Annual General Meeting - 2020-10-22

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Annual General Meeting minutes for Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 at 7:00pm
Location: Virtual Zoom Call
Previous: Annual General Meeting - 2019-12-12 | Next: Annual General Meeting - 2021-10-28



Members in Good Standing

  • Jayashree Balaji
  • Daniel DeGagne
  • Jonathan Fung
  • Rob Hollins
  • Anna Knowlson
  • Steve Lee
  • Frank Perron
  • Reg Zotzman
  • Volker Seidel
  • Michele White
  • Rex Brocki
  • Bo Dial Hong


  • Emily Chu


  • Taya Halpin
  • Elise Gouin
  • Carlos Martell
  • Mike Wieclawek
  • Mahmoud Karkhairan


  • Glen Mitchell
  • Robert Pilkington
  • David Lloyd
  • Samantha Rousseau
  • Jordan Jones
  • Krusheska Quirós


  • Glen Mitchell


  • Robert PIlkington

Vote tally

  • Mike Frost
  • Belejeb Santin

Opening Remarks

  • Approval of the Minutes of the last AGM
  • motion to Approve by Volker
  • second by Reg

Explanation of Procedures

  • All call participants muted by default-please indicate in the chat function that you have a question/would like to speak.
  • We will pause for questions after the Director and Staff reports and the Director Nominee Introductions.
  • No personal attacks, libel, slander, or threats.
  • No foul language, swearing, or use of hateful or exclusionary language.
  • Remain Civil even if the conversation becomes heated.
  • We will try to keep this as short as possible


  1. Virtual AGM Rules
  2. Attendance/Introductions
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the last AGM
  4. Director Report
  5. Staff Report
  6. Director Nominee Introductions
  7. Election of New Board of Directors
  8. Closing Remarks


Director Report

  • Report given by - Glen

Optimistic Start to Year

  • In the first 2 months of 2020, thrift store revenue experienced modest increase vs. 2019.
  • At the same time, given the staff/cost reduction measures that we enacted in Fall 2019, our expenses decreased by 24%


  • In mid-March, as Covid pandemic impacted the globe, we made the decision along with staff to suspend operations.
  • All staff were given the option of a temporary or permanent layoff (i.e. termination of employment).
    • 4 staff chose permanent layoff/immediate payout.
    • 4 staff chose temporary layoff.
    • 1 Staff chose 8 weeks notice.
  • With Free Geek closed, 1 staff on notice took role of 'caretaker' during Mar-May period.
  • One benefit of layoffs: Free Geek reduced financial liability/obligation to staff.
  • Given relaxation of COVID restrictions, temporarily laid off staff returned to work on May 20

Cautious Reopening

  • By-appointment thrift store sales started in early June.
  • Hardware donations started beginning of July.
  • Though revenue is down substantially, with Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), we are cashflow positive.

Looking Forward

  • Most immediate need is to launch an actual online store (there are no current plans to reopen physical thrift store, even post-COVID)
  • CEWS has been extended to July 2021, so we have time on our side.
  • Once online store is in place and revenues stabilize, we'll be in a postition to start focusing on how to increase our community impact - it will be up to the new board to define and shape what that looks like.


  • Volker: how the restucing in 2019 and the reduction in staff affecting operations?
  • Mike: it is in my staff report.
  • Jonathan: In regards to volunteering, will we aspect a return? In regards to the store, what about small items, how is Free geek handling?
  • Mike: it is covered in the staff report.

Staff Report

  • Report given by - Mike


  • Financial was ok.
  • Toxic work environment continued.
  • We won the Greenest City Grant with 3 co partners.


  • Took two weeks to reset up Operations.
  • Store is closed, with no benefit in reopening.
  • Limited Volunteering to skilled volunteer.
  • Dismantle line is permanently closed, As we can recycle whole units at a slightly reduced return.
  • Hardware Grants is closed down for now due to lack of resources.
  • No more OHN, we are using repair cafes instead.
  • We now have COVID compliance rules.



  • We moved the POS to the back, and catalog online and do curbside pickup.
  • We get emails in regards to parts, we are testing and selling parts as they are requested.
  • Fewer customers that need hand holding, and more non profits.
  • Film and TV shows are coming in to buy scrape.


  • Donations we are getting the same volume, we have restricted what we take in.
  • Recycle Drives have have started again with City of Vancouver.
  • Sending more whole units to recycle after pulling the HDD's.
  • We are quarantining the donations as they come in.


  • Laptops concentrating on high value pc's and Mac's.
  • less value laptops we are scraping, however we are selling the scrapped ones to wholesalers.
  • Donation volume is high to much for us to sort through.
  • Desk top is much the same.
  • We are installing Windows on high end gaming computers due to demand.
  • Phones we have good inventory.


  • There good news is we have one, no longer see signs of closing down.
  • Online store will need people to run it.
  • Expand our relationship with our wholesalers.
  • Needs for Qualified volunteer to set up Your Volunteer.


  • Jonathan: Sounds like we are not picking up the same stuff, does stuff go into trash?
  • Mike: Whatever cannot be wholesaled in the warehouse will be recycled anything that we refuse will go to recycle (return it) everything we cant process cost us.
  • Mike we are moving from recycle to reuse.
  • Jonathan: Are you no longer selling other preferells.
  • We are still selling, but it will take time to put into inventory.
  • Emily: With turning away more donations, would there be an issue of people not knowing whether or not their donation will be taken? Are there clear guidelines somewhere stating what hardware is above the “acceptable” bar?
  • We have an updated list on our web site, but we do not send away.
  • David: Have we chosen a online POS?
  • Glen: Yes we have chosen Helcim.
  • Volker: How do you get parts to build new ones?
  • Mike: We will still remove parts that we need from incoming laptops and Desktops even if we are scrapping them.
  • Volker: Are you considering certification of destruction for HDDS?
  • Mike we are considering $10 a piece for wiping HDDs due to the volume we are getting.
  • Michele: At the beginning you mentioned that there was still a Toxic environment, what steps have the staff and the board taken?
  • Mike: This is very common with non profits, wanted to find what Free Geek ment to each person, but then COVID happened, the toxic environment is not longer.
  • Michele: can I get the board perspective?
  • Glen: One of the topics that came up at the last AGM was the Toxic environment and in the two months following the board was unable to resolve the issue, given what happened post COVID the toxic issue was resolved, so the board now moving on needs to be more pro active in fostering a positive workplace, having better hiring practices, find a HR resource for Free Geek, a HR Professional for the Board.
  • Jonathan: Can volunteers ask if they can have computer that are going to be scrapped?
  • Mike: Just because we are keeping it, does not mean we won't take it, we are always going to get old parts. Free geek is still going to be a place to find old parts.
  • Frank: Will there still be an area where unskilled volunteers can make a contribution?
  • Mike: Not soon, not till we have a Volunteer Coordinator as unskilled volunteers need to be supervised.

Director Selection

Candidate Introductions

Candidate List

  1. David Lloyd
  2. Glen Mitchell
  3. Jordan Jones
  4. Krusheska Quirós
  5. Robert Pilkington
  6. Samantha Rousseau


  • Glen: Joined the board in 2018, with the idea of helping with digital marketing, has not done as much in that as he would like as board had to deal with crisis after crisis, and is not the Chair and the Treasurer, and sees a bright future for the board moving forward.
  • David: Have a background of 35 years in business, the last 20 in IT, coming from Maritime transportation, email and data software for ships and parting out operation managing systems to Ports, so comfortable in operation management and senior executive management in IT, now retired.
  • Jordan: working as V.P. for POS systems to restaurent industry, oversees the Hardware repair centre, oversees IT, oversees the Online store, company has had the same COVID issues as Free Geek.
  • Krusheska: last 4 years has been operation manager for digital rights adversity organisation, and a small buisness owner, has been working in different project in the World, has deep sense of technology use to rise the status of people. Working on the digital divide in Technology since COVID, how inclusiveness can be involved in the work of Free Geek as it expands forth into the community. I would like to work with buisness and education authorities to create a symbolic relationship with Free Geek.
  • Robert: Originally joined the board in 2013, then joined the staff, have done many roles sometimes more than one. After getting laid off, offered my services to the board as Secretary, my background is in music, I have a recording studio, I help a couple of music companies with research and quality control, had my own computer repair business in the 90's.
  • Samantha: has been managing E commerce websites for 8 years, in the last three years has worked for Train Travel company, as the user experience manager, redesigning the website and growing direct online revenue, increasing customer satisfaction, moving to a new company that does digital marketing software as a product designer.

Candidate Q&A

  • Jonathan: Are there certain amount of seats?
  • Glen: yes according to our bylaws we have to have between 3 and 9. we have four currently they will step down, and be replaced with the 6 nominees.
  • Michele: are there any particular tasks that the nominees would like to take on, Jordan said he had interterest in HR and fundraising are those skill he would like to bring to Free Geek.
  • Jordan: Yes I would be interest in HR and fundraising.
  • David: has managed groups of staff, would like to help with online sales and grants.
  • Samantha: open to everything, expert is in E commence with online store.
  • Jonathan: Samantha and Krusheska do see yourselves adding a human side to Free Geek.
  • Samantha: its something that interests her but feels its still important to get a person with dedicated HR skillset.


  • Glen: Puts forward the Resolution to elect Board as Proposed?
  • Volker motions that we elect the new board as is.
  • Rob: seconds.
  • Glen: any descenters?
  • Mike: no


  • New Board is voted in as slated.

Closing Remarks

  • Interest in having virtual general meetings in future to discus various initiatives?
  • Glen: please contact me or Robert.