While we have long discussions on this list about board composition, we
seem to almost ignore the fact that two long time veterans are leaving the
Wikimedia Foundation board, as scheduled. Jan-Bart de Vreede and Stu West
have been around longer than many regular editors nowadays, and I think
there are not many people who can recall the days that the board didn't
have them on it. I have never had the pleasure to serve on the board with
them, but a little thank-you from our community side, would seem in place.
Stu joined the board already in 2008 (filling Michael Davis' seat), and has
been a solid power on the board's audit responsibilities (I believe he
chaired the audit committee for quite a while) and was a force behind the
accountability of movement affiliates. While we often strongly disagreed on
affiliate issues, I appreciate the fact that he always remained
constructive and wanted to think about solutions rather than problems. He
served both as treasurer and vice chair.
Jan-Bart was on the board even longer, since early 2007, and I recall
already working with him through Kennisnet (a Dutch foundation for
education and IT) before that. Jan-Bart is one of those rare people who
went to ALL wikimania conferences, and can be easily recognised there with
his big smile. I can't remember a theme Jan-Bart didn't work on in the past
years (Affiliates, HR, searching a new Executive Director) and he served
the board in many positions, including as chair.
I'm sure that the WMF communications staff and/or board has a nice thankyou
coming up - with a more accurate description of the awesome work they did,
that I now made up from the top of my head. But in the mean time, I'd like
to do it myself: Thank you Jan-Bart and Stu for all the time, energy and
effort that you poured into our movement. I know that not all of us
appreciate this as much as we perhaps should, and sometimes you may even
have perceived us as hostile. I do sincerely hope that you had fun with us
though, and I'm confident that you made a big dent in our impossible
mission of sharing the sum of all knowledge with everyone.
I hope to meet you again soon, at least in Italy at Wikimania, and I hope
to see you around in our movement in many different ways.
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