Administration Candidate: Mary McKinley

About me

I started with CONvergence in year one as GoH Liaison to Forrest Ackerman. After that, over the last 19 years, I have headed F2E2, (including the year That Shall Not Be Named), worked in Ops and Registration, headed Artists Alley and Dealers Room, won a few Masquerades, (remember the immortal “Pigs In Space” and Delores Umbridge?), participated on several panels, gone to the party rooms, watched movies in Cinema Rex, and basically have spent 19 years volunteering and participating.

The Administration position oversees Archives, Art Show, Merchandising, Partner Management, Registration, and Volunteers as well as current secretary to the executive board, an appointed position. I have years of experience as board secretary to several non-profit groups, and pride myself on getting minutes and other information out to the membership within 24 hours. I also follow through with assigned tasks. This position requires a lot of outside negotiations with partners which utilizes my tact and diplomacy skills. I am a firm believer in the concept that there are no problems, only issues awaiting resolution.

As a 19+ year volunteer, I know how difficult it can be to recruit and keep volunteers. One of my goals is to improve on the already fabulous job that volunteers does, in part by making volunteering more rewarding and recruiting more young people who will be interested in taking over for us when we’re ready to step down. Registration does a great job with what they’re given to work with, but any process can be improved. This will require brainstorming with them to listen to their suggestions on expediting check in and reducing issues at the door. Merchandising needs better showcasing – I know space is always limited, but how can we get them more front and center? Perhaps they would fit into Dealers Room? Again, this is a discussion waiting to happen. Art show – every year, there is art not picked up/paid for, or paid for but not picked up. How does this problem get resolved- perhaps all art that is not in the auction be paid for by Midnight Saturday, and if it’s not paid for it goes back for sale? Just some ideas to start with.

And finally – we’re here because we get something out of it – perhaps it’s a sense of duty, guilt, an excuse to avoid other activities, or, hopefully, because we find it fun. We need to ensure that it remains fun and do our best to prevent burnout.

Personally, I finally have the time to devote to this. My MA will be completed Dec 21, 2017 (and much jubilation was heard throughout the land!), I retired last February, and, on a sadder note, I am no longer caring for my husband. I have the time to spend to keep CONvergence the premier Sci-Fi (Forrey Ackerman said it was OK to use that term!) convention in the Midwest, and perhaps grow beyond that!