January 16, 2022

Meeting called to order at 2:02 PM CT.


Nicole Locker – President
Michelle McCraw – VP of Programs
Katrina Marie – VP of Communications
Jennifer Noseworthy – VP of Workshops
Cheryl Barton – Secretary
Stephanie Derbas – Treasurer
Melanie Greene – Past President

Minutes of Last Board Meeting

Minutes of last meeting approval: Katrina Marie moves, Stephanie Derbas seconds, all are in favor, and none opposed.


President’s Report

Report given by Nicole Locker, 2022 President.

  • Note – Town hall meetings – keep to every other month or once a month?
    • Katrina recommends keep to monthly, new members meeting every other month. Nicole attended the most recent – one person attended.
  • 2022 Timeline:
    • Quarter 1
      • January 16: Q1 Board Meeting
      • February ?: Audit Committee Review
        • Nicole noted that there is one volunteer for the Audit committee. Laurie Ryan is the one volunteer. Nicole will share her contact information with Stephanie. If we need more, we will try to round up a few more people. Let Nicole know.
        • Mel – This is the first time that we’ve done an audit. An audit is looking at what we have as we undertake being an independent organization. We want to make sure all the numbers are in the right place from last year. From a regulatory standpoint, the audit from last year will be an important one and can serve as a baseline. One person working with Stephanie can do it.
      • March 5: Stiletto Contest Opens
          • Michelle is moving ahead with this.
      • March ?: Mentor Program #1 Begins
        • Mariah Ankenman and Cathy McDavid are member volunteers, dates will be decided among them and Nicole on exact start date.
    • Quarter 2
      • April 3: Q2 Board Meeting
        • Sunday April 3rd; will keep the current time.
      • April 8: Stiletto Contest Closes
      • May 27: Stiletto Unpub Scores Due
      • May 31: Stiletto Unpub Finalists Announced
      • June 24: Stiletto Pub Scores Due
      • June 28: Stiletto Pub Finalists Announced
    • Quarter 3
      • July 8-10: Virtual Conference
        • Masters class add on for the 8th
        • July 9: AGM (Q3 Board Meeting) + Stiletto Awards Ceremony
        • July 9-10: Pitch Event (1 of 2)
      • September ?: Mentor Program #2 Begins
    • Quarter 4
      • October 16-30: 2023 Board Elections open
        • October 2023 for elections to open – what does that look like?
        • Do we keep it open for 2 weeks? Mel will check to be sure. She believes it’s two weeks to have people nominate or self-nominate. Elections are then held and we are done. Only one person per seat for this year, making it easy to close out.
        • Dates for October 2022, 16th – 30th.
          • Then you have November to do the transitions.
      • October 15: Nanowrimo Group opens
        • Katrina has a helper for this year.
      • November 13: Q4 Board Meeting
        • Where we invite the newly elected people to transition.
      • November 1: Novel Celebration opens
      • November 1: File 990N
        • Nicole – Who files this? Nicole does, per Mel. Takes a few seconds to complete.
    • Need to set dates for:
      • In Person Retreat #1 (Michelle, can you coordinate with committee?)
      • In Person Retreat #2 (Michelle, can you coordinate with committee?)
      • Pitch Event #2 (Kathy Wheeler is helping Nicole plan for this)
      • Writing Challenges (Nicole can coordinate this with Carla Luna Cullen)
      • Accountability Groups (Nicole can coordinate this with Tanya Agler)
      • Audit Review (Stephanie, can you coordinate with Laurie Ryan?)
      • Mentor Programs (Spring and Fall) (Nicole can coordinate with Mariah and Cathy)
      • Chapter Led Sprints
        • Nicole – can anyone volunteer or are we good with the couple of days we have now? Nicole will look at a different time or day away from her usual Thursday.
        • Michelle has Saturdays but can’t do evenings.
        • Let Nicole know if anyone else has availability to host any sprints

Treasurer’s Report

Report given by Stephanie Derbas, 2022 Treasurer. 

  • Current balances:
    • PNC funds are $38,307.53 as of December 31, 2021
    • PayPal as of yesterday (01/15/2022) is $730.31
  • Ainsley removed all of the automated rules in QuickBooks to fix problems that were occurring. She sent Mel what she needs for the IRS for when Erin files the form to establish ourselves as an independent organization, disaffiliating from RWA.
  • Outstanding debts – none to note
  • Mel stated she is owed $50 from the mailing to the IRS. Once the IRS cashes her personal check, CRW will reimburse this expense.  Mel will let us know when that clears.

Secretary’s Report

Report given by Cheryl Barton, 2022 Secretary. 

  • Nicole will show Cheryl how to pull membership numbers from the back end of the website. Per Nicole, it looks like we had 248 members as of today (01/16/2022).

VP of Programs Report

Report given by Michelle McCraw,  2022 VP of Programs.

  • Stiletto – Had a meeting last week for Stiletto. Nola will be the chair for that and will run the activity. Michelle will have a follow-up meeting in a few weeks to prepare to accept entries on March 5th. She’s still looking for more volunteers for judges and entrants.
    • Nicole on Stiletto volunteers– She and Katrina were on a clubhouse meeting and got an idea. When asking for volunteers, break it down to people helping on a short-term basis so that it doesn’t feel like a huge undertaking long-term. That may help with volunteers. Michelle can post in the FB group about the Stiletto volunteers and set a time frame around what’s needed. Each role is different. She will be specific about the time needed.
    • Nicole – One thing mentioned on the member welcome meeting, Dayna Reidenouer is one person to link in. She has great ideas. Could possibly help with stiletto.
    • Nicole on emails – we send one newsletter a month to members – perhaps send emails more frequent as things are happening during the month – perhaps a weekly email – on workshops, townhalls, etc. She may do that and see how it goes and ask if members feel like that’s a good or not good thing to test it out.
  • Virtual conference – Michelle and Nicole have reached out to people to have workshops and sponsors lined up. Looking at the list, we need more diverse speakers. If you know of anyone to pull in, she welcomes ideas. Michelle has scheduled a kickoff meeting for next Saturday afternoon (1/22/2022). If anyone know of others, put their names in the slack channel. She will do a push starting on Tuesday.
    • Mel – Do we have a master spreadsheet to start record things like who we asked in order to keep track? Michelle started a document adding to the one Mel sent. She will drop it into slack.
  • Retreat
    • COVID makes having an in-person retreat a little hard. It may be possible to schedule on in late spring and the Fall. Will need to lock down the speaker and the dates.
  • Pitch Event
    • Michelle hasn’t moved on the pitch event yet. Nicole is the lead for the pitch event.

VP of Workshops Report

Report given by Jennifer Noseworthy, 2022 VP of Workshops. 

  • No information about income from workshops yet this year. First workshops will close at the end of January and she will have numbers then.
  • 35 members signed up for the Members Only workshop for January, and the paid workshops for January have 22 signups combined so far.
  • No issues with workshops or instructors. Jennifer has been monitoring.

VP of Communications Report

Report given by Katrina Marie, 2022 VP of Communications. 

  • She and Nicole worked to clear out old issues in email.
  • Social media – she is working on ways to post more than once every few weeks. She is posting about February workshops this month to keep reminders out for people who are following. Not much going on.
  • Nicole – We have overhauled website and have our own membership portal. We are fixing things along the way. There are some glitches with renewals that she has to manually fix when it comes to expirations.
  • Nicole – Suggests using Slack more for the membership. Perhaps create a tip sheet on how to do basic things in Slack. Maybe have a Q&A channel on how to operate in Slack.

Committee Reports

  • Katrina – Nano
    • She will get with the nano volunteer (Stephanie Bourbon) see if she wants to do anything for the mini camps. One will be in April and one in July. Stephanie Derbas (VP) will also help. Add both Stephanies and they will spread the responsibility out.

Business Matters

  • Disaffiliation
    • Mel – disaffiliation process/ Bylaws, PPM, Code of Ethics
      • All of this is getting us officially recognized by the IRS as a 501c6 organization. It’s a long process, which is expected. The steps are, first have to get the Texas Secretary of State to remove reference to RWA. That’s outstanding. She filled in the form, sent in and they said to send a restatement document. She can’t send it on their form. She had to send everything they wanted but on plain paper back in October. She resent everything in mid-December. There is paperwork that our lawyer, Erin will fill out for us based off of the information we give her. We need to send her the drafts of our bylaws and our code of ethics and conflict of interest documents – all the things we developed but have not formalized. Nicole and Mel need to look over them again before they are submitted to her. Nicole will need to go back through the bylaws. Nicole will post the documents to the Slack channel and asks everyone to review again and not anything that stands out. Deadline to review is next weekend.
  • Documents to review:
    • Bylaws
    • P&P 2022
    • Code of ethics
    • Conflict of interest
  • Vote on amount to pay Nonprofit lawyer $275/hour billed monthly, expects to take a few billable hours in total. $2,000
    • Vote on amount to pay nonprofit lawyer – she charges $275/hour. She will not charge us a retainer because she knows us. She will bill us monthly. Her work will take a few billable hours in total. Consider $1000. Other lawyers were between $5,000 – $9,000 dollars
    • Katrina recommended $2,000. Board voted and agreed to start with $2,000, assuming this amount will cover Erin’s costs. Nicole – do we want to start at 1,000?
  • PNC bank update status
    • Mel – She needs something that says Nicole is the president and take Mel off. Michelle is the backup on the account. Mel needs a letter from CRW that the incoming president is Nicole. Everything will then move from Mel to Nicole in the PNC system. Mel will then do it as close to when Nicole can go to a PNC.
    • Cheryl will include the names of the board President in the meeting minutes and Mel can use that as a reference for the bank stating that as of January 1, 2022, Nicole Locker is the new CRW President.
  • In-Person retreat:
    • Do we pay for board members to attend in-person retreat, one or both? Board agreed to delay this discussion until there is more information on when/where, etc. We can always call a special meeting to discuss outside of board meetings. Michelle said the speaker gave us dates in September or October. We need to check back once we decide to see if she is still available.

New Business

  • Membership drive
    • Check with other affiliates and their members for possible interest in CRW. Nicole will pull a list to connect with.
    • Mel recommended a $5.00 discount. Board voted and agreed.
  • Industry News
    • Pamela Ferguson sent her first article on industry news. Katrina sent it to Nicole.
  • Diversity committee
    • Mel, Nicole and Katrina are volunteers on this committee. This still needs a committee chairperson. They want to have the committee look at rules in scoring areas for the stiletto contest.
  • Writing retreats chair
    • Michelle had a volunteer or two from the west coast (Tu Quyen Pham & Rhonda Gilmour)

Meeting Adjourned

Meeting adjourned at 3:42 PM CT.