Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Corportation Day

Today was the 3-times-a-year SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. Lisa sat with me for the meeting (we called in via Zoom conferencing; the physical meeting was in Sunnyvale, and one other director attended remotely as well) because of Westercon 74. Besides my other responsibilities, I am Secretary of the SFSFC board of directors.

As SFSFC meetings go, this one was relatively routine. SMOFCon 36 (last year in Santa Rosa) reported that they'd wound up all of their affairs and asked to be discharged as a standing committee, which we did. That means SMOFCon 36 is completely done and what remains of its assets (there are no more liabilities, i.e. bills) are transferred to the SFSFC general fund. In fact, it turned out that it was relatively easy for Bruce Farr (Chair of SMOFCon 36 and Treasurer of Westercon 74) to have the bank rename the account for Westercon 74, so we didn't have to close one account and open another. This does mean that there's some SFSFC corporate money sitting in Westercon 74's bank account, but this is not a big deal because it's all properly accounted for.

CostumeCon 39 made their report. They're happening in 2021 as well, just a few months before Westercon, and they and Westercon 74 are having to cooperate with each other for the optimal use of the corporation's resources. We have to be careful not to try and step on each other's toes. I'm a volunteer with CC39 myself, running CostumeCon site selection as I did the last time the convention was in the Bay Area. Our two conventions will also share fan tables, which means we expect to be able to have a presence at more conventions jointly than we would have individually. For example, Westercon 74 has applied for a fan table at next year's Norwescon at which we'll also have CC39 information, and we'll also be sharing a table at Loscon over Thanksgiving Weekend in Los Angeles.

Then it was time for Westercon 74's report, which I did, but it's tricky for me to take meeting notes while also giving a report to the Board. Fortunately, most of what I had to say was already before the Board in a written report I sent a few days ago. I mostly filled them in on our plans for the near future, including the plan for Lisa and me to spend a couple of days in Tonopah on the drive home from Albuquerque, and to go measure the Tonopah Convention Center to get accurate room dimensions and to test how the wi-fi works. Expect us to have more pictures after that weekend.

SFSFC directors serve three-year terms, with one-third of the board elected each year at the November meeting. This year, the incumbent directors were re-elected for an another three-year term each. That happens a lot, but not all of the time. Some people decide to drop out, and yes, sometimes a director standing for another term is not returned to office.

After the main meeting, we held a short meeting to elect officers for the following year. (Because every director in the "new" board for 2020 was present or represented by proxy, we could hold the meeting immediately instead of having to send out new meeting notices. As is very common with SFSFC, there was only one candidate for each office (the four of us incumbents), and therefore we could therefore just re-elect everyone at one go by unanimous consent. Consequently, the "meeting of directors and directors-elect" lasted only two minutes. (That's why we prefer to hold it immediately following the regular meeting; organizing a special meeting that lasts less than five minutes is a pain in the neck otherwise.

After my part of the Westercon 74 report, Lisa also spoke about the Hospitality portion of the convention, which will the largest single part of Tonopah's Westercon. Thanks to the very economical rent that Tonopah charges for the building, we'll be spending more on Hospitality than on facility rental, which is quite rare for events that have to rent a facility. Or to put it another way, Westercon 74 expects to spend a much larger percentage of the members' dues on the members themselves than most Westercons can afford to spend. Lisa spoke about how we want to make food safety and cleanliness a priority. Most con suites and convention parties are held under relatively hit-or-miss conditions in hotel rooms or suites. We have the major advantage of having a professional-grade prep kitchen as part of our facility, including refrigerators, warming ovens ("reverse refrigerators"), a commercial dishwashing machine, and multiple sinks and access to cleaning supplies. We're planning for groups holding parties to use part of the convention's main hall along with our own convention hospitality, including the kitchen and bar. Lisa says that we want to take advantage of that to keep it clean and to reduce "con crud" to a minimum while still having a good time.

As it happens, I typically can get all of the required post-meeting work done much more quickly when I attend remotely than when I'm at the meeting in person. It generally takes me several hours to pull all of the reports and my meeting notes into draft minutes, so it's faster if I just dig into doing that as soon as the meeting is over. Also, there are usually website updates I need to do as part of the instructions from the Board meeting (the corporate Secretary is generally responsible for keeping the website updated). Late this afternoon, I sent out the drafts of the two meetings' minutes to the Board members. When I attend in person, it can sometimes take me a week or more before I have the time to do the minutes. Once the directors have had a chance to review the minutes, and assuming no changes, the minutes will get posted on the SFSFC website. I've already told people that the posting won't happen until we get back from Albuquerque, but that's faster than the previous meeting, where the minutes were approved, but I forgot to post them until just a few days ago. (Nobody noticed, or if they did, they didn't tell me about it.)
Tags: costumecon, lisa, sfsfc, smofcon, westercon

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