Josh Berkus Platform

Who I am: Josh Berkus

  • PostgreSQL Core Team member since 2002
  • OpenOffice.org Project Lead 2000-2001
  • Linux user since 1998
  • Occasional contributor to: Bricolage, OVF, GForge, OpenOffice.org, OpenDocument, Derby
  • Member of: OSCON Committee, OSS Foundations List, Open Database Consortium, Open Voting Consortium, and SF Perlmongers
  • PostgreSQL Lead, Sun Microsystems
  • Darned good cook

Qualifications for Board

  • SPI Board Advisor for PostgreSQL for the last 4 months. During this time, I attended 3 of the 4 Board meetings, and have worked extensively with the Board especially the treasurer (more on this below), and have provided advice an opinions on board issues in that time.
  • Treasurer for the PostgreSQL Anniversary Summit (conference.postgresql.org).
  • Small Business Owner for 6 years. I ran my own six-figure-income consulting business for 6 years, and have more experience than I really want in bookkeeping and tax issues.
  • Professional Fundraiser for 3 years (San Francisco Opera): I know how to fundraise and deal with corporate donors and have an informed amateur knowledge of 501(c)3 organization law. During my time with the opera I personally raised over $300,000 per year and I plan to do similar for PostgreSQL and SPI.

Campaign Statement

If elected to the Board, I will volunteer to be Treasurer. It is important to me to keep an eye on PostgreSQL's money and if managing all of SPI's money is what it takes, I'll do it. The existing board wants me to be treasurer and I am already working with Jimmy and Brendan on the treasurer's duties, including money management, bookkeeping, filings and setting up donation mechanisms.

As you know, the office of Treasurer and the whole board has suffered from the extremely part-time nature of the commitment from most board members. We've had two board meetings in the last year cancelled due to lack of attendance, and the treasurer's report is several months behind. With SPI becoming the host of multiple OSS projects (Debian, OVF, PostgreSQL, Drupal, OFTC and more) the time required for financial management is increasing, not decreasing. Since Sun Microsystems pays me to do "community stuff" I can make this kind of time commitment, including a commitment to attend at least 10 of the 12 monthly board meetings (possibly all of them).

If treasurer, I plan to drive several initiatives to put SPI on clear, accessible, project-enhancing financial footing. These include:

Funds Software: I've already been talking to the people in CiviCRM and CivicSpace about developing OSS software which will allow the treasurer to track overall donations as well as giving each project easy and full access to their individual donors and funds.

CPA: I will find new candidate CPA/Bookkeeping services which will provide more active support of SPI's banking and tax filings for selection by the board, and work with the new service so that SPI has professional bookkeeping help it can rely on to double-check the work of the treasurer as well as make sure all filings are done on time (unlike currently).

Additionally, I will point out that I am well-known in the global Open Source community and attend eight or more conferences a year all over the world. This means that, as a board member, I am accessible and able to coordinate not only the different SPI communities but with other Open Source communities as well. This means that as a Board member I will be able to represent the views of the community and not just my own views.