July 2019 Board Notes




Board Attended: John Koniges, Kim Hofer, Kevin Ehrler, Tristan Anderson, Michelle Clark, Anthony LaBerge, Jay Bottem
Board Absent:
Observers: Troy MacDonald, Erick Hofer, Heather Bufkin, Lauren Ganann, Äge Nelson


Meeting called to order 18:32

Recap off cycle board actions and votes:

  • None

Open Session:

  • None

Planned Discussions from scheduled visiting parties/ATC Partners

  • None

Equipment Rental Requests

  • Furry Migration

    • Requested exactly what they are requesting last year, which was returned in good condition last year.  Some consuite equip, which consuite is okay with. Some gridwall. Also requesting registration stanchions which reg are fine with, but it’s not listed in their inventory so don’t know the costs.  Lauren will consult google for this number. Ben thinks they might want to borrow borrow power jacks.

    • VOTE: John motions to approve request as described, Tristan seconds, all vote to Approve.
  • 2D Con

    • Some concern over last year.  They reached out immediately they sent home a PS4 with a vendor, and will get back to us about it.    Several meetings later we haven’t heard from them again. So we bought one and reduced their deposit from it.  Previous years they lost $70-$100 worth of power/hdmi cables and took 8 months and took Andy to go to Joe about this after many emails.  

    • We haven’t communicated in the past there would be future concerns.  John recommends approving and letting them know there was concern over previous years and to keep us informed of things.  If there are more concerns we’ll let them know a year in advance if we don’t plan to rent to them again.

    • They are requesting much tech equipment including mics (we don’t have and removed from request), panel room kits, older walkies, and chargers/headsets, video game consoles.  

    • We should remind Joe they haven’t been powered up/used/updated in a year.

    • VOTE: John motions to approve request as described, including concern about previous requests with communication/timeframes, Tristan seconds, all vote to Approve.
    • Lauren to send out contracts tomorrow, and let them know about the concerns.

Director Updates:

  • Troy (AD):  

    • Went to Project Anime and Anime Expo workshopping/networking/etc...Went very well.

    • First meeting coming up in a few weeks at the Hyatt.

    • Had executive post mortem going over feedback.  Discussed applicable action items on the feedback, and new initiatives they want to see for departments.  Vice chairs to carry them out during 1:1 meetings.  

    • Tony/Michalel/Troy visited Hilton during due diligence for contract signing.  Had a good meeting, and good space, but issues that make it not good to move forward.  Less square footage, no consuite without a room with large fee, no availability for Thursday load-ins Feb>April.  Future wants to start with a phone call to work out things to save time on both ends. John recommends a letter of what we need.  

    • Michelle says the Riverfront of downtown Saint Paul is looking to do a massive renovations in the upcoming years to keep on our radar.  

    • They are booked out very far and is much different for availability than DoubleTree.

    • VOTE: Troy motions to approve John seconded to allow Troy to sign contracts for 2023/2024, Tristan seconds, all vote to Approve.
    • Registration notes:  We need to rewrite registration backend to get rid of ASecureCart since Wells Fargo won’t support them anymore.  

  • Anton (Charities)

    • Anton sent email update

    • No updates, did provide coordinator goals.

    • ACTION: Kim to reach out to Anton to remind he needs to spend money.

  • Erick (Clubs)

    • No Update

  • Lauren (Community)

    • There was a room party at CONvergence

    • Going to Obon next month

    • Macadamia in September

    • Normandale gardens approached us about going to something in Sept.

  • Äge (Media Relations)

    • Newsletter

    • Stepping down since too many irons in the fire and can’t devote enough to ATC.

  • Heather (SOS)

    • Staff picnic recently, despite being very hot was well attended

    • Cosplay picnic later this month

    • Post-meeting cookout after the August meeting.  Troy to help promote.

  • Kim (Finance)

    • Handed out Financial summary packets

    • Don't expect much more staff reimbursement checks

    • Expected to come out $185k - which is in line with expectations, good start for next con cycle.

    • Budget Cycle to start in August for Detour and Coordinators

    • September budgets due back.

    • October board meeting to present, and approve

    • Bank:  $206,504

    • Edu: $1,460

    • LEG: $12,741

    • More checks have come in recently, expecting to bring LEG just shy of $2k to match.  We have until the end of September.

    • We did get quarterly newsletter for Dixon scholarship

    • Got thank you note from Nagasaki Sister city for cherry blossom festival

    • Got confirmation from patent office about request to renew.

    • CONvergence brought in $70 from room party

5 Minute Break at 19:06
Meeting Resumed at 19:11

Updates on Current Board Projects

  • August (Troy) - Attendance Cap and Budgets Due

    • Troy sent out information to department heads/executive teams.  Will be ready.

  • October - Vote on budgets

  • October - Fees for Equipment Rentals (Lauren)

  • January -  Troy - Prices for 2021

  • May - Charitable giving (Likely presentations in April, and votes in May)

  • June - Board member projects and Coordinator Reviews

Review ATC Policies

  • Going through what we have, but Tristan has more

  • Discussion of policies

    • 2013.08.12.1 - Mark as old as is outdated - Needs double checking on date/entered wrong years.

    • 2014.03.10.1 - Not Policy

    • 2014.03.10.2 - Should be replaced with actual policy, or marked old.

    • 2014.05.12.1 - Should be replaced with actual policy, or marked old.

    • 2014.08.11.1 - Old policy

    • 2014.09.08.1 - Either old, or should be re-evaluated

    • 2014.10.13.1 - Question: Do we need to re-evaluate/re-certify/retrain on policies?

    • 2014.03.09.2 - not a long term thing, should advise

    • 2014.04.13.1 - positions are not a policy

    • 2016.07.11.1 - Another cap one, invalidated?

    • 2016.07.11.2 - Replace with mission statement

    • 2016.11.07.1 - Vote not policy

    • 2017.04.11.1 - minor adjustments have been had

    • 2016.11.07.2 - Invalidated by 2017.04.11.2

    • 2017.08.08.1 - Should put policy in place of this

    • 2018.01.09.1 - Probably what we are using now, needs double checking/policy

    • 2018.03.13.1 - Can be striked, equipment thing.

    • 2018.05.19.1 - Position not policy

      • Vote may be wrong

    • 2018.06.12.1 - ACTION:  Needs revisiting to remove Name, and for a period for yearly contracts, contracts outside of active year require board?  Needs revisiting, Troy to look into

    • 2018.06.12.2  - Board needs to review fees each year, we should in October to decide if we are going to keep fees.

    • 2018.07.10.1 probably invalidates all previous ones, should only have one defining the latest.

VOTE: John motions to allow us to update previous notes to link to copies of said policies referenced/voted upon. Tony Seconded.  All approved.

Coordinator Goals (handouts)

  • Äge (Media Relations)

    • Mostly the same as last year

    • Video series/podcast newsletters

    • Reach out for local news outlets

    • Help promote ATC

    • More Staff

    • Tony:  Should we have more japanaese support over Anime?

  • Lauren (Community)

    • Improve equipment request.  Next step is get on website.  We are missing form/contact information, etc...Wants separate listings for equipment rentals.

    • Work with coordinators to share resources

    • Local events

    • Strengthen relationships with partners

    • Increase ATC memberships outside of Detour

  • Erick (Clubs)

    • Web content and form for school groups to contact us

    • Ensure internal clubs have support

    • Improve communication

    • Build Staff

  • Anton (Charitable)

    • Website, including form online

    • Create timeline of dates for charitable events.

    • Meetings

    • Recruit staff

  • Troy (Detour)

    • Finalize staff discount, and hours logged.  Looking into free badges for staff.

    • Continue working on Staff Hotel Room Proposal

    • Finalize contracts for 2023/2024

    • Focus on budgets for departments

    • Improve departmental communication

    • Continue to grow AD brand recognition

    • Continue to look at sponsorships.  Build sponsorship deck.

  • Heather (SOS)

    • Want to add semi-serious/formal evening cosplay thing - which is last major event to add for the foreseeable future

    • Still want to do Staff Events

    • Semi regular habit of post-meeting social thing

    • Staff, Staff, Staff

    • Look into getting something for opening ceremonies


  • Events going around in the Anime community (like AMKEs posts).  Determining if we should continue staying silent or not.  

    • Conversations about we are a family centric con so we should not stay silent, vs if we should. If not specific but general nature.

    • Heather comments about Fusion is working on a policy running by their legal.  Want to evaluate this and preemptively ban people or not, may not go out and make a statement, but wanted a policy to make decisions.

    • Troy cannot in good conscious allow RK to attend Anime Detour, his presence would be a disruption.  We may not need a public stance but we need a stance.

    • John comments about previous discussions we have had in these comments.  What came out of it, we were reminded by chairman is a chairman decision and not a board decision.  

    • Heather reminds us there's multiple branches under ATC.  So if Troy bans it doesn’t affect other branches. Vs people we don’t want involved in the entire organization.

    • Erick reminds us these are still allegations, so we may wind up in bad situations.

      • John mentions there’s a legal injunction to stop him people from speaking about this.

    • Lauren mentions how other organizations regarding Children’s Theater.  Heart of the Beast made statement about striving to be better in community.  Recommends this is a good model to go off of.

    • Troy chatted with our lawyer and saw no issue with it.

    • Tony brings up if we should have an overarching policy about this over individuals.

    • Michelle mentions we not make effort not to invite people who are in legal issues.

    • Tristan says we should not be vague but be very specific.

    • Tony thinks we should not mention a name in particular as it would be in poor form.

    • Äge thinks if we do a draft we should run it through our lawyer.

      • John thinks if we are vague/plain we would be okay since Troy already talked with him.

    • John thinks we should write a policy statement about holding ourselves to higher community standards.  Michelle to work with John on this.  

    • Do we want to ban this individual and his organization from ATC Events?  Certified letter is probably the best way to go.  

      • Lauren recommends we phone if possible else it likely will get blasted across the internet.

      • Most people agree a written is better.

      • Lauren mentions a Passive aggressive social media campaign about our history to show we are not related with other certain conventions.  This could be tied into Theme of OldSchool.  

      • Troy mentions we don’t toot our horn about our donations to all of our organizations.  

        • John asks Troy to work on this front.

      • Tristan to help work with Michelle working on policy, instead of John due to time constraints.  Goal to get a solid base by next meeting to review in August with final vote in September.  

      • Troy to work with Buttons and Äge on social media

      • If someone asks in the meantime, we tell them we are working on policy and RK and company not welcome at any ATC events.

      • Jay wants to make a statement acknowledging this about what’s happening in the community as a whole and we are improving our policies..  Tristan agrees this is what he is looking for. 

    • VOTE:  John motions: RK and affiliated companies is not permitted to Attend, Advertise at, or Participate at any Anime Twin Cities events.  Seconded by Tony. All present approved.
      • Troy agrees to let him know.

      • ACTION: Jay/Michelle/Troy to write a letter to acknowledge events in anime community and we are working to update policies to make attendees safer at our events.  To email out to board when finish and vote over email to give Media Relations.

      • ACTION: Äge, and Troy to do social media to what makes ATC special, and how we are not other conventions.

      • ACTION: Tristan and Michelle to work on policy going forward

      • We should direct people with questions on Anime Detour about this to the ATC Board.

      • Troy to reach out to Button to discuss events.

John motions to adjourn, seconded by Tony.  All approved.
Meeting Adjourned at 20:53