Musings of an Accidental Board Chair
Recently I attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. It was a great chance to socialize with a wonderful group of people on a special occasion - FabMo’s 11th official birthday! Yet my earliest contact with FabMo happened long before FabMo was official, over 15 years ago.
After responding to a Freecycle post promising “free designer material” I ended up sitting on Hannah & Jonathan’s living room floor, encouraged to dump out textile treasures from black plastic garbage bags piled up on their sofa, take what I liked, and put everything else back in the bags, when I was done. Oh, and look out for staples. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Slowly, the FabMo enterprise grew, and my involvement slowly grew along with it. Simple things like setting up tables, sorting fabric and chatting with newcomers led to helping plan our first Maker Faire participation, heading a Boutique committee for 6 years, an invitation to join the Board, and for the past 2.5 years, service as the Board Chair. Whew, and all I really wanted to do was sew purses with some beautiful fabric!
What I know at this point is that the work we do at FabMo, important and impactful work, only happens because individuals step up to do it. So I send a heartfelt thank you to every volunteer. What I also know is that much of the behind the scenes work, including Committee and Board work, is mysterious to many of you. So let me tell you a bit about the FabMo Board of Directors, and invite you to consider whether volunteer service on the Board or a Committee could be in your future.
FabMo is an all volunteer organization, without any paid staff or Executive Director (ED), which means the FabMo Board is a working board that acts as ED when needed. We provide organizational leadership and vision, make policy and are responsible for fiduciary oversight. We strive to keep FabMo true to its mission, financially healthy and stable so that we can continue diverting valuable materials away from the waste stream and into the hands of people who will use them.
We meet every 5-6 weeks, with occasional special topic meetings in addition. In the past year we have purchased a van for FabMo and created a protocol for its use, adopted policy for our social media presence, worked with the Treasurer to craft a budget, embarked on writing charters for FabMo committees and instituted a quarterly Committee Chairs meeting to encourage and facilitate communications within FabMo. Most of the work of FabMo is overseen by committees - a topic big enough for another post, another time, but the Board is where “the buck stops.”
In the coming year the Board will be evaluating our current business and operating models with an eye to considering changes to improve our ability to support our mission. In particular, our rent, and rents throughout the mid-peninsula, continue to rise and it is crucial that we cultivate new sources of revenue, volunteers and clients so that we remain financially healthy going forward.
So who serves on the FabMo Board of Directors? Well in 2019, our 7 members are:
Maybe in 2020, your name will be here!
I welcome the chance to chat with anyone interested in learning more and answer any questions you have. If you want to attend a Board meeting, please let me know.