Annual General Meeting - 2016-09-08

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Annual General Meeting minutes for Thursday, September 8th, 2016 at 7:00pm
Location: Wise Hall, 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver BC
Previous: Annual General Meeting - 2015-08-20 | Next: Annual General Meeting - 2017-09-07



Members in Good Standing

  • Rex Brocki
  • Nigel Cornwall
  • Kristopher De Caigny
  • Daniel DeGagne
  • Michael DuBelko
  • Mike Frost
  • Kimberly Kulak
  • Kelly Marciniw
  • Brian Matheson
  • Mac McManus
  • Karen Nygaard
  • Frank Perron
  • Robert Pilkington
  • Michele White
  • Adrian Wong


  • Cori Petersen
  • Rick De Looff


  • Rex Brocki
  • Nigel Cornwall
  • Cindy Liu
  • Jonathan Marks
  • Cori Petersen
  • George Rosenberg


  • Robert


  • Michael


  • Michele

Opening Remarks

  • Robert: A bit of an interesting AGM for us tonight. Let's all introduce ourselves, first.

Explanation of Procedures

  • Robert:
    • I have to give a few rules, and one of them is the code of conduct. This applies to all of us: staff, directors, members, and anyone else in the room. Breaking any of the following will result in a warning from me, and breaking them again will result in an ejection from the premises:
      1. Personal attacks
      2. Libel, slander, or threats
      3. No foul language, or swearing, including exclusionary language
      4. Uncivil, or overly heated discussion
      5. Sharing private or confidential information about other people
      6. AGM topics are related to the elections of a new board, and reports on operations; we should remain on topic and within the time limits
      7. Maximum speaking time of 2 minutes, or at Michele's discretion
    • We'll have our reports, now. Nigel will give president's report and financial reports. Staff report will be by Mike. The reports will be followed by question period.
    • Then, we will have the director selection part of the AGM: candidate introduction, candidate Q&A, candidate voting.
    • We have a bit of an unusual situation for this AGM: we will be using our most recent definition of consensus (July 28 2015), and our voting process will be based on the Society Act and this consensus policy. This is where it's different: There are no conflicting candidates on the positions, so we have a clean slate of candidates to vote yes or no on. The candidate will leave the room, we'll cast the votes yea, and any abstentions (no votes nay are needed). We still need 75% approval to elect someone.
    • First report is from Nigel, with financials.


  1. Introduction
  2. Reports
    1. Financial Report
    2. Staff
    3. President's Report
  3. Director Selection


Financial Report

  • Nigel:
    • There are two paper handouts, one more detailed than the other.
    • For the first time last year, we broke even. We made a small deficit of $500. Our total revenue is a record compared to what we've done in the past.
    • Despite deficit of $500, we still had $84k in the bank. We're in good nick. I'm often asked where our money goes. Pictures tell it better than figures (refer to handout).
    • Most of our money comes from the store. After, it's recycling, then wholesale. Grants/donations only cover $2k.
    • Key: Net sales up 26% from last year. Recycling is up about 10%. Our expenses are basically fixed.
    • Like most businesses, our main expense is staff payroll, then rent and utilities. We spent more money on staff this year (2 new hires).
    • We had a slight increase in legal fees, but they were within budget.
    • Been working closely with Michele to do our forecast on a monthly basis. This graph shows us where we are today, and since Michele has worked with us in 2015, there's been a rapid increase in revenue. We've almost made as much in Jan-Dec 2015 as in Jan-August 2016.
    • Consistently, about 50% of our revenue comes from retail machines. If we manage to sell the machines, the other half comes from other items.
    • There's been a bit of an anomaly this year: recycled goods have gone down. That's due to decrease in value of our recycled materials, plastics and metals. We're making about 20% in recycling this year. Another factor is motherboard shipments, which have unpredictable return times.
    • I can't see a way to save money. A small price increase on retail machines would nullify our deficit.
    • We could try to sell more on Ebay.
    • We could get more and more donations; hopefully form larger companies. If we process more high-end machines, we'll get more revenue. It costs us the same resources to process a low end machine and a high-end machine. We can also look at grants.
    • Free Geek is in a good position. I forecast that we'll run a deficit. There are still some numbers that I have not taken into account, which may put us in a better position. Last year I also forecasted a deficit, but we ended up with a surplus.


  • Mike:
    • Staff departures: Kris, Michael G, Roxana, Tyler
    • Staff additions: Kris' replacement soon, Khaled, Jay, Lucas
    • Interns:
      • For the last 2 years we have not been able to get interns for the Canada Summer Jobs grant. We qualified, but our region did not have enough money. This year, Jenny Kwan went to bat for all of the nonprofits in our riding in Ottawa, and persuaded them to increase funding. This year, we received funding 4 interns, when we only expecting 2. We would like to thank her for her efforts. She visited us this week, and was happy with us.
      • We've had more interns from the BC Housing step to work program, CDI, VCN, YMCA.
    • Infrastructure improvements:
      • Shelving in laptops, office, and a new display table in store. Thanks to our carpenters, Dave and John.
      • Improvements to servers.
      • Fluorescent light fixtures redone.
      • Removed our old VOIP system, use a new system with Ring Central, which went live today.
    • Software changes:
      • Went to Ubuntu 14.04, from 12.04. Been using Mate on laptops to make them usable.
      • Still using OSX on Apple products.
    • Open Help Night: an average night, we're helping 17/18 people. Busy night: 22/24. Best/worst was 30. Usually 8-10 helpers every night, like Mac, Kim, Brian. These helpers are patient, and professional.
  • Kim: I think people come back just because they like us.
  • Brian: I've heard some are deliberately sabotaging their computers.
  • Mike:
    • We've finished our new staff handbook.
    • Production:
      • Desktop: 250 builds in 5 months, 67 to HW grants. In general, far more high-quality machines. We don't do IDE HDs anymore. Similar changes in laptops.
      • Outstanding volunteers: I'd like to mention Vladimir: he's fixed about 100 motherboards (a record) and trained others to do it. His recent project has been to build a hand-built computer.
      • Laptops: Quality is up. Increasing i5/i7 donations. Example of the kind of donations we receive from large companies: law firm gave us 58 core i5 second gen laptops. Only 1 dud so far. Donations of about 160 a month. We're building about 70 a month. Return rate is down: from 2-3%, to 1-2%.
    • Store: August 2016 is 83 over August 2015. First steps of getting back into online sales. Theft is down. More special events and sales.
    • Volunteers: 8160 volunteers to date. We've had several events that have been well-received by volunteers, such as hotdog days. Visits from UBC, Telus, Charles Dickens Elementary. Had a Taiwanese English language class that came to Vancouver. We gave them a tour, they had a blast. They might come back next year.
    • Outreach: Co-op radio, roundhouse radio. Featured in an article in the Pacific Rim magazine. Linus Tech tips did one of their shows here, did a video tour here. Volunteers and sales from that. Several visits from out-of-towners based on that video.

President's Report

  • Nigel:
    • There's been a great camaraderie and efficiency in the way the staff have worked, including with volunteers. I also have to compliment our board. Rex, for being a voice of reason. Caelin, for marketing, and for netting us 12 bus stop posters around town. Michael, for thinking twice about everything. Chenessa, looking after the HR issues methodically.
    • There's been a great synergy around the organisation, and I want to thank everyone.


  • Robert: We now have a question and answer period. Does anyone have any questions?
  • Mac: Will there be a recycling lead applicant?
  • Robert: We don't have one, but you can talk to the directors about it after, if you want to help out on that topic.

Director Selection

  • Robert:
    • I'm going to repeat some of what I said. We've come up with a proposed slate of candidates, and the candidates have agreed to this slate:
      • Lead facilitator: Nigel Cornwall
      • Assistant Lead Facilitator: Rex Brocki
      • Treasurer: Cindy Liu
      • Secretary: Jonathan Marks
      • Marketing Lead: George Rosenberg
      • Volunteer Lead: Cori Petersen
    • We're gonna proceed like last year, and cover each candidate in turn. We will ask them to leave the room, and then take votes yea and abstentions. We need a 75% majority to elect these people. All members in good standing have a green card. When you vote, grab the green card, and hold it up.

Candidate Introductions

Candidate List

  • Lead facilitator: Nigel Cornwall
  • Assistant Lead Facilitator: Rex Brocki
  • Treasurer: Cindy Liu
  • Secretary: Jonathan Marks
  • Marketing Lead: George Rosenberg
  • Volunteer Lead: Cori Petersen


  • Nigel:
    • I think most of you know me, or of me. I'm a great believer in Free Geek and what we can do. I'm very proud to be part of this organisation. I'm a sucker for punishment. I'd like to be around next year.
  • Rex:
    • I'm the second ranked person on this past board. I already told you I have the loudest mouth in the room. I like to use my mouth in defence of Free geek and what we do, especially to government bureaucracies, and I'd like to keep doing it.
  • Cindy:
    • Good evening. Free Geek's mission aligns strongly with my principles. I'm a chartered accountant with 10 years of experience. For 4 years I worked as a volunteer accountant support at a nonprofit. That experience will help me understand better operations and finance at FG. I am confident that I will have a lot to offer to this organisation, including helping attain more resources like government funding. I think it's very great to see the organisation grow bigger and serve more people in the community, and help the environment in the meantime.
  • Jonathan:
    • I'm seeking to be elected onto the board as Secretary. The objectives of the organisation resonate quite strongly with me, as well as the opportunities we give volunteers. We look to people with challenges and lift them to a higher level of competency. I'd really like to be part of that. I've been on boards as a secretary or treasurer since 1993. I'm familiar with volunteer organisations, and understand the objectives and challenges of helping volunteers and employees. I've been the general manager of several small companies. I bring strong management skills, and am good at keeping track of the goings on. I'd be more than flattered to be elected to the board.
  • George:
    • For the last 20 years I've been working for nonprofits, mostly in the academic sector. Mostly large consortia, funded by industry, government, and universities. The biggest part of my job has always been business development and marketing side. For example, accessing grants and new partners. A lot of my skills are transferable. When I first came in, I was good at breaking things. I then thought, “what if I started building things.” I think you have a great message that's easy to buy into. It's just a matter of bringing in the high value material and donations. Our government contacts are a great first step that I hope to build on. I have some ideas on how we can go and expand on these things. I'm excited about the possibility of becoming a board member and working with those in this room.
  • Cori:
    • I was told the Volunteer Lead would be like acting as a cheerleader for volunteers. I'm really excited for what we've been doing, and what's been going on. I have been doing a lot of volunteering in the past 4 years, so it's up my alley.

Candidate Q&A

  • Karen: How much time per month can all of you give us, in hours? You'll have one board meeting a month, at least. Secondly, we're starting to have quarterly meetings between staff and board. Sometimes, things get swept under the carpet or miscommunicated. Anyway, above the meetings, how much time do you have to give us.
  • George: I can probably do something in the order of 20 hours a month.
  • Jonathan: In my experience, it's about 15-20. I can give 20 a month, but not always on a sustained month-by-month basis. Doing stuff from my home office.
  • Karen: I don't want anyone to be overwhelmed.
  • Nigel: I think the numbers you're quoting are in the high end.
  • Karen: George/Jonathan, are either of you proficient in grant writing.
  • George: I have experience with that. Each grant is specific and has its own guidelines, and I know some tricks for that.
  • Nigel: There's an opportunity for us to apply to a grant database for $200 a year. Once we look at a new board, we can pull it up and see if it's a viable option.
  • Karen: Jonathan, it's important that the minutes of the directors meeting reach the staff within a week. Are you for that?
  • Jonathan: My preference is to do the minutes on the next weekend after the meeting.
  • Karen: Beautiful.


11 votes needed to pass

Facilitator Lead

  • Nigel leaves the room
  • Votes:
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions

Assistant Facilitator Lead

  • Rex leaves the room
  • Votes:
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions


  • Cindy leaves the room
  • Votes:
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions


  • Jonathan leaves the room
  • Votes:
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions

Marketing Lead

  • George leaves the room
  • Votes:
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions

Volunteer Lead

  • Cori leaves the room
    • 15 yeas
    • 0 abstentions


  • Lead facilitator: Nigel Cornwall
  • Assistant Lead Facilitator: Rex Brocki
  • Treasurer: Cindy Liu
  • Secretary: Jonathan Marks
  • Marketing Lead: George Rosenberg
  • Volunteer Lead: Cori Petersen

Closing Remarks

  • Robert: We're way ahead of schedule. Everyone got their desired position. This is probably one of the best meetings we've ever had here. A lot of people to thank for the planning: Michele, Michael D, Mike F, Adrian, Kris, and Karen. This meeting is adjourned.