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Milwaukee Makerspace Board of Directors Meeting - March 17, 2016

Held at the Milwaukee Makerspace craft lab


  • Lance Lamont - President
  • Dan Jonke - Treasurer
  • Carl Stevens - Communications Director
  • DL Swanson - Operations
  • Keith McMillan - Secretary
  • Tom Gralewicz - Director at Large

*Larry Andersen *Tom Klein *Steve Pilon *Scott Swanson


Meeting was called to order by Lance Lamont at 7:09.

Reading the Minutes of the previous meeting

The meeting minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

Reports of Boards and Standing Committees

Treasurers Report

Dan reports that we technically have 6 months of reserve ($45,000), but that includes monies for specific area funds that are commingled in the bank account.

We spent more money in 2015 than we had in dues, because of the building purchase.

Carl asked if we should pull the area funds from the bank.

Tom suggested a better approach was to create a second account.

Dan to report out on building insurance for the next meeting.

New Equipment/Donations

Larry reports that $4,000 committed towards CNC mill. He would like to write a check for $5,000 to cover his matching for the fund. He wants to get a tax write off for the donation.

Tom emailed the CPA regarding this, and the accountant says this should not be an issue. It will count towards a 2016 donation.

Lance says he's encountered resistance from the board purchasing equipment for the space, and asked for discussion. He wants the board to be aware we are setting a precedent.

Dan's position on this has changed. DL believes this is the same as a group buy, but the rest of the board believes that those are still owned by members.

Tom believes this will be a process we will need to set up.

Dan thinks that Tormach might care whether the machine is bought by the space or by members and donated to the space.

Keith pointed out that we could create a donation fund in Wild Apricot for specific donation campaigns.

DL is concerned we are able to track inventory, and suggests we should set up an asset tracking system. Dan thinks the wiki is sufficient, Lance thinks we should start setting one up now. Tom says normal procedure is to not tag anything that is expensed.

DL will look into setting up an inventory system for space equipment.

The board voted on the proposal to establish an earmarking system for member donations for group purchases, at treasurer's approval. The board voted unanimously to approve the proposal.

Reports of Special (Select) Committees

New tri-fold for the 'space

Carl got quotes for a trifold for the space. If we order 500 from FedEx would cost $313 and 250 from Digital Edge will cost $175.

Tom has a friend of the space who works for a printing company, and will get a quote for us.

Carl asked if we should change the blue color, which he selected to make it look like a blueprint. After discussion, Carl will make some minor changes and experiment and report back.

Unfinished Business

Paypal Tax Exempt Status

Dan has emailed Paypal again about our rates, and will report out if they respond.

Property tax exemption

Tom has what he needs will send in the paperwork.

Utility rates

Lance will follow up with WE Energies on our electric rates

Wild Apricot Transition

  • Dan has added “CNC Area” and “Metal Finishing Area” to the list of allocatable categories
  • The wild apricot export isn't working well with quickbooks - DL and Scott S. reported back that their former knowledge did not help. Keith has QuickBooks and will look into importing account data into QuickBooks.
  • Dan Added links to members portal to the homepage, and fixed member handbook to reference new payment procedures.

New camera system

  • Scott hooked up 4 new cameras and they work with the DVR. The switch for the phone system and converters work. Next step would be to run cables, which are already here. This will be a space improvement day project.
  • Lance says we did not put a camera outside the North wall looking at the Otjen/Lenox door.

Space Projects Update

4x8 CNC Plasma Cutter

  • Previous estimated date for completion: October 2015
  • Dan has pressing on this with Joe, with little result.
  • Mark Ownley has expressed interest, and Steve Pilon says he's now in charge of this.
  • Steve says electronics-wise it seems okay, but the manual are a mess, there are some structural problems that need to be resolved. He needs some help with sketches and will post out to the members group. Steve will report back on this.
  • The cutter has consumables that cost $50/$75, and training will include cost for a member's set, which they'll get to keep.
  • Current target for completion is May


  • Previous action item: Joe will send a certified letter to the previous Kuka owner
  • DL has provided Joe with text, but this seems to not have happened. DL will type one up. Lance will ask Joe for the previous owner's contact information.
  • Jake is currently using the Kuka for his senior project, and will graduate in August.
  • Dan pointed out that if we have clearance to get rid of the machine, we can dispose of it at our leisure.

Large Format Printer

  • DL says she mentioned getting rid of it with the new area champion.
  • Carl witnessed unsuccessful prints, but not correct ones
  • Steve says it does not print sharply
  • Keith asked if we were downsizing the printing area, and is the printer in the area
  • Lance asked what the funding was for the area
  • Carl thinks it would be a more useful area without the printer
  • The board voted unanimously to remove the large format printer

Vacuum Former

  • A new member who wants to make pinball machine parts, and Lance mentioned to him that we need an area champion.
  • Lance suggested investing some small amount of funds to buy materials so we can figure out the interest in the former
  • Dan says the area has $14 in it's fund
  • Dan says the area needs to be reorganized to make the former usable during the next space improvement day
  • Lance will stop in at Midland to talk with them about materials

Engine Hoist

  • The board voted unanimously to ask Have Blue to remove it from the building

New member orientation video

  • The board voted unanimously to discontinue the idea of making a new member orientation video

New Business

Tool Damage & not coming forward - Warning? - Lance

  • The board discussed the damage to the machine shop, and the member that did not come forward
  • Dan received an email from a member saying the broadcast email was not a good approach.
  • Carl will draft an email asking the member for an explanation of the damage

Donations via QRCodes - Keith

  • Add shortened URL to the signs, and a note on where to find it on Wild Apricot

Promote Marc O. to Primary Welding Area Champion - Dan

  • Marc wants to be primary, Dan wants out board voted unanimously to approve
  • Board also voted unanimously to approve Steve P as primary area champion for the CNC area, even though we believe he already was

Introduce discounted 1 year membership ($450 upfront), to reduce treasurer load. - Dan

  • This discount would apply only to a full membership
  • Any add-ons would not be discounted
  • The board voted unanimously to approve

Redistribute half of Pre-March woodshop funding into CNC area - Dan

  • This is because there used to be a single fund. When one was added for the CNC area, but it didn't make it in time for March. This would be $45.
  • Tom and Keith contributed $40 out of their pockets for the CNC area
  • The board voted unanimously to not pursue this further

Start maintaining a petty cash box in the building - Dan

  • The board voted unanimously to keep a petty cash box in the building

Remove or Complete Phone System (911 integration?) - Lance

  • We have equipment in house
  • Lance wants them to work, or to go away
  • The board voted unanimously to remove the phone system
  • DL will follow up with Shane on a cell phone for 911 at the front desk

Music Purchase for Videos - Carl

  • I am unable to attend the meeting, but I would suggest exploring Creative Commons Licensed music for videos rather than commercially licensed music. — Pete Prodoehl 2016/03/17 11:43
  • The board voted unanimously to allow Carl to spend $400 for music for videos between now and September 2016

Discuss dropping Thursday night as open to the public. - DL

  • She's concerned that members are having to sacrifice making time to give tours and sign up members
  • Carl likes that someone can become a member in one week
  • Dan, Lance and DL spend a lot of time on Thursday with prospective members
  • Tom suggested that it would be okay to not sign up members on Thursday
  • Lance points out that we need someone to corral the public if the public is invited
  • Dan suggests we are optimizing for members rather than non-members
  • DL suggested we have more outreach and Mr. Fixit days instead, perhaps quarterly Makers Night Out instead
  • Carl feels that being open twice a week makes us more accessible, and that sets a good precedent for us
  • DL suggested we put this on the message board and ask for someone to be Builders Night Out champion, to do meet and greet and arrange tours. This met with general concurrence from the board.

Discuss the rotating schedule for new member orientation. - DL

  • DL will send Keith the schedule and he will update the calendar
  • ReMMinder bot will need to be updated - Keith will contact Pete

Discuss Schedule for Rotating Board Members at front desk on Tuesday's. - DL

  • DL will put together a sign up sheet on the bulletin board

Ask Dan (and Brant) to facilitate a informational session for all bod members in April - DL

  • go over every thing we should have access to and the basics on how to get to it and update information. I can help with some things like apricot and drive. But I know that after a year I still am not sure about some things, like the calendar and Bod Archive.
  • Sunday April 3 at 10:00 a.m.

Space Improvement day 2016 goals and making sure maintenance items are done. - DL

  • Deferred to next meeting

Willy's Boat. - DL

  • DL is concerned that the date Willy expected to complete the boat is slipping, and she asks if we need to set a due date.
  • The board will continue to request updates and monitor the progress

Changes to space rental policy w.r.t. late payments

The board elected to defer this to after the at-large members are elected.

Changes to bylaws and member handbook w.r.t. illegal activities undertaken by members

The board elected to defer this to the next meeting

Mandatory wearing of member badges

The board discussed a proposal from Larry, where members should be required to wear name badges in the space. The board voted unanimously that we would encourage, but not require members to wear name badges.

Situation about membership of Jay Carver

The board discussed, and a formal announcement will be forthcoming.

Member Survey

The board deferred this to the next meeting

2016/2017 BOD Goals - Lance

  • Member Engagement - I think the member badge contest was an overall good thing last year. Let's try to do other things to keep our members engaged and enhance the community of makers. Pot Lucks/food during cleaning days are a good thing. perhaps a contest every few months?
  • Dust Collection - Wood shop. The wood shop really needs much better dust collection. I'd like significant effort to focus on getting it to be a clean, safe space. -Lance
  • Signs & Awnings Outside - Let's go through the ordinances, contact the city, and put some beauty on the exterior of our building. -Lance
  • Improvements to Entryways & Meeting area - I think we can do some beautification. I have some ideas and sketches for the next board meeting if you would put it on the agenda Lance. -Carl
  • Update Web Site -Carl

Other potentials for the list - I'd like your thoughts on these:

  • Laser Cutter - run a funding campaign and acquire a new laser cutter for the 'space -Lance
  • Chairs and Tables - the meeting room chairs are becoming dangerous because many are broken - Keith

The board elected to defer this item to the next meeting

Good of the Space

"Spring Fever" Maker outing - Shane

Lance wanted to mention that Shane is organizing an “outdoor” activity in the “fresh air” whatever that means


Mr Fixit Night

DL will be sending out an announcement for a Mr Fixit Night


The meeting was adjourned at 10:00

boardmeetingagenda/2016-03-17.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/18 17:03 by keithm