I was first elected to the Board of Directors of NCF in 1999 and re-elected twice after that. Based on five years experience, I want to offer an outline on what I think should be the main concern and preoccupation of the new Board.
Since 1999 the Board has progressed from being dysfunctional and counter-productive to the point of being able to carry out its basic duties and functions quite effectively. There is a direct connection between the improved quality of the Board and the steady and dramatic progress made in the quality of service FreeNet has been able to offer to the members.
Now, along with its oversight role, I believe the time is right for the Board to take on additional responsibilities. Membership and membership contributions have been increasing gradually and that is encouraging, but NCF still faces the spectre of going broke before enough members contribute enough money to pay the bills.
Therefore, along with its fundamental role of monitoring the performance of the Executive Director and staff, the Board ought to focus its talent, energy, and experience on finding ways for NCF to achieve stable annual revenues. In the past, there have been numerous discussions of the Board's need for "visioning" in terms of NCF's overall goals and roles, which consisted of much talk, but no action.
I believe NCF's fundamental purposes and objectives are sufficiently well-known to all. We do not need more open-ended debating and philosophizing about the FreeNet "concept." What we do need is a sharply-focused plan of action to produce reliable funding to make it possible for NCF to keep putting the concept into practise and to keep adding and improving services to keep FreeNet relevant in the fast-changing internet world.
I plan to present my ideas on this and to ask my colleagues on the Board to do likewise. Varied views and approaches will provide raw material and a starting point for a thorough discussion and investigation of the doable options available. While preserving the basic concept, I believe the Board must be innovative and be ready to think outside the box of tradition. I am confident the Board will rise to the challenge of this top priority: Developing a strategy to put FreeNet on a stable and reliable financial footing. In my view, this is absolutely essential to future growth and development, beyond mere survival.
SOME PERSONAL INFORMATION (taken from Nominations Committee report)
Sandy Campbell's trade has been largely writing/editing. He has worked for daily newspapers, The Canadian Press wire service, Maclean-Hunter as Montreal Editor of a group of business magazines, Reader's Digest, Montreal, as writer/editor. Also, he was Executive Director of the Canadian Broadcasting League, Ottawa; Canadian Association of University Teachers, Ottawa, editing and conducting major overhaul of its national newspaper. Also, he was founding-President and General Manager of company publishing weekly newspaper and doing commercial printing; President/general manager of company owning an AM radio station, supervising news/public affairs and doing daily "talk" shows. While in Nova Scotia, he was on the Board of United Appeal in a Nova Scotia city and on the Board of Police Boys Club. He was a member of Nova Scotia Royal Commision on Automobile Insurance. Sandy has been an active member of NCF since 1997.
Sandy has served on the NCF Board of Directors since 1999. He is long-standing Secretary of the Board and member of the Executive Committee. Sandy has twice served on an Executive Director Search Committee, perhaps the most important and demanding of the services that NCF relies upon its Board to perform.