The candidates for the 2013 MORE Board of Directors have been announced and are listed below along with their personal statements. Voting will be conducted via an online poll in our members area of the forums. Voting will go live December 17th and run through the 21st.
I am stepping forward for President in 2013.
In 2012 we opened major new trail systems, had great events and a raised our profile with sponsors, land managers and our diverse constituency. And, in my humble opinion, our crowning achievement – we surpassed 6000 volunteer trail work hours! This level of giving and dedication has cleared the corridor for new trail systems like Emmitsburg and Meadowood and has drastically changed the landscape of long standing access issues like Loch Raven Reservoir.
Over the past two years we have experienced phenomenal growth and with this our fair share of growing pains. Heroic volunteer efforts like the MoCo Epic and Rockburn Skills Park will now be supported through our partnership with IMBA and a full-time staff person dedicated to the business of MORE.
I am proud of what we accomplished in 2012 and in the upcoming year I pledge to:
• Listen closely to our members and be transparent and communicative with MORE's operations.
• Work to balance the advocacy efforts and social side of the club.
• Continue to be inclusive of efforts throughout our large geographical footprint.
• Make the support of MORE’s trail liaisons a top priority.
• Continue to streamline and professionalize the administration of the club.
• Cultivate sponsors, large and small, who will partner with us not only in building trails, but also in building a solid financial footing for the club.
• Forge partnerships that are outside of our core demographic.
• Empower future leaders of the organization.
• Ride my bike as much as possible.
Screen name: Rockhead
After five years as the Virginia Advocacy Director, I feel it’s time for me to make room for some new energy in this critical position, but at the same time, feel that the experience I’ve accumulated on the board will make a good compliment to the youth and energy prevalent on the current and projected 2013 board. As everyone knows, 2013 will be a very important year for the club as we transition to a new era as a new IMBA chapter with our own dedicated staffer. We will be redefining much of what we do around this great new resource to expand our capacity as the preeminent advocacy organization in the region. At the same time, one of my primary objectives will be to focus on not only maintaining, but enriching the social and grass-roots aspects of this club. Those are the reasons I joined and I feel it is still one of the primary reasons most of you are here, as well. Over the past five years I’ve learned the value to be gained in creating strong relationships with land managers, other user groups, sponsorships, as well as our growing membership. In addition to helping to form our new relationship with IMBA, I intend to focus on the policies and practices that this board operates under to make sure we establish a stronger commitment to our fundamental missions, be even more responsive to the needs of area mountain bikers, and provide even more opportunities to enrich our community.
Sarah Richards (aka greenbean)
I've had a bike for as long as I can remember. I bought my first mountain bike in 1993, started mountain biking in 2005, discovered MORE in 2009, and the rest is history! Since that time, I have been an active member, a regular participant in weekly group rides, and an enthusiastic advocate for the club. And for the past two years, I have served as your Virginia At Large on MORE’s Board of Directors (BOD).
A native of Northern Virginia, I have spent a lifetime seeking opportunities to explore my world, both at home and away. I grew up in different parts of the Accotink Creek watershed, and I am intimately familiar with the sections of the CCT that run between Nutley Street and Wakefield and Accotink. As much as I love to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the suburbs, I also love that I live in an area such as ours that is so rich in outdoor recreational opportunities right here in our own backyard. And I know that in terms of mountain biking, those recreational opportunities would not be what they are today were it not for the hard work, dedication, and influence of MORE and its membership!
Why am I running for the board?
Having spent the past two years on the board and witnessing the inner workings of the club, I have identified several aspects of club operations that I would like to address over the next year. These include improving our record keeping, improving our communications between the BOD and the membership, improving accessibility to club information, documenting club processes, and implementing organizational structures to help improve our efficiency, facilitate information sharing, and enable quicker onboarding of new BOD members, volunteer staff members, and our future Associate Director.
As MORE enters a new chapter in club history, growing into a larger and more professional organization and preparing for the transition to an IMBA Chapter club, I think it is imperative that we formalize some of our processes and implement better methods for storing club information and assets. I'd like to ensure that we are gathering, documenting, and storing information in a way that it won't get lost, it is easy to find and manage, it is accessible to the people who need to use it and keep it up to date. I would also like to ensure that legacy information is archived for easy retrieval.
I am running for the BOD again because I see things that need to be done, and I believe that I am the one to do these things. I would like to focus this coming year on formalizing and documenting some of these operational issues that I’ve mentioned. I'd also like to work on improving club communications and keeping our website up to date and relevant (on the content side of things). I know these aren't the most pressing issues facing the club right now, but I think they are essential and long overdue. Ultimately, getting more organized and implementing better operational processes will help to facilitate better information sharing and transparency within the BOD, which can only serve to facilitate a clearer message and more transparency in communications with the broader membership.
What do I have to offer?
I am a lifelong outdoors enthusiast with a BS in recreation management and outdoor experiential education. I am a PSIA-certified Alpine Level 3 ski instructor, and I have been teaching skiing since 1990. I am the president of my local caving club. I have a professional background in training, program planning, writing and editing, communications, marketing, and teaching. And I am a team player with a knack for process improvement and standards documentation. I believe this combination of academic, volunteer, professional, and life experience makes me uniquely suited to serving the club in any number of ways, and I am committed to using my talents to further the mission of the club.
If elected as Secretary of the 2013 Board of Directors, my goal is to get our house in order from an organizational and operational standpoint, as I believe that doing so will help to smooth the transition when we bring on our new Associate Director.
I believe that Secretary is the role that best suits both my talents and my vision for the club at this time.
Bob wants to continue doing what he did last year as Treasurer.
Jason Ashmore (Crashmore)
I would like to nominate myself for the newly split off membership position.
I have been involved with the club for many years. I have been a ride coordinator, the clubs webmaster/it guy and a BOD twice before. I am seeking the membership position in order to personally oversee the membership transition from our current website and system into the IMBA chapter program. This transition is going to take a great deal of behind the scenes work with our existing systems, which I am uniquely qualified to manage. Over the past 6 months I have fixed many of the initial issues regarding the newly designed website. Fixes include the PayPal processing of memberships, the Civicrm systems mailing and advanced membership capabilities as well as a number of forum integration challenges.
I believe the IMBA chapter program will greatly benefit MORE but only if we put the work in up front to get the most out of it. I intend to make the membership migration as smooth as possible while implementing as much automation and integration into the IMBA system as possible. The last thing I want to do after fixing the current website is to take a major step backwards towards manual and cumbersome processes.
In addition to my website efforts I would like to explore ways to more actively communicate with and engage our membership. Through the IMBA chapter program we are set to gain several hundred new members in the coming year. A key challenge will be getting those folks actively engaged in the club rather than simply collecting their dues. If MORE is to grow we not only need the paid staffers, we need MORE members actively engaged and contributing. Our social activities, in particular our ride program should be a key way to pull folks in and can use some attention.
I also plan to push for more frequent and open communication with the membership. While I supported the IMBA chapter I do think the communication and membership involvement process fell short of what MORE is capable of. I would like to work as a BOD member to improve this for the future.
I appreciate your time and consideration.
Maryland Advocacy Director
My name is Todd Bauer, aka Wrench177, and I’d like to nominate myself for Maryland Advocacy Director in 2013. I am currently serving as the MD Advocacy Director and would like to continue to serve the MORE membership in that position.
I have been a MORE member since 2006 and enjoy being an active part of our community. I was the Ride Coordinator between 2008 and 2011. Organized or been on the planning committee for the Summer Picnic for the last 5 years. I have led numerous bike rides, re-negotiated night riding at Schaeffer Farms and was the co-founder of the MoCo sMORE program. I have also served as a member of the MoCo Epic Committee for the past 3 years and helped negotiate the MoCo Re-Investment fund as a MORE Board member.
Trail-work is another aspect of MORE that I thoroughly enjoy. At first it started as a way to give a little something back to the club. Over time it has become more than I could have ever imagined. Through work days I have met numerous trail liaison’s and land managers. Working side-by-side we have strengthened our relationships with these decision makers and they now look to us for solutions. Trail advocacy became the next logical step in my evolution as a MORE member.
In my opinion, our Trail Liaison network is the most important group in our organization. No other group of individuals effects the riding opportunities and quality of trails like our liaisons. As Maryland Advocacy Director, I will continue to work for our liaisons and the Trail Boss. I hope to identify and pursue new sources of funding to make their jobs a little easier. I plan to strengthen the relationships we have with land managers and increase our visibility in the community.
Thank you for your consideration,
Virginia Advocacy Director Vote for one only
I, Jay DeArrastia, a Virginia resident, also known on various mountain biking forum boards as 'mtbfyrefyter,' seek to run as the 2013 VA Advocacy Director on the MORE Board of Directors. I seek to serve in this capacity because I believe that I will represent the best interest of all Virginia MORE members, in addition to those residing in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia.
My interests in this position are to become actively involved in all current and future MORE projects, deliver tactful and transparent answers to questions from MORE members, and seek input on all matters relating to our trail systems and club operations. I also look forward to assisting in fundraising projects and other activities to help increase our current membership pool. Although I am an avid mountain biker, I do not claim to be skilled at the professional level. Therefore, I seek to assist in making our sport and trails accessible to all skill levels.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
I’m BeerMe on the forum, Ernest Rodriguez in real life and Ernie on the bike. Please allow me to nominate myself for Virginia Advocacy Director for 2013.
I have been a MORE member since 2005 and enjoy riding my bike and socializing with fellow mountain bikers. It’s time for me to give back to the organization that is responsible for trails in our local area.
I am the fundraiser for Fountainhead (please donate) and have been involved with building new trail, trail maintenance and leading rides. I am currently working with the Fountainhead team to write the Request for Proposal on sustainability and expansion of the black loop. I am also working to list MORE on the National Capital Area, Combined Federal Campaign. Federal workers will appreciate, this action will give us an opportunity to contribute tax deductible funding for MORE to build and maintain our local trails. I look forward to working with the Trail Boss and trail liaisons like I have with Fountainhead.
I’ll leverage my business experience to work with land management agencies to maintain and expand our trail access initiatives. I will work with the MORE Trail Boss and liaison’s to coordinate trail workdays and maintenance activities leveraging membership involvement. I believe it’s vital to involve membership in our efforts to enhance the ride experience on our trails. I’ll work to add value to the relationships the Trail Boss and liaisons have with our park managers. I will work to demonstrate MORE is a good steward of our natural resources by assuring trails are sustainable while providing enjoyable and challenging riding experiences.
I look forward to advocating,
Virginia at Large
I would like to run for VA-at-Large. Here is my bio.
As a rare Northern Virginia native, I started mountain biking in 1988 when my dad would take me out on the fire roads of Prince William Forest Park, but my passion for mountain biking was fully ignited while attending James Madison University. After college, I returned to Northern Virginia in 1997 and I started riding with MORE. I have been an active member ever since and have served five years on the board (2001-2002: VA-at-Large, 2010: Vice President, 2011-2012: Membership/Secretary).
During the last couple of years I have been heavily involved in the "Club" side of things while others have been focused on advocacy. This includes leading weekly rides, helping with sMOREs, assisting the planning and running of summer picnics, making T-shirts, initiating the latest jersey project, helping with the camping trip, getting limited edition PLB cups, organizing and emceeing the Winter Party, etc.
As MORE continues to grow, and especially after becoming an IMBA Chapter, it is more important than ever not to lose our social identity. I believe that what makes MORE a strong club is that our members want to be part of it. I hope that I can continue to make the club fun and increase the member involvement.
Maryland at Large
Vote for one only
My name is Melanie Nystrom and I am passionate about mountain biking. I love to ride, whether it's a happy hour snow ride with friends in Patapsco, the Shenandoah 100, or learning to ride my dirt jump bike at Rockburn. I would like to nominate myself for the Maryland At-Large position on the 2013 MORE Board. I used to be a municipal bond trader at Legg Mason. Then I had two amazing boys and changed my focus on being a Mom (and riding my mountain bike a lot).
A few years ago I became the trail liaison for Rockburn Branch Park in Howard County, Maryland. I worked with the County officials and a MORE team for over two years to build the Rockburn Branch Skills Park. Those two years involved developing a relationship with the County (from Department Head to Risk Management to Park staff), soliciting sponsors, raising money, coordinating volunteers, sourcing equipment & materials, planning social events, and slinging a shovel).
I think that experience has prepared me to serve on the MORE board. I would like to use my energy and skills to help us get more people on mountain bikes and more places to ride. I believe that mountain biking in general and MORE in particular are poised for tremendous growth and influence. I would like to help lead and grow the club as we begin our next chapter. Thank you for your consideration and support.
I present myself to the membership of MORE for the position of Maryland at-Large. Active in the club for nearly ten years, in addition to leading rides and participating in trail work at numerous MD trail systems, I have served in various capacities including:
MORE has evolved through three distinct phases over the past 20 years. In our first decade the number of members were small and the club dedicated a majority of resources toward a few focused projects. Member meetings were held monthly and everyone knew everyone's face because they rode together frequently. Later, as the Internet matured, so did the club. The website became the primary communications tool and our trail inventory grew along with the number of members. Members no longer knew every other member by face, as screen names and the forums gradually replaced the old email listserv and ride line. The growing pains were visible but manageable as the club's Board worked hard to keep up with the growth.
With the decision to chapterize within IMBA, MORE stands at the threshold of it's next phase. Reaching 1000+ members, creating a paid staff member position and the challenges imposed by this transition, the 2013 BoD has a lot on its plate. While I eventually supprted the IMBA move after learning more about the new agreement I, like others, have reservations with the process which led to its adoption. I will work to change the articles and/or bylaws so that issues of such importance receive some sort of formalized (and quantifiable) member input. As we transition into this new era, we should be examining every aspect of our management and rules.
Beyond the reexamination of our bylaws, I pledge to:
MORE has done great things and has a great future because it's members are passionate and work hard. If elected to the Board, I will not forget that, you will always have my ear and I will strive to make my positions clear and transparent.