National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

President's Report

For the year of 2013

I want to start by acknowledging the contributions of the incredible group of volunteers who donate their time and expertise as well as our dedicated and committed staff who have kept the organization running smoothly through a year of significant challenges and transitions for the NCF. I also want to extend special thanks my fellow Directors. It's been a busy year with multiple Executive Director searches and the relocation as well as the government-mandated updating of our by-laws and Articles of Continuance.

After the departure of Executive Director, Curtis Taylor, we were lucky to find Nick Ouzas as Interim Executive Director. He was instrumental in keeping the ship on an even keel and managing the process of locating and getting us moved into our new offices at 1305 Richmond Road. Many thanks are due to Nick as well as all the staff and volunteers who made that transition look almost seamless even though we all know how disruptive a full scale relocation has to be. Later in the fall we welcomed Tony McNeill as our new Executive Director. In addition to changes in leadership and a new location, 2013 included expanded DSL offerings and changes and enhancements to our internal systems and processes. We not only weathered all those changes but we managed to end the year in a positive financial position.

Membership numbers remained stable, which can be seen as both positive and negative. Positive because, in spite of all the changes we've been through, we haven't lost ground, but negative in that without growth we are unable to achieve the economies of scale that will better position us to maintain our infrastructure and keep up with the ever-changing regulatory environment and constantly growing demand for bandwidth, as well as explore new possibilities.

The NCF started out as a group of National Capital Region residents banding together as a not-for-profit organization to provide and promote access to the emerging world that was the Internet. As we enter into our third decade, the Internet is a vastly different place. Access has become commonplace, if not a necessity, and, although the NCF has been through many changes, it is still our members and volunteers who make us more than just another ISP. And it is you, our members and volunteers who will power the growth and creativity that will keep us relevant and vital in that third decade and make it possible for next year's report to celebrate significant growth in membership and exciting new initiatives.

Gary Eikenberry,
President NCF