Recorded Member Meetings

Community Meetings

Past Meetings

Skip to different videos in the playlist on the right.
Links and chat for each video are below.


[00:00:01.870] – Karl Palachuk
You. Very good. Welcome everybody. And now let me introduce all the way from Michigan, that the one of the highest points in Michigan, just below to you, P amy Babinchak, our president from Harbor Computers.

[00:00:19.790] – Amy Babinchak
Hey everybody. So my goal today is to tell you a little bit about sort of where we’ve been and where the organization is going so that you know what you might be getting into if you decide to serve on a committee.


[00:00:38.900] – Amy Babinchak
Before this first year of our organization, everyone who is serving was appointed. We had to get this organization off the ground. And so our year long effort has been to create the necessary committees, to get charters for those committees, to get a charter for the organization itself, to develop our mission, vision, values. We’re currently working on a code of ethics for the organization, really all those organizational things that are required to create a national society from the ground up, which has been a tremendous amount of work. So this year was really given over to organizing. And I’m hoping that in this next year that we will be changing our emphasis from organization to action. Right? So instead of our committees forming up and deciding why they’re here and what their purpose is, we want them to actually get busy and start doing stuff. And at the point of our organization, which this is a very hands on kind of place, we do not have staff, we don’t even have funding yet. So we are depending on the committee members to not only just serve on a committee to make decisions, but to actually participate in fulfilling the goals of the committee and performing the actions that will take them to those goals.

[00:02:10.350] – Amy Babinchak
So for the board, I really see us as shifting ourselves from creating things to really assisting in fundraising for this organization. And not everybody agrees with me, but I think that is a major responsibility of board members to bring in money for the club. And I really kind of see that as everyone’s responsibility, but particularly those of us at the board level to use our influence to try to get that vendor program rolling, which we just announced recently. We do have the marketing committee, which is of course involved in the look of the club. They will be running membership drives and developing our presence on social media and even our presence at events. Right? What’s that going to look like? How do we want to represent ourselves? And we really have to start to get out there, enforce at events and let everybody know that we exist and build our membership up. We have a finance committee. The finance committee, of course, project expenses as an organization. We’re a membership organization, a membership nonprofit type, I should say it’s a C Six legislative committee has already started to move toward action. They are building educational materials for self advocacy and that is just now getting off the ground.

[00:03:56.550] – Amy Babinchak
And I expect that’s really going to ramp up here in the next year. I’m expecting great things from them and that is going to really allow us to be prepared to respond to local legislative initiatives that we know are coming and some that are already in progress. And then arguably the very most important committee that we have is the governance committee. The governance committee actually forms the other committees. They help the committees develop their charters and make sure the committees are fulfilling their charters. And they’ll also be involved in any dispute resolution that happens to come up. This is very much a bottom up organization. So this is not a situation where the board dictates what the committee should do. We want the membership to dictate what their membership organization does. So as a board we chose early on to empower the committees to take action and be the face in.


[00:04:54.510] – Amy Babinchak
Everything springs from in this organization. So that is my grand summary of where we’re at and where I hope this organization is going to go next year.

[00:05:07.490] – Karl Palachuk
All right, very good, thank you. And just a quick intro to the elections. So all of the positions in the organization are up for elections. So the way that the bylaws are written, the individuals are elected to committees and then the committee chooses their chair or board president. Each person will be elected to the committee and then it’s up to the committee to choose their secretary, treasurer or whatever they want. Most of them don’t need treasures, whatever they need. If you look at itsp orgelections, we’ve got a little timeline there. Basically we’re educating folks in July so that you can look around, see what’s what, decide whether you want to run, prep your statements, that sort of thing. And then beginning August 1, you’ll be able to actually apply to run for office. The campaign itself is the first couple of weeks in September and then the voting is the 15th through the 23 September. And that’s when we will go ahead and announce the elections. And if you have questions, put them into the chat. Also, if you came in late and you ask a question that’s already been answered, it may be up in the chat that you can’t see.

[00:06:40.120] – Karl Palachuk
So we’ll be happy to repost links and so forth if necessary. So to run, you have to be a professional member, which is a paid member rather than a registered member. If you have not finished your professional membership, you should by now have roughly 1000 emails from Jen reminding you to get that done. If you need help, get in touch with us and we’ll see what we can do. But I’d say if that’s your sticking point, go look at your LinkedIn profile and find one of the people who’s written something nice about you and say, hey, can you take that nice thing and put it on your letterhead so that I can upload it. It’s really not a huge hurdle for professional to get an endorsement from one of their clients to vote. You also need to be a professional member. So once the voting actually starts, only professional members will even be able to see the ballot. And you can vote once. So you can’t go back in and change your vote. Because we’re not keeping track of how you voted. We’re only keeping track of whether you voted. If we were to allow you to change your vote, it would mean we would have a not anonymous election process.

[00:08:01.830] – Karl Palachuk
So make sure you know who the candidates are. And Kara is actually the web developer and sort of all around wrangler of problems here. So she’s going to give us a bit of information about the website specifically and give us a little show and tell. So, Kara, I will let you drive. Do I need to stop sharing at this point?

[00:08:30.980] – Kara Schoonveld
Hello. Yes, why don’t you stop sharing? And you might need to let me see if I can automatically share or if you have to give me let’s see. I think that worked.

[00:08:44.400] – Karl Palachuk

[00:08:44.810] – Kara Schoonveld
Does everyone see the elections page?

[00:08:46.190] – Karl Palachuk
Yes, indeed.

[00:08:47.230] – Kara Schoonveld
Okay, perfect. So what I’m going to do right now is to walk through the entire process from start to finish as if you want to run. So obviously, we’re going to start at the elections page. And just real quick, if you’re following along real time in your browser, you will notice that the form to file is actually available right now, but it doesn’t actually start until August 1. So if anyone decides to get ahead of ourselves and you go ahead and start to file today, note that that will be deleted so that we can have a fresh start on August 1. So disclaimer. Okay, So you’ll start here. If you decide that you want to run and you’re not sure which committee or board you want to serve on, you can head over to the committee’s page. And this is going to just give you some information about what, for instance, the governance committee is all about. You can read through their objectives, the deliverables and outputs, and also the critical success factors. See if those things are resonating with you. And you can also view who the current committee roster is. And like Amy mentioned, everyone that’s here has been appointed, not voted in.

[00:09:56.450] – Kara Schoonveld
So all of the members that are listed in the committee rosters and the board of directors all have to run again. So just because you see a roster here, you still have an opportunity to serve if you’re not yet all right. And of course, you can go through and look at all of them, compare them, et cetera. Once you determine what you want to run for, you’re going to come back to the election page, and beginning on August, you’re going to file for candidacy. And so I’m going to run through this now I am not logged in at the moment. And so I get a note here that I need to be logged in and a professional member. If you are a professional member and you don’t have your letters of recommendation uploaded, then you will get a notice that hey, exactly. That you need to go ahead and upload either one or two letters. So I’m going to log in with a test account to go through the process. And in my test account, I’m a professional member who has submitted both letters. And So now I get access to the form and I just simply get started.

[00:11:01.460] – Kara Schoonveld
Company name, right? Which committee are you running for?


[00:11:09.110] – Kara Schoonveld
No, there have been questions about this. So there are specific roles such as secretary and things of that nature. Those are voted on by whoever the current members of a committee, of whoever the current members are of that committee. So in this case, if you are wanting to hold a secretary seat or something similar and you are elected into that committee, then probably in October or sometime around then that specific committee is going to have an internal vote of who is going to hold those seats. Hopefully that makes sense. And if you have questions about that, throw them in the chat. Someone other than me can answer them better. So I’m going to say that I’m running for the marketing committee and we just had two quick commitment statements that you should read through and be sure that you can fulfill these commitments. And then you have a chance to make sure that everything is correct. And if it’s not, you can of course go back and change anything. But once you decide it all looks correct, go ahead and submit your candidacy. There we go. All right, so this lets us know our next step is to complete our candidate profile.

[00:12:26.590] – Kara Schoonveld
To do this, head to your dashboard and click on the blue pencil to fill it out and we can go to our dashboard real quick before I do this, this page hasn’t been refreshed yet, so you’ll still notice that I do not have a dashboard button here. But once we submit now you will have this option to go to your dashboard that’s only available for candidates. It just gives you a quick, easy way to get to your candidate dashboard. All right, so from here I can see some quick details, see what my next steps are. The next one up is to complete the campaign page. Here it is. When did I submit it? And here is how I can edit. So I’m going to go ahead and edit. And your campaign page is public. It’s visible to everyone who happens to browse to this page. You don’t have to be logged in or even a member of the NSI, itsp in order to view it. So keep that in mind as you’re filling it out. There are a couple of areas that are required here, but you can always come back and make any updates you like up until the end of August.

[00:13:35.740] – Kara Schoonveld
So August 31 is going to be the final day and then they’re kind of set in stone for the voting period. So one of the things that we do recommend is that you prepare your answers in a word doc or something similar so that you can copy and paste them so that you don’t lose anything. So I’m going to go ahead and fill this out mostly with some dummy text, and I am going to go ahead and copy and paste for time purposes. For your headshot, we do recommend a square image that’s at least 300 x 300 pixels. I’ll grab that one. Candidate statement. There’s some more information about what exactly we’re asking for when we say candidate statement, as well as relevant experience. And keep in mind that these little blurbs are also going to be visible to viewing members on the front end so they know what it is you are answering. Social media links are optional, of course. We recommend them so that others can, again, just learn a little bit more about who you are, what you stand for, what types of communities you’re involved in, and things of that nature.

[00:14:48.460] – Kara Schoonveld
For the additional website, this is for your business website or your blog. The hope is that you are the primary content creator, right? There should be a website that represents, again, who you are and what you stand for and will allow people to get to know you a bit better. Organizational affiliations. Go ahead and list any that are applicable to you. If you have more than one, you can continue to add as many as you are affiliated with and you can also close them out. Of course, check any skills and experience you can bring. I’ll just grab a couple at random and if you have more that are not listed, you can again add more as necessary. Finally, we have a declaration of accuracy. This is just saying that everything provided here is true and correct, else you may be excused from the election process. All right, and now we SMBiT. All right, so of course this brings us back to our campaign dashboard. So to see our page on the front end, you can click on your name. If you look in the bottom left hand corner of the screen, the URL is itsp orgcandidatemyfirst and last name and that’s automatic.

[00:16:12.470] – Kara Schoonveld
So the idea is that only professional members can run. And so this helps prevent anyone trying to run under the guise of someone else’s account and it just kind of helps to keep those processes tight. If for whatever reason you do need that updated, you won’t be able to do that on your end, but you can send us a note sort of explaining what happened and why it might need to be updated and we can do that on our end. No problem. All right, so let’s click into the front end. Let’s see what’s happened here. This is the joy of doing things live, right? All right, just 1 second. I think I need to reset permalinks. Let’s actually do this. All right, do we see my page here?


[00:17:29.470] – Kara Schoonveld
Thank you, Carl. Okay, so this is what your page will look like. On the front end, we have first and last name some information about you, all of your social links. If for some reason you don’t have one of these social accounts, maybe you don’t have a reddit account. This just simply won’t show up on the front end and it will only show exactly what you put in. You can see what committee you’re running for and then also your candidate statements. So I mentioned that it gives the prompts on the front end as well. This just gives some context about what your answers are explaining and that’s that. We have the organizational affiliations on the side here and then all of the special skills that you listed as well. So that’s your page. You’re welcome to share that on your social media and your blogs, email, marketing, what have you, to sort of get the word out about your specific campaign. And then when you want to go see who else is running, you can go to the Meet the Candidates page. This is filled with profiles from folks who I have asked to help test the process as well.

[00:18:37.540] – Kara Schoonveld
So, like I mentioned before, these will all be cleared out ahead of August 1, but I’m hoping that Carl will still choose to use his Vaccination eyes photo. So these are all the candidates together. If you want to view by committee, you can just click into a filter and then, of course, you will just see the board of directors and then whatever other committee you like. Or you can view all at this point, vote will take you absolutely nowhere, of course, because the voting will not happen until I should know this date off the top of my head. September 15 through 23rd is when you’ll actually be able to, of course, vote. If for some reason you need to stop your campaign or if you want to switch your committee or something like that, you also need to ask us for help to do that, which will be no problem. And the final thing that we recommend that you do is we will have an election forum up and we suggest that you create sort of an ask me anything type post so that members can start to engage with you and you can answer direct questions, provide any further explanations, things of that nature.

[00:19:56.630] – Kara Schoonveld
And let me just check the chat here and see if anything was related to what I’ve been sharing.

[00:20:03.290] – Karl Palachuk
There are plenty of questions that we’ll get to.

[00:20:06.590] – Kara Schoonveld
Okay, perfect. Yeah, I just wanted to check were any related to the process I don’t see that there are so very good. Okay, I’m going to go ahead and stop the share and I will send it back to Carl.

[00:20:21.470] – Karl Palachuk
Very good. Zoom, of course, changes everything up every time you do that. Let’s see which one of these is the PowerPoint slideshow.

[00:20:33.510] – Amy Babinchak
Did an excellent job at creating the election pages for us. I don’t know if you guys were impressed by that, but I’ve been very impressed with it myself. Thanks, Amy.

[00:20:44.320] – Kara Schoonveld
I appreciate that.

[00:20:45.490] – Karl Palachuk
Let me go through a few FAQ slides that we’ve prepared and then I saw tons of stuff. Great questions in the chat. So we’ll get to those. First of all terms, the goal long term is that about half of each body will be elected each year. So the way that we jumpstart that is that for each position. So you will run for a committee. You can only run for one. You’ll run for a committee or a board, and the top four vote getters will serve two year terms. The next three vote getters will serve for the next year, and then they’ll stand for re election for a two year term. And then after that, everybody search two year terms, but basically about half of them each year. And so those are the four committees plus the board of directors. You may run for one office at a time, and Kara covered this, but you don’t actually run for the chair or secretary position and so forth. You run for the body. And then the overlap will be the month of September. Basically, people will be elected in September, and then with luck, they will try to get together with the outgoing committee as quickly as possible.

[00:22:21.790] – Karl Palachuk
In the month of October, people will begin serving their new terms. And I assume at the first meeting you may choose not to do at the first meeting. Committees can do whatever they want, but in October, we hope that you’ll then elect your chair and so forth. These are not paid positions. Nobody has any money. So that’s not an option.

[00:22:51.990] – Speaker 4
Right now, is they’re up and down with a WiFi.

[00:22:54.600] – Karl Palachuk
Okay. All right. Somebody is talking to Muting. All right. So can vendors serve? Absolutely. So we have vendors on the board now. We have vendors on a few committees. We would like to have at least one vendor on each committee. And that’s what I would like personally. Vendors are a key piece of this community, and we need them to be successful and they need us to be successful. So in the vendor partner program, whatever level that a vendor might choose to participate in, they would still have included in that one professional membership. They would assign who it is, So they might choose to sign it to the owner or to somebody who is a community manager or whatever. So vendors may have one seat and one vote. They have to designate who that person is. But we obviously want vendors to participate in what we do and give us their perspective. With that. I will just remind you that the election site is up there. If you have questions about any of this, send them to me. and with that, go to the chat. Amy, have you been following all the chat questions? Any good ones picked up for us?

[00:24:26.700] – Amy Babinchak
I’ve been following all the chat questions and trying to at least acknowledge them with a little response. We do have committee members here, so if you have a question about any particular committee and what they’re doing and what they expect to be doing in the next year, feel free to ask those questions. Kenneth was asking what’s the date of starting? Is that October 1 or is it October, something? I didn’t for the service when the new people begin?

[00:25:02.920] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah, basically it’s in October, so whenever that committee meets the first time in.

[00:25:07.120] – Amy Babinchak
October, the first committee meeting in October. So the overlap point then is between the end of election in September and the first committee meeting in October, and we’re encouraging each committee to have a meeting in between to do a kind of a transitional thing between the existing folks in the incoming members.

[00:25:27.950] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah, it would be great if there was some get together and overlap, even if it’s just a very casual thing just to get to know each other and sort of what have you guys been up to and so forth. Between now and then, I’m going to be preparing all kinds of introductory materials, kind of like all the stuff that the current committee members didn’t get, which is welcome to the committee. Here’s where things are, here’s where you find, and so forth. Maybe just like a three to five page guide. But where to find things? Steve asks, what does campaigning entail? That’s kind of up to you. I mean, basically my hope is that you’ll point people to your page where you will have a well thought out statement, and then you can promote that anywhere. So if you choose to promote it on social media, just know you have to kind of point to the people who are actually members who can vote. We do have a forum set up for elections, and you can put a page there and says, hey, vote for Steve, he’s the best, blah, blah, blah. And I hope that you’ll be answering questions and so forth.

[00:26:42.040] – Karl Palachuk
With luck, people who want to vote will read through the statements and choose their candidates for each of the offices. With luck, we’ll have ten or twelve people running for each office, So I was very happy to see the registration for this exceed the number of open positions.

[00:27:02.130] – Amy Babinchak
So Damie, who is not me, asks if we have community leaders who would give a quick pitch on what they do and what they’re planning to do in the coming year. I don’t know that we have them all here, but if there are any here that would want to do that, make a pitch for their committee, we could certainly unmute you and have you do that.

[00:27:25.940] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah. Dennis yesterday with Nye about creating videos, and so they’re moving forward on that project. Dennis, did you want to yeah, just quickly.

[00:27:38.620] – Speaker 5
Legislative committee has decided that the easiest way to communicate the kinds of things that we’re doing and what we should be doing as far as legislators are concerned and such, we’re going to do that in video. These will be five to ten minute videos, and we are doing the first one as we speak. And so what we’re looking for is our members to assist with either manufacturing these videos with the professionals at Carl’s office and or to be completing the brochures that go along with each state. And we would hope that you folks would have your state understood so that you could easily write that into a brochure form and we would put it up and make it available to members, especially those members from your state.

[00:28:53.550] – Amy Babinchak
We have a lot of education to do. Right. So there’s been some communications with State of California so far, and one of the first questions they had was, like, what is an MSP? Right? Who are you people? What is an It service provider? What makes you qualified? What degree do you hold? They don’t know anything about us, and so the only thing they know is that their constituents are complaining about ransomware, and so they’re starting to want to do something. And of course, privacy is a big issue that’s out there as well. And all these things point back to who’s actually providing those services, but they don’t know anything about the people that provide those services because we’re not licensed. We have not, until now, been organized in any way at all where they or the consumers of our services can go and say, oh, those are people that I would like to do business with, or those are people that I need to talk to because I have questions about how to make good legislation that makes sense.

[00:30:07.350] – Karl Palachuk
So, Tracy, do you want to tell us what you guys are up to? Sure.

[00:30:14.250] – Speaker 6
I am the chair of the Finance Committee. This year has been a building year, so we did a lot of work on getting things together as far as money and how it’s going to be spent, we worked a lot on the budget. We also worked on the vendor partner program a lot this year. So next year is going to look very different for this committee. We are about to go into getting budgets together for the next year. What’s our next step right now? But next year we’re going to be more involved in how money is spent. Do we have enough money? Is it being spent wisely? So we’re a great committee to join. If you are interested and you care about how money is spent. We have about eight members right now, and we have a nice mix of vendors and MSP and other non MSP owners as well. So that’s kind of what we’re about, is how money is spent. Is it spent wisely and then getting each of the other committees to get budgets to us is very important.

[00:31:21.870] – Karl Palachuk
That’s about it. Thank you. Andy Higgins. The Marketing Chair is off in the UK, but Steve is here. Can you sure. We didn’t prepare for this, but no worries.

[00:31:36.650] – Speaker 7
I’ll So he’s off on holiday, as they say. So I would point folks to the Marketing Committee mission statement that’s posted for details on what we hope to get done next year. Those things would include getting the messages out, creating appropriate messages for specific target audiences, whether that’s MSP or prospective members, or even assisting in the legislative contacts, and then branding. So making sure that the organization has a strong and vibrant brand that gets shared and understood by the market in general. We last year spent some time on having a branding contest, and that’s going on right now. So if you haven’t voted for that, get your votes over and we meet once a month. So it’s not terribly taxing, but we try to be as smart as we can to optimize the time we have to maximize our message. So are there any questions out there? I’m happy to take them either on the chat or you can contact me after the call.

[00:32:54.690] – Karl Palachuk
Very good, thank you. Brett is not here. Somebody else from the Governance Committee want to step up and give us two minutes worth. I think Amy gave a pretty good overview. Governance Committee kind of created all the other committees and sort of made the framework for everything we’re up to, and they will, going forward, help to sort of guide the whole organization. So that’s a great community. Each of the committees meets for ideally, once things are moving along, they will meet for once a month for about an hour. And I know that doesn’t sound like much, but there’s a lot of prep work, and even now, committees are sort of dividing up work and saying, hey, we need these subcommittees. Go off, do this work, and bring some stuff back to us. So that’s a very common thing that happens. Amy and I have already spoken. Heather, do you want to talk a bit about what the board does? Also not give an advance notice that we’re going to do this?

[00:34:23.310] – Speaker 8
Well, we do so much, but.

[00:34:27.730] – Kara Schoonveld

[00:34:28.040] – Speaker 8
Hope my camera is working okay. But the board has been working on ethics, and we have an ethics committee that has been focusing on that and developing a code of ethics. So we’ve been working really hard on that. That’s been twice a month that we’ve been meeting to do that again.

[00:34:52.330] – Kara Schoonveld
Also, the board meets once a month.

[00:34:56.830] – Speaker 8
We have a great group right now. But we always want different thought leaders and different minds and different viewpoints. So if you have an interest in making a difference, this is a place to do it. I’ve had past year here in the board during this formation time and to see where we’ve come in the past year has been amazing. I’m really excited for the action part of it. And once comes up to serve and be part and you can sit on the chair and say, oh, somebody else will do it or you can roll up your sleeves and get to work. And that’s what this board and these committees are doing, is taking action and doing something. But we can do it together. We can’t do it if we just it on the sidelines and say, well, that looks like a really big mountain, we need to get on those hiking boots and gear up for a big climb, but we can certainly do it. We have a lot of great minds MSP were vendors and I’m excited to be able to be a vendor and also a board member. But I’ve talked to have these skills that are needed thinking about legislation.


[00:36:30.760] – Speaker 8
Making connections, thinking maybe this isn’t for me, maybe I don’t have the skills. Yes, you are getting here and get fighting with us.

[00:36:46.170] – Karl Palachuk
Excellent. Thank you. So speaking of climbing the big, big mountain towers, perhaps there should be a regional or sub regional committee because there’s so much work to do. And I would say I point to the legislative committees. They have just an amazing and almost overwhelming amount of work to do because eventually they’re going to have to have some presence in every state and they’re looking at educating lobbyists, legislators, the media, the small businesses that talk to the legislators, so forth and so on. So there’s plenty of work to be done and I expect that that piece of the organization will grow and mature. As Amy said, start going from organizing to actually producing. And we’re actually doing that now even though it’s just the middle of the year. Amy, did you see another question?

[00:37:50.210] – Amy Babinchak
Yeah, so there’s a question about if there’s a link that lists what the committees are defined as and I just asked her if to post that up. So there it is. So nsitzp. Orgcommittees. If you click that link, each of the committees this year worked on creating a charter for their committee. What their goals are, what their potential blockers for achieving that goal is, what their needs are. So we tried to make it a really nice holistic view of what the committee’s purpose is. So please go ahead and click on those and you’ll get all the details of what the committee believes their function is.

[00:38:39.890] – Karl Palachuk
Tony asks why you’re having people sign up for particular positions rather than get elected and then have the people too. So the reason that it’s organized this way is basically it’s sort of a nod to the bottom up organization that I don’t even know if we specifically discussed it. We just started doing it. That committees are in charge of their membership and also the board is in charge of Vids membership. So they get to choose who their chairs are rather than having people run for specific positions because it might be that somebody will choose not to be a chair after the first year. All of their hair has been pulled out and they’re just like done with it. But they still want to serve on a committee anyway. That’s different.

[00:39:36.740] – Kara Schoonveld
Go ahead.

[00:39:37.400] – Amy Babinchak
In the forming of this organization, we took a long time to discuss the failings of other organizations that we’ve been members of. What caused them not to be successful, some in industry, some outside the industry, just how we could best function. And our goal really is to make sure that all members have equal voice, so that if you’re a vendor or really large MSP or one person MSP, that your voice is still heard and is still equivalent to everyone else’s. And in order to do that, we decided one of the ways was that committees are going to be really in charge of themselves with the governance committee being sort of their overarching group that is going to make sure they’re completing their charter, that they’re doing the things that they said they were going to do in that. So that’s a really important piece of how this organization chose to organize itself.

[00:40:49.530] – Karl Palachuk
True. And I got a direct message from somebody who says maybe there are some jobs that you want to exclude vendors from, like chairman of the board. I believe that we agreed, and it’s up to the governance committee to verify this, but I believe we agreed that the vendors would not be a majority of any committee, but we don’t really have that many active vendors, so that it’s a concern right now. But the reality is that if the committee decides that they want to do that, they can. Now if you’ve got a committee of seven and one of them is a vendor, I don’t think that they’re going to be pushing their weight around too much. So today I would say that’s not an issue. We are fundamentally an It service provider organization, not a vendor organization. But we clearly need vendors to be successful. So again, it’s not an issue so far, but it’s something to keep in mind and there may be more guidance down the road, but right now it hasn’t been a problem. And to be honest, I have to say and I just shout out to Heather and also Ray ASCII who was on one of the committees for a while.

[00:42:07.410] – Karl Palachuk
Those are two examples of vendors who have just been tremendous contributors to this organization. So we appreciate it.

[00:42:15.870] – Amy Babinchak
I don’t see any other questions in the chat, so if you do have questions, go ahead and pop them in. There.

[00:42:21.720] – Karl Palachuk
Yeah. And you can just open your mind and ask. The other thing is if you’re concerned a bit about who we are and what we do for a living, the about lists our mission, vision and values, which the board, I’m just going to let my old brain try to remember worked on for about four months, I think might be longer. But it was a huge endeavor and Larry Mandelberg let us in that and did a spectacular job. So there’s that. And I think that the mission, vision and values are and actually a really good representation of who we are and what we want to be. We want to be the voice of the industry and we want to increase professionalism and the integrity of people in our industry. It’s funny. There’s questions I see. I’ve almost thought about writing a blog post called The Reddit of the Week where people say things like, I don’t know why we need standards. I don’t know why we need to have all these things that keep people out of the industry. I don’t know why we need professionalism. Who are these people? And I’m like, okay, So you might not be our ideal member, but we do need professionalism.

[00:43:39.800] – Karl Palachuk
And the people who say, well, I’ve been in the business for 20 years. You have nothing to teach me about professionalism. Okay, that might be true. You may do everything right, but you live in an environment where people are signing contracts and not delivering the services that they provided or that they promised that they would provide. So there really is a need for integrity and professionalism in this industry. And a handful of people have told me this has been one of their passions for years. And so I’m glad that those people are getting involved.

[00:44:13.570] – Amy Babinchak
One of my goals is that first, let me say I think this organization has gotten the reputation of mainly caring about legislation. But one of my goals really is truly to help the consumer decide if I have an issue with my car, I’m able to tell the difference between the guy that works at the oil change shop and a certified mechanic. If I’m a consumer of It services, I’m not able to tell the difference between different It people. I have to sort of take their word for it. I don’t have an organization that might be able to provide some input on it. I don’t have really any information as a consumer as to the reputation and the likelihood that I’m going to get good service from a particular company or individual. And so it is one of my goals for this organization that we provide the consumers with better information about who they’re doing business with and what their capabilities and their professionalism is.

[00:45:37.590] – Karl Palachuk
Very good. Other questions or comments from folks I’m hoping that you’re all going to run. So prep those statements now so you can copy and paste them when the time comes. So one of the questions was about whether if people make comments on a forum, would you be able to get an email? And Kara answered it in the chat. But yes, if you log into the forum and then you check the box that says subscribe to this forum, you will get emails at the email that you are logged in as. This is Larry.

[00:46:18.570] – Speaker 9
I just wanted to make a comment real quick. This question about why we exist is massive and I think it’s really core foundation to who we are and what we do. I think it describes everything about why I’m here. And while I’m not an MSP, obviously my life is embroiled in technology and this issue of not being able to really properly evaluate good versus bad vendors is everywhere in the world, whether you’re hiring a contractor or an It person or a lawyer or an accountant. And I just want to emphasize the vision. The Nsitv is the voice of the industry defining the standards for professionalism and It services. And that’s why I’m here. And I think that my elevator pitch for this is making the industry more professional, which is, in my way of thinking, a metaphor for better making it a better industry. And whatever we have to do to make that happen is what we want to do with the help of the industry. So I just wanted to put that out there.

[00:47:38.450] – Karl Palachuk
You’re here again. I’m not sure why this person maybe it’s accidentally sending to me directly instead of to everybody, but comment that we’re trying to do something at a time when there’s so much distrust of experts and governments and outside companies wanting to load consequences onto others. Yes, these are difficult times, but the reality is our industry certainly less than 100 years old, somewhere around 60 or 70 years old. For most of us, it really took off in the so at 20 or 30 years old. The SMB It industry is really just now mature enough to say we are going to be a profession, we are going to step up and we’re going to have some barriers. We’re going to say, look, we need you to be professional. If you want to be in this industry, you can no longer just put your name on a laser perf business card and go take care of $3 million computer systems. You need to be a professional. And that we’re not selling training, we’re not selling advertising. We’re here to set standards and it’s a long, difficult road and we will not be done next year or the year after.

[00:49:07.670] – Karl Palachuk
This is an undertaking that’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of effort. To be honest, I congratulate everybody on this call because you are clearly interested and I think most or all of you are willing to participate. And I think that’s huge and I think that speaks to our future success that we have so many people who are sincerely interested in the industry as an industry. So thank you for being here. Hey, Carl. Yeah.

[00:49:35.650] – Speaker 4
I understand another compelling reason this organization exists is to help influence and shape the developing regulations in our industry and try to prevent the nightmare of folks that still refer to the internet of tubes as being those that create the rules that manage or govern this space. I think that’s easily as important as the other goal. They should be related, of course, and I know that there’s a legislative committee. What I don’t know is how to actually find the right people to address and how to address them in my own particular large but small state. Do we have a group of people or anyone who has insight into that? If I was in that committee, Dennis.

[00:50:22.220] – Karl Palachuk
May or others, ted or others on the legislative committee may have something to contribute on that front, but it is one of the big, big chores of the legislative committee. Some days, like again, building this infrastructure of talking to MSPs and saying, how do you get to know people in the legislature? How do you build those relationships before an issue comes up? Because we don’t know where and when, but we do know that there will be a bill introduced somewhere and we don’t exist solely to lobby, but someday we will be called on to give our position on a piece of legislation. And the sooner people build those relationships, the easier it will be to participate in that conversation because ultimately we have not built in the 50 years or so, we have not built a seat for ourselves at the table. And so this is the beginning of that process.

[00:51:29.310] – Speaker 4
So another thing that occurs to me and you know a lot about how CompTIA at one time believed that they were involved in lobbying and stepped away from it. At first when I heard of this organization, it felt like the goal of being part of this would be stepping on the toes of CompTIA until I remember that they don’t do this. But we talked about, let’s call it a mark of excellence or some sort of certification. CompTIA has a tressmark, which at least is supposed to be this concept. It’s supposed to be a demonstration of your excellence or at least your adequacy in the field. Is anybody in this group looking at what those kind of overlaps might be between that trust mark and what we want to achieve?

[00:52:19.570] – Amy Babinchak
There should be zero overlap, Josh, because this organization isn’t going to certify anybody. We’re not going to teach anybody. What we’re going to do is say, for example, the AICPA does requires a certain amount of continuing education requirements in order to be a member of that organization. And then that way, again, the consumer knows, am I dealing with the bookkeeper? Am I dealing with somebody who’s not participating at all? Am I dealing with somebody who is in EA? Am I dealing with the CPA. And those are the types of differentiations. We will not be the people that are providing that. So CompTIA continues to provide their trust marks. Great. You can add that to your profile here and check that off as some of your continuing education efforts.

[00:53:17.730] – Speaker 4
I guess my point was not that we would offer as an organization something competitive, but that we might identify that trust mark as something that would be appropriate along the lines of demonstrating your capabilities. Maybe say that you come up with some sort of framework for what would qualify as a demonstration of the professionality of our decision.

[00:53:41.910] – Karl Palachuk
So I am working with some folks at CompTIA specifically to talk about how we can work together. They are very open to working with us and in particular also looking at things where we might have some stuff in common with regard because they have stepped away from lobbying, but they may want to take a position on some things that represent the needs of their membership and so they want to partner with us in regard to those. So we are in a friendly relationship with CompTIA and working on building more of that.

[00:54:21.750] – Amy Babinchak
So, Josh, the way that I think that might work with the trust mark as your example there that you brought up is that the governance committee would assign a certain number of continuing education credits to that trust mark type thing.

[00:54:36.770] – Speaker 4
Okay, understood. I don’t know if we can get away with calling them CEUs, but I know what you mean. We can come up with some sort of metric and that might satisfy some or all of that requirement.

[00:54:48.360] – Karl Palachuk
And why would there be an issue with us calling them whatever we want?

[00:54:53.910] – Speaker 4
I think the continuing education units, there are requirements to offer something that’s called that because they are specific to certain industries. I don’t know if we call them CEOs, but we can call them qualifying points or something. Are you going to talk to the folks at Channel Con about this while you’re there?

[00:55:12.630] – Karl Palachuk
I’m talking to them weekly, so I’m sure I’ll talk to them there also.

[00:55:18.040] – Speaker 4
I’ll go up with you. Maybe we can even talk to him strongly. Thank you.

[00:55:23.250] – Amy Babinchak
There’s absolutely no lack of educational opportunities in this industry. Right. So we’re definitely not going to reinvent the wheel on that one.

[00:55:33.990] – Speaker 4
Great, thanks.

[00:55:37.810] – Karl Palachuk
I don’t know if MJ is on here. He could speak up if he is. MJ Shore is the community outreach manager at CompTIA, one of our longtime community friends. Actually, most of our longtime community friends are on the board of CompTIA, so we have plenty of connections there. Other comments, questions. I would love to everybody. Go find the reaction button and raise your hand if you think you might run. I love to see all the little hands fly up. And now people are leaving. Way to go. Just make everybody upset and have them all leave. Oh, well, it is what it is.

[00:56:33.710] – Speaker 4
Now that Jay is here, I’m going to have to call it a day. Hey, Jay.

[00:56:37.220] – Karl Palachuk
Good afternoon, brother.

[00:56:38.410] – Speaker 4
Hey, nice to hear you. So I’m going to head out for an 11:00, but this was good. I didn’t really understand this structure and I understand more. I can play around online. I’m not sure where I might fit in, but I hope to. And I’ll talk with you at channel con, if not before.

[00:56:56.570] – Karl Palachuk
Thanks. Very good. Well, you’re all welcome to email me. It’s just, you know, or Amy or whoever boardmembers? Yeah. All the board members are on the site. So if you go to the about page and you’ll see the committee members and the board members talk to folks who are already in here and ask them what their experience is. And thank you for the links on social media. I appreciate that also. Yeah. We have 1 minute left. Our next meeting, August 10, is the all member meeting where we’re going to talk about many things, but it will include these elections. So that link will be at the top of your browser almost immediately.

[00:57:55.210] – Speaker 9
I think that’s our six month window for vision, mission, and values as well.

[00:58:00.790] – Karl Palachuk
Oh, excellent.

[00:58:02.320] – Speaker 9
So we had talked about putting this out for feedback and if anyone has any comments that they think we need to make a changes or adjustments, we wanted to let the organization live with them for six months before we formalize them. So I think that’s what we’re scheduled for August there too.

[00:58:19.610] – Karl Palachuk
Excellent. Great. I will add that to the agenda. Very good. Well, as was noted, it’s the top of the hour, so I appreciate you all being here. Amy’s got an email in the chat as well. Let us know if you need anything and I will see you at the next member meeting. Thanks. Bye.

[00:58:45.410] – Amy Babinchak
Bye, everybody. Thank you for Kenning.


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