SBMT Board Meeting Minutes
Convened at 7:06
Present: Barbara Heninger, Michael Hirsch (late), Soni Kapoor, Stacy Levin, Elizabeth Matthews, Tipu Purkayastha, Steve Sammonds, Dan Singletary, Aly Suleman, Braden Taylor
Ex Officio: Sara Dean (ED), Doug Hughes (Marketing), Jeffrey Henson (Facilities)
Absent: Ed Hunter, Nicole Tung
Summary of Actions
- Braden will share annual budget and forecast spreadsheet with Board members, so they know where to find it in the Google Drive.
- BOARD: Block your calendar for December 3 for a Board retreat
- Soni & Barbara & Tipu: Discuss having Synopsys host the retreat, or Tipu’s current company.
- BOARD: Asked to consider ED’s proposal to reduce the number of performances of Spitfire Grill, give feedback to Sara if we have concerns, questions, or if we agree.
- BOARD will be asked to participate in year-end fundraising campaign (stuff envelopes, write personal notes) on November 14; please do so if you can
- BOARD: Let Barbara or Kama know if you have connections to local companies who could sponsor the 60th
- BOARD: Agreed to try to sponsor 60th Anniversary event at a level of $5,000 (total of our combined donations). Make a donation to SBMT noting it’s for the 60th or write to Barbara letting her know what you can give. If you are uncomfortable sharing the amount of your donation, please let her know and we’ll find another way to work it. Thank you!
- BOARD: Block your calendar for April 22, 2023, for our Anniversary event. All hands on deck.
- Braden will send out the list of tasks still needing champions for the 60th Anniversary event, and…
- BOARD members let Braden know what tasks they are interested in helping with.
- BOARD members: We need a production manager. If you know people who might be good, please get them in contact with Sara. Job description is available – need stage management experience.
- Barbara volunteered to help plan the opening night party for Spitfire Grill. (Anyone want to join me?)
See report sent prior to meeting. Notes: Now that we are supplying some detail such as the home towns, schools from participants, our publicist can get articles placed in local or even non-local papers. We had a couple of local-themed articles and also two TV interviews (with Justin and Lauren) for Company. Even for articles out of town, we can then post links on social media to encourage local buzz.
Facebook now provides us with age and gender demographics of people who follow us. See report for detail.
Scene shop ready to receive the set from Company this weekend.
CTO (Chief Technology Officer)
Attaching final notices to patrons’ seats to encourage final subscription renewals – currently at 68% renewals.
Planning to change our return policy from our COVID policy. During COVID, we let people cancel and we gave refunds, because people were afraid to mingle. Will return to our previous policy where if someone is sick or unable to attend, we give them credit for another show.
WVLO contracting with us for sound for Something Rotten. Trying to hire crew.
Building patron list for year-end fundraising drive, for Kathy Switky.
CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
Showed the annual budget and forecast so those members not familiar with it can see it. ACTION: Braden will share the Drive file with the Board.
Our current cash status is good due to two grants and very successful donation drive with season subscriptions. Our Ameriprise investment down a bit because stock market is down.
Investment discussion: We are investing only cash that we can set aside, leaving an established operating amount. The market is down now so it’s actually a good time to invest while stock costs are low
What is the protocol for moving money for investments? Do we need it to be happening more quickly than once a month (after a Board meeting)? No. Do we need Board approval for each time? Suggest that we always have a short discussion when CFO prepares to move money into investments so Board is aware. Note that the money is moved by SBMT, not by our financial advisor, and requires two-factor authorization.
Discussed the Board Retreat, potential topics to cover: Where are we going as a company, and what is our goal with productions?
Board Retreat date set: December 3. Sara is looking at a retreat center. Or perhaps Synopsys or Tipu’s company could host (we were able to use Synopsys in the past).
ACTION: All Board save the December 3 date.
ACTION: Barbara, Soni, Tipu discuss whether Synopsys or Tipu’s company could host.
We have an admin intern, Theo Fraguso. Yay!
Company at 61-62% sales. Talkback with 50+ teens, about 45 minutes after a show, very successful. Also 20 other theatergoers stayed.
Singin’ in the Rain – making casting offers now. Found a smaller orchestration. Still looking for one cast member. Considering a guest artist from Equity contract. Union performer in at the last 3 weeks. Discussed how this would work.
Immersive lobby experience. What if we make the lobby part of the show? Get some of the kids from the high schools, have them rehearse, get them to participate with the audience members. Barbara will follow up with Sara on how we might approach some of the teachers to help with this.
Spitfire Grill likely to be a lower selling show. Considering reducing the number of performances, possibly the Fridays of the second and third weekends.
ACTION: Asked Board to consider, give feedback to Sara if we have concerns, questions, or if we agree.
Community & Inclusion – Haven’t met recently. Sara wants to meet with C & I group to talk about youth programming and other topics.
Development and Fundraising
See Barbara’s slides
HOORAY for our two recent grants; our grant total YTD is $126K!! But … that doesn’t affect our goal of $150K in donations (individual, corporate matching, sponsors, and monthly donors). Keep the momentum going!
Year-end appeal letter to be mailed on November 14; need Board members to help stuff envelopes and write notes on letters to high-giving donors.
ACTION: Board will be asked to participate; please do so if you can
60th Anniversary event planning is rolling. Looking for corporate sponsors, anyone with connections with local companies, real estate agents, Silicon Valley Bank, other local groups that may be interested in participating in sponsoring the event. Noted that Applied Materials often gives to the arts, but that they now do it through a foundation with grants; grant-giving happens in January. Also suggest that the Board as a group sponsor the event – we can pool our amount. Agreed that our goal is a $5,000 total donation.
ACTION: Let Barbara or Kama know if you have connections to local companies who could sponsor the event.
ACTION: Make a donation to SBMT or write to Barbara letting her know what you can give. If you are uncomfortable sharing the amount of your donation, please let her know that and we’ll find another way to work it.
ACTION: Braden will send out the list of tasks still needing champions for the 60th Anniversary event; Board members let him know what tasks they are interested in.
Starting to clean up the Google drive, will start trying to audit what’s in there. Jay will continue on the team.
Vision and Planning
Will meet soon. Sara pulled a number of scripts and looking for shows from their “long list.” Sara resent list at the end of the meeting.
- We need a production manager. ACTION: If we know people who might be good, please get them in contact with Sara. Job description is available – need stage management experience.
- For next Board meeting: Discuss whether we want to move out of our current studio and set shop spaces in order to save on overhead, to use lower-cost spaces. Had some discussion of possibilities, logistics, one-time cost concerns, and timing (likely not until Summer 2023); plan to discuss in detail in November Board meeting.
- Need someone to organize the opening night of Spitfire Grill. Contact Sara. Barbara volunteered to help.
- We will announce next shows by January.
Respectfully submitted by Barbara Heninger, October 12, 2022