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Knox Makers has a community workshop made of many smaller, specialized areas within it. In order to more effectively manage those areas, the board of directors may appoint a Czar (or Czarina) for each area to advocate for the interests of that area. A full list of authorities, responsibilities, and actions reserved for the board are listed below.

Areas and Czars/Czarinas


Within their respective areas, each Czar or Czarina is empowered to:

  • design and implement layout of tools, work surfaces, and storage.
    • The ultimate goal of the layout of the work spaces is to create a place where members can show up and work immediately. When planning layouts, it is encouraged to think about how one might quickly begin work on a project.
  • design and implement organization and storage of supplies and small tools
    • It has been the experience of the board of directors that in as much as possible, everything should be immediately visible, and first order retrievable. Tools in tool boxes are hidden from view, and require everyone to remember where everything is stored. While it may work well at a personal workshop, it does not work well in a community workspace. Tool boxes quickly become a mess of junk drawers. Tools stored out of sight never get used. Small supplies often need to be grouped in boxes, and the recommended method is to use a transparent container that is clearly labeled.
  • design and implement appropriate, safe area lighting
    • Lighting within each zone may be repositioned as desired. Additional task lighting may be added when available.
  • assemble and manage ad hoc and persistent teams to perform intra-Zone tasks
    • It is not expected that each Czar or Czarina be required to perform all tasks in a given zone. There will often be many people who are engaged in the use of an area. The Czar or Czarina should find ways to build consensus with the stakeholders in an area, and coordinate their efforts to make these spaces better for everyone. This may include coordinating groups to build new tables, tools, fixtures, etc.
  • vet offered equipment and supplies based on utility, quality and demand
    • When we get offers of donated equipment or supplies, or offers of equipment for lease, the area Czar or Czarina will have the ultimate authority to decide to accept or reject the offer. This includes the decision on how to incorporate the offered equipment or supplies into the existing layout, storage, etc.
  • solicit and coordinate donations of equipment and supplies from businesses and individuals
    • If there are natural partnerships with businesses or individuals in the area, the Czar or Czarina will be the point of contact person to help coordinate that relationship. The Czar or Czarina is encouraged to keep in contact with the board of directors for items related to donations so that all proper tax notifications can be provided, if required.
  • manage Zone budget, if allocated.
    • As budgets become available for each area, it will be the responsibility of the area Czar or Czarina to prioritize how the funds will be directed. This includes the creation or expansion of an area-based store for supplies, the purchase of new small tools, replacing consumable items, or purchasing new equipment to expand the offerings of an area.
    • It is expected that each Czar or Czarina will provide a purchase requisition for approval to the board. It should include a complete bill of materials to be purchased, identify the vendor for each item, and a total cost of purchase.
  • offer classes
    • A Czar or Czarina is not expected to offer all classes on their own, but is encouraged to work with other people to teach workshops or classes that pertain to their zone.
    • The Czar or Czarina should coordinate with teachers to vet them and then collect information regarding scheduling the class, including class title, class description, class size (minimum and maximum), and ticket pricing (if applicable).


The main responsibilities of each Czar or Czarina are to:

  • maintain order and tidiness within the area.
    • This does not mean that each Czar or Czarina is expected to be the janitor for each section. Instead, they are empowered to encourage all members in the area to clean up correctly after using the area, and develop any guidelines required for that purpose. They should identify common failures in cleanliness, and identify ways to change the work flows of an area to prevent those issues from reoccuring.
  • provide area-specific support and guidance to other members within that zone.
    • When possible, provide guidance to members in their areas to ensure that they understand how best to use the tools and equipment.
    • They should determine which equipment requires training and/or authorization before use. They should coordinate stakeholders in the area to develop the training materials required for this equipment.
  • publish a public photo and profile on the Knox Makers website.
    • Each Czar or Czarina should be easily identifiable to the other members. They are expected to be a point of contact for their area among all the members.
  • advocate for Zone-related needs and desires of other members.
    • In addition to being a point of contact for each area, each Czar or Czarina should act to understand the needs of all the members who use the area, and integrate those needs into their decisions about layouts, supplies, etc.
  • coordinate with Board of Directors
    • Each Czar or Czarina should bring the concerns of each area to the board of directors. The board of directors can help with coordinating between areas, making changes to area boundaries, and understanding requirements for donations, sales, fund raisers, etc that may have impact on the non-profit designation of the organization.

Prohibited Actions

Each Czar or Czarina is not allowed to:

  • make any changes affecting other Zones, including changing walk paths in or adjacent to their zones.
    • For issues involving multiple areas, or walking paths, please coordinate with the board of directors so that all stakeholders can be included in the discussions.
  • appropriate or repurpose assets from another area.
    • As above, it is requested that they do not make changes that can impact multiple areas.
  • assume any obligation on behalf of Knox Makers, including promotion of sponsors.
    • Each Czar or Czarina has been granted authority by the board to make certain decisions internal to the organization, but this does not grant the ability to speak for the entire organization, or make any agreements on behalf of the organization.
  • erect additional partitions, create overhead obstructions, or obstruct areas near electrical panels.
    • There are fire code issues that must be addressed by the layout of each area, and certain modifications are not permissible per life safety codes. If these actions are requested, please contact the board of directors to discuss which options may or may not be permitted.