NATIONAL ARMY SECURITY AGENCY ASSOCIATION
Minutes from the October 5, 2002 BoD Face to Face Meeting
Board Room, Raddison Hotel, Annapolis, MD
Background: Six members of the BoD met at the National Cryptologic Museum at 0945. Members met MG John E. Morrison, Jr, Foundation President and Chairman of the Board, and presented him with a check for $5000.00. Upon completion of a special and very well narrated tour, the BoD proceeded to the Raddison for lunch and then conduct of the meeting.
I. The meeting was called to order at 1450, October 5, 2002.
II Roll call was taken. Present were Bill Luker, Lon Mitchell, Wayne Atwell, William (Jake) Jacobson, Charlie Ziehl, and Don Dodge. Larry Ridgeway, newly appointed to the BoD was not able to attend on such short notice.
III. Being the first ever meeting of this nature, there were no prior minutes or financial reports to act on. However, financial data from the last meeting, 25 July, 2002 is as reported below:
Balance as of July 30, 2002 $10,718.06
Balance as of August 31, 2002 $11,234.83
Balance as of September 28, 2002 $11,683,53
Membership at 598 members
IV. Business Session
A. Membership data and contact method discussions. As the membership becomes larger, good thing, it becomes more complex and very time consuming to keep track of members and dues renewals and to have all the right data posted in the right place. Currently data is managed in 3 separate databases. Use of email, as an alternative means to contact members at large, works, but a percentage of email is returned because of changes to address that are not reported to the association. Same applies to snail mail. Bonnie will be contacted to see if she kept records on returned emails. As concerns tracking dues payments and renewals, the roster now needs to be reviewed on a name by name basis (600 +/-) to determine who is due to renew. Then a reminder email is sent to each one by Mr. Atwell. The BoD is in full agreement that there has to be a better way to manage data and that there has to be some way to automate the process. Discussions resulted in the following findings:
1) The Chairman will contact previously identified website volunteers (Larry Rinaldo, Florentine (Tino "Chui") Banuelos II) and enlist their help. The intent is to merge data so that it only needs to be updated in one place and to have options as to what data is visible to the membership. Carrying this a step further, we need a way to automatically tag members that are due to renew and to automatically generate a reminder email to them.
2) The BoD determined that the website is the preferred means to maintain contact with the membership at large, even for conduct of official events. Important information will be posted to the NASAA website at the "BoD FLASH Traffic" navigation button or at another location on the site developed for a specific purpose (e.g., conduct of elections). Email to the members is the preferred alternative and will be used when conditions dictate.
3) Some effort will be made to identify members that do not have email capability and to identify those that would like snail mail notification of major events. The hard part here is always maintaining a current mailing address.
B. By-laws review. By-Laws review was curtailed due to the late start of the meeting. Advances in the website and technology seem to indicate that some by-laws revision is appropriate and this will be a working issue for the BoD. Significant changes will be brought to the attention of the membership via the NASAA website. Anticipated changes will better incorporate the website and email as preferred methods to conduct association business.
1) The election process is one place where some change to the by-law will be necessary to permit better use of the website and email.
2) The previous requirement to run for specific seats caused confusion and unnecessary turmoil. The BoD agrees that in future elections (even years - even numbered seats, odd years - odd numbered seats) that candidates will run for a position on the board and not a specific seat. In an odd year, 4 positions will be available (e.g., seats 1, 3, 5, and 7). The four candidates with the highest number of votes, to include BoD members running for reelection, win the available positions. After the election, the BoD will determine what specific duties (e.g., Chairman, Vice, Secretary, Treasurer, etc.) need to be reassigned and make the decision by vote.
C. The PX. The BoD reviewed basic concepts and remains in full agreement to previously approved measures. This is the 3-part concept for the PX:
1) Small items. The BoD will stock and sell limited quantities of small items that can be mailed in a standard 4X6-padded envelope. Mr. Atwell motioned and Mr. Dodge seconded that we kick off the PX with new patches and then follow-on with bumper stickers and window decals. Passed by all present. Mr. Jacobson has taken the initiative to be the lead on design and vendor selection, but ideas from the other BoD members and the membership at large are encouraged. The intent of the BoD is to provide small, but quality products at a reasonable cost (e.g., color correct patches for under $2).
2) Vendor Direct. Vendor direct sales (member to vendor) will be used to handle larger and more costly items. The polo shirts being advertised on the site are an example of this approach. It makes quality items available to the membership without a major investment, material stocking and handling. The BoD will display selected items on the site. Some discussion ensued about expanding the availability of designs/logos for the polo shirts and several patch samples were provided for review (e.g., 1st Cav patch, Pacific Theater patch, etc.). The intent in having the discussion stems from recognizing the fact that not all ASAers got to wear the ASA patch during their assignments and that they may be more inclined to wear the patch of the organization they supported. Expansion of selection remains a working issue for two reasons. First, there is a substantial set-up fee for artwork, unless the vendor has the artwork already, and there is no easy way to know if sales will justify set-up cost. Second, the BoD has identified as many of the additional units as possible, but may not have captured them all and doesn't want to leave anyone out. The BoD concluded that additional research is necessary before going too far down the road on increasing selection. Meanwhile, the shirt with the ASA patch remains available.
3) Items on other sites. ASA items available at other sites will be identified on the NASAA website. Members are free to surf shop and pick what they want. The profit goes to the ASA site having the item available and helps them. We want to be the focal point for finding the other ASA sites. There was brief discussion on quality of goods offered on other sites due to some negative comments received by members of the BoD. A caveat can be added to the site indicating that the NASAA is not responsible for the quality of goods offered on other sites.
D. Website. Website issues received some treatment under A above, the upshot being that we have to get smarter with data management and to automate recurring tasks as much as possible. At this point the BoD took a look at what to continue maintaining on the site and how best to do it. In meetings past, there had been thought given to cutting the site down in size. On further review, and though opinions vary, everything on the site will interest someone, in some way. No decisions were made to cut anything; however, the BoD remains concerned that the membership will assume that, because some sites are infrequently updated (some don't need update that often) that the site is not being maintained which is far from the truth. Following items resulted from discussion:
1) The site is huge. The BoD (consisting of 7 members) cannot assume 100% responsibility for insuring that something new frequently appears on every page. The BoD will strive to insure that the front page is current. News will be posted to the "BoD FLASH Traffic" page as often as possible. A new page "INTSUM" has been added and will be posted near daily. "What's New" will be posted when updates are made and give the membership a pointer where to look for fresh material.
2) The BoD determined that it would be necessary for volunteers to assume responsibility for providing material for some of the pages on the site. Pages include, but are not limited to: Reunion News, Antenna Field, Calendar, ASA State Groups, ASA Taps, and ASA Links. We need someone as aggressive as Bonnie was at collecting information about ASA sites and activities and to seek out news and new ASA groups as they form. We want to know who they are, where they are, and what they are doing. Posting data to the site remains the responsibility of the webmaster. Chairman to draft a letter to the membership requesting help and explaining what is needed.
3) Mr. Dodge motioned and Mr. Atwell seconded that Mr. Ridgeway receive the customary monthly $100 stipend for working the website. All present approved.
E. Membership. The BoD affirmed that maintaining and increasing membership is critical. Though the by-laws provide for INSCOM veterans to be full members and for the allowance of associate and affiliate memberships, the BoD recognized that we have not done as well as we should to seek out members in those categories. The Chairman has the lead for working to find a good link to INSCOM. The BoD will look for affiliates and attempt to find some method of contact with their existing organizations (e.g., maybe mention on their website, etc.). Everyone, to include the membership at large, needs to find and approach those that may not know we're here. The issue was raised that Bonnie used to provide brochures and the BoD recognizes the need to pick this up and to have brochures available. Membership now stands at 600 plus.
F. Expenses. The BoD recognized the value in participating in ASA events (e.g., reunions) on invitation. What better way to raise the flag of the NASAA!?! The issue was raised as to what is appropriate in terms of reimbursement to attend these events. This remains a working issue; all members of the BoD are reluctant to use NASAA funds to reimburse travel. A viable motion could not be arrived at. Until a standardized policy and/or reimbursement formula can be established, each circumstance and/or travel requirement will be handled on a case by case basis.
1) Mr. Mitchell traveled from Montana to be present at the meeting. Mr. Jacobson motioned and Mr. Dodge seconded that Mr. Mitchell be reimbursed 50% of his airfare, not to exceed $150. All approved with the exception of Mr. Mitchell; he abstained.
V. New Business
A. Meeting Conduct. During the time together, frustration over normal meeting conduct was frequently addressed. Known to some, but not all of the membership, meetings are held online every other month. Meetings are conducted by typewritten chat. The BoD is in agreement that this method is slow and cumbersome and often subject to net related connectivity problems from one or more participating member home sites. The BoD agrees and has, as a working issue, the desire to find a more reliable and efficient way to conduct meetings. Any information technocrats in the membership that can help us get smart in this arena is encouraged to help us resolve this dilemma.
B. The overall consensus of the BoD was that the effort and personal expense to hold the face to face was well worthwhile and that meeting goals and objectives were achieved. Even though numerous working issues remain, we were able to arrive at and to fine-tune focus, hopefully for the betterment of the NASAA. The BoD resolved to hold another face to face in one year. The next meeting is to be held in Montana. Mr. Mitchell has the lead on developing initial plans.
VI. Meeting adjourned at 1810 hours.