Tell us about yourself
I’m Jeff Eck, your friendly cranky former metal shop assistant, and I am running for a Director at Large position on the board. I am a Kansas State University - Aviation Grad with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science. I am a small business owner (welding and fabrication shop), parent to two growing kids, and a long time supporter of MakeICT.
What are some favorite things you have already done for MakeICT?
It all started for me on a warm spring day, backed my box trailer up towards the first makerspace and we proceeded to move into 1500 E Douglass one load at a time from the Delano Dist location. I had only been a member for a few months prior and it was then that I started contributing to what we are now. In the following weeks, I worked many long nights with Mike Hutton building the woodshop and it was an amazing learning experience. Likewise, setting up the metal shop with the first two area leads and assisting them with managing the area was an excellent time with great people. I’ve contributed to nearly every area of our building. I have met some of my closest friends through MakeICT!
What in your opinion qualifies you to be a board member?
I have been a part of the organization long enough to know who we are and what we are about. I am a bit biased in that I feel to be on the board a person needs to have been with us long enough to know and be a part of our culture, at least a year. In the same line of thought, I would also think it best that I am also not in a position of leadership at the Makerspace. I can foresee many conflicts of interest in a board member being an Area lead and having all the decisions in such a tiny group doesn’t allow others to be involved. Likewise, I am also not waiting until the last minute in hopes of name recognition from our ‘ghost’ membership.
If you have served on the Board in the past, What do you feel you did right?
What do you think you did wrong, or could have done better?
Are you able to be at Board meetings, Maker Mondays and other events for the duration of your term?
I have rarely been absent from a maker Monday and if elected I will be at each board meeting.
It is our mission to innovate, learn, and build community at the intersection of art, technology, science, and culture. How would you support our mission as leadership?
I am quite approachable and enjoy a good conversation about MakeICT. I’d hope as a Director at Large to help bridge the gap between the board and general membership. As I am still a student in many areas, I’d be learning as I go…
What should we do next?
What are your thoughts about MakeICT’s direction in the coming year?
The board should be working towards growth of our organization. Whether we decide to build a second makerspace or move to a larger location, we should keep our eyes on the horizon. Many areas could use more space and equipment as well as area for more than a few members to work safely at the same time.
What’s your agenda for what you want to accomplish in the coming year?
First, I’d like to see the board give more authority to the makerspace director. He or she should then have the authority to appoint the area leads and that group manage the makerspace. Second, we should be looking as a board to work on what is next for our entire organization and get out of the muck of day to day ops. I’d like to help form the plan for our 10-year growth/goals. Third, enact the plan to get us started towards our goals.
How will you gauge whether we’re successful as an organization?
Success is something I hope we never achieve. We should strive to be better than we were today, that every tomorrow is bigger, brighter, and has more people involved. In my personal business life, I keep success on the other side of the hill I am always climbing. If we get to a point where we say we have ACHIEVED, we follow the rules of motion and start our way down… Our success is measured in our memberships ability to learn and achieve in all areas of art, tech,xyz.
What should our priorities be in terms of trying to find a different space versus extending the lease on our current building?
Any investment in a property we do not own is essentially a donation to the landlord to raise the value of the building and our rent. We are short on space and growth is going to be slowed by constant reorganizations and attempts to get the most out of our current location. We have little room to add any new tools or equipment to better serve our community. With that said, I am not against our Makerspace Director forming a plan and following through with using our current resources to their fullest potential.
Do you think MakeICT should focus on one space down town or multiple satellite locations in underserved communities?
Let’s keep the family under the same roof. Satelite locations sound neat, but expensive and would separate our community.
How should we operate?
Do you believe the Board should deal with day to day issues? Should area leads have more authority over day to day operations?
We have amazing people leading the Makerspace, DevICT, etc. The board should treat each program equally, receive updates on programs statuses, and only get involved when explicitly necessary. Furthermore, area leads should have more authority issued to them by the makerspace director issued by the board of directors. Chain of command. Board only gets involved when it has gone through the appropriate channels.
Do you support an expansion of board terms from 1 year to 2 years? Why or why not?
I’m on the fence. I can envision this as a burn out item, but I can see it give the board more time to get us further in an elected term. However, if we have board members not fulfilling their duties, or not representing membership desires, it would make it harder to stop a cancerous growth…
Would a 2 year term affect your decisions to accept a nomination?
Not explicitly. I love MakeICT and a second year wouldn’t scare me off.
Would you support staggered elections June and December for general directors seats? Why or why not?
I would not support this. The board is a group, changing its director midterm is a bad idea.
Would you support staggered elections with half the board elected at each Annual meeting?
Yes, but this only works if we spread the term to two years. Otherwise, I’m not sure what the question is.
Tell us one thing the Board did in the last 12 months that needs an undo. Be specific.
I can’t think of anything in particular. Overall the board should leave the makerspace to its leadership and only get involved when needed.
Tell us one thing not done in the last 12 months by the Board that still needs done. Be specific.
We are sailing without a map. What is our goal, what are we working towards at an instatute?
Do you believe the entire membership should vote each year at the annual meeting on the organizations Standing Rules? Refer to Article III Section 2 of the bylaws.
I could go either way. I fear many of our members don’t care to be involved this much…