National Capital FreeNet / Libertel de la Capitale nationale

NCF Board of Directors
Minutes of Meeting
April 15, 2014 


  • 2014 budget adopted.
  • Change of board members

Minutes of a meeting of the Board of Directors

The meeting was called to order shortly after 7:00 p.m. with Gary Eikenberry as Chair and Tom Moore as Secretary.


Board members present:

Gary Eikenberry (aa353) Chair
Peter MacKinnon (fr198) 1st Vice-Chair
Mike Kelly (fm342) 2nd Vice-Chair
Alan McRae (fl334) Treasurer
Christopher Cope (bz787)
Tom Moore (fw054) Minutes taker
Phil Linttell (fx714)
David Hudson (fx717)
Peter Chapman (fx720)

Graeme Beckett (aw958) Secretary
Jennifer Barrigar (bc839)

NCF Management/Staff present:
Operations Manager: Naftali Shani

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.

  1. Greet New Board Members

    With three new board members present, each of the board members present provided a brief summary of the background and present interests that brought them to NCF.
  2. Confirmation of Quorum

    Quorum was confirmed.
  3. Review of the Agenda 

    MOTION: To accept agenda as circulated.
    Moved by: Christopher Cope (bz787)
    Seconded by: Tom Moore (fw054)
    VOTE: All in favor. 
    VOTE: Adopted
  4. Review of the Minutes of the Previous Meetings

    Minutes of March 18, 2014

     Motion to accept the minutes of March 18, 2014 as circulated.
    Moved by:  Mike Kelly (fm342)
    Seconded by: Alan McRae (fl334)
    VOTE All in favor.
    VOTE: Adopted

    Minutes of April 6, 2014

     Motion to accept the minutes of April 6, 2014 as circulated.
    Moved by:  Tom Moore (fw054)
    Seconded by: Mike Kelly (fm342)
    VOTE All in favor.
    VOTE: Adopted
  5. Reports 
    1. Operation's Report

      Naftali Shani provided a brief report on current operations status.
        -  Current staffing levels are 2/3 of January levels.
        -  There are 3 full time, 1 part time staff and 8 volunteers.
        -  There are also 2 paid contractors.
        -  Staff are keeping up with current workload, but just barely. There is a need to increase staff.
        -  Each morning there are, on average, 10 calls and 9 tickets from overnight subscriber support requests.
        -  Staff handle 33 calls and 6 walk-ins per day on average.
        -  Until 4 weeks ago we were open for 4 hours on Saturday, coincident with a Saturday tax preparation
            clinic that used our office space. No one came to the tax clinic.
        -  Presently no staff are available to provide the Saturday opening.
        -  Currently staff is processing 3 new subscribers per day on average. Staff could process up to 5 new
            subscribers per day with current levels and workflow.

      To Accept the Operations Report
      Moved by: Christopher Cope (bz787)
      Seconded by: Mike Kelly (fm342)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted
    2. 2014 AGM Final Report

      Graeme had provided the report but was not available to lead the discussion. There were no issues or concerns raised regarding the conduct or outcome of the AGM.

      To accept the 2014 AGM Final Report as circulated
      Moved by:
      Alan McRae (fl334)
      Seconded by:
      Tom Moore (fw054)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted
  6. Ongoing Business  
    1. 2014 Budget Discussion

      The Draft Budget had been circulated prior to the meeting.

      Alan led the budget discussion. Alan wants each month’s actual financial performance to be incorporated into the budget as it is available. He questioned whether that had been done for the 1st three months of 2014, as the budget didn’t match his information for those months. Other questions/comments on the budget:

      Jim:  There are 2 significant risks in the budget: 1) the re-pricing we must inevitably undertake to address the current issues in our pricing model and the resulting potential impact on subscriber churn and 2) our current agreement with Bell which requires us to continue to increase our subscriber count or suffer the loss of both a discount (currently worth about $10K/year ) and our ability to sell higher tier services.

      Chris: can we augment the marketing allocation to undertake some targeted advertising combined with some assessment of its effectiveness.

      Phil: Observed that there didn’t seem to be any marketing strategy nor any ability to assess the impact of sales effort or re-pricing.

      General: Agreement that we needed to increase our subscriber count and the “member get member” approach seemed to be the most cost effective way to accomplish that.

      Motion: To accept the Draft Budget as circulated
      Moved by: Alan McRae (fl334)
      Seconded by: Mike Kelly (fm342)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted
    2. Operations Review

      Gary provided a review of the events, decisions and actions leading up to our current office staffing arrangement. The office appears to be running smoothly at present, but there are a number of issues that must be dealt with in the near future that current staff may not be equipped to handle. Gary will continue to make any necessary changes to office staff responsibilities and reporting relationships to address these upcoming issues in accordance with the authority given him at the April 6 meeting.

      Action Item: Chris to arrange a meeting between himself, Tony MacNeil and Gary to discuss Tony’s continuing role in the NCF organization.

      To accept Operations Review
      Moved by: Peter MacKinnon (fr198)
      Seconded by: Mike Kelly (fm342)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted
    3. NCF Anniversary Planning Update

      Tony was not available to provide a report. Chris provided an update.

        -  The date has been pushed out to June 19. Both the Pigott Hall and the council chambers will be
            available on that date.
        -  There will not be a keynote speaker, but the plans include 3 mini- presentations (15 minutes) on topics
            pertinent to NCF
        -  Bell has declined to sponsor the event, Videotron may be interested.
        -  Adam Hunt is writing a book on NCF history. If suitable, we will be providing a free electronic copy to
            attendees. Copies may be given out on thumb drives drive donated by a supporter.
        -  Chris will circulate the Anniversary Sponsor Pitch to board members.

      Motion: To accept the Anniversary Planning Update
      Moved by: David Hudson (fx717)
      Seconded by: Alan McRae (fl334)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted
  7. New Business
    1. Thank Outgoing Board Members

      The President (Gary Eikenberry) relinquished the chair to the First Vice President (Peter MacKinnon).

      Motion: Moved that the Board, on behalf of all NCF members, thank outgoing Board members, Ken McCarthy, Michael Weiss, and Amy Yee for their hard work and overall contribution to FreeNet.
      Moved by: Gary Eikenberry (aa353)
      Seconded by: Christopher Cope (bz787)
      VOTE All in favor.
      VOTE: Adopted

      The First Vice President (Peter MacKinnon) relinquished the chair to the President (Gary Eikenberry).
    2. Strategic Planning Committee

      Peter MacKinnon expressed his interest in re-invigorating the strategic planning committee and asked for an expression of interest in participating. The following attendees volunteered to participate:
      David Hudson
      Peter Chapman
      Phil Linttell
      Gary Eikenberry
      Mike Kelly
      Jim Elder
  8. Announcements

    Chris announced that there will be a public tour of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards on a Saturday in May – date TBD. Chris will let us know the date when it is available.
  9. Date of Next Meeting

    The next regular meeting will be May 20, 2014,
    NCF Offices, Suite 206 Richmond Square, 1305 Richmond Rd.
  10. Adjournment

    The meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

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