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Douglas “Giza White Mage” Muth

Home Forums MNFurs Minnesota Furs 2022 Fall Elections Forum Meet the Candidates Douglas “Giza White Mage” Muth

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    Tell us about yourself.

    I am a software engineer based out of Philadelphia. Been attending furry cons since 1999, staffing them since 2000. My main fursona is leopard, but I am frequently confused for a cheetah. I have a fursuit based on Asriel Dreemurr from Undertale.

    What brought you to the furry fandom?

    I found furry through the online community for The Lion King, which was at the time based around a mailing list run off of lionking.org.

    How will you continue to volunteer in the community after being elected to the board?

    I staff several other conventions, and will continue to do so.

    How do you view events like Furry Migration and Midwinter Frolic impact the Minnesota Furs community today and tomorrow?

    I cannot speak authoritatively about Midwinter Frolic since I am not from the area and have never attended, but I can talk at length about Furry Migration. 🙂

    Furry Migration is a great way for people who live in the region to be able to meet in person and have fun together based around the common interest of furry. More than just meeting other people, Furry Migration, like many other furry conventions, provides the opportunity for people to form meaningful connections with each other that last long after the convention is over.

    What are your strengths that you will bring to the board?

    Like most software engineers, I am an analytical problem solver, with an emphasis on “everyday business problems” that many organizations face. Along with that is my 2+ decades of experience as an engineer, and working with technology on a near daily basis. I could elaborate on this more, but I don’t think people want to read me talking about tech in this bio. 🙂

    I also have 2+ decades of experience as a convention staffer, working in roles including (but not limited to) Operations, Security, VIP/Guest of Honor Relations, Art Show, Social Media, Webmaster, and Registration. I spent 15 years on Anthrocon’s Board of Directors and my accomplishments there include running the Convention Operations office during the convention, and standing up the convention’s social media presence from scratch.

    What do you feel are areas where you want to further develop yourself? Why?

    In terms of convention staffing, there’s one department I haven’t worked closely with in all of my years of staffing conventions, and that department is Programming. Being able to work more closely with a convention’s Programming department would help me round out my convention running experience.

    How can Minnesota Furs reach out to other communities local and national in furry and other fandoms?

    As a serial convention staffer, I tend to think about this question as a con staffer would, and for me that means staffing other conventions in order to build connections with convention staff from around the country and the world.

    While I’m not in a position to mandate such a thing, I do have a firm belief that anyone who is on the Board of Directors for a convention should staff at least one other convention in order to connect with other people in the convention staffing scene. That, and it’s a great way to gain additional convention running experience. 🙂

    What are two things that you would like to see accomplished/improved during your tenure?

    The first thing I’d like to do would be to implement regular NPS surveys of our staff. NPS stands for Net Promoter Score, which is a way of measuring sentiment among a group of people, and is used by organizations around the world, including Fortune 50 companies. Such surveys could be conducted with Google Forms, take less than 5 minutes to complete, and also include questions with a text field for a free response. This would help us “take the temperature” of the staff as a whole, determine if there are any issues affecting multiple staff members, and help us deal with small problems before they become big problems.

    Second, in the interest of staying relevant as a furry convention, I’d like to take a close look at things which have been done unchanged for more than 5 years, and determine if we still need to perform those functions in the same exact way, if at all.

    One goal of MNFurs is to promote education. How do you intend on helping promote education?

    One way to go about this would be to have more Guests of Honor with educational backgrounds. Dr. Wildlife at our 2021 convention is an excellent example–they came prepared with slide decks which they had previously presented elsewhere, and were able to give talks on the field of Zoology. These talks were well attended, which suggests to me that there is certainly an interest in educational content.

    Another way would be to engage in outreach to local professionals whose interests might align with ours. One obvious choice would be reaching out to a local zoo, since zoos tend to have educational components. Other choices could include talking to the art department of a local college and see if one of their teachers might be interested in giving a talk about some aspect of art.

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