General Membership Meeting Minutes: 10/14/2017

OREGON POETRY ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

October 14, 2017 Portland, Oregon

 

Retiring OPA president Tiel Ansari called the meeting to order. She thanked the membership for attending and extended an invitation to any member to step forward and volunteer since the OPA board is below critical mass for accomplishing the tasks required to remain a strong functional organization.

 

Tiel recognized board members for their work on the board and to prepare the conference.

 

The financial health of OPA is not robust. A large donation is pending. More information will be shared near the end of the year. The conference budget was aided by several donations above the attendance fee. OPA is deeply grateful for those donations.

 

A grant has been received to cover the cost of the student contest for the current year. Mailings have gone out to high schools.

 

Eleanor Berry delivered an impromptu report on her participation in the NFSPS. She said that group is healthy and some states have a stronger connection to NFSPS than does Oregon. She was the only attendee from Oregon at the national conference this year. The next conference is in Colorado. She invited OPA members to consider attending.

 

Concern was raised about accessibility to the Oregon Poetry Collection at the University of Oregon. OPA will address this in the future.

 

Tiel reminded members to check the OPA website for information regarding our purpose, policies and organizational structure. More effort will be put into raising our Facebook profile.

 

Comments from the floor were received with suggestions for future conference locations, length and cost. The president briefly explained the challenge of booking space and food and beverage provision for our group. Costs are rising. An opportunity for further comment was provided on the sheets in each attendee’s packet.

 

A suggestion to utilize a past president committee to assist the board was voiced.

 

Current board members stood to speak to the invitation to volunteer. Six OPA members presented themselves to serve on the board. A unanimous ballot was cast since no position was opposed. (Erik Muller term to expire 2018, Charles Castle term to expire 2019, Stella Guillory, Diane Corson and Bruce Parker terms to expire 2020 and Dale Champlin as alternate with no fixed term)

 

The retiring president introduced the incoming president and thanked the membership for assisting her during her many years of service.

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted

Joy L. McDowell

OPA board secretary

Board Minutes September 17, 2017

Oregon Poetry Association board minutes, September 17, 2017

(on Skype: Tiel, Lisa, Shirley, Joy, Lynn)

MID-VALLEY POETRY SOCIETY AND GRANT RELATIONSHIP: This program is coordinated by Eleanor Berry. They are seeking another grant source since their previous one had a two-year limit. A motion was passed that OPA continue allowing our name and tax ID to be used for future grants. Our organization is identified as a sponsor for this program.

CONFERENCE PLANNING: Conference registration begins 6:00 to 6 :30 PM on Friday evening.

Production of a program guide requires contacting workshop presenters for brief bios and program content. Lynn will include her short article on why she volunteered for the board in a newsletter on September 26. Another online conference reminder will go out in early October.

The hotel ballroom will be locked both nights, so OPA will not need to pay for box storage. Any cash will be removed at the end of each day. The shortcut travel route between workshop rooms goes through the café area and is available only for handicapped attendees and during the café’s low traffic hours, such as late afternoon. The regular route is longer, but will be marked on a map given to attendees at registration. Restrooms will also be marked on the map.

Board members are working either the registration table or book table. The book table will be set up in one of the workshop rooms. Board members will wear colored name tags. Conference evaluation forms will propose raising the registration fee.

GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING: Tiel will offer recognition for the forthcoming bequest, share a financial report, make a report on her term as President of OPA, recognize volunteers and pose questions regarding future conference length. Eleanor will present a report on the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. Ideas about fundraising will be elicited from the membership. Recruitment of new board members will be folded into the agenda. Election of new board members will be held.

BOARD MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES DOCUMENT: This is on the website and is being revised for clarity.

All OPA board members will be asked to write a brief statement about what they have gained from serving on the board. These will be included in a future newsletter.

BEQUEST TO OPA: OPA has been named as a beneficiary in estate papers. More information will be available as the process settles. The board is discussing the wisdom of incorporating and how that would impact bequests and grant writing. Quasi-endowments were mentioned by board members. OPA examined both short and long-term options for sheltering the bequest while OPA designs a long range and more detailed plan. We need to find a volunteer attorney to assist OPA with incorporation.

FUTURE BUSINESS: Not all members are receiving messages from Constant Contact. We may need to shop around for another service.

STUDENT CONTEST: A notice about the opening of the student contest will be placed in one of the upcoming newsletters.

Respectfully submitted by Joy McDowell, OPA secretary

Board Minutes August 13th, 2017

August 13, 2017 Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting Minutes

members on SKYPE phone call (Tiel, Joy, Shirley, Lisa, Lynn)

Penina has decided not to go forward as a board member due to family illness.

ADMINISTRATION: The OPA Website now has the ability for members to add photos with their postings. The webmaster must approve all images.

Tiel is researching incorporation for OPA. We were grandfathered in as a non-profit by the state. We are now in a gray zone. Our status in grant requests might be enhanced if we were a corporation. Attorney fees would likely be associated with this undertaking.

ADULT CONTEST: The deadline is September 1. Entries arrive by both Submittable and snail mail.

STUDENT CONTEST: Distribution of information via press release and mailings will occur near October 1. The contest opens on October 15. The Collins Foundation will not fund the student contest this year. Lynn will contact them in January regarding future application timing. The Autzen Foundation’s response may not be known before October 1. Our grant request was for $3500. Cascadia is the most expensive portion of the budget for the student contest. OPA can reduce costs by eliminating cash awards and reducing the number of Cascadia copies printed.

Lisa has offered to carry the initial information mailing costs and be reimbursed in the future. If the Autzen grant does not come through, OPA will ask the general membership to assist with funding the printing and mailing of Cascadia.

The awards ceremony in spring of 2018 could be held downstate. The board discussed Salem and Eugene locations. A date on a May weekend might work better than an April date.

Lynn suggested that based on contingency funding OPA proceed with the student contest as planned. The board agreed.

BEQUEST: The board has not yet established a plan for investment and use of the coming bequest. The board will consider setting up spending guidelines. Board members were requested to research quasi-endowments, CDs, Money Market, etc.

A category in the upcoming spring adult contest will be named in the benefactor’s memory. Recognition will also be given at the annual membership meeting at the October conference.

2017 CONFERENCE PLANS: Projected expenses are for eighty attendees. We need fifty-seven registrants paying the sixty-five dollars full registration fee to balance our budget. Seventeen lunches will be complimentary. Coffee and key note speaker costs are still being factored into the budget. Negotiations to lower food costs are ongoing and detailed cost information will be available at the next meeting. Early bird registration ends on September 10.

Shirley has visited the Hilton on Gateway in Springfield to see if they have the capacity to host our 2018 annual conference. She will check the downtown Eugene Hilton as well. The Valley River Inn will also be investigated. The 2018 conference will be discussed at a future board meeting. The board agreed to consider reducing the 2018 conference agenda from three to one or two days.

The Lane Literary Guild has moved their twice-a-year poetry readings from the Springfield Library to a new location. The library wished to have a local poet or poets for an April reading in conjunction with their winter/spring local writers program. Shirley acted as an OPA contact and arranged for poets for the April 7, 2018 reading. There will also be an open mic opportunity.

BOARD MEMBERS & OFFICERS: Recruitment of a treasurer and additional board members must move forward. Lisa, who is vice-president of OPA, will act as president (with much assistance) for the coming year. Lynn will handle technical issues.  Tiel will continue for a year as unofficial treasurer and provide monthly reports, but not attend meetings unless requested. Joy will stay on as secretary. Tiel, Susan and Dick will retire from the board in October.

NEXT MEETING: OPA will hold a brief meeting to discuss conference registrations at 6:30 PM on September 12th. Our next regular board meeting will be September 17 from 1 to 4 PM.

respectfully submitted, Joy McDowell, OPA board secretary