Candidacy: Luis Villa

Bear with me, there might be a lot here :)

Name: Luis Villa
Email: louie ximian com
Affiliation: Novell, Inc.

74 word 'why me':
Getting adjusted on the board is a long-term process- I thought I'd have
a massive list of accomplishments from my first term, and I'm
disappointed to say I don't. That said, I now have a deep understanding
of the board, what our shortcomings are, and feel like we can do a lot
in the next year while becoming more focused on what is most important-
supporting GNOME development and developers.

Big picture:

In the past year on the board, I feel like I've accomplished a fair
amount- I've been able to represent the board and GNOME in a few places
I might not have otherwise, I've helped organize the upcoming summit,
and I've chipped in in a lot of little ways, like polishing the budget
and working for more open finances in general.

That said, I've learned far more about what I don't know than anything
else. To that end, I've been reading a lot on how foundations work in
the rest of the non-profit world, how boards and executive directors can
market non-profits, and other such. [I'd intended to take a Harvard
Business School class on non-profits, but my travels to Utah and India
prevented that. :/ I still bought the whole reading list. :)] So... my
goals for the new year:

* re-focus the board by concentrating on specific goals. We've done a
lot of scattered stuff, which has damaged us, I think. I want to frame
virtually everything we do in terms of two things: (1) how does activity
X help the GNOME developer community? and (2) how does activity Y help
market GNOME? I don't think that looking at everything through one of
those two lenses will eliminate many of the things we do, but I do think
that it will help focus and concentrate our efforts on some things.
[FWIW, I think the focus on (1) is something I learned from bugwork-
support is the only approach that makes sense for a group that is not
writing code.]

* manage tim and the budget better, and make both tim and the budget
more publicly visible. These activities, in the past, have not been
terribly well handled by the board. We've not done well setting goals
(see my first point) for the director and the budget, and the director
and the budget have been mostly opaque to the community at large, which
I believe damages our fundraising ability and hence our ability to help
developers. We've already gotten this ball rolling this year- I know
there haven't been many publicly visible results of this yet, but the
intent is definitely there and we've taken some concrete steps. I want
to spend the next year furthering those, again, keeping the two goals I
cited above in mind.

Basically, I think if I achieve the previous two goals, I'll have had a
succesful year as a board member- I think each will have significant
impact on how we work and what we achieve. But there are a couple of
other things I'd like to work on if the first two can be achieved easily
and early.

* fundraising. This year we've seen the first signs of a diversification
of gnome fundraising, with some success for the Friends of GNOME program
and our first grant. We need to follow up on those successes by (first)
repeating them ;) and (second) figuring out how to sell GNOME and the
foundation to other potential revenue sources, whatever those sources
may be (corporate, non-profit, or individual.) I feel the foundation
could bring $1/4M to GNOME development a year, if we play our cards
right. To a certain extent, this goal will stem from the marketing focus
I cited above, but it is a different type of marketing than 'GNOME is
great, people should use it everywhere.' [What we do with the money
after we've raised it again goes back to the two goals of my first

* repeatability. To a certain extent, the board and foundation still
make up a lot of stuff as we go along- planning for GUADEC and the
summit, for example, are not very documented processes and rely on
holdovers from the old board. Glynn has done great stuff working on this
for GUADEC, but we need to extend it to Summit and other board
activities (like relationships with the advisory board) so that
transitions between boards are faster and require less ramp-up time.

Anyway, this has already gotten too long :) There are other things I
want to do/talk about, but they are subsidiary- these are, IMHO, the
most important things the board can focus on in the upcoming year, and
by making them explicit personal tasks as opposed to nebulous board-wide
goals, I hope to make sure that they really happen.

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