[Owasp-board] OWASP to hire a FTE conference manager

Jim Manico jim.manico at owasp.org
Wed Jun 5 23:43:34 UTC 2013


We desperately need a full time conference person in my opinion. The
amount of work and planning it takes to run even one conference is
beyond the work of one full time person. Most conferences have both a
full time *staff* and a pack of volunteers to run similar conferences of
our size.

Also, as Executive Director, I think Sarah needs to have final say in
this matter. If we have budget and can afford it, she should have
autonomy to make the hire choice on her own since she is our unbiased
full time executive director.

- Jim

> Eoin -
> I am going to jump in here and share some thoughts (obviously others in the
> community can voice their opinion as well).
> *Do we require a conference manager? *
> I would be interested to hear from anyone who thinks we DO'NT need a
> conferences manager. Even before I took this new role, the responsibilities
> for my conferences job were dare I say more than should be required of one
> person.  Hiring one conference manager  is necessary and down the road as
> income allows, we will probably have to look at expanding this.   Global
> Conferences have brought in 40% of the income for the foundation for the
> past 2 years, and there is lot riding on the success of these events as
> well as the financial oversight that is required for the contracts that are
> signed and budgeting.  There have been a fair amount of comments from
> leaders, conference organizers, and even board members about pushing even
> MORE responsibilities of the global conference planning to the staff and we
> would be moving the opposite direction by not hiring a conference manager.
>  Planning a conference at any level is a lot of work (I am sure you
> recognize this) and having at least one staff to manage events can help
> alleviate some of the unnecessary burden that is/has been placed on
> conference organizers.
> I can say right now I could spend full time just on AppSec USA trying to
> make that a success, let alone the other 3 global events this year, the
> appsecs being planned for next year, giving input into AppSec China, AppSec
> India, regional events in various locations... I have quite a backlog of
> work here to do just Q & A from planners. The Conference Manager is the one
> single point of contact in making sure balls don't get dropped when a
> volunteer has a work or family committment and is unable to fulfill
> obligations for the event. Also this person is a source of information on
> Foundation policies and historical conference information (what has been
> done in the past, what works, what hasn't worked,etc)
> *Do we know anyone with the appropriate experience?* Probably (I have no
> reason to think we don't). This question isn't really relevant to "do we
> need this position" in my mind... if we decide we need the position, we
> post the job description for applications, interview, and make a hiring
> decision.  Kate established a hiring process, timeline, and checklist last
> fall and I will work with the staff to conduct this hiring in an open and
> fair way.  Once we formally have budget approval and post the job, any one
> in the community could apply or help us spread the word to others about the
> position (and I hope they do!)
> *Where should we hire this person? US/EU other.*
> It depends on the applications - I think qualifications should be
> considered over location, but as noted in the desired skills, additional
> non-English language experience would be a plus.
> *Can we as leaders list what the main role and responsibilities of this
> person?*
> I have worked with the staff on the job decription for this role to be
> posted:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hHk6GoPBk-OO74JZBgJJwnxpk3kOAi4U6WDispObBxw/edit?usp=sharing
> *Anything else which comes to mind?*
> If we do not back fill my position - it not only puts an undue burden on
> me, but the rest of the staff in picking up the slack.  All of the staff is
> already maxed out as it is.... (feel free to ask any of them).  Also,
> supporting the community is (in my mind) the number one priority here -
> isn't that what the foundation is about?  I don't see how we are going to
> be able to continue to support conference planners with any reasonable
> response time with out another staff member.
> Looking forward to hearing questions/input from others!
> Regards,
> Sarah Baso
> On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 3:41 PM, Eoin <eoin.keary at owasp.org> wrote:
>> Hello Leaders,
>> At the last board meeting it was proposed to consider hiring a new
>> events/conference manager.
>> Sarah used to perform this role but as we all know has moved on to the
>> exec director role.
>> As you know events/conferences are a significant source of income for the
>> foundation, and we need money to keep things going.
>> As a member of the board I feel we should table this motion with you, the
>> community, and listen to what your thoughts are.
>> Questions which come to mind are:
>> Do we require a conference manager? (The majority of the board believe we
>> do).
>> Do we know anyone with the appropriate experience?
>> Where should we hire this person? US/EU other.
>> Can we as leaders list what the main role and responsibilities of this
>> person?
>> Anything else which comes to mind?
>> Your opinions matter to the foundation. Let your voice be heard as leaders
>> of this unique community :)
>> -ek
>> --
>> Eoin Keary
>> OWASP Member
>> https://twitter.com/EoinKeary
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