Questions and Answers

This is the page where the candidates for the Baronial seat may answer questions posed to them by the populace.  Please note that *only* the candidates may post to this page.  Comments made by anyone other than a candidate will be sent to moderation and deleted.

If you wish to pose a question for the candidates, please send your proposed question to any or all of seneschal@bbm.eastkingdom.org, electiondep@bbm.eastkingdom.org, or baroness@bbm.eastkingdom.org, and they will post your question(s) to this page.

If you would like to have an expanded conversation with any of the candidates regarding their answers, you are encouraged to do so on the Baronial yahoogroup email list.

How do you see the Baronage interacting with the Seneschallate? Where is the line between the roles and responsibilies of the Coronet and those of the Seneschal?

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What aspects of the Barony and of the SCA do you feel most comfortable representing?  What aspects are you personally least comfortable with?  With that in mind, how, as Baron/ess do you plan to represent those aspects of the SCA that you are least comfortable with in order to properly serve your Baronial constituents?

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As Baron/ess, you will be the liason of the Barony to the Crown, other baronies, and even other Kingdoms.  You will be the most visible representative of the Barony Beyond the Mountain.  With that in mind, how do you feel you represent BBM?  How do you plan to continue to best represent BBM as a whole as Baron/ess to those outside of the Barony?

  • Grimolfr Khazariyya says:

    For the past year, Grimolfr and myself have been retaining/guard for the East Kingdom Royals. This has brought us in to contact with many of the current sitting Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Dutchesses, Barons/esses and other royals throughout the East Kingdom. We have been recognized for our service, friendliness and welcoming dispositions.

    We also have many friends in other Kingdoms as well, namely Aethelmarc and to a lesser extent Middle Kingdom where we are recognized for our services and help we offer when it is needed.

    We are always asking our neighbors for advice and value their experience and words on their positions, their duties, their responsibilities, and use these conversations to bring more ideas and suggestions to our own Barony within the meetings we attend regularly.

    Grimolfr is also well known and respected for being a Protege to his Pelican, Master Cormac, and a Provost to his Master of Defense, Master Caine. He is recognized throughout this kingdom as being a level headed, fair individual who is open and welcoming to everyone and lends a hand and knowledge to everyone who asks for it or needs it.

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    A few words on how you will promote the various activities that are the SCA.

  • Grimolfr Khazariyya says:

    My son’s middleschool hosts a Medieval day every year. I am going to bring up the suggestion to contact the school as an organization to participate in their event. I already spoke to the school about the possibility and they seemed interested so my next step is presenting the idea at the Baronial meeting. This will promote our organization to children and families which is a very strong way to promote and expand our group.

    Hosting demos within Baronial borders is another way to successfully promote our group. My idea was finding the local, yearly flea markets throughout our Barony and seeing about acquiring a booth space and demo space for marshal demonstrations or footwork. This will all be brought up to the Chatelaine in Baronial meetings.

    Creating E-Flyers to post online for local web groups and town groups is also a great way to advertise the SCA for free. The flyer can state all the activities available with a brief description and have the contact info of the Chatelaine for more information.

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    The Barony, a few years ago, hosted a number of Kingdom events. For whatever reasons, we have not held any in the last few years. Do you have any thoughts to putting the Barony back out there to hold Kingdom level events?

  • Grimolfr Khazariyya says:

    We believe that the first thing that needs to happen to hold Kingdom level events is to make sure that we have a list of good event sites to choose from. The baronial officers have been looking into new sites recently, but it would also be great if some other people in the far reaches of the barony would also be able to scope out locations and send word to the Seneschal so that we can begin the process of approving of sites that can meet all of the needs of running a successful event.

    This also goes hand in hand to the previous question about involving new staff and training more people into the running of different aspects of events. (see question #5)

    We are very interested in bringing Kingdom level events back to the barony.

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    This Barony has a very large geographical footprint. It is good that the current practices take place towards the center of that land mass, but it still takes some areas a two hour drive to get to them. Any thoughts and ideas on attempts get more classes and practices to be spread into the farther regions and corners of the Barony? If one is expected to drive the two hours to the center of the Barony for a practice/class, should it not be expected that once in a while, that that travel time and distance be placed upon those who benefit normally from living close?

  • Grimolfr Khazariyya says:

    We have already tried to begin this process by opening up activities in the old regions Fennbrycg and Dragon’s Aerie. We have started a fencing, youth, and heavy practices while also focusing on sewing days and bardic circles. I know this only covers the eastern side of the barony. We are also in contact with some people from the north eastern section who are interested in running thrown weapons and A&S days.

    I know that this only covers the eastern side of the barony, though. We have been talking with a few members inside of Ravenhill who are interested in starting things up again and we are very eager to facilitate and start this back up. They need the support of the rest of the barony to make sure that their area can also thrive and grow as well. We are ready to be there for everyone as an advocate.

    We are listening and we do hear you.

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    The Barony has had many years of the same people doing the same work at events. To the point we have stopped and or even eliminated events. What plans do you have to get new blood into action and teach them how to run all aspects of events; eventually, to turn over the controls of Steward, Gate, Kitchen, Merchanting, Parking, and Clean-up.

  • We would like to start by trying to bring back the expertise of the current baronial members who have been playing with other local groups or the kingdom. We would like to make them feel included and welcome again.

    As for new people, we would like to have more demos inside the borders of our barony focusing on many aspects of the SCA. This will help bring more new blood in. We would also like to advertise our actual events to bring in new people and introduce them to our wonderful hobby.

    We also think it would be a good idea to run a class/workshop for baronial members to learn the different aspects of running an event.

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    How will you make your mark as baron/baroness of BBM?  I.e. what is your focus/main area of interest in the Society, and what steps will you take to put your plans in motion?

  • Sisuile Rumhann says:

    We fought over this question in our house – Rumhann maintains quite strongly that having a goal of “making your mark” as baron and baroness is antithetical to being of service to the populace. Sisuile is of the opinion that while it shouldn’t be a goal it is something that happens – as we said before, each new baronage brings different perspectives and themes to the group with the leadership change, and one should have a plan.

    Our goal as officers, baron & baroness notwithstanding, is to increase engagement. According to the last census, there are a lot of members of the barony who we never see. There are more who we will sometimes see, but who, for one reason or another, do not engage with baronial activities, be they events, practices, or social gatherings. So – how do we get these people active locally? It involves: 1) finding out what activities they want to participate in; 2) figuring out times and locations that are the most inclusive to all corners; 3) taking the initiative to seek out and ask if people want to participate, rather than assuming they will do so on their own 4) working with those who feel they have been silenced or ignored and gave up on the group as a result. The long term goal is to have people as officers, event staff, and participants who are not “the usual suspects.”

    On a more personal front – expect there to be a lot more thrown weapons, and more social potlucks. Frequently both. Because we enjoy pointy things and feeding people, and if we get to combine the two, all the better.

  • Mark Gwenllian says:

    We would like to see the barony have a “signature” event. While we have a few great events, we would love to be known for an event everyone talks about and wants to bring their friends and family to. Since the end of Simplefare, we don’t think we have an event that raises the Barony’s profile in the Kingdom. (Although Artifacts of a Life is getting a lot of attention and growing still) Steps toward this would begin like planning any other event: discussion, assessment of resources, etc. We have heard there are some people who have stopped being involved because they don’t care for some things that have happened during the last few years. We feel we can help heal some of the hurt feelings through our current relationships with some of those people and move toward bringing those folks back into the fold. We plan to do that by reaching out to those folks to see what we can do to facilitate the healing process.

  • Khazariyya and I feel our mark has already begun on our barony. We firmly believe that a title is not needed to get where we need to go. Everyone can make a difference.
    We started with only the desire to bring more activities to our area, with our main focus at the time being a Youth Heavy Practice for our son Rhath. I began Fencing, throwing weapons, and archery and worked for my marshalate in 2 of those activities, achieving Fencing marshal for adults and youth as well as Thrown Weapons marshal for adults and youth. I also began, and still am, an MIT for Youth Heavy.
    I used these marshalates to open the first youth practice in BBM in many years as well as an adult Fencing and Heavy combat practice site. Circumstances made the Youth Marshal for heavy in our area unavailable, so it now continues at the Middlefield practice with the adult Fencing continuing in East Haddam. We are, again, looking for a site to accommodate Youth Fencing.
    Khazariyya helped along the way using her connections in the town she owns her business as well as her experience with marketing to find and secure a place and advertise it. She also has held several sewing days as well as a very successful monthly bardic circle at our house.
    I guess you can say our main focus is the increase of activities including more for youth to get involved in.
    Another idea we have is to offer a proposal for term limits on officers. 2 year term with the possibility to re up after 2 years to a 4 year term. This will prevent burn out as well as stagnation. We would propose it through a change of Baronial custom at a business meeting.
    This Barony also has many great A&S artisans. We would also like to bring back having an A&S Champion. Another proposal.
    Khazariyya and I have attended many events over the years and have stayed for court participating and/or watching depending on whether we are serving the current royals or not. Khazariyya makes it a point to pay attention while in court to their proceeding and awards, converse with the neighboring barons after about their system, and gathers information and new ideas to incorporate into our own Barony Beyond the Mountain. One of these ideas was a youth specific award. She picked up the idea of a Youth specific award while at Bridge and broadened it while in court at Concordia of the Snows. The result is a Youth Award, she is mulling with Order of the Sapling, with 3 different colored backgrounds. One color for A&S, one for service, and one for marshal activities. If the Youth receives all 3, they will also receive a scroll. This method encourages the kids to get involved with all the avenues of the SCA. This will also be accomplished as a proposal in a business meeting.
    This has already begun, but we would like to continue meetings held in all areas of the state.
    We would also like to strive for at least 4 events per year in all quarters of the state. We have an idea to try to turn Summer Solstice Shoot into a weekend camping event where all of the championships will be held and, this too, will be proposed at a Business Meeting.
    That covers it for now, but we are always looking for new ideas from any populace member who has one to help create more fun for Barony Beyond the Mountain.
    We are listening, and we do hear you.

    • GrimKaz says:

      It has been brought to our attention that there is a misinterpretation with our wording about the Middlefield youth practice. We were not taking credit for the Middlefield practice site. We were speaking of the Colchester youth practice, which we started April last year, as it’s own separate entity, which is currently not available. We were then trying to give credit to Middlefield practice as to where youth is currently available, as well as it’s own entity. We bring our own son there and they are doing a fantastic job.

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    Would you describe yourself as proficient in the use of arbitration and mediation?  Please give examples.

  • Sisuile Rumhann says:

    Sisuile has had formal training in arbitration and mediation techniques in non profit contexts in her graduate work. It helped immensely in her day job – real estate of any form is all about negotiation, and it helps the process to go smoothly if everyone feels heard and validated. The role of an agent is frequently to mediate between the needs of buyer and sellers or between owners and tenants. It has been her job for 15+ years to be that person in the middle. In SCA context, her work as Dean of Performing Arts at Pennsic had her frequently stepping in and acting as facilitator between groups of performers and classes who had overlapping desires for use of the space – in one specific case, the rehearsal on our primary stage was extremely upset by the noise created by performers who had asked to work on set construction in the back of house. She was called in when the shouting started. After about 10 minutes of listening to both sides’ concerns (time, space limitations, previous access, noise levels,etc) the two groups managed to feel they had both been heard, and their issues addressed. The construction group had a plan for when they could be loud without disturbing others or putting their timeline too far behind, the singers on stage felt they could trust that the rest of their rehearsal slots would not be afflicted by power tools or banging, without insisting the other group remove themselves.

    Rumhann has been working retail customer service in one form or another for most of the last two decades. Being able to hear someone, let them know they are being heard, and not brushed off as an annoyance, is one of his specialties. In addition, finding a useful resolution to the complaint or inconvenience that is being brought up without sacrificing resources or procedures maintains the option for a delightful interaction and experience. Recently, this has involved digging into why some transactions happened as they did, instead of how the customer had thought they should. In terms of arbitration, while in managerial roles he has had to step in between customers and team members, and sometimes between two or more team members. These situations are treated effectively as a mediation for the customer and possible training options for the team members.

  • Mark Gwenllian says:

    Gwenllian: I would consider myself pretty adept at both mediation and arbitration. A recent example came in planning a demo. There was a discussion about who was bringing what, who was getting what information from the site, and other general planning that goes with planning a demo. One person in the discussion felt they weren’t getting the responses from the main coordinator they should have. This person was very familiar with the site and still new to the the demo planning process. As the discussion was winding down, I received a private message asking how I made it look so easy to plan. I asked for more information and eventually found out that this person wanted to help, had been offering to help and felt they were getting brushed off. After finding this out, I was able to calm them down. As the demo got going, I had a few talks with some key people, explaining the newer person’s experience. By the end of the demo, at least three people were stepping in to help the newer person find their way, help out and make new friends.
    Mark: I bring with me the knowledge of what my strengths and weaknesses are. Mediation is one of those things where I still need to do more work. In most of my dealings with opposition, I have been fortunate enough to always have someone nearby who was better equipped than me to talk out the problem and make sure it is handled with the best possible outcome. I recognize this and realize this is a strength Gwenllian has. I also recognize the people and tools around me that are better suited for such tactics both to learn from and apply where needed. It takes the mindset of someone thinking for the better of all to know when to step back. We can’t all be good at everything but through our partnership, we balance each other out to make a strong pair.

  • In the last question I, Grimolfr, had stated I have been in a managerial position for 18 years. This has given me the experience to understand how to work with people from all walks of life and backgrounds to find common ground and make resolutions. Same for Khazariyya, in her 12 years, especially dealing one on one with her clients, their needs, and compromises when the clients felt their needs have not been met to their standards. We both utilize these skills daily, currently, and end up with satisfied parties each time.
    Khazariyya also has a very high sense of fairness and in my 8 years with her, I have always noticed that she must hear all sides from all parties with presented facts before she can even begin to have an opinion on the matter.

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    What skills do you think you could bring to the baronage, and what are some examples of when you used them?

  • Mark Gwenllian says:

    We bring a personal touch, always having positive interactions with SCA members at all levels we have been fortunate enough to meet. We’ve spoken to anyone from first event people to Kings and Queens with ease and had so many interesting, educational and humorous discussions with them all.
    Gwenllian: As the Baronial Chatelaine, I have been welcoming newcomers for the last seven years, showing them around and introducing them to people with similar interests to theirs. I have also organized people for demos with assistance from others. Those demos have gotten us invitations to prestigious shows like the Big E which exposes the SCA to hundreds, if not thousands of people every year. We have been invited to do demos in other areas of the kingdom as well including the fiber festival in Rhinebeck, NY which is one of the largest in the area.
    Mark: I have a good sense of humor letting it show just when you think I’m not listening or have gone missing, only to be right in front of you with a humorous comment to make you chuckle or even guffaw. Belly laughs are not uncommon either. One person described it as “stealth” humor.
    A few years ago at Yule, I was asked to step in as the Midnight Visitor when Bergental’s person was under the weather. I played the Midnight Visitor two years in a row and received many compliments on my portrayal. My brief background in theater helped me embrace the role and have fun with it.

  • Sisuile Rumhann says:

    We know how to run things. Nature abhors a vacuum and so do we. Most of the jobs we’ve had in the SCA have been because something needed to get done, and we were the ones willing to do it. We know how to wrangle volunteers, work within budgets, and manage staff. We are not afraid to advocate for and defend our people, but have also learned that sometimes the best practice is being silent and listening. We understand many of the ways that baronies can be run, from the experience of living and working in them, and how this barony *is* running. We are both experienced administrators in large non-profits, including the SCA.

    Mundanely, Rumhann ran the membership department at the National Organization for Women. When the barony will be requesting our membership address list for sending out ballots – that’s part of what he was doing at NoW. For Free Spirit Gathering he has been the Sweats site coordinator and department head, and guidance committee member. Modernly, he has been in managerial rolls for over 10 years. Sisuile has worked in event administration for the American Heart Association, in planning and coordination for The Bridge Homeless Center, and the Peacemeal Project. She has own and run her own business for over 15 years, and so brings those organizational, administrative, marketing, time management, and managerial skills to her volunteer efforts.

    Within the SCA, we are both long term event staff and/or officers. Sisuile has, at various times, held or performed every type of major office that isn’t a marshalate. She was a Deputy Society Seneschal, Dean of Performing Arts at Pennsic, various kinds of senior herald, been deputy Gold Key, deputy Chatelaine, Mistress of the Lists, Event Steward, Feast Steward, Royalty Liaison, Site Liaison, Gate Coordinator, worked with the exchequer, worked with the MOAS to organize classes, done set up, clean up, site hunting, etc, as well as currently being the webminister. Rumhann generally takes the less titled jobs, being a marshal, transporting equipment, assisting and leading set up and clean up, people wrangling, and a heck of a lot of dishes (his first event was spent nearly entirely helping out in the kitchen – during Crown Tourney in AS XX), and currently BBM’s Captain of Archers.

  • Between the two of us, we have over 30 years managerial experience including Khazariyya running and owning her own business for the past 10 years. This experience helped us learn how to work with people in teams and as individuals to problem solve, come up with innovative ideas to thrive, and how to properly delegate to others to best accomplish our goals.

    I, Grimolfr, as a manager, have had an abundance of experience training individuals. This has helped me in all the marshal activities that I oversee and teach in. I have been able to start with newcomers in Adult and Youth fencing, Adult and Youth Thrown Weapons, and have started my path to MiT as a Youth Combat marshal. I have been able to pass on the skills that I have learned efficiently.

    Also as a manager, I have had to settle disputes among coworkers. I know that this can happen with any good group of individuals and I have the necessary tools and experience to handle the late night phone calls that may come from being Baron/Baroness.

    Khazariyya, as an entrepreneur, has the experience of starting a business from just an idea. She has been able to take a dream, plan it, do the leg work, and bring it to successful fruition. She has always been very responsive to clients with their needs and concerns. This skill has been very helpful in the SCA when she was the co-autocrat at Hrim Schola, retaining for the Queen(s), and when volunteering with the Chatelines at events. If approached with questions or requests, it is in her nature to give immediate assistance. In an instance where she may not know the answers, she makes it a priority to find those who can help.

    One of our greatest assets is our enthusiasm. We love to hear new ideas from the populace and find ways to bring them to life within Barony Beyond the Mountain. Even if we have had a set back, we always try to find a positive solution to move forward.

    These are just a handful of skills that we do bring to the barony and hope to bring to the baronage.

    We are listening and we do hear you.

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    What are your intentions for the long term of the barony? where do you see the barony going in the next 1yr, 3yr, 6yr?

  • Mark Gwenllian says:

    For the first year, we see the Barony getting used to new people wearing the coronets. We intend to make that transition as smooth as possible by asking for advice from the respected members of the Barony, Peers and former Baronage.
    For future years, we would like to see the Barony continue to grow and thrive. We would like to see new people joining, taking offices, bringing more new people and helping run events. We would like to see increased participation from people in other areas of the Barony that are too far to make it to regular meetings by rotating meetings to other areas or trying to figure out a way to include them by way of technology. Ultimately, we would like to see the Barony be in a good position to host a Kingdom level event without burning out the same people who are always there running things.
    We would like to see the practices grow and become places people out of Barony talk about and want to come to.
    We would like to continue the current demos that lots of members really enjoy doing. We would also like to see some demos that include more diverse activities including fighting, fencing, archery, and all the other great things this Barony has to offer.
    We also want to know where the members of the Barony want it to go. For that, we are willing to listen to suggestions and be advocates in meetings for good ideas.

  • Sisuile Rumhann says:

    In the year following this election, we anticipate the changes that new leadership will bring – having a new baron & baroness always shifts group dynamics. BBM is such a diverse barony, we look forward to seeing and working with all corners of the state. All the candidates likely have different interests and/or emphases than Dorian and Eloise, and that will probably shift the most visible representatives of the barony. Nonetheless, we hope to represent the Barony Beyond the Mountain here, within the East, and the Known World. It will be a busy year, as we will hold three events in three months (and four in six next year), and we hope the barony avoids burnout of our membership by having people other than the usual suspects step up to run aspects of events.

    In three years, we would like to see;
    1) A more noticeable effort to work on our recruitment with a younger demographic. Many organizations lately are using online venues as their main recruitment focus. However, Societal recruitment is not just about social media and the new world – it is also about making connections in real time, in real places, which people then follow up with online. To this effect, we hope to be tracking and helping the chronicler publish the public lectures and colloquia from UConn, EConn, UHart, & CCSU on relevant subjects, and having a presence at as many as we can. We would also like to have public gatherings and practices at parks in garb, where people can see us and interact with us when it’s not necessarily a demo. We would like to raise our general visibility level – it will take careful management, but it can be done.
    2) We would like to see more baronial events, and that seems to be happening! Yule and Maifest/Summer Solstice Shoot not seem to be enough for a barony of our weight and precedence. Artifacts of a Life adds leavening, but only biannually. However, with the additions of Hrim Schola and Golden Seamstress, we may be at both capacity and weight. Occasionally, when the schedules align, we would like to see BBM host kingdom events such as Crown, Coronation, and/or Royal Championships. But to maintain this, we need to step it up, both in finding event sites, and in people running things. So we also need:
    3) An organized effort to engage our membership to train people in running events and aspects of events. There are a number of marshals in the barony, several of whom could run tournaments if they were asked and/or if someone walked them through it once. There are folks who can run gate, or a dayboard, or set up, or clean up, as long as they also are a) asked & b) have someone they can work with the first time. We believe that there is a responsibility to pass along our knowledge so that the group as a whole benefits, and to encourage those who may be shy, or who feel they can’t just jump in.

    In six years, we will be ramping up to do this process again. Hopefully, it will be with a thriving, active barony, pulling its weight in the kingdom, and with the membership engaged and having fun. We hope there will again be several sets of people who step up to lead BBM and that they are persons of honor, integrity, and foresight to continue leading BBM as one of the foremost Baronies of the East.

  • In order to see where we are going, we must first have a plan on how to get there. In order to succeed we need to understand what the barony needs. To achieve that we must have growth and the happiness of the populace. The growth can be accomplished by assuring that the needs of the populace in all corners of BBM are heard and are met within the means of what the society can accomplish.
    Some things that we have heard from different people from the populace are;
    *Having meetings and events throughout the barony, and not just in the center
    *Having more activities throughout the barony that meet the interests of the populace. (ie. monthly A&S workshops, martial practices, etc.)
    *Using the potential of social media to advertise local events to the non-SCA populace to come and discover us.
    *We would like to establish a Youth Order in the barony in a way that encourages our youth to try different things of the SCA and experience all the aspects of what the SCA has to offer. Whether it is A&S, Service, or Martial.

    It closing, we would like the populace within the barony to feel more enthusiasm in playing with their barony which is there home and family.

    We are listening and we do hear you.

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