Gimena Calixto 2017 Q&A: OTW Changes

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

What do you believe are the 2 most important tasks the OTW has accomplished in the past two years? Why?

One of the most important tasks accomplished in the past two years has been rebuilding bridges with the community, both internal and external. Regaining the trust of the committees and the public alike through measures to increase transparency, and actively focusing on building a better working environment for staff and volunteers to reduce burnout.

The other would definitely be the reinstatement of the Finance Committee, which through its work has helped assuage many of the concerns people have expressed in the past regarding the OTW’s financial conduct.

Name one way that you think the OTW needs to change in the next few years. Why is this change important for the organization?

I think one of the ways the OTW needs to change is culturally, in regards to volunteering. Many people have addressed this in the past, including Board Candidates, but a number of committees struggle with volunteer and staff engagement and retention, which in turn means these committees are often overworked and struggling to meet their goals.

This is a complex issue that can’t be fixed easily, and needs to be both approached from multiple angles (creating more opportunities for social interaction, not only within specific committees but also across them —which could also have the added benefit of keeping staff & volunteers less isolated and better updated on how others fit into the OTW—, but also implementing better, more consistent ways to spot and deal with unresponsiveness and inactivity, for example) and with the understanding that progress will be slow, but it’s also crucial for the reasons cited above.