Board Meeting Minutes :: 1st March 2007
- From: Glynn Foster <Glynn Foster Sun COM>
- To: foundation-announce gnome org, foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Board Meeting Minutes :: 1st March 2007
- Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 08:52:16 +1300
Here's the latest minutes from the board meeting. The next meeting will be on
15th March, and the Advisory Board will join us for this.
Board Meeting :: 1st March 2007
Present: Quim, Dave, Zana, Glynn, Vincent, Behdad, Jeff (:15)
1) Review of Last Meeting Actions
* All to continue to discuss on board-list about possible resolution of
marketing interaction (DONE)
* Glynn to include assigned roles in meeting minutes and put them in the
board wiki (DONE)
* All to list their contact phone details on the board wiki (DONE)
* Dave to set up interview dates with Joanne as soon as possible (DONE -
Interview planned for 6th March)
* Dave to further discuss with advisory board about the role of business
development officer (DONE - will be a part of the advisory board
* Dave to mail Mike Milinkovitch and Donald Smith from the Eclipse
Foundation to enquire about a grant (DONE)
* Dave and Ben to coordinate who will man the booth at EclipseCON, and mail
foundation-list for volunteers (DONE - Billy Biggs is getting free
attendance, and both he and Ben will man the booth)
* Quim to send a mail to advisory board with an informal welcome (DONE)
* All to discuss on list about possible agenda items for the first meeting,
and decide on a fixed date (DONE)
* Dave to discuss with gnome-docs-list and advisory board about possible
coordination of documentation and library.gnome.org (NOT DONE - handed
off to Vincent/Behdad)
* Dave to send new draft of the budget to the board with improvements, and
later publish (DONE - Dave sent drafts v2 and v3, waiting feedback from
* Dave to send draft of budget announcement to board-list (NOT DONE)
* Zana to send out annual reports by post this week (DONE - Zana has sent
out first batch, still waiting confirmation of recipients for 2nd batch)
* Dave to coordinate with Debian as to who will represent them at the
Advisory Board level (DONE - Matthew Garrett has 1 or 2 people whom
he hopes will take it on. He'd like Jordi Mas and someone else to
take it on so that they can cover meetings if either is absent)
* Dave to contact GNOME-Fr and decline their funding request explaining the
* Anne to sign SFLC retainer, and forward to Luis for signing (NOT DONE)
* Quim to prepare a preliminary draft agenda for discussion on adboard the
* Quim to contact the advisory board list and say hello (DONE)
2) Wilson-Sonsini Law Firm Meeting
During the week, Jonathan Blandford, Luis Villa and Glynn Foster sat down
with Darin Donovan from our pro-bono law firm, Wilson-Sonsini. They
discussed a number of matters relating to various liabilities for the
GNOME Foundation -
o The board is currently unhappy about the the service that
we get from our bank. International transfers are costing
$50+ each, and we believe we may be able to get a better
service elsewhere. The board proposed an action to give
Jonathan Blandford (the current liaison with our accountant)
explicit permission to investigate other options and provide
a recommendation to the board. This was unanimously passed.
This will also give us the opportunity of investigating other
options such as signatory authority, threshold amounts for
withdrawal purposes, etc..
ACTION: Glynn to talk to Jonathan about organizing a review of
bank details in preparation for a migration.
o From our discussions with Darin, he noted that the IRS were
now issuing a 'non-profit status' best practices guide,
including best practices on managing financial conflicts of
interest. Darin has sent a draft policy that the board
needs to review on list.
ACTION: All to review the conflict of interest policy Darin sent
through, and think about ways to incorporate this into
our annual board turnaround at the start of the year.
o There was some discussion about the implications of hiring
non-US based staff. Darin suggested that we should talk to
our accountant as he will be used to dealing with this,
however stressed that it may be a burden in terms of
expense and added complication.
o We have previously used the GNOME Foundation to act as an
intermediate for pass through funds. This has been mostly due
to the fact that we are one of a few organizations with
sufficient structure to deal with this. Darin thinks this is
not a problem, provided that we retain the oversight authority
of what the money is being spent on and they are inline with
the broader goals of free software.
3) Software Freedom Law Center
Luis had a meeting with James Vasile of the Software Freedom Law Center,
as one of the GNOME Foundation legal representatives and sent minutes of
the meeting to the board list. We are in the process of signing a client
agreement with the SFLC. James and Luis discussed various issues on
which we might consult with the SFLC, including trademark, code audits,
and patent issues.
ACTION: All to discuss on list the various discussion points from
ACTION: Luis to follow up with SFLC on trademark and patent issues.
4) Press Interaction
The board further discussed some ideas around the current state of the
marketing team, particularly in regard to press releases. Jeff felt that
we still lacked a core competency in writing them, but ideally
marketing-list would create them, for sign off by marketing-private.
Currently marketing-private consists of 13 people who are mostly board
members. Jeff suggests that we need to start fresh from this and figure
out a plan.
ACTION: All to continue discussion of press interaction on board-list
4) Business Development Officer
An interview has been set up with our current candidate for 5th March, with
a time to be organized. Dave Neary, Federica Mena Quintero, Jonathan
Blandford, and Anne Oestargaard will all attend, given they were involved
in the interviews previously.
Dave stressed that all board members should look into their personal network
and figure out who might be appropriate candidates to target in the meantime.
6) Advisory Board meeting
Quim sent out an agenda for the Advisory Board meeting, and it was agreed
upon by the board. Quim has had a few replies from people who can attend.
The board will meet 1 hour before the meeting in preparation. There are
currently no additional agenda items that have come from the Advisory
7) Preliminary Budget
Dave sent another draft of the budget during the week, including
additional income for programme-related income. Dave restructured the
budget line items to group expenditures by programme, rather than by
activity. If we are unsuccessful in our fundraising for these targetted
programmes, we will drop them.
Dave's current worry is the assumption that we will have a
surplus from GUADEC. Dave mentioned that he expects the current
GUADEC team to come up with a budget soon. Quim mentioned that we
had about a Euro 10,000 surplus last year, and we hope to achieve
this again this year.
All agreed on the budget. Glynn suggested that we should pass it
through Jonathan for an informal sanity check before making it
ACTION: Dave to send Jonathan the draft budget and get feedback.
9) Any Other Business
There is a worry that the release notes will not be ready in time for
adequate translation. Some work has been done preparing a feature list
on the wiki, but unsure where things are at and we need to ping
Gervais. Jeff mentioned that the responsibility of writing these has
fallen on no one - and perhaps the release team needs to take over the
responsibility of getting someone to write them, not just from a
schedule perspective. The current deadline to hand off to translation
teams is Monday 5th March.
ACTION: Quim to ping Gervais and post to marketing-list asking for
help with this.
ACTION: Jeff to blog a call for help on planet.gnome.org
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