OSI Board Meeting Report

The new OSI Board met in Washington DC last week. We held an effective face-to-face meeting where we discussed the progress of our plans to transform OSI into a member-based organisation. We held officer elections, once again electing Martin Michlmayr as Secretary, filling the vacancy for CFO left by Alolita Sharma by electing Karl Fogel and replacing him as Assistant Treasurer by electing Mike Milinkovich. I was re-elected as President and thank the Board for that vote of confidence in this time of change.

Among much other business, we considered how to fill the Board vacancy we have reserved for an OSI Individual Member and how to structure the Board going forward. We decided we will hold an election in June where any Individual Member may stand for election and vote for their preferred candidate. Details will be sent to members soon; now is a great time to join OSI if you want to be involved in the election.

We also decided to change the bylaws so that the seats on the Board are now allocated for election either by Affiliates or Individual Members when they fall vacant. Seats elected by Affiliates will have three-year terms; seats elected by Individual Members will have one-year terms. We will retain a term limit of six consecutive years. The transformation to a fully elected Board will be completed by 2016.

Concerning support of OSI by companies, we heard that there are many businesses that want to support OSI financially, but that none of those approached so far has felt they want to be involved in OSI’s governance. We therefore decided we will no longer aim to have any Directors elected by corporate members, and will convert our outreach to businesses into sponsorship instead. We’ll post details of how your company can sponsor OSI soon – of course, donations are welcome at any time and we are grateful to the companies which have already decided to support us.

Probably the largest development we discussed was staffing. The role of the Board to this point has been to serve as a pool of volunteers to directly deliver OSI’s mission. As such, we have been limited in our activity by the free time of the volunteer Board. The future we envisage is one where our members can bring their vision for OSI, devise new resources and activities and have the Board deploy and sustain what they create. To deliver this and other member services, we have decided to recruit a General Manager for OSI. We have formed a staffing committee to formalise the job description we’ve agreed and we will publish the vacancy soon.

We also held two successful OSI events in DC; a report on those will follow.

OSI Board 2013-14
OSI Board of Directors 2013-14

Back row: Bruno Souza, Karl Fogel, Luis Villa, Mike Millinkovich, Tony Wasserman, Martin Michlmayr
Front row: Jim Jagielski, Simon Phipps, Deb Bryant
Not shown: Harshad Gune
There is one vacancy at present, to be filled in June by election.