13. March 28, 2012

Association Working Group Conference Call
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Remember to follow all results at musicassociation.wordpress.com. The minutes are posted pretty quickly after each call – please post any corrections that you might have. Also. Please let Stan know by email that you were on the call if you’re not on the list below.

ROLL CALL: Beth Babcock, Stanford Thompson, Patrick Slevin, Louise Ghandi, Louise King Lanzilotti, Mark Churchill, Kassie Lord, Steven Liu, Elizabeth Schurgin, Mary Wurtz, Mark Sarich, Marie Montilla

Beth said that we’re eager to get a subcommittee to work on a visioning statement. Beth and Stan will provide to the group all of the documents that have been done in the last couple of years. The point of this is to get a broad visioning statement that will help us to arrive at an actual vision statement when we are in Chicago.

Louise from Pasadena asked about the distinction between the work on the mission and the work on the vision. Beth responded that they are related, but that the mission is about the primary purpose of the association, while the vision statement is an image of the association in terms of its larger value and aspiration.  How will we see it as a real organization into the future?

Volunteers for the visioning group – Kassie Lord, Mark Sarich, Louise Ghandi, Mark Churchill, Patrick from Austin, Steve. Others who want to join them may send in emails to Stan. It doesn’t need to be a long process or perfectly wordsmithed, just something to provide focus at the meeting.

Questions for discussion

How to term the various types of people that are not core members

Many people liked the term Associate Member, followed by Affiliate Member. A theme emerged from the comments. Some suggested three levels of membership – Core Members, Aspiring Members, Friends of the association.

Mary from Salinas asked about the difference between Affiliate and Associate. Beth said these are just names – they aren’t meant to be two different levels. There’s not a classic difference. Mary goes for the three levels, with the second level being Aspiring. Mark from St. Louis likes the Aspiration term. Mark Churchill likes the three levels, including Friends or supporters for the third level. Louise from Pasadena had also suggested three tiers and likes Friends as the third. Mark Churchill would like to break down the Friends category more. He also likes Provisional for the second level, although that might not be as friendly. Mark Sarich felt it sounded very Catholic – time spent in purgatory!

Beth asked if we’d like to test out the three-tier idea with a couple of choices. The group would. Mark Churchill raised the concept of a paradox between aspiration to very excellent programs and the need to welcome those who are in process of getting there. To deal with that spread, this question may become more and more important. Marie (?) suggested including the definition of core membership in this question. Beth also said that the aspiring members are included in virtually all of the categories of information, etc.

Further discussion on the aspiring members – we need to clarify whether these are parallel groups OR groups that are intending to become core members eventually.

Kassie Lord said that the network is going to be humungous – to keep the separation minimal verbally would be helpful for discussion.

Mark Churchill said that terminology is important. For example, if an organization has a scholarship program for underserved kids, would that be considered an aspiring member, etc.

Beth said that we will be pulling together a set of Bylaws that will evolve through time. At this point it will be operational for the startup period. She said that it would be good to get some definition about the aspiring membership for clarity. In addition, she will put out some suggestions for three-tiered names. We will be seeking broader responses through comments.

Ranking of priorities for Board roles

This was done to clarify what we want to see the Board do and what skill sets are needed on the Board. The Board will function to oversee the work of staff that will be hired to do the actual work of the association. The Board may also have some expertise in, for example, fundraising, in order to help us move forward.  The survey question was meant to see what we saw as the first needs for a Board – this may change over time. We may decide that someone on the Board who know about outcomes measurement, for example, whether from a nucleo or not.

These were the results from the survey.

  1. Board as Capacity Builder (2.39)
  2. Board as Strategic Leader (2.71)
  3. Board as Technical Capacity Builder (2.93)
  4. Board as Fundraiser (3.61)
  5. Board as Convener of Performances (4.21)
  6. Board as traditional Trustee (4.78)

This was not a very resounding ranking, although it did reflect a common theme throughout the conversations that building capacity and strategy are the current important themes. Beth asked if the group thought that there was enough expertise within the nucleos to cover these priorities or whether we need some people form outside to be on the Board.

Louise Ghandi said that all of the priorities could be covered within a single Board and was comfortable with including some outsiders in order to cover all of the categories. Mark in St. Louis made the analogy that if you need a plumber, you get one and not a professor of plumbing. He feels that the expertise comes from within the organization.

Mary said that her group works with a researcher, Marilyn Mitchell, who has great knowledge that is useful for their group – a person like that on the Board would be helpful.

Beth said that we have discussed having only core members on the Board, but wanted to think about the idea further. Kassie said we don’t yet know what we need outside of ourselves. Mark Churchill agreed that it is early. Sometimes there are ad hoc members of Boards. Beth said we could decide on the number of core members to start with and leave space to add others as needed.

Mark in St. Louis reiterated that there may be more skill within the group than we think and prefers adding people later.

Beth asked if we wanted a question on the next survey asking whether we want to begin with core members only, with a way to add others as needed.

Voting for selecting the Board

The results of this question were:

  • One Member=One Vote (58.6%)
  • Votes allocated based on level of student enrollment (27.6%)
  • Votes allocated based on core member program budget size (13.8%)

Kassie Lord likes the voting to be based on number of students. Mark in St. Louis feels that doing anything other than one member – one vote leads to inequality, particularly over time. The new groups will always be smaller and “underdogs”. Louise Ghandi agreed. Louise Lanzilotti and Mary from Salinas agreed on the one core member – one vote manner of choosing Board members.

Beth said that we seem to favor the first one, but need to clarify core members carefully.

Regional representation 

Beth said this is the Senate vs. House discussion. How do we deal with the geographic distribution of groups balanced with the national priorities of the association? The group didn’t seem to have a strong desire to have geographical balancing. Comments?

Mark from St. Louis asked how we would define these regions if we had them. Louise Ghandi asked about previous work on this issue. Louise Lanzilotti said that the previous work in San Antonio was about networking and communication rather than equal representation. Kassie (I think) said that she didn’t feel that geographic representation was necessary at this point.

Beth clarified that under the current situation (one member – one vote), the priorities of the more densely represented groups may become more important. Mark from St. Louis feels that we need to think about this more seriously. Kassie said that she meant no harm by her statement previously.

Beth asked for suggestions about thinking about this issue – perhaps another working group. Louise Ghandi agreed that we need more thought. The core of the discussion is achieving inclusiveness, but not in an arbitrary way. We need an updated picture of all of the programs in existence. The philosophy of inclusiveness is central.

Liz from Texas suggested a small group dedicated to discussion the regional question. She will pilot that if others are interested. Mark in St. Louis, Maria Montilla and Patrick from Austin will join her in a working group. The basic charge is for the group to put together some ideas inclusive of supporting regional development and geographic parity.

Beth asked for more comments or questions that haven’t been raised.

How many are going to Chicago – Stan said 200!, but actually eight to ten have confirmed, with another five on the fence. Beth encouraged us to strongly consider sending one person from each group so that we have a good range of opinions. She said Chicago might be the US version of Maestro Abreu’s garage, on a national level.

Louise Ghandi asked about the drafting convention – could there be a draft agenda ahead of the convention so that people could discuss the issues on a local level before the meeting. Stan said that there is already a draft of goals, and this agenda can be more specific before the meeting.

Beth said that we’ve had consistently had thirty-five to forty people in the surveys and up to twenty on the phone calls. It’s an amazingly consistent and productive group. She congratulates us on the inclusivity and productiveness of the process. This will lead to good input for the drafting convention. Still, no final decisions will be made without a vote of the entire group.

Beth said that we’re now moving into structural elements of the Board and clarification of some questions. Please continue to answer the emails.

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One Response to 13. March 28, 2012

  1. Many thanks! Sorry to miss the call.

    I plan to attend the Chicago conference, so count me in for the 27th and the 28th. I have to be back in Los Angeles for a major event on April 29th.

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