Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting
REI Tyson’s Corner
October 9, 2017
Board Members Present
- Ernie Rodriguez, President
- Rob Lowe, Vice-President
- Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
- Tom Howe, Membership Director
- Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
- Aaron Richter, Treasurer
- Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests
- Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
- Jim Bole: Loch Raven Trail Liaison
Item #1: Current Financials (Aaron)
We are doing well overall. Overall expenses are approximately $10K less than at the same time last year (due in large part to not paying outside support for MoCo Epic this year). BoD held a general discussion of MoCo expenditures. We have booked costs of approximately $25K for MoCo 2017 so far but that will go up, as it does not include purchases made the week of the event. One note was that MORE has made $1500 in interest this year compared to earning zero interest last year and in previous years, due to opening a savings account for a portion of MORE’s cash reserves.
Item #2: VA Trails update (Ernie sitting in for Jeff Niner)
Ernie received a $1,000 check for Bull Run to Occoquan Trail (BROT) that the donor agreed could go to MORE’s general trail fund or remain with BROT. Board will decide where the funds should go.
Lake Fairfax had a work-day today. Take-a-kid mountain biking was Saturday.
Fountainhead had a work-day last week.
Wakefield had a recent work-day.
Mt. Vernon activity is still on hold. MORE is still working w/the liaisons and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Conway Robinson will approach MORE for grant funding for building a boardwalk.
Elizabeth Furnace: MORE has a new liaison and there will be a work-day on the 21st of October.
Item #3 MD Trails Update (Dave)
Brunswick/Rivers Edge: MD SHA has a new grant administration team. MORE submitted a revised grant application, with responses to SHA’s comments. Carlo is meeting w/NICA regarding a future race on these trails.
Greenbrier: Nothing to report
Frederick Watershed: Unauthorized trail building has taking place and this is a problem w/the State/City. There is a now four-person liaison team working in Frederick Watershed and they are working w/SHA, the City, DNR. We have an RTP grant w/SHA, but SHA has additional questions regarding the exact locations of the trails on which grant funds will be used.
Gambril: No report.
Emmitsburg: Nothing to report.
Patuxent: Final field measurements were submitted to DNR and DNR is preparing a detailed map of the trail corridors for the MDE grant application. MORE has provided final comments on the trail corridor map.
Hashawha: Approximately forty people rode the recent discovery ride.
Patapsco: Trail Fest was successful. Rides were difficult. Just over 1100 people participated over two days. MORE is looking at ways to continue to support Patapsco and Patapsco Trails Fest.
*Kudos to Dan Hudson for conceiving and organizing the Discovery Ride series. This has been extremely successful in getting MORE members to ride trails they may not be familiar with
Loch Raven (Jim Boles, liaison in attendance): No progress. No response after amended MOU has been transmitted to the city. No formal work-days, no formal rides, etc. “Old Watershed Style” approach.
Seneca Creek State Park (SCSP):
Rosaryville: Nothing to report.
Bacon Ridge (Anne Arundel Co.): Phase III meeting was recently held.
Damascus: four miles of trail and a skills park being built in a new park just west of Damascus
Fairland: Montgomery County has approved a skills park. Austin Steo’s organization will build it; planned completion is by the end of 2017.
NW Branch Trail: continued progress on extending this trail to a full 7 miles.
Schaeffer and Muddy Branch: County has enhanced the rock features at the S. Germantown Skills park.
Cosca: no report
Cedarville: no report
Chesapeake: no report
Gunpowder Falls: Another discovery Ride in late September. Was well attended, approximately 50 riders. GUMBO (Gunpowder United Mountain Bikers Organization) a MORE partner led the rides. Just beyond MORE territory and approximately 20 miles east of Gunpowder Falls a new state park is being built.
Cabin John: another half of machine built re-route has been completed south of River Road.
IMBA Ride Center Application: MORE and MoCo have re-submitted the Ride Center application.
Item #4: Track it Forward Discussion (Ernie)
Unself continues to make progress in providing FREE volunteer tracking tool for IMBA, however the system is not ready for prime time yet. We’re not dropping Track-it-Forward until the new system is in place and provides a better user experience. We’ve worked too hard to introduce a new system to our liaisons; we need to make sure we keep reporting hours, rides and other volunteer activities.
Item # 5: Dig In Campaign (Ernie)
“Dig-in” is part of the new chapter-funding strategy by IMBA. Any chapter can participate. Patuxent’s liaison, Tom Newton was the only project area to express interest in the program in response from messages from Dave Magill, Jeff Niner and Ernie. MORE submitted for Patuxent. Chapters get 80% of the overall project funding and IMBA gets 20%. IMBA has $50K to share w/all chapters. Ernie voiced his opinion to IMBA that smaller chapters should receive 100% of funding for IMBA-sponsored projects. We should hear on the results of the Patuxent application in the next four weeks.
Item #6: IMBA Update (Ernie)
IMBA approached Ernie regarding feedback to key IMBA leaders; IMBA’s intent is to reach out and meet with every chapter by phone or in person. IMBA is listening to chapters and working on supporting all mountain bike organizations, not just chapters. Ernie noted that IMBA is reaching out and interacting chapters; they are the stakeholders. New chapter program should go live in January 2018. Approximately 70% of revenue will stay w/chapters in the new model. Ernie noted that IMBA is becoming more transparent with their staff so chapters understand who is part of the organization and who is coming and going. A full local “chapter” (see below three different levels that IMBA will now recognize) will give approximately $15/member IMBA—this goes to back-office support, phone support, etc. What this means is that chapters must “help their neighbors.” MORE has been doing this all along and we have been effective at this. No regional directors in the new model. Three HQ back office staff remain – Ernie suggested augmenting back office staff with volunteers to make sure we capitalize on free labor volunteers offer.
Building Community: IMBA will begin focusing on supporting and partnering with ANY mountain biking organization, not just IMBA chapters. This will help in all Mountain biking grassroots efforts.
New levels to be recognized by IMBA: “Supporter” (dig-in funds and very limited support), “Affiliate” (dig-in funding, some professional help, no phone support), “Chapter” (full back-office phone support, dig in campaign and limited professional help).
The weekly membership report from IMBA has been very valuable and will be improving in future iterations.
Strategy is to reduce overhead by not spending as much funds on fulfillments, i.e. mailings, etc.
IMBA will retain the online store and IMBA-branded merchandise. Also looking at co-branding (i.e. a MORE-IMBA t-shirt, MORE-IMBA jersey, etc.). IMBA is narrowing its focus regarding what will be funded and supported in the future.
IMBA outreach: Ernie will recuse himself from MORE topics when issues regarding IMBA arise. Specifically, when the decision arrives regarding MORE’s status as a “Chapter” under the new IMBA model. General discussion ensued about MORE’s Chapter status.
No more Chapter-Charter agreements in the future. MOUs will take place of the C-C agreement. The IMBA-MORE agreement has no expiration; it ends when it is cancelled.
Item #7: November Strategy Retreat: 11-12 (Saturday to Sunday) (Rob)
Tee-up items for November and what we want to discuss. Topics will include: 1) MoCo, 2) fundraising, 3) FY2018 Events, 4) Sponsorship (reaching out to teams and less to bike shops); 5) job descriptions & organization review, 6) liaison program, 7) website future (web & email), 8) elections, 9) membership growth, 10) future board members, 11) Cranky Monkey race series, and other items.
Item #8: Elections (Ernie & Rob)
Open Board seats starting January 2018: President, Vice-President, Operations, and Treasurer.
We need to know who, what, when and get prepared for the upcoming elections. Table this item for the November Strategy Retreat. All prospective Board members are welcome to attend this two-day retreat in WV (90 minute drive from Silver Spring, MD).
Item #9: January 2018 Board Transition Meeting (Rob)
Dave Magill will host the January 2018 MORE Board Transition meeting in Silver Spring, MD. A back-up location is Alexandria, followed by Reston. The meeting is tentatively planned for January 7th 2018, from 10AM-4PM.
Item #10: Branding (Ernie)
MORE must promote and protect its brand. Everything MORE does should have its brand promoted and it must be protected. Please use tag-line “Riding Bikes and Building Trails since 1992” in correspondence.
Item #11: Winter Party (Carlos)
Gwendolyn Coffield Recreation Facility in Silver Spring MD is rented for the February 3rd, 2018 Winter Party. Should we consider holding a spring 2018 (April/May) time event? Could we do a small NoVa Epic, like a combined BROT and Fountainhead ride? Board will discuss in November. For Winter Party, need to consider and plan for key volunteer recognition for 2017, specifically volunteer teams, individuals, liaisons, ride leaders, etc. What types of items will MORE give as recognition? Need to finalize this during the November Strategy Retreat.
Item #12: 25th Anniversary Store Club Ride Store (Rob)
Discussion took place regarding having one more run on 25th Year Clothing. Q: Can we combine awards, general store purchases for members, and the “25 for 25 Campaign”? A: we should discuss and finalize at the November Strategy Retreat. Action Item: Ernie will contact “Club Ride” to re-open the store for MORE apparel.
Item #13: REI Dirt Prom (all)
Dirt Prom will be held at the REI DC store on October 21st from 4PM-7PM. MORE will be a major participant and will be supporting REI. Do we have sufficient advertising and announcements? MORE being asked to provide volunteers for pouring beverages. Board agreed we need major participation for this event. Also, we should be using the #optoutside hashtag to support REI and their “#optoutside” campaign. We should be reminding members to tag: #ridewithmore, #optoutside, #MORE, #MoCoEpic, etc. on all social media platforms.
VOTE: A motion was voted on and passed to provide $1,000 to the 2018 Patapsco Restricted Fund as a gift of support from MORE, esp. recognizing the community building that TrailFest creates.
Item #14: MoCo Epic 2107 Update
Steve DonTigny will provide details on behalf of the MoCo Committee. Board requests that the MoCo committee give a de-brief to the board in either November or December.
*The next MORE Board meeting will be held November 11-12th during the November Strategy Retreat in West Virginia.
September 2017 Activities for the October Report
President – Ernest Rodriguez
- Ride and Volunteer for Patapsco Trail Festival
- Meeting with NOVA Parks for BROT redesign construction – build has begun
- Continue membership communication turnover with Tom
- Process Patapsco Trails Festival, Fall Camping Trip and MoCo Epic Memberships from BikeReg with IMBA
- Renew Virginia Tax Exemption filing
- Teleconference with “Unself” volunteer tracking application for free replacement for Track-it-Forward, maybe next year
- Apply for IMBA’s “Dig In” campaign for Patuxent River State Park with help from Tom Newton
- Successfully appealed CFC rejection decision, we are now back in CFC for the National Capital Area!
- Help with MoCo Epic
Executive Director – Steve DonTigny
- Loudoun County Trails Summit-PROS
- Capital Trails Coalition Monthly meeting
- PHTA BOD meeting
- MoCo Epic
Vice President – Rob Lowe
- Ride at Patapsco Trail Festival
- Trail work at Wakefield – 2 Days
- Agenda development for October BoD meeting
- Discussions about sponsorship with various shops/teams, more to follow
- Unself Meeting to Review Progress
- 4 Days of Volunteering at MoCo Epic 2017
Treasurer – Aaron Richter
- Filed md sales tax exemption
- Mailed checks and prepared financials
Operations – Greg Dwyer
- Posted BoD meeting minutes
- Social media postings throughout the period
- Recruiting for upcoming BOD position(s)
MD Trail Advocacy – Dave Magill
- Lots of MoCo planning; volunteering Sat-Mon
- Worked with Carlo Alfano to revise Rivers Edge grant application in response to SHA comments
- Interviewed by MoCo Cable TV along with Todd Bauer regarding MORE and our work on trails
- Solicited and obtained $250 bronze sponsorship from PBHTA
- Finalized Patuxent 50 foot trail corridor with Tom Newton for DNR/MDE permit
- Discussed Loch Raven access situation with liaison Jim Boles and possible next steps
- Resubmitted MoCo IMBA ride center application with support of MoCo Parks
VA Advocacy – Jeff Niner
- Corporate fundraising letters written/mailed
- GWNF trail work logistics preps with new Trail Liaison
- Email/Call to Barbara Nugent re Mt Vernon Park
- Email to VA Trail Liaisons re Trail building Best Practices/Safety/Commonsense
- Trail work social media management
Member Representative – Tom Howe
- Membership Emails and Outreach
- Wakefield Trail Maintenance
- Patapsco Trail Fest 42 Miler (cut short) and volunteered in the beer tent
Activities Director – Carlos Alfaro
*Did not receive report
Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell
*Did not receive report