January 2018 Board Notes




Board Attended: Andy Tso, Megan Stob, Troy MacDonald, Kevin Ehrler, Renee Vandervelde, Kim Hofer, Stephen Gifford
Board Absent: Joe Opsahl
Observers: Cyn Letterman, Damarra Atkins, John Koniges, Lauren Ganann, Michele Clark, Kat Pepmiller, Rachel Tippett, Tristan Anderson, Alli Cassel, Jessica Aronson, Anton Petersen, Emily Kringle, Stephen Rochricht, Jayson Stob, Heather Bufkin, Erick Hofer, Morgan Niemeyer


Anime Twin Cities, Inc Board Meeting January 9, 2018 6:30pm

Waterbury Building; 1121 Jackson St. NE Minneapolis MN 55413



  • Open Session
  • Coordinator Updates
    • Anime Detour
    • Charities
    • Clubs
    • Media Relations
    • SOS
    • Finance
  • Ratify Equipment Rental Request Process 
  • Lauren's Proposal (given at the November Board Meeting)
  • April's Board Meeting





  • Nabeshin sends his greetings and salutations.
  • Chris Ayres is doing well. He has had multiple dental procedures. Currently he will be short $2,000 for the remaining of his dental work. Would like to request the remaining budget required to finish paying off the remaining work.
    • LEG Fund cap rules? Are we limited in our gift giving? Want to make sure to protect the recipient for their tax purposes.
    • Currently we’ve spent 7,400. Estimate is about 1,200 for remaining.

Gifford Motions to approve additional funding up until our cap or limit according to the LEG Fund Policies. Troy Seconded. All in Favor. No abstentions. Funds to come from LEG Fund.

  • Carrie Savage: has been using an mbox for the last several years. She has a newer mac that she can use to record her auditions. This mbox isn’t compatible with her Mac.  However, this means that she will need a breakout box to replace this mbox. Anton request’s $108.00 to cover the cost of breakout box for her to continue her voice acting.

Andy motions to approve $110 for the new breakout box pending receiving of proper paperwork. Troy and Gifford Seconded. All in Favor. No abstentions.



Anime Detour:

  • Looking at Target Markets for advertising
    • Twitch Streamers, broadcasters, are posting for us.
    • Funimation and Crunchyroll; still have feelers out.
    • Flyers at local stores
  • Currently we are about 700 registrations behind last year


  • Preparing for Steps of Hope in March.
  • At the next Charities meeting, will be discussing content to put on the website


  • Looking into prices with Cedar Point for the coaster club. Looking at special rates for groups.
  • Youtube club, working on a plan so we can host stuff at Detour.
  • Got a bunch of new members for the FFXIV group
  • Go club is going well.
  • Anime Club is going well and they really appreciated the purchase of the new projector.

Media Relations:

  • About 90% of the way for AMKE. (Feb 16-18). Just getting our headcount over to their chairman. Promotional material will be purchased within the next week. Working on highlighting Xander, as Persona is huge.
    • Doing a straight swap with them (for room)
    • Travel arrangements are being made
    • On our end, Morgan and Nichetta handle room arrangements.
  • Added Convergence back in for this year
  • Working on swapping room parties for Anime Nebraskon and Anime Fargo


  • Logo is in the final stages
  • Outpost anime is in a few weeks at the end of the month.
  • Maggie has a few candidate places for cosplay on ice. Waiting on hearing back from them for costs and dates.
  • Double Tree received the authorization form, should be all blocked in for Akihabara.


  • Draft of the 990 is completed. Kim hasn’t looked it over yet, but will do so soon. This is our Tax form.
  • Making the second payment to the Hyatt this week.
  • Still in the red, hopefully by next month we should get to the black line.
    • Need about 1,200 more registrations to hit that.

Currently in the account; $263,677.93. LEG Fund has $15,127.03. Education Fund has $645.36.

Agenda: Ratify Equipment Rental Request Process

Locker Rules/regulations/suggestions

Both lockers should be combination locks

Who should have the codes and combinations

  • Logistics head (both lockers)
  • Logistic Subhead (both lockers) – access to be determined by logistic head
  • Tech Head (“Tech” locker)
  • Tech subhead (“Tech” locker) - how many and which to be determined by tech head
  • One other person who can be there for rentals (both lockers)
  • Codes kept in a secure location (ex. ATC/AD Office at GPS in locked Filing cabinet with Key held by the secretary)



  • No storage of personal belongings. Even if the item is being brought to departments as possible donation, bring them to a meeting, or keep them at home until a department decides they want them.

Items leaving the locker for maintenance/Inventory/Etc.

  • Who knows
    • Logistic head
    • Tech head – if the item is stored in the “Tech” Locker
    • The head of the department to which the item belongs
  • Contact via email the necessary persons with the information: name of remover, item(s), why
  • Contact made when the item is removed. If the item will be in the possession of another person that information is included
  • Contact the necessary persons when item is returned
  • Consequences for not making contact of any kind/ not returning item


Notification of needing entry

  • For rentals for other cons at least 14 days’ notice with an estimated time for entry
  • Staff members without direct access to locker
    • If they are asking 7 days in advance with possible days/times of availability
    • No notification needed if an access person is already going to the locker (i.e. after a meeting)

Equipment rentals


  • Contact: person from other convention who is liaison for the equipment rental. Needs to be present at pick up
  • ATC: The liaison for ATC accessing the locker for equipment removal and return


What is allowed to be rented

  • Listed made by department heads, to be discussed by the board for final approval
  • Update once a year
  • A Hold is put on equipment bought before the next Detour unless replacing items removed from inventory


Rental steps

  1. Board agrees with what to rent to a convention at least 60 days prior to that event.
  1. If additional items are requested after the 60 days, the convention has up 2 weeks prior to event to get that information to the board
  2. Contracted is made and signed agreeing on terms of the rental
  1. Email is sent to locker managers (i.e. logistic and tech heads) containing
  1. Dates and times of removal and return
  2. Equipment list
  3. Contact information for convention contact
  1. Check out/in and verification form created containing
  1. Event
  2. Dates
  3. Equipment with locations for
      1. Check out (contact signs)
      2. Check in (ATC signs)
      3. Verified return (tech/ qualified individual signs once verified)
      4. Comment section (signed by contact and ATC)
  1. Contact has 24 hours to inform ATC of missing or damaged equipment before the it affects their rental deposit
  2. Deposit and any deductions discussed at a board meeting
  3. All contracts and requests kept on file to determine future interactions.



  • A Rental fee determined by the board for the year, plus a deposit fee determined by the board
    • Rental fee – will not be returned put in to an account set aside for repair and replacing rental equipment
    • Deposit – Will be returned in the amount determined by the board after verification of rental equipment’s conditions
  • Rental deposit has to be deposited at least 2 weeks prior to event and can be received after approval.
    • If the deposit is not to ATC and deposited before event equipment does not get rented.
  • Damaged items while rented
    • Noted/informing ATC prior to verification gets up to 50% of item is docked on deposit
    • Damage found during verification process items deposit cost removed from deposit return in full. Plus possible charges to the convention for items that cost more than the deposit
  • Verification happens within 2 weeks.
    • A copy of the verification sheet is given emailed to the board and the renter
  • Deposit returned after the next board meeting to allow for any discussion of deductions to the deposit.
    • If the next board meeting happens within the 2 weeks’ time for verification it will be put off until the next board meeting.


Andy Motions to approve with changes about renting prior to Anime Detour. Kim Seconded. All in Favor. No abstentions.

Agenda: Lauren’s Proposal

  • Proposed a new branch of ATC to take care of following areas:
    • Training ATC Members with regards to legal responsibilities.
    • Taking care of new ATC Members (pay to join ATC, not having detour membership)
    • Participation in community events.
    • Taking care of the local convention room party events
    • Equipment rentals
    • Assist coordinators; Maintain office and facility
    • Working with GPS on a more partnership level
  • Board has discussed proposal via email. Consensus is while we conceptually don’t want to set the precedent that if a officer does something wrong that others don’t agree with, that a new branch is created.
  • This proposal however does cover things that we have need for. 
  • Worked with MR (Morgan) on a corrective action plan
  • Other than local convention room parties (still under Media Relations); other than that, we will open up this new branch that Lauren has proposed. We will open this up to applications.

Community Coordinator proposal

ATC Vision

Strive to create the best anime convention in the Midwest, to educate people on Japanese animation and culture, and to be a cultural leader supporting the community as a whole through our charitable giving and community outreach programs and to grow inter-cultural relationships throughout the community.

I believe in the mission of ATC and its goals.  Over the past 15 years I have worked for almost every branch of ATC and taken on multiple leadership roles.  I have seen us grow from crazy dreamers into leaders in our local fandom community. When an opportunity to expand or help our community has come along we have not always stopped to ask if we should but how we can.  

ATC is still an organization of dreamers but it’s currently run by practical thinkers.  This is a good thing, our membership is plateauing and our goals can extend beyond our means.  I understand the direction the current board is taking to be more reserved with new projects, retain our resources, and limit our in person advertising to events with larger audiences, but I think that the way we are enacting those choices is counterproductive to our mission and the board’s responsibility to seek alternative sources of income.

This proposal is an attempt to support and build the vison of the ATC board and its coordinators in an effort to create a stronger community trust,  and build new revenue streams/donations.  The position would also serve to support the existing coordinators and streamline resources potentially saving expenditure.  

Community Coordinator Mission

 Assist and promote the educational, cultural, and community goals of Anime Twin Cities and its Coordinators through local events, training, and community partnerships.


 Potential Coordinator Goals

  1. Establish training and actively engage in research to ensure that ATC is upholding its legal responsibilities to the community.
  2. Set up a system to accept ATC membership and actively seek out new membership.
  3. Be an active participant in community events.
  4. Reform, build a staff for, and maintain the equipment loan program.
  5. Assist Coordinators in achieving their goals by promoting their events, maintaining group resources and promoting cross coordinator use of perishable resources to limit waste.
  6. To work with GPS to better understand the value and purpose of our partnership and ensure ATC’s objectives are met.


Establish training:  In 2012 the ATC board in conjunction with GPS took the nonprofit governance training provided through MAP (now Propel).  This was a private session GPS set up for multiple organizations and only three of our board members chose to attend.  This is a valuable service that covers a boards legal, fiscal, and societal responsibilities and it comes with multiple handy reference materials.  Over the years I have heard many board members express that they feel unsure of the roles, responsibilities and legal restrictions.  The board boot camp takes 2.5 hours and is held once a month on the second Tuesday of the month, alternating months between morning and evening hours, costing 65 dollars per person and allowing no more than 3 members of any organization.  We could alternately set up a private session in the location of our choice and potentially invite other members of the community to join and facilitate financing to ensure that all our board members are armed with knowledge.  A community coordinator could be responsible for setting up the group training every two years or keeping track of which board members have enrolled in the case of individual training.


New Members: Since the inception of ATC membership fees have been established in the bylaws.  Originally there were two ways to pay your membership dues, as part of your registration to Anime Detour or by becoming a supporting member.  Supporting members used the Detour registration form to submit their membership fees and then if they choose to attend Detour would pay a 20 dollar fee at the door.  The supporting membership program was later dropped from registration as it confused some members who thought they were registering for the convention.  Additionally there was a later bylaws change lowering the ATC membership fees to 15 dollars.  At that time ATC was just beginning to branch out into further activities and it was believed that we should encourage more members outside of Anime Detour.  Since that time nothing has been done to encourage member enrollment.  A community coordinator can establish the procedure and maintain enrollment.


Participate in community events:  Festival of Nations, Cherry Tree Festival, Pride, Barnes and Noble Pop Cultured, Mechademia and Oban Festival these are examples of events we have been invited to participate in over the last two years that we have either struggled to participate in or completely failed to participate in because we did not have the systems in place to staff and support them.  Many of these events are free and provide an excellent opportunity to support our mission of cultural education understanding and community support.  They also allow us to highlight our programs and improve our membership numbers for both ATC and Anime Detour.  With a coordinator we can establish a calendar of events for the year, create a team lead for each event, develop a pool of volunteers knowledgeable in the mission of ATC for events, and contact/communicate with other coordinator to establish representatives or relevant knowledge.


I also believe that local convention room parties a vital part of showing our community support and one of the best resources for promoting our local events.  I understand the Media Relations team position that with limited resources we should focus our efforts on conventions with larger attendance to maximize our potential registration benefits.  However, focusing on events out of state limits our ability to grow our smaller events with localized attendance.  I have worked many SOS events and many of those attendees do not attend Detour, they have heard of ATC through room parties, Facebook, and other community events.  To remove local conventions undervalues our community and undervalues the efforts of our other coordinators.  A community coordinator could take on local convention room parties to support our local convention scene and promote our more localized events, clubs and charitable opportunities allowing Media Relations to focus on the larger numbers.


Equipment Loan Program:  The equipment loan program was established as part of our support to the greater geek community, but it has always been problematic.  We lack infrastructure and guidelines and currently the program is removed from our website without a public explanation or contact information for inquiry.  Ultimately the decision to go forward with this program lies with the board but here are some examples of what a coordinator could do for this position.


Establish a staff by using the current logistics team and contacting department heads to create a list of 2-3 staff members from each department willing to become available to inspect equipment for check out/in process.


Encourage department heads to create a standardized system for how their equipment should be stored complete with an inventory of what belongs in each box and a picture of what equipment should look like when packed.  This helpful not only for the loan process but also for when we quickly pack up our equipment at the end of the convention.  Often we encourage staffers to assist other departments during load out who have no idea how things should be stored.


Develop a more equitable table of fees for the loan of equipment to commensurate with the value of our time, wear and tear of equipment and replacement fees.


Completely remove the loan process and create a committee of conventions through GPS to coordinate cross sharing between the entire local convention scene to limit our new purchase expenses.  In this example the committee could swap equipment  so we could double our source of video room/gaming tvs by borrowing from Anime Fusion or print badges faster by borrowing extra printers from Convergence or we could collectively buy equipment together.  Why buy a new full set of walkie talkies that will be obsolete in five years if we can collectively obtain a full set through multiple organizations pitching in.


Assist Coordinators:  Much of this is accomplished through the goals above.  Further assistance can be achieved by communally pooling our resources.  Maintaining a source for all of our flyers so that it is easy for any coordinator to grab promotional materials, ensuring that the relevant handouts are kept in stock and informing the pertinent coordinator when their handouts are low.  Additionally communicating with coordinators to insure that perishable items are not going to waste, leftovers from consuite, charities fundraisers, SOS, and promotional events can be cycled into other events to limit waste and expenditure.


Work with GPS:  The October board meeting notes reflect that our lease with GPS is coming up and we should form a committee to look at other rental options.  This is incorrect information.  We do not have lease with GPS we have a partnership with GPS.  Our partnership gains us many benefits which include use of the events space as well as storage and office space but it is not limited to those things.  Our partnership is also a partnership which means that when we fund GPS we fund the mission of GPS and all of its programs.  


Arts initiative:  connecting artists, businesses, and schools to promote development and understanding of arts in the Twin cities.  This program has an emphasis on member art and geeky art.


Space Camp scholarship:  annually sending a child between the ages of 10-14 to space camp.


Project lighthouse STEAM grants:  Bringing presentations to local schools from the University of Minnesota Raptor center, the Como Park Zoo, the MN Zoomobile, the Science Museum of MN, Mad Science among others.


GPS writing contest: Encourging new authours to share their work and gain exposure.  GPS not retain the rights to any submissions.


Clubs: Black Hat collective, Crafty Geek, Diodes Steampunk, Geek physique, Geeks read, Minn Spec, Photography club, read the book/see the movie, Tsuinshi, and the Geeks of Gaming


As well as many other events year round both at their facility and out in the community.  Our partnership makes this happen.  When we look at our partnership solely as a facility we lose the value of our partnership and we might as well rent from any venue.  The partnership with GPS is an exercise in community building creating something that is truly unique and the first of its kind.  A community coordinator could ensure that ATC receives the full benefit of its partnership with GPS and can advocate for ATC, communicating regularly with the organization leaders and attending their public meetings.  Should the board then decide that its partnership with GPS is valued only in facilities they can walk away at the end of the partnership agreement knowing that they have fully researched the issue.


Motion to create a new branch of ATC; titled the community coordinator as outlined in the proposal minus the responsibilities of room parties. With a position description to be typed up before Saturday’s Anime Detour staff meeting. Kevin Seconded. All in Favor. No abstentions.

Agenda: April’s Board Meeting

  • Look at the potential to move the April meeting back by a week. As currently the meeting is the Tuesday following Anime Detour
  • Officers are okay with the move
  • Reach out to GPS to see if we can postpone the April and May board meetings by one week.

Andy Motion’s to push back the April and May meetings by one week. Renee Seconded. All in Favor. No abstentions.

Gifford to make ATC Announcements at the next Anime Detour Staff Meeting. End date for applications for board seat is February 9th.

Board appoints; ratified at the next staff meeting. It’s a yes no vote. Could be Gifford’s last meeting.

Agenda: ATC Policy Documentation

  • Catalog how we document policy changes.

Agenda: ATC Focus

  • From 2006. Written to be attached to a legal thing we were final. To start the non-exempt status.
  • Look at it, post-pone discussion until next month

Agenda: Welcome to the Board

  • What comes with being a board member
  • Idea: here are our articles of incorporation. Here is our mission statement. Here are our current bylaws and policies.
  • This would fall under our new coordinator position.
  • Eventually would like to see mandatory propel training for new board members.

Heather’s proposal about coordinators budget; be first after open session.

Motion to adjurn. Gifford Seconds. All in Favor. Meeting end 8 pm.