C. Ryan Smith 2018 Q&A: Group 2

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

5. What are a couple of major issues that you know the OTW board struggles or has struggled with, and how would you personally act to avoid them if elected?

Personally, I have always felt the biggest issue the Board has struggled with is the disconnect that could arise between them and the organization as a whole. Take a look at the next question (#6) for more about that! Another thing that I feel the Board has struggled within the past is managing their workload. While each position within the OTW generally has a commitment of only a few hours per week, it can quickly add up once you begin to work within multiple committees. The previous structure of the Board did not help matters either, as each individual Board member would serve as a dedicated liaison to a handful of committees (thereby increasing the workload more). In order to compensate for this high workload, some directors would retire from their various positions within the OTW in order to devote themselves to their Board work, which increased in the disconnect between them and the rest of the OTW.

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Lex de Leon 2018 Q&A: Group 2

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

5. What are a couple of major issues that you know the OTW board struggles or has struggled with, and how would you personally act to avoid them if elected?

It is vital for any organization to have a coherent roadmap with tangible goalposts. Whether it is as simple as changing priorities or actively working to achieve currently intangible goals, this is direction that can and should come from the Board. Also, being able to translate between those who may or may not be using the same words to mean vastly different things. Facilitating communication is a huge part of what is meant to be done with oversight. I cannot describe the number of meetings or calls which were disasters until everyone realized that the technical side was speaking a different language than the non-technical side. I still have an eye twitch from the “batch vs. document vs. pages” battle held over a conference room table.

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Natalia Gruber 2018 Q&A: Group 1

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

1. What do you hope to learn in your time on Board?

I would like to learn more about the administrative and legal aspects of running a non-profit, what day-to-day activities Board members do to keep us in shape, and what possibilities and limitations we have for the future, especially regarding our advocacy projects.

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C. Ryan Smith 2018 Q&A: Group 1

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

1. What do you hope to learn in your time on Board?

I would like to learn more about the individual projects that we are responsible for as an organization. While our internal wiki has a lot of information about the technical details behind these projects, as a Board member I would hope to really immerse myself in dialogue with the relevant committees. I feel the best way to learn about each project and each committee’s mission is to talk to them and hear it directly from them (only second to actually volunteering with them directly). The relationship between the Board and the rest of the organization is, by necessity, symbiotic—we must be able to learn and support each other in order for the organization as a whole to thrive.

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Lex de Leon 2018 Q&A: Group 1

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

1. What do you hope to learn in your time on Board?

I want to learn more about how the OTW works on the whole, specifically how each committee works with and bolsters the others. I look forward to being able to learn more about the other committees and seeing the work they do, in addition to increasing my knowledge of the ones I have already become familiar with at this point. I have already reaped the benefits of all of the committees—it is important that I take the time and give them my attention, whether as a volunteer or as a Board member.

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Michelle Schroeder 2018 Q&A: Group 1

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

1. What do you hope to learn in your time on Board?

What don’t I hope to learn in my time on Board? In all seriousness, though, I’d love to learn more about all the committees I don’t volunteer with or get to work with as part of my volunteering. I like having a big-picture view of things, and hopefully by learning as much as I can about each committee and the organization as a whole, I’ll be in a better position to help the committees with whatever they need from me and the Board.

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