State of DPF in 2014
The most important change in the last year (June 2013 - May 2014) was the resignation of Louise Davies as General Manager and the appointment of Linda Hamilton as the new GM, who started her official duties on January 1st, 2014.
The board started a public search and installed a search committee. This committee consisted of two trustees, two project facilitators, 2 volunteers without administrative roles, and Juliet Sutherland as a former GM. The candidates introduced themselves in the forums and there was a lot of discussion of various topics. The committee returned a list of the four candidates with recommendations. The board had a long teleconference during which each applicant was interviewed for half an hour. In the end the board voted unanimously to appoint Linda Hamilton.
Since Linda took office, some things have changed. Of course, she has her own style doing reports. More importantly, open positions in the administration are publicly announced now. There are BEGIN-PMs for English projects again, new evaluators for P3 applications were selected and trained, and they have cleared the backlog. Louise, when she still was GM, started tackling the backlog by evaluating applicants herself.
According to the new GM the transfer of the office went smoothly. The board had no part in the transition, and that is as it should be. The board will continue to not micromanage the GM.
The legal situation of DPF has been further stabilized. A long discussion around the by-laws has ended with the final version being adopted on April 12th. These new by-laws simplify the voting process among the volunteers, for board members, and they secure the position of an external board member (currently Greg Newby) who is appointed by the board without being voted upon by the volunteers. The next step in "streamlining" the by-laws would be a discussion of board committees. No documents have had to be filed with the authorities to stay incorporated.
The financial situation has remained secure. After a change in the person of the treasurer (Dianna Adair, after Quentin Johnson resigned) the accesses to the bank accounts are getting better. Juliet Sutherland is no longer the only authorized person for the banks. The e-trade account was closed and funds transferred for consolidation. DPF can still take shares of stock in companies as donation if somebody wishes to do so. As of May 31st DPF has $10,963.09 in its accounts.
The board has started to put together a budget and has wisely included costs that are currently not incurred or paid by volunteers. Even with these included, there is no danger of running out of funds for the next years. To the contrary, the donations received (roughly $2.000 in the last year) are enough to cover the running expenses. The necessary tax information for 2013 was filed ahead of time.
Thanks to a previous volunteer contribution of a server, we were able to prepare and install this donated server when the planned update of the systems software ended with an unresponsive server. While the downtime was long, the DP status information provided to the volunteers went very well: a temporary webpage was put in place, the blog had updates on the situation and the squirrels (donovan in the first place) worked hard and fast. An actively monitored forum quickly collected and resolved any outstanding issues following the system going live. DP now has a new server and a new operating system. For those technically interested: DP now operates from an ASL Lancelot 2U rack server whith 4x2GHz dual-core CPUs, 8GB memory, and 8x300 GB RAID drives with battery backup units. These drives are configured as a 300GB RAID-1 for the OS and database, and a 900GB RAID-5 for the project data (image files, etc.), with two drives available as hot spares. The OS was upgraded from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long Term Support) to the next LTS version, 10.04.4.
For detailed information, please read the minutes of the board and the reports of the GM.
May 31st, 2014
Martin Straesser President DPF