Minutes of June ExCom Conference Call on June 24, 2016

Minutes of June ExCom Conference Call on June 24, 2016

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Prepared by Barbara Bannon, ATCA Secretary

Bill Hirschman called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. EDT.  The following Ex-Com members were present: Susan Cohn, Charles Giuliano, Lou Harry, Brad Hathaway, Bill Hirschman, Kerry Reid, Wendy Rosenfield, and Martha Steketee. Barbara Bannon, ATCA secretary; Barry Gaines, ATCA administrator; Jay Handelman, ATCA Foundation president; David Siegel, Robert Sokol, and Jose Solis were also present. Ed Rubin was absent.

Barbara had distributed the minutes of the May conference call and the ATCA Ex-Com meetings at the conference in Philadelphia by e-mail before the meeting. Because she could not attend the first conference meeting, there were a few unresolved questions. Those questions were discussed and answered at the beginning of this conference call. Then Brad Hathaway made a motion, seconded by Kerry Reid, to accept all the minutes. The motion passed unanimously.

Barry reported on membership. Some new membership applications are coming in and being considered by the Membership Services Committee. Currently we have 234 members. The majority of members have paid their membership dues; about 95 membership fees are still outstanding. Six or seven new members are being considered by the committee.

Brad made a brief treasurer’s report on behalf of Teddie. She and Barry are creating a QuickBooks system for ATCA. Teddie needs to get access to the bank account records to be able to finish. She also has some questions about whether ATCA or the Foundation is responsible for certain fees connected with awards.

Bill reported that Barry Gaines is going to have to step down as ATCA administrator. Teddie will take over the financial responsibilities, and membership questions will be referred to the Membership Services Committee. We need to find a new administrator; Barry will continue until we find someone else. Bill mentioned three current possibilities:

  1. Tim Dodson is willing to take over. Currently he is the administrator of the ATCA Foundation, so he is familiar with the organization and how it operates.
  2. Robert Leninger, who is a classical music administrator, is someone else we might consider.
  3. Robert Sokol, who is chairing the upcoming San Francisco conference, and his business partner do similar work.

Bill said if board members know of any other options or would like to recommend anyone, they should let him know.  Once the board knows what the possibilities are, the members can have a phone meeting and select someone.

Barry needs to make a list of his job responsibilities; then the board will know the right questions to ask candidates for administrator. Bill commended Barry on all the fine work he has done; the job requires a lot of detailed attention, and Barry has handled that extremely well. He also did a great job cleaning up all the problems that he inherited from his predecessor.   

Taking care of membership questions and applications will have to be transferred to the Membership Services Committee, and the logistics need to be worked out; Teddie will take over the financial end of Barry’s job, and Barry will continue to keep the checkbook for the present. Kerry Reid made a motion, seconded by Martha Steketee, to approve this new arrangement until we find a new administrator. The motion passed unanimously. 

Sherry Eaker has agreed to host another mini meeting in New York this fall. She already has some ideas for panels and is working on them. Ira Bilowit can help some, but he has been ill, so Sherry is assembling a committee to help her. Scott Bennett and Jonathan Mandell have already offered to be involved. Brad Hathaway made a motion, seconded by Martha Steketee, for ATCA to hold a mini meeting in New York in late October or early November. The motion passed unanimously.

Robert Sokol has the survey for the San Francisco conference done and ready to post on Survey Monkey. Susan Cohn and Brad Hathaway have been helping him. The survey covers the following topics:

  1. What are the preferred conference dates?
  2. How many rooms are needed? Will people be sharing rooms?
  3. What is the acceptable range of room rates?
  4. Are people interested in coming earlier or staying later?
  5. Are there mobility issues? How far can attendees be expected to walk?
  6. What are people’s production and panel priorities?
  7. Do people have suggestions about what they want to have included in the conference?

Robert just needs to get contact information from Barry so he can send an e-mail to ATCA members telling them about the survey. He plans to pass the survey by the board members before posting it. He would like everyone to respond to the survey within two weeks.

Lou made a report on the New Plays Committee. He is proposing some changes to make the process more efficient and take some of the burden off the theaters that have to submit scripts. Currently nine committee members want to work from hard copies of scripts, which causes expense for the theaters and a time delay in getting the materials. Lou is suggesting that the theaters submit scripts electronically and the committee members who want hard copies can pay to have them made. If the committee members can’t arrange to get copies made or pay for them, ATCA can underwrite the cost. Brad Hathaway made a motion, seconded by Wendy Rosenfield, that ATCA reimburse members of the New Plays Committee up to $40 to cover the expense of making hard copies of submitted scripts. The motion passed unanimously. Brad also mentioned that the figures in the budget may have to be adjusted to cover this expense.

Several issues connected with the website need to be addressed. Leslie Torvik says she needs help maintaining the site and doing the posting that she does. She would like one or two ATCA members to be trained on using the software so that they can assist her. Brad said he was willing to be one of the people, and Teddie is also interested. Robert Sokol said he can be involved as well. Chris Rawson, who has been doing all the postings on the front page, is also not going to be able to continue to take care of all of it. Chris said he is willing to keep the data updated. The website also needs some reorganization. Leslie has said that she is willing to train Brad, Teddie, Robert and any others who would like to help. Can ATCA pay for Leslie to come and do the training?

Jay wondered if the administrator’s job can include some of that. Susan asked if we should pay someone to maintain the website. Wendy suggested combining handling social media and managing the website.  

 Because of her new job responsibilities, Wendy is not going to be able to continue handling social media. Jose Solis is going to take over for her, and Jonathan Mandell also said he will help. They are excited about expanding the social media presence. Robert pointed out that maintaining the website has a double focus: original content written by members needs to be posted, and items that come off the Internet need to be aggregated. We need to be much more organized about who does what on the site and make sure that all the tasks are covered. 

There was discussion about the Theater Hall of Fame. ATCA members are the primary voters, but Terry Hodge Taylor, who is in charge of the organization, is unhappy about ATCA’s commitment because he thinks the voting percentage is too low. He would like ATCA to pay to mail the ballots to its members. Robert Sokol suggested that ATCA or Taylor pay for a subscription to Survey Monkey so that all the voting can be done electronically.

Bill reported that Anne Siegel surveyed the new members who attended the Philadelphia conference. They all said they felt welcomed by the ATCA members who were there. She also said that the committee is making a list of members who they feel should receive emeritus status in ATCA. 

The business being concluded, Kerry Reid made a motion, seconded by Lou Harry, to adjourn, and the meeting ended at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

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