[Foundation-l] Fwd: [WMF Staff] Happy New Year (LONG update note)

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Fri Jan 11 08:38:17 UTC 2008


for those who are interested, a longer update from Sue on various
operational issues. I've posted the attached org chart to:

Staff reports are coming in again now with some increased regularity;
as we fine-tune the process, I hope we'll be able to post an
aggregated report to foundation-l (and/or a Foundation blog) at least
once or twice a month.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org>
Date: Jan 11, 2008 4:11 AM
Subject: [WMF Staff] Happy New Year (LONG update note)
To: WMF Staff Mailing List <staff at lists.wikimedia.org>

Hi folks, and happy new year,

Because we've been so dispersed, it's been really tough keeping everyone
in the loop on what's going on. Hence, this big e-mail. There is a whole
bunch of information below, broken into subcategories. Feel free to
share it with anyone you like - it's not confidential.

Also: attached, the "immediate future" final org chart: this is what the
Foundation staff will look like once the current wave of hiring is
complete - say, by March.

Lastly – please do read (or at least skip) to the end; there's a bunch
of 'to do' stuff there.



* We've taken possession of the San Francisco office, but won't move in
for at least another week. Hence, the San Francisco people are currently
working from home. More on the new office below.

* Currently in San Francisco:
- Cheryl Steffen: New, my assistant, started in December;
- Erica Ortega: New, office manager, started in December;
- Brion Vibber: The Foundation's first employee and our CTO, relocated
to SF from St. Petersburg just before Christmas;
- Cary Bass: Volunteer coordinator, relocated from St Petersburg about a
week ago;
- Kul Wadhwa: New, head of business development, started a week ago;
- Erik Möller: New to the staff but formerly executive secretary of the
board and a longtime volunteer, deputy director, arrives in SF Tuesday;
- Mike Godwin: Legal counsel, started in July, will relocate from
Washington DC in a few weeks;
- me: ED, started in June, am currently in St Pete but mostly these days
in SF.

* Outside the United States:
-Tim Starling: software developer, Melbourne, Australia;
- Delphine Ménard : Chapters coordinator, Frankfurt;
- Mark Bergsma: system & network admin, Eindhoven, the Netherlands;
- Jay Walsh: New, head of communications, Vancouver Island, Canada.

* St Petersburg
- Barbara Brown, office manager;
- Sandy Ordonez, communications;
- Vishal Patel, business development;
- Oleta McHenry, accountant;
- Rob Halsell, IT manager and server admin.

Barbara, Sandy and Vishal will finish with us at the end of January,
although they've all agreed to take our calls and answer questions long
after that :-) Oleta will stay til the end of March, so that she can
have a good long handover with the SF accountant. And, following the
closure of the St Petersburg office, Rob will continue to work for the
Foundation out of Tampa, maintaining the Tampa servers.

* There are a number of new hires pending. Erik and I'll probably
announce the new CFOO within the next two weeks, and the new head of
development (fundraising) by the end of January. The CFOO will then hire
our SF accountant, who will likely be announced sometime late February
or early March. There are a few software developer positions open: I
believe those job descriptions are in development. And we have a vacancy
for the head of partnerships, which I may or may not fill within the
next few months. There's also a vacant "head of public outreach"
position which I've currently got on hold; I don't have any plans to
revive it in the immediate future.

* Pending hires
- Head of development
- Accountant
- Software developers
- Head of partnerships


I know Erica is sending regular detailed updates on the new office, and
it's not interesting for everyone, so I will keep this part short.
Upshot: We have signed a lease, and all the SF staff (with the exception
of Mike) have now visited the new space. We officially take possession
on I believe Monday. We've got chairs and desks, and Erica is sourcing
other furniture and equipment. Rob is looking after internet
connectivity, the phone system, printer shipping, and all our other
office IT needs. There is a little work left to be done on the space:
the landlord is fixing a few things, and having the space cleaned. I
believe Erica's target for having us fully moved in is January 15. If
you've got questions, please send them her way :-)


The online fundraiser is complete, and has raised more than $2m from
nearly 45,000 contributors. (This actually underrepresents the total,
because it does not include all sources for donations - for example, it
does not include donations to Dexia, or the chapters.) Erik is currently
pulling together a postmortem document, which we will give to the new
head of development so he/she has a head start on planning for next time.

I think Erik has asked some of you for information/data for the
postmortem. If not, and you have something you want to contribute, go to
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising_2007/Notes, where you can add
links/info. I am encouraging Erik to not make the process too elaborate,
because I think we have a pretty good grasp of what we should focus on
next time (e.g., planning earlier, making sure the sitenotice and
landing page are attractive, counting dollars not people, finetuning the
appeals messaging, fixing our translation problems, using the matching
donations earlier, etc.). I would say the fundraiser was pretty bumpy
this year, but successful nonetheless - and I really appreciate
everyone's hard work on it.


As you know, in December, Erik and I went on a tour of Silicon Valley to
meet up with potential major donors. A number of next steps have arisen
out of that, which some of you are involved with (e.g., the meeting with
Sun & some other bits & pieces).

In January/February, we'll embark on phase two, talking to more people
in the valley, and perhaps expanding beyond it. Additionally, we're
targeting February for a potential-major-donor-and-rainmaker dinner or
meeting. This, I hope, will be the beginning of the development of a
rainmaker committee that will support the new head of fundraising in
major donor cultivation. (This is a role that the board fills in most
non-profits: when the board doesn't do fundraising, you need to develop
some other mechanism for it.) If you've got questions/comments, talk
with me or Erik.


The auditors' field work is complete, and I believe Oleta has now
responded to all their outstanding questions and requests. This means
the auditors will now begin to compile their report. Ordinarily this
would take about two weeks, but in this case it may take slightly
longer: 1., they still may come up with additional questions as they put
it together, and 2., because we didn't expect the audit to take so long,
they may have unavoidable commitments they need to juggle along with us
- so, we may not have their full attention. Regardless, the audit report
will be completed pretty soon - they say, before the end of the month.


We have a lot of new people hired, and a few more to come - and of
course, we're not yet settled into the San Francisco office. It's going
to take us a while to establish a rhythm for how we will all work
together – so it will be kind of organic and iterative for a while :-)

So I'm going to ask you all to do a couple of things:

* Let's please revive the weekly reports to the staff list. Recapping
for the new people: everyone is supposed to send a report to the staff
list, ideally around midday Friday. (The exception to 'everyone' is the
tech team, which is represented by Brion.) The report should cover what
you did in the past week, and your goals for the coming week. It doesn't
have to be formal or long: it's just intended to keep me and the rest of
the staff up-to-speed.

* As you know, I generally build my own report to the board largely out
of your reports to me, and I send that report to you right after sending
it to the board – so, for the new people: that report is a pretty good
way to keep on top of my priorities and what everyone has been doing.

* In February, I'll revive our regular meetings in the same pattern as
before: all-staff every second week, and headquarters-staff-only in the
alternate weeks. I am hoping that meeting will later be superseded by
smaller and more focused ones, but I think it will be useful in the
beginning to all meet together. Cheryl will let you know when these will
start up again: in the meantime, if you have any preferences re
day/time, please tell her.

* As the new people establish themselves, I would like us all to start
experimenting with the mechanisms we have for working with each other,
and with the volunteers. For example, I know Erik has already been
talking with Kul and Jay about ways to engage volunteers usefully and
constructively in their areas -and i know Cary will get pulled into this
too- this is great :-) Also, we on the staff should also be thinking
about how we want to work with each other. For example, Kul may want to
pull together regular biz dev meetings - even if the only other
participant is Mike :-) The tech team will meet in whatever way it
thinks is best. I will ask the CFOO to establish a weekly revenue
meeting of her/himself, plus me/Erik, plus Kul, the head of fundraising,
and maybe also Brion. There should probably be a weekly admin meeting of
Erica, Cheryl, Oleta and eventually also the CFOO. The upshot is: new
people and new roles make it time for us to rethink how we can best
interact. Please experiment with whatever makes sense to you, and know
that I'll be doing the same :-)

* Last point. I've asked Pat Hughes (the facilitator who helped us stage
the "chapters" meeting in Frankfurt in December 2006) to help me put
together an orientation/teambuilding session for San Francisco. I will
not be flying in non-San-Francisco staff for this -with the exception of
Jay, who is new and needs to meet people- it's too expensive. However,
we're going to try to find a non-excruciating way to include non-SF
staff in at least a small part of the agenda. So, please, all of you,
reserve the dates of February 11 and 12. If you absolutely cannot be
available for all or part of those days, please let Cheryl know, and
also please put it in the staff calendar.

* Okay, not quite done ;-) Re the staff calendar: if you do not have
access, please ask Erica to give it to you. Recapping for those who
don't know: all your holidays should please appear in the calendar -
Erica will put them there once they've been approved. Please feel free
to put anything else in the calendar that you think might be useful for
others - like, San Francisco meet-ups; important meeting dates;
whatever. Also, Erica will ensure that all U.S. statutory holidays are
in the calendar, so people know when the office will be closed.

Long mail, but I hope it's helpful. And welcome to all the new staff,
welcome back from holiday to the existing staff, and my early -and
continual!- thanks to the people in St Pete for keeping the ship afloat.
It's going well: many thanks to you all :-)


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