Minutes:08 June 2016 Board Meeting Agenda

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AHA Mission Statement
We seek to establish, build, and support a collective of individuals organized around the principles of community-driven education in the arts and sciences, and to ensure ready access to the tools needed to pursue the realization of those principles.

This meeting was rescheduled from 6/8 to 6/15 to accommodate board schedules.

  • Meeting attendees: Esty T., Alec M., Jon H., Nick R., John N., Donnie J., Nate Y., Alex W., Tyler W., Corey T.
  • Meeting starts at: 19:20
  • Meeting ends at: 21:15

Board Meeting Protocol

* Standing Committee Reports - Individual Updates by Assigned Director/Officer presented in the time allotted.

* Open Time: For anyone to bring anything up to the Board. IF the Board agrees the item requires action, it will be put into New Business and addressed at the end of the meeting.

(15m) Open For All

  • All Are Worthy. All Are Welcome.

Greg G, while not in attendance, requests feedback on a new set of board positions under "New Business". Greg feels that while it's a small tweak, these positions better represent the need of the community.

We submitted an Art Fair booth to: www.washtenawnonprofits.org We should hear back if we have a 12'x12' booth at Art Fair this month. We are "fairly certain" to get the space. We are #13 out or 32 (one spot behind the Trump party), and not many asked for a 12x12. First come first served.

Backyard Brains would like to start using the new space from 9-5 beginning on Jun 13 (Mon). This will allow us to prepare for the TechTrek on Friday, Jun 17.

Tyler, asked if we would be okay with our new internet provider, AT&T, having one of their reps at our spot during Tech Trek? He discussed with Nick and Alex on 6/9. They agreed provided it wasn't a sales push. Discussed with AT&T - They will send a rep to answer questions in a passive manner with some marketing materials. Focusing on how they can help other startups get setup with business services in the area, similar to how they helped us. Will try to have a network engineer with them to answer really technical stuff we'd normally not get to ask. Also will have a listing of jobs available in tech/engineering roles in the Ann Arbor area available. Haven't heard back from them with any information though so this may not actually happen. Not going to push it.

Discussion here about space across the hall from new AHA.

Donnie would like to bring in pick and place machine from BYB office and put it here.

Alec would like to remove the door closer on the door to the prototyping/electronics room.

Alec points out that BYB interns could do better a better job cleaning up.

Alec would like to investigate having a art fixture in the loft space toward the ceiling.

Alec brings up the idea of creating a "corporate" membership type that aligns with the goal of getting business co-working. Nick also points out that we'd need to schedule tools better, since we'd possible have more conflicts during the day. Alec is concerned about adding voting rights to this membership type, depending on size.

Jon asks about the new volunteer hours. We are down to four volunteers, so the times will need to change. Jon suggests a single 4pm-10pm shift to accommodate the smaller number. Jon would be interested in working more with this position.

Tyler proposes a tentative 6-10PM Thu/Fri/Sat open-hours schedule.

We're expecting 1000+ visitors on the Tech Trek, we should have signage out and as many people here as possible.

Also have the MEDC folks coming in Friday 4PM-7PM, hence the rush to get things fixed up and ready.

John N. brings up the issue of dust collection. We have a vacuum cleaner we can hook up to do this, might want to investigate a dedicated system, using the laser exhaust tube perhaps.

Minutes Approval

  • April 2016 Board Minutes -- missing two of the previous Directors, can't approve.

(90min) Standing Committee Reports

Financial - from Alex W.

TCF is OK - $1,162.59, Paid Tyler W. Loan back for additional flooring costs.

We need to figure out how Oxford wishes to bill us for utilities - No idea where mailbox for the space is.

Income Statement

We are good for now, and no real bills at the moment until October. Need to work to get more members.

Membership - Alex W.

21 Standard Members (Not including Interns)

8 Reduced Members - 2 Investigating - Some members have not been able to pay by square during move.

Volunteers - unknown who is interested in continuing volunteering.

BYB Internship has begun. 7 new memberships added June-Aug 2016 (All 3 Months Paid in June).

Alex suggests switching to Stripe payments, because then we can bill automatically through Xero.

Nate points out that anyone can request access to the Member email group. Ideally, they should be added automatically upon joining.

Fundraising - Greg G.

Tyler W has received numerous grants of cash and in-kind donations from local businesses! ~5300 GoFundMe + $1500 at the shop. We had just about enough to fix the floor. We also received donations for new chairs, networking equipment (rack, switches, cat6, keystone jacks), podium, cabinets, computer supports, new keyboards, and power bars.

AT&T donated the installation of internet, and a few months of service on top of a large gift card (in mail after 3rd month) for switching to their service. We shouldn't have internet fees for a while. In addition we can swing by the store and borrow a hotspot for any event if we need internet access/extra speed on busy days. Comcast offered nothing Our previous provider offered us nothing.

AHA has a chance to get a large grant from the MEDC, possible to fund the rent, renovations, and an employees/part timers for several years. The "ask" is to make an incubator space for hardware companies... currently A2 has a lot, but only software. BYB is an example that it works. MEDC would invest for the first few years until we can sustain the costs on our own.

AHA will receive a visit from various local and state officials during the TechTrek on June 17.

In preparation for the grant, we have asked an architect to draw up rough sketches that we can include. Greg would like to call a meeting this month to discuss ideas on the "ideal" makerspace layout. We can submit these to the architect.

We should be getting these drawings soon.

Greg has sent a letter to Oxford expressing interest in the adjoining spaces in preparation for the grant.

We did that, have them both, assuming nobody renews the running place.

Governance - Donnie J.

Election went well, new board members still need orientation/knowledge transfer.

Facilities - Nick R.

Remaining work items for new space: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gzQAtToSgRQnIiSCJTTk1CX8eTng57mNZGF1LnfNjvk/edit?usp=sharing

Josh W. is printing art for delivery on 6/16. Tyler will frame and mount on Thursday evening.

Install for laser exhaust slated for Mon Jun 13. $5500. Cost covered by BYB.

The workers have been unable to complete the work as of today. Had issues working with the cafe and access to the places they need to access to complete the work.

Tyler mentions that we can get the small laser cutter working, but probably not by Friday.

A little painting left to do tomorrow to touch up the new closures between our space and the cafe storage.

Makerworks is printing off art for us to frame and hang.

Volunteers - Erik O.

Provided to Tyler via text from Erik O. Erik cannot attend the meeting on 6/15.

We don't have enough volunteers to fill shifts at the moment. - Lost several volunteers (gamers) over Soohoo's departure - Several of the newer volunteers just need date/time/access keys again and are good to go.

Education/Classes/Events - Donnie J.

Past: Penguicon - Badges arrived just in time but were unable to sell many of them due to assembly issues. Mini Maker Faire - Lots of LED badges soldered. Could have used more volunteers. Good showing overall. Lots of names signed up for information about a class to make the large badges in July. The ping pong ball eggbot machine was popular.

Upcoming: Makerfaire - We have a in for the learn-to-solder event. Current plan is to sell the Penguicon badges.

(30m) Unfinished Business

Alec wants to have some kind of long-term agenda of "things to do" (recurring events), viewable in the minutes.

- Donnie, Nate and Alec will put this together. Nate will send an email to coordinate -- going to do this in May.

- Nate didn't do this, suggests an offline meeting, set for June 19th at 3:00PM.

Nick R. mentions the Milan R/C Club has restarted, trying to get a non-profit status. Nick would like to see some cross-pollination between these groups. Interesting things coming up with that group includes a drone racing track.

Milan R/C club has invited AHA to attend their open house event in August. Nick floated the idea to build quadcopters at AHA, then bring them to the Milan R/C field to fly at the open house. Nate will possibly provide a generator for power at that event.

(30m) New Business

Nick wonders about cleaning the acrylic skylights and what the plan is for that.

Greg G. Suggests the following board-level positions:

  • Finance - handles xero, taxes, memberships, non-profit filing, master of coin (purchasing, etc)
  • Education - maintain classes, invite outside speakers, maintain a system for checking if members have been trained on tools.
  • Marketing - content calendar, branding, monthly emails, planning and arranging promotional events outside of AHA (Maker Faire, Mini Maker Faire, etc)
  • Fundraising - grant writing, pledge campaigns, talk to donors
  • Operations - maintenance of the space, volunteers and employees. Elections. Keeper of the rules (space rules, e.g. clean up policies, tool use, shop maintenance, etc.). Also rules about how elections are run. Maintain list of job function (similar to what is on the wiki, with a bit more detail)

Greg would like to have a discussion to see if these make better sense that our current setup. Possible vote/fill positions next month.

Vote on new Board positions: In favor Alex, Tyler, Nick, Corey, Greg.

Alex W. - Working on a Google Form for membership signup to replace current paper form.

Mostly done, could use more feedback, and we need to come up with new rules for this new space (bathroom use, loud noises before 3pm, etc.).

Alex W. - Drafting a Storage / Clean Tabletop Policy

Would like to leave the main classroom table clear, and the black tabletops in the back as well. Members would be free to move unattended items if found on tables.

Alec suggests also having a cheap "storage box" solution, you could rent a cardboard box to put your projects in for a limited time.

Tyler brings up the AHA phone number switchover. This needs to happen because we use our phone number on a few places. Josh is on the Comcast bill, so he needs to be the one to authorize the transfer. Josh and Tyler will tentatively do this Thursday (tomorrow).