[Foundation-l] Report on board meeting in Florida

Florence Devouard anthere at anthere.org
Fri Mar 30 22:35:53 UTC 2007

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

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 
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: 

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


(thoughts on staff issues)
(Bastique as volunteer coordinator)
(Announcement concerning the ED search firm)
(explanation of the differences between CEO, COO and Board)

(Brad moving to GC job)
(Announcement of Carolyn becoming COO)
(4 wishes for year 2007... including reorganisation and financial
(Welcome to Sandy)
(Welcome to chapter coordinator)

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