SBMT Board Meeting

March 9, 2022

Board Members present: Doy Charnsupharindr, Barbara Heninger, Michael Hirsch, Ed Hunter, Sharon Peng, Tipu Purkayastha, Steve Sammonds, Dan Singletary, Jay Steele, Aly Suleman

Ex Officio: Sara Dean, Jeffrey Henson, Doug Hughes, Braden Taylor (partial)


MOTION: Move to invest 37 to 50% of current cash-on-hand into a moderate-to-conservative investment plan. Motion passed.


Barbara and Steve Sammonds will use Election Buddy to set up the Board member election (time frame for election expected June or July).

Board Members all expect to contribute activity to the 60th Anniversary event in 2023.

Reports and Discussion

Facilities – Jeffrey

  • Had to update lighting fixtures in the studio
  • No blankets at the theater yet – anti-fire blankets not available right now (supply chain issues). However, we won’t need them for On the Town.

Marketing – Doug

  • Steve Stubbs passed, and we noted our thanks to him for his work on our behalf
  • Edited website with Kathy Switky, who reviewed all the pages.

CTO – Dan

  • Reprinting tickets because of rescheduled shows – Kama & Diane
  • Projectors installed, they look great!
  • Stair update at theater started. No practical access to the booth for about 2 weeks.

Finance – Braden

  • Because of pandemic and unusual situations in 2021, we didn’t really have a formal budget this year. However, materials and costs for our one show were kept tight.
  • The increase to the minimum wage does drive our costs up.
  • Our cash reserves are okay.
  • Moved to a new insurance company that specializes in non-profits; also updated some of our insurance to handle workers’ comp, instead of a separate package.
  • Brokerage account is set up, can accept stocks, bonds, donations
  • Our financial advisor and Kathy are working on literature for us on giving donor advised funds rather than just cash.

Investment choices – Braden

  • Braden and Sara met with the financial advisor to discuss different financial investment strategies.
  • Suggest that we base our overall strategy on identifying a certain percentage that is needed as cash on hand, and invest the rest. Can be split between different levels of risk.
  • Note that we do not pay taxes on the investment gains because we are a non-profit. Also, the financial advisor charges less to us as a non-profit.
  • Suggest because we have accumulated some funds due to heavy grant activities that we move a certain amount now, then Braden and the financial advisor, with Sara and Michael, will present an investment plan and strategy to the Board for approval.

MOTION: Move to invest 37 to 50% of current cash on hand into a moderate-to-conservative investment plan. Motion passed.

Chairperson – Michael

  • It’s Board nominating time. Michael shared supporting links in his slides
  • Two-year membership period ending in July: Ed, Raiña, Sharon, Dan, and Jay. Any of them could decide to remain for another two years.
  • Barbara & Steve volunteer to work on Election Buddy for the election
  • There is a new alias for potential candidates: Mail it with any candidate suggestions!
  • How it works: the general membership chooses three members via the top three vote-getters; then the Board chooses the remaining members (in this case, 2; normally 3)


  • Two recent programs, Name That Show Tune and tap workshops by Francesca Cipponeri.
  • Sara working on an upcoming educational event based on all the dramaturgy material being gathered now for On the Town!

Community, Inclusion, & Accountability – Sharon

  • Planning to meet March 25.

Development & Fundraising – Barbara

  • Planning to meet March 22.
  • Donation activity has been steady, nothing major at the moment.
  • SBMT Membership meeting – set date for May 21, 2-4pm.
    Event is like an expanded Board meeting, but includes service awards for members. Suggest, and Board agreed, that we include donors and subscribers at the event as well. Discussed technical needs, will keep it minimal.
  • As noted previously, we now have a brokerage account. Suggest we include a table at On the Town and the member meeting to advertise the new ways to donate with printed brochures, as well as having material on our website.
  • 60th Anniversary event, in April of 2023: Sara suggests “Wishing on a Star” theme, with concert event(s) at the Civic Theater and a time for “schmoozing” and snacks in the Community Center. We will need all hands from the Board. Thank you to those who spoke up for some specific activities already! (Sharon: flowers/décor; Jay: programming, especially events tied to past history; Doug: auction set-up; Barbara, Doy, & Aly: wherever needed.

Organization Committee – Jay

  • Submitted request for an intern through Foothill’s internship program
  • Met with West Valley College theater department head to discuss setting up some kind of internship for SBMT through WVC. Encouraging; no activity right now, however, because WVC is short-staffed.

Vision and Planning – Steve

  • Defined the periods for “vision”: short (6mos-2yrs), medium (2-5yrs), and long (5-10yrs) term
  • Priority goals right now: how to survive the next 12-18 months (as COVD changes, maybe more “normal” activity)
  • How to consider the financial aspect of programming – for example, the eStudio has been good for us artistically during the pandemic, but it requires manpower hours and now there are other pressures and things to do. What are the resources to do any of the things in the priorities from the retreat?

Executive Director – Sara

On the Town costs are a little higher; rehearsal pianists and scenic painters are hard to find and cost more. Taking a lot of focus right now, as it ramps up. Staffing is challenging for most groups right now.

Working with Braden on 2022/23 projections and budget. (Company is in our “normal” 2022-23 time, though it’s part of 2021-22 season).

Volunteer Needs:

  • April 9, 10-4pm Blossom Festival – (Tipu volunteers)
  • April 2, 9, & 16 – Scenic painting at the shop
  • Studio & Costume Rental Manager – need someone to handle that. Sara planning on what such a person would do.

Looking at long-term expenses – we are financially on solid ground right now. Three to five year status is more vague; investment planning will help. How do we stay a viable company? Our expenses are now higher than what would be typical for our past donation levels.

Rehearsal Studios – would like to look at an overhead cost reduction. Studio lease up in 2024. We use it but not a huge amount. Could we partner with another group, rent some space elsewhere? Sara is investigating possibilities.

Moving ahead with the two shows for 2023 as Sarah mentioned (as yet unannounced). Wishing on a Star / anniversary is our “concert,” plus checking with Brad to see if he wants to do something next year. Directors are being contacted; Sara will co-direct one of the shows.

Question from Board member: What metrics need to change for us to change our choices on masks? We promised the audience members for Broadway in Love that everyone would be masked and don’t have time to change that for April 17, so masking rules will remain as before for the audience in that one. Likely Cast members will not have to wear masks during the show.

Ideas for metrics to use in deciding on our mask protocols:

  • Follow Santa Clara County recommendations (even if no mandate, follow the recommendation)
  • Keep working with the other theaters to see what they’re doing, so we are consistent.

Respectfully Submitted March 9, 2022 by Barbara Heninger. Modified through March 12.