[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia CH staff changes in 2013

Charles Andrès charles.andres.wmch at gmail.com
Tue Apr 9 17:08:28 UTC 2013

Dear all,
We have the pleasure to announce the hiring of 2 new employees and one long-term contractor in 2013. On the other hand, Chantal Ebongué, our Chief Administrative Officer, will leave her job at the end of July. 
The three hiring are:
 - Manuel Schneider, as Chief Information Officer and Event Manager, who has started on 1st January 2013 (so this announcement is long overdue !)
 - Muriel Staub, as German-speaking Community manager, who will start on 1st May 2013
 - Ilario Valdelli, Italian-speaking Community and GLAM manager, who will start on 1st may 2013.
Muriel Staub will be our new German-speaking Community manager a 50% position. Muriel is preparing a Master in Management, Organization Studies and Cultural Theory at the University of Sankt Gallen. The subject of her Master Thesis is "How does the use of Wikipedia affect the production and sourcing of knowledge at Swiss Universities". She has a strong experience as community manager for Apple, as well as having managed academic events as a personal assistant of the Chancellor and Vice President of the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany.
Ilario Valdelli is hired as our Italian-speaking Community and GLAM manager, also a 50% position. Ilario has a Master in Arts and worked for many years in the IT field. He is a well-known member of the Wikimedia community; he is founding member of Wikimedia CH as well as a current Board member (he was of course not involved in the hiring process, and will not remain on the board when his new job starts). He knows very well the Ticinese community and has already developed strong partnerships with GLAMs in this area.
The Community managers will work actively with the German or Italian-speaking community to support them in accomplishing projects and get in touch with Wikimedia entities and officials. They help the community by gathering requests and ideas, communicating them to all relevant parties and translating information wherever needed. This includes support to bring formal requests and motions to WMCH by helping to prepare them, translate them and present them to the Board. It's their responsibility to make sure the community voices are heard inside the association and that activities and communications of Wikimedia movement entities are also replicated into the communities. As a GLAM Manager, Ilario will continue to contact GLAMs in Ticino and create various partnerships aiming to develop GLAM collaborations in Switzerland.
Manuel Schneider, another well-known member of the community, has been hired in January 2013 as a long-term part-time contractor to support Wikimedia CH with its technical infrastructure, help with technical questions in our projects and manage events. Manuel has been a Wikipedian since 2004. A co-founder of Wikimedia CH, he has technically supported both our chapter and the wider community for many years, helping in particular to organize several Wikimanias. Currently, Manuel has a lot to do working on our internal infrastructure (servers, backups, donation process, etc), but he should soon be able to spend more time supporting our actual projects, something that will benefit the wider community. 
Chantal Ebongué is WMCH’s CAO since July 2012. She was hired as our first employee to make the step for professionalization and gave a more solid administrative basis to our association. Thanks to her, after almost one year, the results are positive : WMCH has 4 staff members, an office in Lausanne, the 2012-2013 fundraiser was a success, new projects have started or are in the, and reporting and communication have been improved even if it’s not perfect yet. 
Chantal decided to resign from her position on July 31 2013, after having completed the transition phase. The success of Chantal's work can be seen by the increasing number of appeals we receive from cultural or education institution; the dark side of the success is that she has no time left for her for doing actual work on cultural or educational content, which was her initial motivation when joining WM CH. She will move to a new job where she will be able to create original work.
Chantal will support us in the hiring strategy for the next step and we wish her the best for the future.
As an important lesson, we are more than ever convinced that the professionalization of a chapter must go by leaps and bounds, and should involve several hirings at the same time. It is impossible for a single employee to handle the management of projects and the  administrative overheads, especially during the setup phase. We also believe that we need a good balance between members of the community and "external" people: it is likely a good thing to have administrative staff who is not from the community, but he/she needs to be able to rely on a day-to-day basis on someone who knows the community, something impossible to achieve when hiring only one person at a time.
As such, while the limitation of growth for established chapters is certainly a good thing, chapters that hires their first employees should be allowed to increase their budget drastically at once (with appropriate oversignt, of course).
Charles ANDRES, Chairman
"Wikimedia CH" – Association for the advancement of free knowledge –
Skype: charles.andres.wmch

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