Elections!

GameCamp Lecture

WESIAA is evolving into a professional association for game developers in Alberta. As we make this transition, we will need some strong leadership to get us to our destination. As a result, we will be holding elections in the last half of January 2018 for our board of directors. Our board of directors is currently a volunteer administrative governing board (operations board), but in our transition to a professional association, we will eventually be changing the structure of the board to be more policy and governance focused.

Currently, we have four executive positions open: President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. We are also looking to fill several board vacancies and we want the board to be diverse and also comprised of the community. To us, this community includes developers (students, indies, medium and large-sized studios), post-secondary institutions, student organizations, governments, and more. You do not need to be a game developer to nominate yourself or others to the board.

Please be aware that we see this election as an opportunity for a soft transition. Our current President and Vice-President will take the next year to teach you all that you need to know to be successful.

We realize the need to expand our board to encompass a wide gamut of skills. The following form is for both nominations of yourself or others to be a part of our board.If you think you have what it takes to be a part of WESIAA, please sign up at this link:

WESIAA 2018 Elections Nominee Form

Nominations close on December 31st, 2017. Board elections will take place in person at our Annual General Meeting, which we will announce in early January. Details will be forthcoming.

Executive Position Descriptions

President

The President shall be a director, and shall be charged with the general management and supervision of the affairs and operations of the Society. The President shall when present, preside at all meetings of the members of the Society and of the Board of Directors. During the absence or inability of the President, his or her duties and powers shall be exercised by the Vice-President.

Vice-President

The Vice-President shall be a director, and shall have such duties and powers as the directors may specify and delegate. During the absence or inability of the President, his or her duties and powers shall be exercised by the Vice-President.

Secretary

The Secretary shall be a director, and shall attend and be the Secretary of all meetings of the directors and members and, as and when requested, be the Secretary of all committees of directors. The Secretary shall enter or cause to be entered in records kept for that purpose minutes of all proceedings at such meetings, shall give or cause to be given, as and when instructed or required, all notices to members, directors, officers, auditors and members of committees of directors, shall be the custodian of the corporate seal of the Society, and shall have such other powers and duties as the directors may specify and delegate. The Secretary shall at all reasonable times exhibit his or her records to any director of the Society, or to a member of the Society as required by the Act or by the directors.

Treasurer

The Treasurer shall be a director. The Treasurer shall ensure that financial records are prepared for the Society and maintained in accordance with the Act, that Financial Statements are prepared on an annual basis, or more frequently as the directors may specify, that appropriate accounting principles and policies are used in the preparation of those Financial Statements, and shall carry out such other duties and powers as the directors may specify and delegate to the Treasurer from time to time. The Treasurer shall ensure that the directors and the auditor have access to such accounting records and Financial Statements.

FAQ

What is an administrative governing board? How is it different from a policy governing board?

The Alberta Government defines the administrative governing board as a board that “sets policy, and then appoints either the executive committee or a standing committee to implement the policy.” Typically, this executive committee or standing committee “carries out the day-to-day work of the organization.” A policy governing board sets policy, but then delegates the day-to-day operations of the organization to an executive director.

How much time is required from a board member?

Board members should typically give about 7-10 hours of their time per week. The President and Vice President may have other duties that take up additional time, such as stakeholder meetings, and other general administrivia. As projects manifest and progress, it is possible that more of your time will be needed.

What is meant by a “soft transition”?

In the case of WESIAA, a “soft transition” means that the President and current Vice President will dedicate a large portion of their time to providing context, advice, and participation in the operations of the organization. While formal decision-making authority will lie with the new board, the intent of the soft transition is to ensure that the work that has been done in the last few years is not lost and that a proper succession plan is executed. As the new board and the new executive become better acquainted with the systemic issues related to games culture and the games industry in Alberta, the old executive will gradually reduce their commitment.

What should I be doing as a board member?

The Alberta Government has a great resource on the roles and responsibilities of a not-for-profit board that you can read here.

What direction is the board following?

In the long-term, that will be up to the board and the community. The board’s mission may be ambiguous and require flexibility and agility as the landscape evolves. Ultimately, as long as the board is able to move the industry forward in a sustainable and inclusive manner, it will have leeway to operate as it sees fit.

In the short-term, the WESIAA board will be undertaking many different tasks to ensure the long-term sustainability of Alberta’s games industry. The current board has laid out a strategic planning roadmap that takes a systems perspective of some, but not all, of the elements that we believe will be required to move our community forward. Importantly, we know that we must make the leap from a not-for-profit comprised of passionate community members to a professional association staffed by full-time experts who are always pushing to do the right things to build up our industry.

For specifics, the board recently ratified a decision to begin a six-month long process to engage stakeholders for the purpose of determining a leadership framework around roles, actions, and policy to enable a strong and vibrant Alberta games industry. These engagement sessions are currently in the planning stage and will serve as the new board’s introduction and transition into fully understanding the scope of the issues that surround our province’s industry. In addition, the board will also be taking over the operations of the Game Discovery Exhibition (GDX Edmonton) as well as GameCamp Edmonton. Lastly, our roadmap includes elements of membership building as well as robust data collection to inform future decision-making.

I’m not from Edmonton, can I still be part of this board?

Heck yes. In fact, we would love more representation from other parts Alberta on our board, so please sign up if you think you can commit to presenting your city or region’s perspective on game development in Alberta!

Will the board be paid?

No, the WESIAA board is volunteer only.

I’m involved in x and y initiatives. Is this a conflict of interest and should I still put my name forward as a nominee?

As board members have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the organization, and because the organization’s goals revolve around the establishment of a sustainable games industry, conflicts of interest are not to be taken lightly. Not all conflicts of interest mean that you cannot participate on the WESIAA board. It may mean that you must abstain from certain votes, or it could mean that you recuse yourself from a discussion. Please take a look at this resource (from Quebec) to understand if you may or may not have a conflict of interest; it has many relevant points, but not all rules apply to Alberta not-for-profit organizations.

I’m interested in being a board member, but I have some specific questions. Who can I talk to?

Please feel free to leave a comment on this website, or reach out to our current board via contact@wesiaa.org.