ABS Board Meeting Minutes, 24 January 2021

Call to order: 11:00 AM PDT [via Zoom]

Quorum (6 Directors Minimum, 8 Present): Boeraeve, King, Meckes, Comstock, Connor, Saporito, Simmons, Lewis
Directors absent: Banks, McCormick, Edwards, Pierce
Others present: Clever (Advertising)

(1) aMember Review (Meckes) –
   (a) Carole has put in an exceptional amount of time and effort to learn and modify the aMember membership management program. She created a secondary admin logon which was shared with this group, and gave a brief instruction in its use, especially for Chapter officers.
   (b) Reminder letters for before and after membership expiration are needed.
   (c) It was decided not to use autopay for renewals unless the member requests it.
   (d) Luc requested the ability to produce end-of-year membership statistics such as renewals, new members acquired, and members lost.
   (e) Carole will look into the backup options offered by aMember.

(2) Membership Chair – Harry Simmons is stepping down and was thanked for his years of work in the job. aMember will remove about 6 steps in processing memberships and reduce chances for error along the way. Carole Meckes volunteered to step into the Membership Chair position, and will contact an interested Southeast Chapter member to assist if he desires.

(3) Commercial membership clarification:
   (a) They do not include a Chapter membership, although the latter may be added in the usual manner using the aMember signup form.
   (b) A Commercial membership will not be required if a member simply lists a business name in the contact information of an individual membership. Such members may have their businesses listed in the Species Source List (SSL) at no extra charge if they wish.

(4) Carole Meckes has heard from a new Hawaii (Oahu) member who has a business and sounds enthusiastic about bamboo, and this group discussed whether Hawaii could consider hosting another ABS annual meeting. It might be a bit soon for them, and the HC doesn’t have many ABS members, but the idea remains on the table.

(5) Advertising (Clever) –
   (a) James has tried to contact all vendors listed in the latest SSL about adding advertising in ABS media. He was able to add 8 new commercial ABS members by doing this, but 12 on the SSL said “no”. In his inquiries, he discovered that one of the ABS founding members, Ken Brennecke, is working on plans for a botanical garden.
   (b) With respect to encouraging ad renewals and payment, James thought sending paper invoices would be more impactful than easily-deleted emails, but so far there is no automated way to send letters by mail.
   (c) He also noted that the commercial members’ logos on the ABS site are not in a prominent location. Carole is still working with Bill Hollenback to increase visibility for advertisements and companies’ logos on bamboo.org.

(6) Future Meeting dates –
   Board: TBD, February or March 2021.

Adjournment: 12:45PM PDT.