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. 
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