Business Board Meeting March 24th, 2020

1. Call to Order

Chair, Mike Moore, called the meeting to order at: 8:05 pm EDT

2. Roll

Present: Afton Benson, Sofia Noethe, Eric Shibuya, Mike Sullivan, Galen Harp, Matan Presberg, Martin Frost, Amy Wieliczka, Mike Moore, Noel Yee, Craig Lewis

Absent: Exuro 

Recorder: Eric Shibuya


3. Approval of Agenda

Motion: Matan

Second by: Amy


Vote: Vote passes unanimously

4. Approval of Minutes: 

Business Board Meeting (LINK)

Motion: Eric

Second: Sofia


Vote: Vote passes unanimously


5. Reports 

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


2020 Festival Report (Noel Yee)

Discussion: Site visit had been planned for today, but pushed back due to Covid-19 concerns. Waiting to cosign several things, but holding off as the viability of the convention is uncertain. Fliers are available for those who wish them. 

Noel: Thoughts on cancellation: Will be a challenging financial year for IJA regardless. There will be losses already. Cancelling the event seems like a bad option, but continuing seems a very tough sell. Anticipate sales half as good as original projection. 

Afton: We can cancel performers contracts 96 hours in advance without penalty. If we got the numbers of pre-registration numbers that we were hoping, we would still be taking a substantial loss. (about 80K out of a 104K budget). If we cannot get any of our deposits back (room block commitments are *not* factored into the budget as yet If we continue with the fest and do not fill these rooms, we will owe the hotels. That is not calculated into the current budget). If we cancel sooner, the loss is around 30K. On the other hand, travel costs have dropped right now. As example, flights from Minneapolis to El Paso (usually $500-700) are now $225. We do already have our first cancellation due to Covid-19 concerns.

Sofia/Mike Sullivan: Do not need to decide tonight, but must have a definite date, sooner rather than later. 

[Erin joins the call]

[Scott joins the joining times approximate]

Matan: once we confirm our decision (cancellation, no cancel), we need to send message out to membership. 

Noel: There should be in the email a definite date listed. Also need to consider international guests. 

Afton: IJA has historically given refunds, but would love to be able to give the option to hold the reservation for the next convention.

Mike Sullivan: maybe an incentive (gift card, etc,) to allow us to hold the reservation. 

Mike Moore: Difference in festival package costs year to year? Afton: roughly the same costs. Would not put the Wichita festival director in a bad spot.

Martin: Is it feasible to keep track of those reservations that we are holding? Is it worth the stress? 

Afton: It’s easier to keep track of the reservations, not a real issue. 

Erin: maybe even ask those who have purchased fest packages to consider donating that to the IJA to offset losses incurred with El Paso cancellation

Mike Sullivan: was supposed to open hotel reservations 1 April. Will hold off opening on that until decision is made.

Sofia (to Scott’s suggestion that we make decision at next Board meeting, likely 24 April): should probably make decision sooner than that. 

Amy: two reasons to wait. (1) this all clears up and we can move forward. (2) Government forces cancellation and we will not then be liable for the $30K. 

Afton (to Martin’s question on force majeure clauses for cancellation/liability): Depends on the venue.

Amy: So even if we do wait, we could still be liable for the $30K? Afton: yes. 

Mike Sullivan: penalty for the venue does not change the longer we wait (5 days from decision, NOT 5 days from event)

Comment from Mike S.: Also keep in mind champs competitors and performers likely not being able to practice, rehearse for time being — would impact Champs and featured shows.

Afton: Festival team is looking for:

  1. Good for refunds/donation/hold the reservation (refund policy)
  2. Want to know when the decision to hold the festival will occur
  3. Do we want to send initial communication about this?  When should we communicate what?

Afton’s drafted email (sent a ~week ago):

Hello Jugglers!

The Festival Director team along with the IJA Board of Directors are keeping a close eye on the COVID19 situation and are following the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for festivals and gatherings. With that being said the IJA Festival in El Paso, TX is currently going forward as planned. We will be monitoring the CDC and WHO regularly, as we go through the next months and make sure to keep you all updated should there be any changes that relate to the festival.

All the best,

The IJA Festival Director Team

Noel, Shivella, Ross, Afton, and Nathan


Financial Report (Afton Benson)

Discussion: Discussed above


Future Festival Site Report (Mike Sullivan)

Discussion: Nothing going on right now. Working on future site in Evansville. (everything on hold)


eJuggle Report (Scott Seltzer)

Discussion: None


Membership (Marilyn Sullivan)
Membership Data

Discussion: Moore: might be interesting to see the impacts of a festival cancellation on membership


Marketing Report (Erin Stephens/Matan Presberg)

Discussion: Great response to #Isolatricks

Sent out a call for tutorials in Spanish and English, got a great response

IJA is doing a great job bringing some light to the community and being a hub

The Cyber Juggling Convention happened!  It’s going to repeat every Saturday for a little while


IRC Report (Erin Stephens)


Israel canceled

Mexico is postponing till October (undetermined date) July IRCs all wiped out, likely through August. Erin expects Portland (North America, late September) to be next one, then those that are postponed. And then changing the dates of the Juggling World Cup.

Africa tickets already purchased (October), Israel tickets refunded (credit for Delta Air) 


YJA Report (Galen Harp)

Discussion:  Updated Tuesday, March 24th

    Hello everyone.   I have seen a significant rise in button demand.  Many of the instructors are using this as something for their students to keep working on while maintaining social distance.  This week I made and sent out 200 buttons and I have orders for around 150 more to send out in the next few days.  The proposal that I have uploaded will help us to expand into the European juggling community.  I have had interest but the shipping costs have always been an obstacle. 


Proposal to Buy a Button Maker for the European Juggling Community


Mike Moore: Would Unna Med be interested in purchasing the button maker? Afton will inquire with Unna Med. Hope for response inside a couple of weeks. 


6. Motions for Consideration

A: Motion to establish definite date for cancellation of 2020 IJA Festival

Author : Eric Shibuya
Motion : None
Second : 

Discussion : 


Vote :
In favour:
Oppose :
Abstain :
Result : Dies before getting to table


  1. Motion to cancel 2020 IJA Festival

Author : Amy/Eric
Motion : Sofia
Second : Amy

Discussion : To avoid generating confusion, NO ONE SHOULD make this motion public until the IJA has published the information on its website.


Vote :
In favour: Sofia Noethe, Eric Shibuya, Matan Presberg (regretfully), Amy Wieliczka, Scott Steiskal, Mike Moore
Oppose : None
Abstain : None
Result : Passes unanimously


7. Varia:

Above questions answered: email communication for refund/defer/donation

Blanket statement about cancellation alone. Also included in newsletter. Then also a separate email statement. 

  1. Top priority first push all at once
    1. One blanket email sent out to all IJA membership by this weekend
    2. Secondary email sent out moments later to those already registered
    3. Take the links down & update our website
  2. Second priority 
    1. Notifications in social media shortly thereafter with positive spin
    2. Then notify the message to contacts at El Paso within 5 business days
    3. Also copy the statement in the newsletter

Refund policy:

Default refund, but can also choose to keep festival package till next year; can also choose to donate to offset festival cost losses this year

Let us know by May 1st what their choice is


8. Confirm Next Meeting

Next meetings will take place on…

April 7th for the next vision meeting

April 21st for the next business meeting


9. Adjournment

Motion to adjourn : Eric

Discussion : 

Voting : Motion passes unanimously

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