Board Meeting Minutes: 2024 Q1

The Rising Tide Society Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes

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Download a PDF of the meeting minutes

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Call to order

Board President Justina Cerra Lucas called the meeting to order at 8:01 am PST/11:00 am EST in Los Angeles, CA [Board members participated via Zoom].


Secretary conducted roll call.

The following persons were present:

  • Justina Cerra Lucas – President
  • Brittany Taylor – President-Elect
  • Jaime Thompson – Treasurer
  • Elizabeth Coopersmith – Board Secretary
  • Rhiannon Leila – International Representative Board Member
  • Christoper Stiles – Board Member/Chapter Liason
  • Marvin Flavien – Board Member
  • Erin Perkins – Board Member
  • Emilia Farrace – Board Member
  • Wendy Zook – Ex Officio Executive Director

Not Attending/Excused:

  • Natalie Franke – Past President
  • Braden Drake – Ex Officio Board Member
  • Christi Johnson

A Board quorum was reached.

Approval of minutes

Secretary Coopersmith motioned to approve the 2023 Fourth Quarter Board minutes. Seconded by Farrace, the fourth quarter 2023 minutes were approved at 8:04 a.m. PST/11:04 a.m. EST.

Board Reports

Secretary’s Report -Liz Coopersmith

  • Update on the Board nomination process
    • Proposed changes to bylaws won’t take place until the Q2 Board meeting
    • Proposed: The Executive Director and President-elect will oversee the nomination committee. The committee will be a mix of board members and volunteers not seeking selection for the upcoming board.
      • President-Elect Taylor proposed giving the Executive Director voting rights on the nomination committee.
    • Confidentiality agreements have been finalized and should be returned to Zook by the close of business tomorrow (February 9, 2024) [note: This date was changed to 2/12]
    • Coopersmith is reviewing Financial SOPs with Board Treasurer Thompson, which will be completed next week.

President’s Report – Justina Cerra Lucas

  • Cerra Lucas proposed changing the meeting schedule in the bylaws, creating four additional board meetings for a total of 12 meetings a year. The currently scheduled quarterly Board meetings would remain 2.5 hours long, and the new meetings would be an hour long.
    • Cerra Lucas made a motion to approve the addition of eight more meetings on the calendar between the currently scheduled quarterly Board meetings in the off months. These would take place on the same day and time – the second Thursday of the month, at 8:00 am PST/11:00 am EST, for one hour. Coopersmith seconded, and the motion was approved at 8:22 a.m. PST/11:22 am EST.
    • The next Board meeting will be on Thursday, March 14, at 8:00 am PST/11:00 am EST [Note: This meeting was rescheduled to Thursday, March 7 at 8:00 am PST/11:00 am EST ]. The Board will be sent an updated meeting schedule for the rest of 2024.
  • The review deadline for SOP documents is Monday, February 12
    • Cerra Lucas is working on an SOP for communication regarding proposals/votes for upcoming Board meetings.
      • Possible SOPs include opportunities for committees and members to submit proposals to the board, whether during the quarterly meeting or in adjunct meetings.
      • After the State of the Union, Cerrra Lucas received questions from members about “town hall” availability to address the Board in a possible non-quorum meeting format. A meeting will be scheduled to discuss this.

President Elect’s Report – Brittanny Taylor

  • We’re wrapping up the rebranding efforts, and branding is done. Feedback has been positive and enthusiastic, and Lawson House is also very pleased.
  • Lawson House will share monthly branding tips for our membership, the second part of our branding agreement.
  • They have created a new program called “Launch 38,” where they will launch a new brand for a business in 38 hours. There will also be a referral program for Rising Tide members that benefits RTS. “Launch 38” goes live in March.
    • We’re continuing to get all the chapter groups to switch to the new logos.

Treasurer’s Report – Jaime Thomspon

  • Thompson presented a current budget and income overview
  • RTS used Google Sheets for budgets, but our Tech Soup subscription gives us a discounted Quickbooks subscription as a non-profit. Quickbooks has approved it, and it should be available in the next few days.
  • Financial reports will go out to the Board on a bi-weekly basis.
  • We continue to get income from the Flodesk affiliate link and the Summt passes.
  • The fundraising committee is coming back online this week. It will focus on finalizing a fundraising plan for the year, including targeting our members at the “Friends of Rising Tide” level. The marketing and branding committees will be consulted.

Board Member Leila moved to pause the meeting recording for a private executive session. Thompson seconded the motion, which passed at 9:15 a.m. PST/12:15 p.m. EST.

  • The executive session ended at 9:30 am/12:30 pm EST, and the meeting recording resumed.

Committee Reports

Executive Director Wendy Zook, on behalf of Christi Johnson
  • In 24 hours, we will officially be one year into the RTS non-profit journey.
Moderation Committee
  • Moderation is quiet, but DMs have picked up. Posting has increased on the main Facebook page.
  • Engagement with the leader library has picked up significantly.
Membership & Leadership Committee
  • Chris Stiles is off for the rest of the month for the Lens and Light Photography Summit.
  • We are officially open to new chapters, and the application process starts in March.
  • For the rest of the year, our focus is shifting from leadership to membership and supporting both communities.
  • We are also accepting new international (non-U.S.) chapters, including Canada. We are working on regional virtual Facebook groups. Leila is hosting a virtual meetup in March. Chapters in Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and Portugal are possibly forming. A Southwest Canada chapter is also forming.
  • The membership newsletter has launched, and a significant number of members have offered to volunteer for RTS.
  • Pulling together quarter two resources for the leader library – Leader support
  • Christy G. is hosting a leader connect every week and TL: DR newsletters that go out to leaders weekly.
  • Christy G. and Jasmine Newton will also coordinate with Stiles on the three-month onboarding process for new leaders. Christy will help new members find resources for their chapter, and Jasmine will focus on increasing membership and member resources.
  • Direct giving to members – Working on scheduling quarterly webinars, regional meetups, and more.
DEI Committee (Executive Director Wendy Zook)
  • Abiola starts on March 5th. She will conduct interviews, research, and gap analyses. Board members will be asked to meet with her or complete a questionnaire. Eventually, we will have a DEI committee composed of Board members, leadership, Rising Tide members, and sponsors. This is expected to be a 2-5 year partnership/ relationship. Zook will be the primary contact for the DEI committee.
Education Committee (Rhiannon Leila)
  • Led by Board members Leila and Widener
  • Education and marketing will sync in the next couple of weeks and check in to see where they can support each other and confirm that everything is clear of projects and resources.
  • The education committee is reviewing the leader library, creating webinars, and reaching out to the Events committee to schedule virtual events.
  • Podcast – The first few speakers are booked, and they are currently working on scheduling recording dates.
  • The education committee will be broken down into sub-committees: Webinar, Podcast, and Leader Library.
Marketing & Content Committee
  • Goals: Improving and providing clarity over graphics and content requests
  • Individual subcommittees are responsible for these different elements so that more people have shorter to-do lists
  • Longer turnaround times
  • Onboarding new volunteers
  • Social Media Subcommittee
    • We’re seeing a significant increase in traction and views
Events Committee (Debbie Cullum)
  • The committee is currently planning leader meetups and DIY regional meetups, like the recent one in South Carolina.
  • There won’t be an in-person RTS general member meetup this year, but the goal is to create one in 2025.
Finance & Fundraising
  • Treasurer Jaime Thompson has officially taken this committee over.
Executive Director Updates (Wendy Zook)
  • Executive Director Zook Lens and Light Photography Summit – February 26-29
    • – Created by Board member Chris Stiles, this will be Rising Tide’s first time exhibiting at a conference. Zook, Taylor, and Flavien will represent RTS. Ex-Officio Past President Natalie Franke is speaking at the conference. 7 
  • RTS Meetups
    • The New England regional meetup is March 1st, 2024 – Opened up to leaders and members, grassroots connection
  • Poconos Retreat
    • Five Board members were present. We will create more opportunities for key players on our teams to be in the same room and feel supported.
  • Update on website strategy + timeline
    • The website will now be a subcommittee. Sarah is bringing on volunteers.
  • Zook met with Christi Johnson and Lindsay Bishop about looking at BTS Rising Tide from a project-based perspective. When RTS takes on a new project, Christi will create a long-term strategy, and Lindsay will decide which committees must be involved.
  • Needs:
    • The current email coordinator stepped down, so we need a new volunteer. In the interim, Christy G. is taking over the TL: DR.
  • Meetings with external experts/strategists
    • Zook, Taylor, and volunteer Amanda Warfield met with Susana Boey [sic], a marketing and social media expert. Boey provided feedback and advice on RTS marketing.
    • Zook met with Cody Hayes, a marketing specialist for non-profits.
  • State of the Union follow-up
    • Several requests came in about starting new chapters, which are being followed up on
  • Business Boost Summit update -Ticket distribution and all-access pass sales are healthy – Presentations will be due a week before your session Upcoming RTS events – Zook is working with Jaime and Amanda to brainstorm future events and set up a planning pipeline.

Unfinished Business

There is no unfinished business

“For the Good of the Board…”

  • Next quorum Board meeting: Thursday, March 14, 2024, @ 8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m. EST (meeting invite to come) [Note: This meeting was re-scheduled to Thursday, March 7, 2024, @ 8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m. EST
  • Next quarterly executive committee meeting: Friday, April 26, 2024 @ 8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m. EST
  • Next quarterly Board meeting: Thursday, May 9, 2024 @ 8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m. EST


Cerra Lucas made a motion to adjourn, and Stiles seconded it. The motion was passed, and the meeting was adjourned at 10:25 a.m. PST/1:20 p.m. EST.

Action Items:

  • After the BBS summit, Cerra Lucas, Zook, Coopersmith, Stiles, and Taylor will meet to discuss implementing a town hall format for the membership.
  • Schedule a meeting with Treasurer Thompson
  • Board member Farrace, and Education Committee co-chair Widener to discuss newsletter advertising fundraising options. Taylor and Perkins will be pulled in for the branding and marketing component.
  • RTS needs a new email coordinator.
  • Summit presentations and materials must be submitted to Wendy one week before your presentation.

Revised minutes submitted 3/6/24 by Board Secretary Elizabeth Coopersmith Minutes approved by the Board 3/7/24 

Download a PDF of the meeting minutes

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