LaDeana's Answers to the Questions - 2018 Election

Tell us about yourself

What are some favorite things you have already done for MakeICT?

  • At Large Board Member

  • Outreach volunteer (Riverfest, Girl Scout activities, Zoo, Open Streets, Maker Mondays, etc)

  • Security officer

What, in your opinion, qualifies you to be a board member?

  • Willing to serve - when you become a board member, you realize that it is really a hard job, but it is really important to get right as this is what ensures that the Maker Space is a sustainable operation.

  • Willing to listen - I feel like I can ask people their opinions on the things that we need to vote on. I try to vote what I think the membership would want if they were voting. I try not to vote my opinions, but try to do my best to represent the membership.

  • Willing to compromise - Some people see the world in black and white - I see it in 256 million colors. I typically try to nudge decisions into the right range rather than absolutely having to have my way.

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?

Things we did right (I cannot take credit for all these, we have a great bunch of folks here that keep the space going.)

  • Budget for the Maker Space is less than our expenses. This is one thing we do so right.

  • Allow the space to grow by getting some new equipment (1/2 the new laser cutter, new dryer for the print shop, etc.)

  • Deal with personnel issues rather than duck them. (People sleeping at the space, people that make the space a non-safe environment, etc.)

Things we did wrong or could have done better:

We need a plan. When we don’t have one we go off on bunny trails and spend days arguing about some tiny detail at the Maker Space. We need to get some focus on the following topics that really need our attention:

  • Donations - We need a database of donors, consistently sent emails to donors, a good way to recognize our donors. And we should thank them repeatedly. And we need to court a few corporate donors.

  • Grants - We need to look into finding some grant funding for projects at the Maker Space. We are always asking our volunteers to contribute to our good works… but we could do even more good if we had a few grants.

  • Physical Location - We are out of space in our current location. We could re-purpose some of the space up front… but really that is a temporary stop gap - we need to find a new building.

  • Volunteers - we need a better system to get people to volunteer. It seems like we always have the same folks doing everything… but I know that almost everyone I ask says they will volunteer to help the space.so we need to bridge that gap.

  • General planning - We need to have a location we can be in for the next five years so we can do some advance planning. I would like to see each area have an idea how they will grow the next year, next 3 years and next 5 years. And we need to look into what new areas might emerge and how many and when.

Are you able to be at Board meetings, Maker Mondays and other events for the duration of your term?

Yes. I come almost every Maker Monday and do tours. I don’t think I missed any of the board meetings.

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?
Try to shift the board into doing a better jiob of fund raising and donor management, helping to set our course toward a new, bigger space and try to find better ways to manage and keep our wonderful volunteers happy.

What should we do next?

What are your thoughts about MakeICT’s direction in the coming year?
We really need a plan in place, we also need to get the study on new building in place so we can evaluate our options

What’s your agenda for what you want to accomplish in the coming year?
Better donation management, new building evaluation, encourage more volunteers

How will you gauge whether we’re successful as an organization?
Are we making stuff?
Are we happy when we are making stuff
Are we giving someting back to the community?
Yes answers mean we are doing well

What should our priorities be in terms of trying to find a different space versus extending the lease on our current building?
That depends on if we can find a suitable space and if we can afford a suitable space. When those criteria are met, then lets plan the move and pull the trigger.

Do you think MakeICT should focus on one space down town or multiple satellite locations in underserved communities?
I think we have something special in the cental location. We have to nurture that first. Satellite locations could be costly. We need to consider the cost before making a branch. On the other hand, if we were to get some gant money to offset the cost, then we could help bring making to those who dont have the fantastic equipment we are fortunate to work with. We could get local volunteers to run the spaces and then you could visit any of the branches to make :slight_smile:

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?
Yes area leads need to be the ones directly involved in all the day-to-day stuff and we need to deal with more global issues.

Do you support an expansion of board terms from 1 year to 2 years? Why or why not?
I do support an expansion of terms. I think the board really needs to focus on long term goals and how can you focus on the long term if you will only be in office 1 year? Seriously, to get the board to focus on the long term is really needed.

Would a 2 year term affect your decisions to accept a nomination? Nope. I worked at the same place for 27 years… 2 years doesn’t scare me. If it does scare a person off, then good riddance… this job needs a certain amount of commitment…

Would you support staggered elections June and December for general directors seats? Why or why not? Totally crazy idea… that would just make it take longer for the board to gel.

Would you support staggered elections with half the board elected at each Annual meeting?
Yes. That seems more reasonible to me. Plus you could be more selective with fewer spots open in a single election!

Tell us one thing the Board did in the last 12 months that needs an undo. Be specific.
I think what bothers me most is not what was accomplished, but what wasn’t. We spent very little time trying to get donors and grants… we happily coast along on dues. We really need to crank the hanle on this one

Tell us one thing not done in the last 12 months by the Board that still needs done. Be specific.
Let me shorten what I have said before…
Focus on
Donations
New space
Volunteers

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.
Seems odd that we would do that. I mean … what is the point? If we vote them down, what happens… we have anarchy?
On the other hand , it might do us some good to review them at least once a year :wink:

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Tell me about a time when you had to give someone difficult feedback. How did you handle it?

I have quite a bit of experience giving feedback in my job as a CATIA instructor, so let me use that as an example.

Let’s say a fellow has made a horrible mess of building a CATIA part. I would probably start by
1.) Ask him to tell me about the part and how he built it.
2.) Listen. Listening is super important. You need to make sure you totally understand a problem before you start to solve it. (It would be particularly bad if you gave a fellow feedback and you were wrong.) Also. sometimes all a fellow needs is to explain the problem to you and then he can come up with the solution on his own… which is way better than giving feedback…
3.) Then something like: Hmmm… you know I think I know a much more efficient way to build this part that will make it easier to modify in the long run.
4.) Then convince him to fix the thing: “Lets try doing it this way… first lets build a sketch on your base plane… etc, etc.”
5) Then confirm this way is wIrking for him and review the steps so he can do it right next time.

So this is sort of a subtle way of giving feedback and would be where I would start with most folks.

Sometimes. I will take the direct approach with a person. Like: “That is not being excellent”

Of course, feedback need not be verbal. Often giving someone the “evil eye” will be sufficient.
,

LaDeana, wow, you should really be teaching CAD courses at MakeICT. That’s a YUGE area of need for us.
I remember when you started writing an instruction manual for the Tormach? That was over a year ago

How’s that coming along? It seems you got elected to the board and started volunteering for all sorts of committees.

Now I never see you in the back end of the building except when you’re volunteering to give tours.

So I have to ask, do you really feel your time is better spent on the board? If so,

what do you feel you’ve done on the board over the last year where your involvement was crucial?
Or to put it bluntly, why are you wasting your significant talents by running for the board, again?

We really need you back in the trenches. And I’m not just trying to be snarky, I would really like to hear your answer.

I remember when you were just a cub at MakeICT, and you would caution those of us on the board not to get overcommitted

and burnt out. I really thought it was great that you would be concerned about that. What happened?

Have we lost you to the dark side?

Nah. I am not lost to the dark side. This year I haven’t spent as much time as I would like at MakeICT because I have been tutoring my niece in Statics. She is out of school for the summer, so you will see me come back with a vengeance.
(ok… I also got a little sidetracked making an app for calculating vectors… a side project from the Statics homework … but, hey, I like to make things.)
Oh… I have given JB and Zac a copy of the book I created for the Tormach. I need to get their feedback on that… and dangit finishing up that class is on my list of things to do :slight_smile: … but I should have some time now …
I have been negligent in putting some CAD classes on the schedule. And I have not finished the solids book for us yet… those suckers do take some time. (I kinda put a pause in scheduling classes because I intend to start charging for the classes as I have found that people don’t show up very well when they are not paying for the classes.) I was a bit disappointed in the the numbers of folks attending the classes. I probably only got about 6 or so to show up for each class.

I wish I could say that I have been spending a bunch of time on committees… but I actually feel like that is what I have been neglecting. I have two committees that really have too many things rolled into them … sigh… I really need to get on the stick here. (If anyone is feeling that I have too many committees… please volunteer to lead one of them for me… I would so give membership or volunteers… I would love to give one or both of those guys away… the only reason I have two is when I sorted out the assignments, I was one short on leaders… I figured I would ahem encourage someone on the committee to take over for me.

Burnout: I don’t think I am there yet. :slight_smile: There are some very trying people problems that the board has, though, and if the folks decide I am not a good representative for them … well I am not gonna get all huffy or anything… I will just find some more ways to do good. (Right now I am resisting adding some jewelry classes to my teaching schedule … and I haven’t had any of the welding classes yet… and I haven’t yet made that duck on the Tormach…)

Have I done anything significant on the board? Hmm… well I suppose I never really try to do that. I know that sound a bit lame, but when people suggest big, giant changes you will find that many of the technically minded folks will resist with a force. At best, I have leaned the board more towards doing things at a higher level. We made a slightly stronger director, we have started the search for a new building, we muddle less in detail, and the boat is slowly starting to turn…

So in summary:
Darkside: nope
More CAD: Coming up
Burnt out: not yet
Committees: more this summer
Board: turning the boat take time
Planning: we gotta get some

If selected for this position, can you describe your strategy for the first 90 days?

Push is the wrong word. The board should all pull together. What I think we should be doing in the next 90 days is

  • Focus on long term planning (things like diversification, supporting entrepreneurs, outreach for young people, working with other volunteer groups… which of these are important to us)

  • Focus on new building and the move

  • Focus on donations and grants

  • And maybe focus on how to get and maintain volunteers.

In fact, very little should come up that is specific to makerspaces… and if it does, we should question it.

What techniques and tools do you use to keep yourself organized?

This is both the hardest and easiest question for me. It is super hard because entropy has its way with both me and my tools for organization.

I continually struggle with disorganization. What scares me a little bit about this organization is that often I am being the most organized person in the room. Yikes!

So the good news is that I just bottomed out in my disorganization cycle. After a certain amount of time whatever tool I am using becomes less and less effective until I switch to a different tool.

My current tool of choice is Todoist. It is an app for the phone that lets you put in items for your list in a natural way and then makes some changes based on what they say … like if you say" go to the doctor on Friday" in your list, it will give you an item on Friday saying “Go to the Doctor”. It is also set up to do things well with GTD (getting things done} methhod if you like that.

If you could change three things about yourself, what would they be?

Younger, prettier, more atheletic

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Candidates- list the makerspace areas and rate your proficiency in them.
Ceramics - Not that good.
Wood Shop - Better than ceramics… (7 classes or so taken)
Metal Shop - Not that good… (3 classes or so taken… still working on one)
ERP - Probably know the least here (3 classes or so taken)
Printing - Still needs work (taken all the classes they have offered, I think)
Jewelry - I actually know quite a bit here (taken silversmithing at CityArts for many years and I think all the classes we have had here.)
Bathrooms - I know where the toilet paper is and put it on the holder (so apparently I am pretty good there.)
Lounge - I do most of my lounging at home… but pretty much an expert in that…
MakerShowroom - Not an expert here
Front Desk Area - Very Much an expert … I can make badges
Consignment - I have actually bought something, so more proficient than most
Co-working space - I spend a lot of time there… so yes an expert in that
Fab Lab - moderately proficient (made 3d prints, laser cutting and vinyl cuts … on my own and 3 classes there)
Textiles - never thought I would do textiles, but Malissa and Kim have lured me in (at least 3 classes there)
Classroom - actually taught a couple of classes and have taken many … so kind of an expert there
Kitchen - figured out the kitchen is really the food stuff in the hall way and I know how to find a soda… so expert there.
Whole space - I know how to take out trash, and can give someone a tour… so yeah… expert there…

Does proficiency in the areas matter?
Nope. The only thing that matters is your ability to ask good questions of those who are proficient. (hence the amusing tone in the above.)

trysten
Someone needs to make one of these.
(best statement in all the questions :slight_smile: and oh my gosh… I do need a rest )

What are the best and worst aspects of your leadership and communication styles? What can you do to improve or mitigate your worst quality?
I feel I am less combative and more cooperative in my communication, in general. I want to get folks to see what commonality they have when often they are only seeing differences.
My worst problem is I have a bad habit of interrupting people. The worst thing about it is that I don’t realize when I am gonna do it until after it is done… that makes it super hard to break that habit. I think it started because as a woman I often had to fight a bit to be heard when I was working. (Back when I started, in the aircraft industry there were very few women.)

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Kim Burton has survived the slings and arrows of being president with much grace. She has trimmed meeting times down on the board meetings to reasonable levels and has reduced the in-fighting within the board.

Joel Gutierrez actually got the plastic shredder project going. That idea popped up quite often, but he nudged it over the top and got some of the guys into action to actually do it.

Jeremiah Burian is one of our most dedicated volunteers. He spends much of his free time at the space making it a better place for all of us. (He is also a super teacher.)

Malissa Long is always striving to make MakeICT a better organization within the larger community. She challenges us to reach out to other makerspaces, other local organizations and government.

Ken Steadman exudes a quiet confidence that makes me feel good that we have added him to the security team.

David Springs is a gem. He is willing to step up and do one of the jobs that is very hard at the makerspace. Being the treasurer is not for wimps. And he is always our go-to guy to handle the tough situations with people.

Kez Cook is a light in the space. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She spreads her joy when she makes things and always has a song in her heart and sometimes it just bursts out of her.

Rustin Atkeisson is one of the most restrained individuals at the space. He never fans the flames when the emotions get out of control in the space… even when people are stepping on his toes. (Also, who can not love the animatronic dragons he makes. )

Jason Bailey stepped into a role being the face of the Tormach training. I have total respect for anyone willing to teach a subject that they are not expert in. I know how hard that is.

Dean Day has tried to make the Gallery into the Maker Showroom, a place that is more accessible to the non-Artist makers.

Jeff Eck comes in on Maker Mondays bringing food for the volunteers. He never makes a big deal about it. You have to respect someone who is thinking about those who are volunteering.

Devin Halsey picked up the torch from David to put security cameras up all over the space. It was a hot sweaty job, but he persisted.

James Lancaster has his heart firmly planted at MakeICT. He comes to the board meetings in obvious pain, but serves because this is where his heart is.

Terrence Laurendine is enthusiastic about his making (i think it is quad copters… some kind of copter for sure). You should talk to him for a while about it. It almost makes me want to make one myself.

Paul Maseberg has jumped feet first into MakeICT without looking back. He spends a lot of his free time here working in the metal shop and established our first auction benefit. Not many of our makers work on the financial side of the business and we really need more of that.

Scott Sullivan has worked wonders in our ceramics area. I don’t get back there as much as I would like, but I hear he is doing great things.

Oh my gosh we have such a good crop of people who are all willing to commit their time and energy to making this space a better place. There is no one on this list that I could not work with… their hearts are all in the right place… they are all wonderfully different people …

I would like to see us all come together and row the boat in the same direction. It think we can make this place even better. Join me in celebrating our wonderful candidates in all their diversity and in supporting whoever wins the election with your full force.

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