Trustee Meeting Minutes

January 27, 2011
4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
California Room


Trustees Present:
Steven Anderson, Dale Block, Jeff Calder, Susan Chamberlin, Christopher Curtis, Richard DeAtley, Quinn Delaney, Richard Edwards, Karen Eichler, Lori Fogarty, Virginia Furth, Lance Gyorfi, Joseph Hurwich, Christopher Lee, Anita Martinez, Yvonne McCredie, John McDonnell, Christopher McLain, Carolyn Sheaff, Robert Stoffregen, Hilliard Terry, Alan Varela, Bruce Westphal, Jennifer Wolch, Sandra Wolfe, Sheryl Wong,  and John Wyro

Trustees Excused:
Ralph Clark, Steven Douglas, Mike Moye, Steven Read, Katie Tamony, and Jennifer Walker

Staff Present:
Maggie Pico

Volunteers Present:
Dave Elliott and Wanda Viviano

Guests Present:


Chair Gyorfi called the meeting to order at 4:10 p.m.


On a motion duly made and seconded (Delaney/Curtis), the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

RESOLVED, the November 18, 2010 Board of Trustees meeting minutes are approved as mailed.


On a motion duly made and seconded (McDonnell/Edwards), the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

RESOLVED, the Oakland Museum of California Foundation duly authorizes its Chair, Lance Gyorfi, and Treasurer, Joseph Hurwich, the OMCA Executive Director, Lori Fogarty, and Director of Development, Margaret Pico, to sign checks, documents and make transactions related to accounts at Charles Schwab Corporation. 

RESOLVED, the above signers plus Associate Director of Development, Linda Larkin, and Administrative Manager, Sandy Wong, are authorized to sign checks and documents and make transactions related to the account at Citibank. 

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, all of the above signers are authorized to sign checks and documents and make transactions for the account at First Republic Bank. 


The museum was very busy in December and the first week of January as the Pixar exhibit drew in large crowds before its closing.  Over 4,000 people attended on the final Saturday during the run of the exhibition.  To accommodate the crowds, the museum remained opened until 9:00 p.m. for the last four days of the exhibition. Staff at ticket admissions, the store, and security did an excellent job working with the crowds.

The following events are planned for the month of February:

o    A Donor Forum event on February 24, 2011 will preview Splendors of Faith exhibit. 
o    The Oakland  Standard launch event on February 4, 2011 from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.  This program is geared toward younger audiences and is supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.
o    Lunar New Year celebration on February 13, 2011 is an event that celebrates Asian culture.
o    OZONE event on February 25 from 5:00 p.m. to midnight will feature a program on African drums.
o    The Michael McMillen exhibit will be on view during the installation of the exhibit; the show opens April 15, 2011.

A letter of support for the OMCA’s Proposition 84 Nature Education Facilities Program application was distributed at the meeting and trustees were asked to sign a copy of the letter.  If the grant is awarded, the funds will be used to complete the renovation of the Natural Sciences Gallery. 

5.  OPEN FORUM – Lance Gyorfi

Chair Gyorfi opened the meeting for comments from the audience.  As there was no response, the business portion of the meeting resumed.


Trustee McLain reported that talks with the City continue and two agreements have been produced, but there are no responses to the draft agreements yet.  Trustees Gyorfi and Fogarty met with City Council members to discuss the role of the Foundation and the proposed structure and agreements.  Trustee Joe Hurwich did a financial analysis report that was discussed with the City Administrator Dan Lindheim, Public Works representatives, and other City staff.  City staff was receptive to the report and gave good feedback.  The lease agreement and the professional services agreement are now circulating among City staff.  A meeting with Mayor Jean Quan is scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2011.  Hopefully, there will be an agreement within the next  few weeks.

Ms. Fogarty said that City Human Resources staff have met with the unions to discuss the OMCA Foundation assuming management and financial responsibility for the museum.  Ms. Fogarty also said she is  regularly communicating with museum staff and keeping them up-to-date.  To engage staff, four working groups were established and each group given an overarching goal based on the strategic plan to utilize as a basis for their recommendations.  Recommendations were expected from the groups as to how to improve the way the museum functions.  The groups met at least three times and were facilitated by a staff member not on Senior Staff.  In addition, three specialty teams were established regarding the facilities, information technology, and financial systems and each of these teams met once with follow-up anticipated in the coming weeks. 

Consultant Gail Anderson attended several Senior Staff meetings and encouraged members to communicate with and keep their staff informed.  Ms. Fogarty has been meeting individually with Senior Staff and curators and has received major recommendations from this group.  The recommendations of all groups are being consolidated by Ms. Anderson and Fogarty.  

As the Finance Department staff’s workload has significantly increased, it has become necessary to limit the hours when staff from other departments should contact them.  Finance Department staff will be available to respond to inquiries from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Trustee Robert Stoffregen is working with the Finance Department to help with the restructuring plans for the department. 

7. BOARD RETREAT – Lance Gyorfi

The board retreat will be held on March 26, 2011 and will take place locally. The topic of discussion at the retreat will be the new agreement with the City.  Trustee Anita Martinez, Chair of the Committee on Trustees, has agreed to have the committee review board governance needs in light of the expanded role the Foundation will play in overseeing the entire institution.  There are seven areas in which the new agreement will have significant impact and will be discussed at the retreat:

o    Board governance and operations
o    Strategic Planning
o    Financial and business model
o    Fundraising
o    Human Resources, Facility, and Information Technology
o    Collections

Trustees were asked to make suggestions for specific topics of discussion in the above categories.  Some of the topics of discussion suggested were: the roles and responsibilities of Foundation relative to programs; clarification of the combined City/Foundation budget as it exists; policy and management of collections; staff career paths; role of unions, etc.  Consultant Gail Anderson recorded all of the suggestions and will incorporate the suggestions as topics for discussion at the retreat.  

8.    WOMEN’S BOARD REPORT – Carolyn Sheaff

The White Elephant Preview Sale will be held on Sunday, January 30, 2011 and the General Sale on March 5 and 6, 2011.  The warehouse is packed with items and donations continue to arrive.  Volunteer cashiers are needed for Sunday, March 6th and those interested in volunteering should contact Ms. Sheaff. Volunteers should dress warmly, wear an orange OMCA t-shirt under a white men’s shirt, and wear their museum badge.

9.    FINANCE COMMITTEE – Joseph Hurwich

The revised budget for mid-year 2010-2011 was never approved by the board of trustees.    As discussed early in the year, projections for admissions, store sales, and memberships were reduced from  the original budget.  Some other expenses were postponed until spring.  Total revenue projections decreased by $404,843 after the revisions.

On a motion duly made and seconded (Westphal/Wyro), the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

RESOLVED, the OMCA revised budget for mid-year 2010/2011 is approved.

Due to the exceptional number of visitors in November and December, Visitor Services was over projection by $170,000 and store sales over projection by $65,000.  Both were ahead of the revised budget for the first six months of July through December 2010.  However, with challenging goals remaining for contributed revenue, the Finance Committee recommended retaining the conservative targets as outlined in the mid-year revision.


Trustee Chamberlain said the good news is that bids for Phase 2 came in at $2.9 million, slightly under budget.  The bad news is that design work revealed the need for a replacement air handling unit, which increased the original budget by $128,000.  This expense, combined with increased costs in Phase 1.5, has pushed the total projected cost to $62.3 million or $400,000 over budget.  However, the success of the Capital Campaign and the $250,000 construction contingency being carried in Phase 2 means we are still in a good financial position.  The Renovation Oversight Committee has taken a pledge not to add any more elements or change orders to the project.

A tent has been purchased to increase the facilities space and is located on the outside terrace across from the restaurant.  The most recent flooding of the James Moore Theater was believed to be the result of City’s 12th Street construction project.  The flood destroyed the stage, rows of seats, and the carpet.  City insurance will cover the repairs and, hopefully, the repairs will be completed by the end of February. 

11. COMMITTEE ON TRUSTEES – Anita Martinez

Trustees were asked to provide the names of potential board candidates to Ms. Martinez by the end of February.  Candidates should have lots of talent and meet one or more of the following criteria: 1) Financial capacity and assistance with fundraising, 2) Corporate representation, 3) Technology,  4) Diverse ethnic background, 5) Experience with museums, 6) Long-standing affiliation with California or East Bay communities, 7) A good fit with OMCA’s institutional culture, 8) Geographic diversity,  and 9) Interest in collecting.

Three trustees will complete serving their first term and will be asked to serve a second term.  Trustees who wish to submit names for Board of Trustees officer nominations should provide the names to Ms. Martinez by the end of March or sooner, if possible.


Trustee Delaney said fundraising has been very successful but members need to think about bringing in new gifts in order to fulfill the Board goal to raise $800,000.  After the board meeting, group discussions will be held  to plan on the next steps trustees should take to introduce potential donors to the museum.

13. ADJOURNMENT – Lance Gyorfi

There being no further business Chair Gyorfi adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m. 

John Wyro