Regular Meeting -- September 20, 2015
The Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 2:30 pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting: President Kathy Lee, Vice President Tamara Vogt, Treasurer Penny Chambers (by phone), and Lesleigh Ellinger. Robert McGarey (Secretary and Executive Director) and Fritz Vogt were also present at the meeting.
The Mission Statement was read aloud at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes from the previous meeting were read aloud and approved as read.
Volunteers. Ashley Blinkhorn, the wonderful new Executive Assistant, broke her foot again and appears to be gone for good. She was poised to get HPC onto Groupon and with her loss; it looks like January is the earliest that we could get some of the HPC workshops onto Groupon.
Getting good volunteers and getting them to stay is still a huge issue. The 15 high school students slated to do garden work on Saturday did not show up, so Lee and Bob did as much as they could in their stead.
Kathy said the high school near her has honors students who need to put in volunteer hours and that she could present particular jobs to the principal to see if some of their departments would volunteer for us. She also volunteered to take over contacting the volunteers ahead of their scheduled times to hopefully ensure a better turn-out. She has noticed that the Austin Eco-Village seems to always have a full parking lot of their work days and she wants to watch what they do to see how they are able to consistently get large volunteer turn-out.
Bob brought up that we really need a volunteer coordinator. Ash has been doing it but is not here often. Maybe with Kathy's help we can get better results. John suggested that we utilize other students at these schools to help organize their peers for projects.
Finances. Bob announced that the 990's were done on time, though incorrect due to the problems with accounting at the Bingo Hall. The accountant developed Alzheimer's and died, and they are having to go back and re-check all of his work for the last few years.
Bob passed around current financials showing that profits have been slim the first part of 2015. The Center is paid up for the current month on bills, and has about 4000.00 total in monies on hand at this time.Most of the shortfall is due to lack of monies from the rental of the garage apartment until the new renters moved in, as well as multiple repairs and the purchase of a much-needed mower and edger for the property. Also, Bob has just taken his first vacation in 10 years and was gone for almost 18 days, since this is a traditionally slow time of year.
Tamara suggested that Bob do holiday workshops since this is also a slow time of year for the Center; and that these could be offered thru Groupon as well. Bob said that the Center has had trouble attracting new members ever since New Texas folded.
The Book. Bob brought up "The Book" and how it talks about tapping into the energy of bottom up; in the past the Center has been maybe too much top down. So how do we tap into this? Bob read through a list of projects that might be starting points: solar panels, installing the hot tub. insulating the art barn, improvements to the cottage and garage apartment, road trip to Big Bend or elsewhere, rain water catchment.
Bob's idea is to take a percentage of the profit of the Center each month to go to whatever project we were currently working on. Members could come up with the ideas and vote on them, and that would be our current project. Maybe it would offer an incentive to members to get their friends to come to a workshop, knowing those monies would be used towards our next project.
Lia talked about how what she got out of the book is the importance of connection and bonding in groups, and how she has been working on creating this at the Center by sending out the birthday cards to each member, but wants to see more of this at the HPC. She wants to have monthly potlucks with the Board and the tenants as a way to help the tenants plug in to what we do at the Center. We discussed when to do these and how. First one will be Oct. 16th.
Ideapalooza.We decided to hold an Ideapalooza: an All Members, All Hands-On Deck Annual Meeting in Oct. while Penny is in town on Oct 4th. Bob told the Board that he had too much on his plate and that the rest of us needed to make this happen. Lesleigh agreed to plan the Ideapalooza and get help where needed.
Someone asked if we could put a time limit on getting rid of the bed in the Art Barn and doing something with the hot tub. Marilyn from ATEN is supposed to be selling the bed on Craigslist. Board agreed time limits on getting rid of stuff was a good idea.
Since there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at around 4:30 pm.
Minutes submitted by Robert McGarey, Secretary, September 20, 2015.