GIAC Annual Membership Meeting - June 10, 1997 Conference Room, Greenbelt Police Station M E E T I N G M I N U T E S
PRELIMINARIES Members Present: Doug Love, Matt Elliott, Greg Meyer, Neil McLeod, Steven Harper, Dorian Winterfeld, Anne Andersen, Christina Kavanagh, Jim Bates, Ed James, Jim Heagy, Chris Morris, Dan Macy, Patty Merryman, Nancy Revis Voting Cards were passed out to members as they arrived and signed in. At 7:03 Dan Macy recognized that the 10 members present more than met the requirement of 5% of the total membership (currently 50 members) for a quorum and called his last meeting to order. The Treasurer reported that we are in the black, and are pennies away from having a share value of $50. We earn $2 per member per month, several dollars from each shirt sold, and $12 for every member that joins in the first 2 weeks of the month. There is now no fee on our checking account, and we should consider investing in an interest-bearing account. Dan noted that the original Board had 7 members, but the bylaws were amended so that 2 more members were added. There are 9 positions with 8 filled. It is not clear which board members were elected for 1 year terms. We have 4 volunteers: Dan Macy, Laila Zaghal, Ed James, and Neil McLeod. Neil did not resign at this time, giving us 4 positions to fill. BOARD NOMINEE STATEMENTS The following nominations had been made previously: Chris Morris, Jim Heagy, Greg Meyer, Dorian Winterfeld, and Bill Dupree. Dorian and Bill were not present, and Bill had not been contacted to determine his interest in running. His name was dropped from nomination. Neil nominated Nancy Revis. Dan then asked each candidate to make a statement. Jim Heagy had no speech prepared, but is willing to be secretary. He would like to see GIAC succeed, and get new members and an air-conditioned meeting place. Greg Meyer is interested in being Vice President because he likes the training aspect. He plans to teach some of the classes. He is willing to be president, but does not feel as involved as a president ought to be. He wants to get closer to the members and understand their needs. He has read the bylaws and needs close sessions with the exiting officers. He will continue their intent if he agrees with it. Since this organization is totally voluntary, we will have to make it easy to volunteer. It is crucial that what we do has to be documented. We need plug-and-play volunteers. Chris Morris is a CPA, familiar with business operations and financial reports. He knows how finances should be handled. He is new to the Internet, but can help the group understand funding. Nancy Revis is brand new to the Internet. This is her first meeting. She had no prepared speech, but is excited about this. She just graduated from the University of Maryland after attending classes for 19 1/2 years. For her last class she had to do a webpage, and built one for the Greenbelt Community Church, which will be posted in the next few days. Some members are going overseas, and will be able to keep in contact. Matt added that her pastor just signed up for our next class. Dorian Winterfeld arrived just in time to make a statement. He wants to help out, but has no overwhelming need to be on the Board. He will be responsible for the GIAC Page. CONTEST WINNER / OTHER BUSINESS At this time, with 16 present, members put candidates' initials on the back of their voting cards. Neil took them to count. Before counting ballots, he and Patty announced the winners of the contest. The contest was to supply the maximum number of new community websites between March 10 and June 1. First prize is a 12 month subscription to GIAC, Second Prize is a 6 month subscription, and 3rd prize is a 3 month subscription. There was only one official entry, Matt Elliott, who contributed 177 airline sites. He won the first prize, and the second and third prizes were withdrawn by the grantors. While votes were being counted, Dan asked for other business. Matt mentioned the software and web design conference being held at the end of September. He also passed out his outline for a basic class that Honore' will teach. He asked for Staples Coupons for free copies, and suggested moderately advanced classes on FTP and Telnet. Nancy Revis stated that some interested people don't even know how to turn on a computer, and are embarrassed to admit it. She said we need to do a really basic class for them sometime. PROFIT OR NONPROFIT? Dan stated that there is another issue to think about: Are we committed to going nonprofit? He asked Chris to discuss the difference between profit and nonprofit status. Chris or Neil noted that we paid $16 in federal and state taxes per year. The primary benefit of nonprofit status is in obtaining grants. Government surplus goes first to charitable groups. We should qualify as an educational organization. We will have to amend the bylaws, possibly eliminating the refundable membership fee. Dan's preference is that everyone donate the fee. Others can quit and get their $50 back, and rejoin later when there is no fee. 3 people are waiting for their shares to reach $50 so they can collect. Chris added that bulk mailing privileges may be useful in the future. Jim Heagy asked if there isn't a middle not-for-profit status. Chris said it was just nomenclature. Dan said there are different tax categories. A 501 C3 qualifies as an educational organization. Neil said that nonprofit status would be advantageous to our participating in Labor Day and other city functions. We could save registration fees for tables. James Bates asked if enough people pull out, would it cancel the organization? Neil said that we have reserves to cover any pullouts. We have a fixed overhead of $30/month. Chris explained that "you can't own a nonprofit entity". Dorian asked about making the fee $25 to attract new members. Dan concluded that there are 3 parameters to be decided upon: 1) do away with the fee; 2) change the fee to a different amount; 3) keep or distribute the current reserves. He also noted that to be a viable corporation, we should have at least $1000 in the bank. Chris said don't worry about it. Dan countered the concern that individual members might be liable in a lawsuit: This is minuscule at best. Courts are very unlikely to "Pierce the Corporate Shield". Dorian asked what would happen if we return the $50 and not have it in the future. Neil said that we could stay afloat. Dorian then asked if we could vote on it. Dan stated that he is inclined to not do it tonight. The new board needs to work through the parameters and issues, then call a special membership meeting with proper notice for discussion of it. Jim Heagy said that it fits in with the earlier suggestion to get to better know the membership. He also wondered whether the $50 was keeping other potential members away? ISP ISSUES Dorian asked if we had any progress on getting a local exchange. Neil answered that with 3 local numbers, DSI serves this area. The 2 Ellicott City numbers go all the way to Baltimore. Our agreement is that we don't use these numbers if we can reach the 703 number. Dorian countered that we are now going through 2 exchanges. Matt said that there is a committee working on it. Anne reminded the new Board that she is not online yet, and hasn't learned how to use the library computer yet. Neil responded that the library computer cannot support multiple mailboxes yet. Matt also reminded us that the Gallery is looking for photos that are distinctly Greenbelt. The lake counts, tulips don't. ELECTION RESULTS Jim Bates and Neil McLeod counted the votes. Neil then announced those that have been elected to the Board: Chris Morris, Jim Heagy, Greg Meyer and Nancy Revis. The voting cards and election results will be available for reference in the GIAC PRESIDENT'S CLOSING REMARKS Dan then gave his closing remarks. This past year has been a roller-coaster ride. It has been a lot of fun. A tremendous amount of work was done mostly by a core group. It's pretty amazing to me what's happened. At first I had doubts. I said to myself, "why bother?" I now know why. Greenbelt.COM serves a very viable function in this community. We are probably the most technologically advanced group in town. We are helping other people, and this is phenomenal. It makes us distinct from others. I need to make a discourse on the internet. It is not a place for sniping. Words used here have impact. One of Covey's rules is, "Don't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't say to his face". This is a volatile organization. It will not survive if members don't feel a part of it. It needs to maintain cohesion or it won't survive. It may continue, but not with the force it could have. When sending something, think if you would say it to his face. Will it further the organization? There are shortcomings in all of us. I would like to thank each member. Working with all of you has been a great pleasure. After general applause, the membership meeting was adjourned. Matt chaired the board meeting, and Jim Heagy took over as secretary (although not yet elected to the post). Jim Heagy, Acting Secretary June 1997 [CLOSE WINDOW TO GO BACK]