WRFI-Meeting Minutes-March 2024

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Corinne Shanahan

-Amie Herman

-Joe Romano

-Carlos Gutierrez

-Talaya Centeno

-Mike Cook

-Robin Elliott

-John Young

-Felix Teitelbaum

Not in attendance:

-Joseph Haefeli

-Fred Balfour


Call to Order at 6:07 pm.

Agenda Items:

Board Reflections:  

Mike asks questions as a new board member; he indicates that he enjoyed working on the new WRFI Mission statement, and asks what he can do to be helpful in the organization. Peter asks what kind of focus Mike feels like he could bring to the organization. Mike answers that he has a lot of management experience, and feels like he has a lot to offer, but isn’t sure what the Board needs at this point. Amie asks what kind of things he thinks the Board is missing. Mike indicates support for finding underwriters and developing connections with donors and supporters. 

Board Specific Issues:

Corrine indicates that Fred Balfour submitted his resignation from the Board, and the Board thanks Fred for his service.

Felix discusses the idea of public engagement with Board meetings; we might be required to have open meetings by our mission, but we still need a format for doing this. Someone asked if they could join a Board meeting as an interested supporter. Felix and Corrine are working on a procedure for such participation, such that there are rules and systems for such a meeting. John suggests that we might not be required to have open meetings, but Felix indicates that we agreed to such a system at some point. Robin indicates that the non-profit she works for is *not* required to have open Board meetings. Corrine clarifies that our supporter has asked permission to come to meetings, and feels an open policy is at the least a viable concept, and we should have a policy to respond to requests with. Amie suggests that being a Community Radio station, it seems reasonable to have a policy for being open to the community. 

Corrine shares a potential policy:


Joe supports the shared policy, and suggests some minor additions. Numerous members share support for the policy. Talaya suggests increasing the time window for requests to 48 hours from 24 hours, for completely practical purposes. Some discussion about maintaining control of meetings in the case of worst case situations (i.e. intentional disruption). Felix brings up ideas of introducing Executive Sessions, to allow the Board to discuss things separate from the public. Corrine adds wording to allow for Executive Sessions. Carlos asks a question about how we plan to control situations if we return to in-person meetings. Corrine suggests only allowing guests to attend via Zoom (etc.), even if we return to in-person meetings.

Joe moves to approve the policy, Amie seconds, vote is called, vote passes 9-0.

Policy passes, but it is considered a live document and will be revisited in the near future.

Strategic Planning:

Strategic Planning: Talaya and Felix discuss our in progress Mission Statement update. A survey was shared with the Agenda, to get some input on the current ideas for a new Mission Statement. The current draft version (not finalized):

WRFI is hands-on, homegrown radio that empowers and connects people and communities in the Finger Lakes and beyond, by amplifying local and under-represented perspectives, music, and cultures.

Talaya asks for people to review the draft version, and provide feedback via the survey. Many stake holders have been involved with the draft Mission Statement, and the Board discusses the idea of opening the survey up to the wider WRFI community for input. Mike suggests a general system of just sharing the draft version, and asking for just “do you support or not”, either digitally or in hard copy hanging in the station, with star stickers (or something of the like). Felix discusses that the draft Mission Statement will be used in an upcoming workshop as a starting point. Corrine indicates that she feels comfortable sharing the current survey with the stakeholders involved in the first Mission Statement workshop in January. The goal is to vote to approve the Mission Statement in the April meeting. Please provide feedback via the survey by March 24th.

Board Elections: 

Corrine indicates we will be holding nominations and elections for Board positions (President, VP, Treasurer, and Recorder), and nominations are due by March 26th. Information will be shared with the Board via email. 

Committee Reports: 

Development and Outreach Committee: Development committee met, looking at overall financial goals, a spring donor mailing including a WRFI magnet and small schedule document; goal is April 10, to get people thinking about giving, but no formal, hard ask. Discussion of connecting with major donors. The committee feels the need to open conversation with key donors earlier and more often, and is spearheading ideas to make this happen. Discussion of planned giving, and adding information on planned giving on the WRFI website. Looking into information on endowments. Discussed events, and targeting events get the station out to the community, including a possible sustainability based film screening. Discussion of updating the underwriting section on the station website, site has been updated to include some information on pricing.

Governance Committee: No updates. 

Personnel Committee: No updates.

Finance Committee: No updates.

ED Report: 

Felix discusses continued work with Dianne Gayeski, indicating a group wisdom brainstorming platform workshop, invites are being distributed; the class will also conduct an interview with Youth Radio volunteers, to collect data and possibly expand the program. Also considering talking to focus groups, and current and past participants at the station.

Felix attended a legal issues workshop through NFCB, a grant writing seminar put on by the Community Foundation, a site visit with the Science Center, finding many opportunities to work with them. 

Discussed a FEMA grant, that is getting a large number of applications, and we feel that we fit the priorities as a small station  that qualifies us for this grant potentially. The grant is asking for audited financial records, and Felix is investigating what this would entail for us for this grant. The amount of the potential grant is unclear, and it is also unclear if the cost of an audit would be justified by the grant. The grant would cover internet connection and power back up to towers.

The Community Foundation grant cycle is open currently, due in about a month. Felix feels completing and submitting the new grant will not be a particular challenge. 

The Park Foundation grant is being awarded soon; Felix had a discussion with someone involved with the Park Foundation, and felt it was indicating a positive outcome for this year’s grant. 

The Mission Statement process has been very positive, and looking forward to wrapping that process up.

Felix has made progress on the development mailing, modeling the Pocket Guide from a similar KGNU product, including frequency information, web information, a loose schedule, how to get involved, programming information. Felix priced them out to about 0.57 each for 1000, including folding. Planning on an April 10th time frame for mailing, coinciding with an on air fundraising component using donor and staff testimonials. 

New WRFI Magnets and new bumper stickers have come in.

Heard back about the WINO facility; there is a willing landlord for a location, but we would need a strong directional antenna, that would cost upwards of 12K for improvements, and the proposed site does not cover the lake particularly well. Possibly worth looking for a new site that is low cost/or free, with limited coverage, and using the WINO license is a worthwhile effort, even with limited coverage. 

No invoice has shown up yet for the WRFI repairs.

Studio A has gained some volunteer powered upgrades.

Consent Agenda: 

Motion to approve the minutes for the February meeting, motion, second, passes 8-0.

Meeting adjourned at 7:42 pm.