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Oct. BoD Minutes

Discussion in 'AAW Information' started by Stuart Johnson, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Stuart Johnson

    Stuart Johnson

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    The Oct. BoD minutes posted in the members only area has least one item that is of concern to all members and non-members that use the forums.

    There is a consensus by the board that the forums should be moved into the members only section of the website. The recommendation of the Board will be forwarded to the incoming
    Executive Director.


    The minutes can't go into great detail but I wish they had gone into reasons on why they want them moved to the members only area. They are trying to drum up membership and it seems to me like one of the first places to visit to see about joining would be the forums. In my opinion the information forum where many of us were warned or banned for expressing our opinions might be best in the member only area but the main, tips, four sale type forums are benefited by at least open viewing. I know I had my first introduction to AAW from a WoodCentral posting directing me to main AAW forum.
     
  2. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    Stewart,

    I wouldn’t be too concerned about that comment in the minutes. Purely from a technical point of view, adapting vBulletin software to work behind AAW’s member-only firewall would be a monumental and perhaps impossible task. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that our new Executive Director will be taking a fresh-set-of-eyes look at this forum - its purpose, perceived value, utility and costs. So it’s certainly possible that some changes may be made in the coming months.
     
  3. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo

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    It can be done with less trouble than you keep on telling us.

    I already offered to do if you can't.
     
  4. Sean Troy

    Sean Troy

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    Pretty simple really. Why would the BOD's want prospective members seeing all the trouble they've caused the AAW?
     
  5. George Guadiane

    George Guadiane

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    Now THAT made me laugh out loud...

    Now think about giving it a rest?
     
  6. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    I don't know...

    A benefit of membership is the forums. How is it a benefit of membership if it's available to all?

    Similarly, the list includes: "Over 300 AAW local chapters offer workshops, camaraderie, opportunities to share ideas and techniques, and access to lending libraries, discounts, and volume purchases"

    If I'm not mistaken, the overwhelming majority of chapters have no restriction for participation dependent on AAW membership.
     
  7. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Owen, your are spot on. Many chapters pay the yearly AAW dues for officers, just to meet the requirements to be an AAW Chapter. I attended a membership meeting a few years back when a BOD member suggested requiring all affiliated chapters be 100% AAW members.

    The blow-back was immediate and down-right nasty. That Board member resigned not too long afterward. The AAW is 14,000 +/- strong, but with the chapter members not belonging to the organization, I suspect that number is near or above twice that number. One must tread lightly when trying to the change rules. Most members are at an age now where accepting change is most difficult.
     
  8. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo

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    You need to look past your nose Sean.

    Why should someone who does not have a vested interest in the future of AAW be afforded the privilege of shaping that future?
     
  9. George Guadiane

    George Guadiane

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but I joined this organization, at least in part, because I felt the need to support the entity that was so open and inviting.
    I've been chased out of other sites because of my views, and I could be chased out of this one, but the open exchange of turning information led me to believe that this was a place where I could learn and share.
    Without my access to these forums, I might not have come back a second time.
    While that might have been fine for some (in my case), I'm sure that there are a lot of potential new and renewing members who feel like I do.

    Its like a church/temple/whatever allowing strangers to enter and join in. That free access is probably the first best opportunity for recruitment.
     
  10. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo

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    George, this will be my last response to you before I place you on my ignore list.

    1) It's more like, why should a registered voter from Mississippi be allowed to make changes to Massachusetts state constitution?

    2) You where not chased out, you chased yourself out.
     
  11. George Guadiane

    George Guadiane

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    1)I don't see that scenario in this

    2) Believe what you like, but as my posts and "privileges" disappeared and the attacks on me and my questions increased, staying became socially/emotionally/ethically untenable.
     
  12. Marvin Hasenak

    Marvin Hasenak

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    Hiding the forum behind closed doors will "close" the best "door" the AAW has for recruiting new members.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
  13. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Stuart, viewing the forums could be left open to all. But posting limited to members only. It might provide more incentive to become a member? Then again................:eek:
     
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    AAW membership in local chapters

    I visit quite a few chapters some have 100% AAW membership, most are over 50% AAW membership and one Is quite low and is one of those that Pays the AAW dues for it officers. I often see chapters where 30% of the member haven't turned at all between meetings and some that have 10% of the members have no lathe. I don't see this population as potential AAW members under the current structure.

    A few years ago I attended a meeting of a local chapter.
    the chapter existed because of the AAW
    the demonstrator's talents grew through the AAW
    the demo lathe was bought with an AAW discount
    the demo was seen on a video system acquired with AAW grant
    The meeting space was dependent on AAW insurance
    After the meeting a guy told me the AAW has nothing to offer him ......

    I would like to see the AAW implement a Non-Voting membership at say $5 or $10 a year. This would be required for all club members. The non-voting members would be listed in the directory and be covered for club activities under the AAW insurance. They would not get the journal or have access to most of the Members only Web area. A number of professional organizations have a similar structure.

    To me this is a better balance and clubs who want to be AAW affiliates should be composed of AAW members. To some extent the 100 percent membership clubs are paying the freight for the clubs whose only AAW members are the officers. I would at least like to see clubs with less than 70% membership dropped from EOG grant eligibility.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  15. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    Al,
    We have 65 members in our club and if I told them that we are going to be a 100% AAW club and that they will all have to join the AAW our club would have about 10 members. We try at every meeting, every newsletter and every way we can to get folks to join. Two of the people that I got to join after very tough convincing told me at the last meeting that they will not be rejoining the AAW because the real advantage that they get is the Journal. They both think that the Journal has little to offer them and they would rather sign up for Woodturning Design Magazine which better suits their turning tastes. What do we do? Tell them their crazy, I think not because they may be right. Just because I think the Journal is fine doesn't mean everyone will and they seem only to look at the tangible things and not the overall picture.
    Only 6.67% of the 300 affiliated clubs are 100% AAW member clubs. I think Jake is a little low as I'll bet that number is higher. Maybe you have answers that we don't have and I would welcome your visit to our club (Presque Isle Woodturners of Erie, PA) and have you convince these folks to join the AAW. Make that non-voting pitch to the BOD maybe it would float.
    I will not support making AAW mandatory in my club. I like these folks whether they are AAW members or not. Your idea of punishing clubs with less than 70% AAW members does not warm my heart either. Maybe the new ED will have some fresh ideas that will help. In the mean time we will continue to put forth the AAW as a viable step in the woodturning experience.
    Bill
     
  16. Stuart Johnson

    Stuart Johnson

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    Al, isn't the symposium also supported by the membership? Using your reasoning then attendance should also be limited to members only. That would include the I.G., demonstrations, vendor area, auctions and other events. A guaranteed way to loose a bunch of money.

    Right now it seems like for the majority the main reason to be a member is the journal for the majority of the membership. I think any push for new members must be by adding incentives. There are a number of very good forums that in my opinion are at least equal or better than the AAW. I don't know the answer to gaining membership and more important member participation but restricting access to the forum and chapters won't do the trick.
     
  17. wnnelson

    wnnelson

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    Al - I think you are correct that the members of a local club do get benefits from the AAW whether they are AAW members or not. BUT! I do see a lot of potential problems with the idea of charging a fee (no matter how small) to members of a local club to force them to be members of the AAW. I will use my local club as a example. We do not charge our members with any yearly dues. All of our operating money comes from the yearly auction and monthly wood raffles plus other small misc. items. When somebody walks in the door and wants to be a member they sign up with no money down and no easy monthly payments. If this person has to pay the AAW fee to be a member of the local club who would collect this money? Would the local club be responsible or does the potential member have to send his money directly to the AAW? Then how does the local club keep track of who has paid and who has not? Would somebody have to be at the door and check everybody off the list before that can enter the local meeting? I can see where this would scare off potential members to a local club before they even get in the door or decide if they even want to become woodturners at all. So I have to tell Joe who does the monthly refreshments and stores the club lathe and audio visual equipment that he is no longer welcome at our local meeting because he didn't pay his AAW fee? This will be counter productive to signing up new AAW members in the long run and may cause a stagnation of growth in the AAW.
    If you punish local clubs with less than 70% AAW membership how many clubs will drop their AAW affiliation? I can not see this helping the local club or the AAW. We do have AAW application forms on the table and encourage them to become AAW members but we do not force them.
    You state "A number of professional organizations have a similar structure". Are you inferring that the AAW should become a professional organization? I sincerely hope not. The hobby turner is the AAW, not the professional. If you would like to see a all professional organization perhaps starting a new organization would be preferable.
    I'm sure there are other problems that I do not see but these are my thoughts. If you have some solutions to these problems I would be glad to hear them.
     
  18. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Stuart,

    The Symposium registration for all intents and purposes is restricted to AAW members. Only registered members may attend sessions and display pieces in the IG. Non-member registration includes a 1 year membership.

    The general public is invited to visit the instant Gallery, Turning exhibitions, the trade show, and auctions. Any registered member can buy banquet tickets for non-members.

    Demonstrators at the AAW and many regional symposiums are required to be AAW members.

    The AAW Symsposium is very much a meeting of AAW members.

    My thoughts are a minimal fee of $5-$10 for a non-voting AAW membership required of all chapter members is a good thing for AAW and for the chapters. It takes care of that nasty insurance issue.

    I know every chapter is different, but generally what I see in chapters are that the doers and leaders are mostly AAW members and the non-AAW members don't contribute much to the chapters. I do know a few folks with financial hardships who no longer belong to AAW and aren't asked for their chapter dues or get offered some job in lieu of dues.

    It is mostly philosophical
    Why would anyone want to belong to an AAW chapter and not be an AAW member? Chapters don't have to be AAW chapters.
    I'm thinking some minimal fee is appropriate to cover insurance and other chapter support. Maybe have an annual chapter fee of $300 and waive the fee for star chapters (100 perct. membership).


    Al
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  19. wnnelson

    wnnelson

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    Again Al do we block the non doers and non shakers at the door until they pay the fee? I think clubs would dwindle to just a few folks rather quickly. Is this a good or bad thing? The ones that are left would mostly be the most productive club members but the meeting may get very small, and getting new blood in may get much harder.
    Your statement of "Why would anyone want to belong to an AAW chapter and not be an AAW member?" WOW there are a million answers to that one but you would have to ask each person for his or her personal reason. The first that comes to mind is it is the only woodturning club within a reasonable driving distance or unreasonable distance for that matter. Would the readers of this post who are not AAW members please state their reasons for not joining the AAW. Their answers may be very enlightening.
     
  20. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Al, I'm convinced you and most every one responding here wants the AAW to grow, and thrive. How that gets accomplished is the big question. Perhaps this and other discussions will reveal a nugget that can be used to the AAw's advantage. In the interim forcing membership or assessing fees is not doable in my view. Bill is correct, forcing membership would shrink the numbers dramatically. In two of the chapters I belong to, myself and a handful of others are the only ones that feel our AAW dues are a worthwhile incurred cost, a third although small is a Star Chapter.

    To be a chapter there has to be a parent organization. To my knowledge only one currently exists in the U.S., the AAW. Any independent group would just be a turning club. I'm sure there are a few around somewhere. It took the AAW, and its chapters, to bring turning to the stature it is today. We need to try and keep it that way.

    These statements are not in anyway meant to marginalize the efforts of organizations in other country's to promote turning.
     
  21. George Guadiane

    George Guadiane

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    In difficult economic times, we're thinking of asking people who are looking for ways of getting out in the world and being with others and sharing knowledge to (maybe) decide whether or not they want to spend more than gas money in order to be ALLOWED to participate? People, who by and large, probably don't have the skills or time to go out and start their own club?

    Are we not self sustaining at this point? Do we REALLY need to force people on the margins out so that we can grow? Really, if we are foundering, then steps might be in order, but under the current financial circumstances for a lot of us, trying to fatten our coffers so that we can "do more good" might not be seen as reasonable.

    I paid my dues, I drive to two different meetings a month, over an hour, each way. But if I didn't have the money to invest in membership, should I just stay home?

    If you have a job or sufficient income as I am fortunate enough to have, PLEASE consider that while you may be in a majority, people who are not in our position don't need one more thing piled onto their already difficult circumstances.
     
  22. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    Here are a few reasons for local chapter members to join AAW – beyond the Journal – that I think are often overlooked:

    1) Every time a new person joins AAW, the chance of their local chapter winning (along with them) a new lathe are increased. The first prize drawing of this kind will be in a couple of weeks, and then again next year. Click here to read more about this benefit.

    2) AAW sets funds aside from auctions and other endeavors every year, for the purpose of providing cash compensation to members who have suffered from natural disasters. If you’d like to read some heart-felt letters from recipients of the AAW Emergency Relief Fund, then dial in here.

    3) Every year, AAW offers 10’s of thousands of dollars to its members in the form of Educational Opportunity Grants and Professional Outreach Program Fellowship Grants. Both of these grant programs are 100% funded by the generous donations of AAW members, whose turnings are sold at annual symposium auctions.

    4) Members are offered the opportunity to advertise their turnings through the AAW's online sales venue. For those members who are not able to build their own website, this feature has the additional benefit of establishing a significant web-presence at a very modest cost.

    There are other benefits of membership of course, but these are my personal favorites.
     
  23. Ron Sardo

    Ron Sardo

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    Let me clear something up.

    I was referring to keeping discussions on the updated bylaws to a member only forum.

    The other forums should be left as they are.
     
  24. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Yeah PLUS

    Putting any bylaws discussion as well as corporate governance issues in the members-only area makes sense, since only those people who may vote have a say one way or the other on a question. Weighing in as to one's preferences as to how the AAW is to be run is one of the valuable benefits of membership.

    General or special discussions on turning belong in full public view as core parts of the AAW's outreach and education function. These are very different things.

    I saw the comments about allowing an insurance company to solicit members via snail & e mail. While many people might not wish to receive such contacts, there is a huge potential benefit to members in this. With 14,000 members, group policy coverage for such a number could turn out to be the single more important benefit of AAW membership. There are any number of trade associations who do exactly the same thing.

    I would suggest that new and renewing members have a check-off to decide if they want to receive solicitations when the sign up or renew their memberships.
     
  25. Stuart Johnson

    Stuart Johnson

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    Mark, I think the number that would actually sign up for the insurance would be the determining factor on just how good a deal it might be. In my opinion this is a woodturning site as such we should keep the solicitations if any woodturning and AAW related. If the default is some sort of check off at renewal then the default should be no with a warning that saying yes might mean the selling or sharing of the information to 3rd parties. There is an abundance of benefits many members might benefit from ranging from discount movie rental to little blue pills.
     
  26. Timothy Rowe

    Timothy Rowe

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    we can get little blue pills???????:eek:
     
  27. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    "But of course, tovarich! Ve haf many many pills in many many colors vit da best prizes in the whole internet!!"

    At least that's what the tell my wife at least 12 times per week.
     
  28. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    True, of course, but we'd need to start somewhere. Moreover, the commissions earned by the AAW could easily double the budget to be poured into youth turning, EOG, and other programs of education, outreach programs, and local chapter assistance.
     
  29. Jack Savona

    Jack Savona

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    Soliciting

    And, if we do or don't give permission for soliciting, who decides who can solicit?
    BOD?

    And who can solicit? Past BOD members? Friends of the BOD members? ALL insurance companies? Only insurance companies?
     
  30. Segmented Woodturners

    Consider the following from the Segmented Woodturners forum:

    "If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You have to register to get limited access to this forum. Once registered, you can become a paid member of Segmented Woodturners and then you will get full access to all forum and photo gallery categories.
    As an unregistered guest, please feel free to view messages and photos from the categories that are available to guests."

    Requires registration for "limited access." Requires paid membership for "full access." Unregistered guests can browse areound. Seems to work pretty well. - John
     
  31. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Let's stay 'on-subject', Jack, that being insurance. The way this is usually done is that a committee of knowledgeable members (on and/or off BoD) is formed to research and solicit group providers. They then make recommendations to the Board which will debate, investigate further, and come down to establishing a single sanctioned provider; just as they do now with liability insurance for members in sanctioned events. That provider is then presented to the membership with the association acting much like an insurance agent. As time goes by, the committee fields feedback from members as to how the provider is doing, and may even change providers if too many complaints are encountered.

    They may also run workshops and information sessions where members have direct access to a knowledge base. All such contacts are actually by the association with company reps standing by to answer questions.


    Make no mistake, however, I'm not advocating open use of the AAW for direct solicitations by anyone other than official AAW communication.
     
  32. Jack Savona

    Jack Savona

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    Usually done

    Mark, I do understand how it is "usually done." Somehow, when I listened in to the BOD meeting this month, I didn't get the impression that the "usual" was done in this case. The Oct. '10 approved minutes also seemed to confirm my thoughts:

    "John Hill submitted a written request that the AAW supply name and street addresses to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for the purpose of communicating with the membership regarding offers of discounts on homeowners, renters and automobile insurance."

    Mark, do you have any evidence or knowledge about what, if any, research WAS done in this specific case?
     
  33. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Not A Clue, Jack. As most such things arise from committee work, and since there is no such committee, I'm not surprised that the proposal got rejected. Opening the database to a single company to do direct solicitations would, in my view, be an improper use of the membership list. It's one thing to have the AAW create and then publicize a substantial benefit for its members. It's quite another to allow commercial interests to badger the membership. We've had too many issues of improper use of the membership list already. If the AAW were to allow such use, it would loose all control over the list, the privacy policy would be simply trashed, and I think it likely that the Membership list, as a tool for members to contact friends and stay in touch, would be destroyed.
     
  34. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    Jack et all,

    It’s almost always best to go to the source with questions like this, rather than speculate on what is or is not going on. The insurance committee is listed here, along with all the many other AAW volunteer committees: http://www.woodturner.org/org/staff_dirs.htm

    Why don’t you give John Hill a call or send him an email – I know he loves to talk about AAW membership benefits, like insurance.
     
  35. Stuart Johnson

    Stuart Johnson

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    Ed, I don't think this is just and insurance issue. If the membership records are open to any solicitation then the privacy is lost. I'm not saying the insurance angle is good or bad but if the BoD allows solicitation for insurance then why not Rockler, Woodcraft or any number of other companies. During the BoD meeting (which this thread is about) it was decided to not allow insurance solicitation but then they was a point about further discussions. Further discussions mean it is not a settled issue. Just because AAW endorsed a product or company does not say I want information from them.

    A check off system that disallows any solicitation unless specifically requested with a warning about the possibility of lists being sold might be a way to accommodate all parties. A simple click will get rid of any unwanted spam but remember the WTF was threatened with legal action for sending an AAW related email.
     
  36. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    The AAW privacy policy states:

    "The American Association of Woodturners will use any personal information provided by or about its membership for AAW business only. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Any use of this information will be limited to activities directly sponsored by or related to the American Association of Woodturners. Personal information will never be loaned, sold, or provided to any other party for any other purpose."

    It's my understanding that the Board affirmed this policy at their last meeting, by unanimous vote. BTW, you might be interested to know that this policy was put in place about one year ago.

    We also have an internet privacy policy - it’s been around for at least 8 or 9 years, and can be viewed here: http://www.woodturner.org/info/aawprivacy.htm
     
  37. Jack Savona

    Jack Savona

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    Ed, that was part of my question: if the BoD in October reached consensus ("The Board believes that doing so would violate the AAW’s privacy policy. The consensus from the board is not to supply the requested information to Liberty Mutual."), then why discuss it, even for a minute or two, at the December meeting?
     
  38. Jack Savona

    Jack Savona

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    Oops!

    Ed, I checked the members of the Insurance Committee (didn't realize AAW had one).

    The Insurance Committee is chaired by...





    ...John Hill.




    Oops!
     
  39. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Annandale, New Jersey
    Ooops

    I guess I didn't scroll far enough down the page to see the Insurance Committee. Thanks for the correction, Ed. Sorry to John & company
     
  40. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,070
    Location (City & State):
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Home Page:
    Jack,

    Sorry, I don't know the answer to that. If you feel it's an important question, why don't you give one or two Board members a call and ask them...
     

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