Voting & Non-Voting Member Portal
This is where Voting and Non-Voting Members of Players can come to find new information and resources related to Players. This portal is maintained by the Players Board of Directors, and any responses provided here should be considered to come from the Board as a whole. We're also happy to hear of any ways you think we can improve this portal, so please feel free to make suggestions!
Currently before the Membership:
Nominate a Charity of your choice
We are accepting charity nominations from all Players Members for our 2020 Season charities. The three selected charities will receive the proceeds of our entire 2020 Season. Feel free to nominate a charity that's close to your heart and please explain why you feel it would be a great fit for Players.
Nominations are now accepted year-round. CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE A CHARITY
1. Ask or say anything!
This is your place to ask any question you may have of the Players Board, or to make a suggestion for a change. If you want to be anonymous, simply enter "firstname.lastname@example.org" in the email field and we'll post a response to your question in this space. Otherwise, if you use your own email address we'll send our response directly to you. Depending on the question, we might also post our response publically after seeking your consent.
Anonymous question regarding how Players chooses to promote Alumni Events on Social Media
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern PA
For nearly 40 years, Ben Franklin Technology Partners/CNP has been focused on revolutionary technological developments that improve the human condition and address critical challenges. This year, our efforts, in conjunction with our clients, have been focused on innovating against the pandemic. Almost from the very first days of COVID-19, many of Ben Franklin’s portfolio companies pivoted from their normal activities and began offering products and services that addressed the realities of the virus head on.
For example, Actuated Medical is a 20-person company which normally develops medical devices that integrate electronically controlled motion technologies. This year, they switched their focus and started manufacturing face shields for first responders and medical professionals on the front lines of the pandemic.
Several other innovators emerged with inspiring responses to the pandemic. WaveClear is a medical device and design company that is developing ultrasonic therapeutic devices for the treatment of blood clots, a common side effect of the COVID virus. OhanaLink Technologies developed a mobile communication tool that creates a virtual hospital waiting room for friends and families of patients who are unable to visit in person because of COVID restrictions.
Acoustic Sheep has been selling comfortable headphones designed to be worn while sleeping for the past 10 years. In March 2020, in response to COVID-19 mask mandates, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai and her team shifted their focus to a DIY mask solution that utilizes a downloadable template targeting those who wear glasses or have beards.
These few examples represent dozens of Ben Franklin clients whose ability to adjust, respond and drive community-benefitting innovation has been inspiring. Investing in innovation has always made good sense – but perhaps never as much as it did in 2020.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA
Ben Franklin companies in southeastern Pennsylvania are developing innovation that provides for the safety and wellness for Pennsylvanians and beyond.
Biomeme’s revolutionary mobile diagnostic platform gained approval to distribute its COVID-19 testing materials in spring 2020. Biomeme created the world’s first mobile end-to-end molecular diagnostic platform, transforming a smartphone into a mobile lab for advanced DNA diagnostics and real-time disease surveillance. Biomeme expanded to a staff of 250 full-time employees and will move to a new 40,000-square-foot headquarters in Philadelphia this year to expand manufacturing of its products, now used in both frontline applications and leading research institutions across the country.
Roundtrip created the first digital healthcare transportation marketplace that enables healthcare professionals to schedule, dispatch and monitor non-emergency transportation for patients. Using existing ridesharing and transportation platforms and systems, Roundtrip ensures that patients get their scheduled care when they need it --- from basic rideshares and medical sedans to wheelchair vans and stretcher vehicles --- avoiding the compounded consequences and costs of missed appointments. The NIH, Jefferson Health, and Johns Hopkins Medicine are among its clients.
Biotech firm Navrogen is focused on the immuno-based treatment of cancer by removing defense mechanisms that tumor cells employ to inhibit cancer-fighting effects of therapeutically administered and patient immune-generated tumor attacking antibodies. Based at Cheyney University, Navrogen is engaged with the university’s mission of exposing students to emerging concepts in translational medicine and hands-on biopharmaceutical lab training through coordination with faculty in order to provide students experiential learning as they pursue careers in biomedicine.
Innovation Works has provided invaluable resources and funding to help transform the southwestern Pennsylvania region into a center for innovative startups and tech investors from around the country. From the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic, clients have been working on the front lines to keep the community safe.
ALung Technologies received the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), permitting the company to use its Hemolung device on patients with severe COVID-19. The Hemolung removes carbon dioxide directly from the blood in patients with acute respiratory failure. This technology allows individuals with breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to avoid or minimize the need for intubation.
CytoAgents is innovating on a drug therapy that could treat COVID-19. CytoAgents' lead drug candidate modulates the body's immune response to reduce tissue damage caused by an excessive immune reaction. This approach would decrease the tissue damage resulting from the excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by influenza and other viral infections like COVID-19.
Flexable Care’s all-female team is acutely aware of the simultaneous pull of working while parenting, particularly as it affects the millions of women who have left the workforce due to childcare issues. Flexable, which used to provide on-site childcare only, has revolutionized work-from-home for parents with their “Always There Childcare” events. The company launched Virtual MiniCamps to engage kids age 3 to 10 with online modules that keep them connected with fun content, peers, and caring adults so parents or caregivers can concentrate on work, meetings or take a needed reprieve to attend to other kids.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern PA
Several clients throughout BFTP/NEP’s 21-county service area provide products or services that are directly applicable in the fight against COVID-19; others have pivoted their technologies. The ability to adapt quickly to changing needs is emblematic of Ben Franklin clients.
The proprietary and transformational air purification systems originally developed for highly sensitive In Vitro Fertilization facilities by LifeAire Systems, LLC, Allentown, are capable of killing infectious airborne pathogens including COVID-19. In addition to placing the technology in hospitals and senior living facilities to reduce infections, illness, and length of stay, LifeAire has applied its proven kill technology to help during the COVID-19 pandemic in protecting dental practices, offices, and transportation and school facilities. The company has also developed a portable, rapid decontamination unit for N95 masks that kills COVID-19 and other pathogens within all layers of the mask. More than 1,650 masks can be safely decontaminated in a day, helping with the PPE shortage, and reducing costs by $297,000 per month.
The pandemic has forced health system leadership to address disparities in remote care capabilities. Signallamp Health, Scranton, provides a turnkey platform for remote clinical services, white-labeled to a patient’s chosen provider. Signallamp extends the reach and clinical capacity of healthcare providers to manage vulnerable patients, including those affected by COVID-19, outside of the traditional clinical setting. With more than 100 employees, the company was recognized on the prestigious Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., ranking No. 240 overall, No. 18 in the health industry, and No. 1 in Pennsylvania, with a three-year growth rate of 1,844%.
US Specialty Formulations LLC, Allentown, and VaxForm LLC, Bethlehem, recently announced first successes in their joint development program to bring oral and injectable COVID-19 and other vaccines to market. With funding through the Governor’s Action Team, USSF will expand its 41,000-square-foot production facility. Both USSF and VaxForm started in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Starting with three staff members, USSF now employs 14 in high-value jobs, and VaxForm employs five.
With Regard to Promoting Alumni Events on Players Social Media
January 21st 2020:
We received the attached anonymous email yesterday:
Anonymous Email Message:
I've noticed a lot of social media cross-posting on behalf of members/alumni of QPT where Players promotes other groups/performances/bands/etc. through social media. How is it determined what Players posts on social media relating to this? So many of it's members and alumni are involved in different endeavours that could all benefit from the extra promotion, yet I only see a select few consistently (if at all) promoted.
Preliminary Response from the Players Board of Directors:
Thank you for your question and directing our attention to this matter. We do not have a formal social media policy regarding when and how we promote other events (whether they be events that an alumni is involved with or otherwise), but over the next few days and weeks we will discuss this as a Board and will consider putting a policy together. Our marketing and communications committee will be taking the lead in this regard.
We are fortunate to have a very active and creative community and when we can balance promoting our own events and messaging with also supporting our community, we would hope to do so.
February 20th 2020:
Final Response from the Players Board of Directors
The Board met last night and discussed the anonymous email above. We reviewed the email, the proposed new guidelines, and the results of a detailed examination of all of our social media posts and emails over the past 13 months.
For context, we feel it is important to share the results of that examination:
Between January 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020 there were a total of 1,268 posts by Players to our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Feed and Instagram Stories, and emails to alumni. Each of these 1,268 posts/emails was reviewed for content and placed into the below categories:
95.8% (1,215) were for official Players purposes
2.6% (33) were to promote our charities
0.9% (12) were notes of congratulations on shows / marriages
0.6% (8) were mourning deaths of celebrities / remembrance day
0.4% (5) were cross-promotions with outside groups who promoted us in return
0.4% (5) were for direct promotion of outside groups
Note: We did not examine situations where Players social accounts "liked" a third party post as that does not appear to be the focus of the email.
Note: A small number of posts were placed in more than one category due to overlapping content.
Of the 5 instances of direct promotion over the last 13 months, 1 was in an email to alumni promoting 2 charitable events run by alumni, and the other 4 took the form of Instagram Stories in which a show that an alumni was participating in was promoted for a 24 hour period before automatically disappearing from our story.
Players did not, during the past 13 months, promote outside alumni events via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed.
Considering the facts above, the Board provides the following direct responses to the three components of the anonymous email:
I've noticed a lot of social media cross-posting on behalf of members/alumni of QPT where Players promotes other groups/performances/bands/etc. through social media.
Contrary to the statement above, the Board is of the opinion that our social media has not engaged in a significant amount of promotion of non-Players events. We have engaged in some, to be sure, but 5 out of 1,215 posts amounts to less than half of one percent of all posts. Furthermore, the Board finds no fault or error in those 5 posts, and stands behind all of our posts.
How is it determined what Players posts on social media relating to this?
Previously there was no set of guidelines.
The vast majority of posts have been focused on promoting our events and building our brand. In the rare cases where we did post about outside events, we did so guided by what made sense to us in the moment and the company's overall principles.
In response to this email, we have now produced a set of guidelines which are attached below and will inform what we post going forward.
So many of it's members and alumni are involved in different endeavours that could all benefit from the extra promotion, yet I only see a select few consistently (if at all) promoted.
We, of course, love all of our alumni and are inspired by their continued involvement in the arts. We also recognize that these alumni could benefit from extra promotion from our channels.
That being said, Players does not wish to become a platform for the promotion of outside events; our focus should be on our own events and our own priorities. So, if anything, you might notice a reduction in the amount of promotion we provide to outside events as a result of the questions posted and comments made within this anonymous email.
As well, the above sentence could be seen to imply that there has been some favouritism in terms of which alumni have received promotional help from us. The Board categorically denies any such favouritism took place. Players has over 200 alumni and we cannot be expected to be aware of and promote everything that they are participating in - nor have we ever indicated that we would do so.
In conclusion, we wish to thank the anonymous respondent for raising this issue and sparking this discussion. We take all comments, concerns and questions of our members very seriously. We are pleased that this portal has given you a forum within which to express yourself, and we hope that we have provided a fulsome response to your email.
We also commit to publicly revisit this issue at our next AGM should other members like to provide their thoughts on the issue and/or our response.
Please find attached guidelines for future social media posts as approved by the Board:
2. Voting vs. Non-Voting Membership
The primary difference between Voting and Non-Voting Members is that only Voting Members can run for the Board, vote on questions posed at the AGM, and vote for new Board Members. All Voting and Non-Voting Members will receive all official Players emails except for emails specifically related to voting as per above. There is no cost for either type, and any Member can shift between each type at will. There is an automatic two-year expiry on Voting Memberships, but there is no limit on renewing them for another two years.
2a. Voting Member List
Not sure if you're a Voting Member or not? Here's the current official list of Voting Members:
*Last updated Oct. 17, 2020
3. Ask Us Anything Responses
Attached is a transcript of responses given by the Players Exec & AD to the questions posted at the 2019 AGM.
4. The Players Constitution
Attached here is the current Players constitution. The constitution was last updated on October 25, 2019.
5. Results of the 2019 Constitutional Vote
Attached here is a breakdown of the results of the voting at the 2019 AGM.