Rustin Atkeisson's Answers for the 2018 Election

Tell us about yourself

  • I’m an engineer with about 10yrs in the field, in my spare time I dable in animatronics, automotive projects, and volunteer at a local highschool to help with their robotics program and electric vehicle challenge.

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

  • I’ve been able to grow steadily into different maker areas quickly with help that made learning and mastering these skills easier and fun.

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

  • I feel like I represent the general membership of MakeICT with a constant desire to create and urge to help make this community greater.

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?

  • Right? *I was able to provide an unbiased opinion to emotionally charged topics
  • Wrong? *I did not coordinate with the people that automating some of the legal filing systems used very strongly
  • Done Better? *I probably should have worked closer with Christian on the automation of several forms to help me understand the network system of MakeICT better.

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

  • I have been to all but a handful of Maker Mondays for the past 2 1/2yrs. Baring events happening during 7am to 3:30pm work hours, family events, outside political activities, volunteer events, or mentoring activities, I should be able to make board meetings as well.

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 would keep doing what I’m doing, bring in and work on awesome projects that help inspire other makers to create, learn, and grow in areas they never imagine.

What should we do next?

  • I would like to see the MakeICT Institute grow our impact to the surrounding community. Recently several schools have approached the MakerSpace to help them develop their technological side.

What are your thoughts about MakeICT’s direction in the coming year?

  • I want to see MakeICT solidify it’s mission plan and follow thru with that plan.

What’s your agenda for what you want to accomplish in the coming year?

  • My agenda is to see MakeICT grow in the community

How will you gauge whether we’re successful as an organization?

  • That’s a difficult one to answer. We’ve been publicized in the past for what we do, and our membership continues to grow, but to gauge how we’re becoming a bigger difference in the community might have a less tangible answer.

What should our priorities be in terms of trying to find a different space versus extending the lease on our current building?

  • There is a separate committee that has been created to help find a new space. I don’t think our location at 1500 Douglas has been fully utilized and has spurred creative options to improve the usefulness, but I think we will need to find a larger space in a near by area to support increased community collaboration within the next 2yrs.

Do you think MakeICT should focus on one space down town or multiple satellite locations in underserved communities?

  • Again, there is the MakeICT institute and the MakerSpace, the institute is an umbrella to serve the maker community. If we have an arm of the institute find that they need a designated space, then an additional space or move to a larger space would be something that is discussed as the situation arose.

How should we operate?

  • As we have been, Wichita’s greatest kept secret and able to evolve as the community changes.

Do you believe the Board should deal with day to day issues? Should area leads have more authority over day to day operations?

  • Leads should be given more autonomy, but we may need to install a separate board to handle the day to day operations of such a large space.

Do you support an expansion of board terms from 1 year to 2 years? Why or why not?

  • Given past experiences with other volunteer organizations, 1yr terms seem to take up more resources and time than necessary. A 2yr term would allow for people to be more focused on the institute after they get up to speed in what seems to be a 6month spool up period.

Would a 2 year term affect your decisions to accept a nomination?

  • Possibly, but it is possible for someone to resign from the board given certain situations, so the term length is not like it is committing me to a 2yr marriage with the MakeICT Institute’s board members.

Would you support staggered elections June and December for general directors seats? Why or why not?

  • I’m impartial on this, but we do also elect area leads in December.

Would you support staggered elections with half the board elected at each Annual meeting?
-Again, impartial

Tell us one thing the Board did in the last 12 months that needs an undo. Be specific.

  • not undone, as much as done sooner. there were two sessions outside of normal monthly board meetings that focused on figuring out what direction the MakeICT Institute should follow and what aspects we need to focus on.

Tell us one thing not done in the last 12 months by the Board that still needs done. Be specific.

  • Create a separate board to handle the MakerSpace to allow the Institute to focus on the macro aspect of our impact on the community.

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.

  • The size of our organization does make this task difficult, but all members should still have a say in the vote or given the option to abstain from the vote.
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Rustin, You speak of a need for a second board. Could you elaborate as to the structure, etc? I only ask this as I feel the makerspace already has it’s management in place. A director who should be given authority to appoint his or her area leads who then manage the facility in all areas. The only position I see lacking might be a treasurer to separate the books of the makerspace from MakeICT Institute. The latter part might need wiser minds than mine to give it a thought as there may be unforeseen consequences to such a move. My reasoning in all of this is to separate the board from over managing and squashing growth in the individuals who make the makerspace something AWESOME, our Area Leads and Makerspace Director! I fear with so many layers of management and committees we have taken the gas out of the cans of the leads and director.

I would like to see the Makerspace structured similar to DevICT, with it’s own designated President and Treasurer. This past year, the board over the MakeICT Institute focused most of the time for meetings on the Makerspace while other arms of the institute effectively sat on the back burners. I would like to see matters like ‘who has access to the space’ and ‘how the space is used’ be something the Makerspace has more control over, giving our amazing Area Leads and Director more autonomy to move at the speed of creativity. I don’t think having the Institute manage the space has been the most beneficial to either side of the fence.

By creating a separate board for the Makerspace, the board for the MakeICT institute would then be able to put more energy into supporting the schools that approach us along with other community centered programs.

There is an untapped amount of potential both behind the Makerspace and the Institute, but I don’t think the growth of both are symbiotic. More of, they are interdependent on each other. The makerspace can continue to be the center of ever evolving technology and trends while the institute handles the growth of communities and skills in new makers.

I don’t see the need for yet another board.
DevICT and KLF are trying to get their own non profit status. That leaves outreach. Outreach seems to operate fine on their own. Why would we need a board just over them?

What is wrong with having the MakeICT Makerspace leadership be Director, Area Leads, Treasurer, and XYZ? To me the Area Leads and Director are the board. If that makes sense. I hate to over complicate it.

DevICT has been under the MakeICT Institute umbrella for several years. They can be their own non-profits if they so choose, my point is that they have have been able to operate independently of the board in the mean time.

Outreach could use some help growing, but I do not see the need to put a separate board over them yet. There are several other less tangible functions of the Institute I would like to see the board focus on as well, like grant writing.

Jeff - The structure was an example of what we could do to give the space more independence. I would be fine with appointing a Director for the space. What ever structure is put in, they would be the contact for when bigger issues arise.

It seems to me the creation of committees spread things out quite a bit. There have been some grant submissions sent out this year. I’m not a fan of having as many committees as we do now. Honestly our current board members make up most of those committees.

A huge reason (maybe the reason) it made sense to splinter off DevICT was because they wanted their own treasurer. It’s not feasible to have multiple treasurers under one 501c3, at the end of the year we have one tax return and multiple accounting systems make that a nightmare.

Thanks Kim, I wasn’t aware of that and it makes perfect sense. David explained it very similar last night. I knew I needed wiser minds on that part!

Phrasing Jeff… we’re all working on this giant coloring book called MakeICT together. Some people are just working with a larger pack of crayons than others.

Some people believe we should focus on what we do best. The makerspace.

Maybe the Area Leads and Makerspace director should focus on what they do best, the makerspace. Then the board can focus on what it does best, facilitating growth in all its programs…

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So the board is going to focus on outreach only? DevICT doesn’t need us, they operate themselves. KLF wants to go with DevICT where they fit it better. Kez, maybe if you took some time, you could answer the election questions, and give people a chance to ask you questions there. Obviously you have your own ideas. share them there, so you can get feedback.

What programs are there really other than the makerspace and maybe Outreach, which mostly derives from the makerspace?
And what has the board done to facilitate growth in the other programs, including devICT?


I know that the academy was another program under the MakeICT umbrella, but it seems to have been removed from the website and possibly shelved completely. I believe it was going to be geared as a longer term educational program. As-in weeks/months long specialized educational classes.

Also… what is KLF?

Academy failed to gain traction. KLF is Kansas Linux fest.

Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t think academy was ever officially ended. I know it was removed from the website, but maybe if it was still an option and we were advertising it, we would get volunteers from our membership…

Kez Cook

Board Member

There was a committee formed at last years annual meeting. we gave them 3-6 month to come up with something, and they failed to do so. So, no, it wasn’t officially ended, but it should have been. Outreach could do everything Academy ever did.

I don’t mean to hijack someone else’s thread but I wrote about the educational program in my q&a thread (under “Tell us one thing not done in the last 12 months…”) and then added a comment later in my thread about program architecture, I wouldn’t mind people re-reading that and telling me if I’m on the right track. I even mentioned panda bears. :slight_smile:

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