2017 Directors Nominations

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These are the applications for candidates seeking to join Free Geek Vancouver's Board of Directors for the 2017 - 2018 term.

Each candidate may apply for one or several of the Board roles. Each position lasts for a term of one year. Incumbent Directors may run again.

The AGM will take place on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 7:00pm. Members will be given time at the AGM to ask questions to nominees.

Application Process

  • Applications must include resume and cover letter.
  • In your cover letter, list the role(s) you are most interested in and your relevant skills and experience.
  • You may include a blurb to introduce yourself to the members.
  • Staff may ask prospective applicants to come in for a short interview.
  • To apply, please mail fg-applications [at] freegeekvancouver [dot] org with your application.

Applications

Scott Bishop

I am seeking the positions of Lead Facilitator, Treasurer or Assistant Lead for the purpose of advancing my IT management career by working for an organization that I love. For those who don’t know me as a volunteer in the build program, I'm a computer science graduate of SFU, an experienced manager and an easygoing Vancouverite.

I ran the data processing department of Avcan Systems, leading a team of twelve people and being a technical representative to our client companies. I had no control over financial decisions but shared an office with the Director of Finance when the company was small. I had a front-row seat watching the company's rapid growth turn into over-expansion and financial collapse. I was informed of the bankruptcy filing on the same day as my staff, handed in my keys and drove home to East Van to sit and wonder about the decisions that had been made just above me and demolished everything around me. I learned a lot.

Restaurant work paid for my degree and a while after graduation I took a kitchen and inventory position part-time that led to a promotion placing me in charge of 25 bussers, servers and bartenders whose jobs I didn’t know how to do. No one wanted the position because restaurant servers make most of their income from tips and competition for the busy shifts ensures non-stop conflict resolution for the person who writes their schedule. High seniority servers are the most qualified people to write staff schedules but skilled servers earn double the net income of managers. I quickly learned that maintaining the perception of fairness and transparency is critical in a position where every action is watched and then picked apart in fine detail by people who doubt your experience and ability. I survived by regularly asking for advice from staff members and by writing complex Excel formulas to forecast scheduling problems caused by students, vacation requests and the chaotically high staff turnover rate that is typical of restaurants.

The first time I walked into the Free Geek Vancouver warehouse I thought the place was magical. I was a life-long computer nerd walking into a room full of computer hardware and an enormously varied cast of volunteers. The build program allowed me to interact with most of the staff and I found them all to be interesting and engaged. It was a fun place to be and employed people I could learn a lot from and I'd like to think that I did.

My primary goals for Free Geek Vancouver are transparent leadership and long term financial stability. I want a staff that feels their voices are being heard and a board of directors that is engaged and interactive. I've met enough people who love Free Geek to know that these goals are achievable.

Preferred Roles

  • Lead Facilitator
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Lead

Rex Brocki

Preferred Roles

  • Assistant Facilitator Lead

Philip Chubb

Preferred Roles

  • Marketing Lead

Nigel Cornwall

Preferred Roles

  • Facilitator Lead

Mike Frost

I am the Laptop Build Manager at Free Geek.

I have been encouraged to run for a position on the board of directors, so I am announcing my candidacy for any of the following positions: Board Facilitator Lead, Recycling Lead, or Legal and Bylaw Lead.

I joined Free Geek in April 2011, and have been involved continuously since that date, first as volunteer, then as contract employee, and finally as staff. I've been in charge of the Laptop shop since December 2011. I've also been running our Open Help Night since October 2012.

So I have a long association with Free Geek. I have run many meetings, participated in many events, done outreach for schools, conducted tours, and done nearly every staff job in the place to one degree or another. In a previous life as a Technical Writer, I had to learn to listen, research, think, organize, mange projects, and above all, communicate. I facilitated many fact-finding meetings and interview sessions. I have served as Chair on a Strata Council. So I'm reasonably experienced in management and governance. I am running for three reasons.

First, the events of the past year have shown that it's a mistake for a board to rely only on itself for ideas.

Second, Free Geek's ethos is about consensus, communication, cooperation, and above all of that community service, but in the past year the communication and cooperation between board and staff has deteriorated badly, and it is only by great good luck that our community service has not been affected. Third, in the past year the membership has been largely unaware of Free Geek's troubles. We have been facing a financial crisis since December of 2016. Many of you don't know this. I expect you would have preferred to be told, and even asked for help.

So I think we've lost something fundamental, and I want to restore it. The board and the staff should be making decisions as a team, not in isolation from each other. The members and volunteers have between them all kinds of talents and ideas that could help Free Geek, yet that resource is barely ever tapped. We need to change all that.

Consensus-based management and governance works. The staff prove that every day. The secret? You need people of good will coming together to work towards a common goal, but they must – and this is essential – leave their egos and personal agendas outside the door. If they don't, it collapses. If I'm on the board I'll make certain it does not.

I think that if the board, staff, members and volunteers remind themselves just why Free Geek was founded, and we all work with the mission at the top of our minds, we can pull Free Geek out of this financial hole, and not just carry on our community service but expand it.

Preferred Roles

  • Facilitator Lead
  • Recycling Lead
  • Legal and Bylaw Lead

Jonathan Marks

Preferred Roles

  • Secretary

Diane Rodgers

My work with BullyFreeBC provides background and experience needed to fulfill the duties as outlined on the Wiki:

  • Acting ombudsperson of Free Geek
  • Investigate and attend to incidents of harassment, discrimination, and bullying
  • Educate volunteers, staff, and community about anti-harassment and anti-discrimination
  • Review, refine, and develop anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy

As well, BFBC is a grateful recipient of Free Geek Vancouver services. So I am familiar with the work being done. I would welcome an opportunity to participate.

Preferred Roles

  • Anti Harassment Lead
  • HR Lead

George N. Rosenberg, Ph. D.

I am interested in continuing my Board role of Marketing Lead for FGV. Over the past year, I focused primarily on developing relationships with the business community, along with municipal and provincial governments. We are now at a point where these contacts and networking activities should create new opportunities for Free Geek.

Over the past 20 years, I have run large collaborative research consortia aimed at developing and commercializing innovative technology. A key success factor was building internal and external partnerships to facilitate technology development and commercialization.

These consortia were overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors with diverse interests and backgrounds. It was my responsibility to seek consensus and implement their decisions

I am uniquely experienced to meet the challenges of a marketing lead. Many of the skills gained during my working life are directly transferable.

For example:

  • Lead business plan creation
    • Developed business plans to meet financial and technical goals
  • Create new revenue initiatives found sources of revenue to supplement budget
    • Secured additional sources of funding from government, industry and universities

for collaborative research and technology commercialization.

    • Created a financing plan that met Revenue Canada guidelines for R&D

expenditures which qualified $800,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for matching funding from government programs.

  • Create and assess business plans
    • Directed development of business and marketing plans aimed a commercializing

technologies and formulated strategies for their implementation

  • Advertise and maintain Free Geek's image
    • Publicized and promoted the successes to stake holders, policy makers, funders and

the general public;

    • Executed marketing activities aimed at recruiting partners and securing additional

sources of funding for collaborative research and technology commercialization;

    • Maintained liaison with senior levels of government, industry and universities;
  • Oversee and maintain social media presence
    • Instituted website creation and social media activities
  • Engage and organize community outreach events to promote Free Geek's sales
  • Organized and directed business development activities

I look forward to meeting with representatives of Free Geek to discuss how I can continue to contribute to the goals of the organization.

Preferred Roles

  • Marketing Lead

Volker Seidel

I present my résumé to you expressing my interest in a position on the Free Geek Board as a director at large, until I found the area of work where I am benefitting this organization the most. With nearly twenty years of IT project management, production support, enterprise IT design and implementation, service center, team and account management experience I am confident that I have the drive and technical strength to contribute to the success of the organization and to help it to move into a prosperous future.

Strengths and accomplishments, which you will find detailed in my résumé, include:

  • Experience with NGO and charity management, strategic planning and execution

of plans.

  • Strong project management and account management skills.
  • Talent for building and sustaining relationships with key business partners

(internal and external).

  • Superior training, mentoring, staff development and team-building skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills (Kepner Tregoe ATS Facilitator

certified).

  • Strong project management (PMP trained) and account management skills.
  • Process Audit and Improvement (Six Sigma) experienced.
  • Technical sophistication. Advanced proficiencies in enterprise computing,

NAS/SAN, network design/administration and database management.

  • Expertise leading service delivery in a global 24 /7 environment.

I have provided leadership, contracted support and IT consulting services throughout my career.

I also gathered experience on the board of directors of Earthsave Canada (ESC), a charity organization supporting education towards a plant based diet. I served ESC for now 8 years and managed to put measures in place with the board, which streamlined the board into a task focused, small board, giving us the ability to make quick and target oriented decisions. This avoided the most certain bankruptcy of ESC about 2 years ago and brought us back to a well balanced budget and balance sheet.

I am looking forward to use my experience and network to find new ways to spread the word about your amazing organization and story at Free Geek. I am a member of the CIO Association of Canada and am currently a judge for the 2017 Ingenious Award of the IT Association of Canada (ITAC). I am judging project submissions of the large public sector in their ability to display the best use of modern and cutting edge technology to solve a business problem.

These activities and connections give me access to IT leadership in Vancouver and the whole of Canada, enabling me to share my experience with, and possibly drive business towards, Free Geek. It would be an honor for me to contribute to the success of Free Geek. My ability to manage relationships with decision makers on all levels, develop and motivate staff and diagnose challenging problems, enabled me to establish a reputation for excellence.

Preferred Roles

  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Facilitator Lead
  • Recycle Lead

Michele White

I'm a former staff member of Free Geek, and am running for the position of Secretary for the 2017-2018 Board term.

I started as a part-time intern in May 2014, and most frequently worked with the Volunteer Coordinator during that time. In August 2014 I was hired full-time as the Store Manager, a position I held until my departure from the organization in August 2017.

During my tenure as staff, I have scheduled, planned, facilitated, and minuted meetings. Most notably, I took on a major role in organizing our 2015 and 2016 AGMs. I have completed tasks on behalf of previous secretaries, such as updating the membership list, and editing and posting minutes to the Free Geek Wiki. In addition, I'm very familiar with the bylaws and policies of our society, the BC Societies Act, and how our staff operate as a collective.

Even though I have left Free Geek as an employee, I am still very passionate about its mission, and I would like to continue using my skill set to benefit the organization.

Every year that we've been operating, we've continued to grow and make great progress, and having a strong team will help us keep that up. Over my three years at Free Geek, I frequently felt that the communication between the board, staff, and members has poor - especially when it comes to this year's financial concerns. As Secretary, I would be the intermediary between the society, board, and staff. If elected, I strive to use that role to ensure we have open, transparent, and communicative governance.

I know our volunteers and members have a lot of valuable ideas and skills that they could contribute if they were let into the picture.

Preferred Roles

  • Secretary