September 9, 2018 ZA Board Meeting Minutes

September 9, 2018 Zimfest Association Board Meeting Synopsis

Members in Attendance: Daniel Lockley, Jacqueline Fallon, Chris Halaska, Evelyn Mukwedeya, Mandy Walker-LaFollette, Alex Weeks, Janis Weeks
Members Absent: none
Non-voting member in attendance: Claire Jones

Review/Modify Agenda (All)

Send written appreciation for David with a gift.

Tech Initiative (Alex/Janis)

The tech. committee is planning to meet once a month. The last meeting they spent debriefing and looking at the website to make it more user friendly. There are no ongoing cost with RegFox.

Organizing Committee Update (Claire/Mandy)

The organizing committee meet, but did not get the debriefing complete. Claire is still not a sure who is coming back and who isn’t. There is no bill yet from WOU. There were some irregular things happening this year. They didn’t pay very good attention to set up requests. Claire is planning to schedule a debriefing with WOU.

There are issues to work at resolving for the next ZF, such as staffing, making sure all areas are covered. Claire ends up covering a lot and would like to decrease her stress level. The marketplace area needs some continuity and coordination. There has been one person working on pre-Zimfest tasks and one person on site but there is no one to pass along the information except for Claire. Not all the vendors are registering for rooms and meals. Some of the vendors are applying after the deadlines, but then people fall through the cracks with registering. Some people are abusing the system. We need to somehow be enforcing rules. Several years ago we were losing money on the marketplace so we upped the fee and added a commission. Two have complained about the commission. There should be a zero tolerance policy. It’s not fair for others who do respect the rules.

Some other suggestions are name tags for OC and board members so they can be easily identified during the festival. Consider acknowledging all teachers and not just Zimbabwean teachers. Have a list of OC members on website as well as other support volunteers – they are currently listed in just the Festival Guide.

Update on Potential New OC/Board Members (Daniel)

Three separate people contacted Daniel expressing an interested in volunteering but identified no specific tasks. One also expressed an interest in being on the board. Evelyn will follow up from the meeting with the Zimbabweans to see how how we want to proceed with our communication and collaboration. Claire has 15 people on the volunteer list from ZF to be reaching out to for creating a possible OC.

Zimfest 2019 (All)

It will take some time to work through the list of possible volunteers to learn their level of interest. We are trending to hold a festival next year, but need to communicate where we are at with a good support of volunteers and asking for more.

Fundraising Drive and Engagement (Jacqueline)

There needs to be a thank you to donors. We need to come up with a system for sending thank yous out.

Preliminary Update on Festival Finances (Chris)

We brought in about 16% more than what we were expecting. We did increase the rooms and the workshop fees. This year we sold out on the t-shirts. There were approx. 250 people each for Fri and Sat. night concerts and 125 for the Sun. concert.

Review Festival Survey Responses (All)


  • Several comments on liking where the afternoon concert was set up.

Areas of Improvement/Concern

  • There are some concerns that we are looking into.
  • The food was not good this year.
  • Can there be another dining package option?
  • North American teachers may not feel appreciated, they are sometimes not teaching as much as some of the Zimbabwean teachers. We need to find the balance between both groups of teachers.
  • We need to work at showing the teachers that they are valued and that we want them to teach at Zimfest. We may not necessarily be able to offer them more classes.
  • Sometimes volunteers show up to their volunteer slot but then felt like they were not needed. Some streamlining has been done but more still to do.

Next Steps

  • Noticed there were several comments that are ones we don’t have any control over. We just need to relay some of that information more and better.
  • Notes to the community – Include a section of “here’s what we can’t do anything about” and another of “here are some things that we appreciate your feedback” and “here are somethings that we can work on”, anymore feedback?

Next Meeting

October 14th, 6:30pm PST on Google Hangout