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 6 years, I have previous experience as staff, management and volunteer board member with a wide range of literacy, 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). I also currently serve on the Ottawa Education Committee for the Association of Professional Computer Consultants and on the board of the Elmridge Park Tennis Club.
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 Synapse BBS dial-up shell account 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 and increasing the tools and services we offer, 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 from the early years, survival alone is not enough. We need solid financial footing and strong volunteer support to be able to continue to provide and support Internet access for those lacking the financial resources. We also need solid financial footing and, at the same time, the visionary and pioneering sprit on which the NCF was founded to develop the next generation of 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 I was first approached about standing for election several years ago, it didn't take much to convince me to consider a more active role. I probably underestimated the amount of time and the level of commitment required back then, but I think it's been worth it especially with the development of a solid staff and volunteer team. I also think that there's still more to do and that, if the membership agrees, I might have something more to offer.
You can find out more about who I am and what I've done over the years through the links below.