The San Francisco office strives to be a comfortable, safe, even inspirational place where folks come together to do all the many things necessary to bring the event to the playa. The SF office is home to our year-round support staff, a place where volunteers and artists can work on their projects and a space where we can socialize and celebrate our accomplishments. It is also the closest thing we have to a Burning Man museum with its continually rejuvenated collection of artwork, artifacts, and photos from past events.
During 2005, we added 10,000 sq. ft. by expanding to the first floor offices and warehouse within our building. This move greatly relieves the congestion we had experienced on the second floor, especially as we approached the date of the event. The Department of Public Works (DPW) now has space of its own to focus on city planning, and the warehouse area provides space appropriate to some common tasks like painting, sanding, building, etc. Additionally, the availability of the warehouse allows the Project to support funded artists by giving them a place to work on their projects and temporarily store items approved for transport to the playa.
The SF office hosts several community and staff-oriented events. The Fire Conclave conducts rehearsals in the parking area – truly an exciting and spectacular sight. The facility also hosted an annual Spark Club, which throws the much appreciated volunteer recognition and appreciation parties. we even built some PlayaTech furniture in the back parking area. Of course, the office is not all about fun and games, as we hold several key staff orientation and planning meetings for training and orienting new staff and volunteers. These occasions also give us important ways to communicate improvements in the way we do things at the event to folks who have been part of this organization for many burns. This year we were able to conduct training sessions on communication and conflict resolution.
To ensure that the office is running smoothly two new positions were created. Administrative Operations Manager and Facility Coordinator. John Prochnow (aka Prochyus) was hired in May to manage the office and human resources functions and Paul Schreer (aka Blue) was transitioned into his new role as Facility Coordinator.
The key goal for the coming year is to focus on eliminating waste, including reducing the physical stuff that seems to accumulate, automating manual tasks through better use of our extranet and other technology, or spending too much on materials and supplies. In the end, our success is measured on how little we are noticed, because things are operating well for the staff and volunteers who pour so much of themselves into this awesome event.