PASS: Board Q&A at the Summit

The last two years we’ve put the Board in front of the members and taken questions.  We’re going to do that again this year.  It will be in Room 307/308 from 12:15 to 1:30 on Friday.

Yes, this time overlaps with the Birds of a Feather Lunch and the start of afternoon sessions – but only partially.  You can attend the Q&A and still get to parts of both of those.  There just isn’t a great time to do this.  Every time overlaps with something. We can’t do it after the last session on Friday.  We can’t fit it between the last session and the evening events on Wednesday or Thursday.  We had some discussion around breakfast time but I didn’t think that was realistic.  This is the least bad time we could come up with.

Last year we had 60-70 people attend.  These are the items that were specific things that I could work on:

  • The first question was whether to increase transparency around individual votes of Board members.  We approved this at the Board meeting the following day.  The only caveat was that if the Board is given confidential information as a basis for their vote then we may not be able to disclose individual votes.  Putting a Director in a position where they can’t publicly defend the reason for their vote is a difficult situation.  Thanks Kendal!
  • Can we have a Board member discretionary fund?  As background, I took a couple of people to lunch so we could have a quiet place to talk.  I bought lunch but wasn’t able to expense it back to PASS.  We just don’t have a budget item for things like this.  I think we should.  I would guess the entire Board would like it also.  It was in an earlier version of the budget but came out as part of a cost-cutting move to balance the budget.  I’d like to see it added back in but we’ll have to see.
  • I know there were a comments about the elections.  At this point we had created the Election Review Committee.  I’ve already written at length about this process.
  • Where does IT work go?  PASS started to publish our internal management reports starting in December 2010.  You can find them on our Governance page.  These aren’t filtered at all and include a variety of information about IT projects.  The most recent update had roughly a page of updates related to IT.  Lots of the work was related to Summit and the Orator tool that we use to manage speaker submissions.
  • There were numerous requests that Tina Turner not be repeated.  Done.  I don’t think we’ll do anything quite like that again. 
  • We had a request for a payment plan for Summit.  We looked into this briefly but didn’t take any action.  We didn’t think the effort was worth the small number of people that would use it.  If you disagree, submit this on our Summit Feedback site and get some votes.
  • There were lots of suggestions around the first-timers events – especially from first timers.  You can find all our current activities related to first-timers at the First Timers page on the Summit web site.  Plus links to 34 (!) blog posts on suggestions for first-timers.  And a big THANK YOU to Confio and Red Gate for sponsoring this.

I hope you get the chance to attend.  These events are very helpful to me as a Board member.  I like being able to look around the room as comments are being made and see the audience reaction.  It helps me gauge the interest in an idea.

I’d also like to direct you to the Summit Feedback site.  You can submit and vote on ideas to make the Summit a better experience.  As of right now we have the suggestions from last year still up.  We may reset these prior to the Summit though.

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