Mentor is the corporate newsletter of Arisia, Inc.

Volume 10, Issue 81 - March 1998

Membership Surveys

It is time to update the corporate directory. If your copy if Mentor includes a "membership survey", please fill it out and drop it in the mail. If you do not respond, I will assume that it is okay to publish any information I have (or can find).

Once I have everyone's information, I will publish the corporate directory both on paper and in a members-only area of the corporate web site.

Minutes of the February Meeting

Time: February 22, 1998 at 2:43 PM.

Location: Building 66, MIT, Cambridge MA

In Attendance: Drea Brandford, Scott Campanella, Scott Cobb, Jeff Jordan, Ben Levy, Pat McCormack, Keith McCormic (Red Shirt), Elka Tovah Menkes, Skip Morris, Ailsa Murphy, Brendan Quinn, Noel Rosenberg, Diane Rosenburg, Kara Savoia (Red Shirt), Paul Selkirk, Nick Shectman, Cris Shuldiner, Rachel Silverman, Beatrice Bordzol (Red Shirt)

Corrections to the January Minutes
Arisia 1999's Writer Guest of Honor is Roger MacBride Allen (mis-spelled as McBride).

Ailsa Murphy was present and voted at the January meeting.

President's Report
The Hotel Search Committee is doing a great job, and will have lots of information to present later in the meeting.

Vice President's Report
The Hotel Search Committee has been doing a lot of work, but other than that, not much has been going on. There have been no new grant requests. Checks have not been cut to 5Con or HRSFA because the treasurer did not have addressees to mail them to.

Treasurer's Report
I'm working on a corporate budget, and need input from committees and others who spend corporate money (logistics, storage, clerk, etc.)

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 gross transcription errors.

Arisia donated a small buttload of leftover badge holders to 5Con, OurCon, and NJAC. The lot consists of about 450 2.25"x3.5" acetate sleeves, last used circa 1992; and about 900 3"x4" vinyl pouches with colored bands at the top and bottom (various colors), last used in 1993 or 1994. I delivered the whole lot to the 5Con people, who will take care of divvying them up.

There is a new corporate committee to completely overhaul the Standing Policies. Jeff blessed this back in November, but we decided to let it go until after the con. I'm starting with the convention policies, since I think they need the most work. At a minimum, I would like to see all rates, fees, and discount schedules (registration, art show, dealers room, advertising, etc.) as standing policies. The current policies (along with the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws) can be found at Proposed revisions will also be posted there. Send all comments to

In the interest of updating the corporate directory, I've distributed membership surveys to everyone present. Please take a minute to fill them out. The sooner I have everyone's up-to-date info (and their preferences for who can see it), the sooner I can publish the directory (for the first time in a couple of years).

Budget Committee
No report.

Arisia 1997
I haven't been actively working on the A'97 books, in preference to doing A'98 while things are still fresh in people's minds. I do have one major item to report. You might remember that I had reported earlier that I thought one of the locked cashboxes that I had received from Tim Roberge contained loose coins. When we finally got the keys just before the box, I found that that box did indeed contain a bunch of coins. To my horror though, the other cash boxes when opened also contained stacks of undeposited cash. The total once I had found it all came to over $1500 that had been sitting around since the con locked up in these boxes. One thing I haven't found is any record of a transfer to the corporation for corporate sales, which may help explain the unusually high profit from A'97.

Arisia 1998 Treasury
Here are some rough figures for A'98. I have deposited all the receipts to date from the con.

Arisia 1999 Treasury
I have a draft budget. The actual budget will very much depend on what hotel we pick, but so far it looks to be a hair under $50,000, which will require a total membership of about 1800.

Arisia 1999
(Handed out con structure with proposed div heads.) MOVED to accept con structure as written. MOVED to direct the clerk to cast one vote. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to allow the Arisia 1999 committee to bring baby-sitting back in house if they deem it appropriate. Motion TABLED to the EBoard, to have our attorney look into it.

MOVED to offer the $25 pre-registration rate to people who register at Lunacon, or who register through flyers distributed at Lunacon. Moved to amend by adding a time limit (not specified). passed. Motion PASSED as amended.

MOVED to set the pre-reg rate at $30 until further notice. Motion PASSED.

Corporate Inventory Control
Not present.

Corporate Sales
Position still vacant.

Corporate Sysadmin
The new site is almost ready, and should be on-line in a couple of weeks. It will be on its own machine, and will not share space with another web site. Anyone interested in being a webmaster should contact Cris. There will be a corporate site, and one con site for each standing convention.

Records Task Force
I haven't done any work on that, since I've been working on the survey.

Long Range Planning Committee
We've been asked to make the apprenticeship program a con-wide project. We've also been asked to say where we think Arisia should be in 5 years. We've run into a problem with this because we have no agreement. We have some general ideas, but it's a nebulous question, so we're soliciting ideas from the membership. Send ideas to

Arisia 1999 Hotel Search Committee
Ben presented some relevant results from the survey that was distributed at the con (see attachment).

Update of hotel talks since publication of last Mentor:

Westin/Waltham: They have another customer that wants MLK weekend '99. They're still very interested in holding Arisia and are holding the space for us, but we have until the Monday after the meeting to make a decision if we want to go there again.

Doubletree/Waltham: Has dropped out of the running. It seems they make $10k per wedding, etc., and would not make enough in room sales to make up the lost revenue if we used it for an Westin/Doubletree two hotel Arisia. The sales person said it was a business decision from the GM, they had nothing against us in particular. (This decision in spite of the fact that the Westin was trying to convince them to go with us.)

Sheraton/Danvers: They really want the business and will go to great lengths to get it. (The sales person asked me "What else can we do to convince you to come here?"). Contrary to popular wisdom, there are plenty of overflow hotels in the area. A exploration trip up there found 8 overflow hotel/ motels with 400-plus rooms within a short drive. The Sheraton is willing to run an overflow hotel shuttle in addition to the T/Commuter Rail shuttle. As an additional bennie they have cross country skiing and snow tubing at their country club (this could be the only Arisia where we pray for snow). A corkage waver is not a problem either ("If we don't see it, we don't know about it" was the response).

Westin/Copley Boston: They are willing to do a multi-year contract contingent on a successful first year. The room inflation rate would be 8 to 10 percent/year. They are not willing to grant a corkage waver ("absolutely not" was the response). But I bet we could get one if we threw money in their direction. There are other contract issues as well such as room block penalty, etc.

Biltmore & Westin/Providence: The Westin has more function space than originally thought (there are several rooms under construction). There is a shopping mall and skating rink under construction next to the hotels, but they may not be available until the summer of '99. Both the Biltmore and the Westin have dropped their price to very reasonable levels.

The updated hotel feature comparison grid is attached separately.

Summary of advantages/disadvantages of holding Arisia at each location. (Note: This info was posted on static sheets on the wall as info during debate.)



Westin/Copley Boston:

Biltmore & Westin/Providence:

There followed a spirited and lengthy debate.

MOVED to create and fill blanks: Moved to sign a contract with (primary hotel), subject to (conditions), by (date); If that is not possible then sign a contract with (secondary hotel), subject to (conditions).

MOVED to set the Westin/Waltham as primary hotel with conditions of a similar contract to last year. Motion FAILED.

MOVED to set the Copley/Westin as the primary hotel with conditions: Corkage waver costing no more than $2,000, logistics parking arrangements, miscellaneous costs (power, telephones, etc.) no more than $2,000, room block penalty no more than $3,000, plus other standard contract clauses

MOVED to change the room block penalty limit to $5,000. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by substitution: Moved to direct the Eboard to negotiate with primary hotel X and secondary hotel Y, and to authorize the Eboard to sign a contract with the primary without the approval of the membership if they meet the following restrictions Z. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by striking out "the primary" and inserting "whichever hotel the Eboard determines has offered the better deal". Motion PASSED.

MOVED to divide the question between the primary and secondary hotels. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to set Copley as the primary. Moved to amend by setting Providence as the primary. Amendment FAILED.

The president then called for a division of the house between Danvers and Copley. (Vote by physically moving to one side of the room.) The house was evenly divided, and the debate began anew.

MOVED to amend: That the Copley Westin be considered the primary hotel. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend by addition: That the EBoard may consider the Park Plaza Hotel an acceptable alternative primary hotel if, before negotiations with the primary hotel are completed, the Park Plaza provides us with a contract that is substantively the same as or better than the contract offered by the Copley Westin. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to amend: That the Sheraton Danvers be considered the secondary hotel. Motion PASSED.

Final motion as amended: Moved to direct the EBoard to negotiate with the primary hotel, the Copley Westin, and the secondary hotel, the Sheraton Tara Danvers, and to authorize the EBoard to sign a contract with whichever hotel the EBoard determines has offered the best deal. The EBoard may consider the Park Plaza Hotel an acceptable alternative primary hotel if, before negotiations with the primary hotel are completed, the Park Plaza provides us with a contract that is substantively the same or better than the contract offered by the Copley Westin. Motion PASSED.

New business
MOVED to cancel the March meeting due to lack of business to discuss. Motion PASSED unanimously.

MOVED to hold the April meeting on an unspecified weeknight at MIT. Motion PASSED. Ben Levy will arrange to reserve a room for us. Email and postal notification will be sent when we have the particulars.

MOVED to hold the May meeting on Sunday May 24th at 2:00 PM at MIT. Motion PASSED.

MOVED to authorize the EBoard to spend up to $600 to bring Marty Gear to Boston to help negotiate with hotels. Motion PASSED unanimously.

MOVED to transfer Kara Savoia and Keith McCormic to general membership because of their hard work at Arisia '98 and their promise to work again during Arisia '99. Kara is also running 5Con, which has received money from the Arisia Grant Fund. Motion automatically TABLED.

MOVED to transfer Beatrice Bordzol to general membership because of her hard work on the information desk at Arisia '98 and her continued work for Arisia '99. Motion automatically TABLED.

Boston in Boston in '01 (BiB), the latest Worldcon Hoax bid, is looking for volunteers to help throw parties and come up with ideas to make the parties even better than our last one at Boskone. Send email to or

Meeting Adjourned at approximately 6:30 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

Long Range Planning Committee: Kim Van Auken, Kyle Hollingsworth, Scott Cobb

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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