Generator Member Meeting DRAFT Minutes
May 13 th , 2019
Meeting Facilitator: Steve Mermelstein
In attendance: Daryl Stutz, Jonathon Landell, Mike Senften, Brook Martenis, Mats Thureson, Edward
Burke, Marcus Bretto, Jess Hyman, Fletcher Pratt, Camille Casemier, Jon Weisbecker, Steve
Mermelstein, Karen Freeman
Welcome: Steve welcomed attendees and called the meeting to order. Members introduced themselves
and offered a thought about something they wish would change: have access to additional
tools/equipment, more hours in life to work at the Generator, less divisiveness in the world, simplify life,
more hours in the day, world peace, and correct spelling of two “jewlery” signs at the Generator.
Minutes of April 8 th members meeting: Motion by Daryl, seconded by Brook to accept the minutes.
Unanimous vote to approve.
Announcements & Questions:
Maker Fair will be September 27&28 at Shelburne Farms; Tables are free and sign up will be
announced soon; Friday is a school-focused day. There will be a Celtic festival Saturday night-
Sunday that same weekend at the site.
Thursday May 23 is the last Maker Exchange and a party/barbecue to celebrate Kat Clear’s
Reckless Ideas on 5/29 features serial entrepreneur Alan Newman; beer and pizza afterwards.
Mike asked how the ARVR lab is doing; Steve thinks it is going well. Chris suggested that offering
workshops is a good way to get more people involved. Jake and/or Robin can provide an ARVR
lab update at the next member meeting.
Director’s update: Chris reported that the editor of Popular Mechanics visited the Generator and was
excited to see so many interesting projects: from an environmentally sound paddleboard, to an LED light
water purification system for underdeveloped countries. The Generator may end up being featured in
the magazine. A Maker Place conference was held at the Mint in Rutland, with attendees from
Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Chris noted that Generator is one of the more successful
maker spaces in the US and has had a 25% growth rate for two years in a row. Maker spaces are a tough
business model, why does it work here? What is the Generator magic? Many thought the people!
Finances are still solid. Organization got another grant (we are 7 for 8!), we are ahead of what was
anticipated, and most of the grants have not been received before. Ken’s development work is amazing.
Chris shared the current dashboard which shows good financial health: A 6-month operating reserve,
123 members paying every month (total of 400 members including colleges), no studio vacancies, profit
at 6% (healthy, with target higher). Great success bringing in philanthropic dollars. Goal for revenue is
2/3 earned income and 1/3 development dollars, as Chris is anticipating philanthropic donor interest will
decrease. Members pay 50% of actual costs, development dollars help keep the prices low for
Next cohort of Jumpstart collegiate has three participants to date, goal is six. Great opportunity for
students who have a physical prototype to get paid to learn how to run a company. Chris encouraged
folks to spread the word. Generator is trying to raise funds for First Robotics, which teaches STEM
through robot building. Four high schools in Chittenden County do not have teams. Brook thought Jim
Wick might be interested and offered to talk with him.
The new key card system is working and will facilitate a new “pro user” membership. $120/month, with
access from 6 AM to midnight and members can apply after a month of regular membership. Chris
reminded the group that members still need to have a buddy with them during times after the regular
Generator hours when using the power tools. The members thought the new membership was a good
idea. Generator will try new summer hours, closing at 6pm on Friday and Saturday and see how that
Member Build Updates: Steve reviewed the member build process: there is $500 available each month
for projects that involve a number of members and benefit the Generator community. Members can
apply using the application in the member area of the Generator website, with proposals voted on by
the members at the monthly meetings. A potential forge build was discussed and there were questions
about why staff involvement was needed for member builds. There has been a history of projects
started and not completed, and/or those that took a bad turn. Code compliance and space limitation
issues were also mentioned. Suggestions: put a plan together for the build and get to Elliot, post info
about the build to the member group, and talk to Sarah about related classes since that can open up
Maker-In-Residence Update: Kat Clear is closing out her residency and the maker exchange with a
Maker Exchange Pop-up and barbeque on May 23 rd .
Next Meeting: Monday, June 10 th , 2019
Adjournment – Motion by Brook, seconded by John Landell. Vote to adjourn 6:45 PM
Minutes submitted by Karen Freeman