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State of the club

Discussion in 'SAOCA Members and Discussion Forum' started by sunbby, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. sunbby

    sunbby Past SAOCA President Donation Time

    Officer elections

    Officially, we are supposed to have club officer elections every two years. This past Nov-Dec we once again called for nominations for the every two years elections. However, we did not receive any new candidates for even one single office. This club is completely volunteer based and the current officers have agreed to continue for another term but we really need more people to take an interest in the helping out with club administration. If you’re interested in making the club better, have ideas about what the club should be and do, or simply want to make sure the club continues to exist; please consider running for office.

    We really appreciate all donors and forum members

    By far the biggest strength of the club is our online community and the generous donating members that make it possible. I want to thank all of our various Donor level supporters. Without your help we would not be able to host this incredible Sunbeam Alpine resource. I also want to recognize all of the forum users that contribute to making our forum such an incredible online community and wealth of Sunbeam knowledge and support. We are always looking for contributions to the website as well. If anyone has a story, technical article, how-to tutorial or whatever, please consider submitting it.

    Donation status updates

    For those members who help the club with financial support and like being official members, we have been scrubbing our donation lists and updating member’s donation status avatars. This has always been a manual process and status updates had lapsed for some time. Hopefully, most accounts show the correct status now and will provide a reminder for yearly dues.

    Website and forum

    As you all know we had some website issues early last year; running out of storage space at our ISP and crashing the website. We recovered most of the functionality and continued on, including renewing and upgrading our ISP account so we have plenty of storage space now. However, our website and forum software is woefully out of date and badly in need of maintenance. Many things that should be automatically handled require manual processes right now (such as new user registrations). The website maintenance has always been handled by volunteers; since the beginning when Ian first created it to the current operations until now. While we will continue in that mode, we are going to use the crash as an opportunity to do a major update and redesign, even using club funds to contract out the work. I have some thoughts but I would like to organize a website/forum redesign committee to oversee this activity. I will be putting out the call for tech savvy volunteers to help determine the redesign requirements, find and manage the website contractor if needed and verify we're getting what we want.

    2014 "Invasions"

    Every 5 years we traditionally forego our annual Invasion to participate in the more broadly Sunbeam encompassing SUNI. This year we are again taking a break from planning a SAOCA Invasion and instead encourage everyone to attend one or both of the other large Sunbeam gatherings this year; SUNI VI and TE/AE’s United XXXIII.

    SUNI VI June 30 - July 4, 2014, Colorado Springs, CO

    United XXXIII September 11-13, 2014 Boyne Mountain, MI

    2015 Invasion!

    However, next year we will crank up the SAOCA Invasion once again. We desperately need to start planning Invasion XV and the first step is to pick a location and form a hosting committee. Every year we get an offer of help from the Dayton OH area Convention and Visitors Bureau. So anyone willing to organize an Invasion back in the birthplace of the club will have some resources available. Any location is possible; it just takes a few willing volunteers!


    The club finances are very strong. Quite some time ago Ian and Scott transitioned to a voluntary “donation†membership dues model, our members must still find the club worthy of support! All of our revenues come from the membership dues donations. Our expenses are mainly website/isp fees plus some Invasion expenses and membership thank you packages.

    With healthy club finances in place we’re planning some projects for enhancing value to our members. The biggest, of course, will be our website and forum redesign. Since our online community is really the heart of SAOCA it is most important to maintain and enhance our online resources. Therefore, we anticipate our largest expenditure on the website/forum redesign and enhancements. However, we also have some ideas for other projects, including a possible NLA part reproduction effort; possibly partnering with some of the established Sunbeam vendors.

    Forum etiquette

    A few times a year we have “incidents†on the forum; where people feel the need to use our forum for public arguments that degenerate into name calling and worse. It is usually carried out by a few of the same people and the vast majority of our forum users behave.

    It takes two to tango, and no matter who starts it I have no sympathy for either party who may receive sanctions. If someone rubs you the wrong way or baits you with disparaging remarks, JUST DON’T RESPOND! If you think someone is an a**, the rest of the forum community will most likely feel the same. They can make that determination themselves without you calling out the jerk, inevitably exacerbating the situation and further degenerating the thread.

    The Sunbeam community is small; we have more in common with each other than we have differences. With such a small community we can’t afford to alienate each other. So either play nice or don’t play.

    While we do have policies that call for warnings or even banning users from the forum, sometimes I have a tendency to take a laissez-faire attitude and usually these things die down on their own. Obviously, if it is egregious we will take action. Clearly, others usually chime in and tell the parties to cut it out; I encourage people to continue that, in a civilized manner.

    If you think we are too lenient, or too harsh; remember you are free to run for office and manage as you see fit!

    Tigers East/Alpines East unification

    Finally, our club has had a few discussions initiated by the TE/AE organization about the status of our two clubs, including proposing closer collaboration or even merging. I have no problem cooperating with TE/AE and cultivating a more symbiotic relationship; I think it would benefit both clubs to work together more. However, at this point I think it is important to keep SAOCA as an autonomous organization where we focus on the needs of our members. I know there is a lot of history between the 2 clubs and the current officers (including me) weren't involved at the birth of SAOCA; which was partly motivated by issues with TE/AE. I'm not too concerned with that, other than to keep those original concerns in mind and focus on doing the best things for our members first, while helping to strengthen the overall Sunbeam community.
  2. Green67Alpine

    Green67Alpine SAOCA Membership Director Gold Level Sponsor

    Thanks Todd, you've summed it up quite nicely.

    Tom j
  3. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Thanks for your efforts and all the time spent doing a job few want to participate in.

    That is a well written letter admonishing us all about "our" club and responsibilities to it and the other members.

    Just wanted to say thanks on a personal basis.


    P.S. Will help where I can! Just not able to hold an office position at present.
  4. alpine1963

    alpine1963 Donation Time

    Well Done Todd!

  5. sd_pace

    sd_pace Gold Level Sponsor

    Todd, thank you very much!
  6. Stephen

    Stephen Gold Level Sponsor

    Thanks Todd, Tom and all that help keeping it going

  7. Paul A

    Paul A Alpine Registry Curator Platinum Level Sponsor

    Thank you Todd! I appreciate your efforts on our behalf. Pete

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