Generator Member Meeting DRAFT Minutes
March 11 th , 2019
Meeting Facilitator: Steve Mermelstein
In attendance: Jake Blend, Steve Mermelstein, Karen Freeman, Daryl Stutz, Matt Flego, Gary Shores,
Robin Lloyd-Miller, Jonathan Landell, Alex Costantino, Ben Wiley, Megan McAvoy, Corrine Yonce, Jane
Adams, Elliott Katz, Chris Thompson, Jon Weisbecker, Edward Burke, Mike Senften, Jaret Williams and
Welcome: Steve welcomed attendees and called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Members introduced
themselves. Karen asked for someone else to take minutes at the next member meeting so she can
facilitate in her role as a member rep. Robin volunteered to take minutes (thanks Robin!).
Minutes of February 11 th members meeting: Ben made a motion, seconded by Daryl, to approve the
February minutes. Unanimous vote to approve.
Announcements: Jonathan told the group that he has just received his Amateur Radio (ham radio)
license. He then shared a video of his turret lathe in operation and explained his process for turning
aluminum pads for his custom flutes. Steve encouraged members to attend the final JumpStart lecture
this Wednesday and to register for this free event on Eventbrite. Cairn Cross is speaking on “How to win
support from the right people”, event starts at 5:30 pm. There is a Q&A session 5pm Thursday, March
14 th at Burlington City Arts for potential applicants interested in BCA Community Fund grants.
Elliott told the group that the woodshop is in good shape, with more storage cabinets continuing to be
built. He recently acquired a chisel sharpener for that space. A dust collection system is being
researched and an air filtration system to be installed in the woodshop. He also mentioned that Eric Roy
is working on inventorying existing and needed Standard Operating Procedures that detail the safe
operation of tools and equipment so that tools are accompanied by written SOP’s.
Steve pointed out the great wood and metal frame tables the members were convened around, Elliott
thanked Jon and Jake for their key roles in these builds and noted that many members helped.
Director’s update: Chris displayed a performance dashboard for the Generator and highlighted that
finances are solid. He noted that the organization has 6 months of the operations budget in the bank for
the first time and profit is ahead of budget. The track record for grants is 5 for 5 (Generator can tell a
compelling story to funders) and all of the studios are again fully rented. Chris noted that one outcome
of the grant seeking success relative to the metrics is that earned income as a % of the budget has
decreased slightly down to 40%. Positive financial health has enabled part-time staffers Jon Weisbecker
and Sarah Sprague to become full-time employees with benefits, and Rachel Hooper’s time increased to
The last JumpStart lecture with Cairn is on March 13 th and the evening will also include presentations by
the most recent cohort. The next Reckless Ideas event is March 27 th . Jon spoke about a pilot program he
is overseeing that will launch in June - Maker Mentors. This new program is a collaboration with the
non-profit, Mentor Vermont, to foster the expansion of mentor/mentee relationships (particularly as
participants move into their teen years) and enhance connections with the business community.
Prototyping Update: Jake reported that a 2 nd Prusa has been acquired and set up. Jake was recognized
for his work getting the tool operational. Jake also mentioned that the VR lab will be opening soon, the
protocols for use of the space are being developed. He thanked Robin for his assistance. A new calendar
system (G Suite) will be used to reserve equipment, rooms etc. at the Generator. This tool will eliminate double booking. Also, the Google Group is moving to a more customized platform so members can
choose what info they want to receive.
Maker-In-Residence: Outgoing M-I-R Michael Zebrowski will be hosting a barbeque out back to
celebrate the completion of his 10×10 writing/other potential uses pod that will be moved to another
location in the area. Elliott pointed out that these residencies are the “face of the Generator” and
should represent the diversity and mix of who we are and what we do. Kat Clear is the incoming Maker-
In-Residence for March and April. She will create a “Maker Exchange” to harness the collective potential
of members. Going forward, rather than have M-I-R’s speak at member meetings, there will be multiple
presentations by a group of M-I-Rs twice a year in the flex space.
Member build proposals: The two member builds still in progress were mentioned, and Gary reported
that he has all the CNC cooling system parts and should have this build in place the beginning of April.
Lathe is still working on his synthesizer project.
Robin and Jake presented a new member build request. They described the need and opportunities of a
full access motion platform for the VR space. This technology would cost tens of thousands of dollars to
buy, but for $500 in parts it can be made at the Generator using member labor. It was described as a
plug and play project that would be versatile and compatible with many different VR programs. Ben
noted that the Champlain Collage students are developing amazing games in their dorm rooms but do
not have the space for a simulator of this size. He envisions a stronger relationship with the CC Game
Studio could result if this platform was built. Karen made a motion, seconded by Jonathan L. to approve
the $500 request. Unanimous vote to approve.
Next Meeting: Monday, April 8 th , 2019
Meeting adjourned at 7:05 pm
Minutes submitted by Karen Freeman