Meeting Recap: End of Year Business Meeting 2016

February 22, 2017

By Martin Buckley

A little later than planned – and from a slightly different vantage point.

Last year Karl Picard wrote a great recap of the 2015 Business Meeting – from his perspective in the audience. A similar perspective to that of most of our readers. I’m going to share a little of the meeting – from being on stage.

Firstly let me point you to the excellent video stream of the meeting from Sounders FC. Secondly there is great coverage and comments from Dave Clark and folk at Sounder At Heart. If you were not there – I recommend reliving at least the Brian Schmetzer hype.

Yes – this was the meeting with a special announcement. The worst kept secret of the year – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.


Meeting Recap: February 2017

Meeting Recap February 7th, 2017


Photos by Stephanie Steiner

February 16, 2017

By Stephanie Steiner

clip_image004We kicked off our meeting with a survey of Council members (private voting). The Rave Foundation is being supported and honored by glassybaby. The Rave Foundation will have its own glassybaby (shown to the left) and we are one of the groups asked to weigh in on what we think it should be called. We turned in our surveys and quickly moved along to the food and beverage portion of the meeting.

The February 7th meeting was the first ever Strategy Session. Strategy Sessions was a new way of working with the Club that was adopted last year. When the agenda was sent out for the meeting, volunteers were sought to be on the food and beverage follow up team. That team is: Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Alex Eagleton, and Mike Dollard.

Food and beverage at Century Link Field is undergoing an exciting transition. First and Goal Hospitality is the new entity making all of the choices with regard to food and beverages at Century Link Field. We met with Dawn Wheeler, Ashli Brown, and Michael Johnson. They’re diving into explorations regarding beer and cider selections (and how they should be different on tap vs. in 16 oz. cans), how large corporate partnerships can be respected while allowing the differences in Seahawks fans and Sounders fans to be honored, and allowing the quality and alcohol content desires to be met for two distinct fan bases: whereas Sounders fans tend to lean more toward craft beer choices, Seahawks fans tend to choose beers with lower alcohol content to help them through a game that is hours longer.

We had an extensive conversation about bringing in quality food choices that might be considered “alternative” in other markets but are fairly mainstream here in Seattle: fresh food instead of being high fat/fried, vegetarian/vegan choices, gluten free, dairy free, and so on. There are so many options available, that we shouldn’t be settling for food that tastes terrible or is poorly prepared. We learned that much of the struggle in the past has come from inadequate training, which is being addressed.

Martin’s son, Hugo, a ten-year-old vegetarian submitted his well-written thoughts on Century Link’s food and beverage for us to consider. I love receiving correspondence from “junior counsel.”

Below are some images of the samples the food and beverage team brought with them for us to taste. We’re not showing these to you to make you envious, make you hungry, or make you want to join the Alliance Council – those are simply beneficial side effects of these images.


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The team at First and Goal Hospitality, Left to Right: Michael Johnson, Ashli Brown, and Dawn Wheeler.

After the Strategy Session, we moved into our own business. First up: Article 8, Supporter Groups. The first reading of the article change was read in November of last year. This was the second reading with an amendment to change the line “designated seating sections” for clarification. It now reads, “Front Office-designated seating sections.” The amendment and the Article were passed unanimously.

We had the first reading of some changes (for clarity) to Article 6 regarding Honorary Chairperson. It’s fairly easy to keep things going when people continue to serve on Council. But when there are large changes to Council, it can be confusing as to what can or cannot be done. So we elected to add clarifying language to Article 6 about the position of Honorary Chairperson. We’re now calling it Honorary Chairperson(s) to make it obvious that more than one person can hold the title at the same time – this gives a Council the ability to grant a youth team the honor if they chose to do so. We declared that if there ever were to be responsibilities of the role, they’d be managed in the bylaws – this does two things: it shows that there aren’t any responsibilities now, and tells people where they’d find them if there ever are any. Lastly, we declared how we’ll name the Honorary Chairperson(s) or rescind the honor should that ever be necessary. None of these things are changes to the process that we follow, they’re just now spelled out so that everyone understands that this is what to do in the future.

We addressed our list of initiatives for 2017 (it’s a lot), and got names attached to each item on the list. We’ll post those separately so that we can update the post and add to it. Those of us who have already started on our projects updated the group.

We finished with open conversation which was mostly about stars on jerseys – at the time, it wasn’t nearly as heated as it has become: MLS had not yet issued the cease and desist to the partner store which was stitching stars on replica jerseys.

Our next Strategy Session will be at our March meeting and we’ll meet with the Marketing team.

Meeting Minutes: January 2017



January 10, 2017 – 7:00 PM –  The NINETY

Present (10 of 14): Nicholaus Biela, Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Michael Dollard, Darla Langdon, Jeremy Monsivais, Karl Picard, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (0): None

Absent (4): Bill Kaczaraba, Eric Flatness, Roberta King, and Kristina Vaughn. (This was a rescheduled meeting, therefore none of these absences count towards Council Member Attendance)

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 10 of 14 Present

III. Introductions

a. Nicholaus tells the council a little bit about himself. He hopes to work on problem solving and messaging with the council. He is interested in helping with visibility. He is also the treasury for the Seattle Chapter of the American Outlaws group. He is a community manager by profession.

b. Darla tells the council a little bit about herself. She decided to join the AC because she wanted to learn more about the club itself, and thought it was a good opportunity to learn about the business side. She is interested in the things that can be changed by using our voices on the council. Not a lot of MLS clubs give this opportunity, so she thinks it is cool that we can do this. She works in the healthcare field by profession.

IV. All Member Introductions

Members of Council who were on last year’s council introduce themselves to the new council members.

V. Elections

PRESIDENT: Karl nominates Stephanie as President. She accepts the nomination. She becomes president by declaration, as there was no challenger.

VICE PRESIDENT: Stephanie nominates Martin Buckley. He accepts the nomination. He becomes VP by declaration, as there was no challenger.

SECRETARY: Stephanie nominates Cameron Collins for secretary. He accepts the nomination. He becomes secretary by declaration, as there was no challenger.

AT LARGE POSITIONS:  There are two positions.

→ Kristina asked Martin to nominate he for at-large because she could not be present. He read a statement on her behalf.

→ Dan Roe nominated himself to be an at large statement. He gave a statement on his own behalf talking about the things he has been involved with as a member of council and what he hopes to do moving forward.

→ Karl Picard nominated himself for an at-large position. He gave a statement on his own behalf talking about what he has done on council and his goals moving forward.

In the first round of voting, Karl Picard was elected to an at-large position.
In the second round of voting, Kristina Vaughn is elected to an at-large position.

Several council members present thanked Dan for his years of service on the Executive Committee of the Council.

VI. Goals & Objectives for 2017

→ Work on the Sounders website with our content and improve our own website.

→ Finalize the Constitution by setting up an outside group with members of SGs to make the procedures. Make a few tweaks to the constitution to make it even better: honorary chairperson, etc

→ should the council move towards getting nonprofit status?

→ Restructuring our Google Group Drive so everything is named with the same format.

→ Grow the council in a smart fashion with people who will do work. Build a community.

VII. Adjournment

Moved. Seconded. Council votes unanimously to adjourn.

Meeting Minutes: November 2016



November 1, 2016 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (11 of 19): Martin Buckley, Cameron Collins, Craig Dillon, Michael Dollard, Eric Flatness, Roberta King, Karl Picard, Stephanie Steiner, Brendan Vaughn, Kristina Vaughn, and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (0): None

Absent (8): Paul Cox, Angelica Germani, Bill Kaczaraba, Thom Kephart, Jeremy Monsivais, Jerry Neil, Jeff Randle, and Daniel Roe.



I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 10 of 19 Present

III. Old Business

a) Honorary Chair Updated

Under the Constitution, the Alliance Council has the right to choose its own Honorary Chairperson for 2017. This decree would name it Brian Schmetzer.

Amendments → Change the section number to just a reference to the Alliance Constitution.

VOTE TO AMEND: 9 for and 0 against. Amendment passes.

Amendments → Add “Honorary” before Chairperson in the final line and specify that he becomes the chairperson “beginning in 2017.” Another councilmember joined the meeting during this discussion.

VOTE TO AMEND: 10 for and 0 against. Amendment passes.

VOTE TO PASS HONORORARY CHAIR STATEMENT, AS AMENDED: 10 for and 0 against. The statement on a new honorary chair passes.



b) Motion by Cameron Collins to have the floor

Cameron would like to recognize Eric Flatness for all his work on the Council and to thank him for it prior to him moving to Thailand later this week. Eric thanks the Council you for all we have done for him, especially Stephanie. Eric is looking forward to the Sounders hosting the Montreal Impact at home in the MLS Cup final.

c) End of the Year Business Meeting

The Council had been trying to get this conversation going for a long time. We talked to the Front Office over and over about it since March or April. They kept saying it was too early. As previously discussed, Kristina Vaughn had a meeting where the Front Office talked about our expectations. After that meeting with KV, the Front Office kept pushing back the conversation. The Front office eventually did not include the Council in the conversation and they planned the meetiing on their own without our input, despite it being our meeting. The Council is concerned that we weren’t involved in the process for our own meeting. The concern from Councilmembers is whether the Alliance Council is respected by the front office or whether Democracy in sports nothing but lip service?


IV. New Business

a) Article 8 & Bylaw 7: First Reading
It was never discussed before that removal of recognition would mean that a supporter group would no longer be recognized by MLS. This language would revert it back to the old language prior to the change. Ultimately, the question is what is the root to a successful passage of this part of the Constitution? Getting something with which all Supporter Groups are happy. Thus, we will be creating a committee with representatives from each supporter group to come up with a new system to make this a non-issue.

Bylaw 7 → Question of whether we want to discuss it as a Council or do we want to let the committee that comes together deal with it. Consensus that we let that committee come up with everything, but we will begin facilitating that conversation.


b) EOTYBM Presentation

Martin’s presentation on the alliance council year was presented to the council.


V. Adjourn

Motion to Adjourn is seconded and passes unanimously.

Meeting Recap: October 2016

Roger Levesque giving kids soccer skills at the Rave Foundation’s launch event at Yesler Community Center, last July.  Photo by Stephanie Steiner

October 10th, 2016

by Karl Picard

 The first hour of the October Alliance meeting was a discussion around the Rave Foundation provided by Maya Mendoza-Exstrom – General Counsel for Sounders and Executive Director of Rave Foundation.  The Rave Foundation is the charitable arm of the Sounders FC that was started in 2013 internally but official launched to the public in July 2016.  They are a 501 c3 and a close partner to the for-profit Sounders.  They have been working on community outreach and hosting events for kids and communities to get people playing soccer and getting soccer balls into the hands of young people.

For 2017 they will be focused on the following areas: building urban accessible fields (small soccer fields) in the communities that need access to soccer facilities, and creating a culture where pickup soccer can happen – not just the organized, pay to play soccer opportunities for youth.  One such field that has been already built it at Beverly Park Elementary where they built a mini-pitch.

They have big goals over the next 10 years, 5 community small fields, 2 Seattle community-centric small fields (targeting iconic areas), distribute soccer balls (10,000) to area kids,  and continue supporting pop-up games to encourage free play anywhere.  The Foundation wants to remove barriers to participate in soccer, strengthen the communities, and all the ways soccer helps address challenges in our communities.

Yesler Terrace is the first location for the Rave fields (park around the Yesler Community Center). The field will support full field as well as split field games with goals on both ends and sides of the field.  It’s going to be a unique location in Seattle and model for parks going forward.  Not many places in the immediate area have access to soccer fields plus the right leadership and advocates in the community, therefore making this a great location for the first field.

Next up is bringing the Rave field to Pier 62 at the waterfront. There will be a semi-permanent soccer field that will be similar to the Yesler size.  This is the doorstep to Seattle and contributes to the culture of the city.

The Rave Foundation has given out 292 soccer balls and held 83 popup games to date.  They will be working on fundraising and the next locations for Rave fields by reaching out to communities and their leaders.

The remaining hour was spent finalizing some items around the Constitution and By-Law changes (which likely everyone reading this has seen by now), discussion around the scarf vote (over 4,ooo people placed their vote) and the Annual Business meeting, which is scheduled for 11/2. Executive Committee Member, Martin Buckley created this nifty survey if you don’t want to use SSFC’s or your question is longer than 150 characters.

Meeting Minutes: October 2016



October 4, 2016 – 7:00 PM – The NINETY

Present (16 of 19): Cameron Collins, Craig Dillon, Michael Dollard, Eric Flatness, Angelica Germani, Bill Kaczaraba, Thom Kephart, Roberta King, Jeremy Monsivais, Jerry Neil, Karl Picard, Jeff Randle, Daniel Roe, Stephanie Steiner, Kristina Vaughn, and Steve Wilson.

Via telephone (1): Martin Buckley

Absent (2): Paul Cox and Brendan Vaughn.

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

I. Call to order – Stephanie Steiner

II. Roll – Cameron Collins: 15 of 19 Present

III. Maya Mendoza-Exstrom, Sounders General Counsel / Executive Director of the RAVE


The Rave FoundationOne of the challenges the Club has faced has been building a standalone 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that is separate from the for-profit company that is the Sounders. This is their strategic plan moving forward:

a) Now the official charitable arm of the Sounders FC

b) Mission Driven: United in Green

c) “We are Everywhere”

d) Execution of BIG initiatives

e) Leveraged impact in Specific Communities

f) Measure service, leadership, and investment

The 10 Year Plan:

1) Build 5 community-centric small fields → They believe need to do more than just build a field, they want to provide support

2) Build 2 small fields around Seattle

3) Distribute 10,000 soccer balls

4) Support 500+ pop up, free play, small sided soccer games → They believe that soccer is vehicle to empower

FIELD 1: @ Yesler Terrace. There will be a 2 acre park there.

Historic neighborhood. All the parties involved wanted soccer to be a part of the rebuild. There are a lot of immigrants there who play soccer.

Field desert: there are small pocket parks, but there are no fields.

High need and opportunity for community leadership, stewardship, and capacity. 250 kids showed up to the announcement of the launch of the field.

FIELD 2: @ Pier 62

Iconic location

Community vision

Seattle’s front door/porch

Seattle is the soccer capitol of North America and Soccer City, USA

Improve the future of parks and park use in Seattle for all.

10,000 Soccer Balls

If you give a kid a ball, they will start playing with it. If you give them a really good ball, then it is a real asset and it is something that gets used over and over again.

A soccer ball, because of the nature of the game, invites inclusion and playing together.

With a soccer ball, a kid can become physically active, make healthy choices, and grow in creativity and confidence.

Free Play

500 pickup soccer games in Seattle. Fosters a culture of inclusive, free play, pick up, pop up, small sided soccer in communities throughout soccer.

The Club believes kids acquire skills to be creative, gain confidence, and learn from kids with other diverse backgrounds.

Be the Number 10 in the Community: Big issues of equity in our communities. How can soccer help? Catalyze partnerships with organizations who are already using soccer to address the root causes of inequity in areas: Education, Health and Fitness, Inclusion and Diversity, Nutrition, and Leadership.

2016 In Review: They launched at the end of July and since then they have given out 292 soccer balls, 83 pop up soccer games, and have run several programs including: Waterfront Park, Yesler Park, Westlake Park, Beverly Park Elementary, Occidental Park, Rainier Vista Boys and Girls, La Barra’s “La Copita”

2017 Planning:

Sounders have committed to fully fund Yesler field.

Regular programming in RAVE communities

Program distributions: Balls + Funds

Pop Up soccer activities

RAVE @ Yesler & RAVE @ Pier 62 planning

Determining where should field 3-4 be?

Learn more at:

IV. September Minutes – Approved by President Stephanie Steiner

V. Old Business

A. End of the Year Meeting: Front Office is trying to figure out the best date, and we will know as soon as they know. They are aiming for early November.

B. Scarf Vote: As of yesterday, there were over 4,000 votes that have been cast. Right now it is a tight race between two scarves.

C. Bylaw 7: We currently have powers laid out by the constitution, but there aren’t any procedures. This puts the procedures in to place so we actually have an idea of how this is done.

Amendment #1: Changes 7.3.1 so that the reviews are biennial for each supporter group, staggering them over that two year period. Changes 7.3.2 to make a causal review require a super-majority vote at a Council meeting where quorum is present.

Amendment 1 passes by a vote of 13 for, 0 against, and 2 abstentions.

Amendment #2: Change 7.3.1. so that it says “met or maintained,” instead of just met.

Amendment 2 passes by a vote of 12 for, 1 against, and 2 abstentions.

Bylaw 7, as amended, passes by a vote of 12 for, 2 against, and 1 abstention.

D. Constitution: The vote will likely be timed around the end of the year meeting, possibly being launched at the meeting.

E. Scarf Donations: Having the ability to donate the value of your scarf from your season ticket package in lieu to a charity of he Sounder’s choice, in lieu of receiving a scarf, is in the Sounders’ queue, but it is not something that can happen for next season.

VI. Open Discussion

Can the Sounders do a recognition for Dempsey, like they did for Steve Zakuani? This will be brought up with the Club.

Do they have a recognition planned for Zach Scott at the final home game? Maybe they city could declare it Zach Scott Day.

VII. Adjournment: Adjourning the meeting is proposed and seconded. Meeting adjourned.