Regular Meeting -- January 15, 2017
The Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 2:30 pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting: President Kathy Lee, Secretary John McGarey (by phone) and Lia Nelson. The following directors were absent: Treasurer Penny Chambers and Kim Pillsbury. Robert McGarey (Executive Director) was also present at the meeting.
The Mission Statement was read aloud at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes from the previous two meetings were not available for review.
Finances. Discussed Profit and Loss statement and annual financials. $22k for personal growth sessions is a near record! We had $9k in the bank at the end of the year, which is MUCH better than the year before.
New Buildings. Bob spoke about focusing on "what works." He said it is wise to build on the things that are working well, and the rent situation is really working well. It's great that we are attracting the right kinds of people. The rent was the primary thing that got us in the black. Rent is a great potential focus area, because space is something that we DO HAVE and we are in an amazing location.
So he proposed that we consider getting a loan and building one or more cottages on our land to rent out. If we had to pay $20k per building and we could rent them for $1k per month, we would pay the loan off in 2 years. The Board agreed that this would add to the sense of community. Next Steps: Kathy will get a ballpark figure for the cost of 1-2 buildings; the contact's name is Johnny who is a master carpenter (the husband of the woman who ran the art fair) and a good person.
Renter Engagement. Most of the renters are significantly behind on their responsibilities, so we are trying to setup structures to smooth over the process. We let them get behind, so we want to make it easier for them by talking to them about the volunteer opportunities. After discussion, it was unanimously
RESOLVED, that we will raise their rent by $75 if they aren't up to date on their responsibilities at the beginning of any month.
AirBnB. Kathy suggested that we consider renting out cots via AirB&B during SXSW. We could possibly combine it with a building healthy communities type thing. AirB&B comes with an insurance policy. In future meetings, develop this idea further. There was a concern that someone would have to be here to monitor the visitors. Suggestion: Consider not allowing them on the property except during certain hours. Suggest a mid day window so they can come crash for a while. The Art Barn might be a great place to put these cots.
Outreach. Bob has personally emailed all new members, and he is reaching out to Meetup daily. Facebook is an exception (he doesn't like and therefore won't do Facebook). He is also increasing Phone based Outreach, since to Bob Phone Calls are really personal, just one step down from being there in person and he can share his message via the spoken word faster than the written word. He can reach out to local psychologists personally. He feels that outreach to take the temperature of the membership directly would be beneficial.
Maintenance & Repairs. We have a new volunteer named Tait who took care of the mice in the ceiling and is going to work on the wall and ceiling panels near the back door and other tasks. We received a review about installing solar panels from a volunteer, and Penny has volunteered to look it over and report to the board about it.
Artisan's Cooperative. Our artists would prefer to do the work of the ART rather than the work of sales, so a cooperative would enhance their creativity and help them be more creative. Bob had a recent meeting about the Artisans Cooperative and Farmers Markets, and will continue to pursue this. Kathy could sell her Mirror Paintings, Lia could sell her greeting cards, Ben-Linda could sell Arnica, and Bill has bumper stickers from 'Northern Lights' (Progressive Bumper Stickers).