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Business Meetings

Agenda for Next Meeting

Minutes of Past Meetings

FLAIRS-36 2023


May 17, 2023

Clearwater Beach, FL

Attendance: 32

In-person:  Geoff Suttcliffe, David Wilson, Eric Bell, Bill Eberle, Doug Talbert, Keith Brawner, Fazel Keshtkar, Michael Franklin, Roman Bartak, David Bisant, Ingrid Russell, H. Chad Lane, Rob Kewley, Chris Argenta, Chris Alvin, Ismail Biskri, Soon Ae Chun, Chris Benzmuller, and many others.

Geoff called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm EST

Last year's minutes were approved.

Soon gave the program chair's report.

- The lower poster acceptance rate was explained (78.7% this year) as a result of authors only submitting a paragraph and not responding to requests for more details.

Eric gave the conference chair's report.

- Too many students did not send their proof on time or without repeated reminders.

- Cvent charge was double the estimate. The reason was due to stripe, the credit card charge which was not budgeted (contingency used to cover the difference)

It was noted, with gratitude, that Susan Haller had stepped down from the treasurer position due for health reasons, and that Bill Eberle had already effectively taken over the role. Bill gave the treasurer's report. (Report)

Current officers were identified and nominations were invited:

- Geoff was nominated and accepted to remain as President.

- Keith was nominated and agreed to remain as Vice President.

- Chad was nominated and agreed to remain as Secretary.

- Bill was nominated for Treasurer and accepted.

- No other nominations were put forward.

- Chris Alvin's term as director expired, but agreed to fill Bill Eberle's spot.

- Bonnie Dorr and Dave Wilson remain as directors.

- Fazel Keshtar was nominated as a director and elected by unanimous vote.

Future sites:

- Geoff reviewed the process for conference management.

- Ismail Biskri will step in as special tracks chair for FLAIRS-37

- Michael gave the overview of plans for FLAIRS-37 in Sandestin, FL (May 18-21, 2024) (Report)

- The FLAIRS-37 schedule will be a bit more condensed with tutorials late on Saturday. The conference will run Sun-Tues (could not get rooms on Wed).

- A plan was discussed to not increase registration fees even if we lose money. This was supported by Ingrid and others.

- Future locations were discussed. Soon suggested that we consider east coast locations including Daytona Beach. Dave Wilson chaired at that location last time (The Shores) and said it was a good fit for FLAIRS.

Geoff gave the president's report:

- The AAAI links are now non-functional.

- Pre-AAAI conference proceedings exist and will be digitized.

- We agreed in previous years to not count references in page limits. It was agreed to continue with this policy.

- The standard yearly AV upgrades were approved.

- Soon made a case for student travel grants. Suggested $200-300 support. Ingrid supported the idea and it has been done in the past. Students agree to spend time at the registration desk.  Eric also set up remote hotel rooms for much less (it worked well for those who asked).

- FLAIRS adopted a formal code of conduct (adopted from ACM)

- FLAIRS adopted ACM's policy on authorship. Soon described some of the details, such as not including ChatGPT as a co-author (but rather as a reference) if you used it as a tool for writing.

- Sponsorships:  Tennessee Tech and U Miami made contributions this year.  Future sponsors can have recognition on FLAIRS website and at conference.

- Cvent was discussed (again). Each year they are reviewed by chairs and it emerges as the best price.  Stripe fees are new this year however so it may be worth considering new options. Easy conferences is a candidate. Geoff, Michael, and Bill will do an analysis.

- The meeting was adjourned at 2:07pm.

FLAIRS-35 2022


May 18, 2022

Jensen Beach, FL

Attendance:  51 total - FLAIRS record!

In-person: Geoff Suttcliffe, Keith Brawner, Fazel Keshtkar, Michael Franklin, Roman Bartak, Bill Eberle, Doug Talbert, Ingrid Russell, Michael Youngblood, David Wilson, David Bisant, Soon Ae Chun, H. Chad Lane, Rob Frye, plus more (45 in person total attendance)

Online:  Chris Alvin, Eugene Lim, Maiken Laursen, Milena Zeithamlova, Soon Chun, & Stanislaw Purgal (6 online)

Geoff Sutcliffe called the meeting to order at 12:05pm.

Last year’s meetings were approved.

Roman Bartak gave the program chair’s report.

Geoff summarized the Treasurer’s report (in Susan’s absence)

Geoff thanked FLAIRS sponsors (Charles University, U of Miami, CSKI)

Geoff gave additional thoughts:

Election of officers and directors:

Discussion of future sites:

Fazel Keshtkar gave an overview of next year’s site in Clearwater (Sheraton Sandy Key Resort)

A question was raised about the timing of FLAIRS - it is usually the second week of May due to the goal of being after the US academic year but before the summer rates kick in at hotels.

Geoff reviewed all previous locations. Susan has suggested considering Ft. Myers in the past. Geoff suggested Destin.  David B. suggested going back to Daytona. 

Geoff reviewed old business.

No large expenses are expected. Louder power speakers are needed.

Ingrid suggested moving to more than one Doug Dankel award.

Soon suggested we have an extended abstract category instead of poster abstracts. Chris Alvin and Michael Franklin, and many others, were supportive.  No objections. Approved!

Sponsorship incentives were reviewed, they don’t seem to be working. Michael suggested including a free registration. Another option would be to sponsor the banquet and have a chance to speak. David Bisant will pull out old plans. Main problem is getting the sponsors.

The possibility of a doctoral track was discussed. It could also be sponsored.

Chad shared that he had a preference for in-person keynotes. There was general agreement.

Bill thought the hybrid poster session was difficult. Michael F. suggested that remote/online is a last resort (we had speakers who were COVID positive but could still present). Roman suggested that posters be in-person only. Online posters can be handled in another way, just not combined with in-person events. Gather was suggested for posters. it is a virtual space you navigate, posters pop up when you get close, audio and video follow based on proximity.

MichaelY saw this as an opportunity.

Geoff adjourned the meeting at 1:25pm.

FLAIRS-34 2021

In attendance: Geoff Suttcliffe, Susan Haller, Keith Brawner, Lucas Welch, Fazel Keshtkar, Meliha Sezgin, Chris Alvin, Gabriele Kern-Isberner, Imad Rahal, LMd Sultan Al Nahian, Meliha Sezgin, Michael Franklin, Roman Bartak, Timothy Atkinson, Bill Eberle, Doug Talbert, Ingrid Russell, Gabriele Ferrer, Eric Bell, ALex Journe, Michael Youngblood, H. Chad Lane

Geoff called the meeting to order at 12:45pm EDT.

Fazel gave the program chair's report

Susan gave the treasurer's report. Revenue for FLAIRS-34 was around $32K with charges of about $21K, suggesting an estimated balance of $11K. Some residual charges may come. 

Geoff's report:

Current officers were identified. 

Nominations for Director positions were invited. 

Future meetings: Geoff reviewed leadership for upcoming conferences. Conference, Program, and ST chair positions are fully filled for through FLAIRS-37 and partially for 38. FLAIRS-35 Presentation (Roman):

Possible future sites were discussed. Ingrid suggested the Palms where we were in 2004. Prices seem reasonable. Roman reported that several hotels in Fort Meyers were contacted, but said they were not large enough. Geoff said Clearwater is also a possibility. Roman commented that nearly every hotel told him that room rates would be less in June. 

The change to FloridaOJ was discussed. Geoff praised it as a successful move: it is free, more efficient, and the platform supports reviewing and simplifies many additional steps. It also introduces additional flexibility for page length limits. Keith commented that actual posters can also be published.

Geoff gave an update of indexing for conference publications. A challenge was that the indexing sites wanted a collection of publications to crawl, however our past publications are in different places making it more difficult. One possibility is to chop up previous proceedings into papers, then load into FloridaOJ. FLAIRS funds would need to be used to pay for this. 

Michael Franklin proposed that submissions rules be modified to allow the 6 page limit to not include references, same for short papers (4 + refs). Roman added that long and short papers are reviewed, and abstracts are checked for relevance. There was general agreement to make this change (but it remains a program chair decision).

Geoff described a new poster submission tool for remote presentation to support students who could not find travel support. Michael Y. proposed a poster subcommittee to explore this and other hybridization ideas, and there was support expressed for the idea.

Michael Youngblood presented thoughts on offering a FLAIRS doctoral consortium. The benefits would be to bring younger researchers into the community and support PhD research broadly. Geoff said it could be part of the Sunday program. There was general support for this idea.

Geoff and Roman gave an update on our conference ranking. We are not yet currently ranked in CORE but will set that as a goal as a community.

Geoff reported on AV upgrades, with the plan being to continue buying one project per year. Roughly $500 was spent this year to support remote participation.

Geoff reviewed the financial status of FLAIRS. We survived the pandemic even in the face of cancelations. We are maintaining roughly a $100K balance.

Geoff adjourned the meeting at 2:31pm

FLAIRS-32 2019

In Attendance: Geoff Sutcliffe, David Wilson, Susan Haller, H. Chad Lane, 

Keith Brawner, Eric Bell, Vasille Rus, Ingrid Russell, Roman Bartak, 

David Bisant, D. Michael Franklin, Michael Glass, Fazel Keshtkar, 

Jade Sutcliffe, Reva Freedman, Peter Brusilovsky, and 6 other 

FLAIRS members (22 total).

The minutes of the previous business meeting were considered and approved


Roman Bartak presented the program conference chair's report.

There was some discussion about the drop of paper submissions from this

year to last (from 150 to 128). FLAIRS-30 had 225 paper submissions,

while FLAIRS-29 had 195. A first-time attendee from Florida pointed out 

that he had been in Florida for his degrees and career (both in AI), and 

never heard of FLAIRS until recently. A discussion around how to improve 

reach and scope of advertising ensued, with plans to reach out specifically 

to universities in Florida.  More suggestions were made by attendees to 

increase paper submissions and advertising reach, such as targeted ads.

Treasurer Susan Haller presented the Treasurer's report. FLAIRS-31 had

about a $7K profit. FLAIRS-32 should be ahead as well, even with the

final charges coming in. Susan also reported moving $60K to a 3.5%

interest account, which has already generated $300.  Ingrid recognized 

Susan's hard work and positive results, and the room erupted in applause 

for that.

Vasile Rus presented the conference chair's report.  The tutorials had 

about 15 (anomaly detection) and 30 (neural nets) attendees (held on 

Sunday before FLAIRS), which everyone agreed was enough to hold them 

again next year. Keith Brawner pointed out that this would imply potential 

changes to the FLAIRS-33 contract, and additional food. Eric and Keith 

will pursue this discussion with the hotel. A member suggested that the 

free tutorials be used as a recruiting/attendance tool. Roman Bartak 

requested that everyone send suggestions for keynote speakers for next year.

Geoff brought up the issue of the high cost of banquet and extra meal

tickets. He proposed that because so few people take the option, that

FLAIRS should eat some of the cost of this to enable attendees to have a

good time.

President Geoff Sutcliffe moved on to Elections.

Geoff was re-elected unanimously. Keith Brawner was elected as

Vice-President unanimously. Lastly, Susan Haller (Treasurer) and Chad

Lane (Secretary) were re-elected unanimously.

Dave Wilson was unanimously elected to serve as a Director.

Geoff reported updating the Douglas D. Dankel II award rules to require

the attendance of the recipient.

Fazel Keshtar was appointed as incoming special tracks chair for

FLAIRS-33, and Mike Franklin was nominated and elected to be incoming

special tracks chair for FLAIRS-34.

Roman Bartak requested to hire a company in the Czech Republic to take

over some aspects of conference management, including negotiation with

hotel and registration. They are promising the cost will be the same as

what we pay regonline already.

A discussion was held about the feasibility of a FLAIRS cruise. The cost

and potential hurdles related to people getting travel support were


Geoff presented an analysis of options for publishing, given rising

costs, and invited email suggestions on other possible publishers.

[Added by Geoff for memory: Requirements include Easy process, Longevity,

Indexing, Affordable, Open access. Considered: AAAI $10K with all else OK,

ICPS (ACM) $13K with all else OK, EPiC $0 but longevity concerns, Springer

$30K for OpenAccess with all else OK, IEEE $unknown and requires sponsor

who takes control of conference.]

Geoff reviewed the goals of FLAIRS finances, and urged future conference

chairs to continue to aim for breaking even or a bit above.

David Bisant moved that author affiliations be listed in the program

each year. It was also suggested that the font be made larger.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:32pm EST.

FLAIRS-31 2018

In Attendance: Zdravko Markov, Geoff Sutcliffe, David Wilson, D. Michael

Franklin, David Bisant, Raj Dasgupta, Marius Silaghi, Bill Eberle, Eric

Bell, Vasille Rus, Hans Guesgen, Roman Bartak, Richard Niland, Keith

Brawner, Rob Frye, Susan Haller, Susan Imberman, Ingrid Russell

The minutes of the previous business meeting were considered and approved


Zdravko Markov presented the general conference chair's report.

It was noted that reported F&B expense includes 10% discount as a result of

difficulties with conference logistics.

There were several questions and discussion on how to pass knowledge on to

general chair organizers for venue contract review and requisite clauses.

Geoff and Keith are going to update the planning calendar to include

primary aspects.

A clarification question was asked about the number of special tracks.

There were 16 Tracks accepted, but only 12 ran.  This was because of

submission numbers on the missing tracks.

There was a question about the number of free registrations provided, and

whether the free registration # too high.  For example, it wasn't always

the case that organizers were provided free registration, but it was noted

that this remains the conference chair's budgetary decision.

There was a question on no shows and notice given - 4 out of 12 no shows

gave notice.

Treasurer Susan Haller presented the budget report.

Question on different investment instrument.  CD low interest.  Suggested

treasury bill, mutual fund.  Susan proposed to investigate and report back

to the board.  Must be minimally risky.

President Geoff Sutcliffe moved on to Elections

Current slate of officers was re-elected unanimously.

Per bylaws, Geoff proposed to elect a Director at Large to have another

Florida person on the board.  Geoff nominated Keith Brawner, and David

Wilson seconded.  Keith was elected unanimously.

The issue of increasing cost of proceedings was brought up.  Geoff

consulted Mike Hamilton from AAAI and presented Mike's reply, essentially

the complexity of managing multiple special tracks within the proceedings.

There was a question about publishing, and consideration of open access.

A suggestion was made to bring author affiliation notes back into the


A suggestion was made to consider only virtual proceedings and program.

The question of sponsorships going forward was discussed.  David Bisant

requested support in helping to make industry contacts.

Future conference organization was discussed, Fazel Keshtar will take up

special tracks chair for FLAIRS-33.

Future sites for the conference were discussed. Locations included Fort

Myers (for 2021), Miami and Destin (for 2020).  Additional locations noted

for consideration were Palm Beach, Naples, and St. Augustine.

There was a discussion about next year's conference details.

Other Business

It was proposed and agreed that attendance would be expected for someone to

be considered for the Douglas D. Dankel award. Geoff will update the

language about requirements for the award.

Conference AV status and inventory was discussed.

There was a discussion on Chad Lane's suggestion for conference schedule

changes. Possibilities for initial invited speaker panel and last day

events were discussed and feedback for previous and possible events was

given for consideration by upcoming conference chairs.

The suggestion for including an initial tutorial / student doctoral

consortium / student industry connection set of events was discussed.  It

was agreed that next year's organizers should proceed to try and

incorporate these events as initial Sunday afternoon activities.

It was suggested to revisit including a funding panel for the next year,

and conference organizers will work on bringing this together.

The business meeting was adjourned at 1:26.

FLAIRS-30 2017

The following officers were present:

- Geoff Sutcliffe, President

- David Wilson, VP

- Susan Haller, Treasurer

- H. Chad Lane, Secretary

The following FLAIRS-28 organizers were present:

- Ingrid Russell

- Zdravko Markov

- Vasile Rus

- Keith Brawner

14 other FLAIRS members were in attendance.

Geoff called the meeting to order at 11:49am.

FLAIRS-29 minutes were approved

FLAIRS-30 conference chair's report (Ingrid Russell)

 - record number of submissions (225, 52 main, 173 to STs)

 - 103 full papers, 36 short papers, 25 poster abstracts

 - 180 paid registrations (record), 192 total (178 attended, 14 no shows)

 - Keith B. asked a Brazillian attendee who said FLAIRS is a B1 conference.

 - David B. said it is ranked in the top 50 for general AI conferences.

 - 385 paid nights at hotel - estimates had to be increased twice (Nov/Jan)

 - Ingrid suggests having emergency rooms - it paid off for one attendee who forgot.

 - estimated revenues:  $90,247.05

 - estimated expenses:  $85,303.63 (roughly $5 in the black in the end - barring emergency)

 - 5 authors were no shows, their excuses were discussed

 - Ingrid recommends the purchase of laptops for each room

 - Having a permanent front desk manager (Jade) worked well, as did student volunteers.


Treasurer's report (Susan Haller)

 - last year's financial report was presented, we made $14K (cheers for Bill)

 - currently we have about $119K in the bank.

 - gross revenue from this year was $97K. 

Election of officers, P, VP, S, T

 - all current officers were re-nominated and unanimously re-elected

Future sites and organizers

 - Geoff reviewed the organization process ("foodchain"); 4 year corporate memory

 - Considering by-law change to have outgoing conference chair to be on the board

 - Zdravko Markov will be conference chair for FLAIRS-31 

 - Zdravko provided a review of Melbourne facilities/site, contract details

 - Vasile Rus will be outgoing program chair

 - Keith Brawner will be incoming program chair

 - Roman Bartak will be ST Chair

 - Eric Bell has agreed to be ST Chair for FLAIRS-32

 - FLAIRS now has a policy to fix menu prices in contracts

 - Proposals for FLAIRS-32:  Sarasota, Panama Beach and Daytona. 

 - Geoff asked for other suggestions for locations.

 - David B. reports there is one hotel at the north end of Key West island.

 - options at Sarasota were discussed - Lido Beach was mentioned, as well as others.

 - Vasile and Geoff will travel

Other business

 - AV upgrades - new projector, 4 hdmi cables, consider new laptops

 - Sponsorships being pursued by Dave Bisant - how to get the support w/recognition?

 - VP will support efforts, entire board will remain involved in pursuing sponsorships

 - AAAI raised proceedings price to $8K. Why? no printed proceedings anymore.

 - Bill asked if the price per page has gone up?  Or do we just have more pages?  has been a loss for AAAI, and couldn't sustain it.

 - Geoff will write to Mike Hamilton to figure out how to proceed.

 - FLAIRS trajectory - what to aim for?  

 - growing larger means we have a smaller set of sites to choose from

 - Aim to get $100K in bank - protects against complete failure

 - about 200 attendees seems right (Geoff)

 - about 130 papers, plus 65 posters seems right. More requires session after lunch on third day.

Geoff invited additional topics for discussions

 - Bill asked about problematic STs, late submissions, questionable reviews, not using easychair; we have a blacklist.

 - David B. has heard requests for affiliations to be listed in program

 - discussion of value of printed program 

 - Michael's annual complaint: submitting in November, hearing back in Jan, conf in May - too long.


 The meeting was adjourned at 1:20pm.

FLAIRS-29 2016

The following officers were present:

- Geoff Sutcliffe, President

- David Wilson, VP

- Susan Haller, Treasurer

- H. Chad Lane, Secretary

The following FLAIRS-28 organizers were present:

- Bill Eberle

- Ingrid Russell

- Zdravko Markov

- Vasile Rus

8 other FLAIRS members were in attendance.

Geoff called the meeting to order at 3:02pm.

Last year's minutes were approved.

Program chair report by Bill Eberle: (report slides)

- 17 tracks submitted, 13 accepted

- 195 submissions (most since 2006)

- 102 full papers, 20 short papers, 24 abstract.  52% full, 62% all.

- 165 paid registrations, 177 total.

- 331 paid nights at hotel - needed 291. 

- Revenue estimation:  $80,772.00

- Estimated expenses: $74,432.77 (comped rooms may improve this result)

- Estimated profit:  $6,339.23 (Susan says $6400+)

VP Dave Wilson asked if anyone reserved hotel through a third party site - 

Bill said we don't know, but that they would have paid more. Dave remarked 

that sharing the list could turn into more comp'd rooms.

Treasurer's report by Susan Haller:

- Provided a finalized cash flow from FLAIRS-28. We had a loss of $7,883.

- Ending balance as of 12/31/2015 - $56,185.97

- Geoff clarified that we are not for profit, but also not for loss. 

- Avelino recommended the goal of a resting balance of $100K, Geoff seconded 

  that goal.

- Keith B. asked about the reasons for the loss. Late bills hit that were 

  expected - food costs were higher at Hollywood than here (30% higher 

  according to Bill).

- Dave noted that this goes to the upfront negotiation.

- Chad noted that on his Key Largo visit for FLAIRS-25, he told them free 

  internet was a deal-breaker (hopefully it had an impact on their agreement 

  to it this year).

- Avelino asked about the calculation of meal counts. A discussion ensued.

Proposed budget for FLAIRS-30 at Marco Island (Ingrid)

- Costs are high (almost all food) and Ingrid recommended to raise the 

  conference fee so that we can come out ahead.

- Ingrid asked who would support the registration desk?  Families of organizers 

  have covered it last year and this year, but she will not have this resource.

- Some people suggested finding local retirees or students to cover the desk. 

- Bill suggested putting this person in charge of regonline.

- David Bisant suggested that we do something special for FLAIRS-30. 

- David will continue to line up sponsorships to FLAIRS. To sponsor invited 

  talks for example.

- Ingrid said Pacific Northwest could sponsor (Eric Bell), possibility of 

  sponsoring keynote speakers.

- Geoff noted that Kristin Tolle suggested Microsoft may be willing to donate.

- Mike noted that high student participation could be an incentive to sponsors.

- Demos and booths were suggested; Avelino said FLAIRS did this in the early 

  days and it was too much overhead for not enough payoff. Some participants 

  believed it was worth considering again.

Geoff reviewed the FLAIRS board. 

Geoff invited nominations for the board. David nominated all current members 

to continue. Voting was unanimous.

Geoff reviewed future FLAIRS conferences through 2021 (FLAIRS-34). Keith 

Brawner will become Special Tracks chair next year. Roman Bartak will step 

in after that.

FLAIRS-31 location discussion

- Crowne Plaza from 2006 is interested. Boca Rotan is also interested. An 

  east coast location is likely given past conferences.

- David noted that Melbourne is close to Cape Canaveral.

- Chad mentioned Lake Okeechobee and Susan seconded the suggestion.

- Other mentions included Panama City (now has an airport), Amelia Island, 

  and St. Augustine.

Geoff opened the floor for other business.

- Mike asked about student papers and the cycle is long. It is a result of 

  AAAI schedules.

Geoff adjourned the meeting at 4:

FLAIRS-28 2015

The following officers were present:

- Geoff Sutcliffe, President

- David Wilson, Vice President

- Susan Haller, Treasurer

- H. Chad Lane, Secretary

The following FLAIRS-27 Conference Organizers were present:

- Bill Eberle

- Ingrid Russell

- Chutima Boonthum-Denecke

11 other members of the FLAIRS community were present.

FLAIRS-28 Business meeting called to order at 11:50AM EDT by President 

Geoff Sutcliffe.

The minutes from 2014 FLAIRS-27 business meeting were approved.

Report from FLAIRS-28 (Chutima, Ingrid) 11:52

* paper acceptance data was presented

* 151 paid registrations

* 6 invited speakers (3 keynote, 3 ST)

* 17 no-shows, many students. funding might be the problem, also had

  visa issues.

* contracted for 305 hotel nights, ended up with 326.

Treasurer report (Susan) 11:58

* $5K deficit is misleading, there was a $10K deposit for this year's

  conference (Susan noted this is becoming more common)

* FLAIRS-27 came out ahead about $5K

* FLAIRS-28 esimate - ~$74K revenue, estimated $800 - $2K balance

* regonline handled many duties formerly performed by the conference


* 12% of the budget of FLAIRS-27 went to admin, 5.8% for FLAIRS-28

  (minus registration desk time)

* questions were raised about how front desk coverage was accomplished

  - it was mainly volunteers recruited by Chutima

Nomination and election of officers (Geoff) 12:10pm

* Dave Wilson called for nominations for president. David Bisant

  nominated Geoff Sutcliffe, Susan Haller seconded. A unanimous vote

  for re-election.

* Geoff Sutcliffe nominated Dave Wilson for VP, a unanimous vote for


* Geoff Sutcliffe nominated H. Chad Lane for secretary, Chutima

  seconded. Unanimous vote for re-election.

* Geoff Sutcliffe nominated Susan Haller for treasurer, Dave Wilson

  seconded. Unanimous vote for re-election. It was noted that Michael

  Youngblood will take over as treasurer in 2 years.

Discussion of future conference organization (Geoff) 12:14

* Geoff reviewed the system used by FLAIRS (start as ST chair, move to

  conf chair, 4 years)

* Keith Brawner has agreed to take over as ST Chair for FLAIRS-30 and

  enter the food chain.

* We should seek a candidate to move into the system after Keith.

Discussion of registration (Geoff) 12:17

* Much institutional knowledge lost with Genie's retirement. Geoff

  proposes one person who knows regonline.

* Ingrid suggested a registration chair.

* David Bisant said we need someone to run the front desk as well.

* Chutima commented that the morning of the first day was the most

  demanding day. Having a printer would have helped (to print

  receipts, letters, etc)

* Using regonline for on-site registrations worked OK, although the

  fee is higher. Susan commented that this is still better than having

  a cc merchant account.

* Susan suggested a "point of sale" device.

* Geoff suggested a paypal account would be a reasonable approach.

  Susan will investigate.

* Geoff reminded everyone that individual chairs can budget

  appropriately to cover front desk time, either through trusted

  students or other attendees.

Doug Dankell Award (Geoff) 12:25

* a photo of this year's award ceremony was requested

* Geoff reviewed the award process. He asked if nominations should be

  open to all of FLAIRS or just the board. Geoff prefers it to be open

  to all, leaving the election to the board. Susan agreed, followed by

  everyone in attendance. The rules will be updated by Geoff.

* Do we keep award winner travel in the budget?  Ingrid suggested it

  be made into an honorarium. Chad commented that he believed it

  better to just cover costs. The group agreed to rephrase it as

  "travel up to $1000" along with free registration.

Discussion of future sites (Geoff) 12:32

* Key Largo is in good shape (Bill)

* Ingrid will be chair for FLAIRS-30. Suggestions can be made at any time.

* Geoff reviewed the locations of the last 2008.

* Key Biscayne has been suggested. Many amenities.

* Sanibel has also been suggested, Sundial has offered a discount on food.

* Ingrid suggested Marco Island is also in the running again.

* Susan suggested Naples since we haven't held FLAIRS there.

* Susan also suggested Sarasota.

* Ingrid will investigate Key Biscayne prices.

Other items?

* David Bisant will continue efforts to line up sponsorship of FLAIRS.

* David suggested listing universities of organizers as

  sponsors/supporters, also AAAI.

Geoff concluded the business meeting at 12:41pm.

FLAIRS-27 2014

FLAIRS-27 Business meeting called to order at 12:06 EDT by 

President Geoff Sutcliffe.

The minutes from 2013 FLAIRS business meeting were approved.

It was noted that the rotation system for conference leadership is fully 

in place. Chairs now begin as Special Tracks Chair, shift to program 

co-chair (x2), then finally serve as conference chair. It is a 4 year com

Michael Youngblood delivered the conference chair report:

- There were 145 paying attendees.

- The initial estimate is that the conference should end in the positive 

  by about $3K.

- Savings were achieved by by not having lunch on Friday. Also, people 

  spent less on alcohol than they could have. The ticket system was deemed 

  better than a per-head approach.

Susan Haller delivered the Treasurer's report:

- FLAIRS-26 year was a loss (-$7K) due to misunderstandings about the 

  food bill. An agreement was reached with the hotel.

- Further, extras added up.

- FLAIRS-27 generated $61,610 income with $57,741.33 expenses (so far).

- It is projected that by end of 2014, the society will have a balance of $43K

Election of FLAIRS leadership:

- Geoff was nominated to continue as President by David Bisant, seconded 

  by Bill.

- Dave Wilson nominated for VP by Geoff, seconded by Bill.

- Dave nominated Chad Lane for Secretary, seconded by Ingrid.

- Geoff nominated Susan for Treasurer, seconded by Ingrid.

- Michael Youngblood expressed interest in acting as Treasurer in the future.

FLAIRS-28 discussion:

- Chutima has agreed to handle registration for FLAIRS-28 (with Jeannie's 


- Susan suggested using student volunteers for free registrations. Geoff 

  clarified this is up to each conference chair and depends on the budget.

- Susan suggested a consistent person who is always available for support 

  is a big value.

- Ingrid supported Susan's view that a dedicated person is very helpful.

- David Bisant also supported the idea to find a dedicated person.

Douglas D. Dankel II Award:

- Geoff proposed official endorsement of the Douglas D. Dankel II Award.

- CHANGE: nominating committee will include the outgoing conference chair of 

  the preceding FLAIRS conference

- There was a discussion of provision of support for award, such as free 

  registration. No decisions were made and, for now, this will be up to 

  each year's conference chair.

- There was unanimous approval and agreement for having the DDD II award.

Future locations:

- FLAIRS-28 was confirmed for May 18-20 in Hollywood, FL.

- Bill Eberle will chair FLAIRS-29.

- There was general consensus that Key West should be used regularly (David, 

  Susan, Ingrid specifically supported this idea). David B. proposed returning 

  once every 5 years.

Chad presented a summary of Conference Navigator. Peter Brusilovsky has given 

initial indication that he could support FLAIRS-28.

Chutima proposed the use of regonline for FLAIRS-28.

- Ingrid supported it, said its reporting facilities are strong.  Costs are 

  only hurdle.

Chutima stressed the need for sponsorships needed given costs.

Ingrid suggested seeking travel funding from NSF for young faculty members.

Geoff adjourned the meeting at 1:06 EDT.

FLAIRS-22 2009

The 2009 FLAIRS Business Meeting was called to order at 12:23pm on

Thursday, May 21, 2009 by President Douglas D. Dankel II.




The following officers were present:

-Douglas D. Dankel II, President

-Geoff Sutcliffe, Vice President

-Avelino J. Gonzalez, Treasurer

-David Wilson, Secretary

-Susan Haller, Treasurer Elect 

The following 2009 Conference Organizers were present:

-Hans Guesgen

-Chad Lane

9 other members of the FLAIRS community were present, including:

Ingrid Russell, David Bisant, Klaus Jankte, Rainer Knauf, and Michael



 Officer / Organizer Reports


The following officer reports were made.

Report of President - nothing to report.

Report of Vice President - nothing to report.

Report of Secretary - nothing to report.

Report of Treasurer

As of April 30, the financial status of FLAIRS was as follows:

-Main bank account: $82,874.01

-Secondary bank account: $1,361.00 

-FLAIRS credit card: $640 credit balance

-Certificate of Deposit: $55,000

It was noted that the secondary bank account is used for transactions

that could be considered more risky for giving out the account number,

such as receiving wire transfers.

It was noted that the current status report does not include current

conference expenditures, such as approximately $32,000 in hotel costs,

invited speaker costs, organizer incidental costs, and AAAI Press

publication costs.  Based on previous experience, once the expenses

are incurred, the main bank account is expected to balance out in the

high 30s to low 40s.

It was noted that ideal practice for FLAIRS is that the conference

should be structured to make a small amount of money, on the order of

1K-2K per year.

Report of General Conference Chair

It was reported that the 2009 conference had a total of 102 presenter

registrations, 13 regular early registrations, 16 regular

registrations, and 2 on-site registrations.  There were 162

registrants total, including 13 complementary registrations, and 141

participants checked in to the hotel.


 Election of Officers


Douglas Dankel II was nominated for President by Avelino Gonzalez, and

David Wilson seconded the nomination.  Nominations were closed, and

Douglas was elected by general consent.

Geoff Sutcliffe was nominated for Vice-President by David Bisant, and

Ingrid Russell seconded the nomination.  Nominations were closed, and

Geoff was elected by general consent.

Susan Haller was nominated for for Treasurer by Geoff Sutcliffe, and

Avelino Gonzalez seconded the nomination.  Nominations were closed,

and Susan was elected by general consent.

David Wilson was nominated for Secretary by Avelino Gonzalez, and Hans

Guesgen seconded the nomination.  Nominations were closed.  David was

elected by general consent.


 General Discussion


Future sites for FLAIRS were discussed.  David Wilson discussed the

Daytona Beach site for 2010.  The proposal for Palm Beach in 2011

was discussed, as well as the possibilities for St. Petersburg in 2012

and for Orlando in 2013.  Other options for locations were discussed,

including: Port St. Luce, Jupiter, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Marco

Island, Key Largo.

There was a discussion about having the conference outside of Florida.

The consensus was that the identity of FLAIRS as a Florida conference

was an important asset and that it was not approprite to move outside.

Moreover, the conference gains a significant benefit in terms of tax

breaks in Florida.

There was a request to that future conferences should ensure that

wired internet access was available at conference hotels.

It was noted that the 2012 organizers for the proposed Palm Beach

location are:

-General Chair: Hans Guesgen

-Local Arrangements: Geoff Sutcliffe (assisting Hans)

-Program Chairs: Chas Murray and Phil McCarthy

-Special Tracks Chair: Art Ward (suggested)

There was a discussion on authors of accepted papers that pay, but do

not show up for the conference.  It was noted that we are maintaining

a list of such persons, and that the list needs to be communicated

consistently to program chairs.

There was a brief discussion on the issue that one author in the

proceedings had a trademark issue that needed to be resolved for the

conference. It was noted that the conference should remind authors to

verify that system names are not under trademark.

The issue of corporate sponsorship, potential structuring, and

potential sponsors was discussed.

It was noted that this year's poster session was uncomfortable,

because of the narrow hallway space, as well as the lack of table

space for use in breaks.  It was also noted that the timing of the

poster session in the morning after the invited talk was fairly


The question of conditional acceptance of papers was discussed.




The 2009 FLAIRS Business Meeting was adjourned at 1:23pm.


ARTICLE I. Rules of Order

Section 1. Rules of Order 

Robert's Rules of Order, revised, shall govern in all cases not covered by the Constitution and By-laws.

ARTICLE II. Membership

Section 1. Requirements 

Membership in FLAIRS shall be open to all those interested in artificial intelligence research in Florida, who subscribe to the purposes of FLAIRS.

Section 2. Election to Membership 

Membership is offered to all individuals in attendance at the annual FLAIRS conference. Members must apply in writing to the Board, using the application form provided by FLAIRS, by submitting the completed form. The form may be submitted at the annual meeting, or by posting the application to the Board secretary. The Board must act on all applications within sixty days. Applicants not approved for membership will be informed in writing of the reasons for this decision.

Section 3. Termination of Membership 

Membership is terminated if a member does not attend the annual conference for three successive years. This requirement may be waived by the Board upon request from the member. Membership may be terminated by majority vote of the Board.

ARTICLE III. Membership Meetings

Section 1. Annual Meeting 

There shall be an annual meeting of the members of FLAIRS at the annual conference. If the conference is not held, the President will call the annual meeting.

Section 2. Special Meetings 

Special meetings may be held at the call of the President or within sixty days of a written request of a majority of the Board.

Section 3. Notice 

The time and place of the annual meeting will be published in the advance program for the annual conference. Advance notice of any special meeting will be made by post or email to all members.

Section 4. Order of Business 

The order of business at the annual meeting: - Call to order by President - Proof of notice of meeting - Approval of minutes from previous meeting - Report of President - Report of Treasurer - Report of Secretary - Reports of Committees - Election of Members - Elections of Officers - Old Business - New Business - Adjournment

Section 5. Voting 

Every member of FLAIRS, certified according to these by-laws, shall be entitled to vote in person upon every proposal properly submitted to vote at any meeting of the members.

ARTICLE IV. Board of Directors ("the Board")

Section 1. Number and Term of Directors 

The business, property and affairs of this corporation shall be managed by a Board of Directors composed of the officers, and three elected delegates. The elected delegates directors shall serve staggered two-year terms. A conference chair or program chair from the preceding conference shall be ex-officio members of the Board.

Section 2. Qualifications 

The Directors shall be members of FLAIRS at the time of their election and throughout their tenure.

Section 3. Duties 

The Board shall transact all business of FLAIRS. It shall determine the policies, fiscal matters, employment of staff and other personnel policies and in general assume responsibility for the guidance of the affairs of the corporation.

Section 4. Quorum 

The presence of a majority of all the directors shall be necessary at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The act of a majority of Directors present at a meeting when a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board.

Section 5. Meetings 

The Board shall meet immediately following the annual meeting of members each year, and otherwise shall meet as called by the president. A majority of the Board may demand that a meeting be called within thirty days. Notice of each meeting shall be given to each director not less than ten days before the meeting unless each director shall waive notice thereof before, at, or after the meeting.

Section 6. Vacancies 

Vacancies in the Board shall be filled by election by the remaining Directors. Each person so elected to fill a vacancy shall remain a Director until his successor has been elected by a vote of the membership, who may make such election at their next annual meeting, or at any special meeting duly called for that purpose and held prior thereto.

Section 7. Removal of Directors, Officers and Employees 

Any Director, officer or employee may be removed by the Board whenever, in the judgment of the Board, the best interests of the corporation will be served thereby, by a two-thirds vote of the Board. Failure to attend two consecutive meetings without a valid excuse shall constitute cause for the removal of a Director.

Section 8. Delegation of Powers 

For any reasons deemed by the Board, the Board may delegate any power or duty of any officer or director.

Section 9. Investments 

All investments of funds of the corporation shall be approved by the Board. [Amendment 05/17/08] Any certificate of deposit belonging to FLAIRS must be countersigned by the Treasurer and another member of the FLAIRS board to be cashed, and, a simple majority of the FLAIRS Board must approve cashing the certificate of deposit.

Section 10. Annual Reports 

The President and Treasurer shall present their respective reports of the operation of the corporation for the previous year, at the annual meeting of the membership.

ARTICLE V. Duties and Election of Officers

Section 1. Officers 

The officers of the Board shall be the officers of the corporation. They shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, all of whom shall be members of the Board. Each officer shall be elected to hold office for a period of one year. 

Section 2. The President 

The President shall: - preside at all meetings of the membership and the Board; - effect all committee and officer appointments made by the Board - be a member ex-officio of all committees; - perform all other duties usually pertaining to the office of the President.

Section 3. The Vice-President 

The Vice-President shall: - preside at all meetings in the absence of the President; - perform all other duties usually pertaining to the office of the Vice-President.

Section 4. Treasurer 

The Treasurer shall; - be custodian of all funds and securities of the corporation and collect interest thereon; - keep a record of the accounts of the corporation and report thereon at each regular meeting of the Board; - make a report at the annual meeting and special reports as requested; - deposit all monies in the name of FLAIRS, at a bank or banks selected and designated by the Board, subject to withdrawal for authorized purposes; - prepare and file reports and returns as required by government agencies; - make the accounts and records of the corporation available for audit annually, at the expense of the corporation; - perform such other duties as may be delegated by the Board.

Section 5. Secretary 

The Secretary shall: - record the minutes of all meetings; - write up the minutes; - have custody of the seal of the corporation; - give notice of all meetings required by statutes, by-laws or resolutions; - take attendance at all meetings; - maintain committee reports; - carry on all necessary correspondence of the corporation; - perform such other duties as may be delegated by the Board.

Section 6. Nomination of Officers 

The Board shall nominate at least one candidate for each office, and for the at-large delegates. These nominations shall be announced at the annual meeting. Any three members may submit other nominations prior to or at the annual meeting, to the Secretary. All nominees must be members and must accept the nomination at the meeting or by notifying the Secretary.

Section 7. Election of Officers 

Officers and at-large delegates shall be elected at the annual meeting. All members in attendance shall be eligible to vote. A majority of those voting shall be required for an election. If no majority is received by any candidate on the first ballot, a run-off will be held between the candidates ranking first and second on the first ballot.


FLAIRS shall sponsor an annual Conference, unless otherwise determined by the Board.

ARTICLE VII. Publications

FLAIRS shall publish the Proceedings of the Conference, and, occasionally, a post-Conference refereed volume of selected papers, unless otherwise determined by the Board.

ARTICLE VIII. Grants and Contracts

FLAIRS shall be permitted to apply for grants and contracts to support its operations, and to improve and sponsor AI research in Florida. FLAIRS shall be guided in all its activities by its goal of promoting cooperating in AI research among academic, industrial and government institutions.