Hello Penguicon Board, ConCom, Staff, and Community.
I’ve been attending Penguicon since Penguicon 4.0 in 2006.
When I saw how shiny and fun the convention was and how interesting and welcoming the attendees and staff were, I was thrilled to repeat my attendance the following year. Doing so showed me that these people could be my community.
I’ve been contributing my time and energy to running Penguicon since then, and I’ve realized that I believe in the dual cores of Penguicon’s Mission of promoting Speculative Fiction and Open Source.
As I see it, Speculative Fiction is about predicting possible outcomes of society and technology. From waterbeds, satellites, and cell phones but also the wide varieties of potential Utopian and Dystopian futures.
Open Source (software, hardware, and others) is – at its core – the concept of sharing our tools, ideas, and techniques with others to expand human knowledge and ability.
Those two things together let us imagine the future, good or bad, and create tools to handle and enhance our possible outcomes. This is the best thing humans can do for and with each other to develop and continue civilization.
So, for nearly 16 years, I’ve championed and supported Penguicon as a volunteer. What kind of volunteer? GoH Wrangler, Sponsorship, Gopher, Front Desk Greeter, Marketing, Room Party Liaison, Head of Programming, Track Head, Board Member, as well as, for the last 13 years, Board President.
While I believe in this organization and community, I am immunocompromised. This means that even before 2020, I had to wear a mask in crowded public places. So now, living in a Pandemic that shows no signs of ending means that even a high-quality mask will not allow me to safely be in a crowded convention building for more than a few hours. So obviously, I cannot participate in person for the foreseeable future.
So, despite my deep attachment to and love for this community, I must step aside and allow someone else who can fully participate in leading the organization as Board President.
I resign as Board President, effective as soon as the board is able to replace me in that role, and will take a role as a board member without portfolio until the Board is able to add a board member to replace me.