Author Topic: Any questions for Operations Candidates  (Read 3353 times)

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Offline Hawkeye

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Any questions for Operations Candidates
« on: February 25, 2009, 06:59:40 am »
As a lot of you may know by now having been at the meeting or seen the minutes, we are also electing a new Director of Operations at the March special elections.  So I'd like to start off as one of those running by asking if there are any questions for the candidates, comments, suggestions, constructive criticism, you get the drift.  I also would like to propose a few questions for all of you.  What could I do as Director of Ops to make the con better in your eyes?  What could I do to help your different departments if you are a fellow staff member?
"Now I'll show you how real vampires do battle!"


Offline AnimeMatrix

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 11:11:59 pm »
Since I wasn't at the meeting, who are the Director of Operations candidates?

Offline JeffT

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 03:55:49 am »
Here are my questions for the Operations candidates:

How will you make sure that Kumoricon has a system in place for recruiting volunteers for tasks in all the departments? How will you track volunteer hours and put a solid system in place to reward volunteers?
(By volunteers, I mean people who do not have an official staff position.)

Are you prepared to oversee the major logistical challenge which is registration, and make sure that the registration staff have everything they need to process pre-registration and to prepare for at-convention registration?

Many of the yojimbo policies and manuals are long out of date. How will you review these and make sure that all of our operating yojimbo policies are solid, address all our current needs especially as we grow, and consistent with the official convention policies as set by the board?
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Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 12:28:17 pm »
To answer your first question, I would keep track by having an hours logged sheet at each mini-event and at con, to be filled out by all the volunteers.  The volunteer coordinator would then make a report to me after each mini-event and daily/twice daily at con.  The rewards would vary by amount of hours put in, the more hours logged the better reward one can gain.  As far as rewards go, that will depend on budget primarily.  For helping out with interdepartmental tasks I would ask the volunteers to help out when and where they are needed during con, and I would also ask each director where they are lacking in staff/help so I could have the volunteers fill in.  If it's not already written that way, I would also be considering amending the volunteer description to reflect these thoughts.

Second question.  Wholeheartedly and unequivocally yes.  I would keep in touch weekly with the reg managers to determine their needs, and during the year I would have the yojimbo squad help the reg monkeys and volunteers with mailouts, badge printing, etc when they have time to do so.  Admittedly although the Yojimbo work nearly 24/7 during con, there is a lot more they could do to assist the convention as a whole before the con actually starts.  If budgetary needs changed for ops in terms of needing more monies or more equipment I would address that immediately through emails and/or board meetings, depending on which was more convienient at the time.  I will also put a heavy emphasis on utilizing what registration staff we have during con effectively so no one burns out.  An example of this is I would consider utilizing the underage staffers first if there are any during the earliest shifts since they cannot stay up as late.

To answer your question about the yojimbo manuals, I am already talking with the Yojimbo Managers to help rewrite them to be brought into compliance with our current policies and Oregon laws.  Part of addressing the needs as we grow will include amending the job description to officially state that Yojimbo is going to be a 24/7 job (I don't have the manual in front of me so I don't know if it does or not), that the Yojimbo squad needs to be better about assisting with set-up and tear down (not to say that the squad didn't last year, but it needs to be improved).  Part of bringing the manuals up-to-date will be to double check and make sure that our convention policies are in line with our bylaws, thus giving the Yojimbo more accurate information.  Another thing to be addressed in their training, and that of Kumoricon staff in general, is people with disabilities.  Most people may not consider that important, but last year alone we had 4 people with vision difficulties and two of them had guide dogs.  So addressing the needs of those with different physical issues will be a key part of the trainings this year, and will need to be relayed to Relations and Programming.  Another part of our needs is to improve the customer service skills of the Operations staff as a whole.  Registration and Yojimbo are two of the first faces people tend to see, and the better we are attitude wise, the better experience the attendees will have.

I know this is not a question that has been asked, but I would like to bring up my thoughts on this a bit more.  The position of Disabilities Coordinator was started last year to better address the needs of our attendees who have different physical issues, and assist them in making the best possible experience we can for them while they are here.  One of the things I intend to train the Operations staff on is basic courtesy protocol when dealing with someone in a wheelchair/mobility device or someone who is blind.  Research is being done by our Disabilities Coordinator to find out how the ADA and other conventions choose to address these concerns and how to best help them when help is needed.
"Now I'll show you how real vampires do battle!"


Offline kalagei

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 04:52:38 pm »
Hello, Brandon De Vore here, and I would like to get some information out about myself.

I am 21 years old, and a student at Clackamas Community College, studying business administration.

I recently moved from Eugene up to Oregon City, post a layoff at my last job.

I am currently running for the Director of Operations spot. I know that not very many people at Kumoricon know who I am, but I am very interested in doing this job.

A bit of related experience that I have:

-   Worked as an Area Coordinator at Hynix Semiconductors from June of 2007 to June of 2008
-   Worked as an Interim Supervisor at the end of June 2008, into the beginning of July when it was announced that Hynix would close.

The job of Area Coordinator, as well as the job of Supervisor (the two jobs are hard for me to differentiate, because my Supervisor started training me to do his job as soon as I was promoted to AC) were both very task oriented.

I was in charge of a team of 17-21, depending on attendance, and other factors, and we would work on keeping the tools in our department running and avoiding idle time.

A brief list of my duties:

-   Assign different products to  the tools my department ran
-   Ensure that other departments were feeding me the processes we needed
-   Predict the needs of other departments and feed them product accordingly
-   Manage breaks for my team and coordinate job coverage
-   Communicate with management and maintenance regarding the state of our tools
-   Collaborate with engineering to ensure that product was being processed according to specification.
-   
My philosophy on running operations is pretty simple. Good communication can solve almost any problem. As long as the Yojimbo and the registration teams communicate their problems to the managers, and to the director, any obstacle can be overcome.  This does of course go two ways as the director and the managers need to communicate back to the registration staff and Yojimbo and look for ways to help.

This is especially true during the convention, as many emergencies situations become emergencies because not enough information has been communicated.  If elected, I will do my best to ensure that we can subvert this by making sure that as many people as possible are in the know.

One last thing before I hit the post message button, there have been a few questions posted in this thread and I’d love to take the time to answer them.

How will you make sure that Kumoricon has a system in place for recruiting volunteers for tasks in all the departments? How will you track volunteer hours and put a solid system in place to reward volunteers?


 I feel the best way to go about rewarding the volunteers would be to award them vouchers to get ahead of the lines for some of our more crowded events. Having a pizza party at convention for the volunteers would be nice as well. I know the budget would need to be checked in advance for this, but I feel it would strengthen our volunteer base.

 Of course, anything we do with the volunteers would have to be cataloged (Our Publicity Manager has shown me the power of google spreadsheets for this) and I think that would be a task best delegated to the volunteer coordinator.

Are you prepared to oversee the major logistical challenge which is registration, and make sure that the registration staff have everything they need to process pre-registration and to prepare for at-convention registration?

Registration has always been a big challenge for ops, just because of its size, and the inherent nature of it. Working with the registration team on getting badges mailed out, will be a constant activity, but I feel that with proper communication we can stay on track and make this the best registration year ever.

One thing I would like to see happen with registration, if not this year, then perhaps getting it setup for 2010, would be an SQL server and a system for inputting all of the at the door attendees’ information at the door, so that the information can be constantly accessed by the con managers and directors.  From what I’ve seen, such a system wouldn’t be difficult to implement, as long as we maintain communication and strategy.

Many of the yojimbo policies and manuals are long out of date. How will you review these and make sure that all of our operating yojimbo policies are solid, address all our current needs especially as we grow, and consistent with the official convention policies as set by the board?

Handling this seems like it will be quite a task. I would set aside time to look over the policies and bylaws, and work with the assistant director to revamp all of the policies in a timely manner, and make sure that they are up to date and free of contradiction.

If there is any information that anyone needs from me regarding the Operations Director position, feel free to post in this thread asking questions, I will be back frequently to check.  My email, and various messengers that I use are posted in my forum profile if you wish to contact me one on one.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the election meeting.
2004 - 2007 Kumoricon Attendee
2008 - Operations Office Staff
2009 - Assistant Ops Director
2010 - Director of Operations
2011 - Registration Manager
2012 - Vice Chair
2013 - I can safely say that I'm not running for a board position :D

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 12:29:19 pm »
WHERE is this meeting going to be?
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Offline TomtheFanboy

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2009, 07:03:35 pm »
The Hilton hotel.
http://www.kumoricon.org/forums/index.php?topic=9809.0

Where the 2009 general elections were held.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 01:52:48 pm »
Thanks.
I suppose my question would be would you be able (and if so, how) to have your plans and your staffing flexible enough to handle contingencies at either end of the attendance scale--either higher than expected (continuing our exponential growth) or lower than expected (because of economic downturn) and still help keep us viable?
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2004: Beta Station Coord. 2005: Fan Creation Station Coord.;pre-event assistant to the con chair.2006: Fanfic Mgr/C.S. Coord.
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Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 09:01:48 pm »
I feel that I would be able to have my staff be flexible enough in terms of not enough reg staff or not enough Yojimbo due to the fact that Registration is being yojimbo trained and I hope to have the Yojimbo (or at least a certain number of them) cross-trained to handle Registration if need be.  I also have proposals for staff-sharing with Publicity and have already been discussing the viability of such ideas with Jeff.  If either department has higher than expected numbers and we have lower than expected registration numbers, I will put my staff members as available for helping other departments as needed.
"Now I'll show you how real vampires do battle!"


Offline AnimeMatrix

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 11:28:35 pm »
Operations has frequently been very Yojimbo-heavy. What are you going to do to prevent Operations from being so Yojimbo focused so that registration and any other departments under Operations do not suffer?

Offline kalagei

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2009, 03:38:38 am »
I suppose my question would be would you be able (and if so, how) to have your plans and your staffing flexible enough to handle contingencies at either end of the attendance scale--either higher than expected (continuing our exponential growth) or lower than expected (because of economic downturn) and still help keep us viable?

I’ve felt for quite a long time that cross training is a very solid solution to a pretty wide amount of problems.  Getting reg staffers trained to be Yojimbo and vice versa will be one of the higher priorities I will have.

Operations has frequently been very Yojimbo-heavy. What are you going to do to prevent Operations from being so Yojimbo focused so that registration and any other departments under Operations do not suffer?

The key here is to realize that even with Yojimbo being the largest portion of Operations, based on it’s head count, that it deals with the same number of people as reg does.  In my mind this does make the Yojimbo require more personal management, but at the same time it shows me that reg (the other departments too, reg is just the best example) needs just as much attention.
2004 - 2007 Kumoricon Attendee
2008 - Operations Office Staff
2009 - Assistant Ops Director
2010 - Director of Operations
2011 - Registration Manager
2012 - Vice Chair
2013 - I can safely say that I'm not running for a board position :D

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2009, 08:56:11 am »
Operations has frequently been very Yojimbo-heavy. What are you going to do to prevent Operations from being so Yojimbo focused so that registration and any other departments under Operations do not suffer?

I would prevent that by cross-training the squad to help out with reg and other departments as needed.  I also plan to put more of the emphasis on Registration by helping make sure Reg also has the staffing numbers they need.  I would also have the Yojimbo help out by volunteering their time at pre-convention mini events and different events where Kumoricon may have a booth present, such as Sakura-Fest in April over at Uwajimaya.
"Now I'll show you how real vampires do battle!"


Offline kalagei

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Re: Any questions for Operations Candidates
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2009, 10:49:45 am »
Operations has frequently been very Yojimbo-heavy. What are you going to do to prevent Operations from being so Yojimbo focused so that registration and any other departments under Operations do not suffer?

I would prevent that by cross-training the squad to help out with reg and other departments as needed.  I also plan to put more of the emphasis on Registration by helping make sure Reg also has the staffing numbers they need.  I would also have the Yojimbo help out by volunteering their time at pre-convention mini events and different events where Kumoricon may have a booth present, such as Sakura-Fest in April over at Uwajimaya.

I just noticed we have a quote button! Wow that would have saved me some time. :)
2004 - 2007 Kumoricon Attendee
2008 - Operations Office Staff
2009 - Assistant Ops Director
2010 - Director of Operations
2011 - Registration Manager
2012 - Vice Chair
2013 - I can safely say that I'm not running for a board position :D