Minutes of the 2020 Virtual Board of Trustees Meeting Conducted online on 26 April 2020
Call to Order
The 2020 Board of Trustees Meeting was convened electronically at 14:22 hours EDT.
Trustees and Officers present: A. Heather Wood, Richard Factor, H. Paul Shuch
Trustees and Officers absent: Martin Schreiber
A quorum is present.
Minutes of 2019 Membership and Board Meetings
The Minutes of the 2019 Membership Meeting and Board of Trustees Meeting having been previously posted to The SETI League's World Wide Web site, a motion was passed to accept the minutes as posted.
Developed jointly by Dr. Shuch and Secretary/Treasurer Heather Wood, covering the calendar year 2019 (as e-filed).
Revenues: Dues and Contributions ,14.369; Interest Income $12; Total $14,381.
Expenses: Grant Disbursement $4,056; Educational/Scientific Programs $12,650; Management/General $1,624; Fundraising $1,080; Total $19,410.
Revenues minus Expenses: ($5,030).
End of 2019, SETI League account balances equalled $19,634. 2019 beginning net assets $19,634.
Executive Director's Report
During 2019, the Executive Director:
published four issues of SearchLites, the quarterly newsletter of The SETI League, Inc.
gave SETI public lectures in Baltimore MD and Cherry Hill NJ.
performed 52 weekly updates of The SETI League website
posted roughly 100 photos, plus numerous links and comments, to The SETI League Facebook page
issued one press release
was elected an Emeritus member of the International Academy of Astronautics SETI Committee
responded to several dozen email and telephone inquiries from members and prospective members.
Ms. Wood reports that eight new members joined The SETI League during 2019, and we have three new members so far this year.
The SETI Instutute has yet to provide Mr. Factor with details regarding their OSETI equipment, though he still has plans to install an Optical SETI observatory at his Sedona AZ location. Prof. Shuch suggests that Mr. Factor contact Dr. Andrew Siemion, director of the University of California, Berkeley SETI Program, for information about their Optical SETI projects and technology.
Absent an Awards Committee Chair, only one website received the SETI SuperStar award during the year 2019. There were no Giordano Bruno Awards or Orville N. Greene Awards presented for contributions during 2019. Nominations from members for all awards will be solicited in an upcoming issue of SearchLites.
Annual financial updates have been posted to the Website, and published in SearchLites.
Mr. Factor reports that the website continues to function well. We continue to use a commercial email service for official SETI League communications. Prof. Shuch reports that his emails to firstname.lastname@example.org are going unanswered. Ms. Wood replies that she has not been checking this email address, and Prof. Shuch requests that she do so periodically.
The Electrical Engineering department at Florida Institute of Technology has concluded its grant activity in support of the Interstellar Beacon initiative. All Grant funds have been remitted. Prof. Shuch reports that he and Mr. Kitchen have deemed unlikely the viability of achieving meaningful interstellar range at sufficiently high data rates, using available telescopes and laser transmitters. The project has therefore been terminated.
For the past several years, Ms. Wood has been unsuccessful in migrating our email Press List to Mail Chimp. Thus, The SETI League website and Facebook page remain our only two means of disseminating press releases.
Ms. Wood continues to retrieve voicemail messages occasionally via cellphone. Prof. Shuch requests she try to do so once per week. She reports that the vast majority are spam calls. Mr. Factor notes that some telephone companies offer voice to text services, and asks Ms. Wood to check on the availability of such a service from MCI, who provides The SETI League's phone lines.
Election of Officers
The following slate of officers was retained for an additional one-year term:
President - Richard Factor, serving without compensation
Secretary/Treasurer - A. Heather Wood
Executive Director Emeritus - H. Paul Shuch, serving on a volunteer basis
Registered Agent - Anthony Agnello
The draft 2020 Budget is adopted by the Board.
Tax Return Filing
The Secretary/Treasurer reports that she was successful in eFiling our organizational tax return using the electronic Form 990N postcard, and having it timely accepted by the IRS.
Mid-Year Renewal Letter
Ms. Wood reports that a letter to lapsed members, offering them discounted dues for renewal, is forthcoming.
New Jersey Charities Registration
Ms. Wood was informed by the State of New Jersey that we were delinquent in our annual New Jersey Charities registration. She reports that all forms have been filed and fees paid. Prof. Shuch reports that he continues to receive requests for further information from the State of New Jersey. Ms. Wood requests that he forward all such requests to her.
The next Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday 18 April 2021. The date has been verified as not in conflict with the National Association of Broadcasters meeting, Easter, or Passover. The meeting will be at Eventide, Inc. at 1300 hours EDT, to be followed immediately by the Board of Trustees meeting. The date and time will be announced to the membership via the website and newsletter.
The Executive Director Emeritus reviewed with the Board of Trustees the previously adopted terms for cost-sharing of his health insurance premiums, as a program expense, which will continue at last year's percentage, pending availability of funds and subject to periodic review.
The Executive Director Emeritus thanks members of our Advisory Board for more than two and one-half decades of service.
Good and Welfare
The SETI League's Facebook page www.facebook.com/setileague has (as of this morning) attracted 1,416 "likes" (up 62 since last year), 1444 "follows" (up 80 from last year),numerous member posts, and considerable discussion among members.
The Annual Board of Trustees Meeting was adjourned by the Executive Director Emeritus at 14:54 hours EDT on 26 April 2020.
Respectfully submitted by Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director Emmeritus