Organizational Structure

You might be aware that Puzzled Pint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit here in the US. What you might not know is the structure we use in running it. There’s probably a good reason for that: we’ve never taken the time to really explain how the organization works! We’re an all-volunteer organization, which kind of limits our time to work on things — and most of that time goes into editing, playtesting, and organizing the monthly events. So let’s see if we can fix some of that.

Even before we were a nonprofit, we had three tiers of folks volunteering for Puzzled Pint. Let’s first list them, then look at each one in detail.

  • The Board
  • Headquarters (HQ)
  • Local Game Coordinators (GC)

The Board started as the original founders of Puzzled Pint in Portland, Oregon, plus a few additional helpers. Since those early days, we’ve had a little bit of turnover. With replacements and growth, we strive for diversity in both representation and geography. The board usually meets every month via video call to debrief about the event and talk about any problems that should be addressed.

The board’s goal is to look at the big picture, make informed decisions, and ensure the event keeps running. Within the board, we have several teams:

  • Puzzle Editing
  • Communications
  • City Ops
  • Web Content
  • Web Ops

Those teams will often recruit other folks to handle certain month-to-month operations. This set of volunteers is called Headquarters. They don’t have to show up at the board meetings, but they are represented by the board members that do. Think of them as working-groups or subcommittees.

Our chief puzzle editor is Jen Dumont. She is a board member that attends our board meeting Zoom calls. She reports on the status of upcoming puzzle sets: how many are complete, how many are in progress, what challenges might lay ahead, and that sort of thing. If, for instance, the pipeline of upcoming puzzle sets is a little dry, she might work with Communications to put the word out that we’d like to hear from more puzzle authors. Jen doesn’t do all the editing alone. She round-robins with other editors, each working with an upcoming author on testing and refining a puzzle set, targeting just the right level of difficulty for Puzzled Pint.

E. Forney is in charge of communications monitors and posts on Twitter and Facebook, as well as puts out the monthly GC newsletter. If email arrives in the game control inbox, she’ll respond or get it to the correct person.

Adam Leibowitz handles City Ops. Local city GC might primarily know of him as the guy who sends out the nag emails if we’re near an event’s date and there’s no location info entered into the website yet. But his team also handles outreach with local GC, including email inquiries into starting Puzzled Pint in a city and spending time performing onboarding video calls when a city has enough critical GC mass to launch a new location.

Erin Kiselica manages Web Content. When the editors have signed off on a puzzle set, Erin and her team take that set and turn it into a set of formatted web pages. This includes the location puzzle and hints, the answer form, the author bio, the printable puzzles, and the solutions doc.

Brian Enigma is responsible for website operations. This is all the behind-the-scenes website stuff, such as maintenance, upgrades, and security. More recently, he’s been working with a contractor to scope, document, and develop a next-generation website for Puzzled Pint.

Matt Shields is our treasurer. He ensures we’ve filled out all the correct government paperwork each year for taxes and our non-profit status.

All of this is in service of our Local GC. Local GC are the face of Puzzled Pint. They organize city events, running them on the second Tuesday. They print and distribute puzzle packets and help teams out with hints and validating solutions. Cities in earlier time zones help identify puzzles that are unexpectedly difficult and communicate that to GC that haven’t yet started their event, to better prepare for hinting. They also collect attendance numbers and do the back-end data entry to get that info back to Headquarters.

All of these folks, from Local GC to HQ to Board are volunteers. Nobody is paid or otherwise compensated.