Scott;s Answers to Questions. Election 2018

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Scott Sullivan, I am 53 and I am running for one of the positions of Member at Large. I am a maker, crafter, artist and a man of few words. I work for Sedgwick County and have been in my current department for 20 years.
What are some favorite things you have already done for MakeICT?
The one thing that I have spent a lot of passionate time doing for MakeICT is cleaning, organizing, and utilizing the cramped area known at ceramics.
What in your opinion qualifies you to be a board member?
I spend much time at MakeICT and I want the best for MakeICT to grow and increase. I have served on may boards and I am currently a board member of the local blacksmith association.
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?
No, I have served on the board of MakeICT
Are you able to be at Board meetings, Maker Mondays and other events for the duration of your term?
Yes. As an assistant lead, I have changed my weekly meetings schedule to accommodate attending the Ceramics Nights; I will do the same for board functions.
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?
As long as the board is moving MakeICT in a direction of growth in innovation and building a larger constructive community, the “how” is to support it in the direction it is moving and help steer it when it is not moving in a direction of growth.

What should we do next?
What are your thoughts about MakeICT’s direction in the coming year?
Space is a major issue. As an avid member I see several areas that are bursting at the seams and need more space.
What’s your agenda for what you want to accomplish in the coming year?
Space is a major issue along with greater visibility of MakeICT to the community at large.
How will you gauge whether we’re successful as an organization?
Increase in active membership and presences in the community at large are examples of our success.
What should our priorities be in terms of trying to find a different space versus extending the lease on our current building?
Workspace area, parking, security are areas which are lacking in the current location.
Do you think MakeICT should focus on one space down town or multiple satellite locations in underserved communities?
I believe that a single location builds community, separate locations creates division.

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?
Area leads are leads for a reason. Being an area lead should have responsibility and consequences.
Do you support an expansion of board terms from 1 year to 2 years? Why or why not?
No, 1 year term is adequate. If you are a “good” board member, than you can be reelected. No need for a 2 year term.
Would a 2 year term affect your decisions to accept a nomination?
Not for the position that I am running for.
Would you support staggered elections June and December for general director’s seats? Why or why not?
No, I don’t see the point to it.
Would you support staggered elections with half the board elected at each Annual meeting?
No, this would require 2 year terms. (1 year term is adequate. If you are a “good” board member, than you can be reelected. No need for a 2 year term.)
Tell us one thing the Board did in the last 12 months that needs an undo. Be specific.
I do not believe there an one thing that needs to be undo.
Tell us one thing not done in the last 12 months by the Board that still needs done. Be specific.
I feel the search/acquisition of a larger facility has been unduly stalled.
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.
No. I think if there are proposed changes to “standing rules” that should be voted on by the membership, but the “standing rules” as is should not be voted on every annual meeting.

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Hey Scott. Good answers. I will admit ceramics is an area I’m not in much personally but I totally agree it’s cramped and you guys deserve more space. You’ve done a lot with not much and should be proud of it. I think you would be a great addition to the board to add that voice.

It’s sometimes hard to draw the line between board vs. area lead and who should handle what. Do you have any more thoughts on that? When it comes to new building requirements, we figured step one was find out what we need, so we pushed a lot of questions down to the area leads lately and stayed out of it, as a board. Was that the right move?

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Thank you Kim. The pottery studio has had quite a interest spurt in the few months since I joined. I think that ceramics night is a huge influence on that interest. I look forward to the opportunity to include my voice.

Board vs. AL; that is a good question. I must admit that I am not exactly sure where the current divisions lay between board and lead when it comes to the organization and operations of each area. I see the lead as kind of a manager/organizer/parent over each area, and the board as the group that the lead goes to with “big” issues. The day to day operations of the area is what the lead “signed up for”.

I think the area leads are the right persons to ask about what each areas needs (as far as space). I think an active lead would know off the top of their head what their current area is lacking. I understand there is huge difference between “need” and “like to have” but I don’t think it should take months and months for that need/like to have list to be completed and turned over to a building committee.

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Good answer Scott.

Shoot now you’ve got me thinking… I would like to see the area leads working together as a team to run the makerspace, along with the reporting/transparency/open meetings that come with collaborative leadership. There were times last year, like when we did the property removal policy, where the area leads pointed out that policy was annoying (every little thing they wanted to craigslist had to be brought before the board!) but a replacement policy proposal did not emerge from their meeting. Another example is age limits. We’ve started saying “under 12 can’t use powertools” but if you look at the actual individual access policies, they are very individual. Woodshop says under 9, metalshop says under 8, ceramics says members under 12 must be supervised but space-wide policy says members under 16 must be supervised, etc. So the board becomes a sort of “border dispute settler” when members come to us asking for consistency. We’re trying to stay out of access policies so I’m not fixated on that age inconsistency right now, but it’s a thing I would like to see fixed, without me personally having to fix it.

BUT I also know the area leads have a lot on their plate, so is it too much to expect them to also do the footwork to propose policies like the board has done?

One good solution I see to this is to get more area leads on the board so I’m happy that you and JB and Paul and Malissa and are on this candidate list, you will be go-betweens, to say “Area leads together are proposing this and did the homework, board just needs to head nod” and it’ll be easy. Then as a board we can spend more time focused on big issues and less time explaining ourselves to area leads.

tl;dr, there are “day to day” issues that affect all areas and having some area leads on the board will help them recognize that. I support area leads on the board.

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

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

The nebulous term “difficult feedback” makes answering your question quite daunting. What i may consider a mundane “this is not the way that works” may be heard as “you are stupid and you hate me”. I deal with difficult people and difficult situations several times a month, I handle it/them well enough that I still have my job.

Seeing as I have not served on this board before, If would be rather foolish of me to plan out, step by step, how to accomplish my fist 90 days. My strategy, as is were, is to listen, survey, and research until my voice is required.

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

Honestly, I prefer clear plastic tubs and Google Calendar.

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

If I changed anything about myself, I would not be me any longer.
Any yet to do or be has not happened yet and therefor cannot be changed.

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Candidates- list the makerspace areas and rate your proficiency in them.

Does proficiency in the areas matter?

Actually a great question! I don’t believe the board can govern without knowledge of the space.

Electronics and Rapid Prototyping - Have no experience yet look forward to knowing more.

FabLab - I can design a 3D object and print it, I have used and converted SVG files for use on the LASER cutter but I have not used the LASER yet.

Metalshop - I have been a blacksmith for about 10 years and have used most of the equipment in the metalshop. I feel I am competent in my ability to use the shop.

Ceramics - I have been working with pottery off and on since College in the 80’s. I feel very comfortable in this area.

Woodshop - I own and use many woodworking tools, I have used the woodshop a few times and feel comfortable with the majority of the equipment.

Textiles - As a knitter, crocheter, weaver, sewer, leather worker, the textile area is as comfortable as my own livingroom.

Printmaking - I have not used the printshop at MakeICT, but I have worked with screen printing at my home where I have a screen press.

Jewelry Lab - took a jewelry course in school and worked in a Jewelry fab for a few years in the 90’s. I have used most of the equiptment in the Jewelry lab and feel somewhat proficient in their use.

@Kip
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 know that I can be short with people and I tend to have a superiority complex. I wish I had the answer to improve/mitigate those qualities, but if I could improve/mitigate them I would not have them. Catch22?

@ladeana
List one thing for each candidate that you truly admire about them.

I cannot. There are a majority of candidates that either, I have never seen or never talked to for more than a moment and a few have not even given us gimps in who they are or how they think. So for me to gush about one or two candidates would seem, to me, unfair to those that I have not interacted with. With the negativity that is floating to the surface I applaud the attempt.

@JeremiahB
This election cycle is creating the great divide, It is obviously bringing the worst out in some people.
With so much hatred going on, once the election is over, will you support the elected officials? Why or why not?
Do you think the board will be able to overcome the damage done and work together in the end?

It his a very interesting question. It seems a question for those who are asking the questions than those who are running for positions on the board.
I have said it before and it may be a bit naive of me, but I think that anyone running for the board has, what they see as, the best interests of MakeICT at heart.
I can say that whether I am on the board or not, I am planning on attending board meetings.

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