Directors Meeting - 2017-01-26

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Directors meeting minutes for January 26th, 2017 at 6:30pm
Previous: Directors Meeting - 2016-12-15 | Next: Directors Meeting - 2017-02-16

Minutes of the Free Geek Vancouver Directors' meeting held on Thursday January 26th, 2017, 6:30pm at the Free Geek Vancouver Facility

Call To Order

Meeting commenced at 6:45, Jonathan facilitating and taking minutes


Nigel Cornwell (Pres), George Rosenberg (Marketing), Cori Peterson (Volunteers), Jonathan Marks (Sec),


Rex Brocki (VP), Cindy Liu (Treas)

Staff Guests

Athenaise Geurtin, Brian Dick, Jay Rajartnam, Michele White, Mike Frost,

Previous Minutes

Minutes of previous meeting December 15th, 2016 were adopted unanimously without changes

Staff Plan

Presented by Athenaise with support from Michele, Brian and Jay. Notes from staff as an addendum for the record.

  1. Longer Store Hours: Staff presented a cashflow analysis showing that if nothing changes there is a good chance the FGV will run out of money within months. Staff proposed an interim initiative to keep the shop open longer hours with all staff helping out as a way to improve cash flow. Initiative to start on Feb 6th. The Board is supportive and appreciative of the staff efforts. Nigel offered to work with Computers For Schools to ensure we have sufficient high quality stock to sell through the store.
  2. Advertising: Pursue social media strategically. Ask members to subscribe to a "blast list" and to follow FGV on twitter, Facebook and other media. We could ask members to help us to increase sales by forwarding, retweeting and reposting FGV social media messages
  3. Grant Writing: Athenaise, Nigel are involved in grant writing. Most grants are between $35K to 100K for projects, with the lower valued grants easier to get.
  4. Crowdfunding: Indigo/Kickstarter: These sites require require snappy videos to appeal and attract funding. Athenaise to contact Linus Ting - the person who did our "Little Shop of Tech Horrors" videos.
  5. Board Social Media Liaison: Cori has taken on this role.
  6. Relationship with NCIX: Nigel to work with Athenaise to re-establish this relationship.

While we are in this situation it was agreed to monitor and update the company cash flow reporting on a weekly basis. It was also decided to move the GIC funds to the chequing account as needed.

A discussion followed about the benefits of including the Restricted Extras in Ubuntu releases.

Motion: To accept the proposed interim initiatives and further efforts by the staff to resolve the cash-flow situation, and to acknowledge and give a vote of appreciation to the staff for their efforts. Proposed: Jonathan, Second: George, Unanimous. Staff were excused from the meeting.

Matters Arising from Previous Minutes

Marketing Strategy Progess

  • Made contact with some business associations - some are keen, others not, for example:
    • College of Doctors - not keen, concerns about data security on hard-drives.
    • Real Estate Board - keen -fits in their green program.

Meeting with Mills Basics

We get a $3K credit from Mills. Logistics for E-waste pickup in process. Should be in place by next meeting.

HR Contract clean up

Kelly is putting the finishing touches to the the generic contract with staff input. Should be resolved by end January. No progress yet on Staff Review process by Jonathan Jonathan to investigate what the staff review policy is in the new year.

Zero Waste Council

Staff (Michael) are okay with FGV affiliating with the Zero Waste Council. Nigel to proceed.

Laptop Art Project

The project, being led on FGV's side by Nigel is set to commence this month.

Financial Report

Preliminary YE numbers are in process. FGV lost $39K in 2016. Cindy to circulate YE financial reports and 2017 budget as soon as they are ready.

New Business

Crowd funding: is seen as a viable adjunct to donations and applying for grants. George to be involved with Cori and staff in crowd funding efforts.

Internal Ted Talk: Cori floated the idea of hosting an Internal Ted Talk. The idea sounds interesting and the board is interested in hearing more information about how we can do it.

Move to Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 8:450pm, next meeting is on Thurs, February 16th, 6:30pm at FGV's facility.

Addendum: Staff Notes

  • Nigel asked Cindy to request weekly reports from Michele & Karen about sales and expenses, so she can keep balance of where we are financially from week to week.
  • Athenaise asks Nigel to move $20,000 GIC into our bank account. He responded that he would be able to do so with a phone call.
  • Our current finances are: $9000 cash, $20,000 GIC, access to $10,000 overdraft.
  • Karen will deposit money from the safe on Monday to ensure we can pay rent.
  • Michele presents new store schedule. Nigel is optimistic about the plan.
  • Staff recommends using social media to advertise the store. Nigel requests that she speak to him first.
  • Nigel recommends messaging volunteers directly, through the email they have on FGDB, or through social media.
  • Jay suggests that we document everything we're doing to try and keep Free Geek afloat. The Board recommends we be cautious about what we disclose to the public: do not want to portray Free Geek as a sinking ship.
  • Athenaise has been writing grants and discussing them with Nigel. Process is going well.
  • Athenaise recommends we try crowdsourcing to get more funds. She has contacted Linus to see about having him produce a video we can use, but hasn't received a response.
  • Cori volunteers to train staff and Directors on how to use social media sites, so they can help contribute.
  • Athenaise mentions we used to have an agreement with NCIX to pick up their scrap. Nigel is familiar with that agreement, and will look into renewing it.