C. Ryan S.’s Bio & Platform

Bio

C. Ryan S.: Ryan’s earliest memories of being in fandom stem from watching Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! in the early morning hours before school with his dad. He can remember talking about the shows and games with other children in his class and feeling that familiar sense of camaraderie that we all feel today. If asked though, he would point out that his first true encounter with fandom at large wouldn’t occur until years later in 2008 when he began using online forums for text-based roleplaying games & Fanfiction.net for his early fanfic consumption. Ryan first started volunteering for the OTW during his first year in university in 2013; due to personal circumstances, he left the OTW for a while before returning to service in 2015. Since then, he’s graduated from university with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology and begun working as a security engineer.

Platform

1. Why did you decide to run for election to the Board?

This year was particularly rough for fielding election candidates given all that has occurred within the past year in and outside of the organization. In order to ensure that we continue to have contested elections, I stepped forward. While I feel that I could be successful in this role if elected, given my lengthy and varied service with the organization, I feel that other candidates could potentially be more viable for this role. This is particularly true given my normal committee commitments and desire to pursue my own creative projects.

2. What skills and/or experience would you bring to the Board?

Having served with the OTW for many years, I have a wide range of skills and experience that I’ve accrued during my time on different committees. I feel that I would be able to give insight into the different parts of the organization in which I have served – in addition to bringing the skills I’ve cultivated in those roles to assist with any Board related tasks. Outside of the organization, I have helped moderate communities, created and run text-based roleplaying games, and served in the Student Government Association during my time at university. These things have all served as foundational aspects of my skills within the organization and could positively contribute to Board work.

3. 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 feel that the many projects that are currently being worked on by the organization as a whole, as well as the individual committees are worthy goals for us to concentrate on. While it’s important for us to be ambitious in what we aim toward as a goal, I think the more important thing is for us to actually work toward and accomplish the goals and projects we’ve already set forth.

PS: Some of the goals I originally mentioned within my 2018 bio & platform have been accomplished! Go us, and major kudos to the Communications and Development & Membership Committees.

4. What is your experience with 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 served within many different positions and committees in the organization. To quickly name a few of my favorites: the Development & Membership, Volunteers & Recruiting, & Open Doors Committees. Currently I’m serving as a volunteer in the Systems Committee. Arguably I am most experienced with the organization as a whole, having served primarily on the more “administrative” committees that don’t support a particular project. However, I do have experience with the more AO3 focused committees as well. Overall, within my time in the organization, I have worked with many different people and committees – I am extremely confident in my ability to collaborate and work with committees all across the organization.

In support of that, I would want to learn about them more by taking the time to read their documentation on our internal wiki and tapping into the ongoing dialogue between them and our current Board. Beyond learning more about them and their day-to-day work, I feel that the best way to support the committees is to listen to what they tell us. Our committees are staffed entirely by experienced personnel or those who are being trained to the same level, all of whom know best how to do their own work. While the Board can assist in that by making suggestions or offering more direct support, it is ultimately up to the committees themselves to implement new ideas or changes.

5. 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 would not step back from my current role in the Systems Committee, both because it is required for any Board member to be an active member of some committee and also because I enjoy the work I do within that committee. As far as helping to balance the workload, I would extend my usage of Google Calendar to help keep track of deadlines, meetings, and other time-sensitive work (which I already do for my real life). Beyond that, I would use tools like Trello to help me keep track of individual tasks that I’m working on.