In November of 2013 I cycled onto the Drupal Association Board. I was excited to be taking part in an organization that had supported the way I had chosen to make my living over the last few years. I knew many of the other board members quite well. The term was for one year - which seemed very short to me. I had worked with other Non-profits, on and with other Non-profit boards, and knew that one year was barely enough time to get up to speed. Still, there was opportunities for me to help steer the organization. Early on, I was involved in reworking the Association's Vision, Mission, and Values. Later, I helped update the bylaws to increase elected board member's terms to two years and at the same time, shifted the dates which elections were occurring. That is the reason my one year term has become closer to two and half. I also worked with the board to establish term limits on appointment members. There are lots of other things that I've been involved with over the last two and half years, but these shine out to me.
This year my term was due for expiration. I had hoped to extend my work with the Association by another two years. Let me share some numbers with you.
When deciding on Board Positions for a non-profit like the Drupal Association, I try to be as logical as I can in determining who might be the best choice. A focus on skills, experience, and board needs helps me winnow down the field. As we get closer to voting in the election, it seemed like I should underline my skill set using this lens.
- Has the candidate had experience working in the non-profit space?
- Has the candidate had board experience?
- Does the candidate have educational background that supports the board's needs?
- Does the candidate have work experience that supports the board's needs?
My background supports this.
- Board of Directors for Drupal Association
- Board of Directors for Crown Pointe Academy
- Policy Committee for Crown Pointe Academy
- 8 years of nonprofit management experience including grant making and board management
- 2 University programs in non-profit management - one certification and a Masters Degree
There are main three legal responsibilities for boards of nonprofits in the U.S. - the specific statutes vary a little from State to State.
The long and short is, if you are coming into a Board position with your own agenda, an axe to grind, and a desire to change the way things are being done, it will end up being an exercise in futility for both you and the rest of the team. No single Board member has any real "power", a board acts as a single unit to make strategic decisions. Once those decisions are made, they must speak as one even if personally you disagree with the decision made.
Still this gives you an idea of the nature of what is expected - just a taste.
I've described myself as a cuckoo. I was dropped into the nest of opensource folks 10 years ago, and ended up making it my family. I'm that fellow who took a different path in making a technology career. I think that describes a lot of us in the Drupal community though. My background is in Theatre and Visual Arts. However, I have a certification in non-profit management and my Master's focused on technology and governance.
This is the first in a series of posts I'm going to write leading up to the Drupal Association elections. I had a funny chat with a supporter a day or two ago. It went something like this:
So you thought, "I have too much free time. I need to become a board member." LOL You are a more patient person than me, good sir. You have my vote.
As you might know, I’ve been an elected At Large member of the Drupal Association board for the last two years. I’ve been chairing the Governance Committee. Some highlights of that work includes changes that implemented term limits for Board members, extension of the term for At Large member to two years, liaising with the community on issues they wanted to discuss, and a myriad of activities related to good governance.
This is the second post in my Making A Drupalcamp Happen series. I've been involved in camps for about 7 years and recently was the main project manager for Colorado. The first post was around tools, coordination and management. This post is really focused on tasks and when they need to be done to not go crazy.
There are certain things that need to happen every year. The earlier you can sort them out, the easier things will be as you approach the deadline of your event. So, I've listed some tasks below along with some rough timing and notes on some of the items. This is by no means an exhaustive list and the timing might be a little off on tasks, but I think it does give a sense of task, scope, and order.
I've been involved with Drupalcamp Colorado since 2007. Sometimes I've had a significant role, other times I've taken a bit more of a back seat. I was also pretty heavily involved in Drupalcon when it was in Denver. Over the last 8 months or so, I've had quite a bit more insight into the Cons themselves through my interaction with the Drupal Association. This last year I've been the project manager for Drupalcamp Colorado 2014. This has left me with with some personal insights that might help others wanting to run a camp.
The Camp is Coming!
Drupalcamp Colorado 2014 is on it's way, August 1-3! Planning has been going on for months and the camp site is now live and ready to take session proposals and donations.
Sessions and Keynotes
We'll be having a training day on August 1st. If you want to do a little bit of a boot camp, there will be "Build A Module" curriculum as well as several other day-long trainings. Saturday and Sunday will be chock full of sessions.
Michael Meyers of Now Public and Examiner fame - currently VP of Large Scale Drupal for Acquia - will be presenting one of our keynotes. An exciting second keynote is being lined up right now and we'll be able to talk about that in the very near future. Both speakers will talk about how Drupal is being used in giant ways.
I was musing yesterday morning while heading to the airport that I've been attending Drupalcons since 2007. Seven years. When I entered into the Drupal community back then, I had no real idea that this would become the focus of how I chose to make my living. I had no idea that, mostly, twice a year I would join with other like minded people. I didn't know that I would find myself in a leadership position in the community. I didn't know that I'd end up helping lead companies. What I did know was that I was working with a software project that made it easier for me to do my job.