OPA Board Minutes March 6, 2023

I. Call to Order
Sue called meeting to order at 6:31 pm
Sue Fagalde Lick
Bob Sterry
Efrain Diaz-Horna
Aaron Erhardt
Debra Elisa Wöhrmann
Nancy Christopherson
Lauren Mallett
Charles Castle
Lorna Rose-Hahn
II. Approval of Feb. 13, 2023 minutes
Nancy moved to approve the minutes, and Lauren seconded
III. Appointment of Charles Castle to the board to fill Jade Rosina McCutcheon’s slot,
which runs through Oct. 2025. Nancy moved to approve, and Debra seconded the motion.

  1. Welcome back to Charles who previously served on the board of (2017-2919).
  2. Charles will take over as Membership Chair.
  3. He is happy to serve on the board unless someone else would like to serve, and then
    he would continue as Membership Chair as a member at large.
    IV. Officer Report
    A. President (Sue)
  4. Highlights from the NFSPS presidents’ meeting:
  • The Georgia chapter loves OPA’s website and is using it as a model.
  • The Ohio chapter is holding readings along the “Underground Railroad” that
    slaves used to escape to freedom. They are partnering with an Underground
    Railroad commemoration group, seeking grants to help fund the project: What if
    we did something like this along the Oregon Trail—in the future?
  • The next “Learning Center” meeting for chapter presidents and any board
    members who want to attend is April 30, noon Pacific Time on Zoom. The subject
    is collaboration with other arts-related groups.
  1. Sue attended a meeting with Oregon “Partners”—a monthly meeting of various
    literary organizations including Willamette Writers, Writers Guild of Astoria, and
    Wordcrafters of Eugene.
  • Sue thinks OPA needs to know more about literary events around the state and
    help to promote these events.
  • Partner organizations encouraged Sue to consider giving jobs of the OPA to
    members not serving on the board—to spread the workload and allow board
    members to focus on policy.

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  • Another suggestion was to hire someone to manage OPA’s tech issues, to
    arrange for Zoom meetings, assist with Wild Apricot and website issues.
  • A member-at-large has offered to help with the website.
  1. Slamlandia happens on March 16 th in Portland and Debra will attend, take photos, and
    reach out to Julia Gaskill who runs this event.
  • OPA will support the winner of Slamlandia contest with a $1,000 stipend to
    attend the NFSPS conference in Iowa.
    B. Vice-President (Nancy)
  1. In addition to managing the Spring Contest, Nancy assisted roughly a dozen people
    who had difficulty navigating the Wild Apricot and Submittable sites and tracked
    down a wayward membership check.
  2. She followed up with Aaron on the MVPS/MCDC grant money check, and assisted
    Sue with various WordPress queries.
  3. Along with Sue Lick and Dan Liberthson, Nancy proofread the draft version of the
    Verseweavers manuscript.
  4. She sent invitations to the fifty-six 2022 contest winners and judges to attend the
    March readings. Thirty-six responded in the affirmative, and she registered each of
    these poets for readings: 18 for the Spring contest reading on March 14, and 18 for
    the Fall contest reading on March 16.
  • Three judges are registered to attend the first night; two judges the second
    night. The remaining invitees either declined or did not respond to the
    C Secretary (Debra)
  • Debra will hand over Post Office Box key to Bob this week because he
    frequents that part of Portland on a regular basis.     

D. Treasure (Aaron)

  1. Needs signed copy of Minutes from the February meeting sent to him so he can take
    it to Bank of America in order to access the OPA account.
  2. Balance: $ 49,369.64
    3 MCDC Grant check was for $2385
  3. Paid Eleanor Berry for Salem Art Festival.
  4. MVPS fund is now -$164.
  5. Need to order more checks.
  6. Aaron will investigate the possibility of writing electronic checks.
    V. Committee Reports
    A. Social Media (Lorna)—no report
    B. Membership-handing over to Charles
              Up to date as of Friday, March 3, 2023
              Need to add Charles as administrator on Wild Apricot and Submittable
  • 12 new members in past 30 days

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  • 420 members total
    C. Adult Contest (Nancy)
  1. For the Adult Poetry Contest: Poems are currently with the judges.
  • Judge decisions are due by April 1 st .
  • Winners will be contacted the following two or three days, and non-winners
    shortly after.
  • Winners will be officially announced mid-to-late April.
  • Checks should be disbursed in the latter half of April.
  1. A challenge of this contest has been the high number of entrants who did not follow
    entry guidelines (Name on poems; wrong font; line-count not specified, etc.) which
    created much more work for Nancy.
  • She hopes to revise the guidelines so entrants will more easily submit work that
    follows requirements—to ease the process.
  1. Entrees for the Adult Contest included:
    80 members submitted poems
    26 non-members submitted poems
    Poets Choice received 84 poems
    Members Only received 72 poems
    New Poets received 18 poems
    Traditional Epistolary received 59 poems
    Themed Wildlife received 70 poems
    A total of 303 poems were entered.
    D. Youth Contests (Lauren)
  2. 11 submissions so far which is good because a rush of poems usually arrive at the
    end of the month.
  3. Two Oregon students placed in the national Manningham poetry contest sponsored
    by NFSPS.
  • In the Junior Division, Rubina Wiedemer, homeschooled in Scappoose, won 5th
    Honorable Mention for her poem “Common Yellowthroat.”
    -In the Senior Division, Chase Balas from South Salem High School won
    3rd Honorable Mention for his poem “Hot Tub in a Heat Wave.”
  1. Some of the $3000 allocated for the Youth Contest will not be used.
    E. Webmaster (Sue/Lorna) – no report
    V. Old Business:
    A. Promotional material—on their way from Rana’s house to Sue’s
    B. Verseweavers readings—March 14 and 16—all need to register to attend.
  • Sue will host.
  • Nancy will MC.

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C. Verseweavers mailings—Dale needs someone to volunteer to label, stuff and mail the
books when they come, which will be after the readings.

  • Efrain has offered to contact Dale and help with labeling and mailing.
  • Sue will email Dale’s contact information to Efrain.
    D. National Poetry Month open mics every Monday on Zoom—would we like to trade
    off moderators?
  • Members with a new book within past three years are welcome to read.
  • No board members volunteered to MC.
    VI. New business
     1. Poll sent out 2/5/23 via Wild Apricot, and responses are similar to past results.
     2. The question of breaking the conference into more than one event was posed, and the
    possibility of a hybrid, in-person, or all-Zoom conference was discussed.
  1. Charles said an in-person event might be held in Eugene to promote Oregon Poetry
    Collection housed at the University of Oregon.
  2. Info on potential in-person sites—or virtual conference?
  • A reluctant decision was made that the conference will again be held on Zoom
    because of circumstances, complications of post-Covid adjustments, and
    recent changes in the Board.
  • Aaron reported that in search of a possible cite for the OPA conference, he
    learned that the Valley River Inn, in Eugene, experienced a recent 3-alarm
    fire. They are in the process of repair.
  • Next year the board plans to begin planning early and host an in-person
  1. The conference committee will meet separately on Zoom: Saturday, March 25, 11am.
    Sue will host
  • Committee members include Lauren, Bob, and Lorna.
    VII. Next board meeting
    Tuesday, April 11, 2023
    VII. Adjournment

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Potential Conference volunteers:
Betsy Fogelman Tighe, 503/954-3223 landline 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., 971/229-9514 cell,
[email protected]
Sharon Johnson, https://www.common-sage.com, [email protected]

Updated Conference poll results as of 3/3/23

  1. Of the following Oregon locations, which one(s) would you travel to for an OPA
    conference? Check all that apply.
    Total 214 votes
  2. If we offered a hybrid conference, would you attend in person or online?
    Total 89 votes
  3. Would you prefer a completely online conference?
    Total 90 votes
    Would you not attend at all?
    Total 84 votes
    I would attend
    I would not
    Would you be interested in working on the conference committee to help organize,
    choose workshops, and host?
    Total 85 votes
    Yes. (Wonderful! Please contact [email protected], and let’s get started!) 12

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