Management during Covid

This is more a general management question, but we're coming to an AGM (Annual General Meeting of Shareholders) where a new board of directors will be elected among other things. We'd like to have it before October, as our next fiscal year starts October 1. But if Covid is still in progress, I'm wondering if anyone has plans for a remote shareholder (owners) meeting, or a hybrid type meeting so more vulnerable people can access remotely while others meet in person.

Has anyone had to deal with this yet, and what approaches are you considering or have worked for you?

I really doubt that Zoom is appropriate venue for an AGM but perhaps I'm wrong.

I know I've seen a big HOA site (HOA Talk?) geared for management issues that I should check out but thought I'd put it out since I've been active here lately.
If you do start a HOA management category Steve you can move this in there.

Thanks much!

L
 

bisel

Administrator
Staff member
This is more a general management question, but we're coming to an AGM (Annual General Meeting of Shareholders) where a new board of directors will be elected among other things. We'd like to have it before October, as our next fiscal year starts October 1. But if Covid is still in progress, I'm wondering if anyone has plans for a remote shareholder (owners) meeting, or a hybrid type meeting so more vulnerable people can access remotely while others meet in person.

Has anyone had to deal with this yet, and what approaches are you considering or have worked for you?

I really doubt that Zoom is appropriate venue for an AGM but perhaps I'm wrong.

I know I've seen a big HOA site (HOA Talk?) geared for management issues that I should check out but thought I'd put it out since I've been active here lately.
If you do start a HOA management category Steve you can move this in there.

Thanks much!

L
Our HOA has conducted the last two Board meetings using Zoom. We have not had the AGM meeting using that venue, although I believe that if the C19 outbreak were still on a rampage, that would be the obvious course of action to take.

In my opinion, having now experienced these Board meeting using a web conferencing app, I believe a hybrid approach is the way to go in the future. My reason is that the regular Board meetings and the annual shareholder meetings are sparsely attended. I like the idea of using a web conferencing app to "broadcast" the meeting. One would still hold the in-person meeting, but broadcast through the web app the actual meeting itself. This would allow those who are either unwilling or incapable of attending in person to not only attend, but also contribute to the meetings.

I would like to add that having experienced a few different application for virtual hosting, I believe that one would be well served to examine several different applications to host these kind of meetings. There are several decent applications available. I like the following, not in any particular order, and one should compare features and costs of each. This is not a comprehensive list of available platforms, but I thought I would share what many consider the top three choices:
  • Webex (by Cisco) ... excellent for hosting interactive webinars and virtual events
  • Zoom ... easier to learn to use with similar capabilities to Webex
  • GoToMeeting ... good capabilities using advanced features
 

bisel

Administrator
Staff member
This is more a general management question, but we're coming to an AGM (Annual General Meeting of Shareholders) where a new board of directors will be elected among other things. We'd like to have it before October, as our next fiscal year starts October 1. But if Covid is still in progress, I'm wondering if anyone has plans for a remote shareholder (owners) meeting, or a hybrid type meeting so more vulnerable people can access remotely while others meet in person.

Has anyone had to deal with this yet, and what approaches are you considering or have worked for you?

I really doubt that Zoom is appropriate venue for an AGM but perhaps I'm wrong.

I know I've seen a big HOA site (HOA Talk?) geared for management issues that I should check out but thought I'd put it out since I've been active here lately.
If you do start a HOA management category Steve you can move this in there.

Thanks much!

L
This is good suggestion. I will create a category for these kinds of discussions.

Steve
 
Our (Ontario, Canada) COVID legislation provides that remote annual and regular board meetings are allowed, even if they are not specified in the bylaws. We've been having board meetings for a few months using www.freeconference.com which has been satisfactory, just using teleconferencing rather than video.

Normally the AGM should follow within 15 months of the prior one. Now this deadline has been extended. Also, the requirement to have the AGM within 6 months of the prior fiscal year close is suspended as well. So, from a legal point of view we could probably wait until 2021 for the AGM. But past September 2020 is a concern as it’s starting the next fiscal year before we've even reported about the one before the current one! We’d be two fiscal years behind. So practically speaking, we're viewing September are the deadline.

Covid is improving here, though it remains to be seen how comfortable people will be gathering in an indoor room and possibly wearing protection.

So, our options are:

  • Have a standard AGM indoors without COVID being a concern or wearing protection and maintaining distancing. The droplets and occasionally fists fly, at these meetings, lol.

  • Having a meeting outdoors under a tent or perhaps in a large garage with the main door open. Would be safer if Covid is active but does have other issues such as difficulties hearing and being heard, papers blowing away, timing due to bad weather, privacy with non-members being able to hear what’s going on. Maybe more! Has anyone dealt with this?

  • Remote is a possibility, though our membership is probably only about 50% technically capable. Maybe I’m underestimating the ability and willingness of the older generation to adopt remote technology, but I’m doubtful they are able without being guided in person through the process. So that may just be a tough luck sort of thing. There are some specality services that do AGM such as Lumi Global or Broadridge but we haven't investigated those yet.
There are a few webinars on remote AGMs and voting here from late May and early June pertaining to condos that may be instructive at https://condoadviser.ca/webinars. I haven’t viewed them yet but will. They may not apply to your jurisdiction but may be generally informative. Our building is a Co-op and doesn’t follow the condo rules exactly but there should be some similarities.​

  • A hybrid meeting where some portion of membership is available in person (inside or outside) and others view the meeting remotely and perhaps participate as well. This requires addressing the challenges of both meeting venues, and may be like carrying on two separate meetings. It’s ideal but also may be more complex.
So, I’m really not sure yet. Each method has it’s pros and cons. Regardless of what method is chosen, it seems like being organized and following a methodology will be more important than ever. That may be the hardest task of them all for us! Thankfully we have about a month to sort this out and set the wheels in motion.

Best regards,

Larry
 
Wanted to mention these more reasonably priced additional services which specialize in remote AGMs:

1) GetQuorum - was primarily a remote voting service which they still offer separately, but now offer a full service package.

2) Condo Voter -
https://condovoter.com/
They were demo'd in the electronic voting video on the above webinar.

I believe they support the AGM technically and process-wise ensure it's implemented according to whatever rules should apply.
 

LOLV-Finance

New member
Our last general meeting of the Association in November was done via Zoom. It was a tight agenda: election results, service awards. Committee reports were done in writing and posted to the website prior to the meeting. There was no general discussion.

Another meeting to discuss a major capital project is scheduled for next week, also via Zoom. More interaction is anticipated, so we'll see how that goes.
 

bisel

Administrator
Staff member
As a board member on my HOA, we have been looking for potential ways to involve the general membership for electronic voting. One item that we would like to address is to modify our CC&Rs which are outdated and have some provisions which the Board has no intention of enforcing. They were written 25 years ago by the builder of our community and then passed over to the HOA when the builder divorced themselves from the association. There are other potential things as well, for example, the annual voting for new Board members. We have not had a lot of things come up that require a general membership approval, but not hard to envision many different potential uses. Any of which may save mailing costs.

Our most pressing issue is trying to re-write our CC&Rs. At issue is that in order to change the CC&Rs changed, we must have a 2/3 majority of the membership to do so. Not just the members in attendance of a meeting, but a full accounting of the entire membership. In the past, getting the entire membership to respond to anything is problematic. We never get more than 35 people showing up for the annual meeting (out of 113 homes) and any issues we send mailings out only get a small fraction of them returned. Typically, less than 20%. Apathy is alive and well in our community.

We would like to have some form of electronic voting, but it needs to posses some specific characteristics:
  • Provide evidence that electronic notification was sent out to the email addresses on file
  • Provide evidence that the recipient received and read the notice
  • Allow the recipient to respond to the voting request … with a single vote per email address, no changes once submitted.
  • Allow recipient to respond at their convenience. Not have to rely on them being in attendance of an online meeting application or to restricted to a day or time to respond. Of course, there might be a time limit imposed, but other than that, few restrictions on when to respond.
  • The application should provide a dashboard showing progress for any initiatives and indicate who has responded and who has not.
We are in early phases here. I have read through a few service offerings:
Wondering if any you all have experience using a service such as I described? What has been your opinion of the service?

Thanks in advance.

Steve
 
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