Who are you? (biography/background)
Greetings to the coordinators and voters, my name is Monica “Nikki” Flores and I am currently a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) and technical project manager and co-owner at Lullabot, a strategy, design, and development agency supporting redevelopment/new rollouts for Fortune 500 brands, government agencies, higher education, publishers, and enterprise technology companies.
I love the web and learned to code in 1999. Since 2004, I’ve worked on 200+ websites implementing Drupal for clients and employers, most recently IBM, New Relic, Green America, the GIST Network for the U.S. Department of State, and Changemakers for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. I’ve been using Drupal since 2008, working with agile methods since 2014, and received the CSM certification in 2020. I like to think that we all, as makers and creators, are able to use technology to solve problems, connect communities, and build more effective change-making teams.
I’m honored to be the recipient of the 2018 and 2019 NTENny Award and the 2021 Hack for Good award. I keynoted the first annual Drupal Diversity Camp and helped organize the 2022 Non-profit Industry Summit at DrupalCon. I am currently onboarding into the Drupal Community Working Group with a current effort of reviewing and making suggestions on an updated Drupal Code of Conduct. I also currently act as a Pantheon Hero. I recently moved with my family, including three cats, to the Midwest.
Why are you running for a board seat at the Drupal Association? (mission/motivation)
For many years I have benefited from the Drupal CMS itself in both client work, as well as from the community consistently showing up to answer questions and provide support. As a full-time developer and now as a co-owner at Lullabot, using Drupal has been a major part of the way I feel I make a difference in the world. At my work and at this juncture in my career, I am in a position to be able to give back, because Lullabot supports staff in investing work time to help develop Drupal and the open source community.
My personal mission is to make a measurable positive difference by using all of my knowledge and talents to advance fairness, justice, safety, health, sustainability, wellbeing, and education. Because the sites that implement Drupal are wide, varied, and touch millions of people, and because so many of us make a living by using or implementing Drupal, I think I can make that difference by continuing to improve our processes, build community and foster connections, bring my own perspective, and welcome more Drupalers into the mix.
Why should members vote for you? (qualifications)
Three items that I’d like to present are
1) I like to think I am open to new suggestions and ideas, and I encourage folks to feel like they can bring ideas, feedback, criticism, and hopes and dreams to the table for consideration. By having a seat at that table, I look forward to bringing in some new perspectives. One of the ways that my company has been supporting Drupal is as a sponsor of Discover Drupal. I’d like to continue that work of identifying best practices on how we as the Drupal community can onboard new users into Drupal, support the professional development of existing Drupal users, and increase a sense of belonging in the Drupal world for all types of community members.
2) I like to think I have a fairly strong organizational mentality, in that for most of my career and in my community and volunteer work I have served in chair, organizer, and manager positions to help articulate a mission, vision, and values, then drive those through implementation through programs, activities, and measurable indicators. I like to listen, comprehend, then consolidate brainstorms into bite-sized action steps, and that is a supporting role to moving ideas into reality. I will bring that capability into the work.
3) Through my work, I have an opportunity to be able to give back, as Lullabot supports our co-owners in investing time into the Drupal community as part of our normal workweek. Because of this additional support, I have time and energy to participate in the term.
The legal responsibilities of a Drupal Association board member are: Duty of Care, of Loyalty, and of Obedience. Can you speak to how you would uphold these duties if you were elected?
In terms of Duty of Care, I would be available to participate in deliberation, evaluation, and/or votes when the requirement arises, and I would take time to review, as much as possible, any of the emerging questions, feedback, or discussion items. My sense is that each person participating on the board brings their own “lens” with which to evaluate items, and I would utilize my different varied experiences, for example as a self-taught web developer, as a project manager, as an agency staff member, as well as a former non-profit staff person – toward building a well-rounded understanding of the issue.
In terms of Duty of Loyalty, I am a big fan of Drupal and would do my utmost to understand decisions that have been made to date and how to best position the organization to, in turn, better support the community and the software. I feel I am at a stable point in my work and career so do not feel there will be anything professionally or personally that stands in the way of my supporting the Drupal Association.
In terms of Duty of Obedience, I have served in leadership positions as part of former board and volunteer work and am able and willing to comply with applicable laws and regulations, including determining best practices from a fiduciary perspective.
How could you serve as a link between the organization and the community?
I will be available for public discussion and deliberation for issues that continue to surface as being important to the community. As an example from the ongoing Code of Conduct suitability and refinement process: through identifying interested parties, reaching out for feedback and review, and continuing to expand communication to more open channels (such as the Drupal Slack discussions) I think there are ways to build connections between novice users and experts, and for people new to Drupal to find ways to participate that they might not otherwise have opportunity.
I believe existing programs can be expanded to include wider varieties of participants, such as presenting more sponsors, mentors, and partners as resources to existing Drupal groups and camps. At heart I have found that people who use Drupal love to share their knowledge, and I’d issue a challenge for us to step toward “each one teach one” in the form of mentoring, demonstrating, or sharing in a blog post or video, something that you’ve learned recently.
I’d also encourage Drupal users to share their general stories of how they entered technology or entered as a Drupal user – we learn from the experiences of our peers, and in the community we have many opportunities to grow from each other’s lived experiences. I’d like to highlight more stories that we possibly haven’t heard yet, with the understanding that we foster a stronger sense of belonging when we have better mechanisms to understand one another.
Finally, I would like to build bridges between existing certifications and Drupal, for example in my personal work I am studying for IAAP Certification, and two years ago received the CSM designation – I’d like to identify ways that Drupal users can continue to stay on the platform, expand their licensing or certifications, and continue to grow their careers.
What do you hope to achieve within your term limit (2 years)?
I’d like to focus on encouraging and bringing forward voices and perspectives we might not have heard from, including from students, career changers, new Drupal users, and longtime Drupalers who have not yet shared their story, or felt that their story matters. Representation indeed matters and I believe the seat allows me to support and continue to encourage initiatives like Discover Drupal, resource groups such as Drupal Diversity & Inclusion, and to personally encourage a more varied world view for those sitting in leadership, agenda-setting, and policy-making seats.
What’s a fact about yourself that no one would guess?
I had, for almost twenty years, thought I was only 5 feet, 4 inches tall but recently measured myself and I actually stand at 5 feet, 5 inches. We’re each growing in our own small way, each and every day.
Voting Opens for the 2022 board election on 21 September at 00:00 UTC for 1 open at-large board seat. Your Drupal Association membership must be active a full 24 hours before voting opens to be eligible. Learn more.