The MN United FC off-season is slower than the rest of the year, but it is still quite busy for the Board and the many people who are key to our thriving supporter community. There are Keepers of the North and Silver Lining events, and monthly board meetings; there are meetings with the MNUFC front office about next season and the hard work of the financial planning that goes into funding tifo and other supporter efforts. One of those meetings happened on December 14th, with the primary focus on facilitating even better communication between the supporters and the front office. We also met to cover matchday items like where the capo stands will be in Allianz and how the matchday presentation people (the ones who do the hype videos) can best do what they need to while also limiting the impact on things we were already doing, like when not to play a song over the PA and let supporters/fans sing. It was a very positive conversation and it looks like match days in Allianz will truly be special events, that will likely even have some designated (trained and credentialed) supporters in charge of smoke.
Speaking of special events, the 2019 Supporters Summit is coming, and following that the 2019 Wonderwall Board of Directors election. We have yet to set a date, though we are targeting mid-to-late February, and there will be four Board of Director seats up for election. The current board members whose terms are expiring are Daniel Hills, Jim Oliver, Samantha Solberg, and Andy Wattenhofer. We are currently accepting nominations for those interested in running. You can nominate yourself by filling out this form.
We will provide a post explaining the needs of the organization well in advance of the election, along with the targeted dates for elections and the schedule of nominations ending. This explanatory post will be live prior to the end of the year. This will help inform both those voting, and those wishing to be voted in, know what the corporation sees as its priorities. These are the things which the elected Directors can help address. One of the most vital items to be addressed is further documentation of how various supporter functions operate so that we aren't constantly reinventing the wheel each time we try to do something to support the Loons.
Another work-in-progress is the budgetary process, which was started a few years back trying to stay on top of how to manage our resources as best as possible. This process would normally see each committee submit its first draft at the beginning of November, in order to allow all of November and December to make any necessary changes. That didn't happen this year, so our budget process has been pushed to likely being complete by the end of January. Regardless of this minor setback, we will ultimately put together a budget that allows for great tifo, supports volunteer efforts, and among other things, keeps an eye to the future.
It amazes me that Allianz Field opens so soon, after having seemed like a thing that would never happen. What great fun we will have.
We still haven't found the people responsible for throwing beers onto the pitch. It is my hope that if you are one of the two people who did it, you know it was an unacceptable thing to do. As a group, we hold ourselves to a standard of behavior above that which you displayed, and it is our sincere hope that it’s a thing that does not repeat.
On the issue of cultural norms, our volunteer organizations are doing fantastic work in our communities, both Keepers of the North (KOTN) and Dark Clouds Silver Lining (DCSL) are upholding our long-established tradition of making a difference in our surrounding communities. KOTN recently raised $411 for Special Olympics of Minnesota, and are currently raising funds for My Very Own Bed. DCSL did an event with Cookie Cart since my last update, which you can read about here, and I was honored to have been a part of that day because it was incredibly rewarding to be able to talk to such inspiring young people while they were learning valuable job skills that will help them in their professional lives. Finally, the Second Black & Blue Supporters social is happening on the 21st, with proceeds going to support The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and open to all (even Portland Timbers fans).
The next several months are going to be a very busy time for the board as we have several high priority projects to address. The move to Allianz Field comes with doing all we can to communicate the needs of our membership to the MNUFC front office. This is a wide-ranging effort encompassing everything from tifo and capo stands to concessions. We also need to prepare for the 2019 Wonderwall Board of Directors Election; it is our goal to have the candidates known much earlier this year in order for members have time to find out who they are and what they stand for. Also, it will give the Wonderwall Board more time to inform the candidates of the needs of our organization to better craft their campaign platforms and better serve our members. Finally, budgetary planning for next year starts in earnest in November and we need to gather some guidance to help them through our admittedly “work in progress” budget process.
As always, nothing happens in this section without the tireless work of the many volunteers who are literally the lifeblood of the supporter’s section and our organizations. Thank you for all that you do, and will do, as we’d be nowhere without you.
COME ON YOU LOONS!