Every six months (in January and August) the CentOS board has the opportunity to reelect, or replace half of the directors. This staggered approach was adopted so that we are never in a situation where the entire board (or even a significant majority) is replaced, leaving no experienced directors.
In the January 2022 board meeting, the CentOS Board selected two new directors to replace outgoing directors Jim Perrin and Karanbir Singh - Celeste Lyn Paul and Amy Marrich. In the February meeting, these new directors attended as full members for the first time.
In this interview I speak with Amy about her road to the board, and what she brings to the conversation.
You can watch the full interview at https://youtu.be/xKtno_DTsaU
I want to start with a personal thank you to Amy for being willing to serve in this role. It’s a huge service to the community, and can be a bit thankless.
Amy is a Principal Technical Marketing Manager at Red Hat, but views her role on the board as representing the community, not Red Hat. This is, of course, typical of our directors, as you have heard in other director interviews. If there’s something that the community wants, it will be her position to support the community over Red Hat’s needs or preferences.
She’s been a long time CentOS user, and has been involved in the Cloud SIG for some time.
She has a history of board experience, as she also serves on the OpenInfra Foundation Board of Directors. As such, she brings a lot of experience and openness to this new role.
Amy observes that while the position on the OpenInfra board is nominated and elected by the whole community, the CentOS Board is nominated by the community, but elected by the sitting board.
She hopes to bring more openness to the CentOS project, and cites the OpenInfra “Four Opens” (Open Source, Open Design, Open Development, Open Community) as inspiration for this.
Amy is particularly proud of going from being an individual contributor on projects to a position of leadership, and hopes to help others make that same journey.
Asked about her visions for the coming board term, she mentions a focus on more openness and transparency around the governance process. She mentions an interest in looking into open community elections of future boards, if the community is interested in this.
She empasized the need to work every more closely with the Fedora project, and the RHEL product, so that user contributions to each part of this project family are seamless and consistent, and don’t require different setups and process for each.
Additionally, anything we can take advantage of that’s already present in the Fedora community - like Badges! - we should, to increase cross-community membership and participation.
Her role on the Cloud SIG gives her insight into how SIGs work, and she mentioned having clear process and documentation around SIGs to make community building easier, and more accessible to beginners. She also mentions a desire to make SIGs more welcoming to other projects - for example, having more than just RDO/OpenStack in the Cloud SIG.
SIGs, too, have a responsibility to communicate with the Fedora project, so that parallel efforts in Fedora (eg, the Fedora Cloud SIG) are not fighting for volunteer effort, but can work together on shared goals.
When we introduced the Code of Conduct, Amy expressed interest in working further on mediation and enforcement. She spoke about the need to coordinate this, took with Fedora, since we share an authentication system and so decisions in one project directly effect the other project. She talked of making a joint team that discusses CoC complaints and how action is taking on those complaints.
Finally, she speaks about a need for better education and documentation around CentOS Stream to continue to help the community to understand the benefits of CentOS Stream and further address the confusion and frustration around the end of the CentOS Linux distribution last year.
Once again, we thank Amy for her willingness to serve, and look forward to her influence on the project in the coming years.