As required by Article IV, Section 1, of the Bylaws of The Heinlein Society (PDF file at http://www.heinleinsociety.org/bylaws/), the Annual Meeting of the General Membership of The Heinlein Society will convene on Sunday, 7 September 2014, beginning at 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time. If you are in a different time zone, you are encouraged to make use of the “World Clock” internet sites to double-check (including the use of Daylight Savings Time) the start time in your area. The email distribution and website posting of this Notice satisfy the requirement of timely notification in Article IV, Section 4.
The aforementioned new Bylaws have been modified such that physical attendance at the Annual Meeting, at a specified geographical site (in the past, usually at the World Science Fiction Convention), is no longer mandated. Instead, in an effort to expand attendance and ownership of the Society’s business by the general members, the Board has decided to conduct the 2014 Annual Meeting via a telephone conferencing service. The teleconferencing service will have available either a direct toll call to a North American area code, a “local” (i.e., not an international toll call) proximate phone number in Europe or Asia, or access via VOIP. If you reside internationally, there are also some international phone services we can suggest that, for a one-time fee of about US$10.00, can connect you very cheaply (US$0.01 per minute to Europe or Asia in some cases).
The Board has already sent out to the membership an advanced notice that voting for the three open seats on the Board of Directors, plus a handful of “referendum” type questions, will begin shortly via an electronic voting service. That vote will fulfill the function of an on-site vote for the Board that has happened in the past, and will “count” whether or not you attend the Annual Meeting. This process is similar to the way the science fiction Hugo or Nebula Awards are chosen.
To participate in the Annual Meeting, you will be asked to (a) register with the teleconferencing service via your computer; (b) use a log in name that is obviously similar to your name on the membership rolls; (c) separately phone in to one of the provided phone numbers; and (d) read the Data Package, before the Meeting begins, that will sent out about a week before 7 September, containing the Meeting Agenda, Minutes from the 2013 Annual Meeting, and the various reports by the Board. As you log in, your name will be checked off against our membership list for the purpose of determining attendance and Quorum, even if you leave mid-meeting. Some people have experienced problems registering and logging in the first time, so we encourage that part of the process to be done well before the start time; you can do the actual phoning in a few minutes before the start time.
We envision the Meeting process to be that Members will listen in to the various speakers on the phone, while “following along” visually on the specific page numbers cited in the Data Package. Because of cross-talk issues, we will have a Meeting Manager who controls the various microphones, but we plan to open the discussion to the “floor” frequently and periodically.
Visitors are welcome, but according to the Bylaws only regular members (US$35.00 dues paid anytime between 7 September 2013 and 7 September 2014) may vote at the Annual Meeting. Motions and seconds will be entertained by open microphone. Because a mass voice vote may be difficult on the teleconferencing service, we will probably ask for votes in the negative, e.g., “Are there any objections to….” If there are no objections the motion will be recorded in the Minutes as “by acclamation.” If a split vote occurs, we will poll on audio by name from the attendance roster for “Aye” or “Nay”.
This procedure is an experiment, and like many first experiments, it will be prone to glitches and unforeseen problems. We hope, with sufficient preparation, that the meeting can go smoothly and quickly.
You should anticipate update messages between now and 7 September, with more specific instructions. If you have any questions or comments about the Annual Meeting or your membership status, please address them to Keith Kato at .
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
/s/ Keith G. Kato
The Heinlein Society