Meeting recap: November 2018

Alliance Council Meeting November 6th 2018

By: Stephanie Steiner

The meeting started with Martin Buckley, President, acknowledging those who are leaving council (Nick Biesold, Mike Dollard, Karl Picard, and Roberta King) for their contributions to the Alliance.

We then discussed recruiting for council members: we need people who are doers, project manager type people.  Does anyone know people who could be good candidates?  Martin and I have both reached out to Supporter Groups and other volunteer organizations (this year and in the past), and they are challenged with the same issues we have: lots of people join, but few people contribute effort. Martin followed up on those conversations recently: no change. If anyone knows of people who would make good candidates: Gary Wright has volunteered to be a closer (and he’s amazing – we are so very lucky).

Election process for Executive Committee: Dan Roe began this, Martin has finished it. The process includes a committee just for elections: if you’re interested you can volunteer that night. To qualify, you must be able to count votes and you can’t be running for any of the offices.

Executive Committee At Large Positions: we need them to focus on social media and outreach.

Treasurer is listed in the Constitution, but we presently have no need for the position. If there were a need for the position, we’d add it.  There are no changes to the roles of president, vice president, and secretary.

Updates from work sessions:

Player Recognition (Nicholaus Biela):

  • the group had a call and decided that the whole council would vote on the process.
  • Rough plan: create the enshrinement inaugural class and then bring the whole plan to the front office.
  • Martin: we need to hustle, this conversation is three months old.  The front office is looking to do this next year and if we don’t present them with a solution they’ll create one without us.
  • Nick: We’re discussing similar possibilities as what other stadiums have: glass plaques, bronze, etc.  Figuring out which, and how to do things is still in conversation.
  • Martin: We’ve got to get ideas in front of the F.O. now. Include them in the idea-building.
  • Me: Be open to change and creativity. It’s possible they have access to things we haven’t seen, like perhaps something museum-like that is interactive and teaches, or is mobile and can move to an expanding location.  What if it’s a touchscreen and can teach people about a player instead of just a static image?

Annual Business Meeting (Martin Buckley):

  • Meeting is November 13th.
  • Format is live and streaming from The NINETY.
  • As of 11/6/18 RSVPs are full and there are ten on the waitlist.
  • RSVPs went to a form and waitlist clicks through to an email address.  Highest attendance at a meeting ever was for Brian Schmeltzer’s promotion to Head Coach, the worst kept secret ever 🙂
  • Approximately 1300 attended that meeting.
  • There were 2500 on the live stream last year (2017), plus additional views later.

Discussed complaints about visibility of the meeting. One person attending the meeting had received the Beyond the 90 email with the meeting announcement (previous week).

  • No one had received any notification of the meeting prior to the going to waitlist.
  • Several examples of the communication being inconsistent across platforms.

Annual Business Meeting Flow (subject to change):

  • GM Vote Results
  • Alliance Council Review
  • Adrian – Owner’s Review
  • Bart – Business Review
  • Garth – Team Review (might also include coach Brian Schmetzer)
  • Questions and Answers

Ten Years of the Alliance Project (Stephanie Steiner):

  • we need to give up on this as a rich content project, we simply don’t have enough content and buy in.
  • What we do have is really good: thank you to everyone who contributed their work.
  • We need to take all of that content and post it into the “stories” section of our website and come up with a different hash tag.
  • Nicholaus: what if we set tickler reminders for the social media team to repost “on this day…” kind of tweets and stuff?  <- brilliant idea, we should do that.
  • By setting this apart from a ten year anniversary, it can continue to grow and then just keep going with stories in the future:  it’s no longer one anniversary, it’s representative of any moment that’s meaningful.

Community Outreach (Darla Langdon):

Darla reached out to Kimberly Aigner to see if there was a list of Community Outreach events for 2019 yet.  We know it’s early. We’re not going to pressure her to reply.  We don’t expect any list until next year.  Martin Q: did any AC members participate in their events?  Darla: no.

Garage Sale (Jerry Neil and Cameron Collins):

This went very smoothly, council members greeted and helped guide Alliance members.  Line was around the corner.  Limit of five items per customer.

Meeting recap: August 2018

Meeting recap August 2019

By: Stephanie Steiner

Tuesday, August 7th was a working meeting, meaning there was no presentation from the front office regarding any aspect of the Club’s business. We dove in by discussing the possible future structure(s) of the Alliance Council representation and how to get more people involved: we hypothesized what might be best if the Alliance were to grow to fifty-thousand members, sixty, seventy, one hundred thousand members?

From there we divided up in pairs and did mini Q&As regarding our personal motivations to get projects moving: why did we join Alliance Council? What motivated us to move things forward? We put all of them up on the glass case to examine our similarities and look for areas that could be addressed with the Club.

Next, we took on our Ten Years of the Alliance project – this year is our anniversary. With few (pretty much zero) resources outside of the room, how can we acknowledge the tenth year of the Alliance? What stories would we like to capture, and how would we like to capture them? I had come into the meeting with a pre-prepared skeleton outline, and the Visibility Group had also made a list – between the two, it’s an extensive idea. While we all are doubtful that we can accomplish all of it, we can see the value to diving in and getting as much captured as possible. Martin Buckley, President, surveyed each individual in the room to ascertain the person’s willingness to write up blog pieces for this project. Every person present agreed to help get the project done.

Lastly, we agreed to take shifts at a table during the Season Ticket Member event on August 19th. The celebration is for full season ticket members and should be a lot of fun. We’ll have a table there where season ticket members can view samples of the 2019 season ticket member scarves that are up for vote to be included in next year’s full season package – hope to see you there!

Meeting recap: June 2018

June 2018 Meeting Recap

By Darla Langdon

The meeting began with both of our guests introducing themselves to the group and a quick round robin introduction of the Alliance Council to them as well.  Joining us was the lovely Kimberly Aigner, Sounders FC Director of Community Outreach as well as Ashley Fosberg, Executive Director Rave Foundation.

Initial start of their presentation was to break down their roles and what the focus pillars are;  LEAD, SERVE and INVEST, and the dynamic between their two respective areas of work:

•   Kimberly – LEAD & SERVE

•   Ashley – INVEST

LEAD…..

Discussed new and exciting ways they are wanting to be more focused on our community with key areas that help drive awareness through the Sounders brand. This is partnering with like-minded companies that also have a community focus that reaches out to their key initiatives in place.

These things range from looking at sustainability and how to start within and partnering with Washington Green Schools, providing education & resources in our community schools to become more sustainable and teaching kids how to conserve resources which is amazing at their outreach already!  It’ll be exciting to see what our Sounders do with this knowledge.  They also have a few key initiatives coming up throughout the rest of the season, some will require a call of action to fans (yeah!!) such as:

• PRIDE- promote LGBTQ awareness and equality in sports- partnering with Athlete Ally again this year to do some fun stuff such as a Coaches clinic to help focus on the fairness and equality on the pitch, the locker room and teams as a whole to be a more LGBTQ friendly experience.

•   Special Olympics- USA Games- they are coming to Seattle!!  Lots of volunteer opportunities such as Fans in the Stands, etc.  will be an amazing experience connecting people of all abilities to show support and have a really wonderful week here in Seattle.  Cristian Roldan  and Jordan Morris are Special Olympics Ambassadors this year and signed players to contracts even at an event at the Ninety with Coach Schmetzer was in attendance and could NOT have looked more proud of his new team in the photo released by the club.

•   Kick Childhood Cancer- this is an MLS wide initiative however I found it interesting that they say- use yellow nets, yellow flags and that’s it- everything else is up to you how you want to be involved or how much you want to bring awareness, which is wonderful because the clubs can do it in their own way.  How do the Sounders do that you may ask!?  Great question, so far the Sounders have had extensive involvement historically with raising funds and awareness for Childhood Cancer, they currently have a Honorary Team Captain that walks out with the team- gets a shout out and a quick background on why they there on the big screen- this is a child who is either currently or has battled cancer- some TOUGH KIDS which is perfect for them to be with our boys, we are all TK’s.  There will be another blood drive in September, last year they did Out for Blood w Zach Scott- this year- he has already racked to the club to be involved so that’ll be no doubt amazing!  September 4th they will have blood drives even outside of the Seattle area working with 4 locations of Bloodworks NW.  The date of our match for this will be 9/29 to celebrate Kick Childhood Cancer.

SERVE…..

Working to create a culture of service such as Give Big, which sadly will not be continuing this coming year so the club is working on figuring out how to do something on their own working closely with our players passions.  There will be a call to action of the fans on this- a wonderful opportunity to either donate and / or potentially volunteer!!!

Opportunities for Involvement- Events will be things each month throughout the season-

June/July

•   Seattle Pride Parade

•   Community MVP (Laura Clise was last years pick)

•   Fan in the Stands, 2018 USA Games

•   Rave Match Celebration

August

•   fun stuff to kids w Cancer- club to announce what that entails

September

•   Blood Drive in the Ninety

•   Day of Caring

•   Rave Green Run (which the Rave Foundation now runs, and will be in Tukwila!!)

•   Blood donation opportunities all month long

October

•   WA Green Schools Service Project- TBD

•   Rave soccer ball giveaway events- TBD

November / December

•   holiday gift drive for Rave Community School

INVEST….

Strengthening our community by and through the use of soccer.

Got a wonderful update on Yesler Field free play space that will be officially completed in August, ribbon cutting event to be held on September 7th. Other fun and interesting things Rave is doing our communities is:

• Futsal courts- and easy, quick, high impact way to turn a dead play space into something awesome kids can use!  Currently have one in Beverly Park and are looking at new areas to convert.

•   Rave octagons- pop-up free play spaces, currently have two octagons- always looking for community sponsors to invest in Rave- reach out to Ashley.

•   Sports Media Institute kicked off last year- they are actively working on that again

•   Sports Science- working with curriculum that meets WA State School curriculum requirements to help teach students STEM Science/ Algebra through soccer (wish I had that in school)!!!

•   Strikes with Sounders

•   Rave Green Run

•   50/50 Raffle- don’t forget that’s at each match and is $2.00 per ticket!!

•   Rave Green Fields- creating green, free play pitches in communities of need throughout the Puget Sound area- this is a lengthier process so other opportunities to help promote strength in soccer are in place- One Ball, the octagons, etc.

Corporate sponsorships, donations are always welcome!!

These ladies are a small, yet mighty team of four—- yes FOUR!  They are both heading departments and areas in our communities that do amazing things that our club is passionate about- so back them, support and shout it from rooftops what great things our club is doing, it’s pretty great!

Next up- Alliance Council recap-

•   scarf vote- got news and finalized dates for how our scarf vote will go this year which will be 7/19 with the winner being announced on 9/19

•   GM vote- 40% of the Alliance members votes need to be done for us to meet quorum and have our votes be valid!!  Which means a LOT of people need to actually vote!  Any action to be taken needs 66.6% is required for it to be a super majority if we don’t need meet quorum or 66.6% no action is taken.

•   10 Year anniversary- Roberta- no update

•   Away travel- Alex- no update

•   Community Involvement -Darla- lots of volunteer opportunities that would align w clubs pillars, will send those out but if anyone has a passion they’d like to share- let me know!!

•   Food / Beverage- Alex- asked all of us to take a few photos of food eaten at stadium and write a few sentences about it- share w him

•   Jerseys- Cameron- met w FO, saw 2 potential 2020 jersey mockups gave feedback- club appeared more welcome for the feedback (yeah!)

•   Matchday Experience- Paul- nothing to report- will re-engage with the group

•   Outreach & visibility- will be organizing ideas, gathering input from AC to create overarching goals to connect throughout the season

•   Sitting vs Standing- Lisa- corresponded w FO regarding potential outreach by club on how to start that conversation w fans in the stands….. this has been a long, long conversation and the data the AC has supports that even a end of year question is a start!!

•   Youth Outreach- Todd- talked w Ashley and will be getting a meeting in place w her and Taylor to go over ideas.  Molly talked w Reign FC for potential ideas and they might be interested in partnering w the AC to do something

•   Meeting summaries- need volunteers!!

Meeting recap: May 2018

Alliance Council Meeting May 2018

By: Stephanie Steiner

First portion of the meeting was from Todd Albright, Director of Marketing and Gameday Presentation.  Todd is a good dude, we like him a lot.  He has a great job: we’re envious.  Normally he comes in and presents with Kyle Sheldon, but that guy quit to go make Oscar-worthy movies (like who would choose that?!).   Todd showed us some of the marketing stuff that Kyle (that quitter!) created before he skipped town, and then we moved into Todd’s area of focus.  He presented the cool website that they created for the 100th meetup between Sounders and the team to the south:  lots of imagery for the less-geeky in the fanbase, video for the geekier, and then lots to read for the uber-geeks.  Nick Biela wanted to know if the url would be soundersfc.com/100matches/forc .   hahahahaha  I said he’d just outed himself as the uber geeky ( I hope that is indeed the url!).

We got details on our new anthem singer, Johnathan Wright (we love him) and how he was discovered.

Todd is working on a project to deck out the tunnel and then bring TV cameras into the tunnel for the walk-out onto the pitch.  Some of the sexy details might change seasonally or for big rivalries (remember The Wall for the 40th Anniversary?  Something big like that but flexible and built to create hype for our guys and let our opponents know they’re dirt.  Maybe we can auction off the ability to type in messages and I can let Giovinco know how I really feel about his whiny antics? No? Well it was a good idea:  RAVE Foundation would have made a killing.

Remainder of the meeting:  We finalized the revision to Bylaw 10 , elected Jeff Williams to replace Karl Picard (now Ex-Officio) as our at-large member on the Executive Committee, and work group leaders gave updates.

Meeting recap: April 2018

Alliance Council Meeting April 2018

By: Stephanie Steiner

April meeting started with a presentation from First and Goal Hospitality leadership: Executive Chef Michael Johnson, Sous Chef Reid Henderson, and Hospitality Director Abby Hetterich. Also joining us was my representative, Sounders Suite Manager Emily Schultz (aka Shultzy). Not sure we should trust skinny chefs, but it’s hard not to when they put out really good chewy fresh pretzels as bait. Did I mention beery cheese sauce? You might have learned something about me by this sentence – I’m easily led astray.  (a word from our sponsor: you should consider running for council now J nominate yourself here .  Yes, we do much more than eat, but you already know that.)

Besides all of the snarfalicious distractions, it was a good meeting.  Canned rose! DING DING DING: and it will be local!  Yes: we brought up beer pricing (I do not expect a miracle here.  Why? Because there’s a magic point at which it becomes less profitable, and I don’t think they’ve hit it).  But I’ll give them credit for listening to all of the concerns: pricing, labeling and adequate descriptions/training regarding vegan and food allergies, and food quality.  First and Goal Hospitality leaders are really good and they are working hard to continuously improve.  If you have a challenge, look for someone dressed as a chef.

When we first met with them a year ago they were brand new – the entire entity had only existed for a few months (maybe even weeks).  They’d created some really lofty sustainability goals regarding food waste, composting, and the creation of a garden to supply the stadium.  Here we are a year later and damn if they didn’t hit all of their goals.  My biggest disappointment is that no one knows.  I got a little pushy (who me?  I know you’re surprised) and suggested that start learning to brag a little better on paper napkins, cups, and the like:  most of those say CenturyLink Field.  Well do we really need to be reminded of where we are?

In addition to sustainability goals, they’ve made many local community connections; they support women and minority-owned businesses, supply grass-fed and hormone-free beef and pork, and the produce is organic and travels fewer than 25 miles. Whew! That was accomplished in a year.  Last year, fewer than 20 products were local, now they’re up to about 85 local items and they continue to expand.

Later this year, we’ll see some Frose (froze zay) show up.  Don’t know what that is?  Oh honey you don’t know what you’re missing!

Our concern for the rise in diabetes was taken seriously.  We had asked for better non-caloric beverages: unsweetened tea will be added as an option.

The next portion of the meeting was the first reading of the adjusted Bylaw 10:  essentially, partial season ticket memberships and large, commercial ticket brokers will not be able to vote in GM Vote. Due to the degree to which people have a tendency to be checked out, we felt it was best to prevent any risk that this could cause the entire vote to not count. These types of account holders still vote for scarves.

Group leaders gave quick updates to the rest of council, and then we adjourned.

Meeting recap: March 2018

Alliance Council Meeting March 2018

By: Stephanie Steiner

All two hours of our meeting were filled with a very open and thoughtful conversation and team update from General Manger and President of Soccer, Garth Lagerwey.  Much of what he discussed is information that we can’t really talk about.  We want to… but there’s that pesky little thing called honoring our word.

Some stuff we can tell you because I’m writing this so late:

What about an off-season signing?! Gah!!  Yea – well there was going to be one, and it fell through for really good reasons.  We agreed not to talk about this while we were in the room, but since I’ve seen Jeremiah Oshan mention it in a Sounder at Heart interview with Garth, I’ll say it.  So there, sue me.  Lots of discussion about JMo’s injury (Lagerwey was ‘cautiously optimistic’ meaning he didn’t want to watch us sob for the rest of the meeting but we all knew what that meant, confirmed twelve hours later).  He was humble and highly aware of the General Manager Vote to Retain/Not.

We talked pretty openly about the decision to leave Alonso unprotected:  the deal for Tyler Miller and been prearranged (nothing there that hasn’t been out in the open for a while now).  Ty is a player that Lagerwey has lauded for some time so seeing him move up is a source of pride, and we were all sorry to see him go.

What can we expect:  active work to land aggressive contributors to our team, however we won’t know about any of it until contracts are signed.  Lagerwey hates rumors: they drive up prices and cause deals to go sour.  He doesn’t use false rumors to help hide real ones; he doesn’t like rumors, period.  Bad for business, but nothing wrong with negotiating with many people at once: just be truthful. Be a good steward, honor your word, and expect the other party to do the same.  Hold people accountable if they don’t.

Lagerwey’s thoughts on USMT:  was asked about the possibilities for coach – his reply: none of it really matters until USMNT is willing to invest in youth systems that will build a solid program.