Ch. 20 — The First Meeting of the Bored

Just after 3:00 p.m., the home welcomes the straw boss, James, and his sibling, Lyndsey. Just imagine the buzz of talk that transpires over dinner as the kids are updated on the Allca solution to the quandary of how to finance the leasing operations of the HDTV.

Both Dianne and Jay have taken extensive notes of the earlier conversation and statements that Alex made and can report these almost verbatim for the two time-travel pioneers.

Both teenagers are deeply impressed, with not only the $20 million grant, but also the direction and suggestions Allca had given.

They appear especially appreciative of the way he appears to have backed off from controlling the whole organization himself, leaving the running of everything to Russell.

“I guess that means I’m not the operations director any more. Whew! At last! It’s all yours now, Dad, and you’re welcome to it. If you’re going to be the president of the whole shooting match, it should be up to you to call the shots from here on in.

“Anyway, you’ll have to abandon your own business, or sell it to one of your colleagues in the transportation industry. You’ll have time to give your full attention to the System instead of having to worry about keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table.”

“What do you think will be your first move, Dad,” Lynz questions.

“Well, I guess we’ll need to be looking at getting something done about an operations center. There’s a limit to what we can do from home, and it would be better if we had a purpose-designed office with a little storage space, just in case we have to store goods that we pick up in the course of our operations. One blessing is that, with the System, we can easily get all our meals at home and make it back here every evening. We can easily keep in touch, the same way.”

“Go ahead, Russ; we’re taking notes for you,’ Dianne says.

“Dad.” It was Deej this time. “What did you want to do about making the System safe from power cuts and lightning strikes?” he asks.

“Well, thanks to our experiments with the small sets, we know that we can enliven other HDTVs by bringing them within a few feet of an operating set. What we’ll have to do for any contracts we sign off on, is to make sure that we only ever buy the correct type of HDTV and each set must have a battery back-up and have that bulletproofed using a standby generator. Remember that costs are irrelevant now that Alex has agreed to grubstake us, and our lessees are going to be picking up the tab anyway. As a not-for-profit outfit, we are not going to be overcharging anyone no matter what.”

“What size TVs are you going to be using, Russell,” Ladybuck questions.

“Where it involves someone stepping through the screen, obviously, we’ll have to use the large-screen HDTVs, but if it’s only to view something with no EVAs, then we can supply smaller TVs. I guess we’ll learn from our experience with the first few customers,” the president-elect confirms.

“Did you have something in mind for Jay and me to look after, Russell?” Pop Grover asks.

“Well, I’ll tell you what, Pop,” Russell responds, “we’re supposed to be an organization with a board of directors, and I will expect all of you to be a part of that board. Our family lawyer knows all about the transaction between Alex Allca and us and perhaps we can get him working on the questions we all have about the NPO. This won’t be a job to be done over the phone, so perhaps Pop and Jay, you could make an appointment, and go and see Gavin Salmon to get the answers to some of the questions that have been raised about the setup of the organization. Can we get him to come and give us a brief lecture of the responsibilities of those with positions on the board of an NPO?

“Too, can Lyndsey and James, at their present ages, hold positions on the board? Are they entitled to receive a salary for their services?

“Alex suggested that the kids be lined up for home schooling rather than have to leave the house for school each day. Find out for us, if you would, what the score is on that front while you’re there.

“On the security issue, perhaps you’d be good enough to ask Gavin what we would need to do to get armed guards stationed around our home, or outside our operations center once it’s set up. When the word gets out, which it certainly will, as James said a while ago, the bad guys will be round here like bees around a honey pot.

“One more thing; let Gavin know that we want to agree to let Ethan and NNN have exclusive rights to first showing of all future video that we are entitled to share with him. If Gavin has any questions, he can call me. At least he’ll be expecting the call from the legal people at NNN.”

#

At a family conflab next morning at 10:00 a.m., in the absence at school of the teenagers, Jay and Pop report that Gavin Salmon, the family’s lawyer, advises he is able to schedule a training session for 3:00 p.m. this same day. That’s good news, since there will be governmental guidelines with which all the members of the family will need to cooperate. Upon completion of this presentation, he will proceed with the setup of the organization, if the family still wishes to advance with the project.

“Gavin recommends that, since this project is more than likely to go ahead, each one of us be assigned duties and positions on the board so that he’ll have all the information he needs; and he did say to remember that Alex asked for a name for the corporation.

“Mr. Salmon has been updated on the first screening rights to be granted to Ethan Thomas and is awaiting contact by NNN’s legal department. If that fails to materialize by tomorrow, he says he will initiate contact himself.

“The lawyer is also investigating the issue of 15- and 16-year olds holding board positions in a not-for-profit corporation. He will revert with data from both federal and state sources. He will also check on the provisions of Florida law for home schooling of teenagers.

“On the issue of the armed guards, he is verifying with state and municipal police departments to insure that all laws are complied with.” Jay and Pop report to the group supported by Jay’s notes of their conversations, which are flawless as usual.

“He did clarify that Lyndsey and James cannot be appointed as members of the board of directors until they reach 18 years of age. He says, though, that there is nothing to prevent the corporation from using their services and paying them for their work as employees, or even as managers, which means that they will still be able to carry out all the functions that they have so far.”

“Like any NPO, we’ll have to keep close tabs on our revenues, so that our tax returns are accurate. They are subject to audit and we wouldn’t want to run afoul of the government in any way. That’s about it from the legal end of things,” the older couple reports.

The chairman of the board responds, “Great, thanks folks. I guess we’ll have to let the kids choose the title of the corporation; it’s pretty much their show, after all. Any suggestions, by the way, that we could put forward for their consideration?”

“What about ‘Television on the Move Corp.,’” Buckminster proposes.

“That’s a good start, Buck. Anybody else?”

“‘Have TV, Will Travel,’” Dianne advances.

“‘Time Tube’” volunteers Jay.

“We might relate it to the kids and personalize it especially for them, and call it ‘Teen System,’” since, for us, it’s the System and it reflects the computer age we live in.” Ladybird always could relate well to her grandchildren.

“Good, well that’s something for the two of them to think about after school. Thanks everyone for your input.” Russell concludes.

“OK. Now we should discuss everyone’s responsibilities as Gavin has suggested.”

“First we can appoint each one of us as a director of the corporation, then we can consider to what responsibilities will go to which director. Really, we shouldn’t have a problem with the first part, as no one here has invested any serious cash into the operation thus far. Our outlay for HDTVs is relatively minimal and we can probably recover that from the funds that the lessees will provide us with. So we can start off as equals.

“Would someone propose that we appoint everyone present as a director of this so-far unnamed non-profit organization?” Russell asks.

“OK,” says Jay Grover, Russell’s mother-in-law, “I propose that we appoint each person here as a director of this corporation.”

“I’ll second that proposal,” volunteers Dianne.

“Very well. Do we have a majority in favor of the resolution?” Russell asks, in calling for a vote.

“OK, we have five in favor; as the chair, I’ll only vote in the event there is a tie. The motion is carried. Jay, can you record the minutes for us?”

“Perhaps someone would nominate me as chairman of the board of director,” he humbly asks.

Dianne does the honors and is seconded by Pop Grover. The resulting vote is five to zero in favor, once again.

So now, we have a legal corporation, in theory. This information has to be handled by Gavin Salmon and recorded with the authorities at the State of Florida before the arrangement can be considered a fait accompli.

“We need someone to propose a number of directors that will be recognized as a quorum.” Ladybird proposes a minimum of three directors be present for any decisions to be made affecting the corporation; this is seconded by Jay and again voted on, being accepted by the five present, excluding the chair, Russell, just to remind you, will only vote when there is a need to break a tie, as every good chairperson should.

Votes of five to zero are also recorded on proposals to 1) appoint Buckminster Richardson as vice president; 2) appoint Jay Grover as Secretary-Treasurer; 3) appoint Russell, Buck, and Jay as the Executive Committee; 4) appoint both Lyndsey and David James to positions of responsibility within the corporation, allowing them to perform assignments and receive salaries for their work.

Directors are appointed to be in charge of various responsibilities: Dianne, internal and external communication; Ladybird, revenue; Jay, human resources; Pop, safety and security. No one is assigned to sales and marketing as these are really non-issues, since, as Allca had put it, ‘the world will beat a path to your door.’

 Dianne is reminded that a call to Ethan Thomas might be appropriate in order to recover data relating to the e-mails and calls of enquiry received by the news agency pursuant to the television shows.

A unanimous vote is also recorded assigning managerial positions to both Lynz and James. In the interim, the two may be managers over no one, but as time goes by, and other individuals are hired as ‘Untouchables,’ and security guards are required, then their responsibilities will be enlarged.

As an immediate assignment, the two teens are given responsibility for training, and, in all likelihood, some of the directors are likely to need some additional schooling in the ways of the System.

[We apologize for boring you with all this legal gobbledygook, but we need to have you understand who is responsible for what, now and in the future.]

#

In two days’ timea the data from NNN arrives formatted as a spreadsheet attached to an e-mail Ethan has sent. The message bears his best wishes for the family’s success and expressing ET’s happiness at being allowed to provide some assistance with the setup and prospects of the NPO.

By the time Ethan’s information has been read and digested, the training seminar from Gavin Salmon is history and everyone is well aware of the corporate structure. Each of the directors has been briefed and is well aware of his/her responsibilities.

Salmon has also been given the decision of the kids as to the name of the new not-for-profit corporation. It is to be called by a name based on the proposal by Ladybird Richardson.

“‘Time-Travel Teens’ Organization” is the appellation they settle on. The board of directors votes on the proposal, and unanimously agrees to have the organization bear that title.

“Here’s some good news we received from Mr. Salmon: The Florida Compulsory School Attendance laws can be met by a home-schooling program, so Lynz and Deej can do their final education at home, which will allow them to make themselves available for operational requirements of the System.

“Dianne, could you just check with the kids and make sure we’re all on the same page on this, and if they’re OK with it, let the school know that we’ll be continuing their education at home. There may be a minimum time limit on our notification, so, as soon as possible, if you would.” Russell was obviously ecstatic at the way everything was falling into place.

There being no further business, the chairman of the board of directors adjourned the meeting.

####

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