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

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