Mentor is the corporate newsletter of Arisia, Inc.

Volume 10, Issue 79 - late December 1997

Minutes of the EBoard Meeting

Time: December 7, 1997, 4:03 PM

Location: Doubletree Suites Hotel, Boston MA

In Attendance: Brendan Quinn, Skip Morris, Paul Selkirk

In the absence of the President, the Vice-President chaired the meeting.

Skip proposed a Harassment Policy to be printed in the program book. Given the imminent press deadline for the program book, it was decided that Skip should talk to our lawyer at the first opportunity about whether we need such a policy, and to get opinions on wording.

Meeting Adjourned at 4:19 PM

Minutes of the December Meeting

Time: December 17, 1997 at 7:33 PM

Location: Building 66, MIT, Cambridge MA.

In Attendance: Drea Brandford, Amy Chused, Scott Cobb, Joel Herda, Jeff Jordan, Ben Levy, Pat McCormack, Elka Tovah Menkes, Skip Morris, Ailsa Murphy, Brendan Quinn, Paul Selkirk, Nick Shectman, Cris Shuldiner

Corrections to the November Minutes
At the Eboard meeting in the middle of the November business meeting, the Eboard decided that the Convention Treasury issue was a Convention problem.

Additionally, it appears that there was an Eboard meeting at a restaurant before the November business meeting. No prior notification was given, and no notes were taken. From what was reported to the clerk, the only decisions taken were to appoint Nicholas Shectman as Arisia 1999 Convention Treasurer, and to seal the minutes of discussions of Mr. Agassi.

Dave Cantor to Skip Morris, Kyle Hollingsworth to Brendan Quinn, Walter Kahn to Drea Brandford, 'Zanne Labonville to Paul Selkirk, Rachel Silverman to Ailsa Murphy, Kim Van Auken to Pat McCormack

Membership Transfers
Nick Shectman and Adam Gratun were transferred to General Membership.

President's Report
Our Internet search has ended with a generous offer from The Forge.

A letter has been sent to Mr. Agassi.

I briefly met with the Security team to discuss convention issues.

I would like to remind everyone that it's not too early to throw your hat in the ring for conchair of Arisia 2000.

I would like to see an Arisia 1999 budget by early spring.

Vice President's Report
The Grant Committee has not been able to meet due to holiday madness.

Treasurer's Report
We have filed returns and paid sales tax for the last 3 Arisia's; however we got a dunning letter from the state for some quarters in which we didn't have any sales.

We're all paid up on storage, but we got a bill with a positive balance because their system doesn't print minus signs, and the hand-written minus sign didn't make it through to our copy of the statement.

The conversion from credit card manual to terminal processing continues (i.e., from the kerchunkers/ knuckle busters to swipe boxes). Up to now, we've been paying a service charge rate of about 4.9 percent. This translates to about $850.00 in service charges last year (this in ADDITION to the approximately $500.00 in spoiled charges due to errors). The new rate will be about 3.5 percent. This will mean a drop in service charges of about $250.00, plus we can count on eliminating all missed charges due to errors.

We've also obtained merchant account numbers for both American Express and Discover/Novus. AMEX and Discover transactions will be processed normally (i.e., just like MC/Visa) and forwarded by our bank to AMEX & Discover. The AMEX service charge will be 3.25 percent plus $0.20 per transaction charged by our bank. Discover will charge a service charge of 1.9 percent plus the $0.20 per transaction. The upshot of this is Discover is cheaper for almost all charges (i.e., anything above $7.75). AMEX is more expensive than MC/Visa for small transactions, and cheaper for larger transactions (i.e., for an at-the-door registration, AMEX will be 10 cents more expensive, for charges $80.00 plus AMEX is cheaper).

Dealing with AMEX/Discover was surprisingly easy. I just spend 15 minutes on the phone with each to set things up.

For any credit card transactions we'll receive the money in two business days by direct deposit. For AMEX/Discover the service charge will be deducted from the deposit. For MC/Visa our account will be debited the following month for the service charge.

Overall, this is a big win for our finances. We'll pay less money and we'll get the money quicker. The difference in service charges is not significant for most things (except for very large Art Show sales where the lower Discover/AMEX service charge would cost us less).

[Side Note: When setting the Art Show rates next year, we need to take in account the cost of credit card processing.]

We could also pass checks through a check guarantee service, and do other things like all people to use their ATM cards to get cash... but all that requires more complicated (and expensive) credit card terminals.

I've obtained three terminals, two with printers and one for backup use that doesn't have a printer. (If the printers die, we use the swipe box to process the credit card, and use the kerchunker to make an imprint of the card and get a customer signature.)

Hopefully all this will be on-line the first week in January. WestBank uses Fleet for CC processing. They forwarded the paperwork to Fleet 2 weeks ago, and it's normally takes about 3 weeks to take effect. If they don't come through soon, WestBank promises me they'll call and impress upon the people at Fleet the importance of getting us on-line by the convention.

We haven't been getting merchant statements from WestBank because they've been going to Allan Kent's home address. I straightened that out as well while I was on the phone with them.

Clerk's Report
Everyone is reminded to sign in.

Everyone who is giving a report is requested to submit it in writing or email to the clerk, or suffer transcription errors. [Can you tell who did, and who didn't?]

Budget Committee
No report. The president wants a report by the February meeting.

Arisia 1997
It's almost almost done. A number of BankBoston statements have been re-ordered. Arisia '97 has $5553.42 in BankBoston, not sure how much in WestBank. When all this is over, I'm going to write up a continuous balance sheet noting which departments stayed within their budgets.

Arisia 1998 (Cris Shuldiner reporting)
Things are moving right along.

Arisia 1998 Treasury
The calculator that was used to compute the budget was dying at the time, and the numbers are all wrong. After applying some intervening adjustments for expenses which have already been cut, we're sort of within parameters. We have expenses of $56,500, and our expected loss is a little shy of $10,000.

We have $13,200 in the checking account, and $1,085 in charges are being processed, so we should have enough cash on hand for upcoming expenses.

Receipts are about 90% of our budgeted income, so we're not doing too badly on that side.

MOVED to allocate $300 for a cash register. TABLED to New Business.

MOVED to buy a hand-operated adding machine for the treasurers. Ruled to be part of the stone age, and unrelated to Arisia.

Arisia 1999 Hotel Search Committee
Skip visited or called every place within about two hours of Boston with facilities that would suit Arisia.

The meeting moved to a committee of the whole, with a straw poll to see which options were worth pursuing further. There was considerable interest in all the downtown Boston hotels, moderate interest in Providence, some interest in Newport, and no interest in Springfield or Hartford.

Arisia 1999 Treasury
MOVED to authorize expenditure of $500 for Arisia 1999 prior to setting an Arisia 1999 budget. Motion PASSED.

Arisia 1999 Report
We're still trying to nail down an Artist Guest of Honor, and still taking nominations for Fan Guest of Honor, but we're pleased to announce that the Writer Guest of Honor will be Roger McBride Allen.

Corporate Inventory Control
Not present.

Corporate Sales
This position has become vacant, and we are looking for a replacement. Anyone interested should talk to Jeff.

The Lens patches are in.

Corporate System Administrator
My intent is to set up a Linux-based 486/50, with a web site, mailing lists, a web-based discussion system, and a web-based method for updating the web site.

A couple ancillary jobs still need to be filled - assistant sysadmin and corporate webmaster.

Records Task Force
No report.

Survey Committee
Deferred until New Business.

Old Business
MOVED to direct the Eboard to staff the Long Range Planning Committee.

MOVED to amend by substitution to create a mailing list instead of staffing the LRP. Motion was withdrawn.

MOVED to amend by substitution that the Eboard form and staff ad-hoc committees to consider what city Arisia should be in, what size Arisia should be, and numerous other issues that were presented too rapidly for the clerk to record. Motion was withdrawn.

The original motion PASSED, and the president appointed Kim Van Auken, Kyle Hollingsworth, and Scott Cobb to the LRP. He furthermore directed them to look into the way Arisia has been treating its staff, and consider long-term staffing strategies.

New Business
(Tabled from earlier in the meeting) MOVED to allocate $300 for a cash register. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to give the Eboard authority to approve a quote for T-shirts for sale at Arisia 1998. Motion TABLED to New Business.

MOVED to direct the Long Range Planning Committee to, before the next annual meeting, come up with a set of long term goals for Arisia. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to accept the survey in the form being circulated around the meeting.

MOVED to amend by adding the following question after question 3: "4) Please give annual income (optional)". FRIENDLY AMENDMENT to put income into a number of check-off ranges. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by adding a question asking about future use of baby-sitting and young fan programming. FRIENDLY AMENDMENT to split the motion. The motion to add a question about future use of baby-sitting PASSED.

MOVED to amend by substitution, to add a short separate survey regarding young fan programming. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by striking out the question about Adults-in-tow. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to allow the Survey Committee to make whatever typographical and formatting changes they deem necessary. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to accept the survey as amended. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to give the Eboard authority to approve a quote for T-shirts for sale at Arisia 1998. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to hold the January meeting at the convention, on Sunday after the Gripe Session. Motion PASSED. [At the meeting, Drea scheduled us for 5:30 - 6:30 in Lincoln East/Lincoln West, but this may change, if it hasn't already. Check the schedule at the con. If you are not going to the con, but would like to attend the corporate meeting, call the hotel at 617-290-5600 during the con, and ask for Arisia Operations. -Ed.]

MOVED to hold the February meeting on Sunday, February 22, at 2:00 PM, at MIT Building 66. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to set the pre-registration rate for Arisia 1999 at $25 until the end of February. Motion PASSED.

Anyone who wants to work on Arisia 1999 should let Cris know.

Meeting Adjourned at 10:06 PM.

Executive Board

President: Jeff Jordan

Vice-President: Brendan Quinn

Treasurer: Skip Morris

Clerk: Paul Selkirk

Arisia '97 Conchair: Pat McCormack

Arisia '98 Conchair: Glen R. Goodwin

Arisia '98 Treasurer: Pat McCormack

Arisia '99 Conchair: Cris Shuldiner

Arisia '99 Treasurer: Nick Shectman

Committee Members & Corporate Appointed Officers

Budget Committee: Skip Morris, Pat McCormack

Awards Committee: vacant

Grant Committee: Brendan Quinn, Drea Brandford, Elka Tovah Menkes

Corporate Sales Officer: Marshal Ellis

Corporate Inventory Control Officer: Ken Elwell

Corporate Systems Administrator: Cris Shuldiner

Arisia Audit Fund: Ben Levy

Records Task Force: Ben Levy, Ailsa Murphy, Kyle Hollingsworth

Survey Committee: Ben Levy, Matthew Saroff, Skip Morris, Diane Rosenberg

Arisia, Mentor of Arisia, and the Arisia Lens are service marks of Arisia, Incorporated. All material copyright 1997, Arisia, Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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