OPA Board Minutes Aug. 14, 2023

I. Call to Order



Sue Fagalde Lick

Bob Sterry

Efrain Diaz-Horna

Aaron Erhardt

Debra Elisa Wöhrmann

Lauren Mallett


Lorna Rose-Hahn

Nancy Christopherson

Charles Castle

II. Approval of July 18, 2023 minutes

Bob moved to approve the minutes as amended

Aaron seconded the motion

III. Officer Reports

     A. President’s report

1a. Nancy is resigning, and so we have six open seats on the OPA Board; She was VP and had planned to become President but now we need a President. She has also run the Adult Contest, so we need someone else to take on this big job.

1b. Willamette Writers Fair. Debra and I staffed the table on Friday, Aug. 4 in Portland. It was loud, crowded, and successful. We talked to a lot of people, handed out a lot of information, and made some good contacts. As an added bonus, Bob was there, representing his Clackamas Arts Alliance. It’s good to meet in person, and I hope OPA can start doing in-person events in the coming year.

2. NFSPS is looking for volunteers to help manage its contests. If anyone is interested, I will be happy to forward the info. 53 contests.

     B. Vice President—Nancy not present

     C. Secretary—Debra had no report other than sharing that her debut collection, You Can Call  It Beautiful, arrived last week—official publication date Sept. 1 from MoonPath Press.

     D. Treasurer—Aaron

1. 15-17 new members have paid dues.

2. Post Office Box: He resecured the OPA PO Box when autopay did not work as it should and he has set it up for the future. He also set it up so that most board members can now pick up the mail with appropriate ID.

3. Website Autopay went through and works well. Stacey has been paid to maintain website.

4. Current balance: $46,500

5. Checks from Eleanor are waiting to be deposited.

6. Aaron still needs Charles to send a signed copy of the May minutes, and then he will go to the bank and get his name on the account as Treasurer. They plan to meet soon.

IV. Committee Reports

     A. Social Media (Lorna)—not here

     B. Membership (Charles)—not here but membership is growing.

     C. Adult Contests (Nancy)—not present but sent email report:

“The fall contest is moving along nicely as scheduled; we’ve already received around 30 submissions and subs will continue to flow in regularly until peaking the last few days of the month. I’m seeing new names among the entrants, which is wonderful. The final day of the contest is always wildly busy, not surprisingly. Judges’ packets will go out September 2nd; the judges are ready and waiting. Their decisions should reach me by October 1st. Winners will be notified the following day and confirmed, then non-winners will be notified. Public announcements will be made a week or two after that, and files sent to Dale for Verseweavers and Aaron for the award and honorarium disbursements by mid October. All is on schedule.”

     D. Youth Contests (Lauren)—The contest is finished, but NFSPS opens their youth contests September 15th.

Lauren is preparing a google doc folder to help the person who will run future youth contests.

     E. Webmaster (Sue/Lorna)—nothing to report

V. Old Business:


1. Registration has begun on Submittable (not using Wild Apricot because there have been so many problems).

Notices have gone out on the website, social media, and the newsletter.

As of Sunday noon, we had eight conference registrations.

Remember, board members need to register, too.

2. Book page—Carolyn Adams has volunteered to work with Aaron on this, compiling the entries we receive through Submittable. The page is up and running as of Aug. 1. Four poets have submitted their information.

3. Banta Award—we need a certificate and a gift of some sort. Ideas.

Debra will work on a plaque.

Bob will work on a gift.   

B. Board Elections—Seven people have expressed interest: Sharon Johnson, David Goodrum, Melody Wilson, Corinne Hughes, Elisa Carlsen, Kate Ristau, and Sher Schwartz.

1. Sue would like to see several more qualified candidates in case some of these possible candidates decide not to run.

Those board members whose terms expire this year are eligible to run for another term. Or, if your job is not an elected position, you can volunteer to continue doing it as a non-board member.

2. We agreed at our June meeting to send out ballots on Aug. 15 with votes due Sept. 1.

Instead, ballots will go out on August 31, and votes will be due September 15.

We are still hoping for more candidates as a result of Debra’s active campaigning at the Willamette Writers Book Fair and other outreach from board members.

Also, September 1st is the day our fall contest ends, and we do not want to compete with this event.

      C. All Classical Music performance space (Bob)

Bob and Suzanne, from ACM, plan to talk again in September.

Bob and Emmett Wheatfall are planning to record a ‘Sizzle Reel’ promo video, combining poems and music and perhaps ACM will be interested.

VI. New business

      A. Efrain’s proposal to add a Spanish component to OPA:

1.Efrain showed us something produced in McMinnville which is half English/half Spanish and a model of what is possible to invite and honor bilingual art.

He would like to see more Spanish-English language poetry published in the OPA contests.

Sue would like to bring the Spanish Poetry Contest back into the Adult Contests, and everyone present agreed.

We plan to add this category back for the next contest. Although Efrain is leaving the board in October, he will help find a judge.

2.Eleanor Berry will be publishing “Salem Means Peace” with poetry from kids writing in Spanish and English. We recognize that bilingualism is an asset, and many Mexicans and other Latino Americans living in Oregon are tri-lingual.

3. In Salem, 50 percent of high school population is Spanish-speaking.

     B. Lauren suggests we sign up for hosting spots at the conference at the next meeting.

VII. Next board meeting

Monday, September 11, 2023

VII. Adjournment


Sue moved to end meeting

Lauren seconded this motion, and meeting was adjourned.

Minutes recorded by Debra Elisa Wöhrmann

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