Greetings Technology For All Board Members:
Several of you have seen the announcement today that Enron received notice
from Dynegy, Inc. that it is terminating the merger aggreement between it
and Enron. In addition, Standard and Poor's, Moody Investors Service and
Fitch, Inc. downgraded Enron's long-term debt to below investment grade.
Technology For All has been the recipient of significant support from Enron
as a national sponsor. We are grateful for Enron's support and the support
of Ken Lay. We acknowledge the enormous credibilty that support has given
us to expand our vision and mission. We now have direct supportive
relationships with 200+ Community Technology Centers in 15 U.S. cities
including our local TFA affiliates in Houston, Denver and Cleveland, Ohio.
We estimate that 30,000-50,000 persons each week are positively impacted by
these program partnerships.
With the Enron announcements today in the press, I wanted to inform you of
my actions in response to these developments.
Enron's commitment to Technology For All was a commitment of three items
over three years: Cash, Connectivity on the Enron Network and in-kind
contributions of hardware and/or other services.
The commitment was to expire at the end of 2002. Therefore, 2/3 of the cash
commitment has been received by TFA. We have received some in-kind
contributions, but never finalized the provision of connectivity on the
Enron Network. To date, continuing connectivity has generously been provided
by FYI-Net, a privately owned company of which Scott Yeager and members of
his family are the largest stockholders. Therefore, while significant to
TFA, the Enron developments will not shutdown our vital mission to bring
technology to underserved communities. Our vision continues to be focused
on using technology as a tool with the disadvantaged and underserved to
bring about sustainable and meaningful change in their communities.
Over the past several weeks as Enron situation has unfolded, we have done
and are doing several things to preserve our core missional focus.
1) In expectation of reduced revenue, we have been cutting expenses
significantly and will be announcing several layoffs in the next few days.
I have taken a voluntary 10% reduction in income and Douglas Caldwell has
taken a voluntary 5% reduction in income.
2) With the assistance of a "Capacity Building" tool developed by McKinsey
& Co. for the Venture Philanthropy Partners Group out of Washington DC., we
are in the midst of strategic planning effort that will help us rewrite our
business plan. This effort will help us focus on the capacity building
activities most vital to our core mission and develop a "go forward" plan.
3) We are intensely developing other relationships with corporate and
foundation funders that are project specific and results oriented. Almost
all of my time will be focused on fund raising activites. We have several
potential relationships under development. The diversification of our donor
basis is criticial to the future of our mission. To set an example for
potential donors, in addition to the reduction in salary, my 2001 gifts to
TFA equal 1% of my annual income.
4) I have named Douglas Caldwell to serve in an expanded position of
leadership as the Chief Operating Officer. As the COO, Douglas now has
responsibility and authority for the day-to-day operations of Technology For
All and also for Technology For All-Houston. This decision was made in
consultation with Jack Trotter, Scott Yeager and Jack Clark. As some of
you already know, Douglas brings many skills to this new role. In addition
to his numerous contacts with potential funding sources, he is able to see
the big picture of our common vision while at the same time is also able to
drill down to the details required to accomplish it. He is also a person
who manages resources well. While this is always important, this is
especially important during this time of economic uncertainty. We must be
good stewards of our available resources.
5. It is my recomendation to the TFA Board that we establish advisory
boards in each TFA city and at the national level to help carry the TFA
banner and to raise the dollars necessary to support our core programs and
activies. The TFA-Houston Board of Directors unanimously affirmed this
recomendation for Houston. I solicit your support of this recomendation on
a national level and your suggestions of persons who may be potential
advisory board members.
6. We are in the final stages of preparation for a larger three year
proposal for a Houston Workforce Development Initiative that will utilize
our SmartForce content in collaboration with over 100 of our community
program partners. It is our intent to pitch this first to Houston's Brown
Foundation for a three year commitment. The support of our board will be
vital to the success of this proposal. Mr. Valenti, I will be calling you
and others to assist with this.
Please call me if you have any questions regarding my plans. I look forward
to your comments and reflections.
TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL
"We bring Technology to Underserved Communities"
William S. Reed
109 North Post Oak Lane, Suite 425
Houston, Texas 77024
TFA Operations Center &
3405 Edloe, Suite 300
Houston, Texas 77027