Generator Members Meeting Minutes July 9th, 2018
Meeting Facilitator: Jake Blend
In attendance: Jake Blend, Steve Mermelstein, Karen Freeman, Daryl Stultz, Mike Senften, Gary Shores, Leif Hunneman, Chris Thompson, AJ Rossman, Julia Vallera, Daryous Khamnei, Pete Moore, Megan Metvoy, Robin Lloyd-Miller, Thomas Waters, Elliott Katz
Welcome and Introductions: Jake Blend called the meeting to order at 5:40 pm. Karen Freeman is taking minutes. Jake thanked Steve for getting food for tonight’s meeting. Members introduced themselves.
Minutes from May 14th and June 11th: Daryl made a motion, seconded by Steve to approve the minutes from May and June. Members approved both sets of minutes.
Announcements: AJ mentioned the July 28th Old North End Ramble, noting that 2018 is the 15th year for this ONE event. Event organizers are looking for volunteers to help with a fun lighting component that will be part of this year’s Ramble.
Directors Report:</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>Chris reported that the Generator fiscal year just ended and this past year’s financials were good. An uptick in philanthropic fundraising and ramped up outreach have helped. The organization is starting the new fiscal year $50K ahead of budget due to funds already raised for the new design lab program, a hands-on experience and mentorship initiative for youth in grades 7-12. Another indicator of fiscal health is the 3 months of operating reserves ($125K) the organization has in the bank. Jumpstart and Reckless Ideas were very successful and will happen again this year.
Chris mentioned a couple of changes. There will be more opportunities for volunteering “scholarships” besides working the front desk, including helping with outreach and mentoring, volunteer shop leads and social media and marketing. Information on the process to sign up for those opportunities will be made available soon. Another change is the recent 10% price increase in memberships. There will be one more increase next year, at which time the rate be sustainable, assuming philanthropic fundraising remains strong. He noted that the membership fees will still be way below costs.
A second laser cutter is included in this year’s budget, with fundraising to begin for that purchase. Jake and Elliot will be taking the lead in deciding what laser cutter to buy.
Board and Board Representatives:</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>Jake brought up the topic of Member Representatives. There are currently three member reps to the Generator Board: Jake, Jean Cherouny and Ben Colbourn. They serve as liaisons between the members and the board, attend board and member meetings and, while not voting board members, can serve on board committees. He described the reps as a great conduit for two-way information flow, a mechanism for needs to be expressed and to have a finger on the pulse of what is happening. He noted that serving in this role has been a great learning experience and encouraged others to consider running for any open slots. He also welcomed feedback on the job he is doing as a rep. The current reps were elected at the 2017 Town Hall meeting and a slide show at last year’s gathering included information on this topic. Jake asked the group for ideas on a process for members to select reps going forward. The group agreed to put member rep selection on the August member meeting agenda for a vote on the process. The guidelines would include a mechanism for member rep selection and tenure, as well as expectations for those serving in that role. Elections would happen at a September 10th Town Hall meeting, in advance of the September 11th Generator Board meeting. The idea of making the member rep role one of the expanded scholarship positions was suggested. Chris felt that a member rep might well qualify for that 3-hour per week commitment. Jean and Jake will work with Chris on a process for member rep selection and put a draft out on the Generator Wiki for feedback in advance of the August 13th members meeting.
Member Build Proposals:</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>No proposals submitted for this meeting. Jake will post the link again on the Wiki prior to the next member meeting.
Maker in Residence:</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>Julia, the May/June M-I-R, described her data privacy/digital security project. Her residency served as R&D for her work the 2 months she was at the Generator. Her next step is to finish and share her work at Art Hop and to grow public awareness. She will be at the Generator for Art Hop with her “Data DeTox” curated event. She is also looking to showcase the work of others and has honorariums to support proposals. Julia shared some of the products of her residency including a “Data Breaches” coloring book” (playful illustrated booklet on 10 worst data breaches), a fabric signal blocking pouch (Art Hop attendees will be able to make their own), DIY webcam cover kits, a data privacy “speed dating” game, mini zines (“Bit by Bit”) with lots of info compiled into guides people can take home from event, and a data sniffer program (Wire Shark platform) for people to see what companies are connecting to them when they do browser searches. Her goal is to take something terrifying and made accessible to the public. Leif complimented her work as an analog approach to a digital topic.
Educator in Residence:</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>Leif described the affordable modular synthesizer system he built for around $300. Similar commercial systems would cost closer to $3,000. These commercial systems have a “boutique” appeal, though shouldn’t cost as much as they do since they can be made with 30 parts that can be replicated. He was able to make each module, with its discreet function, for about $15 and put 23 into his system. He plans to make his design available for public use, but before casting off to the public domain wants to make a few modifications. Leif gave a demonstration of his working prototype.
Adjourn</font> <font 10.5pt/inherit;;#222222;;inherit>Motion to adjourn approved and meeting adjourned at 7:15.