Usona Esperantisto № 2021:4 (jul–aŭg)

Board Meeting, July 10th, 2021

Lasta ĝisdatigo: 2021-09-01


  • Filipo Dorcas
  • Alekso Miller
  • David Beck
  • Charlotte Burton
  • Jane Shevtsov
  • Tim Boronczyk

Ĉeestas sen voĉdonrajtoj

  • Vilĉjo Harris

The meeting is called to order. The president reads Esperanto-USA’s mission statement and declares a quorum. No changes are proposed to the agenda. Per board procedures, minutes of the previous meetings, including meetings during the Landa Kongreso, were approved. Board procedure is that minutes are posted immediately to a shared Google Drive folder, accessible by all board members. Changes must be suggested within 3 days after a meeting, and any disagreements with the minutes be taken up within a week. If there are no protests, the minutes are automatically approved.

Report from CO

The CO has received an offer to purchase some land we own near El Paso, Texas. This land was willed to Esperanto-USA some years ago, but it has long been determined to be unusable. It is in the middle of the desert, and it is not even possible to access the land without trespassing on other people’s land, and the land is not accessible by any roads. The buyer has proposed paying any and all back taxes that are due on the land. The board has voted to approve the sale of this land (Appendix B). Tim B. proposes that the money from the sale go into the general fund. Jane seconds. Unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report

The new treasurer has been working to contact the previous treasurer and will be working with the previous treasurer and the director of the Central Office to better understand the tasks at hand and which pieces of information are the most relevant to these meetings. The board reviews together the second quarter statement of fund activity and investment report and works to clarify our current financial situation for our new board members.

President’s Report

See Appendix A.

Board Communications

Action Item: Bill Harris will be creating a new email list via for the board, as the current list is causing some technical issues. There is a discussion of whether this would allow an easy mailing list to be created for each of our various committees. It seems that this might require a paid membership, though, so the board and the CO will continue to research and test out a free plan in the meantime.

Board Accountability

We have options for holding ourselves and each other accountable, tracking our tasks, etc., via Slack. We could also choose to use another program, such as Trello or Jira. The board previously had been using Trello. Discussion arises of how to ensure that whatever program we use is, in fact, being used. For example, Trello can be integrated with Slack. Alex suggests just adding a #tasks channel in Slack. Bill suggests that the Board Accountability item on the agenda is about coming up with a list of what tasks Esperanto-USA is currently working on, and who would be one contact person for any questions regarding that task. Jane and Alex suggest that a Google Sheets spreadsheet could work for coming up with a list of what all we are doing, and who is in charge of what.

The meeting is declared adjourned, and conversations on these topics will continue on Slack.

Appendix A - President’s Report

  1. Fred Meyer is not attending the board meeting today because of a conflicting family event. I have forwarded the obituary to board members regarding the passing of Susan, Fred’s wife, on July 11, 2020.

  2. Hoss has also excused himself from the board meeting due to a conflicting event.

  3. Tim Rice has excused himself due to vehicle issues.

  4. Huge Kudos for all who helped with the LK.

    1. Alekso Miller and team are working on videos in priority order.
    2. LK had a variety of meeting topics.
    3. Well attended with appreciative feedback.
    4. Registrations: 251 from 14 countries.
    5. We didn’t announce it well to international channels [eventa servo, UEA email lists]
  5. The community groups held a lot of interest at the LK. That remains a foremost plan, which we will attack in the coming days.

  6. The proposal regarding the sale of land near El Paso, Texas, passed with eight positive votes. The voting took place in the Slack channel “board-voting-official” according to the approved rules for board voting.

    1. What is the appraised value?
    2. What are the annual taxes?
    3. When were taxes last paid?
  7. We welcome Jane Shevtsov and David Beck to the board. We welcome back Tim Boronczyk, who was reelected.

  8. The nominating committee is set. It is led by Jorge Rafael Nogueras (Rafa). The other four committee members are Myrtis Smith, Amanda Higley, Brandon Sowers, and Marcus Griep. Also, Bobby Brooks is on the committee as an alternate. He will meet with the committee but will not have a voice in the decisions.

  9. Hoss is preparing a bi-weekly newsletter which Bill Harris sends out to all members. This is a benefit to members. This will take the place of the weekly or bi-weekly letter that I was planning to send out to members. The Bi-weekly Update is a collection of announcements which will eventually be published in each edition of Usona Esperantisto.

  10. Hoss will also send the announcements to Quintyn Bobb for Radaro, which is now issued monthly. Quintyn Bobb is the only volunteer currently working to keep Radaro as an effective communication tool. Radaro is not an official part of Esperanto USA, and is published on the web with email notices sent to the subscribers. There are currently about 75 subscribers.

  11. I am not content with small steps of improvement. We are a transformed board making vast changes to support and enable new, jaw-dropping initiatives.

    1. Community Groups
    2. Video Contests
    3. Finance / Resource Committee
    4. A Real membership campaign offering real member benefits.

Many of our initiatives have overlapping activities.

  1. We need to consider using tools effectively to track assignments effectively. We need to be aware of our responsibilities. We need to hold ourselves accountable. Many of us do this well. I will try to do better.

  2. Tools for internal Communication / collaboration

    1. Asana?
    2. Trello?
    3. Confluence / Jira?
    4. Other?
  3. Tools for Fundraising / member communications

    1. Donor Perfect
    2. Salesforce
    3. Other?
  4. Better relations with ESF

    1. Easier grant format. They now request no detail beyond summary information.
    2. They are eager to fund video contests.
    3. They will plan their 2022 budget in September.
    4. They want to meet with us in August.
    5. They can meet with board members or with members of a new Finance and Resource Committee. It doesn’t have to be me.
    6. They seem to want to repair the relationship.
    7. The grant does not have to be for a matching donation campaign. It can be for simple input of cash for specified projects.
    8. The proceeds should be for projects, and not for support of our General Fund.
    9. Their wish for a matching donation campaign in 2019 and 2020 was “to teach Esperanto USA how to manage a financial campaign.” I think we can do this with our current leadership, a new Resource team, and an appropriate CRM-Fundraising tools.
  5. Ideas for grant request from ESF

    1. Two video contests
    2. Support for going to Montreal in 2022
    3. Cost of CRM – Fundraising software
    4. Another contest.
    5. Updated promotional materials.
    6. Other?
  6. Practices for board members

    1. When we are all on board with exciting goals, it is easy to pay attention. We need to encourage one another in more frequent communications to stay up to date with:

      1. Topics in Slack
      2. Topics in Discord
      3. Assigned duties, accepted responsibilities
    2. Timeline / Roadmap activities

      1. Week prior to board meeting

        1. Look at the proposed agenda
        2. Recommend changes or additions to the agenda
        3. Prepare reports and send to board members by Thursday
        4. Look at the received financial reports and other received reports.
      2. Week after board meeting

        1. Update list of assigned tasks
        2. Work on assigned tasks, not procrastinating.
  7. We need:

    1. Long term goals with a roadmap
    2. Support for the UK in Montreal in 2022.
  8. I am so encouraged and blessed with the friends on the board. We are so kind and respectful to one another. I have been in other organizations, even president or chairman of the board, where this was not the case. We listen to one another. We give thought. We think outside the box. We make progress. Thank you.

Appendix B (Slack log)

Alekso Miller: I move that the board sell our parcel of unused land in El Paso, Texas to LandXperte Investment Group for the amount they have offered us of $3001.47 as quickly as possible. They have agreed to pay any outstanding property taxes within reason and the sooner we sell it, the more within reason those property taxes will be.

Charlotte: I second.

Hoss: Yes.

Filipo: Yes.

David: Yes.

Fred Meyer: Yes

Tim Rice: Yes

Alekso Miller: Yes

Filipo: I call for the vote. :-)

Timoteo B: I vote jes

Charlotte: I vote yes.

Filipo: The proposal passes with eight yes votes and two abstentions.