What skills will you contribute to the NCF Board?
I am currently serving as an NCF Board Member, and have been elected twice. I bring many years of work experience, including having worked as reporter/feature writer with daily newspaper and The Canadian Press; Editor/writer, Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company, Montreal; President/General Manager of a small publishing-printing company, with 25 employees; President/General Manager of a small AM radio station, with 35 employees; editor/writer, Reader's Digest, Montreal; communications consultant.
What do you think are the most important functions of NCF for its members?
To provide reliable dial-up connectivity for members plus assistance to people who need help getting started on the Internet.
Why do you want to be an NCF Director?
To help NCF members take advantage of the opportunities to regain and strengthen its unique position in the community by strongly supporting the plan approved by the Board in December.
I believe FreeNet is on the threshold of a renaissance: There are opportunities this year and next for NCF to recover the promise of its early years. However, to keep us on track to achieve it, it is important that members elect Directors who recognize the potential and have the real-life experience and know-how.
Last year was a tumultuous one for NCF, culminating in a clash of two diametrically-opposed views among Directors of the Board on the future of FreeNet. One view was that NCF should cut back, reducing modems and staff. The other view was that shrinking FreeNet would lead to a need for further cuts and the better choice was to go boldly forward and seize the beckoning opportunities, such as participation in the SmartCapital project.
Miranda Gray led a surprise decision in November to eliminate the position of Executive Director, without consultation with the membership or even with advance warning to all Board members (see the minutes of the November board meeting, at ‘go minutes’). The Executive Director was given notice.
Concerned NCF supporters organized two special meetings in December to understand the situation and explore alternatives with several board members (see NCF's Structure and Direction for 2001). The result was that a Board majority in December decided the November decision was a mistake and voted to reinstate the position of Executive Director, over Miranda's opposition, and get back to the business of strengthening NCF's service to members and to community. (By then, Chris Cope, Executive Director, had moved on to a new job, and a search for a new Executive Director is underway.)
I have spent many days working with concerned members and directors to get NCF back on its feet, including serving on the Executive Director Search Committee and writing emails to all NCF members to help find an Executive Director and qualified Board candidates. I am pleased that so many well-qualified Board candidates have come forward this year.
Please take time to read information about all candidates and vote for the most qualified people -- people whose candidate information lists many years of job/career experience in business, management, law, or finance. (Please think twice about voting for someone who does not provide information about education and substantial job/career experience.)
People with many years of experience best know how to guide NCF so that members get the most benefits for their donated dollars. By voting for highly-qualified people, you help NCF get support from corporate sponsors and partners -- improving services to you.
NCF needs its members to care about voting. Please encourage other members to vote too.
I’m proud of NCF and its members, who have supported NCF by their donations and participation. I’m excited by the potential for NCF in 2001, and what we, a large group of people, can do for ourselves and our region.
The Roles of an NCF Board Member (as referenced in email in February to all NCF members)
Minutes of NCF Board meetings in 2000 and 2001 (January and February)
January email from the Search Committee ("Freenet Update: The Search for an Executive Director...")
February email from the Board ("Freenet is looking for qualified people to serve as Board members and Advisors")