WRFI-Meeting Minutes-May 2024

WRFI Board of Directors Meeting

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

In Attendance:

-Peter Bakija

-Amie Herman

-Joe Romano

-Mike Cook

-Talaya Centeno

-Robin Elliott

-Felix Teitelbaum

-Joseph Haefeli

-John Young


Not in attendance:

-Corinne Shanahan

-Carlos Gutierrez

Notes by Robin Elliott

Call to Order at 6:09 pm.

Board Reflections:

Amie shared her reflection on her travels and ideas about development for the upcoming year. She traveled for about a month through 12 states.Her trip reminded her that things can be really successful and mighty on a small scale, just like us!

WVBX inspired her, also a nonprofit station - they do a live music special every day.  WWOZ, a larger scale radio station, including in New Orleans, offers a tent you can hang out in at New Orleans Jazz Fest. We could offer something similar at Grassroots. Development can spark content which can spark engagement, and the circle continues.

Continue to try to have engaging conversations with donors, and use radio as a place for endowment and funding, interaction with our audience - live call in, etc. And being present, through partnerships, film events, concerts, talks, hosting a big plate like special, etc. It would be great if we could hire an associate for development to support this.

Q 1: If you had to pick just one thing we could do in development, what one thing would you like to see?

Live music hour once a quarter or year!

Q 2. what kinds of goods and services could we monetize to raise funds?

Depending on studio capacity, we could rent out studio space, or offer perks for radio members to get access to… An online store where we could sell branded stuff.

Notes form Felix: we have a monthly live music remote from Wide Awake Bakery. We just launched a swag shop, up on the website now!  We have a rental for the studio in July. We don’t have a program, sharing the building with New Roots is challenging because of the students’ noise during school season. A space somewhere else where we can be loud where we can pop up, affordably, would help alleviate this.

Investment in content is necessary also for the circle of engagement and successful underwriting.

WINO status and tower situations: WINO is in need of renewal for the continuation of our status to be silent, needs to be refiled by November 27th. Felix has determined the lowest possible rate to remain on the air at licensed power. This secures our presence in Watkins Glen.

The Ecovillage Board has agreed to the previously recommended changes to the Lease for the transmitter site, including a termination clause that either party may terminate by providing written notice of intent of at least 90 days, otherwise an automatic renewal for an additional one-year term will occur.

Peter moves to renew this lease; John seconds, the motion passes unanimously 8-0.

Establishing Executive Committee:

This committee will be composed of board officers, will meet monthly, and will have authorization to vote and approve only specific items that are sent to them by the Board explicitly.

WRFI’s By-laws allow for this.

Peter moves that the Executive Committee, to be composed of the President, Vice President, and Treasurer, and Recorder, and with the authorization to vote and approve only those items that are sent explicitly to them by the Board, be formed, Joe seconds, the motion passes unanimously 8-0.

Submit report from Ithaca College Strategic Communications Class:

This final report could inform our strategic planning process and includes online survey feedback.

We’re interested in setting a meeting with Diane Gayeski to review feedback and discuss feedback as a next step on strategic planning. Felix will send a doodle poll out.

Committee Reports:

Development and Outreach Committee: The fund drive netted $5,640.97. This campaign included a physical mailing, netting a few larger donations of >$500.

Positive feedback received from grant contact at Community Foundation; we have not yet heard if we will receive funding from that funder this spring cycle.

Governance Committee: No updates.

The Committee entered Executive Session at this point, then returned. -

ED Report:

We have lost some long term DJs recently: We have trained and oriented a number of people, only added a few DJs however. Felix has been producing quite a bit of content in lieu of a news director.

New event next Tuesday: Open House, 6-8 pm, will invite all recently oriented volunteers to hopefully get more DJ sign ups. We’re pushing the schedule reset to the fall to hopefully get a deeper bench of DJs.

Amie: Is a daily news report really where we shine, or is personal storytelling, community content what makes us special, what brings people to tune in?

Moving to the WVBR tower planning continues; the coverage of the Ithaca area would improve with this move overall, including way better coverage into Trumansburg. Felix is gathering rent info. Equipment costs are low for this.

Silent Auction idea: we could get businesses to donate gift cards, services for free and auction them off to raise funds.

Amie shared an opportunity to tie-in with a community event this summer with a food sustainability/climate regional film event series. Could include some funding and could be an event draw for Ithacans.  Possible collaboration with Cinemapolis?

Consent Agenda:

Peter moves to approve the minutes for the March meeting, Robin seconds, passes 8-0.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 pm.