Alex Tischer, DrMedVet: works as an ECC veterinarian, currently in the UK; Has been in fandom since before the millennium and has migrated through more fandoms than can be listed here. Has been a member of the OTW since its founding and volunteered for just as long. Apart from media fandom has also somehow ended up in the weird and wonderful world of sports – which are very niche groups that resemble fandoms in surprising ways. When not dealing with sick pets, Alex can be found doing assault courses, climbing and trail running nearly as often as consuming media.
Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?
When my term as Board ended in 2017, I thought to give it a couple of years before running again. Three years feels like a good break.
I have been with the OTW for 12 years now, worked in lots of committees and while the improved environment in the last couple of years has been remarkable, I believe we can do even better. I think I haven’t exhausted my ability to help pave the way to that better OTW yet.
What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?
Over the years, I have been an active member of quite a number of organisations and committees. There, I served in various capacities, ranging from treasurer of a Student Union, to member of the Web, and Health and Safety committees of my professional organisations.
All of these experiences have taught me quite a lot about managing people — I remember my days of drawing up the rotas for 40+ clinical postgrads and/or interns. They have also allowed me to learn how to approach a task in different ways, and how to come up with creative solutions to problems.
Within the OTW, I have been a staffer in multiple committees as well as a committee chair and I have also done a stint at Board in the past.
I know the everyday challenges we must face, and how to overcome some of them.
I would bring with me the knowledge of how things interlink within the OTW and I wish to help foster a good working environment in the organisation.
Choose one or two goals for the OTW that are important to you and that you would be interested in working on during your term. Why do you value these goals? How would you work with others to achieve them?
I would like to continue to work on anchoring the transparency and in-org cooperation we’ve started to establish since the 2015 Board turnover and make sure we have the structural framework in place to to give our users what they truly deserve: a well-oiled organisation that can focus all of its energy on bettering its projects instead of losing steam on internal squabbling.
Big picture dreams, I would like to improve the framework for providing adequate support to the core projects the OTW was founded for — like the Archive, Fanlore, TWC and Legal — even more than it already had been done.
Basically, I want to do boring but necessary behind the scenes stuff to help the larger organisation run smoothly and enable the projects to focus on their areas of expertise.
What is your experience of the OTW’s projects and how would you collaborate with the relevant committees to support and strengthen them? Try to include a range of projects, though feel free to emphasize particular ones you have experience with.
I have been active in a number of committees over my years with the OTW and I am very used to communicating and interacting with as many of them as possible to get the task at hand done. In Translation alone we’ve cooperated with most of the committees at some point to get them a translation they required. I find that communicating clearly, answering emails as quickly as possible and generally staying open to all possibilities is the most important thing.
The committees are usually quite aware where their weaknesses and strengths lie, I’ve found, and I think it is important not to try to impose priorities from above, but make sure collaboration and support that is being provided is actually wanted and needed.
How would you balance your Board work with other roles in the OTW, or how do you plan to hand over your current roles to focus on Board work?
I am generally quite efficient and good at time management. Keeping my work in my current committees while doing Board work was not a huge issue the last time around and I believe this current Board is in a better state than it was in 2015.
If it became necessary, I would work something out with my fellow committee members.