Board Minutes July 16th, 2017

July 16, 2017 Oregon Poetry Association Board Meeting Minutes

(on SKYPE conference call: Tiel, Lisa, Joy, Shirley, Susan)


FALL ADULT CONTEST is open. A handful of membership renewals have come in because of the contest.


CONVERSATION PROJECTS in Springfield and Grants Pass were successful. Positive feedback. Thirty people in Grants Pass. Sixteen attended Springfield’s evening. Reports with sign-up sheets have been forwarded to Oregon Humanities. Copies of the reports should be kept for future reference.


STUDENT CONTEST: Board members assigned to the student contest are working on funding opportunities. Cost of mailing will be included in grant request. Mass mailings to high schools should arrive in teacher’s hands about the first of October.


OPA NEWSLETTER will be sent from an OPA email account rather than an individual’s email. Changes in the mass email system are still being fleshed out. The letter from Lynn regarding her reasons for being a board member will be included with the newsletter.


FINANCIAL STATUS: No changes on projected figures from last month. No word on bequest.


WEBSITE: Ideas about website design should go to Tiel or Oregon Poets Gmail. OPA’s Outlook account is more secure than Gmail and receives our business mail. Tiel will manage the website changeover from Katie Eberhardt. OPA also has a Facebook page.


OCTOBER CONFERENCE registration information will be released August 1, 2017. Board members can share the conference flyer from Shirley with other parties since it is a PDF. Tiel sent last year’s format to Shirley. The registration form and schedule will be on our website, in mass email and sent to other outlets.


September 10 is the early bird registration deadline. A reminder about this registration deadline will be sent September 5. The hotel’s special rate for OPA reservation deadline is September 12.


The conference menu will be finalized by August 15. The hotel will work with our limited budget. OPA’s order can be flexible at outset and firm up nearer date of conference. Our request for workshop AV equipment will be submitted. Coffee provision is expensive. Limited coffee and tea are part of our current plan. There is a coffee shop in the hotel that attendees can patronize. OPA will also request a parking discount for attendees. The regular fee is $15 for overnight. Two years ago, the hotel discounted parking to $9 per day. There was also a service change. Shirley will inquire about that charge.


OPA had approximately seventy in attendance at the 2015 Portland conference. Students pay only $40 to register. Recognition for the bequest would come during the business meeting.


OPA’s next meeting will be Sunday August 13, 2017 from 1 to 4.


Respectfully submitted by Joy McDowell, secretary of OPA board

OPA Board Meeting and Retreat, June 17th 2017


L to R: Tiel Aisha Ansari, Dick Cameron, Shirley Marc, Penina Taesali, Joy McDowell, Lynn Otto, Susan Clayton-Goldner, Lisa Baldwin


Photo: Jack Christman





Saturday June 17, 2017 at Shirley Marc’s home.

Those attending: Tiel, Lynn, Susan, Dick, Shirley, Joy, Lisa, Penina

*Dorothy Blackcrow has resigned from the OPA board effective immediately. A card of recognition and gratitude was signed by all board members.

The board welcomed new member Penina Taesali, who expressed interest in assisting with youth poetry.

FINANCIAL REPORT: Our spreadsheet projects conference income but not expected expenses.  The hotel has not charged a deposit yet. Full cost will show in October following the conference. Last year costs were $6500.

CONFERENCE: Registration for October conference opens on August 1. The board set closing date for early bird registration as September 10. Board discussed a contingency plan for OPA if bequest amount is delayed. Joy offered to loan OPA a modest amount if we need a temporary loan. As a contingency OPA can cancel the conference if our registrations lag and bequest is delayed again. No later than September 13, the board will make a decision to move forward or cancel the conference.

Shirley will prepare a flyer for the conference to include with registration mailings. Efforts will be made to get conference information out online to academic locations.

An invitation and free conference registration will be extended to the local Manningham Contest senior division winner.

ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS: Regarding Constant Contact, it appears OPA can save money by changing to a lower level of service.

Our conference call service was cancelled due to cost. We will look for a new provider. We will experiment with SKYPE and investigate Calliflower

Calendar and website are separate annual charges. Our OPA calendar is underused.  Calendar costs $60 each year and website about $100 per year.  Verseweavers is not yet published and charged to our account. Last year the cost was about $1400 without mailing.

Administrative costs include membership in NFSPS, which is approximately $500 per year. This allows members to enter contests at a member rate and for students to participate in the Manningham contest. OPA pays $50 toward the William Stafford category in the NFSPS annual contest.

The OPA post office box is in Portland where a board member must pick up mail. Printing costs and postage add to the costs of administration. $100 or less is used for special recognition at conference.

Our next adult contest will have fewer categories, resulting in fewer judges receiving remunerations. Penina, Lynn and Dick will apply for grants during summer to allow for an early-in-the-school year decision about going forward with the student contest. In the past OPA has received funding from both Collins and Autzen Foundations. The next deadline for both is August 1.

Including an OPA annual report of 2016 and a 2017 budget would improve our grant request. The 990-N tax return has been filed for 2016. The form is filed at least every 2 years.

CONFERENCE PLANNING: The board reviewed the conference proposals. Workshops were given a higher priority than individual readings. A tentative conference schedule was mapped out. Shirley will notify accepted presenters with assigned slots and length of workshops. The membership meeting will occupy the  hour before lunch.

The Oregon Poetry Collection housed at the University of Oregon Knight Library has a lapsed Memorandum of Understanding. A meeting of the Collection committee was held Friday, June 16.  The MOU will be revised and signed.

Dick, who is on the Historical Society Collection Committee, will determine what the legal nature of our relationship is regarding the existing archives held by the Society. The University of Oregon Library is interested in acquiring our archives if we do not have a prior arrangement. A Gift Letter would be signed in that case.

The OPA Bank of America bank account signature card must be updated.  Motion was made that, effective immediately, the following persons should have access to OPA’s bank account: Tiel Jackson and Lynn Otto. Motion was seconded and passed with a unanimous vote. After Tiel leaves the board in October this process must be repeated. Tiel will contact the Non-Profit Association for advice on how best to proceed for our banking needs.

Clarification of our legal status with the state would help our ability to use crowd funding options to raise funds. Board members discussed raising dues and contest fees. Tiel will explore adding a $5 donation category to our Submittable site.

STUDENT CONTEST: Ideas were discussed for upgrading future awards ceremonies.

The board debated the merits of adding time and activities to the ceremony. Penina volunteered to investigate the Ike Box in Salem as a venue for a future awards ceremony. Penina plans to work with a Salem 13-year-old to start a poetry club at a local school.

Tiel will design bookmarks with information about OPA. Ideas were shared to improve the OPA website. Posting winning poems with short statements from authors was suggested. Shirley will provide nature photos to brighten the site.

Motion made and passed to extend free one-year memberships to high school student winners and the participating teachers who have at least two or more winners in the contest.

The next board meeting will be held on Sunday, July 16 at 1-4 PM.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Joy L. McDowell, OPA Secretary

Board Minutes May 21st, 2017

May 21, 2017, Minutes

Oregon Poetry Association

Board Meeting

On the phone:  Tiel, Lynn, Shirley, Dick, Lisa (Dorothy, Susan, Joy unavailable)

Bank of America: needs minutes signed by the secretary stating who will be on the account. Tiel still has access. This is going on the retreat agenda.


Student contest: Cascadia and Manningham contest copies just arrived at Tiel’s house and will be sent/delivered shortly.

Adult contest: winners have been notified and are on the website. Tiel will send checks to judges shortly.

Oregon conversation project: Springfield event will be June 28, 4:30. Shirley reports that the library is making the flyer and posting on its website and will send her a copy; the library will send out an edited news release, Shirley will make sure the Eugene Weekly is contacted and the Poetry Jam group. She is planning to get flyers to bookstores, university, coffee shops, and possibly the Humanities chair at LCC and a few people at the UO before the end of term. Grants Pass event will be July 7, 4:30. Lisa has an appointment with librarian next week re advertising, etc.

Constant Contact emails: some members not getting (or finding) them. Discussed adding “Don’t forget to add to your address book so we’ll be sure to land in your inbox!” to the new member/renewal confirmation email, but using OPA’s outlook email address instead (which would require Constant Contact to be sent from that address).

Financial status and liability: In answer to the question “Would the board be liable for OPA debt,” Dick’s attorney friend said it depends on what the liabilities of the association are, but for an unincorporated association, by law the membership bears the liabilities of the association. Dick assumes, then, that the board would have a special obligation. Tiel will consult with the nonprofit association of Oregon to find out more.

Motion made and approved that we do not spend money we do not have.

Richard will send board members the 2016 budget so we can discuss ways to save and increase revenue at the retreat. Dick will phone the attorney re the benefactor estate. Board members will bring to the retreat ideas for saving and generating income, for example, reducing the phone bill by finding a free conference call host.

Current balance is $3228.00. Pending expenses: student ceremony catering, adult judges and prizes, mailing of books & certificates, internet spam guard fee.

Continuing Business

Oregon Poetry Collection MOU meeting date still needs to be set: Joy and Tiel, Eleanor Berry, David Hedges, and maybe Linda Varsell-Smith will attend.

Conference planning: We’ll map out a timeline at the retreat. Richard will email a conference fee calculation to the board. Shirley has received eight proposals, four of them readings. Workshops have been given priority in the past and we’ll continue to do so. Tiel has a radio interview tomorrow and will mention the call for proposals. The call did not specify session length (60 minutes), and we have received a 1.5- to 2-hour proposal. Depending on what other proposals we receive, we might consider a more varied schedule.

Board recruitment: Dorothy recruited Penina Taesli, who will be invited to the retreat. Lynn’s open letter about why she is on the board might be something to include in conference materials and/or in a pre-conference mailing.

We discussed the membership chair tasks, time involved, and the possibility of job-sharing. Lynn suggested bringing laptops to retreat if possible, so processes can be shared.

Tiel will send the most recent membership directory to board members so we can look at members in our own area for possible board members.

New Business

Tiel will consult with a member who is very familiar with our benefactor to discuss the memorial category in the adult contest (which will be added to the contest after the money is received).


Will be held at Shirley’s house in Springfield on June 17, 9:00 – 4:00. Added fundraising to the agenda. Board members should review the website before the retreat and make suggestions for improvement.

(Tiel’s phone died, and she closed the meeting by email).

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Otto (substitute secretary)