Annual General Meeting - 2018-09-13

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Annual General Meeting minutes for Thursday, September 13th, 2017 at 7:00pm
Location: Free Geek Vancouver, 1820 Pandora Street, Vancouver BC
Previous: Annual General Meeting - 2017-09-07 | Next: Annual General Meeting - 2019-12-12




  • Taya Halpin
  • Dan DeGagne
  • Joel DeTeves
  • Jayashree
  • Frank Berron
  • Rex Brocki
  • Christopher Wolff
  • Volker Seidel
  • Mike McManus
  • Michael DuBelko
  • Francis Wingate
  • Scott Bishop
  • Michele White


  • Mike Frost
  • Brian Dick
  • Mimi Xia
  • Flo Koh
  • Adrian Wong
  • Sara Scott
  • Karen Nygaard
  • Robert Pilkington
  • Joanna Chong
  • Mahmoud Karkhairan
  • Genevieve Aphrodite
  • John Holborn
  • Jacky Lee


  • Rex Brocki
  • Joel DeTeves
  • Michele White
  • Athenaise Guertin
  • Jacky Lee
  • Christopher Wolff
  • Glenn Mitchell


  • Robert Pilkington


  • Mike Frost


  • Michele White


  • Adrian Wong


Everybody introduces themselves and their relationship to Free Geek.

Explanation of Procedures

  • All members in good standing will get a form with all the candidates on it, and mark each name yes or no. Then we will count them.
  • Rules of Etiquette, based on Robert’s Rules of Order. Respectful discussion, no name calling; warnings will be given.



  • Volker. Were burning money in past year, not this year. We are doing better though we are not out of the woods yet. The balanced budget is on track, we are under $2000 deficit. Hope to break even. Need to go forward with our plan to attract investors. One change made was to make a budget before the year began.

Comment: past years only riffed off previous budget.

Staff Report

  • Mike delivers the staff report.
  • Staff changes:
    • Departed: Genevieve (Store Manager), Khaled (Production Assistant), Christopher (Store Assistant)
    • Added: Mimi (Store Assistant), Sara (Store Assistant), Flo (Volunteer Coordinator)
    • Changes: Brian moved from Laptop Production Assistant to Store Manager
  • Interns:
    • Through the Canada Summer Jobs program we got three interns this summer, for 6 weeks each: William (store), Tim (desktop build), Timothy (laptop and other production).
  • Physical infrastructure improvements:
    • Added a circuit to the server room to handle the fan load in summer. Thanks to Bobby Lin.
  • Store:
    • Genevieve departed in August; Brian is now store manager, Mimi is assistant manager.
    • New store hire, Sara Scott.
    • Last month we made a net revenue of $36,000, which was our store’s second-highest sales month to date.
    • Plans for monthly sales promotions, further renovations and resuming eBay sales.
  • Open Help Night
    • On average night we help about 15 people, which totals 750 per year.
  • Administration
    • We opened a bank account that through the monthly transfer of funds will have enough ready funds to pay the last loan payment to VanCity in March 2019. To date, we have $2225.00 of the $5k needed to do this.
    • We’ve always made payroll and paid our bills on time but it has been very tight.
  • Production/Desktop build
    • Hardware Grants - 163 items since last AGM.
    • Demand for hardware grants is increasing - it’s a struggle with current staffing and supplies to meet demand.
    • Donations of DDR2-based desktops have decreased significantly.
    • Donations of Intel i-series desktops has increased significantly (up to 4th gen + a few 5th and 6th gen.)
    • Experienced DDR3 RAM “drought" that is no longer an issue 
    • Increased production of Intel i-series desktops
    • Increased production of Macs (especially iMacs)
    • Increased production of higher-end gaming desktops
    • Increased production of video game hardware
    • 4 GB RAM new average minimum for desktops
    • Adoption box spec will now include 1st gen i-series
    • Decreased numbers of non-CSJ interns (only 1 intern since last AGM, though he was excellent)
    • Department continues to struggle with lack of technically knowledgeable volunteers
  • Laptop build
    • Basically holding steady in terms of numbers ready for sale, around 70 a month, but the quality of the donations is, as in past years, increasing.
    • We have some steady regular volunteers and are able to keep production steady in spite of losing Brian to the store.
  • Shipping and Receiving
    • Changed scrap pickup to Regional Recycling, much better than Vanguard. Regular pickups every Thursday, no hassles.
    • We've been attending City of Vancouver Zero Waste Events; so far in 2018 we've picked up 14 skids, or about 10,000 lbs.
  • Volunteers
    • We’ve had roughly 500 new volunteers join us so far this year. Latest number is 9300+.
    • We added a written test for people to get into advanced volunteering (component testing, desktop and laptop build.)
    • Shrank the dismantle line to fewer stations. More donations are can be refurbished, so the amount of material to be dismantled is less. Also it lets us accommodate drop-ins.
  • Outreach
    • Since February 2017 we have been doing regular recycling drives (10 per year) with the City of Vancouver, and have just completed a formal agreement to participate in all these drives in the future.
    • We went to Car Free Days on Main Street and Commercial Drive, partnered with Vancouver Hack Space.
    • We had a booth at LTX (Linus Tech Expo).
    • A business on Main Street, The Soap Dispensary, has offered to act as a drop-off point for laptops, phones and tablets.
    • Van City Credit Union Commercial Drive has asked us to participate in an event there that will include a recycling drive on Nov 17. We’ll be treating this as a pilot that we can use to encourage other branches to hold similar events.
  • Robert: We held garage sales to help get rid of stuff. Thanks to Karen for organizing them. And thanks to all the staff both present and past for getting through this year.

Questions on Reports

  • No questions.

Director Selection

  • Reminder that due to new bylaws there are changes to how directors are selected.
  • One change is staff is now no longer members. Changing structure: going to hire Senior Manager, so there will be hierarchy. But we don’t want to mess with the structure. Also a change is directors are elected for two year terms. Current directors who return will be in the second year of their term.

Candidate Introductions

Jacky Lee

  • Working with Sierra in change management. Has volunteered for a few months. Has much technical skill, including in robotics. Has led teams. Has self-schooloed in management. Has volunteered in other areas.

Christopher Wolff

  • Past Store Assistant. Joined board this year to fill a vacancy. Wants to give back to us thanks to his experiences here. Wants to stick to our mission and reach out more, including diversifying our volunteer base.

Rex Brocki

  • Addressed health issues. Has improved enough to be able to do anything he had previously been asked to do as a member of the board. And will be attending OHN. He has been a director for several past boards.

Joel DeTeves

  • Has been volunteering for nearly a year on OHN and in IT. Started IT company and with that wanted to connect to local non-profits and found us. Was really blown away and impressed with us at first sight. Seeing what we do with kids, seniors, and would really like to see how he could use his skills as a business owner and CofC member to help us.

Glen Mitchell

  • Feels reuse and reduction should get more traction than it has. Has been looking for a non-profit that could use his help at board level. Found us last year. Digital marketing agency, account director. Has worked with many big clients (Shaw, WestJet, Van City). Has a bit of experience with non-profits, Space Centre and Aquarium.

Athenaise Guertin

  • Previous Volunteer Coordinator, which meant have many hats, running events, outreach, networking with other organizations, and got our loan/grant from VanCity. Has self-educated in management skills and accounting. Loves us so much she wants to help us keep doing what we do.

Michele White

  • Started as intern in 2014, managed store for 3 years. Left in 2017. Served as Secretary last board. Decided best to return to help our vision go forward. Most important thing is that from the time she started with us she loved our mission and the staff and volunteers.

Candidate Q&A

  • Karen to Glen: What two things could you do for us this year?
  • Glen: Digital Marketing for us, was able to get a Google Grant for Space Centre. Pursuing grants. Helping us get corporate donations in terms of equipment. Can put in 10 to 15 hours per week.

  • Karen to Jacky: same questions.
  • Jacky: Is OK working in different positions. Would like to align everyone’s goals and measure our progress over time. Has been doing that with himself.
  • Karen: How many hours a month could you give?
  • Jacky: About 40.

  • Francis to Joel: Will you have time to do this? Without placing your business or self in jeopardy?
  • Joel: Yes. Already puts in about two shifts a week, so can easily meet the minimum 10 hours a month.

  • Adrian to all candidates: What would you say is the most important thing facing Free Geek?
  • Joel: Things are shifting for us. Financial challenges. To expand and carry on we need to change things or add new things. Summer camps. Winter camps. Courses.
  • Athenaise: I've worked in nonprofits in lots of areas. Success is creating different and better relationships with other organizations to mutual benefit: make everything you do work double. Have potential to expand our relationships with others without killing ourselves.
  • Michele: Get back to being stable. We pulled ourselves out of the hole last year. We can run with that. With passionate people we can do this.
  • Christopher: Feels there is a lot of room to get volunteers from communities we have not yet reached.

  • Karen: Does anybody feel they can’t contribute 10 to 15 hours a month?
  • Everyone seems OK with that.

  • Michael D to Glen: Any plans for direct social media engagement?
  • Glen: I would have to analyze it before I make any plans. Social media strategy needs to be part of that.
  • Joel: has some experience with it too, so could help with that.

  • Michael D to Michele: Do you have any concrete intentions to use the Society List to engage with the members on a regular basis?
  • Michele: I intends to provide more frequent and timely news to the membership.


  • Rex, Michele, Chris, Joel, Athenaise, Glen: elected.
  • Jacky: not elected.

Closing Remarks

  • Michele: Thanks to both Scott and Volker; Volker for producing a fair budget on time, and Scott for arranging loan forgiveness from Vancity.
  • Robert: Now let’s clean up.