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February 12th 2018 Members Meeting
5:00 PM Pizza and BYB in Community Hall
5:30 PM Meeting Call to Order and Attendance in Generator Learning Lab
5:35 PM Introductions
5:40 PM Directors Report- Chris Thompson
5:50 PM Board Representative and Board Announcements
6:00 PM Member Announcements and community Agenda Items ( One per meeting. Let Jean or Jake know by Jan 30th so that we can help lay out a valuable community discussion and vote)
6:15 PM Proposals to Vote or Share for feedback
6:30 PM Updates on Projects
6:45 PM Adjourn
6:45 PM There will be a harassment training immediately following our meeting in the Learning Lab. Staff, Board Members and Reps and members are encouraged to attend.
Approve Generator Members Meeting January 8th, 2018 Minutes:
Meeting Facilitator: Jean Cherouny
In attendance: Jean Cherouny, Jake Blend, Chris Thompson, Steve Mermelstein, Grey Barreda Jody Brown, Jon Landell, Cameron Jonas, Thomas Waters, Alex Constantino, Dan Harvey, Lydia Kern, Daryl Stultz, Jim Shields, Karen Freeman, Leisa Fearing, Steve Conant, Devin Wilder, Dana Brown, Lucie deLaBruere
Welcome: Jean Cherouny called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm. Karen Freeman is taking minutes.
The first order of business was a robust discussion on what constitutes a quorum for votes to be taken as part of the agenda at regular monthly Members Meeting. Jean noted that historically, 10% of the number of Generator members has been considered a quorum. This can be a challenge with overall numbers fluctuating throughout the year and meetings sometimes left without a quorum. Dan pointed out that this body does not have bylaws so is not limited in defining a quorum. A range of ideas were generated from the group on defining both what constitutes a quorum and a majority for actions to carry. Steve M. made a motion, seconded by Daryl that a quorum for voting on motions consists of those members in attendance, and that motions are approved/denied with a majority of those voting at the meeting. There was additional discussion about the impact on fairness and transparency of having a quorum defined by those in attendance. Alex suggested a friendly amendment to the motion in an effort to address these concerns, which was accepted by Steve M. and Daryl. Steve M. also noted the narrow scope of items that get voted on at the meeting, i.e. member proposals not policy. Jody called the question to end debate, seconded by Alex, and the vote was called on the amended motion:
A quorum for voting on motions at regular monthly member meetings (notice of which is posted 7 days in advance on the members Google Calendar) consists of those members in attendance, with motions carried by a majority of those voting at the meeting.
The motion carried, with Leisa voting “no”, and there were no abstentions.
Minutes from December 9, 2017 – A minor correction was made to the minutes to reflect a brief overlap between Devin and Lydia as Artists-in-Residence. Steve M. made a motion, seconded by Jody, to approve the minutes as revised. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Introductions were made by those in attendance.
Directors Report - Chris reported on financials for the first half of the fiscal year, and was pleased that revenues ($232,000) and expenses ($225,000) were on track with budget projections. Cash in the bank is $112,000, equating to 3 months operations, he is shooting for having reserves of 6 months as a good target.
He noted that long-term sustainability is a main goal. Looking to increase the member contribution to be closer to covering 60% of the real costs, closer to 40%. Want a diversified stream of dozen or so earned income sources (individual and group memberships, classes, training, renting out the space, etc.), this is vital because can’t count on getting large grants and donations. He mentioned a big grant that Generator seemed highly likely to get and didn’t happen, he was disappointed and it meant that a second laser couldn't be purchased.
The JumpStart entrepreneurial program starts this week, strong pool of 26 applicants, chosen by judges without affiliations known and 3 of the 4 (Jake, Courtney and Clay) are Generator members; Christian Hill from Old Spokes Home is the fourth member of the cohort. The program will be offered again this summer.40 people are registered to attend the first free, public lecture series offered as part of the program. Will also be shown on RETN cable media.
The Generator will start opening an hour later, with winter hours 10-6 as there is little to no activity during that first 9-10am hour. Will go back to 9-9 in the spring. The electronics lab will begin to offer 1-hour low cost certification classes, will cost $10 until April 1st, and then go up to $15 for the class. Clarification on the Generator’s insurance policy means that youth under 18 years are not precluded from using the tools under the policy, so a supervised Teen Thursdays program targeted at 14-18 year olds will be starting. They need to be members, hopefully will encourage adult and teen participation in families with memberships to get more involved.
Alex mentioned that some studios are being used to mostly store materials and wondered if there is a plan to expand storage. Chris thought that it was time to look again at putting shipping containers out back for storage.
Proposals – Jake pitched a proposal for “Tetrice” an interactive ice-block wall with LED lights that will be Arduino powered and Bluetooth-enabled. Would be constructed from 12”x12” ice blocks (molded from freezing water in plastic that is inside cardboard forms) and waterproof LED light strips, run by the “Gladiator” program. Priority 12×12 US postal boxes are the right size and he welcomes donations of boxes. Would be visibly placed out in front of the Generator and enable people to use their phones to play Tetris, Break Out, stream videos, project images, etc. Goal is to have operational by the Winter Fest and First Friday. Jake requested $250, consisting of $200 for the lights and $50 from the programmable unit and power source. Steve M. made a motion, seconded by Lucie, to approve the request. Members approved unanimously to approve.
Proposal Updates - Jim gave an update on Precious Plastics: the shredder is working great and he offered to demo at the next meeting. Still working on the temperature regulator for the injector. Between the $700 from the Generator and $700 from CSWD the project has all the funding needed.
Board and Board Representative – Dan and Steve were recognized; Jean mentioned that there is a board meeting tomorrow and encouraged members to contact her or Jake about any board related items.
Announcements – Leisa said she is working on an opened sourced human-sized robot and is looking for help, particularly in costing the 3-D printing. The link for the open source group build: http://inmoov.fr/build-yours/ Karen reported that the Somali sewing training initiative with the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity will start the end of January; she put a call out for sewing machines donations (or low cost) for use in the program. Lucie wants to get the 3-D printed 3-D printer project back on-line and could use some help. It has been a great way to get the education community involved at the Generator and time to re-engage them. Jon Landell reported that he worked successfully with a patent agent and submitted a patent application for his low-cost flutes.
Artist-In-Residence – Devin thanked the group for having the opportunity and talked about her work on DIY improvement modifications to modern prosthetics. She pointed out that since doctors and engineers do not use the devices themselves it is hard for them to troubleshoot and make improvements. She referenced Disability Studies, an emerging field that looks at disabilities in terms of social, cultural and political phenomena versus a medical view. She has been working on using 3-D printing and clay modeling to develop a cover (think cell-phone case) for her hearing aid to improve the functionality. Member ideas included using TPU plastic (the new Generator printer will be able to accommodate), using a large model as an educational tool, a simulator that enables people to experience a hearing disability, creating a CAD 3-D model from a hearing aid so can more accurately replicate.
Lydia, the incoming artist, shared slides and examples of her art which includes creating sculptures and installations by placing common found objects (bones, thread, screen doors, etc) and materials in a new context.
Adjourn Motion to adjourn made by Steve M., seconded by Jody. Vote passed to adjourn at 7:00