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.

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