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Board meetings Minutes from 2007-03 Questions?

Hello community,

You will find below a report on the state of the Foundation and at the end of the email, a collection of links on previous reports and announcements.

The board just had a meeting in the WMF office, in Florida. It is actually a bit strange that I report on it, because I actually missed most of the board meeting itself :-)

The board meeting was planned to be on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Except for Jimbo, currently travelling in Japan, all board members were supposed to be there, but I was planned only to get there on friday afternoon.

What happened is that Global Warming caught me in New York, where I got stuck in an ugly ice storm, which cause the airport to close for 24 hours. I will not comment on hotel availabilities in Newark, nor about how Continental Airlines handle their customers in such crisis cases, but I will try to fly through other cities in the future... In any cases, I could only join at the end of Saturday.

During that week, the office was really populated, as it also hosted two other meetings, one dedicated to Quality (might be worthwhile to ask Greg to make a report on this one...), and another meeting of the tech team. Delphine was also in Florida for several days.

Passed resolutions

May be found here: Resolutions#March_2007

Essentially, there were

  • adoption are the license policy
  • approval of hardware purchase
  • approval to hire Bastique
  • approval to have Rob work full time rather than full time, to help in the office
  • approval to hire a legal coordinator

Other discussions

Several other discussions occured on various topics, some of them being confidential (sorry guys).

What can be mentionned probably is this:

  • work on a travel policy (nothing very fancy to report)
  • work on a policy for reimbursement (nothing very fancy to report)
  • further work on license issues (details confidential)
  • study of some collaboration propositions (details confidential)
  • study around brand licensing (not surprisingly since we are in the top of most recognised brands, we get some propositions from branding companies. Brand licensing is probably one of our best assets to collect money for the development of the projects in the future, so we should be careful about what we do on the topic. Brand licensing has also various ramifications, in particular in our relationships with chapters).
  • approval of two new advisory board members
  • discussion about a future CTO or a tech project leader. No conclusion at the moment.

Last, a significant part of the meeting was dedicated to the ED issue. As you are aware probably, the WMF doesnot have any more an executive director. At the same time, we started a search with a company, in order to hire our future ED. The search company voiced concerns about the involvement of the board in executive issues (too high to their opinion) and the difficulties a new ED would meet, due to the confusion between the role of the ED and the role of the board.

Accordingly, the issue of an interim director was discussed (no decision was really made). And we spent Sunday morning in defining a list of tasks that ought to be taken care of, giving to each of them a notion of priority and a notion of importance, and for each of them, defining whether the task should be under the ED role or the board job.

For your information,

Do it soon and is important

  • Coordinate legal activities (ED)
  • Job description for all (ED)
  • Personnel needs (ED)

Do it soon (but not necessarily very important)

  • Data Gathering (ED)
  • Fundraising Planning (ED)
  • Board Skills and Expansion and Election (board)
  • Short term budget (COO)
  • Wikimania Finances (ED)
  • Tech stuff in office (ED)

Important (but not necessarily to do immediately)

  • Brand Strategy (board)
  • Business Development Strategy (board)
  • Technical Management (ED)

Followed many other points, with less support either as important or as urgent (but not entirely non important nor not urgent at all, I just listed the MOST important and/or urgent from our perspective).

Note that looking for an ED is not even listed above - I guess it was so important and urgent that we even forgot to mention it :-)

As I was explaining, we have no ED. Which means that the points listed above as ED issues will either be left unfixed until we have one, or will have to be dealt with by someone else (undefined). We might make an exception and hire a legal coordinator, because this is a critical issue.


Florence Devouard