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WayNet Annual Meeting
October 2nd, 2002
Chris Hardie - President's Remarks

Good Evening. I'd like to welcome you all to the WayNet 2002 Annual Board Meeting. We're so very glad to have you here. We have a lot of exciting activities to cover this evening, so I will keep my report brief.
It's been a year full of change and transition in all respects for WayNet. After taking on the role of President this time last year, I delivered to the board a set of initiatives and challenges for the year. These came in four main areas:

1. To improve and stabilize board member participation
2. To evaluate and, if necessary, improve WayNet's website hosting arrangements
3. To enhance public awareness of WayNet and our mission
4. Evaluate WayNet's purpose and organization

  • We formed the board into working groups to address each of these initiatives, and many exciting things came out of those efforts.
  • We restructured our board to allow for more dynamic participation; recently, we formed an Executive Committee to further improve and streamline our board operations
  • The committee tasked with evaluating our vision and organization made some interesting and useful observations about our programs, and developed recommendations for forming partnership with other institutions and programs.
  • Subsequently, we partnered with Morrison Reeves library to submit a grant proposal for a web encyclopedia of information about Wayne County.
  • We revised and developed our marketing plan to include a more diverse approach to informing local and regional communities about WayNet.org
  • We clarified our technical requirements for hosting of the WayNet.org site and made some decisions about our ongoing hosting setup.
  • Much more

Despite these areas of progress and advancement, there is still much to do to make WayNet fully realize its promise of "promoting dynamic and interactive exchange of current thought and activities while celebrating our historical, cultural, and economic heritage." We all know that as difficult economic times and a changing financial perspective force businesses and organizations to take a hard look at their resources, we too must re-evaluate the best way to best realize our vision as a community network organization.

There are so many exciting things that we can do with the concept of a web portal to Wayne County, but we are often caught up in the increasingly difficult tasks of promoting membership benefits, juggling limited financial resources, and keeping current with the technologies of the Internet that evolve hourly. Over the next year, I believe it will be important to further evaluate the core makeup of WayNet as an organization, and to ask ourselves some exciting, but sometimes difficult questions.

  • Is membership-based funding the best way to support our organization?
  • Are there partnerships to be made with other regional and local organizations that share our vision?
  • Can we restructure and redesign the WayNet.org site in ways that make it even more useful to visitors in Richmond, the Mid-west, and around the nation?
  • What does the future hold for a web portal like WayNet? What bold steps can we take now so that in 5 years, we remain an important, relevant resource in Wayne County?

I think that these questions and others will drive and inspire us in important new directions. I invite you all to be a part of that process in whatever way you best see fit, be it critiquing the current WayNet.org, attending board meetings, or submitting your ideas for ways that the organization can grow and thrive. It's an exciting time to be working with dynamic websites and web services, as we'll hear from the DoxPop folks in just a bit, and we thank you all for making WayNet such a useful, community-building tool. Let's continue that trend.

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