April Board of Director’s Meeting

MORE Board of Directors Meeting – April 16

 

 

 

Attendees:

 

MORE Board Members:

 

Ernie Rodriguez

Bob Caverly

Tom Howe

Carlos Alfaro

Steve Harper

Steve Dontigny – Executive Director

Guests:

Tom Newton

Rick Meyer

Tim O’Donnell

Board members not present –

Dave Magill

Mike Hillstron

Jeff Niner

 

Ernie Rodriguez opened the meeting with a discussion about his discussions with Mike Hillstrom and Dave Magill regarding  financials for the year and restricted funds balances.  Board members should have received the spreadsheets related to financials and restricted fund balances.  IMBA – will bill us for Steve DonTigny.

  • Financials – will be done on a monthly basis
  • Confirmed that Mike is ok with being Treasurer for three years

Bob Caverly – MoCo funds – no Schaefer funds deducted in the spreadsheets we received.  Will be in the next financials.

There was a motion to fund the request made by the new Maryland NICA league (AKA Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League – MICL) and a discussion.  The discussion focused on how to fund this, whether it will be a regular contribution and the need to fundraise to replace any funds expended on this.  Board members committed to fundraising to replace the funds if unrestricted funds were used.  Board members were also in agreement that this was important for the continued growth of the sport and for MORE membership.  The vote in favor of funding MICL for one year in the amount of $8,000 carried unanimously.

Ernie Rodriguez  – Family ride program manager is planning to recruit additional ride leaders and volunteers for Wakefield sMORE’s so she can focus on organizational development and growth.

Tom Newton – need MORE discovery rides, literally.

Ernie Rodriguez Fountainhead planning meeting – with NOVA parks for continuation of trail work on Bull Run Occoquan Trail.  Planning continues and we applied for grants to fund the needed work.  Ernie working with FCPA to name a trail for deceased member Marc Genberg.

Ernie Rodriguez – DC contingent – working to build bike facilities and possible pump track on Kingman Island.

Steve Dontigny

  • MoCo – marketing piece to the printer by the end of the month. Permit application process is underway.  Tent rentals are in process, food provider, volunteer coordinator and volunteer assignments.  May have EMT for a day.  Action item, contact Jason Hade to recruit first aid volunteers.
  • Working on Who is MORE? Steve Harper offered to assist.
  • Loudoun County – homeowners are interested in building a skills area for teens and tweens.
  • Leesburg – meeting to re-opening evergreen mills.
  • Meeting this week – city park – Natural and wooden features South Riding – near Dulles.

Carlos Alfaro

  • Spring Fling April 28th – Karl Liebert asked to make sure we updated the schedule on the Facebook and MORE webpage page with rides and events, he’s in charge of the grill! Rob Lowe has a good list of volunteers for the ride leaders, but maybe could use a few more.  Thanks to Tom Howe and his team of volunteers, the trail connection is open south of Accotink. Thanks to Cathy everything seems set with the location. Brad did a great job with the invites and facebook advertisements.  Ribbon cutting at 12:00 at the pumptrack.  Ernie will send a blast about it.

Brad Hawk – encouraged board members to sign up to lead rides on weekends.  Board members and volunteers are encouraged to sign-up to lead weekend rides with Brad.  Brad will coordinate post to Facebook and MORE calendar.

Steve Harper – Will take the action to get people on the schedule for board rides on the weekend.

Steve DonTigny  – Has the action to make sure board members have a list of people to call for fund raising.

Tom  Howe – Membership is at 1300 this month.  Tom continues to send email reminders to new and expiring members to drive membership renewals.

Bob Caverly – Sharepoint – who uses it?  Trying to figure out how much we’re using it.  Sharepoint in Office 365 account is the primary repository for MORE historical documents.  Discussion around social media used for groups and rides while MORE webpage is used for ride/event calendar, stakeholder and liaison documents.  These documents are outward facing for grant applications, stakeholder information and education.  MORE’s Office 365 Sharepoint account is the repository of MORE’s history and documents.

Ernie Rodriguez and Tom Howe – Will communicate the new IMBA Local changes and updates.

Bob Caverly and Tom Newton  —- took the action to organize a Schaefer Ride – first board ride/ Ribbon cutting.  With park people.  Plus Dan Hudson.

Tim O’Donnell (trail liaison for Emmitsburg trails)

–           Organizing a  Community Day

–           There is a possible RTP Grant Modification

–           Developing trail Community.

Tom Newton (Trail Liaison Patuxent River State Park Trails)

  • City of Gaithersburg may have funds available to help fund mountain biking infrastructure and may be interested in build trails. Members should unite to advocate the City of Gaithersburg build mountain bike infrastructure and possibly a BMX park.
  • Connecting Seneca – greenway – upper rock creek.

Bob Caverly

  • Schaeffer Farm White Loop has been significantly updated by Elevated Trail Design using MoCo Re-investment funds. Rider feedback is overwhelmingly positive. Two additional re-routes are in the works for Schaeffer Farm – one on Yellow (abandon field section before sign post 9) and one on White to move trail across the stream and onto side slope before signpost 2.

Pepco Trail – Groundbreaking was a success and excitement is building for a trail from Montgomery mall to the South Germantown soccerplex.

There was a general discussion about safety at trail heads and on trails.

  • Call 911 if there’s an emergency or something sketchy.
  • MORE can’t be responsible for security, but we should all report anything either by calling 911 or if it’s not an emergency the appropriate park/local authority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2018 Board meeting minutes

Attendees

Ernest Rodriguez – President
Bob Caverly – Vice President
Dave Magill – MD Advocacy Director
Tom Howe – Membership Director
Jeff Niner – VA Advocacy Director
Steve DonTigny – Executive Director
Steve Harper – Communications Director

Not Present

Carlos Alfaro – Activities Director
Michael Hillstrom – Treasurer

Guests

Jonathan Kidwell – Trail Boss – Non-Voting
Rob Lowe – Assistant Ride Coordinator
Jon Posner – Maryland Interscholastic Cycling Association
Fred Powell – Maryland Interscholastic Cycling Association

Jon Pozner  – Fred Powell – NICA

  • New sponsors:  Kelly Benefits – Silver Level sponsor, Squirt Lube, Joe’s Bike Shop
  • Grant application – M&T Bank
  • Working with UMD – Public Health school
  • Leader’s summit this weekend from across Maryland
  • Request – $8000 for the first year.
    • For trailer, finish arch – MORE branding on both.  
    • On race days they would like to co-brand the Saturday rides as sMORE’s ride.  This would give MORE good visibility among new riders.
    • They would also push our messages on  Social media, e-mail and press releases.
    • They would encourage us to do member recruitment at our races/events.  

Ernie Rodriguez

  • Action – get monthly reports, cash flow and operating
  • Action – get restricted fund monthly balance
  • Fundraising – We should all be actively fundraising at every opportunity.  

Jeff Niner

  • got no response to letters that he sent out.

Dave Magill – $3,000 from Pepco – for liability insurance premium increase.  

  • Frederick team – going after large Maryland historical association grant.  
  • RTP for river’s edge grant was signed.  Must spend before getting reimbursed – can do partial.
  • Action – Steve – ask NICA fund raiser if she might be able to help us be more strategic.

Rob Lowe

  • has a line on a potential donor.

MD Trail reports

Dave Magill

  1. Brunswick – River’s Edge -Procurement should go in this month for 1 and half miles of trail
  2. Carlo used a portion of his special purpose funds to have Elevated Trail Designs to adjust the trail design
  3. MHA – Grant request – Watershed team submitted the request in late Feb
  4. Looking into to options to help Tim with Emmitsburg grants
  5. MoCo- close to opening a new park – Oak Ridge, conservation park – Damascus.  1-3 mile trail with technical features – Mountain bike focused.
  6. PePCO trail – remaining piece on DNR property.  DNR supported a proposal to eliminate a road section by building multi use trail along Seneca Creek west wide.  Ribbon Cutting is May 17th.
  7. Schaefer – MORE entered a contract with Elevated to reroute trail.  Should be done by the end of March. Four other reroutes in approval process – in Schaefer and SRT.  Total of 2.5 miles of additional trail. Getting rid of bad trail and adding really good trail. Using MoCo reinvestment funds
  8. Patapsco – kicked off fun series.  Good project to extend the ridge trail all the way to the parking lot.  
  9. Patuxent – south end.  We have been encouraged to hand build as many trails as possible and reasonable.  Could be up to 10 miles.
  10. Davel Powell – tremendous supporter of MORE and multi-use trails.  Actively supporting Patuxent, Schaeffer and opening Seneca Creek greenway to bikes.  
  11. Bacon Ridge – First Liaison training – very good experience.  Everyone including seasoned trail building experts learned something new.  
  12. Steve Harper reports that he will lead a ride in Severn Run on the five miles of recently  signed trails by July.
  13. Rosaryville – big bridge is gone.  Another one is gone. Bridges are a problem.  

VA Trail Reports

Jeff Niner

  1. New Liaison – Rob Molinas volunteered aas co-liaison for Fountainhead Regional Park.  
  2. Another person – Benji Jones.  Jeff has not yet met him is volunteering to help as trail liaison.
  3. Fairfax County Sports Tourism Committee – Ernie put together a white paper.  4 phase improvement – county seeking approval for $690K for beginner trail, pump track, retail and pavilion at Fountainhead.   
    1. Paul Gilbert – on Fairfax county sport tourism commission.
    2. Ernie explained comparables, Riverfest, MoCo, etc.  Was asked what can you do to get 2,000 people in a single event?  In the past a NOVA epic wasn’t possible – seems like conditions are changing for the better.
  4. June 23 Specialized, Trek demo day at Meadowood.  Spokes etc. sponsor. Trek trucks will be there.
  5. Discussion about chainsaws – land managers to decide policy and approval process for use if at all.
  6. Steve DonTigny –  Loudoun Co. Met with Parks/Recs/Open Spaces board.  Will present to them this month. Purcelville wants to develop some space.  
  7. Announcement – DC Government will spend 4 million developing Kingman Island at Anacostia waterfront – RFK stadium.  Sports field. Natural surface trails on Kingman Island. DCMTB crew leading the charge along with Gearing-Up, REI, MORE, Student Conservation Corp.  
    1. Potomac conservancy – land trust, own property.  Have volunteers who want to help with trails. Have land in Hancock MD.  Have millions of dollars worth of land.
    2. Youth bike coop – Sterling Stone director.  Underserved community. Teaching them to build trails.  Would like to send a couple of people to liaison training.
  8. Tom – Working with Julie Childers to open CCT trail from Brookfield pump track to CCT.   
  9. Rob – Bike doctor shed race 11/12 August to benefit Frederick Watershed trails.

Bob Caverly

  • Track it forward.  Costs a lot of money.  Pay for each e-mail user.  All registered users are costs.  Most people aren’t entering their own hours.  Phil VanWerkoven will clean up the database. They will figure out who is doing the logging. Pare down to the ones who do manage users.  Would like to have a system for e-mailing about workdays that doesn’t cost so much.

Tom Howe

  1. Spring Fling (attempt to reinvent the NOVA epic)  will be Saturday – April 28. Trails for Youth, Julie Childers – will do a ribbon cutting at Brookfield park.  Kathy Ridel is coordinating with the pool. Want to do a number of rides, including with members of the MORE board and others.  Pool is a mile and a half from the Brookfield pump track. Plan is to bring your own sides and shareable eats. MORE lead rides will go to Accotink and Wakefield.  Riders may choose self-guided rides to Laurel Hill or Lake Fairfax Park on their own.
  2. MoCo Epic – Registration live.  Same fee structure, same general routes.  Trail work discounts. Use bike reg. And constant comment to advertise the discount.
  3. Steve DonTigny. Making payments for permits and various vendors, park fees, etc.  
    1. Needs to meet with the team – more one on ones.  
    2. Working on list of aid station sponsors.  

Bob Caverly

  • Communication infrastructure.  Trying to get connected to Jason Ashmore and Martin Fernandez.  Need connection to the systems. Wants an IT inventory. Then wants to put together a comprehensive plan back-up plan for operational support.  

Steve Harper

  • Need to agree on a message.  Ernie/Dave – let’s start by updating “Who is More?”
  • Responses from his first foray into asking a small Facebook group in the Annapolis area – “what would you like from MORE?”
  • Teen Rides
  • Advanced Trails
  • MTB only uni-directional trail
  • Semi organized Epic rides – Saturday Rides
  • Kid/Family rides – east of MoCo
  • Bike Helmet Donations
  • Beginner Skills Clinics
  • All Weather Trails – Gravel
  • Friendly local rides (other than epics)
  • Organized overnight rides – Beginner bike packing.

Dave Magill

  • Who is MORE – one page.  Distribution. Tom should send it to members.  Bike shops should have copies.

Steve DonTigny

  • Where is MORE.  Map. Working on it.  

January 2018 Board meeting minutes

MORE January 2018 BoD’s Transition Meeting Minutes

January 7, 2018, 10:00AM-3:00PM

Offices of Competitive Power Ventures (Dave Magill) in Silver Spring, MD

In attendance

Tom Howe – Current Membership Director

Jeff Niner – Current VA Advocacy Director

Bob Caverly – Incoming Vice President

Dave Magill – Current MD Advocacy Director

Ernest Rodriguez – Outgoing/Incoming President

Steve DonTigny – Executive Director

Greg Dwyer – Outgoing Operations Director

Rob Lowe – Outgoing Vice President

Steve Harper – Incoming Communications Director

Guests

Jonathan Kidwell – Current Trail Boss – Non-Voting

Brad Hawk – Ride Program Coordinator – Non-Voting

BoD’s not present:

Carlos Alfaro – Current Activities Director

Aaron Richter – Outgoing Treasurer

Mike Hillstrom – Incoming Treasurer

 

Introductions: introductions and brief biography by each person in attendance

Positions and org chart  shared with the board.  Certain updates and corrections to the chart were discussed and a revised chart will be circulated by Ernie.  The Board will also work to define and finalize activities for the VP and Communications director.

Feedback from outgoing board members:

Rob – Get feedback at events, trail work days, the discovery series was a very positive addition

Greg – Board members are ambassadors for MORE – Hear, listen and represent MORE at all times.  The November 2107 strategic planning process was beneficial – continue that on an annual basis along with member input—Board should be working w/member input to move the organization forward.  While MORE is 100% a mountain bike club, we need to stay connected with other trail user groups—runners, equestrians, etc.  Organization will only thrive and grow if we work with others in the trail user community.  More legitimate if we speak with a bigger voice.

Ernie – need to make sure board members schedule meetings second Monday of the month from 7 to 9 PM and are present in person.  Continue to build inclusive community by reach out to members, riders and other trail users.  Listening to our community is vital, however does not mean we’re going to take action on every comment, we need to make sure we consider member needs and overall effect on mountain biking community.

Current Business

Dave Magill – Website – who will be responsible for operations of our website and functionality of the website including outages, performance, content and email distribution list?  How will this work going forward?

The discussion identified that there are two factors – systems and their functionality and content.  Steve Harper will work with a group to address content and how to communicate.  Bob Caverly will look into our technical challenges and report back to the board on what we need to do to ensure reliability.  Membership management is a huge workload and consideration should we separate from IMBA.  Action item: Bob to review MORE website functionality.

Treasurer Term – table the discussion about timeframe until we are able to further discuss with Michael Hillstrom.  Discussed possibly including other treasurer candidates as assistant treasurer as this arrangement has worked well in the past.  Board agreed.  Action item: Ernie to reach out to Mike prior to March BoD’s meeting.

Bike Shop Liaison Program:

General discussion Steve D, Brad, Tom and Steve H will work on defining and organizing this.

Some ideas:  Get bike shops in a room to discuss what they need from MORE.  Have board members talk to bike shop owners in their area.  Engage both Steve DonTigny and a volunteer to energize this effort.  Mike Klasmeier offered to host a ride and meeting with MORE board members to get conversations started regionally.  Action item: Steve DonTigny to work with Matt Lavine on Bike Shop Liaison Program.

Financial – Dave Magill

Dave worked on the budget with Aaron and Ernie.  Dave presented the 2018 budget in absence of Aaron.  Presentation included revenue, expenses, individual (Most Accountable Person) line items, restricted funds and overall bottom line for 2018.  Roughly half of our funds in the bank are in restricted funds for individual trail projects.  We also discussed recurring revenue and one-time expenses such as the 25th anniversary gala.  Restricted fund balances are roughly off by about $18,000 which came in at the end of the year which will be included in subsequent statements.  We remain financially stable with about $250k bank balance split between operations and restricted funds.  A major discussion point is salary for MORE’s executive director.  We recognize the positive impact having an executive director is having on our success over the past four plus years.  We currently have a SFF grant in place to cover any shortfall in salary due to membership revenue share and monthly expense.  The IMBA partial funding ended January 1, 2018 and there are some remaining funds left on the SFF grant, but not enough to cover all of 2018.  Since our executive director is also the MoCo Epic event director, the 2018 budget contemplates that executive director compensation in 2018 will be split roughly equally between the SFF grant, MoCo Epic proceeds, and general MORE revenues.  MORE modified our Chapter Charter agreement with IMBA two years ago in which MORE is completely responsible for funding the executive director starting in 2018.  A major concern is that MORE may become an employer and all the administrative requirements this brings about.  Who will do the work?  We have currently have sufficient funding for the position, however we do want to make sure we retain remaining grant funds.  Action item: Ernie will work on an accounting of grant determine what remains to cover executive director funding, as well as confirming IMBA will continue to be the employer of record for our executive director.

Budget line item discussion included:

Tools and other trail costs should go through the appropriate funding mechanisms – this will be covered during upcoming regional trail liaison training sessions.  Action item: Dave, Jeff and Johnathan will incorporate tool purchase process in liaison training sessions. Trail boss can authorize some things, but others should be funded in the appropriate channel.  Trail liaisons may apply for grants from the General Trail Fund though their MAP by completing a “General Trail Fund Application” located on the MORE website under About and Documents.

The Frederick watershed team is currently working a fundraising campaign and doing well.

We should make sure that people understand how much member money goes into trails or to compensate MORE’s executive director to push things forward.  No beer money – that’s donated.

Liaisons should know money is available and one of MORE’s major functions is to make it easier to get money into the hands of those building and maintaining bike trails.

There is a “most accountable person” program that ensures there are two person authorizations for all expenses.  Internal controls are important.

MORE’s 2018 Budget was approved in December to ease transition for incoming board members.

Budget can be amended if a need arises during the year.

Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell

Continues to coordinate and post trail work days on the MORE calendar.  Liaisons are encouraged to cross post trail work days to individual Facebook and other social media.

The 2018 trail tread waiver has been updated and sent to trail liaisons for ad hoc work with permission of the land manager.  Trail tread is designed for those who are likely to work on their own – Liaisons and senior trail workers.

Workday waiver – every volunteer is required to sign a waiver for each workday per our liability insurance requirements.  The Land Manager waivers in MD and VA are not the same as a MORE waiver and may not be substituted for a MORE waiver.  Waiver must be sent to trailboss@more-mtb.org for centralized filing by either scanning or taking a picture.  Also, remember the trail work is not complete until hours are reported in Track-it-Forward.  Track-it-Forward is our tracking mechanism for reporting hours worked and rides lead internally and to our stakeholders including land managers, grantors and general communications.

Board members, please log the time you spend with the board and volunteering by Jan. 15th as we have asked our liaisons to do.

We will be conducting a tools survey with our liaisons again this year.  Depending on how long it takes to complete, we’d like to integrate the survey results with our Winter Membership Meeting awards.

We had some discussion about the value of our calendar on our website.  Liaisons are encouraged to use as many mediums as possible to advertise trail work days, rides, events and social gathering.  The MORE website and calendar are great repositories for documents, marketing and informational information for members, visitors, stakeholders, land managers, grantors and partners.

Discussion – All

Ernie commented to all board members, please ask for help if you need it in supporting each other and our great volunteer base.  No one should feel like they have to do everything by themselves, ask for help finding volunteers or with completion of assignments.

Communications—Steve Harper & Greg Dwyer

Website and External/Internal Communications Discussion- how do we manage the website and our social media platforms?  What’s it’s value?  What do members want?  How do they use it?  Archive, Legal, Donations?  Yes, website is important as a repository of information, ride calendar, member and stakeholder views.  Most if not all information required for grant applications is available on MORE’s website.

Steve Harper, Steve DonTigny, Bob, Brad, Ernie and Martin will be the committee to address technology and content management/messaging.  Martin has already created a communication plan we all need to review and engage with.  Keep in mind we need to be customer centric.

We need to coordinate communications assignments for and from the board.

The MORE calendar, Meetup and Facebook are used to advertise rides.  Discussion about tools to automate or integrate various media.  Action item: Steve Harper and Bob Caverly will look into available tools.

Martin Fernandez’s contributions with Throwback Thursdays acknowledged as popular communication technique—it has assisted in educating newer, younger members about the early days of MORE.

Trails Committee – Dave Magill

MORE has a trails committee designed to provide guidance and support to trail liaisons.  The committee is composed of both Advocacy directors, Dave, Jeff along with Steve DonTigny, Ernie, Todd Bauer, Eric Crawford, Jonathan and Larry Cautilli.  Trail liaisons may apply for General Trail Fund grants of any size. There is currently $18k in this fund that is unallocated.  The form is on the MORE website under “about” and “documents”.  The Trail Building Funds Policy is also available on the MORE website.  Please note MORE BoD approval is required for contracts in excess of $10,000 or more.  Liaisons can use their restricted funds however they chose in support of their trail system; however  MORE does use a checks and balances approach by requiring approval by the Most Accountable Person before making payment from a restricted fund.  Liaisons know to route payment request through their MAP.

Membership – Tom Howe

Workload consist of monthly emails to lapsed/expired and expiring members.  The listing is obtained from IMBA’s CiVi CRM.

New and renewing members receive welcome emails from both IMBA and MORE based on joining or renewal.  IMBA’s email connects new or renewing members with MORE, advertises value of mountain biking community and discount programs.  The MORE email welcomes joining or renewing members to our community, points them to rides/activities on our webpage, thanks them for enabling “Riding Bikes and Building Trails” in a social environment.

Discussion about how to renew or join included links to https://win.imba.com/join?chapter=200383 and optionally https://win.imba.com/join?chapter=Mid-Atlantic+Off-Road+Enthusiasts+(MORE).

We are currently trying to send anyone who donates $250 or more a pair of MORE socks and while they last anyone who donates more than $1,500 a MORE branded t-shirt in addition to the pair of socks.

MD Advocacy – Dave Magill

Frederick Watershed – downhill trail near Hamburg road being surveyed/flagged by the liaison team.  The Frederick team is hoping to raise between $30-40,000 for cross country and downhill trails in addition to the $30,000 RTP grant.  The final trail plan has yet to be approved by all parties.  City of Frederick owns the land and MD DNR manages the property.

Patapsco  – 3 or 4 miles of trails this year.  The Patapsco crew continues to set an example for the rest of MORE to follow in building community and garnering support for trail building and events.

Bacon Ridge – Phase 3 will complete 11 miles of trail.  Mike Klasmeier is doing a great job with volunteer recruitment, community building and trail building.

Severn Run – 5-6 miles existing, but not yet marked or ridden.  2,000 acres with lots of promise.  These are exciting opportunities for newly appointed liaison Steve Harper, who expects to open the existing trails this spring.

River’s edge – planned to become a race venue for NICA.  RTP MOU should be signed next week.  We will have to meet Federal Acquisition Regulations to be reimbursed for expenses.

Fairland – a large new skills park in process.  Planking machine to make wooden features.  Bermed trails, skinnys, Trails Conservancy (Austin Steo), PG and MoCo County, MORE working together.

Schaeffer Farms, Seneca Creek – Bob and Dave met with the land manager  – $10+k in planned improvements and fixes.  Positive news – Seneca greenway trail is currently hiker only.  MORE and land manager are discussing possibly changing certain sections to include maintenance and access by MORE.

Pepco trail (to connect Shaffer/MoCo Epic start location and Muddy Branch.  Five miles of new trails along the Pepco power lines)- as soon as it’s warm.  County building it – MORE will maintain.  Wetlands permits next year probably.

VA advocacy – Jeff Niner

Mt. Vernon park – permission to ride there.  Safety maintenance permitted, but local neighbors have done work already.  Everybody is positive about the trails in Mount Vernon Park.  We are currently waiting for a modification to the master plan to allow mountain bikes on Mount Vernon trails.

Paul Springs  – possible trails, but lots of local (Not In My Backyard) opposition

Bull-Run-to-Occoquan Trail (BROT) – positive response, however lots of work to be done.  Comprehensive trail appraisal due January 15, 2018 to identify additional trail needs.  MORE is in need a liaison for BROT.

All other parks report normal activity.

DC Advocacy – Steve DonTigny

Fort Dupont – No new trail work on the horizon- just clean it up and build community.  They do have scheduled rides and are working with NPS on additional MTB facilities/opportunities.

Rock Creek Park – We need to reach out to Joe Frisch and Joel Gwadz to an update of current advocacy.

Loudon County – Steve D.  engaged leaders of the ride community.  Will meet with Parks and Recs this coming week.  Restoration of the evergreen mills area under discussion.

Purceville – Jay Peletier is the new trail liaison and working to engage community, MORE and IMBA in establishing trails in the Purceville Watershed.  This could be the new Frederick.

Ride leader – Brad Hawk

Discovery rides back on for 2018.

Q:  Schedule a year ahead?  Or do it ad-hoc?

A: plan a year internally but put it out on a quarterly basis.  Monthly schedule tabled for next BoD’s meeting.  Action item: each board member will sign-up to lead a weekend ride.

Committee:  Steve DonTigny, Bob Caverly, Brad Hawk, Steve Harper  to plan rides and expand the MORE ride program especially on weekends.  It is a very important part of our mission so we should do it better.

Events – Ernie reporting for Carlos

Winter membership meeting – Coming up February 3rd at Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Center, same location as last year.  Voting complete on awards and Carlos will work on awards.

“NOVA Mini Epic” – Place holder April 28 or 29 at public swimming pool between Wakefield and Accotink.  Plans are to lead rides through Wakefield and/or Accotink or optionally let riders  make their own epic.  Need to finalize the name for this event.  Discussion centered on removing “epic” from the name.

Summer picnic – will be at Seneca Creek State Park like last year, June 2, more to follow.

Fall camping trip – looking forward to another fantastic event this year

MOCO Epic 2018– looking for another fantastic year

Strategic Planning – All

Question, did we decide to invite other trail users to join MORE?  No, we want to stay mountain bike focused.  We would love to have other groups donate time, energy and funds to our trails and we’ll definitely work closely with other user groups to advocate for and expand trails.

IMBA Local – All

Ernie sent out the new IMBA Local presentation with meeting read-a-heads.

High level bullets are:

Organizations select level of support and affiliation; Region, Chapter, Affiliate, Supported Organization

All revenue comes to local organization

All services become al-a-cart, paying only what you need

Discount for Regional affiliation, cost goes to $12 per member processing instead of $15

MORE would need to associate with 5 additional organizations like Richmond MORE to become a region.  A key incentive to regionalize is member fulfillment price drop from $15 per person to $12.  We are already doing most of the other requirements to become a region like networking and trail building.  New requirements would be to officially unite as a region, meet quarterly, report activity to IMBA including feedback.  Discussion included questions about current contract and clauses.  Specifically, what are the abandonment clauses from either MORE or IMBA.  Due to time constraints, we decided to table discussion to allow time to examine contract and the new MOU.

MORE working to execute the new IMBA Local MOU covering member services and employment of executive director.  The MOU can be terminated by MORE on short notice.  The Board will consider longer term options and relationship with IMBA during the course of 2018 and with member survey data and consultation.

Thank you for voting

MORE Board of Directors – Election Results

Thank you for voting for the MORE Board of Director Elections for the 2018 – 2020 terms. Successful candidates are:

  • President: Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
  • Vice President: Bob Caverly
  • Treasurer: Michael Hillstrom
  • Director of Communications: Steve Harper

Terms will become effective during MORE’s open transition meeting January 7 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Please take a moment to congratulate these awesome volunteers for taking time to serve on MORE’s Board of Directors.

MORE would also like to extend considerable gratitude to all those who stepped up to run for a position on the board and to all the members who voted.

 

December 2017 Board Meeting Minutes + November Activity Reports

Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting

Wunder Garden, Washington DC

December 11, 2017

7:00PM-9:18PM

Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  5. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Steve DonTigny, MORE Executive Director
  2. Jonah Meyers, Assistant Treasurer
  3. Ryan Delaney, member
  4. Steve Harper, Trail Liaison
  5. Austin Steo, Trail Liaison

 

Item #1: VA Trails Update (all)

Loudon County Trails (Steve):  Evergreen Mills Park.  Surrounds the county landfill.  Adjacent to additional parkland the county wants to see developed.  An opportunity for MORE to build trails and show the type of work we can do.

Mount Vernon (Carlos):  The County is sponsoring a “walk the park” project this upcoming Friday, December 8th (Carlos will attend).  There is an opportunity for MORE to advocate and promote our work there since the trails were built and maintained by MORE.

Fountainhead (Ernie):  Some internal confusion within MORE regarding changes to Fountainhead trails.  This reroute was conducted as an official trail work day with input from the trail liaison.  MORE supports trail liaisons, work days and sustainable trails.  Additional training is needed for liaisons and staff so we can provide quality, sustainable products.  MORE can do a better job educating and communicating trail reroutes and this should help to avoid the confusion we recently faced with Fountainhead.

ActionJeff and Dave to produce input for trails liaison meeting.  Eric, Mike and Joe Whitehair ready to conduct work-days training session. 

Item #2: MD Trails Update (Dave)

Bacon Ridge:  Mike K. working on Phase III, which could be an additional eight miles beyond the current six miles of trail.

Severn Run–a MD Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Park: Worked w/Steve Harper, new liaison.  Approximately 5-7 miles of existing trails that could be connected w/no road.  Steve is working on developing a signage program, organized rides, workdays, and requests to DNR for re-routes and trail additions.  Focus on a beginner-friendly trails system.

RTP Grants Status:  MD State Highway Administration (SHA) is being audited by the Federal Government/US Dept. of Transportation. MORE is having difficulty and slowdowns in getting our RTP grants approved and finalized by MD SHA.

Ryan Delaney.: Same issues w/grants on the VA side.  VA is retroactively applying constraints to the grants process.  There may not be a CY18 grants process in VA.

Austin Steo: The Recreational Trail Program (RTP) is a federally funded program administered by individual states. Maryland’s current slowdown in administering the program results from an internal review of how to more accurately follow the federal guidelines, which seem more tailored to much larger projects than the rather small awards typically awarded to Maryland recipients.

Brunswick:  selected by NICA as a future race venue. MD SHA has yet to sign the 2016 $30K grant MOU to allow procurement to begin for the Brunswick trail expansion.

MoCo: Dave met w/Dan Hudson to discuss improvements to Seneca Greenway trail to potentially allow mountain bikes on the section next to Game Preserve Road.  Also looking at improvements to Schaeffer Farms trails.

Item #3 Elections Update (Rob, reading message from Brad Hawk)

Voting will open Wednesday, Dec 13th and close on December 24th.  Finalizing the candidates this evening.

New Board members will be the announced Friday 29 December.

Item #4:  Board Transition Meeting (Ernie)

Meeting will take place in Silver Spring, MD on Sunday, January 7th from 10AM-4PM.  Dave Magill will host at his office.  New and current board members will attend and staff is encouraged to attend.  All MORE Board meetings, including transition meetings, are always open to members.

Item # 5: Winter Membership Meeting (Carlos)

Meeting is February 3rd, 6PM-9PM in Silver Spring at the Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Facility (same location as last year).  Awards—will we give a Scott Scudamore award this year? For the Scudamore award, we need to have serious justification.  The Board votes on the awards for the Winter Membership meeting. Action: Carlos will work on actual awards, categories, and will work w/the Board to finalize by December 25th. Also, Carlos will inform the Board at the Transition Meeting the categories and whom the awards will go to.  The challenge and ultimate vision is to move award voting from the Board to the membership.  Board votes b/c so few members actually vote for award categories and individuals. Potluck format.  Volunteers for set-up and clean-up.  Two hours for set-up (4PM), need to be out by 11PM.  Action:  Board to vote before December 25th.

Item #6: Action Items From November 2017 Strategic Retreat (All)

Board reviewed the action items from the November retreat.

 

Membership

  1. Jeff Niner and Dave Magill will work w/their respective trail liaisons to discuss improved signage for our trails.Ryan Delaney will work w/MTB Project to get more synced-up on improving signage.  IN PROCESS
  2. Tom will continue reaching out to new members w/specific events and will work w/in current MORE membership to identify individuals willing to assist him to organize happy hours, rides, meet-ups, work days, clinics, etc. for new members.  IN PROCESS
  3. Ernie, Rob, and Jonah will work on a survey for membership. Membership survey: could we do a focus group or have trail liaisons interview/connect w/individual members?  COMPLETE:  Survey will be sent out to membership in 2nd/3rd week of January.
  4. Ryan and Carlos will reach out to the gravity community to organize an event sponsored by MORE in 2018.IN PROCESS
  5. Can we get someone to assist Martin w/the Archivist/Historian function?  IN PROCESS

MORE’S Organization Structure

  1. Greg will work w/the Board to develop specific duties for the new Board “Director of Communications” position to replace the current “Operations Director.”  GREG WILL UPDATE THE OPERATIONS DIRECTOR POSITION DESCRIPTION ON MORE’S WEB PAGE.

Web, Email, and Other IT services used by MORE (Constant Contact, Track it Forward, Website, etc.)

  1. Should we put out a position description for an intern?  Specifically, to get more of our trails into MTB project and also develop a business model.  Jonah will lead with support from Ernie and Dave. IN PROCESS

MoCo 2017 Debrief and Plans for 2018 MoCo

  1. Steve will meet w/the MoCo Committee week of 18 December to discuss 2017 epic and plan for 2018 epic. IN PROCESS.

MORE Communication

  1. Rob, Greg, and Tom have action to push out next Trail Head news by Thanksgiving.  Rob will assign tasks to Board and staff via email for next Trail News.  BEHIND SCHEDULE.  BOARD AGREED TO PUSH NEXT TRAIL NEWS TO Q1 OF 2018. 

Community Building

  1. Trails Liaison Guide. Motion passed to re-circulate it to liaisons, Board members, staff, and members. Dave, Jeff, and Jonathan to email Trails Liaison Guide before 7 January 2018 Board meeting.

MORE’S Ride Program(s)

  1. Carlos and other Board members should be directing emails to Family Ride Program Coordinator and specific trail liaisons to lead rides. Focus is now on 2018 rides.  Looking to have one MORE Discovery Ride per month starting in spring until late fall 2018.  IN PROCESS

Fundraising and Sponsorship (Jonah)

  1. Jonathan to explore ways to reach-back to corporations for donations and sponsorships when they reach out to MORE for volunteer work days and projects. IN PROCESS

Miscellaneous Actions

  1. MORE’S Spring Ride event—last week of April 28/29, 2018.   Wakefield, Accotink, and possibly Lake Fairfax ride: Adults, kids, groups, etc.  It will be a four to five-hour event modeled on MORE’s Summer Meeting ride.  Carlos to work on organizing this event. IN PROCESS
  2. New Communications Director will also be responsible for following up/tracking action items and will report to the Board during the monthly Board meeting. IN PROCESS
  3. Social Media: Greg, with input from the Board and MORE staff, will draft a social media policy for review by the board for the December Board meeting.  IN PROCESS
  4. Government Relations:Continue the OA model that Jonah and Ryan have established.  Continue working w/the VA mountain bike alliance. Dave Magill will reach-out to MD clubs to gauge interest in forming regional group to reduce membership processing fees and enable regional support model proposed with IMBA’s new chapter program.  Dave Magill, Jeff, Jonah, and Ryan D. will work together on leading MORE’s government relations work.  IN PROCESS   
  5. Strategic Partnerships: Action:  Dave Magill, Jeff Niner, and Steve Harper to organize a survey to liaisons before the spring 2018 trail liaisons meeting.

Item #7: (Budget)

Board will finalize MoCo reinvestment figures by end of December.  Action:  Dave will circulate final numbers by December 15 and request vote from Board by Monday 18 December.

Item #8: IMBA Wilderness Position–Sustainable Trails Coalition (Ernie)

A lot of discussion on this topic among members and Board.  MORE’s geographic footprint does not cover “Wilderness” areas in our jurisdiction; they are in PA and Shenandoah, VA.  It was the sense of the Board that IMBA’s message was not at all effectively communicated to members and member organizations.  Ernie has been contacted by several IMBA chapters and is listening to MORE member comments.  The Board agreed to further discuss if a formal response is warranted to IMBA and what form that response will take in addition to some type of outreach to MORE members who have shown concern w/IMBA’s position.

Item #9:  Miscellaneous Business/Issues

Austin Steo asked how to make the MORE website the hub for mountain bike information in the MD/VA/DC area? Role of the MORE site and social media to be addressed in our communication strategy and actions.

*The next MORE Board meeting will be held January 7, 2018 from 10AM-4PM in Silver Spring, MD.    

November 2017 Activities for the December Report

President – Ernest Rodriguez

  1. Attended Land Manager recognition event for Frederick Watershed Trail Liaisons and Team
  2. Purchased MORE flags and EZ-up frame and cover
  3. Completed REI grant status report – Due December 2017
  4. Worked with Dave Magill on IMBA Ride Center application and visit
  5. Provided funding reports to Bacon Ridge and Patuxent Dig-In teams
  6. Social media communications; elections, Running on trails, Fountainhead, Wilderness
  7. Worked on membership survey – ready to send out upon approval by BoD’s
  8. Submitted application and fees for 2018 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) funding for MORE
  9. Completed and distributed Silver Spoke award category survey to BoD, ED, Ride Coordinator, Trail Boss and Assistant Treasurer
  10. Created Emmitsburg donation page
  11. Worked with Martin on new trails mapping interface for trail information/descriptions/downloadable maps
  12. Collaborative work with Fairfax County Park Foundation –
  13. Collaborative work with Cub Run Stream Valley volunteer group – advertise for FCPA volunteer position
  14. Set-up trail walk through with FCPA at Mount Vernon Park from 10 – 12 December 15

Executive Director – Steve DonTigny

  1. Transform I 66 Public Meeting
  2. Loudoun County PROS meeting with Mark Novak
  3. CTC Trails Symposium
  4. IMBA All Staff calls
  5. Evergreen Mills Park Trails assessment walk thru
  6. MTB LoCo meeting, Erik S and Phil Rohrer
  7. PWC Meeting with Supervisor Lawson-Rollins Ford Park public meeting
  8. Webinars
  9. -MTB eBike Land Manager’s Handbook
  10. -Build a Sustainable trail that lasts 100yrs
  11. Bikenetic CX event
  12. PHTA calls
  13. Web/FB communications, updates, Events/Calendar postings
  14. Gtown shed re-stocking

Vice President – Rob Lowe

No input provided

Treasurer – Aaron Richter

  1. November bookkeeping

Operations – Greg Dwyer

  1. Various Social media postings throughout the month
  2. Attended November MORE Board Retreat
  3. Drafted and posted November Board meeting minutes and Strategic Planning minutes to webpage and FB page.
  4. Drafted Communications Director duties and cleared w/Board
  5. New Board recruitment emails

MD Trail Advocacy – Dave Magill

  1. Met with Steve Harper to review the trails at Severn Run, help develop action plan to upgrade and promote them
  2. Working to roll out trail building training sessions in 2018 led by liaisons
  3. Fundraising emails for IMBA Dig In campaign for Patuxent
  4. Helped organize Cabin John Discovery ride (cancelled due to snow and wet trails)
  5. Negotiating/marking up trail maintenance agreement for the Pepco trail with MoCo Parks
  6. Field review with Dan Hudson of Schaeffer and Seneca Greenway Clopper to 355 for possible professional upgrades
  7. Frederick watershed trail work, and attended City of Frederick lunch to recognize and award the MORE watershed liaison team

VA Advocacy – Jeff Niner

No input provided

Activities Director – Carlos Alfaro

No input provided

Member Representative – Tom Howe

  1. Membership emails and outreach
    1. December email reminder to renew for lapsed and expired members
    2. Thank you emails to each renewing and new member
    3. Working with Ernie to clean-up the membership rolls
    4. NOTE: I’ve discovered that I can email from our Office 365 Outlook Online account up to 500 recipients per email
      1. This makes it much easier to send out the reminder to renew for lapsed and expired memberships
      2. More details on the limits may be found here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/exchange-online-limits.aspx#RecipientLimits
  • This should not replace our other methods of communication (e.g. Constant Contact or Sending from CiviCRM)
  1. New Member Outreach
    1. Working on a plan to solicit help from our different regions
    2. Ideas include
      1. Happy Hour and New Member Rides rotated across our different regions
      2. Piggy back on existing rides and events
    3. November BoD Retreat

Jonah Meyers:  Assistant Treasurer

  1. OA DMV emails to legislators
  2. OA DMV ride/meeting
  3. Woodstock Takeover ride leading
  4. Fairland trail work
  5. Donations tracking
  6. BoD recruiting emails

Brad Hawk:  MORE Ride Coordinator

  1. -Trail work at Accotink
  2. -Set up MORE Board Nominations via Facebook / MORE Website (nominations close today)
  3. Voting will be open on the MORE Website on Wednesday and run till December 24.
  4. -Emailed each of the 7 candidates who submitted a nomination and short personal bio for the open board positions…. candidates as of noon today –
  5. President- Ernie
  6. VP – Rob Lowe 
  7. Treasurer – Mike Hillstrom, Adam Wegner, Mike Stoll
  8. DOC – Steve Harper, Jonah Myers

Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell

No input provided

Letter to IMBA regarding IMBA’s position on H.R. 1349

MORE (the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Inc.) is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) organization. TAX ID: 54-1691373

PO Box 2662 Fairfax
VA 22031

December 13, 2017
David Wiens Executive Director IMBA

Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE) has received an array of comments, many frustrated or angry, many from members, in response to IMBA’s December 6th testimony and announcement not to support Sustainable Trails Coalition’s (STC) bill to reverse the restriction on mechanized vehicle use in Wilderness Areas, H.R. 1349. While we recognize that local access and advocacy organizations like MORE may not always share opinions, motives or strategy with IMBA, we do feel the need to share our feedback about the rollout of IMBA’s position on H.R. 1349. This is especially true because we are a longstanding IMBA chapter.

It is the sense of the MORE Board members that STC’s approach could be counterproductive, given that the bill is unlikely to pass, would alienate some partner user groups and may look bad in the broader public lands fight. We understand that IMBA was asked to provide testimony and was placed in a difficult position. Nevertheless, we feel that the testimony, larger communications and continued response have been handled extremely poorly.

First and most importantly, IMBA could have remained quiet or not taken a position on the legislation at hand, effectively dodging the request for testimony as another organization did in their own testimony to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. This approach would have avoided the anger from our (and your) members.

In tandem with this response, IMBA should have provided chapters, members and the broader mountain-bike community with the reasons for its response, such as:

We need more time to talk with our members and partners about the ramifications of this legislation.

The STC legislation is not politically astute and is unlikely to pass. Groups like the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and The Wilderness Society, among others, all of whom would oppose bikes in wilderness areas, are much better funded than IMBA and have millions of members compared to IMBA’s 35,000. While the number of riders has increased, unfortunately we’re still unable to mount advocacy campaigns like other actors in the outdoor recreation and conservation communities.

IMBA and its chapters have helped dramatically increase miles of trails available for mountain biking in the United States by working in tandem with other outdoor user groups. This legislation would risk ruining those relationships that have taken decades to form.

IMBA supports mountain bike access in some wilderness areas but needs to save its political capital for the right moment.

IMBA supports alternative legislation like the Recreation Not Red Tape Act that will ease roadblocks to riding and other outdoor recreation opportunities in federally managed lands.

We have read your latest blog posting and find that it still fails to articulate a rationale for your position that will resonate with our members, or that is as clear of any of the possible rationales above.

MORE has remained supportive of IMBA during its time of transition, from the original chapter program through its revised program today. We have often justified remaining a chapter with our members because we wholeheartedly believe that it’s important for mountain bikers to have a united front at the national level. That said, when IMBA makes government relations and communications mistakes of this scale, it negatively impacts our organization by driving members away. Going forward, please include the leadership of IMBA chapters in the development of major policy positions, and provide clear, concise, and convincing speaking points to chapter leaders on the ground. We do not expect to manage every policy position, but we do want to be certain that IMBA’s positions are in the interest of our members and/or won’t drive our members away. We can transform the anger and confusion we see around the Wilderness issue into an activation opportunity for our network of supporters and rally behind IMBA’s position if we are all equipped to do so. Our request is that you consider the consequences of your government relations and communications strategies in ongoing and future decisions regarding access, and use the grassroots network we have all built together on issues that impact mountain biking nationwide.

Sincerely,

Ernest Rodriguez
For MORE Board of Directors

MORE 2018 Board of Directors Elections are Coming….Nomination period is OPEN NOW!

The MORE Board of Directors Annual Elections have arrived….  The 2018 positions up for election are:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Director of Communications

In addition to the elected Board positions, MORE has the following volunteer positions available.  These positions are great opportunities to give back to the club.

  • Local Bike Shop Coordinator – Manages bike shop liaison program, works to build and strengthen local bike shop partnerships.
  • Bike Shop Liaisons – Works to build/maintain/strengthen relationships with specific local Bike Shops in Maryland, DC and Virginia. (Multiple Positions available)
  • Trail Liaisons – Responsible for managing park relations, individual trail systems and trail work days in specific parks  of Maryland, DC and Virginia. (Multiple Positions available)

The nomination Period is November 27-December 10, 2017

Voting will take place December 11-24, 2017

If you would like more information about the individual positions, please reach out to any of the existing board members or email elections@more-mtb.org

If you are interested in nominating yourself for a position, please email elections@more-mtb.org

Position Descriptions:

President – 2 year term – Responsible for leading the BOD/MORE in accordance with MORE’s Vision and Mission Statement.

Vice President – 2 Year term – Serves as backup to President, Leads MORE developmental efforts and coordinates local sponsorships and partnerships Chairs standing developmental committee.

Treasurer – 2 year term – Responsible for financial transaction oversight; financial policies; budgeting, financial reporting, and IRS 990 preparation; attending board meetings; and advise board members on MORE’s finances to assist them in the performance of their duties. Serves as the corporate secretary to ensure MORE’s compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Chairs standing finance committee.

Director of Communications – 2 year term – Responsible for implementing MORE’s  public outreach and membership communications strategy.  MORE’s DOC responsibilities include, but are not limited to:  1) developing, maintaining, updating, and marketing MORE’s online presence, to include its web page (http://www.more-mtb.org) and its social media sites (MORE’s Facebook Page, MORE’s Instagram account, and MORE’s Twitter page: @more_mtb);  2) capturing BOD meeting minutes, finalizing minutes with the Board, and posting approved minutes to MORE’s website; 3) once each quarter, developing and transmitting MORE’s Trail Head News to  members, sponsors, partners, and the public via MORE’s social media sites; 4) supporting public outreach efforts of the Board and working with the Board President to organize public outreach events for members, donors, current and potential sponsors, and local, state, and federal elected officials and parks and land managers; 5) supporting the efforts of MORE’s historian/records management volunteers to inform and educate MORE members, staff, donors, partners, and sponsors;  and 6) drafting and publishing press releases and all relevant news items for both MORE’s membership and the public.   The DOC chairs the standing communications committee and shall have all of the responsibilities and powers of other members of the Board.

 

MORE’s Strategic Planning: 2018-2023

MORE’s 2018-2023 STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION

11-12 November 2017

Hedgesville, WV

Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Tom Howe, Membership Director
  5. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  6. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
  7. Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Steve DonTigny, MORE Executive Director
  2. Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
  3. Jonah Meyers, MORE Assistant Treasurer
  4. Ryan Delaney, MORE member
  5. Michael Hillstrom, MORE Member
  6. Steve Harper, MORE member and Severn Run trail liaison

MORE’s Five Year Strategy (Ernie)

Ernie:  What’s MORE’s long term vision? Where do we see ourselves in five to ten years?

Broader audience.  Becoming a Trail-Focused Organization—planning, building, maintaining, standards, educating, establishing trails in every community in the region, creating diverse trails, ride centers/epics, establishing community—5,000 members and why do we want this? We have a deficit in outreach to political/community leadership and in our advocacy to them–we need to establish and maintain positive interactions and collaborations w/elected officials and land managers in our region.    With respect to community, we need to build this in each jurisdiction’s “own back yards” b/c trails build economic opportunity. More volunteers and mobilization of volunteers. More women and Kids.  We want to be known as THE voice for trails through strong advocacy—MORE will be a voice for trails.  Creating fun, positive experiences for all trail users. We want to maintain focus on “Riding Bikes and Building Trails since 1992”.

Survey to members:  MORE delivers four basic items of value to members:  Advocacy, Building Trails, Riding Opportunities, and Events, + other. Then rank-order these.  Action: Ernie, Rob, and Jonah will work to get a survey on this topic out to members in the next 60 days.

If we bring runners into MORE, they may actually take over the organization in 10 years; we should be prepared for this possibility.

What’s are our strategies to support our long-term vision?  Converting users to trail stewards, maintain and promoting open elections, creating and establishing strategic partnerships, supporting MORE’s liaisons and ride programs, supporting communities, top-notch communications to all stakeholders (members, staff, volunteers, land managers, elected officials, strategic partners, the community), transparency in what we do, better events and branding/signage and focusing on government relations (establishing, maintaining, and defending our brand—MORE).

What goals do we need to establish to support MORE’s strategy and vision?

  • Monthly, focused communication w/key volunteers: MORE Board, MORE Staff, trail liaisons to keep them in the know and in a position to best communicate with riding communities.
  • Quarterly Trail Head News must go out on a quarterly basis as a rule.
  • Social Media. Who in MORE should have access to the web page and the social media pages?  Website is for archiving and legal/administrative documents and FB is for posting events and communicating w/members and partners.  Martin has a 70-page document on strategy.  No current access for Jeff, Rob, Carlos, lets fix that.  Action:  Greg, with input from the Board and staff, will draft a social media policy for review by the board for the December Board meeting.
  • Transparency—board meetings are open to all members and non-members and minutes are always posted to the website.
  • Open Elections: we will continue to promote MORE’s openness and transparency with open elections for all.  Continue to recruit assistants for the Board on various committees and for specific events and activities.  Assistant volunteers help reduce workload and gain understanding of daily operations of the BoD’s.
  • Transforming trails users into trail stewards: Trail Building planning and maintenance.  Several MORE members (Eric and Mike in particular) have been on the front lines of this.  Q:  Is more education regarding trail building and maintenance a strategy to build the base for trail builders (trail knowledge)?  Empowering liaisons.  Educating our partner groups:  hikers, runners, equestrians.  “Educational Outreach”. Show our current and prospective partners that there is a technical aspect (engineering, landscape architecture, construction, environmental management) to the trail work that MORE does.  Ryan D. has some experience w/this in Prince William County, VA.  IMBA is implementing “Trail Labs”—an educational series w/land managers
  • Continue to build and strengthen the liaison community see more detail below
  • Events: We know that membership is driven by events, therefore continue the Discovery Ride Series, create vol. opportunities from events, and focus on both big and small events.  Summer Member Picnic vs. a one-time Discovery Ride.
  • Branding: branding at trails, (temp signs at Fountainhead and BROT) “this trail ‘BROT’ to you by MORE”, signs at trailheads, parking lots, etc.  Suggest we get some type of coordinator for the liaisons for this for each park.  This works well w/our vision for MTB Project and a volunteer or intern.
  • Government Relations: Continue the OA model that Jonah and Ryan have established.  Continue working w/the VA mountain bike alliance. Who can assist in MD? —Dave Magill has the action to reach-out to other MD chapters.  We want to strengthen our voice with Annapolis.
  • Strategic Partnerships: for example, hiking and equestrian groups, Outdoor Alliance, Friends of Patapsco, WABA, youth organizations (NICA and YMCA). Should MORE recognize these partners on our website and FB pages?  Q:  What about 2018—should the MoCo Epic team work w/MoCo runners to have a race or event on Saturday of the MoCo Epic weekend in 2018?  Who are partners for the Patapsco Trail Fest? —canoe club, running clubs, Friends of Patapsco, Patapsco Heritage, Mountain Club of MD, Heritage Org.

Expanding partnerships is time consuming.  Takes commitment.  We simply can’t talk about it and give this task to a board member.  Could we survey the liaisons to find out who they are partnering with—YES. Could we put a “partnership” news item in every edition of Trail Head News?  YES.  Action:  Dave Magill and Jeff Niner to organize this via a survey before the spring 2018 trail liaisons meeting. 

Vision and Mission of MORE’s Executive Director for 2018 (Steve)

  • Lead MoCo Epic 2018
  • Continue w/events management at MoCo, increase participation by volunteers and others.
  • Increase sponsors and fundraising
  • Saturday demo rides: Increase bike manufactures and vendor presence at the event.
  • Increasing membership through new memberships
  • MORE partnerships: serving as representative of MORE.  Trail runners.
  • Lead and facilitate fundraising efforts
  • DC advocacy—I’ve moved off this somewhat and handed this to the current team at DCMTB. Will continue to support local DC team.
  • Trail building opportunities in Loudon County; trials there are almost non-existent.
  • Support communications and operations

November 2017 Board Meeting Minutes

MORE Monthly Board of Directors Meeting

11-12 November 2017

Location:  Hedgesville, WV

Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Tom Howe, Membership Director
  5. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  6. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
  7. Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Steve DonTigny, MORE Executive Director
  2. Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
  3. Jonah Meyers, MORE Assistant Treasurer
  4. Ryan Delaney, MORE member
  5. Michael Hillstrom, MORE Member
  6. Steve Harper, MORE member and Severn Run trail liaison

Day One

Item #1:  Review of 2018 Budget (Dave Magill)

Dave reviewed the proposed 2018 MORE budget with the intent that it will be voted upon by the current Board during the December 2017 BoD meeting.

  • Net Revenue from Major Events section covered 2017 MoCo Epic and 2017 Gala Event
  • Discussion of IMBA’s new fee structure. IMBA has listened to the chapters.
  • Review of restricted trails fund balance and next steps.
  • Discussion of MORE’s income from interest earned and potential investment possibilities for 2018. MORE made decent interest income for the first time ever in 2017:  ~$1,700

Motion to approve the 2018 budget as presented and seconded.  Vote:  all in favor with understanding that MoCo reinvestment numbers will be updated.

Item #2:  Board Elections (Rob Lowe)

  • Announcement must go out this week on website and social media.
  • BoD is seeking nominations for: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Operations Director.
  • Elections will take place in first full-week in December: elections will run for seven calendar days.  Open December 3 @12:01 AM, close December 10th @ 11:59PM.
  • Brad Hawk is running the MORE elections: nominations@more-mtb.org
  • Actions: Rob will send out email to members.   Greg will post on MORE’s FB page and work w/Martin to have a posting made on the web-site.

Item #3: Liability Insurance (Ernie Rodriguez)

Eric Crawford (Friends of Patapsco) has asked if MORE could use its liability insurance to cover Patapsco running events.  MORE’s current coverage does not include coverage for official races.  It could cover events like trail running. It is additional exposure to MORE. How much exposure does providing additional insurance give to MORE?  If MORE were to extend its insurance to other groups, then they should be obliged to become MORE members.  At a minimum, the lead and sweep for running events must be MORE members and participants (i.e. runners) should be heavily encouraged to become MORE members.  Tom:  many trail runners use the Bull-Run Occoquan Trail (BROT) for organized runs.  Ryan D:  From the land manager’s perspective, trail running is a low-risk activity.

Motion to extend MORE liability insurance to cover running, subject to MORE’s standard policies and requirements regarding events and memberships:  Motion passed unanimously. 

Action: Ernie will reach out to Eric (Patapsco) to inform him that the MORE liability waiver can be used for running.

Dave Magill:  MORE is very close to finalizing the MoCo maintenance agreement for maintaining MoCo parks.  Pepco has specific, higher, insurance requirements for MORE volunteers working on Pepco managed land.  This will cost MORE an additional $3K/year that will be paid for by Pepco.  Insurance cost to MORE will go from $16K/year to $19K/year, but the additional “subsidy’ will be covered by Pepco in the form of a $3K check from Pepco to MORE.

Item #4:  Membership (all)

Q:  How do we grow our membership?  Can we improve signage at places like Rosaryville and other parks?

Do events drive membership—MoCo, Patapsco, MORE Discovery Rides?  Yes.  What about new member events?  Tom is sending emails to each new member regarding events specific for them.

Action Items:  Jeff Niner and Dave Magill will work w/their respective trail liaisons to discuss improved signage for our trails. Ryan Delaney will work w/MTB Project to get more synced-up on improving signage.

Dave Ferraro was volunteered by Ernie to host a new membership social hour in Ellicott City.  What about some type of “mentoring” new members focused on rides, meet-ups, events.  For example, could call it “MORE Local” covering DC, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and PG counties or “New Member Mentor” for Prince George’s Co., MoCo, Frederick Co., Baltimore Co. area, etc.

Action Item:  Tom will continue reaching out to new members w/specific events and will work w/in current MORE membership to identify individuals willing to assist him to organize happy hours, rides, meet-ups, work days, clinics, etc. for new members. 

Q:  What about putting a survey out to current members:  “What do you get out of your MORE membership?” or “Why are you a MORE member?”  Agreed.

Action:  Ernie, Rob, and Jonah will work on a survey for membership.

Q:  Do events bring in memberships?  Yes, they do.  So, what event(s) could we do to bring in more members?  What about a gravity park activity in Frederick?  Could Gravity Soul run it for MORE?

Action:  Ryan and Carlos will reach out to the gravity community to organize an event sponsored by MORE in 2018.

Tom H.:  What about women’s engagement in MORE?  We need to do much more to reach out to women mountain bikers.  Strategy and overall action plan development by Ryan and Tom.  Q:  Could we get a list of past Board members, their functions and their areas of expertise? A:  Yes, Martin Fernandez is putting the comprehensive list together and could use some assistance.

Action: Can we get someone to assist Martin w/the Archivist/Historian function.  Yes.  (Specifics were discussed during the Archivist/Historian discussion, Item #7)

Trailhead News: Which Board member should be responsible for putting out a quarterly Trailhead News blast?  A:  Let’s discuss this during the Organization Structure discussion,  Item #6.

LUNCH BREAK

Item #5:  National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Presentation & Discussion of Social Trails (Steve Harper)

NICA is focused on grades six through twelve. Costs are minimal for both kids and coaches.

Social Trails—turning them into legal, legitimate trails that can be supported and utilized by the community.  Who has experience with working on social trails?  Many members of MORE do and a list of these individuals can be provided upon request by any member or interested party.

Item #6:  Organization Structure (Rob/All)

Review of each of the Board positions, their duties and responsibilities.

Q: What value do we bring to bike shops in the Bike Shop Liaison Team? MORE needs to prove value to the bike shops and not so much vice-versa.  MORE should not expect to be getting large cash donations from bike shops; those days are pretty much over.  We can expect event support, swag, and food for events, but it’s not realistic to expect bike shops to be large cash contributors to MORE’s general fund.  We should find out when bike shops’ demo days are and collaborate w/them.  Plus include the local bike reps: specialized, trek, Cannondale, and REI for example would participate.

The group agreed that webmaster activities should be moved from the current Operations Director and that the Operations Director should be renamed “Communications Director” and should focus on communications in social media, Trailhead News, and other types of communications and marketing outreach for the club.

Action:  Greg will work w/the Board to develop specific duties for the new Board “Director of Communications” position to replace the current “Operations Director.” 

Item #7:  Archivist/Historian of MORE (Rob)

Martin has volunteered to put together a time-line on the MORE website to document how the club has grown, what volunteers were involved, and a listing of board members throughout the years.  Rob Lowe has agreed to assist Martin.

 

Item #8:  Web, email and other IT services used (Constant Contact, Track it Forward, Website, etc.) (Rob)

Q:  Is track-it-forward working? A: (Jonathan):  It works, but if there is a free option, we should consider that.  Q:  Could we switch to a platform like “Un-self” sponsored by IMBA?  A:  Perhaps.  We will stick w/track-it-forward for 2018 and take next year to evaluate other options.  MORE can split out trail-work hours and “other” volunteer hours, like Board meetings, events, and other MORE-related non-trail-work activities.  Proposal to discuss Constant Contact during the MoCo discussion. Q:  What mechanism do we use to release the Trail Head news—constant contact, IMBA, or MORE postings?  A:  all.  Q:  Are we considering a new way to handle waivers? A:  The Patapsco team is working on electronic waivers.

Q:  Should we put out a position description for an intern?  Specifically, to get more of our trails into MTB project and also develop a business model.  Action:  Jonah will lead with support from Ernie and Dave.

Item #9:  MoCo 2017 Debrief (Steve)

  • Event was a big success overall. An outstanding fundraiser event for MORE.
  • On the negative side, one big issue was the trail marking mishap for the 75-mile ride. In researching the problem, it looks like getting appropriate communications out to the specific volunteer group for review will help, also Steve as Event Director is focused on not repeating this next year.  Specifically, better communications from opening of registration to event day.
  • “Mothership” operations were again excellent, led by Todd Bauer.
  • Event Day was pretty seamless due to outstanding volunteer support and James Corbett’s leadership. Q:  What about day-of sign-ups?  How many did we do?  A:  Roughly 60-70 day-of sign-ups.  In 2016, we had 150 day-of sign-ups.
  • Julie and Michael did a fabulous job on volunteer coordination and marking. We need to retain them.  Suggest establishing a sweeper coordinator position.  Steve will coordinate with the MoCo committee.

Dave:  Suggest Steve write-down a time-frame and calendar now for MoCo 2018 for planning and volunteer management purposes.  All volunteers should be held to calendar dates and duties.

  • Bike Kinetic offered their bus as a swag wagon and they used it at their aid station.
  • We need a POC for vendors when they show up to support set-up and answer questions. Steve did this, but this could be delegated to a volunteer.
  • First aid: need both a mobile unit and the “mothership” first aid tent. Suggestion (Ryan):  reach out to local EMTs early in the process—they need volunteer hours so we typically had more volunteers more than we could use.  Suggestion–Each of the aid stations could have a first-aid/EMT present.  Board agrees this is a good idea. Action:  Steve to pursue this for MoCo 2018 and will work it w/the MoCo Committee.
  • No food lines and no beer lines—this was very successful. Board agreed that MoCo should replicate this in 2018 and beyond.
  • There were discussions w/Montgomery County official to do some “co-marketing” for the event. Where are we on that for 2018?  Action:  Steve check into this for 2018.
  • Looking at keeping the direction of the various rides the same for 2018; we were successful this year and riders were satisfied.
  • Kid turn-out on Saturday was phenomenal—many more than 2016.  Could we do a running event on Saturday afternoon? No chip timing.  Just a run.  Action: Steve to follow-up on this for 2018.
  • Need to invest in additional infrastructure—fencing, posts, markers, etc.
  • What materials and equipment could we borrow from the county? —light towers, generators, etc. What materials & equipment do volunteers have?
  • Board involvement: all board members should be putting the 2018 MoCo on their calendars as MORE’s major fundraising event.  It is expected that MORE Board members will contribute volunteer hours to the MoCo epic.  We do not need to be prescriptive, but there is an expectation that the Board will support this event in ways they are able.  Ernie reminded the group that this is MORE’s event, not the MoCo Epic Committee’s event, and as such, the Board has a volunteer obligation.
  • Q: Can we get three iPad tablets w/pay pal readers for day-of sign-ups?  We could also use them for event sign-ups and other MORE activities.  Action:  Steve to follow-up w/the Board and the MoCo Committee.
  • More room for fundraising and sponsor development for the 2018 event. Contractors/builders to sponsor?  Bike attorneys, real-estate agents, doctors. Underwriting this event directly leads to health and happiness for the wider community in MoCo and the DC/VA/MD region.  The “MoCo Reinvestment Fund sponsors.”
  • The Board formally recognized Steve for an outstanding job leading the outstanding MoCo volunteer team in 2017.

Day Two

Item #10:  MORE Communication (Rob)

Topics for next Trail Head news:  Halloween ride, Discovery Ride series and next Discovery Ride (Cabin John Dec. 10th weather permitting) (should be the top item in the news), Dominion Power line trail access in VA, End-of-year donations & Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) (Ernie).  Action:  Rob, Greg, and Tom have action to push out next Trail Head news by Thanksgiving.  Rob will solicit contributions tomorrow.

Item # 11: Community Building (Rob and Dave)

There is a strong community in existence around several of our trails and regions already in VA and MD.  How can MORE collaborate more effectively with these groups?  Another survey:  a survey for liaisons to understand how they are building community and use this information for the Winter 2018 Liaisons meeting—See Action Item above.

Item #12:  Land Manager Relationships (Ernie/All)

MORE recognizes one land manger each year.  Are there other forms of recognition, communication, etc.  This is up to the liaison, but how can MORE help?

Item #13:  Liaison Program (Dave and Jeff)

Are we prepared for the spring liaisons meeting in 2018?  How could we fund another field training session in 2018 or is it a matter of working w/our volunteers and organizing a training day?  We should focus on having our volunteers put on the training.  Several training sessions in 2018, not just one.  Not for liaisons only—we want to grow our community by opening this up to everyone.  This builds support and mentorship.  Intent is to lower the barrier for entry into the liaison and trail work volunteer experience.

Item #14:  Ride Program

The MORE Discovery Series has been a huge success.  We should repeat rides.  Let’s aim at having one Discovery Series ride each month.  Action:  Carlos to work with Dan Hudson, Discovery Series organizer.

Clinics, intro/beginner rides are in the spring.

What about a MORE “Black Friday” #optoutside ride?   YES—need to promote this on FB and social media.  Tag your outdoor activity with #optoutside.  Action:  Carlos, along with Brad Hawk, to organize and promote a Black Friday/ #optoutside ride.   

Women and sMORE’s–Let’s keep alert for new opportunities and interactions w/kids.  How could we collaborate with NICA?  NICA participants transition into MORE members.

Item #15:  Events (Rob)

Who can we award at the winter membership meeting? Same categories as last year?  Action:  Ernie and Carlos will work together to investigate additional award categories.  Need to recognize volunteers in the form of a communications award.  Action:  Carlos–Details on the winter party will go out after the December board meeting.  Date is February 3rd 2018.

Item #16:  Fundraising and Sponsorship (Jonah)

Unfortunately, the Board had limited success in its outreach to specific donors (every Board member was given approximately five specific donors to reach out to earlier in the year).  Because of this, Jonah proposes a “give or get” approach for the Board.  Ernie suggests breaking it out three ways:  1) personal; 2) influence; and 3) new opportunities.

Motion put forward for a vote: All MORE board members will work towards an annual $1,000 “give or get” fundraising goal.  This is an expectation for each Board Member, however, first year Board Members will not be measured in the first year.  Board unanimously approved.

Relationship with local bike shops (LBC) and sponsorships. Perhaps we focus on the MoCo as the main sponsorship event.

Jonathan:  Could we leverage corporations reaching out to us for volunteer work days and ask them for a sponsorship or donation? Action (Dave and Jeff):  This should be covered during the 2018 liaison training—the specific ask.  Dave:  liaisons need to put trail-work days on the calendar well in advance.

What about workplace giving?

There is an option during MoCo events to make a “donation” during sign-up?  More options? What about team-based fundraising “competitions” for MoCo or for the fiscal year? Action:  Steve and the MoCo committee to investigate this.

Miscellaneous Items discussed

  • Possible Awards for the 2018 Winter Membership Meeting
  • Top five Ride leaders—multiple awards?
  • Top five trail work leaders
  • MoCo Epic Teams (2016), MoCo Epic Individual
  • Land manager
  • Trail Builder
  • Ride leader
  • Communication Award
  • Community Builder Award (for the year)
  • Scud Award (lifetime award)
  • Educator/Mentor Award
  • Innovator Award
  • Silver spoke award for:
    • Innovation
    • Communication
    • Community building
    • Partner Organization of the Year
  • Spring Ride event—last week of April 28/29, 2018. Wakefield and Accotink ride for all riders.  Action:  Carlos to work on organizing this event.
  • Board agrees to hold the strategic retreat every November and that it goes on the calendar each year in advance. It should become a pro-forma event every November.
  • Action: New Communications Director will also be responsible for following up/tracking action items and will report to the Board on a minimum of a monthly basis. 

MORE Receives Volunteer Award

MORE Patapsco trail liaison Eric Crawford (pictured) received the Partner of the Year Award for 2016/17 on behalf of all MORE volunteers from Deborah Carter, Chief Maryland State Park Advisory Commission and Nitta Settina, Superintendent Maryland Park Service during Patapsco Valley’s State Park volunteer appreciation picnic.

MORE was recognized for over two decades of organizing volunteer maintenance events as the official trail liaison at eight Maryland State Parks and for assisting Maryland State Parks with funding efforts.

MORE was recognized for over two decades of organizing volunteer maintenance events as the official trail liaison at eight Maryland State Parks and for assisting Maryland State Parks with funding efforts.