Author Topic: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)  (Read 3137 times)

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Offline kjayers

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Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:42:56 am »
Do you have questions for the candidates for 2011 Chair/President?  Ask here.
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Offline @random

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2010, 08:09:47 am »
To Beau specifically - if we chose someone else, would that mean you'd get to run more panels?  ;)
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Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2010, 08:33:49 am »
 I love running and being in panels. But fear not, for I also run panels at Sakuracon. Akicon is a bit too close time wise to run more I think. But talking about Anime that scarred me for life more than twice a year might break me ;)
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
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My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2010, 10:03:57 am »
Then we would have to hold a sequel panel: Panels that broke me for life.


Just one question: What do you feel will be the positives and the challenges from spreading over two hotels?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 10:31:16 am by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2010, 02:18:10 pm »
The positives will be more venue space, both for panels and events and also for people to hang out in.
 The challenges will involve communication between the two hotels. Luckily we discovered this year that Nextels are amazing! Dawn was in traffic on her way to the Airport and could still answer questions on hers.
 Also, the two hotels are really only about 2 blocks away from each other, super short walk(I think we made it in 2-3 mins)
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 02:21:06 pm »

What panels/events, if any, do you, as Chair, see yourself attending, just for fun?
Follow-up question:
What did we learn from 2007 con that will require some attention to work more smoothly this year, if anything?
<<EDIT>> I just heard (thank you, Jaki), Assistant Directors (as opposed to assistants *to* directors) are appointed by the given Directors.  Given that, multiple years, maybe even more years than not, we have had Directors (for various reasons) leave, & late in the year get replaced, usually by their Assistants, do you have an opinion as to whether Assistant Directors should  also be up for a vote, either by the membership, or at least by the Board? What do you see as the pros or cons of each approach? What do you see as the most important qualities for Directors' Assistants? (I would say reliability and approachability/ amiability; everyone, at least everyone in their own department, should feel safe to go to them for help.) Given that it is imperative that Directors & their Assistants get along well with each other, perhaps they could run as a slate, as a pair, so that there would not be a risk of members voting in an Assistant who was incompatible with a Director. Would you be open to this possibility?  Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 01:13:55 pm by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 10:18:10 pm »
Over the past several years of elections, I have noticed that it tends to be only a very, very small number of people who post any inquiries of candidates, and usually, mostly the same people year after year. It's also well-known that we usually have very few nominees, or at least very few who accept offers to run for any of the positions, other than the incumbents and people who are to one extent or another already friends with people who are directors. It's not that any of this is necessarily intrinsically problematic,  but do you have any ideas for how to interest a greater number and variety of people from a greater set of subsections of the overall convention community in (a) paying attention to elections, (b) nominating candidates, (c) asking questions on the forums & tracking answers to them, (d) attending & participating in elections, (e) considering whether they themselves might, at least a couple years down the line, become qualified to run for a directorship?

By contrast, do you feel the convention would benefit from having greater continuity, by having directorships be two years, with the starting year differing across departments, so that only half or so of the exec positions turned over each year?

I have no attachment to how you reply but am very curious of your perspective as a multi-year con chair.
Thank you!
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline votalesin

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2010, 12:21:23 am »
Here is an interesting question. When and if you decide to move into something else, who would you like to see in the con chair position?

Offline MichaelEvans

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 05:05:15 pm »
Over the past several years of elections, I have noticed that it tends to be only a very, very small number of people who post any inquiries of candidates, and usually, mostly the same people year after year. It's also well-known that we usually have very few nominees, or at least very few who accept offers to run for any of the positions, other than the incumbents and people who are to one extent or another already friends with people who are directors. ...

Somewhat guilty as charged here.  I more or less became friends with Jeff since at the time I was reporting directly to him as director and since we've worked together on projects.  There are a lot of times where our common professional interests and skill-sets allow us to reach similar conclusions, even if our personal tastes on specific things differs slightly.

As far as new candidates go, I think a very critical thing the convention should do is actively /recognize/ potential directors and leaders and try to find them places where their skills and interests will be of value and simultaneously give them new challenges that they actually want to live up to.  One of the main criticisms I heard from those advising me to back out from running this year was that I had no idea what the position involved, and that no one thought I could fulfill it's needs.  However over the three Kumoricon's I've been staff at I can't say I've really had any path for growth with my skills; except becoming better at the jobs I've done.  Mostly of course because I've grown more familiar with the particular programming languages, libraries, and resources we have.  Well, more literally, there hasn't really seemed to be any real opportunity for increased responsibility; or any kind of official structure within which I should operate to politely convey that message.  That might also be a symptom of my lack of experience in the use of those social conventions.
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Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 05:30:08 pm »
I'll answer Volalesin first, I have been planning to take a break for a year after 2011 con is over. Jo Ayers has expressed interest in being Chair. I think she will run a very organized con, and would do great.

For Rem's questions.

I like going to the Slightly Anime dating game, where fanfic goes to do was fun. I poke my head into various panels and events and if it seems interesting or fun I'll stick around for a bit if I have the time. Mostly I like people watching so walking around is enjoyable in itself.

In 2007 I was a roaming Yojimbo for most of the convention, but also pretty distracted by the girl I would end up dating for a while. We basically have a whole new set of issues to deal with and will have to see how this year plays out to see what needs to be fixed. However, if the weather is nice(hoping) the nice park across from the main hotel will draw a lot of people outside, easing the crowding. A smoother reg system, which is being thought about right now, will help. Coordinating line control better, with radios and nextels, and getting more people to staff will help out all around.

Staff elected board members have to be replaced by a staff vote so voting on Assistant directors in the beginning of the year might be a bit redundant, and add a lot of time to the Election meeting. Most assistants are very similar to their Directors in the first place so I feel like it would be watching the same election twice.

The important qualities in an assistant would be compatibility with their director, and the independence to work separately but in the same vein.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 07:13:30 pm »
I'll get to the other questions tomorrow.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 07:34:25 pm »
I'm glad to hear that you envision taking time for yourself.
I'm thrilled to hear that Jo is considering Chair & think she'd be superb! Go, Jo!
Are there parts of what it takes to be Chair that you are able to showcase to Jo and/or anyone else who might be interested in eventually movin' on up? Do you see it as part of being Chair to help prepare others for the future?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 07:35:29 pm by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).

Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 06:42:09 am »
I'm sorry I missed you on my first go around. Time to check in with the Chair.

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Offline kjayers

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 02:13:13 pm »
(As the current candidate knows) Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make as many of the mini events as possible, all General Meetings, certain work parties and retreats in addition to the meetings, and (of course) meeting frequency increases closer to convention.

Are you able to meet these commitments? 

What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?  (Deaths in the family are, of course, impossible to anticipate.)
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Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 06:11:20 pm »
Over the past several years of elections, I have noticed that it tends to be only a very, very small number of people who post any inquiries of candidates, and usually, mostly the same people year after year. It's also well-known that we usually have very few nominees, or at least very few who accept offers to run for any of the positions, other than the incumbents and people who are to one extent or another already friends with people who are directors. It's not that any of this is necessarily intrinsically problematic,  but do you have any ideas for how to interest a greater number and variety of people from a greater set of subsections of the overall convention community in (a) paying attention to elections, (b) nominating candidates, (c) asking questions on the forums & tracking answers to them, (d) attending & participating in elections, (e) considering whether they themselves might, at least a couple years down the line, become qualified to run for a directorship?

By contrast, do you feel the convention would benefit from having greater continuity, by having directorships be two years, with the starting year differing across departments, so that only half or so of the exec positions turned over each year?

I have no attachment to how you reply but am very curious of your perspective as a multi-year con chair.
Thank you!

We had talked as a board about the idea of going to multi year directorships before, and staggering the staff elected positions and the board elected positions. some of the pros we can up with were more continuity and bringing people up to speed easier, since people would have already been in for a year.
 Some of the cons were if someone wasn't a good fit we would either have to remove them or go through two years with them, also a greater rate of burnout was discussed. This is something we can bring up to the general staff and see if they would be agreeable to changing our bylaws to go to that system.

Elections, nominations and questions are open to everyone. I would love to see more people interested in running for offices, if they could put in a viable run at the election. If you don't really want to run a department, and be willing to fight for that position.
 To pick on Jaki a bit, people seem to be satisfied with the way she runs Programming, and seem to be unwilling to run against her. I've heard that someone said they wouldn't run for chair if I was running. If people aren't willing to compete against certain people I don't know how to encourage them to do so.

People tend to ask more questions in person at the actual election meeting, I don't know if people just would rather ask face to face questions rather than over the internet. Or would rather see people thinking on their feet.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2010, 06:29:14 pm »
Over the past several years of elections, I have noticed that it tends to be only a very, very small number of people who post any inquiries of candidates, and usually, mostly the same people year after year. It's also well-known that we usually have very few nominees, or at least very few who accept offers to run for any of the positions, other than the incumbents and people who are to one extent or another already friends with people who are directors. ...

Somewhat guilty as charged here.  I more or less became friends with Jeff since at the time I was reporting directly to him as director and since we've worked together on projects.  There are a lot of times where our common professional interests and skill-sets allow us to reach similar conclusions, even if our personal tastes on specific things differs slightly.

As far as new candidates go, I think a very critical thing the convention should do is actively /recognize/ potential directors and leaders and try to find them places where their skills and interests will be of value and simultaneously give them new challenges that they actually want to live up to.  One of the main criticisms I heard from those advising me to back out from running this year was that I had no idea what the position involved, and that no one thought I could fulfill it's needs.  However over the three Kumoricon's I've been staff at I can't say I've really had any path for growth with my skills; except becoming better at the jobs I've done.  Mostly of course because I've grown more familiar with the particular programming languages, libraries, and resources we have.  Well, more literally, there hasn't really seemed to be any real opportunity for increased responsibility; or any kind of official structure within which I should operate to politely convey that message.  That might also be a symptom of my lack of experience in the use of those social conventions.

We don't have any official program for training people up to Directors, from my own experience I just showed up and asked "what do you need?" and helped where ever was needed. If people want to learn new jobs, they just need to step up and offer to help.
 Our staff positions don't really correspond to "real world" careers, most of it is learned on the job, with the backing of common sense and dedication.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2010, 07:08:45 pm »
I'm glad to hear that you envision taking time for yourself.
I'm thrilled to hear that Jo is considering Chair & think she'd be superb! Go, Jo!
Are there parts of what it takes to be Chair that you are able to showcase to Jo and/or anyone else who might be interested in eventually movin' on up? Do you see it as part of being Chair to help prepare others for the future?

I think the main part of being chair is interacting with the staff and attendees, not really something you can teach to someone. The other part i my opinion is keeping track of all the stuff going on and directing staff and resources where they need to go, someone with an organized mind who can multitask would be good at that( I need to get better at that part)
 I would gladly share info with prospective chair candidates, and after elections I will hand off info and suggestions to the new chair.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline BigGuy

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2010, 07:26:54 pm »
I'm sorry I missed you on my first go around. Time to check in with the Chair.

What is your favorite flavor of Pocky?

I like the dark chocolate pocky, men's I think.
(As the current candidate knows) Most of the year the Board meets monthly, but Board Members are also expected to make as many of the mini events as possible, all General Meetings, certain work parties and retreats in addition to the meetings, and (of course) meeting frequency increases closer to convention.

Are you able to meet these commitments? 

What kind of things are likely to arise that may interfere?  (Deaths in the family are, of course, impossible to anticipate.)

I work full time graveyard shifts in Eugene, soon I'm going to try to get on day shifts in a department with more coverage.
 I can schedule time off for events I know about in advance, it's hard for me to randomly show up in Portland.
And now I'm a catgirl?

The voice of the one I love
was all I could hear as I lay broken in the darkness
My own voice faltered
My wings no longer had the strength to fly
 -Lagoon Engine Einsatz-

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Candidate Q&A - 2011 Chair (President)
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2010, 08:41:55 pm »
I definitely think, especially in the cases that you mentioned, that having incumbent-only races can be a testament to overwhelmingly positive response to the job done. There is something to be said about not reinventing the wheel. Everything you said in all your posts made perfect sense. Thanks for your time.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 08:45:41 pm by RemSaverem »
Ellen. 2003: Fanfic panelist & contest judge.
2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
2007, 8, 9, 10: Fan Creation Manager. 2011: Writing & Editing Coord (Publicity).