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L-R, Andrew Beck, Abraham Opoti, Max Tusa

 

After over 62 shareholder votes, three members were elected to the BoD for a term of two years.

Max Tusa and Abraham Opoti were re-elected to serve another term. This is Max's second term, and Abraham's third. Andrew Beck joins the Wonderwall Board of Directors for the first time.

Thanks to all who ran and for all who voted in these elections.

 

Below is a list of nominees and statements for all candidates running in the 2020 Board of Directors Elections. These statements are direct copy/paste from the nomination form, with no edits. If you click on a candidate's name, the link will take you to a photograph.

These six candidates will be running for three open seats.

Scott Andrew Fulks

As quite possibly the loudest Wonderwall season-ticket holder, I will use this platform on the board to advance our community´s collective voice and interests. As an immigration attorney, I bring an analytical perspective to a variety of issues that the board may consider in the future. As a former long-term resident in both South America and Europe, I have a passion to advance our amazing Wonderwall to even higher levels evidenced in fellow supporter groups around the world.

Ann Marie Johnson

The sport of soccer has invigorated the community and our state with something new and exciting! My business experience is in human resources: policy, performance and LEAN philosophy. I also have skills in relationship and consensus-building that can be valuable in a BOD environment. I would love to support and move the Wonderwall purpose forward!

Abraham Opoti

As the current President of Wonderwall, I feel fully qualified to say that we have come a very long way in the time since I first started on the board. We also have quite a bit more to do, which I am very much interested in accomplishing as much as possible during my next term should I be re-elected. Through conversations with our members it became clear that we were not speaking to each other enough, and now have all-WW SG leadership meetings with the WW President, Vice-President, and anyone else from the WW board who is able to attend.

As a corporation, we are in the middle of a massive shift in focus from operations to oversight. As was stated at a recent board meeting, we’ve grown as an organization in scope and size, and now begins the hard work of governance. We are adding structure and policy where it had not existed before in order to make the lives of our volunteers less complicated. Creating policy documents is not the same sort of fun as leading chants, or banging loudly on drums, yet it is critical work that I honestly enjoy seeing completed. We have a wonderful organization I have been honored to be a part of. I am regularly humbled by the great work our many volunteers do daily. I wish to honor those efforts by continuing to serve on the board and help lay the foundation for future successes.

Andrew Beck

With my time on Wonderwall board there are 3 things main categories I would like to focus on.

Building Relationships-I believe one of the most important and powerful things Wonderwall can do is be platform to help build stronger relationships across supporter groups at all levels and especially between leadership. Being able to facilitate those conversations and relationships is going to be key to the continued growth of WW along with existing and new SG’s. Those connections are a huge part of the organization’s strength and allow WW to be most effective voice possible for all MNUFC supporters.

Structure & Growth-As Wonderwall continues to grow and evolve as an organization separate from supporter groups, having smart and effective policies and procedures, extending to financial controls, in place and functioning is going to be critical going forward. Also serving as primary platform for SG’s to grow and build off of, it is important that there are clear rules and expectations that all SG’s follow. This extends particularly to dealing with financial decisions and how money is spent amongst SG’s.

Brand Building-Due to the unique structure that has developed, Wonderwall is a somewhat unknown and opaque organization to the average supporter. I want to grow the work to address that through continuing to build the WW brand along communicating the unique role WW fulfills. I believe one of the best way that can be down is to open up the organization so that supporters can see what WW role is and continue to communicate why decisions are made.

I thank you for your time and ask you for your vote.

Max Tusa

My name is Maxwell Tusa and I am a current member of the Wonderwall Board of Directors seeking to continue my board membership. Currently, my tenure is only 3 months, as I was voted in by the Board itself in October; this spot was left vacant by the departure of my good friend and fellow True North Elite member James Norungolo. I am incredibly eager to continue the work I have only just begun!

As an introductory aside, for those of you who don't know me by name, I am a devout fan of the Loons and have been a season ticket holder for the three years Minnesota has been a part of MLS. I am a member of True North Elite, having been adopted into the group by former TNE leader Nicholas Bisbee in the fall of 2016. Most of you will know me better as the guy in TNE who wears a facemask and never wears sleeves!

That said, to restate to the broader Wonderwall membership what I had stated in my application to the Board back in October, I bring a unique view to an already diverse Board of Directors. This past May I graduated from the University of St. Thomas School of Law with my Juris Doctorate - the professional training and education I received while in law school instilled in me excellent analytical skills. I will forevermore IRAC every issue or question that is placed in front of me - IRAC being the lawerly process of looking at any matter, I for issue (find what is being asked), R for rule (what's the applicable rule, or usually the standard practice), A for application (how do you apply the rule to the issue at hand), and C for conclusion (make a measured conclusion based on your analysis). I love nothing more than to carefully and judiciously work through any and all questions presented to me, from legal questions, to vehicle maintenance questions, to soccer related questions as well! I will put forth this same level of analysis and carefully measured thought process as a member of the Wonderwall board.

Turning to a less professional, and more humanistic qualification of mine relates to my desire to continue to foster and develop the soccer community here in Minnesota. Although I played soccer through high school, I never followed any team or even watched professional soccer. However, upon studying abroad in London in 2012, I had a chance to snap up a cheap ticket to a FA Cup fixture at Stamford Bridge - Chelsea v Leicester City. I found myself in the middle of the Chelsea supporters section and was absolutely floored by the passion and love for the team. Not only that, from what I saw, it was an incredibly diverse group of people brought together in their support. Within the writhing crowd of Blue I saw a coming together of people from all walks of life - it didn't matter who you were, only that you were shouting in unison for the team you supported. It was nothing like any sporting event I had been to before, and from the instant I saw that, I knew I wanted to bring that experience back across the pond. After sticking primarily to Premier League fandom in the years I lived out of state, my move back to Minnesota coincided with the Loons coming into the league. After being introduced to True North Elite and the supporter culture here in Minnesota, I well all in on the Loons. Since then I've done my utmost to both grow True North Elite and Wonderwall in what ways I can, and to bring awareness to MNUFC and soccer here in Minnesota. Take for example my fun part time job of Uber and Lyft, I nearly always try to bring up the Loons in my conversation, my love of the team and culture around the team is that strong!

I know I could continue extolling on my 'soft skills' and as to my unending love of the Loons, True North Elite, and Wonderwall, but in my first impression I don't want to go too overboard. I would be honored to continue to retain my Wonderwall Board of Directors membership and continue to move our amazing organization forward in support of the team and of it supporters within the Wonderwall. I am excited to do all that is required in support of the Board and Wonderwall, and will continue to be a diligent and present member of the Board.

Thank you all so much for your consideration. COYL

David Kelly

I was hooked on this team and its supporters from the Snowpener in 2017 - my first ever MLS match, and quickly became a STH. I believe the energy we bring to the stands every week is infectious and can spill out into our communities if channeled. I began as a Dark Cloud and am currently a Red Loon, though I believe all our SGs can provide a fantastic linkage to the team and I see Wonderwall as that federation for our common objectives as SGs. As a board member, I hope to bring the perspective of a new-ish supporter who can speak to those elements which attract new members, volunteers, and strengthen our ties to each other as SGs.

Wonderwall, the parent organization dedicated to enabling, empowering and accelerating Minnesota United FC’s Supporters Groups, will be hosting the annual Supporters Summit on January 31, 2020 at Summit Brewing Company, inside the Administration Building. The event will begin around 6:30 PM with the program aspect of the evening commencing at 7:00 PM. As with all Wonderwall Supporters Summits, all are welcome – you do not need to be a Supporters Group member or season ticket holder to attend the event.

We're planning to have 2020 membership packages (member scarf + membership card) available for pickup at the Supporters Summit, if this changes we will announce via our social media channels and update this post.

As part of the Supporters Summit, there will be the component of elections, just as there was last year. Though not required, nominees are encouraged to attend and meet with members and non-members.

Important things to note: in order to vote for the Board of Directors, an affiliated Supporters Group membership will be required, as well as the purchase of a non-expiring voting share. All information relating to the 2020 Wonderwall Board of Directors elections, voting, voting shares etc., can be found below.

View a list of 2020 Nominees and their candidate statements.

Elections Process

Elections will commence at 9:00 AM Central following the 2020 Supporters Summit; you do not need to be present at the Supporters Summit in order to vote. Those who have purchased a voting share will be emailed a voting link. Elections will last for seven days, closing on February 7 at 11:59 PM. Winners of the elections will be notified on February 12 and the new Board of Directors members will be announced prior to the start of the season opener on March 1.

Voting Shares

All votes will require the purchase of a membership voting share in accordance with our bylaws. Voting shares will be sold for $25, and are available for sale on the web store. There are 500 voting shares available. In addition to a voting share, one must be a member of an affiliated Supporters Group either through holding a season ticket in the Supporters Section at Allianz Field (sections 20-24), or through the purchase of an individual membership.

Those voting in the election will be required to provide their full name, mailing address and telephone number; this is legally required for the organization and we cannot offer exceptions. Those who wish not to share this information will not be allowed to vote in the elections.

Voting shares purchased this year will not expire and will entitle the shareholder to voting rights for future years. If you purchased a share in the 2019 elections, your voting share is still valid and there is no need to purchase another one. Each shareholder is entitled to one vote annually, regardless of the number of voting shares purchased.

The money collected from voting shares will continue to be used to further the mission of Wonderwall and their Supporters Groups, including to provide funding for supporters groups’ initiatives and funding match day components such as flags and tifo.

We will not be selling voting shares at the Supporters Summit, shares and memberships will need to be purchased prior to the end of the event, via the Wonderwall Web Store.

If you have any questions – please feel free to reach out to us via email.

 

 

Wonderwall is now seeking candidates via an open nominations process, for the 2020 Board of Directors To nominate yourself, simply fill out this form. The nominations period ends January 15, 2020, all nominations must be submitted prior to this date.

If you're wondering what it's like to be on the Board of Directors, or what tasks board members are focused on, please check out out this past year's organizational priorities.The Board of Directors guides decision making, policies and procedures of the Wonderwall organization and is very strategically focused. If you're looking to become more involved, or to participate in a particular aspect of Supporter Group culture (tifo, matchday, social media, etc) please send us an email and we can connect you with the appropriate people.

To nominate yourself, please complete this simple form. All candidates and candidate comments will be published prior to the election taking place. To learn more about Wonderwall, how it operates and its current Board of Directors, please visit the about us page. Board of Directors Elections will take place following the Supporters Summit which is scheduled for January 31, 2020 at Summit Brewery.

 

Greetings Loons,

The mission of the Wonderwall is to support professional soccer, serve and build communities, and create a welcoming, inclusive culture around the sport in Minnesota.

The MN Wonderwall Board exists to carry out this mission statement. This is on what the state grades us on each year, through our B Impact Assessment score and annual report. This annual report is nearly completed, and will be published to the website once done. Much of the work of assembling that report has fallen on the Wonderwall Secretary with the rest of the board contributing and reviewing the content. The Wonderwall President adds a summary of where the organization will go in the coming year, and it is filed with the State of Minnesota once the board signs off on it. The newly elected board members, Shuo Wang, Eric Silva Brenneman, Jenn Uitto, and Jonathon Pavlica, will have their hand in crafting next year’s report.

The function of the Wonderwall Board is running the corporation, which is a General Benefit Corporation, also known as a B Corporation. This means the corporation exists as a for-profit institution that also has a mission to fulfill. We don’t necessarily make every decision worrying about our B Impact score, but we absolutely need to consider whether we feel a course of action adheres to our guiding principles.

Adding a new supporters group like Dark Glitterati, a group declaring women central to its existence in a sports environment that is heavily male-centric, builds upon our mission to create an inclusive culture. While we are still working on what it means to be a Wonderwall-affiliated supporters group, we know this; it means working with the other supporters groups to fulfill the mission the set out when this corporation was formed.

The Wonderwall Board will continue to do the behind-the-scenes work of tracking the priorities of various committees to provide the necessary funding for our work. We will continue to amplify the voices of our membership when concerns arise with the MNUFC front office. We will continue support community involvement efforts to show that we are more than people who watch soccer.

We are here because the Dark Clouds charted this path years ago by creating this corporation and welcoming people to the party. We will move forward only through the collective efforts of everyone, affiliated or otherwise, who make this soccer community a wonderful place.

Thank you,

-Abe

 

Board of Directors Elections are quickly approaching, beginning February 21st and continuing through February 28th, the elections will appoint three new Board of Directors Members for Wonderwall. The current board has already outlined their priorities for 2019 and beyond. In order to provide the best possible information to our members to vote here are a list of the candidates and some brief information about them.

In order to vote, one must have a membership (supporters section season ticket includes a membership) and have purchased a voting share. For full elections details and information please click here.

Here are your 2019 candidates for Wonderwall Board of Directors (in no particular order)

Ryan Wescome
I have been helping run the Game Day experience on the Instagram account since early to mid-season last year. I loved being involved and would be interested in getting even further involved. I am a season ticket holder in Supporters and attend most, if not every game. I also am highly involved in Reddit and other sports boards. I have always been fascinated with stats, rumors etc. and would love to have even more to pitch in. Lastly, I live in Anoka so my close proximity to NSC comes in handy for events such as the STH practice and luncheon.

 

Jenn Uitto

We need an equal presence of SGs on the board as well as opening the board for women. Woman are seen on the Capo stands and in the crowd of waves of supporters. Being active on the Wonderwall I will have the best intentions and interests of all the people. Being newer to any supporters group I see beyond the politics and the past. It has been a fantastic experience being in the crowds and volunteer opportunities. Outside my love for MNUFC I work as a recruiter for a secondary education school. I have the experience and the passion to engage and get people active in the SGs that fits them. Not vice Versa. I have made some amazing friendships within many of the SGs. I am there at meetings for Wonderwall when they are open to everyone as well as passionately volunteer with my TNE/Keepers of the North and MNUFC opportunities.

 

 

Alex Hintz
I would like to run for Board of Directors to represent the passionate fans that do not sit in the supporters section. Every time I bring someone to a MNUFC game, my favorite moment is when I see the look on their face when the Wonderwall begins singing and chanting. The supporters section brings excitement and energy to the entire stadium. As such, I think it is important to have a voice on the council that represents those fans that love the Loons and love watching and listening to the Wonderwall, but aren't actually part of it.


 

Eric Silva Brenneman

MNUFC (and previous team names/versions) supporter 15 or something years, member of 3 SGs, POC/multilingual, want to help connect and improve diversity in supporters sections and the organization, have a platform in local soccer media.

 

 

Jonathan Pavlica

I look forward to working with the SG's to help align all of our goals and will continue to focus on bridging the gaps that I have seen grow between some of them. As a 19-year resident of the Midway I am also looking to help out our local business owners to help them achieve the amount of success that can be had with the opening of Allianz field. As a member of TNE and Keepers of the North I allow myself to not only focus on the 90 but beyond.


 

Shuo Wang

I love soccer in the U.S. I love seeing the continued growth of MLS. The idea of directly helping this growth just sounds right to me. For 2018, I was lucky to be on the MNUFC Season Ticket Holder Advisory Council. My professional background is in Data Science and Analytics. I am also a Certified Scrum Product Owner. This means I would bring the ability to identify opportunities for Data Driven decision making while focusing on the "What are we actually trying to do" question. It's just how I'm wired. For me, this opportunity would be an area of personal growth and development. It would be fascinating to contribute to successfully setting up and structuring a 501(c)3 organization.

 

Charlie Piotrowski

Over the past couple of years being a part of the True North Elite, I've stood back and observed where things were heading during our tenure at TCF and felt that there could be some vast improvements to make things easier. I simply want to accomplish two things which would require collective effort. Firstly, I want to have the supporters section fully immersed in 90 minutes of pure game day energy. We're only meeting 60 minutes of it and want to work with the board to identify what we can do to bring that full immersion to those seasoned and new. Secondly, I feel that the merchandise should be more opened up to the group, there is not enough variety as well as designs that only appeal to one core group. As a family, we should have something different, something unique and a group collective that would turn heads and promote sales for future merchandise.

Greetings Loons,

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.

COYL,

-Abe

Editor's note: This post was originally published at Dark-Clouds.com
L-R John Louis, Abe Opoti, James Norungolo

The Dark Clouds General Benefit Corporation (GBC) elected three new members to their Board of Directors (BoD) this past week.

After over 100 shareholder votes, three members were elected to the BoD for a term of two years.

John Louis and Abraham Opoti were re-elected to serve another term, the second for each, and James Norungolo was elected to his first term on the GBC BoD.

Thanks to all who ran and for all who voted in these elections.

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