News

Disarray at the Dojo

Mountain View's Hacker Dojo facing internal unrest, credit card misuse and a move to a new location

Hacker Dojo, Mountain View's one-of-a-kind workshop for start-ups and makers, could be facing the biggest challenge to its survival to date. Just weeks before it must relocate to a new space, the scrappy hacker club is dealing with a leadership crisis amid allegations of misuse of funds by a staffer.

Feuds and clashing personalities are nothing new at Hacker Dojo, which has long attracted a membership that's both smart and headstrong. But in recent weeks, the internal controversy has reached a boiling point, following news that a Hacker Dojo staffer had racked up what could be tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses on the nonprofit's credit card.

While the Dojo's directors and its hundreds of members roundly condemned the theft, critics are saying that the board members have become secretive and dragged their heels on implementing proposals to prevent future problems.

Vegas trips, gym memberships

The chief critic calling for greater board transparency and reform until recently was a sitting director herself. Sudarshana "Sophie" Banerjee, 38, who joined the five-member board in January and just announced her resignation this week, would seem a model member of Hacker Dojo. A former journalist from India who joined the group two years ago, she credits the close-knit community with kindling her love for coding and robotics. She still brims with enthusiasm when she describes the spirit of the group.

"When you're in this environment, it just makes you want to build stuff," she said. "The Dojo is a place that embraces geeks and founders. You can be homeless, live out of your car and start your company out of the Dojo."

One of Banerjee's first actions on the board was to request bank records to see how the nonprofit was spending its money. It turns out that she was first director to ask for these records in years, and up until that point, the board treasurer had essentially been an honorary title, she said.

As she thumbed through the records, a pattern of suspicious expenses emerged. The nonprofit's credit card appeared to have been used to pay for Las Vegas trips, hotels and gym memberships, among other things. The board agreed to perform an audit and on March 1, one day after the board gained full access to the nonprofit's bank accounts, Marie Knox, Hacker Dojo's longtime office coordinator, came forward and admitted to misusing the credit card for personal use, Banerjee told the Voice.

Knox, who was promptly suspended, reportedly said the charges were unintentional mistakes, and she pledged to reimburse Hacker Dojo. The exact amount allegedly stolen remains unclear, and board members say that so far they have examined only the last two years of credit card statements.

Knox did not return calls from the Voice seeking comment on the allegations.

At worst, the total amount stolen could be $30,000, said Ghufran Syed, who was appointed as the new board treasurer about two weeks ago, in an online message-board post to Hacker Dojo members. But he noted that some portion of that sum was likely justifiable business expenses, so he expected the total amount to shrink. It's hard to say, since the board is still trying to track down older financial records.

Nevertheless, the scale of the potential theft is astounding -- it could comprise Hacker Dojo's second-largest expense after rent. After a visit to the bank, the board members were assured that Hacker Dojo's main savings -- about $300,000 -- was secure and still available as a down payment for a future move.

A few days later, Banerjee sent out a group email describing the theft to Hacker Dojo's full membership, effectively opening up the Dojo to the question: how could one staff member do something like this for years without being caught?

Banerjee said she finds it hard to believe this theft was an isolated case. So far, she says Hacker Dojo staff has been able to locate only a fraction of the receipts and cashier's checks written over the last years. She has also come to believe that the nonprofit's bookkeeping is untrustworthy, saying it often includes inexact approximations or in some cases what she believes could be outright falsified numbers.

"There's no way this can be an unintentional case if there's a pattern of abuse and accounts have been fudged," Banerjee said.

When the Voice asked for comment, the Hacker Dojo board of directors this week acknowledged the theft in a prepared statement. It noted the board is still working on a plan for Knox to provide restitution for the stolen funds and that, so far, the board has held off on filing criminal charges against Knox. In the same message, Hacker Dojo directors noted that since the discovery, one long-serving board member and the former treasurer had resigned, and two new directors have been appointed to replace them.

Dojo seeks new home

The revelations are coming at a bad time for Hacker Dojo, just two months before its current lease for its building at 599 Fairchild Drive will expire. Since last year, Hacker Dojo leaders have been looking to secure a new home, which is expected to be an expensive endeavor.

Hacker Dojo's board and staff did not respond to Voice's request for a status update on the imminent move, leaving it unclear where the nonprofit plans to resettle.

But sources say Hacker Dojo's problems have been mounting for just about as long as the search for a new home. Brian Klug, one of Hacker Dojo's founders, says 2015 was a particularly troublesome year, with several incidents requiring police calls, including what he said were sexual and physical assaults on the premises. Asked about this, Mountain View Police officials said they could find records for only three incidents at Hacker Dojo in 2015: an auto burglary, a missing person, and an unspecified service call. Nevertheless, Klug said security was a major problem at the time.

Open 24 hours, seven days a week, pretty much anyone could walk in the Dojo's doors, and the skeleton crew of staff members often weren't around to stop those causing problems, Klug said.

"This building had become the wild west of Silicon Valley with a lot of weird characters and management not doing anything," he said.

An open-door policy and loose rules bordering on anarchy is part of the appeal of hacker spaces like Hacker Dojo. Rich Bodo, a Hacker Dojo member who took a recent driving tour of similar facilities, said about a dozen hacker spaces exist in the South Bay, even though they sometimes are little more than a garage with Wi-Fi. Large hackerspaces, like Hacker Dojo or Noisebridge in San Francisco, tend to have a perpetual challenge with managing finances as well as the strong personalities who flock to them, he said.

"It's like a community center for high-functioning oddball people," he said. "You have Internet access, coffee and water, and you get some people who are homeless and half-crazy, but you've got to love them."

In 2015, executive director Brian Rouch eventually stepped in and began imposing stricter rules. About a dozen members were banned, including Klug, which he attributes to a dispute with one of the staff members.

Many members say the culture at Hacker Dojo began to change, and Rouch began running the place more like a for-profit company. Wi-Fi access, the Dojo's lifeblood, became available only for paying members. Meanwhile membership fees, the Dojo's main revenue source, went up sharply -- the regular package jumped from $100 to $195 a month.

Rouch already stood out at the casual hackerspace as the "Wall Street-looking" guy dressed in a formal suit and dress shirt, Banderjee said. After his changes to Hacker Dojo, he soon found himself hurting for supporters. Members put forward a petition to the board demanding that Rouch be removed. At that point, "the writing was on the wall" and Rouch resigned late last year, Bodo said. The executive director position was given to Jun Wong. With the departure of Rouch and Knox in March, Wong is now Hacker Dojo's only remaining staff member.

As these transitions were happening late last year, Klug, still banned, was firing off a string of warning letters to Hacker Dojo leaders. He pointed out that management had evidently neglected to file basic paperwork, including its tax records, and as a result Hacker Dojo had lost its nonprofit status. After about six months with no action, Klug said he told the board that they could now be liable for about $20,000 in property taxes.

Seizing the opportunity, Klug told the Voice he drove out to Sacramento and registered a new company called "Hacker Dojo" since no active business entity existed with that name. That meant even though the Mountain View's Hacker Dojo had the building, membership and piles of gear, Klug's newly created Hacker Dojo was technically the only one recognized as a legally sanctioned company. He said he decided to use this as leverage, giving back the Hacker Dojo name only if the board members agreed to some changes.

His biggest demand was for the board of directors to hold its first-ever election among the membership to fill an open board seat. It was held in January and Banerjee emerged as the winner with with about six times more votes than any other candidate, Klug said.

Bad blood on the board

A little more than a month after Banerjee joined the board, Hacker Dojo's already tense leadership situation became more toxic after evidence emerged of the credit card misuse. Early on, Banerjee said everyone at Hacker Dojo lauded her efforts, but the disposition of others on the board soon became "vicious" toward her, especially as she asserted her belief that there could be larger problems.

She said Hacker Dojo staff blocked her from sending out invitations for a town hall meeting with the members to discuss the problems. Closed-door board meetings often turned into shouting matches, and she recalls one instance when Syed, the current treasurer, snatched the nonprofit's bank records out of her hands.

"A board member said, 'You've dug us into a fine hole on this," she told the Voice. "I feel either the board members don't understand what's happening, or they don't care."

Banerjee said resentment toward her deepened after she aired her complaints publicly on the Dojo's message board. About two weeks ago, she alleged the board wasn't following its legal duty to make its meeting minutes available and needed to improve its transparency. In response, another board member accused her of angling to be hired as the new executive director.

The tension among Hacker Dojo members was on full display at a town hall meeting on Friday, March 25. About two dozen members packed a meeting room to discuss a slate of new rules they were demanding be added to the Dojo's bylaws. These demands included that all board members be elected by the members and that expenditures be publicized within seven days. Multiple members made clear they felt an adversarial relationship (one member said they were "at war") with the board. One speaker threatened to abandon his membership if the board didn't sign off on the new bylaws.

To hear Banerjee describe it, the last month has been a wall of stress each day. As one of a small number of women who frequent the Dojo, it always been difficult working in a male-dominated culture at Hacker Dojo, she said. But in the last week, she said she's felt extremely isolated as she began to wonder about the integrity of her colleagues.

Earlier in March, the board secretary notified the rest of the directors that they would be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Banerjee refused. Around this time, another board member began questioning her mental fitness to serve on the board, she said.

In the last few days, Banerjee told the Voice that she's concerned about the veracity of the Dojo's membership rolls and network security, as well as her own safety. Scrolling through her email while on the phone with the Voice, she was startled to see her email messages start disappearing one by one, and said she feared that someone had hacked into her account. Earlier this week, she noticed about 20 attempts someone had made to send out a mass message through her email to all the members, but luckily it got blocked. Needless to say, it all felt scary, she said.

Bodo, a longtime Hacker Dojo member, said it was entirely possible Banerjee's email was hacked -- for those hanging out at a hacker space, it's a safe assumption others are testing your computer's vulnerabilities.

"At a hacker space, when you walk in, you've got to assume people are trying to crack (your computer). They can't help it," he said. "If you're at Hacker Dojo and you're not using encryption, your email probably isn't that secure."

On Tuesday, Banerjee sent an email out to all the members announcing that she was resigning from the board. She was weary of the pressure from all sides on whether she should file police charges or stay silent. She said she stuck around, thinking her vote could make a difference, but it was starting to feel pointless.

"I now find that the culture of our Board no longer allows a decent, ethical and well-meaning professional to serve," she wrote.

For many members, the recent organizational chaos begs the question of what kind of future Hacker Dojo will have. When it moved from its original South Whisman Road location in 2012, the nonprofit heavily relied on its base of members and volunteers to transition into a new space. Some members interviewed for this story expressed concern that the support in the Hacker Dojo community might not be there this time around.

"People are up in arms and they've lost their patience," said one member, who declined to be named. "If we can't move, then maybe we have to start over and pick up the pieces. Maybe that's the best outcome."

Bodo isn't worried; the community would just regroup to a new meeting space if Hacker Dojo died, he said.

"If Hacker Dojo disappeared, two days from now, we'd be meeting somewhere else on a regular basis, and six months from now we'd be in a new space," he said. "The people who are (at Hacker Dojo) get things done; they're bad-ass -- but they just don't want to manage things."

Email mnoack@mv-voice.com

Comments

47 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:36 am

It is inspiring to see a whistle blower/ non-profit director find a major defect (say cancer?) in her organization. Too many non-profit directors do not realize that it is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY / and RIGHT under Calif. Corporation statues to look at any corporate document (not protected by medical disclosure or other special exclusion law). All general financial documents are fair game - no Board vote required!
Corporations Code Division 2 either Part 1 or 2 (public benefit "charity" or mutual benefit). Web Link=

By requesting to see the financial documents, from both 'the treasurer' and the bank directly, Banerjee fulfilled the highest standards of a director. Protect the corporation, and it's mission, and hold all staff & directors accountable. If every non-profit board had one or two directors that did this, and had even simplified 'yearly ndependent audits' there would be a lot of better non-profits.

The best example of an excellent non-profit 'independent audit' can usually be found in your nearest public school! For about one hundred years PTAs (Parent Teacher Association) has taught its members/local leaders how to do this. And held the local leadership to strict standards. Sticking to high standards 'almost always' works.


35 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:47 am

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

As a member of the Hacker Dojo, this is a sad situation all around.


16 people like this
Posted by kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Time to grow up, Treasurer is an'honorary' position? So who is filing their tax returns, paying the bills etc?. I am sure their sponsors are not going to be pleased. And why is their domain .com if they are a 501c3 as stated on their website? Web Link

I don't blame Sophie Banerjee for resigning, sounds like a dysfunctional frat house.


17 people like this
Posted by yourmom
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:12 pm

This is an ego-focused attack on a current employee of the organization. "COULD BE" is not journalism. Do you job.


18 people like this
Posted by Dojo member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:38 pm

The article appears to somehow have missed some key pieces of information. I leave it to you to decide whether Mr Klug and Ms Sudarshana Bannerjee's motives are:
1) Brian Klug, a disgruntled previous member who was banned from the premises failed to submit tax returns on time when he was executive director of the organization
2) Sudarshana and Mr Klug were romantically involved in the past
3) Sudarshana applied for the Executive director position at the organization in late 2015, with a salary of around $55,000, but another candidate was selected.
4) During the time of her election and investigation, she was unemployed.
5) She has previously admitted being friends with Marie Knox (who in turn, was hired by her former boyfriend, Brian Klug)
6) Sudarshana resigned just before a board meeting where a conflict of interest vote was on the agenda, stating that no current or former board member would be eligible for a paid staff position (all board members are unpaid volunteers)
7) Sudarshana resigned as soon as she received confirmation of a new paid position, apparently working with the Kamala Harris Senate campaign.


8 people like this
Posted by Dojo member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

The following items are from the March 7 board meeting minutes from the hackerdojo, which are available to all members of the organization at Web Link.
Again, you can decide for yourself whether the Board was obstructing or assisting Sudarshana in the investigation:

Proposal #3:
Sudarshana Banerjee proposed the formation of a temporary task force to inspect the irregularities at the Dojo. She offered to chair the task force. Motion passed 4-­0.

● AYES: Mani Harihara, Dean Mao, Sudarshana Banerjee, Diwakar Cherukumilli
● ABSENT: Tracy Lee
● NOES: None

Proposal #4:
Sudarshana Banerjee requested a budget of $4000 for the task force. Mani Harihara seconded the motion. Motion passed 3­-1.
● AYES: Mani Harihara, Dean Mao, Sudarshana Banerjee
● ABSENT: Tracy Lee
● NOES: Diwakar Cherukumilli


19 people like this
Posted by Dojo member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:37 pm

There's most definitely two sides to this story. Was the sole purpose of this article to destroy the Dojo? That appears to be the case. Will whoever reached out to the press with their version of the story continue calling themselves a supporter of the Dojo. Shame on them and their nefarious agenda.


8 people like this
Posted by JustDeserts
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2016 at 5:57 pm

"COULD BE" is not journalism. Do you job.
Yes it is. 'Do you job' is not.
The job of uncovering all facts is the duty of the Hacker Dojo.
The job of investigating is an appropriate agency.
The job of prosecuting a crime is the district attorney or other appropriate agency.
If article run short, it left out 2 assaults that occurred at Hacker Dojo
reported to management with a settlement reached and a 3rd not reported because victim did not know the
legal definition that an assault indeed occurred upon that person.

There are some misguided members opposed to story failing to appreciate news is news and
The Truth Will Set you Free -John 8:32


14 people like this
Posted by Dojo member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Hacker Dojo is a volunteer run organization. People do their work and volunteer their spare time to help the dojo out for the common good. There are many of us that look at the dojo as their "second chance", to do something cool and be someone useful to the community. There are many of us at the Dojo, that put in more than a honest days work and come up with ideas and work on it. Some succeed and then some fail. We have put our future in the line and also our family's future to work on some idea. To us, Dojo provides a safe nurturing place to work.

The article is the story of a few disgruntled and highly vocal members at the dojo. It does not represent the members of the Dojo.


18 people like this
Posted by Hacker Dojo Information Minister
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Everything is absolutely fine at Hacker Dojo.

This article represents the opinion of only a FEW PEOPLE -- the reality is that only 85%+ of Members support Sophie! That's less then almost everyone!

Hacker Dojo Board has everything under control. Things have never been better!

Sophie was just a nuisance concerned about things like record keeping, IRS compliance and legal compliance.



12 people like this
Posted by Dojoer
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:46 pm

I'm sorry, but this seems like hyperbolic gossip from one side of the argument and presented it as objective facts.

> the total amount stolen could be $30,000

1) Calling the money "stolen", when it's possible there simply wasn't any policy mandating a clear separation between personal and business expenditures, provided everything was reimbursed properly

2) Could be? Why not wait for this to be properly calculated before dragging a woman's name through the dirt? It "could be" $50 for all we know.

3) I'm willing to bet good money that the $30,000 figure cited represents the entirety of the Dojo's incidental expenditure.

An extremely disappointing article.

Someone's on the board for three months and her word is treated as gospel? What strings were pulled to get that sort of placement?


6 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 1, 2016 at 2:50 am

Hacker Dojo was just an extended party for everyone to worship King David. Like mouldy bread, it might be time to just compost it.


42 people like this
Posted by Concerned Dojo Member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2016 at 3:34 am

It's telling that Hacker Dojo board members are such minor members of the community that they have nothing better to do with their lives than to come on here anonymously to smear ex-board member Sophie Sudarshana's reputation with unproven and lurid personal life details and slanderous claims.

It's telling because it shows that they can't refute the claims written in the article, so they instead try to "kill the messenger" using classic unethical whistle-blower retaliation tactics - continuing their harassment.

Bottom line: The Dojo Board, after asking Sophie to investigate, realized that it wasn't a small sum stolen - it could be as high as $100K or greater. Then because they then realized they were personally financially liable for the stolen funds - since they were undeniably negligent in their oversight and fiduciary duties - went about to systematically stop and silence Sophie and stymie her investigation.

This Dojo board has undeniably failed the Dojo, the public, and it's hacker community, and has a clear legal conflict of interest. If they were competent, they would have done what other nonprofits do in this situation: hired an experienced law firm to investigate, and then let the firm inform the police and state Attorney General's office, as is required by law. Instead, they tried to cover up and negotiate a secret payback settlement with the allegedly thieving staff.

In fact, Board member Sudarshana alone was put in charge of investigating her Dojo colleagues and former friends for possible felony crimes. She uncovered evidence that other currently paid staff may also be embezzling money. This same staff may have been in an affair with a current board member, and was responsible for nominating current members of the board, and was entirely responsible for overseeing the employee who has admitted to "accidentally" stealing money from the Dojo.

The reality is that this board does not want elections held, because they know they would be immediately fired from their esteemed board positions. This board wants the title on their resume, but refuses to be bothered with real oversight work, and cannot deny their failure to the Dojo, yet still refuse to leave, and refuse to allow the Dojo community simple democratic rights. They've also engaged in spying on members, "confidential" member banning tribunals of their critics, while secretly giving free memberships to their friends and allies - a further form of theft by the board against paying members.

If this board doesn't step away, they will be sued by current members. There are many causes of action, but primarily they will be made to pay back the tens of thousands in member fees (allegedly) stolen under their negligent direction. And the amount to be reimbursed will be any expenditures that they, the board, can't p r o v e with clear and convincing evidence was spent for the benefit of the public or the members. That amount will likely be a very large number. Much higher than $30K. And by law, insurance won't cover them.

This entire situation has gone from bad to worse to unthinkably horrible, in the hands of this board. And all they have to do to diffuse it is let the members who fund the nonprofit elect the board. Yet they refuse. What more needs be said than that?


17 people like this
Posted by Amelia
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2016 at 7:47 am

Time for a fresh start if you ask me. Off with their heads!


8 people like this
Posted by Steven
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2016 at 8:40 am

I was a member there prior to the huge price increase. I would still go and put some money in the jar, but the $195 was too much. They then added a lower cost, more limited membership, but it was too limited.

There were people that were clearly living at Hacker Dojo, though that problem seemed to be solved.

I never thought that it was a "non-profit" since the fees were so high and there were so many members. But now it seems very empty and turning it around and restoring it to its former glory seems iffy.

The other problem is that EVERY owner of the remaining old tilt-up obsolete industrial buildings is anxious to get permission to tear the building down to build something denser, taller, and that will lease for more money. Throughout Silicon Valley there is a rush to do this before cities realize the negative effects on housing and schools. So entities like Hacker Dojo will face never-ending moves until they can't function anymore.

What Hacker Dojo should do is to find a "sugar-daddy." Look at Amazon's pop-up space in San Francisco which is free to use, and they're motivation is for start-ups to adopt the Amazon infrastructure. Maybe Google or Microsoft would be willing to fund something similar.


6 people like this
Posted by Anonymous HD Members
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Anonymous HD Members is a registered user.

Lots of time spent with finger pointing but no announcement of a final dollar figure embezzlement and if authorities notified to investigate. Disappointed the board is not doing more to come clean. Maybe immunity would allow others to fess up to their deeds.


4 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 1, 2016 at 7:46 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I facetiously made a comment about moving the Hacker Dojo to Denver.
I actually have training for operating a small business.
The Checks and Balances are hard for people when the IRS gets involved. Even Board members suddenly resign in the face of an audit, they are the " rats that leave a sinking ship " and they run with their ill gotten boodles.

Yes, an independent outside auditor must " check the books " and make sure the proper income has the proper outgo. I'll bet the Dojo did not even have the basic accounting books to resolve the money issue!

The Steve Nelson response from me: Professionals cost money!

To make this a better non-profit: All the members must kick out the existing management and make sure that the basics of accounting is followed by the NEW Treasurer. IMMEDIATELY. Before the IRS demands an audit of the books AND if their are no books, CREATE THEM properly and go forward from day 1. You do not want checks by the IRS and their TAX COURT. You really don't!
Shame on the people who used the Dojo monies as their personal piggy bank.
If actual books were kept, there records would explain the cash flow. I have seen the results of " loose accounting business practices " and the estimates are far higher than the income for tax purposes.
How do I know this? Not only did my wife and I took the small business course, SHE IS A CPA SPECIALIZING IN TAX MATTERS!
When she finished the courses that gave her CPA license, the IRS was trying to hire her!


5 people like this
Posted by PeakOilAdvocate
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm

PeakOilAdvocate is a registered user.


Life is too short to not inject some humor in an otherwise depressing situation:

The Shawshank Redemption - The Scandal is Revealed
Web Link

Telly Savalas is teaching a class on Keeping the Books:
Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Emily Ramos
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Emily Ramos is a registered user.

How sad... I love that place.


14 people like this
Posted by AnotherConcernedDojoMember
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2016 at 11:37 pm

AnotherConcernedDojoMember is a registered user.

This is an email sent out by Sophie to directors, copied to Dojo discussion group several days ago. Did the Dojo hire an accountant or consultant since? What about taxes? Or the police?

I suspect there is more going on than we are being told. No one knows how 3 new board members got appointed in September. 1 of the new board members appointed last month got only 3 votes in the January board elections, but is on the board now 2 months later all the same. The only elected board member since Katy resigned in less than 2 months. Sophie was organizing lightning talks every week as a volunteer at the Dojo for couple of years. Cared about the people.

Used to love the place. Yes, this is sad. Remember back in the days when Dojo was about coding and good people. Where have all the hackers gone?

Friends,
That Hacker Dojo as an organization is doing everything to make sure that we are in compliance with all laws that apply to us - is not something I have been able to verify yet or can say with confidence.

Deeply concerned that the board meeting minutes are not being made available. I have asked for them repeatedly; will expect the minutes, or an explanation as to why they are not being shared, at your earliest convenience. Please understand you have a legal obligation to make board meeting minutes available.

It is our collective responsibility to make sure Hacker Dojo is at all times able to follow the law in letter and spirit.

At this point, here is what I hope the board together will be able to do, and am proposing to the board that we:
Verify our legal and compliance status RIGHT NOW.
Inform regulatory bodies and proper authorities, if there are irregularities that we are required to report, with a proposal on how to fix the same.
Fix the same.
Hire an accountant, and report financial irregularities to proper authorities as expected of us by the law.
Put policies and procedures in place that prevents this from happening in the future.
Keep the community that is paying us their money involved at every stage.
Work together to make sure we have a new home.

It looks like we are facing a lot of challenges at the moment, and here is hoping that the board working together with the community will be able to address the issues successfully.

These are also things I will propose to the board:
Hire non-profit consultants to help the Dojo form a working board with governance procedures and accountability.
Share meeting minutes with the community.
The community be allowed to change the bylaws so that it can be more involved.
We work on absolute transparency on all aspects of the Dojo - and talk to the community what they believe this transparency should be.
We work with the community to define community guidelines and policies on board member responsibilities, member rights and responsibilities, hardware lab usage etc.

The community is what Hacker Dojo is. It is not the board or staff, not a few tables, not an office space.

I continue to remain an ardent supporter of the Hacker Dojo community, and hope to see the Dojo reach great heights.

Thanks,
s

CC: Operations, Announcements, Discussions


11 people like this
Posted by Anonymous HD Members
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2016 at 5:02 am

Anonymous HD Members is a registered user.

Sophie received 85 votes in her election to board.
Another receives 1 vote yet was appointed to the board.
RIP.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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