1. Call to Order
Chair, Aslynne Howes, called the meeting to order at 8:04 pm EST
Present: Niels Duinker, Amy Wieliczka, Matan Presberg, Scott Steiskal, Aslynne Howes, Afton Benson
Absent: Chris Garcia, Benjamin Domask-Ruh
3. Approval of Agenda
Second by: Niels
Vote: Unanimously approved
4. Approval of Minutes:
Business Board Meeting (LINK)
[Martin Frost joined the call at 8:07ET]
Vote: Unanimously approved
Please keep verbal reports to 5 min or less except for festival discussion.
2022 Festival Report (Afton Benson)
Afton: Was hoping to have fest registration open, but didn’t happen, planning for mid-December. Crash (John Jessmon) can do embroidery as well as the usual shirts, requested a quote
Financial Report (Afton Benson)
Dennis got the Q3 financials to Afton last Wed. Updates forthcoming in the next meeting. 2021 Online Festival pulled a very small profit (but a profit!) Big thanks to Passing Zone donating their master class profits back to the IJA.
Future Festival Site Report (Mike Sullivan)
We are continuing to qualify our best prospect for our 2026 festival, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
We had further discussions with them and received a preliminary proposal from the Center which, when combined with the incentive Visit Tulsa can offer us, will meet our financial requirements. The Cox Business Convention Center is massive, new and modern, and will handle our space requirements without any issues.
They have a handful of nice hotels attached to and surrounding the Center, ALL of them in our price range. They also have a theater complex / PAC a five-minute walk away with no fewer than four different performance theaters under one roof, at least one of which should be perfect for us.
Our CVB contact in Tulsa is feeling out the PAC for quotes on our theater needs. When those come in, we will finalize the thumbnail proposal and likely schedule a site visit for early January.
Afton: Heads up that there’s a budget for future festival site visits.
Martin: Are those rolled into the profit/loss of a given festival or kept separate?
Afton: Ideally rolled in, but that’s an accounting nightmare, so rolled into the general operating budget of the IJA. Usually on the low end – $1,000. Mike Sullivan had been donating his flights. The host city puts us up and buys dinner, so only have to cover minimal transportation cost and sometimes flights. We established a budget when Craig came on.
Scott: Flights to Tulsa are cheap!
Membership (Marilyn Sullivan)
No updates to membership data
Marketing Report (Erin Stephens/Matan Presberg)
80,200 instagram followers, 11 posts on instagram in November, but our goal is to have one every single day
Sent a message to the team and heard from Erin that she is very burnt out on marketing. Sounds like there’s a lot of stuff happening in Erin’s part of the world. She’s looking to move on as the marketing director. For next steps, she plans to email Aslynne.
It was her understanding that we ask officers if they would like to continue, and we haven’t done that the past few years. We look for officers to proactively resign, rather than asking them.
Operationally, this doesn’t change much due to the degraded status of the marketing team over the past while.
Martin: Matan would you be interested and willing?
Matan: Something I’ve thought about a lot, it makes sense and I have been acting in this role, but also I’m not sure about my capacity to increase my commitments to IJA right now. One hope is that Sara could move into a director role. Maybe co-director? Maybe Matan could be the interim co-director? Regardless, we need to expand our marketing team. Marketing hasn’t stepped up for many of the programs.
Martin: Who is Sara?
Matan: Sara Noelle – juggler from Oakland, CA. Not directly involved with the IJA community, but has social media acumen and loves juggling.
Amy: Sara was also show director for the Flow Show in 2020.
Aslynne: Did we contact our officers?
Martin: Scott was to send an email to Martin about the pro-term extensions, but it never went out. Martin has a stock email that he could probably find.
Scott: Maybe I’ll draft something – send it after the new year. Requesting affirmative consent one way or the other.
Afton: We historically send this email right after the festival
Martin: The new board after the festival will appoint officers for the coming year, so the old board does the pro-term extension. We talked about doing it in May so that we could be aware of people stepping out by the festival.
Afton: We have a festival in order to recruit someone. Let’s do it in May!
Martin: We could even do this right now.
Afton: We should do it now.
Aslynne: Agreed. This is our second director or officer who no longer wishes to continue their position.
Scott: Will draft something by mid-week.
Matan: This email should not go to Erin, we need to deal with this with a more personal touch.
Aslynne: Will contact Erin
Martin: Most of the officers don’t do much throughout the whole year, but for Erin it makes sense to give a more personal touch.
Scott: List for volunteers so we can start putting out a call.
Matan: This works best for short-term tasks, much harder to do continuous work in a small team. Adding more people to the team can add administrative overhead. Need to make sure that person is actually adding value for the administrative overhead.
Scott: I would like to know from each officer what they need in terms of volunteers.
Martin: Perhaps the email going out to existing officers could mention that if they know of people interested in helping – mention explicitly the Marketing Director role – or even smaller volunteer roles.
Aslynne: General call for volunteers, people interested in a specific position.
Martin: General IJA member might not know what officer roles we have or what volunteers we need.
Amy: Does anyone know people who have added volunteer roles to their resume?
Afton, Scott, Matan, Aslynne: all said “yes”
Amy: Can we also reframe it as a way to get experience for their resume?
Matan: Internship program to pull in young jugglers? It would take a lot of work to get this going.
Martin: Vision? Unpaid I assume
Matan: No clear vision, but a clear job title.
Afton: Officer really needs a standard operating procedure or SOP – if Afton got hit by a bus tomorrow, is there a document of all the things Afton does every month? Pretty good documents for Fest Director, IRCs, Championships. But not many others. It would be awesome to know what happens each month.
Scott: Solidify all our processes and roles.
Afton: At least for the key areas.
Aslynne: All really good points. This is a business meeting so let’s wrap in 5 minutes and move to email and vision meeting.
Matan: Can I suggest that we actually have an entirely other meeting about it? Scott as COO, great for you to lead that.
Scott: Wants to go through the archives. Will send out the letter first to existing officers, and then will start going through all the information.
Martin: For the email going out in a week or so, do you want to send that out, do you want Martin to send it out?
Scott: Scott will send it out, that way officers know if they have issues, they reach out to Scott.
Martin: In that email you should of course mention it’s coming from the Chief Operating Officer.
Aslynne: When can we schedule the meeting for this?
Scott: It should be able to happen in December before Christmas.
Matan: That would be awesome. If we take our time and do this well, that will give us better results.
Scott: I will have a more concrete plan of next steps and timeline by the vision meeting and we can discuss it there.
Aslynne: We normally only have a business meeting, no vision meeting in December. So maybe we have a specific vision meeting on this topic for December?
Scott: That’s maybe moving too fast, lots of information to process. Major goal is to have it before we hear back from people. Will consider over the next 48 hours and will send an email.
Aslynne: Will you give officers a deadline?
Scott: Yes, by the 15th of January. If I don’t hear from them after the holidays, I’ll start pestering and sending follow-up emails.
IRC Report (Erin Stephens)
Discussion: No updates.
YJA Report (Galen Harp)
I had intended to present the YJA Teachers Manuel tonight, but I have been unable to reach Thom all week. I will continue to try to reach him and set up a time where we can discuss this with the board.
This week I sent out around 80 buttons in three different orders. That is all I have for updates. Since Thom can not be present I am going to work tonight instead of coming to the meeting. Have a great night everyone!
Amy: Been working on YJA officer role position, will aim to get it to you in the next day
Aslynne: I’d been assuming December but November works too!
Amy: Will send it to Martin in the next day or so.
OpsO Report (Scott Steiskal)
Scott: Looking forward to looking into officer roles. No other updates.
Aslynne: Any updates on the investment work?
Scott: The only one fully vetted is called Thrivent Financial – Mutual Fund in Minnesota. Scott can add the link for them, or keep looking. Had good customer service experience with them. Should we move forward with them, or keep looking?
Martin: What is their annual percentage fee?
Aslynne: Move forward sending us the link with the information, so we can decide. Likely worth continuing to look, but I know it’s been challenging.
Scott: An actual manager isn’t interested in the amount of money we have.
Martin: A managed fund isn’t worth it. The best thing is to get as small a fee as possible.
Scott: The Net Annual Fund Operating Expenses: 0.81%
Martin: Not too bad but not too good
Scott: YtD 11.5%, 1 year: 20%
Martin: Kind of meaningless, every year is a special case. This year in particular.
Aslynne: Please send an email, Scott
6. Motions for Consideration
A: Motion to approve limited 75th IJA Logo
Author : Afton Benson
Motion : Amy
Second : Matan
Afton: Pretty self-explanatory, for the limited edition sweater, and also for marketing. Since it’s technically a changed logo (changed the color) and added “75th annual” underneath.
Aslynne: Reason for color change?
Afton: On black sweater, 75th is the diamond jubilee, so Afton is looking for gold or iridescent to make it sparkly.
Martin: Seems like the top of the image is cut off.
Afton: If you don’t download it, Google isn’t displaying the .eps file proper. It won’t be cut off when it’s embroidered.
Result : Motion passes unanimously
B: Motion to increase the annual eJuggle budget from $9,000 to $10,200.
Author : Scott Seltzer
Motion : Matan
Second : Aslynne
Afton: We’ve talked about the fact that eJuggle doesn’t have to be making money for every article it puts out, and I agree. And Scott hasn’t had a budget increase in a very, very long time. That said, press on diversity in who we are paying – not just paying 2 people.
Aslynne: Email from Scott yesterday he said part of the plan is to increase the content creators so it’s not just the same 2 people every time, so he can put out more content as well.
Matan: If we increase the budget, we can make sure these things are happening, and we can decrease it back if it’s not? Or do we need to put in some stipulation? Or a temporary budget increase?
Afton: Because we don’t have a paid staff, the Board of Directors at any time can choose to cut any budget. Unless there is money specifically earmarked by a donor or covered on contract.
Aslynne: Would like to do this without any stipulations. The intention is to increase the diversity of content creators. Sent out an email to voting board members today.
Amy: Agree to no stipulations, it’s Scott’s program, and I’ve heard sufficient intentions to feel good about this.
Aslynne: will send email to Scott tonight.
Result : Motion passes unanimously
Amy: Been working on the migration, December will be busy but we might possibly be able to migrate it over in December. Can we get another list of imap accounts out of dreamhost? Amy will contact Martin and aim to have this done in December.
Martin: We should check with Marilyn and Mike Sullivan.
Amy: Can we do Dec 12?
Afton: Can I open registration around Dec 18th then?
Amy: I will contact Mike and Marilyn Sullivan if we can do the change over on the 12th. Can Martin get the alias list to Amy?
8. Confirm Next Meeting
Next meetings will take place on…
Sometime in January for the next vision meeting
December 19th at 8pm EST for the next business meeting
Meeting adjourned at 9:22pm EST.