WRFI-Meeting Minutes-April 2023

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday APRIL 11TH, 2023 

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Amie Herman

-Fred Balfour

-Joseph Haefeli

-Carlos Gutierrez

-Chantal Thomas

-John Young

-Theresa Lyons

-Joe Romano

-Megan Merriam

-Corinne Shanahan

-Robin Elliot

-Felix Teitelbaum

Not in attendance:

-Talaya Centeno

-Bryan Roberts

Agenda Items:

-Call to Order at 6:05 pm.

-Consent Agenda: 

Move to accept Minutes for March Meeting, second, passes unanimously.

-NFCB Conference - Wednesday-Friday, June 28-30, 2023

Proposal to send Felix.

MOTION: Approve up to $2,783.26 to  staff development expense for staff participation in the 2023 NFCB Conference. 

Proposed budget.

NFCB Major player in Community Broadcasting, Sally Kane is director. Hoping to send Felix to conference in June. Jim would like to participate from home via internet, for minimal costs. Felix has been to 2 or 3 other conferences, and feels it is a very valuable experience. Expertise and information from Community Broadcasters, resources he has met and regularly interacted and networks with have all been met there. Lasting impacts and very rejuvenating. Takes place in Denver. John strongly supports this effort, feels it is very useful to be around people who are in the same position as Felix. Joe is in favor of us getting our name out in the national voice. Amie asks if there are particular themes and sessions for Felix to investigate; Felix is still researching. Felix will come back with plenty of information and reports. Corinne indicates that we have been working with NFCB, and that strategic planning is likely a focus of the conference, and that is where we are going. John looks over some sessions, many of which are very applicable to us as an organization. Amie will share link for newsletter. John motions for vote to approve budget of $2783 for Felix to attend. Vote passes unanimously.


Light On Air Fundraiser for Spring. We will be running a Spot Drive Fundraiser, involving all volunteers, staff, and board members submitting short, recorded spots (75 words about). Reminds the listener base that we are listener supported. Asking board members to contribute a short recorded spot to contribute. Planning to start on Monday, 4/17, and would like audio by the end of Thursday 4/13. Spots are de-emphasizing the new frequency, on the grounds that it is currently having some technical issues. Amie supports and reinforces that we should do these short messages to support the station. Suggests talking about the station, email, ask people for support. Joe indicates that the testimonials are not at all difficult to do, and encourages everyone to do one. Corinne asks that everyone commit to getting this recorded by the end of Thursday. Amie discusses Stewardship Calls, calling long time supporters to update them on the station, let them know what is going on, possibly ask them for support. Building relationships on a one to one level is very helpful. Suggests making some calls like this during the drive to inform folks about the new developments at the station. Felix clarifies that we are looking for donor’s points of view; what do they want to see happen, what could be improve, what do they value, etc. Chantal supports that this being separate from a direct ask for money, and that it is nice that we are reaching out, and that it is worth separating calls that are Stewardship Calls and direct asks for money. Corinne suggests that the Board contribute to the fundraiser.

-Committee Reports

Development Committee: Amie reports that she is inviting folks to join the committee; will be meeting on the last Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm ET. Will discuss Stewardship, building lists, etc.

Governance Committee:

MOTION:Add bylaws “Article" on meetings and and two sections


Fred reports that GovCo brought a motion to the board that resolves that the Board directs the recorder to the By Laws, Article V—Meetings. One indicating that we run meetings via Parliamentary Procedure, another that meetings that are not Face to Face are legitimate meetings. A third to add voting by email. Motion is listed in meeting agenda. Motion to adopt this motion. Corinne asks if we will be out of compliance if we pass this motion, but do not immediately follow Parliamentary Procedure. Fred clarifies that this seems unlikely, it is just a good policy to follow Parliamentary Procedure as practice. Joe asks how based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Fred clarifies that the motion indicates that we can adopt a moderated version of Robert’s Rules of Order. Robin suggests possibly just voting on two of the motions, in the name of giving us further time to explore Parliamentary Procedure. Carlos suggests tabling the motions in the name of further clarification.  Corrine motion to table motion. Seconded. Vote passes unanimously. Fred indicates there is a plan for GovCo to update the By Laws, including basing them on other Community Radio Stations from the nation. GovCo work on updated By laws and bring them to the board.

Personnel Committee: No updates.

Finance Committee: John reports that the existing Finance committee will meet soon and report back to the Board. John got a look at the finances, and reports that between a recent grant from the Park school, and a private donor, and some incoming Capital Grant money, WRFI is financially sound and in a similar financial situation to where we were last year, and we are in a solid position, financially. 

Corrine indicates that there are options for people to join committees, and encourages all Board Members to join a committee.

-ED Report 

Felix reports that WRFI has hired Jim Utz (OVM) and Celia Clarke (News Director) and they are working out well so far. Jim is working with volunteers and Elijah, one of our working members funded by an outside source. Elijah’s funding is running out soon, and we are looking for further funding to cover his position (at about $700 a month; working 8 hours a week). Felix indicates that Elijah’s work could conceivably be covered by invested volunteers, or the OVM as needed. Theresa suggests that the Personnel Committee investigate finding funding for his position. Felix suggests possibly the Development committee. 

Felix reports Celia Clarke is working out well as News Director so far, currently filling in existing infrastructure including daily newscasts; discussion of pulling in interns/students to be involved, specifically to avoid having interns and student volunteers bogging down the system. Contacted the Park Center to investigate getting new interns (Journalism students). 

Soundliner is still stuck in a need for insurance; the Soundliner is on pause as we hunt for correct insurance coverage. 

Outreach includes Streets Alive, Ithaca Festival, a potential Pride Week event, on the books to do an event at the Odessa library in July. Aiming for 4 outreach events in the foreseeable future. 

The work on the new transmitter is concluded, Felix will be contacting the contractor to provide feedback, and potentially get back some funds. There have been visits to the transmitter, and should be working well. The internet link between the station and the transmitter is having some issues, but we have been working with the service provider to fix this issue. They provided service, things seem to be working well since they addressed the issue today. Felix is hopeful that the issue has potentially be resolved, but if needed, we have the ability to change strive providers if needed. Corrine asks if any setup costs would be lost if we need to change to a new provider; Felix clarifies that labor costs would be lost, and some costs could likely be recouped. Theresa asks how much of a loss would be incurred if we switched vendors, and about $4000 seems likely. Felix indicates that the providers are a local company, and feels confident that they will figure it out in the near future. 

Theresa returns to questions about retaining Elijah’s employment, suggests investigating more potential outlets for funding to retain Elijah’s work capabilities. Amie indicates that this might be an effort for three different committees (Finance, Personnel, Development). Felix discusses some possible organizations to ask for advice. 


-Strategic Planning

Corrine asks that everyone finish their Circle of Engagement survey, shares the link with the board again. There is discussion of the exercise and time commitment to do it, indicating it is fairly minimal. 

Reminder that we have a strategic planning retreat on April 22nd. Corrine indicates that we have been working behind the scenes with Sally Kane to help work on the strategic planning, and the retreat will involve follow up on the SWOT analysis and coming up with a long term plan for our strategic planning, and help us all learn about the station. The schedule for the retreat is 1:30-5:30 at the Just Because Center. Sally Kane recommended some internet based sessions for our board to be involved in, Corrine will send out invites for sessions in May.

-New Business

Questions about the Station Vaccine policy. Felix offers to answer questions via email for the time being.

-Meeting Adjourns at 7:50 pm.