2012 Annual Report

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TarValon.Net

PO Box 12421 Huntsville, AL 35815

2012 Annual Report

TarValon.Net, Inc. Annual Report 2012

Property of TarValon.Net, Incorporated

Compiled and Edited by Anne Vanolli

With Assistance from Jessica Beaushene and Nissa Reichenbach

State of the Tower - Amyrlin / CEO welcome

2012 has been a hectic and tumultuous time at TarValon.Net. The year started with a celebration of who we are and of our founding Amyrlin (now titled the Koyn Amyrlin) Eleyan Teyal al'Landerin Sedai. After more than 10 years of service, she officially passed the torch in our first Amyrlin Investiture Ceremony at the 11th Anniversary Party in Estes Park, Colorado on March 30th. With representatives of every Ajah and company present, Eleyan Sedai symbolically returned the colors of each group that she carried for so long and it was then left to each group to give them into my keeping. The ceremony was beautiful, moving and meaningful (with a bit of foot washing mixed in) and was a wonderful moment in our Community history. I know that we are all grateful that Eleyan Sedai has decided to stay on as a member of our Board of Directors and will continue in her service to this Community in the years going forward. This year also saw the first expansion of our Board of Directors from three members to five. Jaim al'Bearach Gaidin of Dai M'Hael and Caerwyn Jolan Gaidin of San d'ma Shadar were elected to join the ranks in April. These gentlemen are both long term members of excellent standing who also have extensive experience in the business world. We were very excited to welcome them to the team!

The annual Administrative Meeting, which happened after Anni, introduced the latest in a long line of innovations and created the Unofficial Guesting System for Senior Members. It was decided that each Ajah and Company could now choose for themselves if they would like to open their Halls to more than guesting Accepted/Soldiers as well as their bonded Gaidin and Aes Sedai. By the end of the year several groups had elected to take advantage of this opportunity while others decided that it wasn’t something they wished to currently pursue.

The year continued with our dedication to philanthropy and giving back at each event we hosted, and with a successful fundraiser over the summer we were poised to move forward with gusto into 2013. Unfortunately we discovered in October that the man who had been a member among us for over 10 years, had served both on our Board of Directors as well as our second CFO/Shatayan had made the choice to steal from the organization. Upon receiving his confession, the Board immediately accepted his resignation and he was banned from all aspects of Tarvalon.Net, and we began the long process of rebuilding not just our finances, but the trust that had been broken.

To that end, we began by halting all spending, chose to hold off on replacing the CFO/Shatayan, and would not accept any donations (though many, many offers of immediate assistance were given) until we had established new financial tracking policies and set up oversight procedures to ensure that this could not and would not ever happen again. When we felt comfortable that we had been as thorough as we could be, we ran the “Tower Still Stands” fundraiser in late December and I was completely overwhelmed by the trust, love and generosity that everyone showed as they sent us their hard earned money to help us get back on our feet. Here in 2013 we have been able to pay back all outstanding debts save for one and have a plan in place with payments being made to clear this as quickly as possible.

Our goals for 2013 have understandably had to change slightly and as I stated above we are focusing on hiring a new CFO/Shatayan and establishing a procedure for running background/credit checks on all Officers. We intend to pay back our remaining debt as quickly as we can while paying our ongoing expenses, though it may take a couple years. With all of this however, some things don’t change. We are always on the look out for ways to serve our Members better. We look for ways to grow and change, and to keep people involved in all aspects of our Community through collaboration and transparency.

The publication date of January 8, 2013 for A Memory of Light is set and anticipation is high to read a conclusion that has been 20 years in the making, as well as to see what happens to all of the characters who so inspired us to come together and be a part of this Community. To everyone who reached out to the administrative team and to all of you who reached out to me personally during the last very difficult 2 months of 2012, I can only say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your love and support for us. It was (and still is) an unthinkable situation, and it was only through the strength of friendships and your understanding of the fact that we were giving as much information as we possibly could that made it possible to move past it. I think that 2013 will be a year of growth and rebuilding for us, but that we will come out stronger and optimistic for what the following years hold for us. Thank you for being the amazing community that you are.

Vivianna L'antreau
The Watcher of the Seals
The Flame of TarValon.Net
The Amyrlin Seat

Keeper / COO

Annual Overview

As with 2011, this has been another year of transition and growth for the Tower as our founder and Amyrlin, Eleyan al’Landerin, stepped down at our 11th Anniversary party in Denver, Colorado. She now retains the title of Koyn Amyrlin, and leadership of the Tower has transferred to Vivianna L’antreau, formerly of the Blue Ajah and a long standing member of the community.

Departments Overview

Keeping in the spirit of change and growth, our departments saw transition and change as well, with our long standing Director of Technology, Zhareen Narelle, stepping down to be replaced by Erin al'Denael, who has tackled the technology needs of our community with great enthusiasm and skill. Our Director of Community Outreach, Jodea Kegan, also stepped down and was succeeded by Tree al'Rotture, who has settled into her department and gotten our philanthropic efforts up and running smoothly. Our Tower Archivist, Dralyn Montsier, handed her role over into the capable hands of our Director of Membership, Serenla Tamowith, who was then replaced as the Director of Membership by the equally capable Sa'areah Britthorn, who continues to work with her team of community group admins to keep our Tower environment a friendly and welcoming one.

Karassa Souladrin continues to head up our Department of Moderators, and Kytheria al'Shea has our Department of Marketing churning out great ideas for our CafePress shop and our website. Serinia Edoras also retains the helm of our Department of Events and Conferences, seeing to the multiple official events that our Tower community attends annually around the world, and Toral Delvar continues to keep our Library up to immaculate standards as a literary resource that even Brandon Sanderson has relied on as a reference. Ubahsur Kindellaer rounds out our executive department in the Department of Administration, keeping on top of our Membership Survey, Annual Report, Executive Review and the Bullying Survey that helped give the Administration a better insight to the inner interactions of the community.

2012 also saw the shocking revelation that longtime member and Shatayan/CFO Riley Maconnar had allegedly been involved in inappropriate business practices involving Tower funds, and was summarily banned from the site. Our financial matters are currently being managed jointly by our Board of Directors and our Executive team, while a more stringent financial management system can be put into place and a new Shatayan/CFO selected.

Looking forward to 2013

With the unexpected and tumultuous ending to the year, the forward focus will be working towards rebuilding the financial structure of the Tower. The Board and Officers will be combining their efforts on getting a more transparent and regulated system of checks and balances in place, and a new CFO/Shatayan to keep the books clean, neat and accurate. Through this, our motivation to continue working on transparency and availability to our community is reinforced and strengthened for the upcoming year. With the final book coming out at the beginning of the year, we will begin to evaluate what this means for our community overall as well.

Lireina Dormerus t'al'Bearach, on behalf of Leora Oldessroth, Keeper of the Chronicles  

Tower Archivist / Secretary

Overview

This year ended up being a period of transition for the position of Tower Archivist as Dralyn Montsier ended her time of service as an Officer for the Tower and passed along her duties to Serenla Tamowith, who ended her long tenure as Director of Membership. The transition was fairly seamless, and the projects under the Archivist continued to roll along. As with any project, everything under the Archivist is a work-in-progress, which is reflected in this section.

Archives

Archiving of the old forums and relevant threads from the current forums continued, with work on the old forums nearing completion. We expect that project to be completed in 2013, at which point maintenance on current forums will be the main focus.

Merits

As with any new system, the merit system was updated at various points throughout the year, though the bulk of the system remained in place. We streamlined the process by which merits are awarded, though it is by no means perfect yet. Many more merits were awarded, resulting in more perks being allowed to members with the appropriate sets of merits.

Membership Manuals

Due to the ever-changing nature of our organization, the Membership Manuals will never be a finished project, but Dralyn, Serenla, and other contributors worked to keep it as updated as possible.

Legal Status

TarValon.Net, Inc., remains a legally incorporated 501(c)(7) non-profit entity. No changes in its status occurred during 2012 other than the removal of B. Riley Robinson as an Officer and as a Board member and the addition of Joseph Pistritto and James Beattie to the Board.

Other Projects

The Archivist worked closely with the Director of Research and Records and the Tower Historian to ensure that the Who's Who was as complete as possible. The Archivist also took over the Members' Choice Awards for the year; special thanks to Jeffan Caliarthan for his assistance with that project.

What’s Next?

We expect that the next year will be spent updating documents that need to be updated (such as the Membership Manuals), working on the merits system as a whole, awarding new merits, finishing up the archives from the old forums, and any other tasks that pop up. The Archivist will also work closely with the rest of the Executives to ensure that our legal status remains unchanged as a result of the unethical behavior of Riley Robinson.

Serenla Tamowith, Tower Archivist

Shatayan / CFO

The year 2012 saw great highs and great lows with regards to our finances.

We were able to successfully pull off our regular events of Anni, Fall Ball, and Euro. We also successfully funded the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship of $500 and provided $300 to Ronald McDonald House. Our fundraisers generated a total of $6,670 between the annual operational fundraiser held from June 15 to August 1, 2012 and the Tower Still Stands fundraiser from December 28 to February 15, 2013. An assistant to the CFO was hired, Cassie Dainar.

The biggest news item regarding our finances in 2012 was the discovery of funds being inappropriately allocated by the former Shatayan/CFO Riley Maconnar aka B. Riley Robinson, resulting in his immediate removal from position(s) held, including access to all financial accounts/emails, and banning from the organization. This misconduct resulted in outstanding items at the end of 2012 due to pending reimbursements and loans taken on for operational purposes.

Total income , : $43,778.00
Total Expenses , : $21,331.05
Net Income: $22,446.95
Due to “Rileygate” an exhaustive review of current procedures was performed. New and improved financial policies and procedures were developed, approved, and enacted. The year 2013 will see the Board of Directors and Amyrlin hiring a new Shatayan/CFO, resolve any outstanding reimbursements, and begin the process to pay off loans taken.

Ubahsur Kindellaer, Shatayan

Department of Administration

The year 2012 felt like a banner year. All of our planned projects were achieved allowing the addition of new projects, and the ability to catch up on a long pending project.

The Membership Survey provided a learning curve with regards to use of humor in marketing, as well as using our new software, Lime Survey, for the first time. The results, which represented the ideas, thoughts, concerns, and perspective of 44% of the active Tower membership, were utilized extensively at the Spring Admin Meeting in decision making. Examples of decisions made, based upon the survey results include:

  • The split of Creative Endeavors into two forums.
  • Updating the name of Entertainment to Entertainment & Technology.
  • TarValon.Net fliers made available for members to hand out at conferences.
  • The inception of PSAs to inform the membership about important milestones, processes, and revisiting why certain decisions were made to pass on organizational history.
  • Suggestions on what type of organizations to fundraise for, how often and scope of fundraising were from survey comments.
  • The TVT forum was made public.
  • The Male half of the mentoring system changed from 1:1 to 1:team.
  • A discussion on a strongly suggested parenting forum, which was then decided against.
  • A chat ops manual was created based on request from the survey.
  • Classes will change to allow real life related courses, as well as to run on a quarterly basis with more advertising to notify the membership of upcoming courses.

These examples demonstrate that the Membership Survey is worth the hundreds of hours it takes to; create the survey, the time taken by members to respond, and the analysis of the raw data by the Department of Administration.

Another related triumph is that we were able to provide a comprehensive report this year that shows not only the key data, but also provided examples of comments and showed how the results were used and then compared to previous years.

The Annual Report also saw small changes including easier formatting of appendices so that the lists of volunteers, donors, and winners were easier to read. The new formatting also improved the graphics and images that helped bring to life that which was written about. Our goal is to try to get the Annual Report out between April and July, for which we missed the mark on in 2012. We also had the pleasure of having the 2007 Annual Report completed and published, leaving only the 2008 Annual Report as unfinished.

The additional projects that were produced in 2012 were the first Applicant Tracking report; showing a five year span of applicants and hiring’s to show patterns and answer questions which have long been asked by members. The topic of bullying came to TarValon in 2012 which resulted in a midyear survey which was discussed at length at the Fall Admin Meeting. As a result new policies were enacted to better serve the community.

Annual reviews for Officers and Executives were performed and submitted to the supervising authority to be discussed between the supervisor and the one supervised. The Fall Admin Meeting brought up the discussion regarding finding a middle ground between extensively detailed line item scales and paragraph style reviews and the more recent format of two questions:

  • With regards to the job description (provided) what areas does the incumbent excel in or have opportunities to improve in?
  • Is there anything not tied to the job description that you would like to provide regarding the incumbent?

A further editing of performance review design as well as decision making regarding the level of public access to the reviews will be done in 2013.

The final new project was to create a form to collect voluntary exit surveys from admins and staff who were leaving a position. The form asks the volunteers to provide their thoughts on how to improve the position they held and/or the community at large. Only the Director of Administration has access to these results, and provides a semi-annual report to the Keeper of any trends and suggestions, ensuring anonymity of the respondents. The common trend for 2012 was to perform a review of policies and procedures for Hall members and moderators.

Staffing within the Department of Administration has seen a number of changes in 2012. There were no changes with regards to the department director, Ubahsur Kindellaer, or the Annual Report Project Manager, Isarma Maracanda. The department lost the services of Jeffan Caliarthan and Jeral Mazur; but gained the services of Mirandha Laflor, Loraella Melodie, Emory Sheldon, and Pol Rohanson. Additionally, Yelenia Hylraren and Zashara Da'sainne joined as consultants to assist with any and all surveys and analysis due to their extensive experience in these areas professionally. Ennairam Lamp stepped down from her role as Membership Survey Project Coordinator, to department staff. Mirandha LaFlor was promoted to fill the spot.

At the Fall Admin Meeting it was determined that due to the scope of the positions and interdepartmental networking necessary to complete the projects, the Membership Survey and Annual Report Project Manager positions have been promoted from staff to admin roles.

Ubahsur Kindellaer, Director of Administration

Department of Community Outreach

Department Restructure

The Community Fundraising Coordinator and Philanthropy Activities Coordinator positions were reorganized into the Community Care Coordinator position which was originally solicited for on November 19, 2012.

The Servant of All Program became an official sub-department within the Department of Community Outreach.

The Servant of All Coordinator was created for the management of the Servant of All process and was first solicited for August 27, 2012.

Philanthropic Outreach Activities

North American Anni 2012

We supported Ronald McDonald House of Denver via the donation of craft supplies to their camp as well as funds in the amount of $300.

Annual TarValon.Net Summer Fundraiser

Goal was to raise $4,000 for the Tower’s administrative costs, $4,000 raised. This fundraiser included a treasure hunt style Archaeological Dig through the Department of Community Outreach that explored the roots of the department in the discontinued Departments of Philanthropy and Department of Community Development. This Archaeological Dig ended with the discovery of the Crystal Cut Pants, an angreal awarded to the membership group who donated the most as decided by number of donors divided by the dollar amount. This award went to San d’ma Shadar.,,

In addition to this activity and the community-group level prize several individuals were also awarded gift cards in varying amounts for their donations. These recipients include Nandi el'Shahir, Owenaleah al’Saturni, Caerwyn Jolan, Amarande al'Kalin,Chiyuki Nohara, Erin al'Denael, and Rhed al'Tere. A full Donor List can be found in Appendix A.

The Tower Still Stands Fundraiser

Due to a financial crisis in late 2012 an emergency fundraiser was created and launched on December 28th, 2012. This fundraiser did not set to specific dollar amount as a goal, nor did it have a specific end date. Instead members were asked to donate if they could to help right the financial situation that TarValon.Net found itself in and help the tower pay off a number of debts incurred.

Feast of Lights

The charity for Feast of Lights was suggested by Atreyu Silverstar in early fall and approved at the Fall 2012 Admin Meeting; Partners in Health due to their impressive record of service across the globe and their highly efficient use of resources. Additionally Partners in Health represents some of the attributes of some of the most successful previous Feast of Lights fundraisers, Heifer International and Doctors Without Borders.

Due to financial crisis, 2012 Feast of Lights Fundraiser was postponed and the current goal will be to hold a smaller fundraiser in the Spring of 2013. The fundraiser will still be aimed at supporting Partners in Health though the goal amount will be somewhat smaller than typical.

Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship

This year there were a total of excellent 16 applicants and after voting by the Hall of the Tower was completed in two rounds, the $500 scholarship was awarded to Ms. Jessica Mudge of Michigan State University. Her winning essay can be found in the library.

In 2013 there are two of the primary goals for the Department of Community Outreach in regards to the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship. First will be the creation of a marketing campaign to spread the word for the 2013 competition including an annually reusable Scholarship graphic. Second will be to investigate and strategize alternative funding models for the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship. As the scholarship is now open to the Wheel of Time community at large a new fundraising strategy will be aimed beyond the membership of TarValon.Net and include a partnership with an existing Wheel of Time related business. Plans will include working with the Department of Marketing to develop a product for sale via this partner business online and at Wheel of Time related events with proceeds split between the Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship and the business. This product and business plan will be developed in 2013 with hopes to launch sales no later than 2014.

Servant of All Program

The position of Servant of All Coordinator was created in August 2012 and first advertised for on August 27, 2012. Siusane al'Cuyler assumed the role of Servant of All Coordinator on September 14, 2012.

Beta launched program December 2, 2012 and began accepting submissions from all members in two categories; Bringing Water and Shade and Supporting Your Neighbor. Full launch of the Servant of All program scheduled for early 2013 after necessary adjustments are made and a small Servant of All staff consisting of two people is hired to process member submissions with the Servant of All Coordinator.

Achievement badges that will be earned through the Servant of All Program are currently under development with the Marketing Department and should be completed during 2013 for awarding members and placement on their Who’s Who pages.

Outreach Activities

The Fall 2012 Admin meeting decision was to cut down the total number of annual Outreach Activities from four to two. The two selected to continue are Bel Tine and Sunday.

In 2012 the Outreach Activities Team(s) held three High Feasts (Beltine, Sunday, and Shaoman) as well as Freeweek 2012 as a community award for making a fundraising goal in 2011.

  • Freeweek 2012 was held February 3 - February 12th, 2012 and had an Ultimate Literary Showdown theme. Membership groups were asked to go as literary characters and were then pitted against one another for a fun and lighthearted literary showdown.
  • Bel Tine was held between March 14th and March 23rd 2012 and featured several cheerful springtime events and many ducks. Several membership groups participated in group themes including the most entertaining White Ajah as the Order of the Bubble Knights, Dai M'Hael as Kings, and the Green Ajah who won for best overall theme as Biker Babes.
  • Sunday was held between June 15th and June 30th 2012 and the overall theme of the event was “The Olympics” as a nod to the 2012 summer Olympics held in London. Several membership groups participated with the following themes; the Blue Ajahs as Swimmers, the Gray Ajah as Airmail, the Greens did a Get Lei’d with the Greens theme, the Red Ajah did an Elephant Parade, the Whites masqueraded as Lanfear, the Yellows were Comets, Dai M’Hael were dressed as Royalty, the Accepted chose a Matsuri Festival theme, and the Novices were Wildflowers. Medals for the Best Theme were awarded; gold to the White Ajah, silver to the Accepted, and bronze to the Gray Ajah. Additionally a metal count was held where medals awarded for each event were tallied by membership group.
  • Shaoman was held between October 26th and November 4th, 2012. Several membership groups participated by dressing up for Shaoman; the Blues dressed up as dinosaurs and presented us with Blurassic Park, the Browns reminded all of favorite authors and their unpleasant talents, the Green’s went for a video game and arcade theme, the Gray’s warned about the End of the World and the Mayan Prophecy, the Reds had a Doctor Who theme, the Whites presented themselves with a Vintage Sideshow theme, the Yellows presented the Island of Misfit Toys, Dai M’hael presented a Meme related theme, and the Accepted played Trick of Trolloc.
Goals

In 2013 the Outreach Activities Team will become more fully integrated into the Department of Community Outreach as we begin work on Pop-Up awareness events and fundraisers designed to spotlight timely issues and raise awareness for them. When appropriate these events will also include a fundraising component that will be worked on by the Department of Community Outreach Staff in conjunction with the Outreach Activities Team, fundraising goals for these events will be small, generally well under $500. The first of these Pop-Up events is scheduled for February 2013 and will have a Heart Healthy February theme.

Tree al'Rotture, Director of Community Outreach

Department of Events and Conferences

2012 saw a return to a more normal events schedule for the Department of Events and Conferences after the 10th Anniversary year of 2011.

We continued in our ever developing program to bring the members of TarValon.Net the best of events and to standardize our model as far as reasonably practicable.

Our Anniversary event was held at Estes Park, Colorado with over 100 people in attendance! The event featured the annual Amyrlin's Tournament as well as the highly celebrated official investiture of our new Amyrlin. This was our third visit to the Denver area for an Anniversary event, and the second to the Estes Park site. In recognition of how ideally suited the site is to our logistical, recreational and planning needs, it was decided at the Administrative meeting to return to the Estes Park location, and ideally the same facility on a rotational basis. Though no specific mandate was set in place, approximately every 3 years is the current benchmark for an event at this location.

2012 was an Olympic year in the United Kingdom as well as Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee year. Due to the amount of disruption and the resulting increase in tourism prices, the decision was taken not to hold a Britain and Ireland event this year. However, we continued to support Europe with Euro Party in the Netherlands! For a great review of the event please see the library at http://library.tarvalon.net/index.php?title=Euro_Party_2012 written by the newly raised Imzadi Hopewind.

Fall Ball raised challenges for the department which were overcome with some amazing generosity and some hard work by our Local Liaisons. We had chosen to hold Fall Ball in New York which was sadly hit by Superstorm Sandy merely 10 days before the event, causing damage on a massive scale to this amazing city. But, our teams and members persevered and had a great time, though our hearts go out to those who couldn’t make it and whose lives were changed by this horrific event.

Staffing wise, 2012 saw many developments for us, the first of which being the departure of Naeris Gaidin as (Master of Revels for Continental Europe. The decision was taken that, to ensure the best quality of events, the Local Liaisons for Continental European parties would take on the duties of Mistress / Master of Revels to ensure ease of communication and local knowledge. Following this, it was agreed later in the year that the position of Mistress / Master of Revels for the South Pacific would also follow this new model. With the announcement of Summer Euro 2013 we welcomed Alyssa Letherio and Shariyan Al'Feay as Mistresses of Revels for Continental Europe.

Another change was the expansion of the Events Marshal position. Since 2007 Doneavan al'Keavin held the official position of Head Marshal, overseeing the Amyrlin’s tournament when available, and advising on safety and regulation for our in-person physical events. It was recognized that Jayson Maison and Rowanne al'Maeve also supported the Tower in a similar manner, so the role of Head Marshal was updated to Events Marshal and both Jayson and Rowanne joined the department in November.

However the biggest change for us was the resignation of Serinia Edoras, the very first Director of Events and Conferences after 3 years, having created and nurtured this amazing department. Though Seri stepped down from the role as Director, she will continue to serve the department in the re-instituted Conference Coordinator role, overseeing TarValon.net's presence at official conventions. Seri is succeeded by Sonea Ilandred, the current Mistress of Revels for Britain and Ireland. Yelenia Hylraren continues her excellent work as the Mistress of Revels in North America, leading both the annual NA Anni and Fall Ball events.

2013 promises to be another exciting year for Events, starting with our Twelfth Anniversary event in Michigan, followed by Summer Euro Party in Belgium and Fall Ball in Utah! Sadly there were no bids for 2013 in Britain and Ireland, but we hope to host an event there in 2014 and one in the South Pacific!

Sonea Ilandred, Director of Events and Conferences

Department of Marketing

The Department of Marketing continues to manage TarValon.Net's official visual imagery (ex.: event logos, badges); advertisements (ex.: convention programs); external promotions materials (ex.: SEO; flyers/handouts); social media and news channels; the Tar Valon Times; the TarValon CafePress store; and public/media relations.

Staff and Position Changes

There were fewer changes in staff this year than in 2011, though there have still been transitions in the department, of course.

The Graphics Development Team (GDT), which was previously made up of staff members who served with no time limit, has switched to a six-month rotation similar to the Tar Valon Times reporters. Now, each team member checks in with the Director every six months and can opt to stay on the team for another term, or retire if they wish.

Many staff members of the GDT left the team in August following a staff check-in, and we gained one new staff member, Nyavene al'Meer, in the subsequent round of hiring. Also in August, Mhór Rioghain Blathnaid, one of the Tower Voices, became the Blue Head and as such stepped down from her Voice position. Ray Soin was hired to be co-Voice with Laralelle Susandrea.

Jeffan Caliarthan left the position of Editor of the Tar Valon Times (TVT) in August. The Director served as temporary Editor from late August to mid-September, while the site transitioned to vBulletin and a search for a new Editor was conducted. The staff of TVT reporters quickly picked up the new guidelines for submitting articles via the vBulletin CMS. During this time, it was determined that the position of Editor has grown so much over the years and entails so much responsibility that it would be beneficial to have an Assistant Editor to help with TVT production. Stephen Lightheart was hired as Editor in September, and Taelinn Dolivras became the first Assistant Editor of the TVT at the same time. Together, they are doing an excellent job of managing TVT staff, archiving the TVT issues in the Library, and generating new content to keep our readers interested.

Projects and Looking Forward

We continue to work on expanding the CafePress shop. Vallah al'Dera joined the Graphics Team in March as a shop graphics specialist and has expanded our merchandise selection considerably. Hanajima, our Project Manager since late 2011, has been working on updating merchandise descriptions and visuals for a better shopping experience.

At the request of our community, we developed a flyer that promotes our website and community to the public. Members can email Marketing and request the flyer files via email. Upon an acknowledgement of basic printing instructions from Marketing, members are welcome to print and distribute the flyers at their local Brandon Sanderson signing or other, similar event. The External Marketing Coordinator and the Director are currently working on distribution guidelines for the flyers. Additional promotional flyers in other sizes are also being looked into.

The External Marketing Coordinator, Loreniel Killan, also continues to work on our site SEO and on proposals for site email newsletters and marketing.

Site copyright policies have, until recently, been somewhat informal. After discussion of our policies at the Administrative Meeting, our legal counsel and Alyssa Letherio, Graphics team member, have developed and approved official written policies to be published in our public Library and Membership Manuals. Once these have been published online, we will announce their location(s) to the community for reference. Again, nothing is changing--we have simply formally composed our site policies to ensure they are well-documented, as befits a non-profit corporation.

We continue to expand our social media posts to bring you more of the latest site news, Wheel of Time-related news, and other relevant sci-fi/fantasy news. We will be taking into account feedback from the last Membership Survey for ongoing social media outreach, and may ask more questions of the membership in the near future to help us continue to bring people the news they want.

Kytheria al'Shea, Director of Marketing

Department of Membership

The Department of Membership is responsible for fostering a sense of community within TarValon. It is involved with the administrative tasks that relate to the membership, and attempts to create a bridge between individual groups and the site at large.

Citizen status

We’re continuing to add members to the Citizen database at an average rate of 8 a month, adding up to 98 total applications for this year. On the whole, the distribution of males to females is slightly leaning in favor of the females, but heading into 2013 this gap is closing.

Tower Members

32 People applied for the next level of Junior Membership status this year, both for Novice and Recruit, and also Soldier and Accepted. This brings the totals to 128 and 129 respectively.

Summary of 2012

The new mentoring system was set up by the current Captain of Recruits, and has been successful in implementation.

The guesting process for membership groups that was discussed in 2011 is now fully set up by many of the groups. It is being utilized in their own individual way, and gives rise to each group having a little more control over the way they govern themselves.

The Gray, Red and Brown Ajahs, as well as San d'ma Shadar, Mahdi'in d'ma Dieb and Dai M'Hael have all adopted this process in some form.

More help for citizens was deemed useful at this stage, as it is quite daunting to join a new forum and have so much information to look over. A list of questions and members who are willing to help out any citizen is now posted, and it has really helped newer additions feel comfortable posting.

With the promotion of Serenla Tamowith to Archivist, Sa'areah Britthorn took on the role of Director of Membership in September.

The bullying survey taken earlier in the year prompted a discussion on behavior across the boards. It was felt that a system should be in place to ensure a safe environment in both membership and public areas. The three strike system was implemented. Hopefully we’ll not have cause to use it.

Looking forward to 2013

The Junior Membership Heads are creating a new event, Tar Valon’s Got Talent. Similar to the Project Gaidin challenge of 2011, this aims to bring all of the junior members together in a fun event.

In addition, the Membership team will be working with other departments to develop a new raising test for Junior Members.

Feedback will be gathered to ensure that the male mentoring system is still working as it should.

Sa'areah Britthorn, Director of Membership

Department of Moderators

There were no big changes in the Department of Moderation this year. We hired one extra moderator for the Current Events forum during the US election cycle to help keep up with the extra posting during that time. In the coming year, we are looking to possibly hire operators for our chat channels.

Karassa Souladrin, Director of Moderators

Department of Research and Records

This year has again been a productive year for the Department of Research and Records, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining our library and historical records. The year began with Toral Delvar as Department Director and Eniara Kisharad as Assistant, with Aryela Dashtahd as Headmistress and Kerna Shedrian and Zimone Zarasri as Historians. Kerna stepped down in November to be replaced by Kitan Tataru. There was also a change in the status of the headmistress as this changed to an Admin position in line with increased responsibility. Several other people have contributed on an occasional basis, and there are others who act as historian for their own community group and keep those pages updated.

Currently, there are 6,699 content pages, a 500 page increase, with around 6.5 million views in total, up about 1 million over the year 2012. The main page is the most popular, with around 285,000 views, an increase of 50,000, there are also 22 pages with over 10,000 views, thirteen more than the previous year, Other than pages that merely link to other pages, Rand al’Thor is still the most popular page created by us now on over 21,000. The most viewed page is the Strike at Shayol Ghul, with 45,000, up 11,000 over the year. There are now almost 1,800 pages with over a thousand views, almost twice the 719 of last year and around 6,000 pages viewed over 100 times.

The most popular community page is the Green Ajah Community Page, with over 26,500 views, making it the fifth most viewed page in the entire library.

Goals for the previous year were ambitious and were as follows.

Book
  1. ) Complete the articles that require expansion before A Memory of Light is released.
  2. ) Complete the rewrite of the pages for the most significant characters and countries that was begun in 2011.
  3. ) Depending on the release date for Memory of Light, I hope to have at least Chapter summaries and book summaries completed and to have identified all the new characters, places and terms that will require articles as well as those that will require additions.
  4. ) Make more progress on extending the chapter summaries.

1) was judged the most important and was completed by the year end. Every place character, group and term had information from all the books.

2) was largely done, in so much as the layout for all was changed to fit the same template and the gaps for these articles identified.

3) The Memory of Light release date was moved into January 2013, so we were only able to do summaries for the prologue and chapters 1, 2 and 12, Writing this a month into 2013, most of the chapter summaries are written as are the majority of new characters.

4) All chapter summaries were edited to give them the same layout. Notes were added for The Great Hunt and started for the Dragon Reborn.

Community
  1. ) After the membership clean up, make sure every current member has a fully updated Who's Who page containing all the information we have on them.
  2. ) Have the job descriptions for every position completed.
  3. ) Have the "time served" pages complete, so that we can easily see what every member has done.
  4. ) Have something written for the remaining broken links, about twenty articles or re-directs.

All of the aims for the community page were achieved.

Wheel of Time related sections

For the next year with the final book out, we have several aims for the Wheel of Time related sections

  1. ) Summaries for all the new articles – chapters, places, characters, etc.
  2. ) Updates for all the current characters.

These are very much manageable and barring some unexpected event, should be completed before the end of the year.

  1. ) Finish the re-writing of the principal characters.
  2. ) Continue to update and expand the chapter summaries.

These are already well under way, though aim 4 is ambitious and I only expect it to be partially completed.

Toral Delvar, Director of Research and Records

Department of Technology

The Department of Technology supports the infrastructure of TarValon.Net. While the main objective is to maintain the availability of our website and message boards, members of the department are utilized as a technical resource for other projects.

vBulletin

Technology's biggest project of 2012 was our website transition. The decision to leave behind Drupal/phpBB3 was made at the 2012 Spring Administration Meeting. The Drupal/phpBB3 site was cobbled together and needed copious amounts of work, and in order to better meet the needs of our community we decided to switch to vBulletin. Over the summer of 2012, vBulletin was acquired, tested, tweaked, and personalized for our needs. Our new site went live on August 26, 2012. The transition was mostly smooth, with minimal downtime for our community. Following the transition, Technology worked to satisfy community needs within our new home.

Departmental Changes

Technology underwent several staffing changes in 2012. Early in the year, Zhareen Narelle stepped down as Director. Erin al'Denael was chosen to be the new Director of Technology in March. In July, Azi al'Thone was moved up from staff to join Defen Estrator as co-Master of the Watch. With the changes in functionality between our old and new websites, the Tower Gatekeeper position was created within Technology to assist with usergroup management.

Looking Ahead to 2013

While we have been using vBulletin for some months now, the settling in process is by no means complete. Technology will continue to address community needs and requests in this regard. Technology will also be undertaking a large Membership Database project. Additionally, we will continue to support TarValon.Net and embrace any new challenges thrown our way.

Erin al'Denael, Director of Technology

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Donor List
Appendix B: Award Winners
Appendix C: Membership Statistics
Appendix D: Executives
Appendix E: Volunteer Lists

Appendix A: Donor List

Summer Fundraiser The list of donors won’t be published in the 2012 Annual Report, as the list of donors we can track may not be complete due to the financial situation. Feast of Light drive No Feast of Light drive was held for 2012. Instead we did the “Tower Still Stands” Fundraiser. The names of the donors will be published in the 2013 Annual Report.  

Appendix B: Award Winners

Amyrlin Award Winners

Philanthropist of the Year

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Lillian O'Neeus

Lillian Sedai of the Brown Ajah is someone who has given consistently to the Community and to our charity recipients consistently. This year in particular, she was among the first of those who jumped right in last fall asking "How can I help?" and "How can i give?" within what felt like hours of our financial world coming down. In addition, she has given much of her time and attention to other duties around the site! Thank you, Lillian!

Unsung Servant

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Atreyu Silverstar

Atreyu Gaidin has worked behind the scenes as part of our team for legal counsel since 2009. It's a position that gets pretty much no recognition and one that involves nothing but questions and research and working to find answers to those technical questions that come up. He's since taken on the mantle of our Captain of Soldiers where he has also excelled! It's wonderful working with you, Atreyu, thank you for all that you do around here!

Volunteer of the Year

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Kytheria al'Shea

Kytheria Sedai has been a member since 2003, and as you can see from her Who's Who page in the library, she's done many different things around here! Over the past almost two years, she's been doing an amazing job as the Director of Marketing and in fact had quite a few members write in to suggest her as a recipient of this award because of her skills and leadership. You do an amazing job, Kytheria!

Member of the Year

Leora.jpg
Leora Oldessroth

Our highest honor here at TarValon.Net is to our Member of the Year. This is someone who has gone above and beyond in giving of themselves and of their time, and who has done so much for our Community. Leora Sedai exceeds all of those things. She has served in several departments over the years, and has led our administration since becoming Keeper of the Chronicles in 2011. She is organized, thorough, and has to put up with keeping me on track. She helped make my transition to Amyrlin smooth, and I have loved getting to know her and getting to work with her during that transition. Leora is truly a blessing and an asset to our Community and I've been so lucky to have her as my first Keeper! Thank you for everything

Membership Awards


Appendix C: Membership Statistics

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Appendix D: Executives

The Board of Directors

B. Riley Robinson (removed Fall 2012)
Melissa Dombrowski
Amanda Keen
Jim Beattie
Joe Pistritto

Officers
Department Directors

Department of Administration - Ubahsur Kindellaer
Department of Community Outreach - Jodea Kegan / Tree al'Rotture
Department of Events and Conferences - Serinia Edoras /Sonea Ilandred
Department of Marketing - Kytheria al'Shea
Department of Membership - Serenla Tamowith / Sa'areah Britthorn
Department of Moderators - Karassa Souladrin
Department of Research and Records - Toral Delvar
Department of Technology - Zhareen Narelle / Erin al'Denael

Appendix E: Volunteer Lists

Administration

Annual Reports Project Manager
Membership Survey project Manager
Membership Survey
Senior Statistician
Junior Statistician
Legal
Other Staff

Community Outreach

Department Leadership Changes
Department Staff
New Additions to Department Staff
Servant of All Planning Committee in 2012
Outreach Activities Staff Changes
  • Xylina Tyloredrid retired as Outreach Activities Coordinator: June 6, 2012
  • Jenalla Selar assumed role as Outreach Activities Coordinator: June 6, 2012
  • Miya Kiyoshi stepped down as the Outreach Activities Graphics Coordinator effective December 14, 2012.
  • Lijena Tarkand assumed the role as Outreach Activities Graphics Coordinator on December 14, 2012.
Outreach Activities Team Spring 2012
Outreach Activities Team Fall 2012

Events and Conferences

Mistress of Revels - Britain & Ireland
Mistress of Revels - Continental Europe
Mistress of Revels - North America
Mistress of Revels - South Pacific
  • Position Vacant
Master of the Kitchens
Conference Coordinator
Head Marshal
Events Marshals
Property Mistress

Marketing

Tower Voice
Marketing Project Manager
External Marketing Coordinator
Graphics Development Team
TarValon Times Editor
Assistant Editor
TarValon Times Writers

Membership

Hall of the Tower
Spring 2012
Fall 2012
Junior Member Administrators
Captain of Recruits
Mistress of Accepted
Mayor
Mistress of Novices
Captain of Soldiers
Senior Member Administrators
Head of the Blue Ajah
Head of the Brown Ajah
Head of the White Ajah
Head of the Green Ajah
Head of the Gray Ajah
Head of the Red Ajah
Company Commander of Val Cueran
Company Commander of Mahdi’in d’ma Dieb
Company Commander of Dai M’Hael
Company Commander of San d’ma Shadar

Moderators

General and Frivolous Fun Moderator
Current Events Moderator
Olde Warder and Hen
Book Forum Moderators
Discussion A (Entertainment/Home & Garden/Creative Endeavors)
Discussion B (Sports Fanatics/Health & Fitness/Education & Employment)
Chat Operators

Research and Records

Assistant to Director of Research
Headmaster/Headmistress
Historian

Technology

Master of the Watch
Web Applications Developer
Tower Gatekeeper
Staff