversight to the organisation, along with other opportunities for service.

  • Candidates can nominate themselves before the AGM only.
  • Nominating someone else is permitted as well, before the AGM however the nominee can respectfully decline.
  • Candidates will be expected to speak at the meeting as to why they would like to run on the board
  • Attendees will be granted time to ask the candidates questions.
  • Directors will be selected from the candidates by consensus by those in attendance. Candidates must step aside for this decision.
  • Directors' terms are one year, and incumbent Directors may run again.

If you are planning on being a candidate at the 2011 AGM, please tell us a bit about yourself below, and notify the General mailing list with a link to your info. Please note that you will need to subscribe first in order to email the list.

Please provide a bio, resume, or links to present/past projects as well as answer the following questions.

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?
  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?
  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.
  5. Current occupation and/or employment.

Thank you for your interest in helping the Geek!

Karen Nygaard

Put a description of yourself and your candidacy here.

  • What is your interest in joining the Board?

I am interested in joining because I think it could be a great learning experience.

  • What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?

I have been a volunteer since March of 2010 when I started at the dismantle tables and since then have gotten my bookkeeping certification and now volunteer as a Free Geek bookkeeper

  • Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?

No but I have just been accepted as the bookkeeper for Five Hole for Food Charity organization as their bookkeeper

Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.

  • I am very organized and a good communicator.

Current occupation and/or employment.

  • Currently unemployed but feverishly looking for work.

Joshua Caldwell

What is your interest in joining the Board?

My name is Joshua Caldwell. I am a computer professional who has been working in the industry since 1995, and has worked in many parts of the industry including IT, programming, administration and management. My interest in joining the board is to increase efficiency in FreeGeek's processes, increase cash flow, maximize our assets, and ultimately work towards the goal of expanding the FreeGeek Vancouver operation. I consider myself an environmentalist, and am acutely aware of the need for FreeGeek to be a leader by example in our operations, as well as promoting environmentalism in the community. I am also in touch with FreeGeek's social mission, whereby we empower the underprivileged and charities. I have a strong belief in the ability of FreeGeek to bring the voices of the citizens of this country to the Internet, where we may all contribute to the digital commons and mechanisms of democracy that digital technology has created. I am a user and supporter of Free Software, and have used Linux since 1994.

   What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?

I have worked at FreeGeek as an employee and a volunteer. I currently pitch in with less frequency than I would like, but business seems to be looking quite bright for my employer (me) so I will have more time to devote to FreeGeek. As a volunteer and employee, I have been exposed to all the parts of the organization, and know most of the people involved. It has been my pleasure to offer my time in the technical area of the operation (IT infrastructure) as well a training volunteers and developing processes within the organization.

   Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?

I have worked with other charities in the past, but the most interesting part of my community service comes from my mother's experience with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in the early 90s, and fortuntely treatment was successful. My mother is not one to take a threat to her life lightly, so she founded the BC/Yukon chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation when I was in my early teens. The organization mushroomed into one of the most successful charities in BC's history. I watched her, and learned about how to run a large charity. Thanks to my mother, and many others, BC is a world centre for breast cancer research. I learned from watching her handle relationships with sponsors, the operation of a board of directors, and the process of reviewing research and making grants. To this day I am a supporter of the breast cancer cause, but ultimately I think the other force that guided me through my teens (the Free Software movement) won out as the focus of my contribution to society.

   Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.

I have been an entrepreneur since the mid-90s. I have worked in the corporate world since the age of 17. I am always looking for new ways for humanity to advance. I also have a keen eye for what will and what will not work. I was the first person to bring Linux to the phone company back in 1996, and I have worked for many start-ups and on many one-shot contracts. I have a good feel for what the computer industry will do, and by extension, how many parts of FreeGeek will do in relation to the community, the market, and the world stage. My family has had extensive business dealings with mining companies, real estate, and other businesses. I started my own company in 1994 after the Stanley Cup riots destroyed the computer systems of many businesses along Robson street. I also learned the delicate art of salesmanship in my first job at the age of 14 at the PNE as a carny. I grew up around, and most likely always be a part of the computer industry. I sleep, breathe, and eat computer science. This does not mean I am a one trick pony: I studied history for 8 years, although ultimately I was seduced back to the computer industry. This background gives me a deep background in world affairs. It also means that I can write at the near-PhD level and make presentations (essential for public relations activities.)

   Current occupation and/or employment.

I am currently self employed as a systems analyst/consultant. If you read my business card, it says "Everything but IBM mainframes. Linux since 1994." at the bottom. The only reason I don't do mainframe stuff is that my mainframe died in a fatal multichip module swapping failure. If I can't do something you want me to do, I will always find somebody who can. I can program in PHP, perl, and the usual UNIX shell scripting languages. I also have smatterings of defunct, arcane, and long-dead languages and platforms. I can give FreeGeek one day a week at a minimum. Given I reach my financial targets for the month, I may be able to give more. And I will always take your calls.

     If elected to the board I will:

1) Support the proposition to turn FreeGeek into a charity.

2) Work on increasing our visibility, and leveraging our brand to raise us above other recyclers.

3) Work to get more free resources and materiel through endorsements

4) Work towards the ultimate goal of expanding FreeGeek, and giving more back to the community.

Chris Hooper

My name is Chris Hooper and I am seeking another term on the Free Geek Vancouver Board of Directors.

I am a regular volunteer at Free Geek Vancouver for three years and have been on the Board of Directors for two terms. I am involved in assisting other volunteers to learn many of the stations, attend outreach events, attend meetings, on the mailing lists and editing pages in the Free Geek Wiki. As a Director, I administer the employee benefits and payroll. I will continue participating in the ongoing communication, education, and training around Free Geek to help improve the sense of community within the organization and build its prosperity.

I have 6 years of experience working in production, quality, and design in manufacturing so I can make contributions to the documentation and administration of Free Geek's policies and procedures. Computer are also a long time hobby, sometime passion, for me. I am currently enrolled in a program to learn--and have a career--in digital animation.

My interest in being a Director is to be involved in more aspects of Free Geek. The opportunity to share my knowledge and skills with other people leads to new and interesting experiences, and volunteering at Free Geek is a great way to accomplish this. I am fully committed to Free Geek’s mission and principles to guide one's responsibilities toward consumption and conservation.

Thank you kindly for taking time to consider my nomination.

Scott Nelson

  1. Was asked. Am very interested in the continued success of Free Geek Vancouver.
  2. Was a founding director. Have been a member and supporter since.
  3. I have a large amount and variety of non-profit board experience including 5 years on the board of Society Promoting Environmental Conservation and several years on the board of the Vancouver Community Net.
  4. I have a good relationship with the landlord as I run the space right beside Free Geekand who owns both buildings.
  5. Self-employed. You can learn more about me at http://noosworx.com/mybio

Rod Brennan

Employment History: Graduated from college with a Diesel Mechanic and all aspects of same. Finding work brought me to B.C. From Toronto. I worked in the largest under one roof sawmill from green chain to foreman of the most productive crew. Returning to Vancouver I worked at a few service stations using my mechanical skills, later becoming management. Just to mention a few positions: -Roscoes- Sound, lighting, video and 1st V.J services as a designer and foreman. -Victory House- 38 Bed harden mental patient care and implementing my own “life skills” program, which is still used today. -Venture- G.V.M.H.A hub of mental health care- crisis intervention, 10 bed short stay, assessment- equal to a psychiatric nurse. -Rio Rio- One of several nightclubs I was involved with including restaurant, entertainment, special large events, over 80 staff. These are but a few of the projects I initiated or was a team player in developing. Further information is available upon request.

Community Building: -Extensive volunteer work since childhood, the most recent being Free Geek! Coordinator at the -Food Bank Society with 30+ staff in my own facility, public liason. -Quest Food Exchange- in charge of produce, quality control and displays for three years. -A.C.O.A (adult children of alcoholics)- Coordinator for six years. By request I started two specialty groups, native women and women with women groups. -Free Geek- approx. one year, working as a dependable team member- training, assisting others and working with staff on governance and policy.

Statement of intent: As a Director for Free Geek Vancouver I would aspire to moving Free Geek to the next level in terms of community engagement and revenue. My belief in this great cause and experience as a business consultant has excited me to work on improving policies with staff, while my experience in warehousing and teaching keeps the operation fluid and efficient.

I bring a whole plethora of life experiences to this position and hope these can be used to learn from in this organization. My loyalty to Free Geek has been obvious and I would love this opportunity to work at a deeper level in improving and expanding this wonderful community.

Devenne Drege

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?

    I've been a volunteer at Free Geek Vancouver for three years, and I have seen it experience ups and downs. My experiences and observations throughout the years will help me understand, support, and problem solve with our community who make Free Geek happen. I want to help ensure Free Geek always recycles with the highest integrity. I use and will continue to use and promote free and open source software (FOSS), practice Free Geek's open and transparent processes, and instruct others in technology and open governance to uphold Free Geek's mandate. I'd like to help bring ideas together more efficiently and clearly through optimization of the wiki.

  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?

    I've been volunteering at Free Geek since the summer of 2008. I've helped with just about every station in the past, but directorship has been an adventure I've yet to try! While volunteering, I've had amazing experiences, but I've felt like I really should try applying my skills to administrative and planning projects rather than exclusively working in production. My current activities at Free Geek have been helping with Open Help Night when I can and attending as many meetings as I can.

  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?

    Previous to my activity at Free Geek, I had contributed to various community service projects throughout high school. These included contributing and assisting food drives, tutoring, and creating and donating quilts for families in developing countries. I won a Presidential Freedom Scholarship (a US, service-based scholarship) from all the projects I was involved in from high school. Since then, I've focused my energy locally once I discovered Free Geek.

  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.

    While completing my degree in German language and literature, I studied Japanese literature and Computer Science. I've been using *nix in various forms since 2004, and through past classes and self-study, I'd say I'm comfortable using and applying FOSS as an everyday user and as an administrator. I've also spent considerable time studying English grammar, graphic design, typography, and web development. I am extremely interested in usability and accessibility, so although the above might appear random, I have enjoyed experimenting with integrating open technologies, language, and design principles to help create more effective communication. I currently practice these skills at work, and I would love to finally apply them at Free Geek!

  5. Current occupation and/or employment.

    I'm an Office Assistant and Graphic Designer at Avison Young Commercial Real Estate. The majority of my time is spent formatting information for marketing brochures, creating maps, and creating marketing emails. I've also established a logical file naming scheme for efficient searches.

Alishams Hassam

  1. I love Free Geek, but can do more for the organization than just recycling. I have a strong interest in keeping our recycling ethical, our processes and procedures open and transparent, and want to do whatever I can to keep Free Geek flourishing. I want this to be a space where anyone can come in and contribute, or just load up on awesome gear with a fully working linux system!
  2. Started as an intern in the summer of 2009. Volunteered at Windowless Wednesdays periodically throughout the year. Currently a director and oversee Open Help Night.
  3. Previous experience: member of the advisory board on Vancouver Foundation's Youth Philanthropy Council (reviewing and approving grants for youth focused charities); founding member of Youth Vital Signs (youth survey of the city); Education Representative for students and honorary member of the Langara Student Union Executive at Langara College; Youth leader of monthly events at the downtown Ismaili mosque.
  4. I have very strong research and analytic skills. IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but am familiar with legislation that pertains to Free Geek. I know the recycling processes and the challenges that come with it. I am familiar with schedule B and it's intricacies. I am also very good with people and working under consensus.
  5. Dispatcher / looking for employment.



I want to work with the community to revisit some aspects of our bylaws.

  1. We currently have a provision for corporate members in the bylaws, though they can't vote. I want to explore the implications of this and consider full removal.
  2. The directors having titles. Directors are elected at large and share the responsibilities, however our bylaws define specific roles as per default schedule B. I would like to keep the responsibility of the roles, but have the titles for the positions removed.
  3. Monthly general meetings are found nowhere in our bylaws. Free Geek has always used this avenue to pass policy, and we need something in our bylaws to make this mandatory and enforceable.

Law Research

  • Free Geek may be liable for stolen goods. Other organizations take down the serial numbers of *everything* they get in. I'm unsure if this is a legal requirement or a preventative measure. I would like to research liability law and if need be, talk to a liability lawyer regarding this.

Ethical Recycling

  • I would like to delve deeper into our recyclers. BAN certification has ended so we need to be extra careful. I have little doubt about Encorp, however some of the others I'm not too sure about. Should there be any trouble, I would like to switch to BAN approved recyclers.


  • Free Geek has seen many benefits with grants. Unfortunately Vancity's Envirofund grant was not being done last year. As Free Geek isn't a registered charity, we are disqualified from many grants. I would like to see us receive the Envirofund grant again (assuming it is running this year) and investigate others.

Registration as a Charity

  • Early last year I spoke with our accountant. He said that registering as a charity would be a good idea and have little effect on Free Geeks accounting. The big plus is we would be able to give charitable tax receipts which should encourage more donations.

Wayne Fung

Put a description of yourself and your candidacy here

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?
    • supporting ethical recycling and open software
    • furthering Free Geeks organization by bringing new ideas
    • learning what is involved in being a board member
    • learning more about consensus
  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?
    • volunteer since March. I have updated wiki documentation on work stations, trained volunteers on ram/disk stations, built 18 machines and 2 laptops , bought parts in store
    • investigated updating Free Geek ruby software (slowly learning Ruby)
    • attended all general meetings since March, facilitated one meeting.
    • manned Free Geek table at Car Free day
  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
    • executive member of Trout Lake pottery club. Worked on the design of the new pottery studio using Sketchup. Represented the club for the design of the new Trout Lake community centre.
    • volunteer at destination imagination (innovation for children)
    • soccer linesman, coach, referee
  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.
    • business experience: sold and implemented services for IBM
    • project management: service and development projects
    • people management : career development of employees, hired and managed contractors.
    • Soft skills: conflict resolution, out of the box thinker, decision making, life coaching
  5. Current occupation and/or employment.
    • I have been retired for 3 years having worked in Information Technology for over 40 years (yes I'm old but good) I still remain active in:
      • life coaching ( a small number of clients)
      • permaculture design ( half way to completing a certification in permaculture design)
      • many activities
        • programming, robotics, geocaching, gardening, woodworking, pottery
        • martial arts – assist teaching children Aikido classes

Mike McManus

Put a description of yourself and your candidacy here

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?
  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?
  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.
  5. Current occupation and/or employment.

Brian Kalke

Please provide a bio, resume, or links to present/past projects as well as answer the following questions.

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board? As nearly a 3-year volunteer I feel invested in Free Geek Vancouver and I'd like to help take responsibility for it's continuing success.
  2. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek? I've been a volunteer since November 2008, and a build instructor since January 2010.
  3. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience? Four years assistant leading and two years leading a self-help group, Recovery Incorporated.
  4. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.I'm organized and detail oriented. I'm patient and work well with a wide range of people.
  5. Current occupation and/or employment. Disability - Averaging 15 hours a week volunteering at Free Geek

George W L Wong

Put a description of yourself and your candidacy here

  1. What is your interest in joining the Board?

I have some ideas on improving the volunteer program

making Free Geek a training camp, for underemployed professionals, immigrants, and the unemployed, and students
establishing prototype programs, and apply for grants to support these programs

on improving the role Free Geek plays as the preferred channel of technology recycle

  by establishing on going communication with governments and retailer and business and institutions  for
    donation of retired technology

on making more transparent the relationship Free Geek have with volume buyers, wholesalers etc

on establishing relationship with retailers of consumer technology items

  this relationship is important because people drop off retired items where they bought them

  1. What past or present experience do you have with Free Geek?
i have been a volunteer for about 3 years
one of the sometimes active fringe elements

  1. Do you have other non-profit or community service experience?
volunteer tutor in schools
  1. Additional skills, abilities or professional abilities that pertain to Board service.

 one of the objective I wish to accomplish is to encourage all volunteers to progress through all stations
 when they are ready, to the board of directors

  1. Current occupation and/or employment.
electronic technician ( biomedical equipment maintenance)
some of the things that I would like to take responsibility and accountability for 
(1) discuss ways  Free Geek can become a central player in the Green environmental strategy 
    for Metro Vancouver
    by positioning Free Geek as the preferred channel for the reuse and recycling of all
    consumer technology such as laptops, cameras, smartphones ,ipads etc
    by forming partnerships with retailers,who collect retired gadgets from consumers 
    by developing infrastructures at Free geek and training programs 
       that enable the volunteers to process these gadgets
    by prototype training programs designed for different types of volunteers
       such as immigrant professionals, students, unemployed etc
    by getting grants to support these training programs
 (2) seeking a fair balance in the business relationship between Free Geek and volume buyers
     who buy stuffs from Free Geek and resell them for profits
     the kinds of stuffs that volume buyers can buy from Free Geek 
     need to be in constant and open review
     for example, laptops,Lcd monitors, cameras, rare items such as camera memory cards,  
     digital pianos, iMacs , iPads
     should be out of bound for resale to volume buyers
     what the volume buyers can buy from Free Geek are stuffs that we do not have the facility and training program to process
     iMacs , ipads are things that Free Geek should gear up facilities and training for.
     rare items such as digital pianos, wireless N adapters are in demand by individuals for personal use, volume buyers should
     rarely get their hands on these items

what I see as pressing business for the coming year,

  is establishing working relations with Metro Vancouver, retailers
  have consumer drop off retired laptops where they bought them
  have laptops delivered to free geek on aircraft carriers
  show the world that free Geek has the facilities, infrastructure 
  operation management skills, trained volunteers 
  to process these laptops
  and return these laptops to society 
  in a nonprofit manner
  the operation at Free geek today is somewhat chaotic
  we can only process a few laptops at a time
  we lack the operation management system to process 100 laptops a day
   in the green environment strategy of Metro Vancouver,
    Free Geek is missing the boat, 
    or the aircraft carriers. 
    we are missing that balls , or laptops, cameras, imacs, smartphone, smart tablets
    all sorts of good stuff

    the Free Geek business is very pressing, that is why I fell like nominating myself to be a director
   as I say , Free Geek hour is happy hour, Free Geek hour is a volunteer's finest hour  
a photo of George WL Wong

George wl wong.jpg

George wong.jpg

the excitement of being a Free Geek volunteer, and a director is that

 you want to grab all the technology stuff from the community ,
 you want to grab them all, from universities and retail store recycle programs
 then you help volunteers to process them and sell them
 I see many university students coming to Free Geek working on the retired iMacs 
  many high school students come to Free Geek learning to sell those iMacs in the Free Geek store
  gaining valuable industrial experience, business experience , retail experience
 to help make all that happen , is part of the excitement of being director
what a baby..


Bill McGrath

  1. I've been asked, first by Mike McManus, and later by John Weintraub to join the Board. It will be an honour to serve.
  2. I've been volunteering with Free Geek since before there were volunteer numbers, building systems and QC'ing others work. I'm a member of the Society. In 2009 I organized Richard Stallman's "Ethics, Rights and Freedoms" lecture tour in Vancouver, working with Free Geek, Vanlug, SFU, UBC, and the Vancouver Institute. More recently I've initiated what is now known as the Open Classroom Project, a collaboration between Free Geek, the Vancouver Community Network, Vanlug and Ubuntu Vancouver. Free Geek personnel have really embraced this idea and it is really going to make a huge difference in the local Free Software community.
  3. I've always taken an interest in the organizations I'm associated with. I'm currently the Vice-Chair and have previously been a Director and Steering Group Member for quite a few years with the Vancouver Linux Users Group. I worked as a volunteer junior sysadmin with the Vancouver Community Network. I am a founding member of the Vancouver Fair Copyright Coalition. I am currently Operations Manager for the St. Mark's EWR Shelter.
  4. I care.
  5. I'm currently unemployed due to a number of disabilities.

Christine Ho

  1. I was drawn to Free Geek's ethical recycling aspect of the operation. I am interested in being part of Free Geek's growth.
  2. I started volunteering in Free Geek in 2008 and completed the build program in 2009. When I served on the board in 2009/2010, my primary contribution was in finance and payroll.
  3. I volunteered as a Listserve Administrator in Wired Woman and provided helpdesk support in Vancouver Community Network.
  4. I am dedicated. I have good business sense and basic understanding of accounting.
  5. In my day job, I provide web support and technical support for windows. I also maintain a small web site on the side.