Board of Directors

Regular Meeting -- February 21, 2010

The Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting at 2007 Bert Avenue, Austin, TX 78704, starting at 1 pm. The following directors (constituting a quorum of the full board) were present at the meeting: President Kathy Lee, Vice President and Secretary Leslie Harvey (by phone), Treasurer Pam Chambers, and Robert Gardner. Robert McGarey (Executive Director), Richard Cowley, Dylan Burress, Lindsay Lanham and Cory Jones were also present at the meeting.

Reading of Mission Statement and Approval of Minutes

The Mission Statement was read aloud at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes from July, August, November and January were read aloud and approved.

Vice PresidentŐs Report

Meals on Wheels. Leslie said she talked with her contact at Meals on Wheels about distributing fliers about GoodwheelChairs to their clients. Her contact said they couldn't do that, but that they have distributed some info to all their caseworkers.

President's Report

Shaklee. Kathy announced that there will be a meeting on March 7th to introduce all board members to the Shaklee products, and that she hopes all of us will attend.

Executive Director's Report

Updates. Bob reported that even though this has been a tough month without bingo, he feels like things are turning around. Dylan is doing a good job; we've sold some raffle tickets; we're creatively negotiating our bills; and the Spring Fling is coming along (we'll have another meeting about the Fling immediately following this meeting).

The kitchen and activity room are now cleaner and less cluttered. Bob is trading some services with Mike Hanratty to obtain some weatherizing services for the Center's energy efficiency. (Mike thinks we might be able to catch the "low hanging fruit" for as little as around $1,000 after rebates.) Bob will keep looking into this.

Information Technology. Bob said that when it comes to changes in the Center's Information Technology, if you can find something that does everything that we're already doing, and does it better for less money and requires little or no work to upgrade to, he'll jump at it in a heartbeat. If something doesn't do that, it's his job to assess its relative merits and decide whether it's worth it.

Center's Direction. Bob made several comments about things related to the Center's direction. He said some people have said that the Center's homey atmosphere scares some people off, particularly women. He said he thinks the board feels it's OK for not every activity to appeal to everyone, and that the homey feel of the Center is one of the central reasons we chose to buy our present location on Bert Avenue.

He also pointed out that getting people to attend events can be hard, especially because what we do is more difficult to see and explain than a nonprofit like, for example, GoodwheelChairs. He also said it's important for us to address directly some rumors that have been spread about the Center.

Staff Report

Pep Talk. Dylan and his girlfriend Cory gave a great pep talk to us, encouraging us to be enthusiastic about selling raffle tickets and promoting the Spring Fling. They suggested that we attend neighborhood meetings, install better lighting and signage for the campus, utilize Pam's stuff as resources, redo the GWC website to include more stories and photos of the people we serve, and schedule more activities for younger people.

They said that the events we've had so far -- the Queer Bingo, the attendance at the Convention Center -- have produced wonderful visibility and warm feelings in the community about GWC and the Center. They said they're very dedicated to the Spring Fling and their friends are counting on them to do it, so they aren't going to back out of it. We will need some volunteer help for cleaning up the campus and the garden.

Strategic Planning. They said there's a center on south Lamar that's only been going for one year and it's going great, so it's silly to say it's hard to get people to attend. Richard suggested we have a strategic planning meeting soon to discuss things like this.

Since there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:40 pm.

Minutes submitted by Kathy Lee, President, February 21, 2010.