ICNA Meeting Notes for Nov. 12, 1996


The Board of Directors of the Indiana Community Network Association met 1:00 - 3:40 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the INCOLSA office in Indianapolis.

Those present included John Grimmer, Marti Miller, Alan Harvey, Laura Arnold, Pam Weaver, Mark Whitman, Katie Frederick, Kara Wagner, John Wallace and Carol Derner,

1. AI Marketing/PR Report.

Pam Weaver presented a draft document that she proposed would be provided to the Intelenet Commission as a community network insert to be included with the ACCESS INDIANA marketing/public relations booklet that is being prepared for distribution to business, education, political and community leaders around the state. She proposed a document that would provide a brief explanation of what a community network is and the services/opportunities that are available via community networks. She also proposed including a listing of the contacts for the various community networks.

The presentation led to an extended discussion of the AI marketing plan. There was general dissatisfaction expressed because it had been believed that the AI plan would provide comprehensive print, radio and television coverage that would lend direct support to the community nets. However, it appears as if funding for the marketing effort has been reduced, and that most of the funding will be used to produce a booklet/brochure that it is going to be direct mailed to a select audience. Those present expect this approach to yield little immediate value to CN efforts to solicit members, subscribers and supporters. No definite date has been set for the release of these materials.

The question was asked about what should be included in the CN insert for people who wish to inquire about developing a CN in their area. Mark Whitman indicated that he would not be surprised if no further AI money would be available for CN development beyond the Round Two awards, and that new community network development may need to become a function of ICNA, if it wants to promote continuing development. The question was then raised about how people are to contact ICNA.

There seemed to be general agreement that, particularly since there will be ICNA liaisons working out of the Intelenet Commission office, that it would seem that the Intelenet Commission may be a logical point of contact for ICNA. Mark Whitman and John Grimmer were asked to pursue this further.

2. Treasurer's Report

Georgia Miller, ICNA's treasurer, was not present, but John Grimmer indicated that he did not believe that an ICNA account had yet been established at IUPUI. Mark Whitman indicated that he would contact Georgia on this, and that he would ask for the $50,000 in state funds to be transferred to ICNA as soon as Georgia has established an account.

3. Members in Good Standing

Time was spent discussing the ICNA policy recommendations made at the October general meeting, and it was agreed that the Board does need to develop a policy manual. The following guidelines for members in good standing were adopted:

  1. Prior to the 1997 annual meeting of the general membership, a member in good standing shall be any ACCESS INDIANA-funded community net, or any other organization that, in the opinion of the ICNA Board, constitutes a community network.
  2. After the 1997 annual meeting of the general membership, a member in good standing shall be any ACCESS INDIANA-funded community net, or any other organization that, in the opinion of the ICNA Board, constitutes a community network that:
    a) Pays its annual membership fee (currently $500/year 7/1-6/30),
    b) Is represented at the annual meeting, and
    c) Participates actively in ICNA activities (e.g. task forces).

There was some discussion about whether or not item 2c) should be included. Some felt that whether or not a member decides to be an active participant is a decision of the member, and, in most organizations, payment of dues is the only real requirement for being a member in good standing. It was also suggested that 2c) is essentially unenforceable. After some discussion, it was decided that 2c) would remain as proposed, so as to establish a general expectation among members.

4. Exclusive Privileges of Membership

The eight privileges listed below were presented, discussed and adopted by consensus. Mark Whitman pointed out that in the October discussion of the general membership Items 6 and 7 included AIIN as well as ICNA, but that he had amended each not to include AIIN, because ICNA has no authority to grant that privilege. He was asked to contact Brad Bradley and request the authority so that AIIN could be included.

  1. Voting rights at annual meeting.
  2. Continued funding from ACCESS INDIANA.
  3. Right to be nominated for ICNA Board membership.
  4. Participation rights on ICNA task forces, study groups, and committees.
  5. Participation rights in ICNA-sponsored discussion groups.
  6. Reciprocal web links with ICNA.
  7. Right to display the ICNA logo.
  8. Rights to benefits available from associate members.

It was agreed that Mark should send a notice to all members advising them of their membership in good standing, their privileges of membership, and future requirements for continued membership.

5. Associate Members

The following items were presented, discussed and adopted by consensus:

  1. An Associate Member shall be a non-voting member of ICNA. Associate membership shall be attained by accepting a Board invitation for membership and paying the annual dues as required by the Board.
  2. The Board shall establish the annual dues for each Associate Member.
  3. Exclusive Privileges of Associate Membership.
    1. Participation rights on ICNA task forces, study groups, and committees.
    2. Participation rights in ICNA-sponsored discussion groups.
    3. Reciprocal web links with ICNA and ICNA members.
    4. Right to display the ICNA logo.
    5. Joint marketing and endorsement opportunities with ICNA and ICNA members.
5a. Potential Associate Members

Mark Whitman recalled that there was concern expressed at the October meeting of the general membership about coordinating between ICNA and member CNs the solicitation of potential associate members. At stake is the potential revenue to a CN or ICNA. Mark Whitman suggested that it might be best to agree that ICNA will confine its associate memberships to state organizations, while the CNs will confine their associate memberships to local organizations; such that CNs might pursue local REMCs, TelCos, and professional associations, while ICNA might pursue the state parent associations of these organizations.

Pam Weaver of Indianapolis On-Line did not agree, because she wants IOL to have the latitude to pursue those state organizations which may have their offices within the IOL Marion County service area. She indicated that she might well be invited to make a presentation on community networking to a state organization, and, as a result of her presentation, the organization may request an opportunity to become an associate member with IOL or ICNA. She does not want to lose that potential revenue for IOL, when in fact, she would be the person responsible for the contact.

6. Task Force Development.

Mark Whitman indicated his frustration at the very poor response to his request for CN participation in the development of ICNA task forces. He asked if the Board supports task force development and the active involvement of the CNs, or if the Board prefers that ICNA be a lower-profile organization that consists primarily of the Board, the membership and an annual conference.

The consensus was that ICNA should be something between the two extremes. Because the CNs consist primarily of volunteers who are stretched to the limit keeping their own community networks afloat, they generally perceive further involvement in ICNA task forces as additional work that is beyond their present capabilities. The consensus is that, as interim Executive Director, Mark should go ahead and provide direction in the areas the task forces have been intended to address, and that he should make available to all ICNA members the opportunity to serve on electronic support/review teams to which Mark can go for guidance, suggestions and review of topics and possible solutions. Mark indicated that he will do that in the following areas:

  1. ICNA/Community Net Standards.
  2. Marketing/Publications.
  3. Legislative.
  4. New Community Net Support.
  5. Legal.
  6. Local Education and CN Awareness.
  7. Content.
  8. Technical.

He will also attempt to organize a special distribution among CN presidents, executive directors and coordinators.

7. ICNA Website and Logo Development.

John Grimmer has been working with AIIN on the development of an ICNA website. It was decided that John will seek out a webmaster to develop and initially maintain the ICNA site, and that he is authorized to offer this person a stipend. It is recommended that the initial agreement with the webmaster be for no more than three months, because funds have been allocated for a position at AIIN to be dedicated to supporting ICNA and the CNs over the next two years. It seems reasonable that once this position is filled at AIIN, this person would also take over as the ICNA webmaster.

John Grimmer was also authorized to advertise among the members that the Board will accept proposed ICNA logos from anyone wishing to submit a design, and that ICNA will offer a cash prize to the winning design.

8. Round-Two Community Net Development.

Mark advised those present that the deadline for submitting Round-Two CN funding proposals is Friday, November 15, and that he is expecting 12+ fundable proposals to be received. If this proves to be true, ICNA membership could grow to 30+ CNs by January 1.

  1. Funding proposals are expected from:

    Bartholomew County
    DeKalb County
    Greene County
    Knox County
    Kosciusko County
    Midwest Prairie Net (SE Newton, SW Jasper, NW White)
    Perry County
    Porter County
    Spencer County
    Sullivan County
    Vermillion County
    Warrick County
    Whitley County

  2. Others Possible:

    DuBois County
    Franklin C
    ounty Parke County
    Pulaski County
    Vigo County
    Wayne County

9. Business Plan for Self-Sufficiency.

Mark Whitman suggested that John Grimmer and other members of the ICNA Board should meet with Stan Jones to discuss possible legislation that can be developed for the 1997 legislative session to provide continuing financial support for ICNA and its members. He suggested that the Board may want to pursue the possibility of including perhaps $10,000/year/CN and $25,000/year for ICNA, as line items in the Build Indiana fund.

John Wallace thought this would be a good idea, and he pointed out that much of the money received via community networking grants is being dedicated to content development for governmental and tax-supported agencies. Even though the state is giving money to the CNs with AI grants, it actually is getting a significant portion the money right back in the CN support of local content development.

It was also suggested that ICNA should pursue a relationship with the Indiana Department of Commerce, which could recognize ICNA and the CNs as economic development tools for the state, and could offer annual funding in return for their dedication of resources to local economic development.

Revenue Targets for 1997:

1997 - 30 members @ $500 each = $15,000
10 Associate members @ $1000 each = $10,000
Indiana Department of Commerce Economic Development Grant $25,000
ACCESS INDIANA support $50,000

10. Job Description for Intelenet Commission ICNA Liaisons.

Mark Whitman reminded the Board that the state has funded two CN liaison positions for the next two years. The primary purpose of the positions is to assist CNs in developing and sustaining local content development, particularly with local governmental agencies. Mark indicated that these positions may not be as useful to the CNs which have already hired executive directors or coordinators, but that they should be very useful to the smaller CNs who rely on volunteers to coordinate content.

The following description of these positions was presented and accepted:

a. Two persons contracted for two years.
b. As needed, will work with local content sources on behalf of their local community nets.
  1. Will assist with getting information on-line.
  2. Will assist with keeping information current.
c. Will work from the Intelenet Commission, but will be expected to spend considerable time in the communities, working directly with information providers.
d. Will report to the Executive Director of the Intelenet Commission, but will take direction and receive daily assignments from the Executive Director of ICNA.
e. Will work cooperatively with AIIN to keep the ICNA website relevant and current.
f. Expected skills and experience:
  1. Effective oral/written communications.
  2. Strong personal skills.
  3. Effective leaders.
  4. Effective project managers.
  5. Technical understanding of the Internet and community networking.
  6. Experience with local governmental agencies and civic organizations.

Mark indicated that Kent Champagne of the Intelenet Commission will be contacting potential providers of such services, and, once he has narrowed the field, Mark Whitman, John Grimmer and Ray Ewick will be included on a team that will make the final selection.

11. ACCESS INDIANA ISP Directory/Database Development.

Mark Whitman informed the Board that he is developing for AI a directory/database of ISP service areas across the state. The database will cross-reference the local exchanges that have local dial-in Internet access from ISPs with cities, counties and schools, so as to provide an indication of those areas that continue to be under-served in this regard. He provided those present with a list he is developing of ISPs in Indiana, including national service providers and their service areas.

12. ICNA Meeting Schedule

It was agreed at the October meeting of the general membership that an annual general membership meeting will be held each year in Indianapolis at 1:00 p.m. the first Tuesday of May. The next general membership meeting will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 6, 1997.

The ICNA Board will continue to meet at INCOLSA the second Tuesday of every month at 1:00 p.m. These dates are:

Tuesday, December 10

Tuesday, January 14
Tuesday, February 11
Tuesday, March 11
Tuesday, April 8
Tuesday, May 13
Tuesday, June 10
Tuesday, July 8
Tuesday, August 12
Tuesday, September 9
Tuesday, October 14
Tuesday, November 11
Tuesday, December 9

Meeting adjourned at approximately 3:40 p.m.

ICNA Minutes: 11/12/96

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