"Promoting Humanist Values and Critical Thinking on the South Coast"


Humanist Society of Santa Barbara

Minutes of the Board Meeting January 14th, 2020

Home of Mary Wilk      Host:  Wayne



Board members present:  Mary Wilk, Nan Cisney, David Echols, Judy Flattery, Diane Krohn, Wayne Beckman, Clover Brodhead Gowing and Neal Faught.


Board members absent: None.

Visitors:  None.


  1. Welcome/Call to Order: Judy Flattery
    • Judy called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
    • Open Action Items to be covered in specific sections.
    • What is the Society’s purpose? Members discussed their various reasons for being part of the HSSB.


  1. Secretary’s Report: Diane Krohn
    • The December 2019 meeting minutes were approved. Diane had made a small correction in Item 7.2, adding “pamphlet” after “membership.”
    • Action Item: Judy and Diane to meet and work on Speaker’s Packet and Ops Manual.  The Speaker’s Packet to include locations, length of talk time and time for questions; and remove honorariums.
    • Proposal to increase Membership cost: See Under Item 12.1, New Business.


  1. Treasurer’s Report: Neal Faught
    • Nonprofit status update: Roger: Judy has not heard from Roger. 
      • Action Item: Neal will meet with Roger to discuss and get update on 501(c)(3) status.
    • Action Item follow up: Neal is looking into reconciling GnuCash statements with bank statements. Roger acknowledged that he received it.
    • Update on check signing: Done. The documents were signed by Judy, Neal and Diane.
    • GnuCash has an updated feature to improve plotting. Neal showed the printout, and he is playing with it to see what it can do.  
    • Neal reviewed the Account Summaries. Judy suggested that we have a Year-to-Date income and Expenses by category.
    • Judy registered for Accounting for Non-Profits class at SBCC starting in late January. Judy will pay for the cost of the course. 


  1. Programs: Board:   
    • January meeting: Horus Wu to discuss self-driving cars. Judy will pick Horus up at the airport, take Horus to lunch and then Nan will take Horus to the Sea Center.  Wayne and Diane will join for lunch at the Boathouse (Hendry’s Beach). 
    • Door prize: Arts & Lectures Anita Hill tickets, for the February event.
    • Future speakers: See Agenda. There was discussion about reimbursement for the February meeting; we will pay $145 for a hotel.  Pepper Tree on State Street will probably be the best choice.  We get the Valle Verde rate which is $160. 
    • For the May speaker, Armin Navabi: Should we get a larger venue?  It was determined that Valle Verde would be suitable.   


  1. Publicity: David Echols
    • Sylvelin and Nan distributed the flyers for the January meeting. Most went to UCSB due to the subject matter. 
    • Distribution lists:
      • Google Group email list: Robert Bernstein, Judy and Nancy Wahl all have ability to make updates. There are Member and Non-member lists. They seem to be working out well. 
      • Can the responsibility to keep account of the 2 lists based on Mary’s monthly member list, visitor sign in sheet and other inputs be shifted to Nancy? Judy has been doing this but has been shifting it to Nancy.  
    • Action Item: Roger: Status of the Freethinkers Meetup group that he adopted.  Do they want to become HSSB members? No update. Judy had no response from Roger.


  1. Activities: Clover Brodhead Gowing and Nan Cisney
    • December Solstice party: Judy had some questions about the bill from the venue; the bar tab is in question. Anne suggested we call Danielle and ask her about it. 
    • Choir members: See under Item 12.2, New Business.


  1. Membership: Mary Wilk
    • Current membership:  
    • Action Item follow up: Cards and membership pamphlets: Nan and Diane distributed new cards and pamphlets to the Board.  These will be available at our sign-in table at meetings.


  1. Newsletter: Judy Flattery
    • Refer to Agenda. We are over 300 for our newsletter distribution.


  1. Webmaster: Wayne Beckman
    • Constant Contact was shut down in December 2019 and replaced with Google Groups. Constant Contact refunded our money because we had just paid them.


  1. President: Judy Flattery
    • Interest in JPL trip: No date yet.  Some members have shown interest in the trip and also in helping organizing it.  David is willing to help with transportation.  He thinks about $60 for the round-trip, which includes a gratuity to the driver. A coach bus will hold 50 people.  This would be restricted to members only. 
    • Judy to attend the Secular Leaders Conference of Southern California in Temecula, weekend of 2/28-3/1. Judy is willing to fund this herself.  Board members thought this should be paid by the Society.
    • Managing dinners: Nan would like to bow out of this.  Nan suggested Ed and Mary Taylor; Suzanne Spillman; or Judy Fontana may be possible to take over this responsibility. 


  1. Old Business:
    • Action Items covered in specific relevant sections.


  1. New Business:
    • Proposal to increase Membership cost: Diane proposed increasing Membership dues to allow members to attend meetings for free, and to alleviate congestion at the door.  Judy looked at the cost difference and determined that an increase of $5.80 per member would make up the difference in loss of payments at the door.  Refer to Agenda for Judy’s calculations.  There was discussion on how to implement and when to implement the membership fee increase.  Judy suggested starting in Fiscal Year July 2020.  Wayne moved that we increase the dues and eliminate the entrance fee to be revenue zero, effective July 2020, seconded by David.  Discussion:  Should we eliminate couple membership? It was decided to have membership at $45; couple at $65. Visitors will still be asked to pay $5; students and first-time visitors are no charge. All voted “aye.” Motion passed. 
    • Voices of Reason event: Clover suggested we have another event featuring Voices of Reason as a possible fund-raiser for them. There was discussion about having Voices of Reason come back for a fund raiser, or to consider them for perhaps the Summer Solstice/25th anniversary party.



  1. Adjournment
    • The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.
    • The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 11th at 5:30 p.m. at Mary’s house.
    • The host will be David.


Respectfully submitted,

Diane Krohn

February 11, 2020