Directors Meeting - 2016-04-27

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Directors meeting minutes for Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 6:30pm
Previous: Directors Meeting - 2016-03-22 | Next: Directors Meeting - 2016-05-24



  • Rex B
  • Nigel C
  • Michael D
  • Caelin M
  • Chenessa M


  • Nigel C


  • Michael D


  1. Financials
  2. Marketing
  3. Hiring New Warehouse Manager
  4. Replacing Network Admin
  5. April Joint Board/staff Meeting Results



  • Nigel:
    • In first 3 months of the year, we have $34k more than the same period last year. March sales have doubled. Great improvement in morale and attitude in the store.
    • We are not on track for recycling according to the budget. We’ve only received $1500 for recycling so far this year. At the same point last year, we had almost $20k in recycling. We are still waiting on several cheques, contributing to the lack of recycling income. Another factor is the diminishing prices of metals, which is further compounded because it means some recyclers don’t even pay for certain materials anymore.
    • We're not spending as much as we thought we would. Lots of discretionary spending left.
    • The next stage of my plan is to talk directly to large corporations.
    • I would like to have tandem vectors to approach this, where we receive a large number of computers from corporations, and then request grants to recycle those computers.
  • Michael: What are the overall trends for incoming E-waste?
  • Nigel: Not sure at the moment. I believe we don’t tally the incoming donations anymore.
  • Michael: This is news to me. I will look into this.


Who What When
Michael D Commit: Look into incoming donation tallying, find out donation trends. April 27th


  • Caelin:
    • Posters are up. We're not completely sure where they all are. A couple have been spotted at their intended locations, others not.
    • Went to Strathcona E-waste drive last week. We didn't have much to bring with us. Michael G and I couldn't find much on premises to bring. We should really make some more material to bring with us to events. I think the biggest priority would be a sign. Do we have a reasonable amount to budget?
  • Chenessa: There is an East Van org that can make an X-banner for $200.
  • Michael: There is the outreach box in the office, made for events.
  • Nigel: Just make sure the message isn't at the bottom of the banner.
  • Michael: Just an idea: could we drive around alleys, look for E-waste, pick it up, and knock on the owner’s door to talk to them about E-waste?
  • Rex: We would definitely need to make sure there’s enough E-waste in the first place. We would need to drive around town to find spots.
  • Nigel: We don’t want to alienate people (c.f. Jehovah’s Witnesses).
  • Caelin: I think people being unable to get pickups is a big factor in why people dump their E-waste in the alley. We wouldn’t really be offering a service, if it’s a one-time thing.

Hiring New Warehouse Manager

  • Nigel: Chenessa, Michael G, and I are going over the job description for the ad posting.
  • Chenessa: The posting needs a preamble added to go over the soft skills necessary and an overall description of the job. I will talk to Michael G to get a good sense of this.
  • Nigel: Need to get it sooner than later. I want the posting up by the weekend.
  • Rex: I will help write/format the ad for online.
  • Michael: I think we should defer to Chenessa's expertise for this and put her in charge.
  • Nigel: She’s the queen bee for this.

Hiring New Network Admin

  • Michael: I have heard no progress so far with regards to replacing Tyler or addressing the gaps we will encounter with his resignation. Our timeline is shortening. Has anybody had any progress? Or anything to report?
  • Nigel: I have set us up with TechSoup, so if we want we can easily get set up with Google Drive and emails, if necessary.
  • Michael:
    • I don’t think switching email providers is going to solve much of our network difficulty, overall. I can only recall once when the email server itself was having issues.
    • The bigger issue we need to tackle with regards to hiring is software development, unless we plan on moving everything over to outside software.
  • Rex: We don’t have consensus from staff to hire someone at a higher pay grade, which might be necessary.
  • Michael: I commit to heading a committee (although I would prefer Chenessa’s help) to start addressing this.


Who What When
Michael D Commit: Head a committee to solve systems problems caused by Tyler’s absence. Now

April Joint Board/Staff Meeting Results

  • Michael: We had a good meeting. The staff were very concerned with our communication of our goals. They felt we weren’t letting them in on everything. Two examples: HR director involvement with hiring, and outward branding lockdown. The take-away for the directors is: the HR director is responsible for seeing hires through, and the staff want quarterly board-staff meetings and branding guidelines.
  • Chenessa: We established that if the staff wanted a new hire, they would need to indicate it to me, receive funding approval, and submit an application to the board. I would be responsible to see it through.
  • Nigel: I want to make clear what I said: when staff order or produce additional merchandise or material, no changes should be made without first going through the marketing department (Caelin and Nigel).
  • Caelin: Our graphic designer has two jobs and is busy all the time. I don't want to overwhelm her by having staff contact her directly. We need to have it go through us.
  • Michael: This makes it very difficult for in-house material. All of our build sheets have Free Geek branding, and they are constantly being updated. The staff also can’t predict when urgent material will be needed.
  • Nigel: I only want control over publicity and marketing. We need to decide what is “outward” and what isn't. I also don't want to add more bureaucracy to staff's operations.
  • Caelin: What if we allow changes when it’s just to the content of the material?
  • Chenessa: That’s what the branding guidelines are for. You specify the typefaces, the sizes, the colours, the logo, etc. We can't realistically expect the board to remain the same people forever, so a branding guideline/template will protect us during transitions and will be very helpful in allowing staff to make changes to documents.
  • Caelin: I don't necessarily want to be in charge of all changes to material, but I want at least some group to look over it and make decisions, instead of individuals.
  • Nigel: I will write something to the tune of some basic guidelines for marketing/documentation.
  • Chenessa: Going into the meeting we had, I wasn't sure how useful it would be, but once the discussion began I found it was extremely helpful to get feedback from the staff. And it was really hard for us to communicate on behalf of other directors. I feel that it would be really helpful to have all the directors present at these meetings, but, since not all staff always feel they need to be heard, only a certain portion of the staff would be necessary (although all are invited).
  • Caelin: I think we could make quarterly meetings work. It might be easy to make it work for the staff, to hold it after hours, since they're all there already.
  • Michael: I commit to talking to Michele/Karen about quarterly meetings.
  • Nigel: It would be very appreciated if they can give us at least a month's heads up.
  • Michael: I think 2 months in advance is plausible.
  • Caelin: A lot of buffer time between the day we book it and hold it would be especially helpful to me, because of my schedule.


Who What When
Nigel C Commit: Work on basic branding guidelines for staff. ASAP
Michael D Commit: Talk to staff to organise quarterly board/staff meetings. April 27th

Closing Remarks

Proposed Date for Next Meeting

  • Mid-May