Gary Eikenberry - Candidate
As indicated by my membership ID, I have been a member of of the National Capital Freenet since the heady early days. I was first elected to the Board in 2001. Even though the NCF was not my primarily means of internet access for a number of years, I maintained my membership because I continued to believe that the NCF was an important vanguard for and bastion of non-commercial access to the communication, cultural and economic possibilities of the Internet. As an early adopter of NCF DSL services I chose NCF as my primary ISP once again in late 2005.
What skills will you contribute to the NCF Board?
In addition to my experience on the NCF Board and Executive over the last 9 years, I have previous experience as staff, management and volunteer board member with a wide range of community and not for profit organizations. These include Frontier College (staff), Canadian College of Health Service Executives (staff and management), and committee and board participation with groups including the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, World Literacy of Canada, the Society of Internet Professionals (Ottawa Chapter) and Education Committee member and Ottawa Area Co-ordinator for the Association of Professional Computer Consultants and on the board of the Elmridge Park Tennis Club first as Diretor, then as treasurer, and, since 2004, as President. On the Board of NCF I have, most recently served on the Executive Committee as 1st Vice-President and on the Tech Committee working on system architecture and upgrades.
I have owned and operated a successful IT and Internet consulting business since 1990. I have worked, played, taught and, as a writer, have been published on the Internet since the early days of public access through my first dial-up shell account through the Synapse BBS before joining the NCF at one of the early public meetings.
What do you think are the most important functions of NCF for its members?
The time has come for NCF to both be and be known as more than just a cheap ISP.
We have made great strides over the last few years towards becoming self-sustaining, but the job isn't done yet. Although the very fact that we still exist is no small accomplishment considering the fate of many of the other Freenets and even commercial ISPs from the early years, survival alone is not enough. We have made signifcant progress towards solid financial footing and re-vitalized volunteer support over the last few years, but an even stronger base is required to be able to continue to provide and support Internet access for those lacking the financial resources. That stronger base of members and volunteers and, at the same time, the visionary and pioneering sprit on which the NCF was founded are also essential if we are to keep pace with the relentless tide of technological development and innovation and continue to develop and maintain the infrastructure and tools for community-building and creative interaction.
Why do you want to be an NCF Director?
As I stated above, I've been a member and a contributor for a long time. When Sandy Campbell first approached me about standing for election almost 10 years ago, it didn't take much to convince me to consider a more active role. I may have underestimated the amount of time and the level of commitment required back then, but I think it's been worth it. I also think that there's still more to do and that, if the membership agrees, I still have something offer.
You can find out more about who I am and what I've done over the years through the links below.