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Minutes of the NWSSA board meeting in the dining hall of Silver Falls State park (20022 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, Oregon 97385   Phone: 866-575-8875) on August 25, 2009.
The five board members present (constituting a quorum of the seven current members) were:
Gerda Lattey, President
Petra Brambrink, Treasurer
Lane Tompkins, Secretary
Bill Brayman
Elaine Mac Kay
The meeting was called to order by Gerda at 2:03pm.
Gerda thanked Elaine and her team for their hard work on making Camp Brotherhood Symposium a success. She stated that in the future the board would be working on distributing the formidable work load by establishing Symposium procedures.
There followed a general discussion about the Camp B budget with the following points covered:
  1. We are still looking into the apparent discrepancy of having paid more for two lodges in 2009 than we paid for three lodges in 2008.
  2. The board thought the swimming pool cost of $50 to $100 per day was excessive and that we would discontinue renting the pool or use it as a bargaining point for 2010.
  3. Gerda and Elaine expressed the feeling that the attendance cost of Camp B would have to be raised for next year. Gerda added that a discount might be given if a member signed up for all symposiums in 2010.
  4. The tenting cost of $50 per day was deemed to be excessive compared to a room cost of $60 per day.
  5. Gerda expressed her belief that the student rate could be lower than full rate. A consensus was reached that the work study rate would be $500 for the symposium.
  6. Gerda said she was concerned about some complaints that attendees had been charged for a full arrival day when they were only there part of the day. After some discussion, it was agreed that arrival day expenses should be pro-rated for time actually in attendance, and that the full, daily rate would begin on the next day.
  7. Gerda initiated a discussion about changing the reference to “late registration fee” to their being an “early-bird registration discount.”
Gerda then initiated a conversation about a Symposium Task List. Gerda asked Elaine what she, as director, needs. This resulted in a general agreement that a task list would allow everyone involved to be aware of time sensitive issues.
Another discussion ensued about printing a NWSSA brochure. Petra told us that Laura Alpert suggested we might use the University of Oregon design class to do it. Petra will look into that possibility.
Gerda then raised the subject of volunteers and payment for time spent. She suggested that our registration form could list the types of jobs where help is needed. Each registrant could then select a job to which they would give two hours of their symposium time. A volunteer coordinator would be needed to “run the show.” If a job is not checked, a surcharge might be applied.
Gerda suggested that guest artists would have travel and symposium costs paid, and then to, perhaps, have them back in subsequent years as instructors.
Petra suggested that we might find donor money to fly them in. This idea will be referred to the fund raising committee.
Gerda suggested, during the discussion about instructors, that the board should approve of all symposium instructors. In order to achieve this, the communication lines between the board, the directors and the membership must remain fully open.
Bill opened a discussion about a contract between the BOD and each symposium director. He asked how the board could write a contract when they didn’t know the elements of the job. A lively discussion followed about who will determine the elements of the time line.
A future “Carve Off” was discussed. Conditions mentioned were: that NWSSA would buy the stone. Professional sculptors would pay to come and carve. There would be no instructors. Additional attendees could be those interested in watching and talking to sculptors. Public would be invited. Last would be an art walk. The board agreed to develop a plan.
Bill made the statement that we have a continuing problem of symposium directors always being given the authority to develop their own answers to problems. This indicates the board’s ineffectiveness.  
Gerda stated that she wanted the Camp B art walk to become the largest in the Pacific Northwest. We should invite professionals so that visiting tourists could see the pros working along side the amateurs.
Bill expressed his opposition to changing the art walk into a professional show. He said “It’s a social event.”
Elaine offered that the two need not be mutually exclusive.
Gerda introduced the subject of a board compensation structure. “If you work you get paid.” Free attendance at a symposium could be given for days a board members spends working for the Association. Board members would pay their way for days they spend carving.
Bill suggested that since it was such a big subject we should carry on the discussion over email. All agreed.
Gerda asked Bill how many website hits were being registered. Not possessing all the data, Bill guessed about fifty per month.
Gerda began an information discussion about a Content Management System (CMS) planned for the NWSSA website. It was agreed that we can set it up, but don’t yet know who or how many might contribute. For it to work we need many members to use it and a way to make sure it is current.
We than had a discussion about next year’s Flower & Garden show. Our participation in the 2009 show cost us $1666 and we got back about $600. There was some uncertainty about the $600 because of confusion related to
bookkeeping entries. We agreed that NWSSA would not repeat the expensive teeming with The Kirsten Gallery on the commercial floor, but would opt for an educational booth on the second floor for $275.
We agreed that NWSSA should sponsor more shows, and that we would seek volunteers to assist show chair Leon. Carol Turner was mentioned as a possible board member to work on show marketing.
Gerda said that we should consider special T-Shirts for volunteers.
Membership was the next topic discussed. Petra suggested that fee rates could be organized into something like: Student, Regular, and Gold. There is work yet to be done on this concept.
Bill asked what members get for their sixty bucks besides a discount on symposium cost. The Journal and chances to be in NWSSA shows were mentioned. With the digital Journal available to anyone, that doesn’t leave much in the way of membership benefits.
The raising of the dues was brought up. Gerda suggested $80. Elaine suggested $100.
With high annual costs for bookkeeping, we discussed ways to reduce office expenses. Bill mentioned Quick Books as a way to transfer some of the work from the office to volunteer workers. We discussed many possible ways to reduce these costs.
After a lengthy discussion on raising dues, the board voted 4 to 1 to raise them to $85 effective July, 2010. Bill cast the nay vote. We also agreed that we would not advertise the raise yet, giving us some time for a possible adjustment to the amount.
Handling of symposium auction money was our next topic. We agreed that the hold-over money from each symposium should be documented in the bookkeeping as well as in the individual symposium budgets. We agreed that if the auction monies were to be set aside on the “books,” then perhaps the symposiums would have to start putting bookkeeping and insurance costs as line items in the expense columns of their budgets.
We then discussed new ways to handle the membership list. An “on-line remedy” was thought to be a possible way to produce a usable, current, live list. More work needs to be done on this.
A possible Holiday Party was discussed. Gerda said that member Tony Kaufman had offered to produce a “play.” There was general agreement that this might be a good thing to do. More about this later.
The members of the Fund Raising Committee were identified as: Vic Picou, Sharon Feeney, Lee Gas and Pat Secor.
Bill suggested that we need to set goals for the Association. Three that were mentioned were increases in membership, income and volunteers.
We discussed Brochures, deciding that we need a good logo as one element of establishing our BRAND.
Gerda reported many new fans on NWSSA’s facebook page.
The meeting was adjourned by President Gerda Lattey at 6pm.
Lane Tompkins