Business Board Meeting April 27, 2021

1. Call to Order

Chair, Mike Moore, called the meeting to order at: 9:01 pm EDT

2. Roll

Present: Scott Steiskal, Afton Benson, Eric Shibuya, Matan Presberg, Mike Sullivan, Dan Holzman, Amy Wieliczka, Chris Garcia, Aslynne Howes, Ross Berenson

Absent: None

Recorder: Eric


3. Approval of Agenda

Motion: Aslynne

Second by: Scott


Vote: Passes unanimously

4. Approval of Minutes: 

Business Board Meeting (LINK)

Motion: Matan

Second: Aslynne


Vote: Passes unanimously


5. Reports 

Please keep verbal reports to 5 min or less except for festival discussion.


2021 e-Festival Report (Ross Berenson)

Discussion: Website is almost done. We’re going to set up a landing page very soon. Not much content to add just yet because I wait until contracts are signed before announcing anything. Speaking of, contracts will start going out to some performers and masterclass instructors. I’ve had a number of verbal confirmations already but, again, I don’t count anything until I have a contract signed. A lot of the festival’s events are still up in the air until we get a bit closer to the event. People don’t know if they’ll be around or not. People don’t take off of work for a virtual festival, as you’re aware of, so this is just what it is. This regards to workshops and panels, pretty much anything that’s “live”. Numbers Competition team has been overly organized and is pretty much ready to go. I’ve been in talks with Viveca and NeilFred about the championships. We’re playing with the idea of live-scoring. Will see if NeilFred can make that happen, it was his idea. Matt Hall has verbally confirmed that he will emcee the live championships show. We will be announcing registrations is open in the next newsletter. I’ve already reached out to Shivella about setting up the registration page. Merch profit share, we have a total of three designers that will be contributing designs for the festival. We have a stream team secured for the more complex shows. Hoping we can handle some easier broadcasts in-house with the help of Mike and Princess. Amy is now part of the Fest Team and is already a big help. She’ll be assisting with various tasks and provide insight from last year’s festival. Eric is making his way with the raffles, which he’ll tell you more about later on. Not much on the marketing front has been going on. That’s my fault, but once I get some signatures, we’ll have something to show.b         

Mike: Live scoring of the championships? Are the performances themselves are still pre-recorded? (Ans: Yes)


Raffle spreadsheet can be found here

Eric: We have two “no’s” from Gballz and ShapeShift. The prizes we have gotten are great, but new vendors would be great as well. We are early in the process so I am not too worried yet. A call for new vendors to donate in the next newsletter and via social media in May will hopefully provide a bigger push, but we all know that 2020 was an unprecedented year. 


Financial Report (Afton Benson)



Future Festival Site Report (Mike Sullivan)



Membership (Marilyn Sullivan)
Membership Data



Marketing Report (Erin Stephens/Matan Presberg)


Erin back in Cali in about a week

Sara Noelle likely joining marketing team shortly


IRC Report (Erin Stephens)



YJA Report (Galen Harp)



OpsO Report (Scott Steiskal)

Scott: Mike presented some more options for investing funds. I have not had a chance to go deeper than a brief review but with a cursory glance at least one if not both could be an even stronger options. The fees are definitely lower just have to find some info on taking out funds to confirm it is a good option. Would like to have a discussion next planning meeting and put one up for a vote. 

I will start looking at a calendar of things that need to happen month to month.


6. Motions for Consideration

A: Motion to approve Afton Benson for the 2022 IJA festival director in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Author : Mike Sullivan
Motion : Eric
Second : Aslynne

Discussion : IJA Board put out a call for applications for the 2022 festival director position in January, with a deadline of earlier this month, April 9,  for submissions. Dan Holzman and Yours Truly have submitted their application.

Mike Sullivan: Dan and I are retired, so can devote quite a lot of time to this project.


Mike Moore note (21-04-27 afternoon): there was also a second submission, from Afton Benson

Afton: focus on community engagement and reaching out to a more diverse  community

Aslynne: Anything new planned?
Dan: Talked with CindyMarvell, considering making a show featuring underrepresented groups

Mike M: (for Mike S and Dan): issues with underpayment of performers? [Mike M note: had the wrong year.  Oops!]

Dan: No, not for the 2017 festival

Scott: Plan to do additional shows again like in 2017?

Dan: Maybe not the same, but set up a bar for each additional show, which helped with the hotel. One of the shows should focus on underrepresented groups/performers. Plans to work with Matt Hall, David Cain, Kevin Axtell, but also bring in new people for the team infrastructure. 

Mike M: Plans to identify new talent? 

Dan: Definitely keeping an eye out on new performers. 

Aslynne: efforts to reach those with lower finances?

Dan: Appreciated the tiered pricing schemes we have used in the past

Aslynne: Any thoughts on interactive virtual activities? 

Dan: Hasn’t put that much thought into it, but everything moving forward would have a virtual component, so interactivity will be important. Judging for Games Night? 

Matan: to Afton, on top of full time job and work with IJA, why take on added role of fest director? 

Afton: Lots of PTO from full time job, has put together team, not just taking on the entire load of organizing the entire fest. 

Amy: (for both applicant teams): How well do you know Cedar Rapids? Plans to integrate with the local community? 

Afton: Cedar Rapids is 4 hours away from where Afton lives. Already has done some reconnaissance on outings that might be of interest to jugglers, and also looked into potential local grant organizations (potential discounts for locals, as well as workshops for underprivileged community, as well as discounted show tickets). 

Mike S: Working with Cedar Rapids Commerce folks over a decade, worked on 2017 festival. Organized “skuggling” (skiing and juggling), had paid gigs with the Cedar Rapids library and busking at the farmers market. Those relations are still in place. Other things will be revived, like the half price or discount tickets for charitable groups for the shows.

Chris (for both applicants): Thoughts on virtual aspects at the non-virtual festival

Dan: Promised live stream or some kind of virtual aspect for those who cannot attend (from conversation with Judy Finelli)

Afton: talking with current (virtual) fest team this year about what things can be carried forward to next year. Lots of people attended the virtual AGM for 2020, so definitely a lot of potential for doing that as well. 

Chris: (to Afton): will you be running two festivals this year?

Afton: No, doesn’t run MONDO. Not worried about the workload. 

[Mike, Dan, Afton leave the call]

Aslynne: Afton’s saying she’s fine for time, but with MONDO, work, tax season, etc., might be a strain.  If she got a team together, could still be great.

Eric: She says she has lots of time off, her proposed team seems strong

Aslynne: She has time off, but her organization still has to run…might be difficult to take time off at important dates

Amy: Afton is always thorough.  It might be a strain, but I’m sure she’ll do it

Eric: Afton does a great deal of work on contracts *during* the fest set up and negotiations, and cleaning up after the festival. If Afton is running the fest, those contracts will be done right the first time. 

Scott: 2017 fest was really strong, as an attendee, and the budget was very strong.  Creative ways of paying performers worked very well.

Amy: All are very strong candidates.  Afton seemed to have a stronger plan to integrate with the community.  Dan and Mike leaned more toward supporting jugglers at the fest. Not sure if having a featured night for underrepresented groups is the best way of accomplishing the goal.

Matan: Afton likely to better connect with underrepresented jugglers, Mike and Dan probably more connected to mainstream juggling community.

Eric: Based on Afton’s proposed team, they would also probably have no problems reaching mainstream juggling community

Chris: Mike S and Dan have strong contacts/contracts in Cedar Rapids.  Would those transition to Afton if she were picked?

Mike M: For contracts (based on Mike S’s role of future fest director), yes.  For contacts from their experiences as fest directors in 2017, it would be more ad hoc.

Eric: I imagine that Mike S/Dan would help out Afton 

Scott: fully confident in both applicant/teams. Has no doubt either would produce a fantastic festival. Real question is the larger direction of the organization, the vision of the festival and how we are evolving. 

Several: All candidates have been very strongly involved in festivals in many aspects


Aslynne motions to amend:

Motion to approve Afton Benson  for the 2022 IJA festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Motion : Aslynne
Second : Matan

Discussion: Process questions, answered

Vote :
In favour: All
Oppose :
Abstain :
Result : Passes unanimously

Top level motion:

Vote :
In favour: Eric, Matan, Amy, Chris, Aslynne, Mike
Oppose :
Abstain : Scott
Result : Motion passes


  1. The IJA provide two (2) sets of two (2) DVDs from the IJA store, and $50 in teespring credit for the 2021 Online Raffle


Author: Eric Shibuya

Motion: Scott

Second: Aslynne


Vote :
In favour:
Oppose :
Abstain :
Result: Passes unanimously


  1. To approve the awards committee’s decisions of the following honorary awards recipients for 2021:

Award of Excellence – Alan Sulc

Historical Achievement Award – Chrys Holt

Excellence in Education Award – Thom Wall

Extraordinary Service Award – Taylor Glenn 

Honorary Life Membership – Alan Howard


Author: Mike Moore

Motion: Eric

Second: Amy



In the future, could we get a short rationale for each?


Vote :
In favour:
Oppose :
Abstain :
Result: Passes unanimously


7. Varia:

IJA Virtual Hangout [Chris]

This coming Month (May) is going to be on the 8th instead of the 1st. 

Current numbers of people who have attended:


Video Collaborations [Chris]

Chris reached out to Zak and he is interested, but just wants more details until things are final. We need to propose a budget per video for him that he agrees with. If we want to gather videos for June we need to announce for submissions through all of may (by next newsletter)


Chris: Would like to have the IJA donate some memberships for Zak’s Patreon raffle

Mike: Should not be an issue

Aslynne: Recommend we set up a contract/set time period for this, so we don’t lock ourselves in.

Chris: Yes, very good point, we should do this. This one was rushed, needed an editor by May to set up for June video collaboration. Should actually set up a list of required qualifications. 

Scott: Comfortable with offering this to Zak for this one, and then making a larger call for applicants.

Chris: So we should do a call for an editor and submissions into the next newsletter, so we can set up the contract for the editor, and build up submissions.

Mike M: ball park idea of compensation $50-100, some combination of cash, memberships, maybe other? 

Several: This last seems the best move forward right now. 

Scott: Perhaps we should go with Zak right now? Better to get contant out?

Mike: Try to reach out to others first, consider Zak as contingency

8. Confirm Next Meeting

Next meetings will take place on…

May 11th 9:00 pm EDT for the next vision meeting

May 18th 9:00 pm EDT for the next business meeting


9. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 10:48 pm EDT. 

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