Plone Foundation Board: Time to Renew
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Active Years in Plone
Lately I’ve done a lot with Plone. I’ve helped write PLIPS, create new features, given trainings, supported PloneGov-BR, and been a part of the AI Team. But in the Board, as President, we updated the contributor agreement, increased the number of active members, and made important changes to the Foundation bylaws.
But now, it’s time for a change. I’ve decided not to run again, making room for new voices and ideas.
A Farewell to Colleagues
Leaving the board isn’t easy. Working with Willian Fennie, Jens Klein, T. Kim Nguyen, Martin Peeters, Kim Paulissen, and Paul Roeland has been a great experience. I’ll miss our meetings, but I’m also excited for the new members who will bring fresh ideas.
How it All Started
My trek began when Roberto Allende pushed for a voice for the "global south" in the Foundation. At the time I was an unknown in the global community, and I pretty sure I was not going to be voted in, but the results were announced and I was elected alongside Carol Ganz, Paul Roeland, Maurizio Delmonte, and Sjoerd van Elferen. We were the new faces in a board that also had the veterans Matt Hamilton and Geir Baekholt.
Joining the board meetings bi-weekly quickly became a highlight of my professional engagements. However, it also brought revelations. I was a novice to Robert’s Rules and felt the limitations of my English proficiency. My assumption that the epicenter of Plone was in the US was corrected; Europe was the hub. I also recognized a gap in the board’s understanding of Plone’s impact in the "global south." My lone voice and seat weren’t sufficient to bridge this gap. The thought occurred - perhaps hosting a conference could be a catalyst for change.
I served two additional consecutive terms on the board, During 2012-2013, as Vice President, my role became instrumental in discussions with the Brazilian Government. My deep understanding of the Foundation, coupled with the authority of my position, were key factors in realizing Portal Padrão and ensuring the success of the Plone Conference.
Overstaying My Welcome
However, during the 2013-2014 term, my contributions fell short of my own expectations. A mix of personal and professional challenges affected my participation, and I was only able to attend roughly 75% of the meetings. Acknowledging this, I opted not to seek re-election. This decision paved the way for two good friends and esteemed colleagues, Chrissy Wainwright and T. Kim Nguyen, to join the board. Their inclusion not only brought fresh perspectives but also significantly enhanced the board’s collective expertise
After 2014, I took a step back from the Python and Plone communities. A new career path led me to explore and work with PHP, Java, Ruby, Go, and other technologies. Despite this shift, my affinity for Plone remained. I managed to integrate a Plone instance as a headless CMS in my projects (I’ll share more about this in a future post), maintaining my connection as a Plone user.
Coming Back to Plone
The pull of the Plone family was strong, and by the time Plone Conference 2017 rolled around, I was ready to re-engage. I volunteered for the Membership Committee, led by my friend Kim Nguyen. The years following my 2014 step back had offered growth and reflection, and returning to contribute to the community was like coming home.
The departure of Philip Bauer from the board during the Tokyo Conference opened a door for my return. My journey to Japan in 2018 marked my re-entry as a board member. Now, as I prepare to return to Japan, I’m also stepping down from the board. It’s a moment that feels full circle, a testament to my evolving journey with the Plone community.
After eight terms, including roles as President and Vice-President, I’m stepping back with gratitude. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and excited for the future of the Plone community under new leadership.