By the end of 2020, our founder, Thomas Markey began a process, with input from our Trustees and Volunteers, to invision an adaptable and rock-solid Fosshost. As the demand for our services grow, so does the need for a structure that is both flexible and stable. The end result is a set of changes to our core structure, to provide even better services to the Free and Open-Source community.
One year of Fosshost
Fosshost was established in March 2020. We have grown to serve over 100 projects since then, with our network stretching across 5 continents. In recognition of our growth, as well as our present and ongoing challenges over our first year of service, Fosshost is making internal organizational changes.
We write today to reintroduce some of our staff in terms of more formalized and/or additional responsibilities. We believe that these changes will help us meet the growing demand for our technical services while remaining a dependable and responsive team focused on personal service to our tenants and the Free and Open Source Software development community.
Between November and December 2020, Fosshost founder, Thomas Markey, began an introspection process to identify key challenges and opportunities. This culminated in a SWAT assessment presented by Thomas at a meeting of trustees — also open to all of our volunteers — in early January 2021. The assessment kicked-off a process of policy and process review involving our entire team of volunteers, which is ongoing. The changes described here represent an initial set of steps responding to this analysis.
We continue to be a self-organizing project supported entirely by volunteers, and we intend to continue to make most decisions collectively, in work-groups, or by consensus where that makes sense.
The changes described below are effective immediately.
Fosshost defines the following “officer” positions: CEO, CTO and COO. Each officer will have ongoing reporting accountability internally and, as our trustees, each is also a liaison from our project to the FOSS community. Additionally, Fosshost creates a “board of directors”, including its officers and trustee, and appoints as chair of that board a trustee. We have also made an appointment in respect of a Head of Projects (HOP).
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder
Our CEO, Thomas Markey, will continue as our overall leader. Thomas has overall responsibility for the Fosshost project, including policy and organizational structure.
A key goal since founding Fosshost has been to achieve better separation between critical functions, especially to increase transformational agility while nurturing already operational capabilities, established practices, and ongoing relationships.
While Thomas' overall responsibilities aren't changing, the new model favours oversight with Thomas' primary focus being on community and organizational development. In describing these changes, Thomas says “I'm getting out of the critical path, I'm not moving to the sideline”, so I think it's safe to say Thomas will continue to play an important role in the day-to-day operations.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Nate Sales will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer. This new officer role is our project's “Technology Proponent”. Nate is the founder of Packetframe and a familiar face to many of the over 100 projects Fosshost supports.
In this role, Nate will take on additional accountability including oversight responsibilities across the team to evolve our technology practice, delivering new and changed policies, and providing technical guidance to the public on behalf of the project. In his capacity as CTO, Nate will report directly to Thomas. And yes, Nate will still help you troubleshoot your DNS.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Corwin Brust will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. This new officer role is our project's “Delivery Proponent”. Corwin has been our Community Liaison Director since joining Fosshost in 2020.
In this role, Corwin will take on additional accountability including oversight responsibilities across the team to report on and evolve our operating models, delivering new and changed policies, and further develop our day-to-day organizational structures. In his capacity as COO, Corwin will report directly to Thomas.
Head of Projects (HOP)
Niklas Anderson will assume the role of Head of Projects. This new officer role is our project's “Transformation Proponent”. Niklas is the IT Manager and a Board Member with RPG Research, focused on increasing opportunities for volunteers within the FOSS community.
In this role, Niklas will take on responsibility for the delivery of net-new and major changes to our technical and practice models, delivering new and changed policies, and develop our project as a top choice destination for volunteers to grow their skills servicing the FOSS community.
Nikola Stojkovic (chair), Jonathon Fernyhough; Trustees
The Fosshost Trustees
Our Trustees (Nikola Stojkovic and Jonathon Fernyhough) will continue to guide all aspects of our organization. As well as being “sounding boards” for all our volunteers and community partners, our trustees are also an alternative administrative authority for proving continuity of oversight while making timely decisions when Thomas or another officer is not available.
Nikola leads the Fosshost Trustees, serving as Chairman of our Board of Directors.
Corwin, Nate, Thomas, Jonathon, and Nikola (Chair)
The Fosshost Board of Directors
Johnathan and Nikola as Trustees, as well as and Thomas, Nate, Corwin, and Nik as Officers, also serve in a “grief/dispute” capacity; please do not hesitate to reach out to any or all of us to privately discuss (or share concerns related to) any aspect of our project. We value your input and pledge to uphold the highest ideals of the FOSS community we proudly serve in listening and responding.
To ensure our directors retain focus while reaching for consensus, Nikola Stojkovic will assume overall responsibility for the group acting as the body.
Fosshost exists because of individual and collective contributions that span the FOSS ecosystem. We receive donations of hosting space, technology, electricity, and cash; all of our labour is by volunteers, most of whom have significant family, work, and social commitments. We are grateful to all of our sponsors, donors and contributors, as well as to those who entrust us each day to help bring their Free and Open Source Software innovations to the world.
Our work is to amplify your impact; we're humbled by the opportunity.
We are grateful to our donors and to the projects we host and open to your thoughts.