PowerShell.org, Inc. 2015 Shareholder Meeting Roundup

I wanted to provide a quick wrap-up of the Annual Shareholder Meeting that we just concluded. We had a quorum of shareholder votes present online or by proxy, and we made some important decisions that I want to share with the community overall.

One, we voted to amend the organization's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to make some important structural changes. These are absolutely in line with our original intent for the organization, and reflect how we've actually done things, but now they're "law." The first was to remove any legal possibility of corporate funds being paid out to shareholders; all corporate funds must be used only for corporate programs and operating expenses. We also voted that, in the event the corporation is completely dissolved, any remaining assets and proceeds will be donated to a 501(c)(3) charity.

The bigger news is that we also voted to, if necessary, cancel all shares held by the corporation's owners - with no financial consideration - and re-incorporate as a nonprofit corporation. That means everyone who's invested time and money into PowerShell.org would get no money back, yet would lose their ownership of it. That's likely to be a necessary step for us to achieve tax-free status, which is something we'd very much like to do moving forward. We would still have a Board of Directors, and would likely form a volunteer Community Council to help advise on program directions and other matters of governance. Legally, under US nonprofit rules, the Directors could not be paid for their service as Directors - which is exactly how we've always done things.

We also announced that Steve Murawski will be joining the Board as our sixth Director. Steve's been instrumental in moving the community forward on DSC, and plays an important role in connecting the community to the DSC product team members, so we're pleased to have him.

Director Dave Wyatt, known for his work on Pester, will be working on a PowerShell.org Continuous Integration service. The theory is that you submit your code to an open-source repo, and the CI service automatically runs your Pester tests on the code. If the code passes, your code is packaged and made available for production use in a repository (similar to PowerShellGallery.com, perhaps, and potentially that repository depending on Microsoft's directions).

Our other big announcement was a 2016 plan to launch a DevOps-focused education program designed for young people and young entrants to the IT field. This program will combine self-study online training with live mentorship, and lead to as many as nine entry-level certification titles by its conclusion. Anyone will be welcome to join the program on an a-la-carte basis, meaning you could simply follow it on your own, skip the exams, or whatever. However, in partnership with vendor sponsors to be announced, we hope to provide two full-ride scholarships to the program. One will be a general scholarship, and the other will be a "Diversity in Tech" scholarship reserved for members of groups that are presently underrepresented in the industry. The goal of the program will be to take a recent high school graduate, or someone with similar education, and provide them the skills and knowledge needed to successfully apply for an entry-level job (such as Help Desk Technician), with a focus on pointing their career in a DevOps direction.

As you can see, our community is coming together into a significant force, and these major programs are one reason we'd like to pursue nonprofit status - doing so will not only remove our own tax burden and leave more money for programs, but also potentially make donations to the organization tax-deductible for the donor. 

All of this on top of two annual Summit events, a revamped website, the re-imagined Scripting Games, our information-packed TechLetter, and our newly launched TechSession webinars. We've got a lot going on, and it couldn't be done without the ample and able help of our many volunteers, and the support of our wonderful community. Thank you - our most exciting years appear to be ahead of us!

Slide deck: Shareholder Meeting

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Don Jones

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Don Jones is a Windows PowerShell MVP, author of several Windows PowerShell books (and other IT books), Co-founder and President/CEO of PowerShell.org, PowerShell columnist for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, PowerShell educator, and designer/author of several Windows PowerShell courses (including Microsoft's). Power to the shell!