National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
August 20, 2002


This draft may be modified until (typically) the Friday prior to the next meeting of the Board, at which time it will be ready for consideration by Board members at their meeting. At that meeting, it will be reviewed, possibly amended, and then approved. After the meeting, this document will be updated with any corrections and this paragraph will be removed.


Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

Held on August 20, 2002 at 7:00 pm
Billings Room
Ottawa City Hall
111 Lisgar Street, Ottawa

The meeting was called to order at 7.18 p.m. (after 'Once around the table. . .')
with Chris Cope as Chair and Sheila Alder taking notes.


    Board members present:
    Christopher Cope (bz787), President/chair
    Gary Eikenberry (aa353), 1st Vice-President
    Andrea Holland (es170), 2nd Vice-President
    John Wenuk (ep585)
    Mary Anne Dugmore (er983)
    Graeme Beckett (aw958)
    Don Francis (ba990)

    Sandy Campbell (dt820), Secretary
    Gibby Armstrong, (et091), Treasurer
    Mark Mielke (al278)
    Michael Williamson (em324)

    NCF Management/Staff present:
    Ian MacEachern (bi207), Executive Director
    Sheila Alder (bw306) , Office Manager
    Andre Dalle (al178), System Administrator
    Glenn Jackman (es087), System Administrator

    Jim Elder (aa456)

    Once around the table . . .
    Informal pre-meeting conversation, with Directors taking turn offering personal views and commentary on interesting things that might not make it to the Agenda.

    (see minutes of prior month)

    MOTION: That minutes be approved as published.
    Moved by: Don Francis
    Seconded by: Graeme Beckett
    VOTE: All in favor (Gary, Andrea, John abstained, having been absent from July meeting.)

    (see draft agenda)

    MOTION: That the agenda be adopted as published, with deletion of 6. f) due to absence of Michael Williamson.
    Moved by: Andrea Holland
    Seconded by: Mary Anne Dugmore
    VOTE: All in favor


    1. Web-based community software
      Given the importance of this major initiative to NCF's prospects for growth and development, it was agreed to form a work group to help speed up the pace of studying and choosing the most appropriate software program and overall approach. The development was initially put on hold while work was being completed on upgrading the entire NCF technical architecture. It had been hoped the new web-based community software could have been installed by late summer or early fall.

      MOTION: That a work group consisting of Jim Elder (chair), Chris Cope, Gary Eikenberry, Graeme Beckett, and Ian MacEachern be established to develop a detailed plan on installation of web-based community software, with a written report to be ready for consideration by the Board at the October meeting.
      Moved by: Graeme Beckett
      Seconded by: John Wenuk
      VOTE: All in favor

    2. Progress report on projects roll-out
      NCF Internet Desktop (HRDC/Citrix/Thin Client) was rolled out to NCF members. Adjustments and tweaking were done in response to some userID and password problems experienced by users. Webmail testing was to start soon and the Smart Capital version of the Desktop will be released when configuring the Tarantella interface is completed.
    3. Increasing disk space for member homepages
      Disk space for text users (which includes email, work directory, and webpage) has been effectively doubled. Users get automatic warning when space usage exceeds 2MB and email bounces if usage reaches 3MB.
    4. Status report on increasing francophone membership
      ED reported that Office Manager Sheila Alder and volunteers Robert Rattey and Julie Quon have made considerable progress in adding French-language web pages. ED will inquire about getting French-language software for NCF Internet Desktop. A MoM calling for francophone volunteers has not yet been sent out.
    5. Plan for strengthening local NCF control
      Member Jim Elder will work with ED to prepare a revised membership agreement for consideration at the September Board meeting.
    6. Status report on plan to increase member donations
      The ED reviewed development of a multi-faceted plan to increase membership/donations to the level that will make NCF self-sustaining by September 2002. Key to 'marketing' a rejuvenated NCF includes new services, domain hosting and digital access. New renewal and new-member letters will be developed; addition of MasterCard and use of credit cards as authentication has produced some results and efforts are continuing to prompt those who have not yet donated after joining NCF three months or more ago. NOTE: Director Andrea Holland left the meeting at this point.

    7. Financial reports on contracts
      ED tabled a spread sheet prepared by him and NCF accountant Rudy Wytenburg detailing the financial status of the projects. Some donations still to come, mostly services and discounts on charges for services. Directors brought up the urgent need to find a partner to provide 'Extended Access' via after-hours phone lines a la Mitel, since phone-lines congestion would have a serious adverse impact on projects as well as on traditional service to members.
    8. Marketing plan
      ED to circulate draft of 10-point plan covering launch and promotion/marketing of projects. He suggested the Board consider hiring an experienced 'coordinator' to oversee the critically-important program. Contracts include substantial funds to cover marketing and publicity and it is urgent they be used in the most effective way. There was lively discussion of what might be the best strategy and some criticism of the ED that the plan was not farther advanced, given tentative mid-October launch date. ED was to provide an updated report to an Executive Committee meeting Tuesday, September 3.

    1. Executive Director's Report (Ian MacEachern)
      (see accompanying report)
      The report was accepted as published.
    2. Treasurer's Report (Gibby Armstrong)
      (see accompanying report)
      The ED presented Treasurer Gibby Armstrong's report consisting of financial projections for 2002 based on different scenarios: 1) Meeting budget objectives for the rest of the year; 2) projecting to the end of the year the percentages-to-date of last year's new (107%) and renewal (97%) donations; 3) projecting the three-month declining trend of 100% new members and 79% renewals. President Chris Cope urged the need to actively target new members, the single most important element of f, Ottawa
    3. ADJOURNMENT The meeting adjourned at 10.20 p.m.