January 2019 BoD Transition Meeting

  1. Introductions and background
    • Sharon Maloid – Incoming Activities Director
    • Dave Magill – Outgoing MD Advocacy Director
    • Rob Lowe – Incoming Membership Director
    • Neil Blake – Treasurer
    • Tom Howe – Outgoing Membership Director and new VA Advocacy Director
    • Bob Caverly – Vice President
    • Steve DonTigny – Executive Director
    • Not Present – Carlos Alfaro – Outgoing Activities Director
    • Not Present (Travel) – Jeff Niner – VA Advocacy Director
    • Not Present (Resigned) – Steve Harper – Communications Director Vacant
    • Discussion about vacant Trail Boss position.  Jonathan Kidwell signed up for one year and served 4 years.  We need to recruit a replacement.
    • Office 365 groups – Discussion about expansion of members on distribution lists to ensure that emails are recoverable if the primary leaves for any reason.
    • Discussion proposing dropping the Local Bike Shop coordinator.  We agreed we’d continue recruiting a volunteer for the program and keep a placeholder even if we don’t have a volunteer.  Challenges include our large territory, connectivity with community and continual asks of bike shops.  We agreed, the hang tag was well received among bike shops.  Many local bike shops lead rides and sponsor trail work.  Most relationships are with the local trail liaison.
    • Focus should be on making the shops partners rather than sponsors
    • MORE officers are listed on our organization chart
      • Officers are color coded on org chart (includes Executive Director)
    • Finance Committee – need to finalize who it is
      • Ernie and Dave volunteered to continue on the finance committee
  2. Open Business
    • Winter membership meeting
      • Where is this going to be held? Tentative Silver Branch Brewing Company – confirmation will occur by January 18, 2019
      • Awards – Ernie to work with Sharon and the board to nominate awardees
      • Ernie will work with Dave and Tom to gather Track-it-Forward volunteer hours.
  3. MORE’s Current Status
    • BoD open positions discussed earlier and are MD Advocacy Director, Communications Director, Grants Manager, Trail Boss, Bike Shop Liaison
    • We only had 34 votes cast during the BoD elections, this is all time low.  We need to educate our membership for the value of elections; support and encourage board members, respect the election process and avoid having board members elect the board like other organization are forced to do.
    • New Business
      • Silver Spoke awards – moved to the end
      • Sponsorship opportunities – tabled for next meeting
        1. Trails for Youth – permanent scholarship fund
        2. MICL – additional ask
        3. Others
      • Winter Membership Meeting (externally called Winter Party)
  4. Financials
    • Schedule of financial items
      • Monthly for status of books and restricted funds
      • Yearly budget
      • Annual taxes and filings
    • Discussion of Most Accountable Person (MAP)s – updated directly in monthly financials file
      • Discussed that financials are current and 2019 budget has been approved
      • Provide financials to BoD for 20mins or so each meeting
      • Discussed limiting debit cards to ED and BoD
      • Move towards having recurring charges be done via direct debit as opposed to on the debit/credit cards
    • Fundraising
      • BoD’s asked to make good faith effort to fundraise for trails and operations
      • Ernie requested assistance from Treasurer to complete tax letters
    • Membership
      • Down, likely due to rain and cancelled events
      • Issue raised in terms of whether the membership model still works; other orgs have gone towards donation only model
      • Discussion regarding membership demographic statistics. Statistical analysis is dependent on quality of data and there are some obvious holes in the data as not all members complete each data element such as gender, age and address
      • Need to be careful of what data is being used; should be focused on age; need younger members
      • Spring Fling – a benefactor will discount membership price specifically for Spring Fling in an effort to increase membership.
      • Discussion of getting back to pop-up activities to increase membership at trailheads and events.
  5. Major Initiatives and Programs
    • Fairland skills park presentation by Austin
      • Many different trail designs and features proposed for bike park
      • Discussed budget and how much Austin thinks it will cost – unsure about cost and will need help to fully develop cost estimate
      • Needs assistance with fundraising and marketing
      • BoD suggested he break down the project into phases and approximate costs for each phase
      • Ernie agreed to assist creating calendar entries, web and social posts with material provided by Austin
    • Frederick Watershed
      • Set of 4 downhill trails with a designated climbing trail – 3.5 miles, 2 miles to be machine built
      • The Frederick team currently has a $30k grant and has been invited to obtain and submit  bids for the full machine built section even if the cost is $80 – $100k and then submit a request for an expansion of the RTP grant to cover the full cost.  SHA will consider, though approval is not guaranteed
      • Joe Whitehair, Dan Green, Clyde Hicks are the trail liaisons leading the efforts for trail planning/approvals, grants and trail work
      • Significant volunteer hours and donations are required to complete the Frederick plan
    • Patapsco
      • Update provide by Dave Ferraro and Eric Crawford
      • Sadly, Patapsco Trails Festival had to be cancelled due to wet conditions in 2018
        1. 20% of registered participants requested refunds
        2. 20% of registered participants deferred refunds to 2019
        3. 20% of registered participants donated their registration to Friends of Patapsco (FoP)
        4. FoP had to incur the cost of t-shirts, prizes and swag; overall the loss to FoP  was $8k for the cancelled PTF
      • Very fortunate to have one land manager for the entire park
      • Building community is enhanced because the Patapsco trails connect communities along the river
      • Parts of Patapsco remain closed and may never reopen due to extensive flood damage and potential mitigation efforts are being evaluated
      • FoP is a vital partner which has included other user groups, doubling the grant opportunities for Patapsco.  Runners, climbers and paddlers show up and help at work days.
        1. FoP does not have members
        2. FoP board includes representatives from user groups
        3. FoP Cocktails for Trails is a huge success
      • Success at Patapsco due to community involvement in “Trail FUN Series”, not work, fun
        1. Average 70 volunteers
        2. Average $1,200 per workday for food, beverage and swag
      • The Patapsco Tool Trailer is a great value
      • MD continues to purchase additional properties to increase the size of PVSP
    • Patuxent – challenging because smaller base of volunteers at workdays
      • There were 200 hikers on Patuxent’s “First Day” new years day hike
      • MORE has opened 2 miles and has approval to build another 4 miles of trail in the southern section
      • MORE expects to receive approval to build an additional 8 miles of trail in the northern section in spring
    • Bacon Ridge
      • Phase III is approved, an additional 8-12 milees
      • Bacon Ridge is now 6 miles, phases I and II
      • The mayor of Annapolis approved about 8 miles of trial at waterworks, near Bacon Ridge
    • Severn Run remains in the planning phase and is controlled by MD DNR, 1,000 acres, MORE to submit a trail plan in the spring
    • Rivers Edge – built out now. 3.5 miles built
      • Looking to build a 1.0 or so more miles in the next year
      • Hikers are working with Carlo to connect trail to Lovettsville
    • Schaffer/Seneca
      • MoCo reinvestment fund used for $12k improvements in 2018
      • Will need another $20k from the MoCo reinvestment fund in 2019 including approximately 1/2 mile of bench cutting, building two new bridges and  fixing a very muddy section of the MoCo Epic route
    • Rosaryville
      • New liaisons Nico Pellon and Chris Garrett
      • Water accumulation needs to be addressed along with need for a new bridge
      • DNR will begin working with MORE to manage and mitigate trails
    • Loch Raven
      • Bob Compton continues to lead trail clean-up days
      • Asked to leave things alone as no enforcement issues have been reported
    • South Germantown Pump Track continues to recruit volunteers and develop events to expand community support and use
    • Fort DuPont
      • Focus is with DC parks and rec
      • Considering building a Pump track
      • DCMTB continues to lead the advocacy front for DC with support from Steve DonTigny
    • Mount Vernon
      • Mountain bikes are again officially an approved use for the park
      • Received a Mastenbrook grant for $20k to build, improve and maintain trails
      • Jeff, Tom and Ernie will meet with park manager Trina Taylor to programing, management and approval of grant funds
      • Will need to recruit an additional liaison to help with Mount Vernon
    • Bull Run Occoquan Trail (BROT) NOVA Parks
      • Joe Penano is the new trail liaison
      • Received a $10k grant from REI
        1. Waiting on final proposal from vendor for work in section P of approved plan
        2. Waiting on approvals from PATC and NOVA Parks for work to begin
      • Very successful trail work day with Dominion Energy
        1. Dominion donated $2,500 to support trail work on the BROT
      • Targeting mid-March for completion of section P work
    • Prince William Co
      • Martin Fernandez, Howard Olesen and Ryan DeLaney are coordinating trail planning, approvals and work
      • Outdoor Foundation granted MORE $24k for scenic trail connections
        1. Looking at various parks in Prince William county including Quantico
    • Arlington County
      • Neil and Steve attended county meeting in Nov
      • Need to get MTB on master plan for county
      • Next public meeting is scheduled for January 22nd to provide feedback
      • Survey is open for public comments, Tom to post links on social media
    • Loudoun County
      • Potential access for 500 acre parcel between Bluemont and Harpers Ferry
      • State park continues to more forward on acquisition
      • DNR would take ownership and develop a use plan
    • Lake Fairfax
      • Frank Raiti and Tony Watkins are the trail liaison for trails and pump track
      • Marc Genberg trail will be dedicated May 4th during MORE’s Spring Fling
      • Frank and Tony have plans to expand the pump track
      • Significant donations have been made to LFP/Pump Track
    • Wakefield
      • 2020 initiative – need to improve berms and general improvement of trails
        1. Will require approximately $20k to complete
      • Multiple funding sources
        1. Potomac Velo Club
        2. FCPA hot lane and cell tower funds
      • Ernie to meeting with FCPA to introduce Tom Howe as VA Advocacy Director and discuss dedication of the Marc Genberg trail, trail planning, status and funding from cell towers and hot lanes for Wakefield as endorsed by county board supervisor Sharon Bulova
    • Discussion and acknowledgement of Regional Leaders – Todd Bower – MOCO, Mike Klasmeier – Annapolis, Joe Whitehair – Frederick Watershed, Eric/Ed – Patapsco, Larry Cautilli NoVa.  It is important to note regional leaders help build MORE community with trails, education, work and leadership.  Discussion about talking with potential MD Advocacy candidates to look at position as enabling regional leaders and not so much teaching them about advocacy or trails.
    • Trail Boss
      • It’s time for a new inventory of tool needs.  Survey will come out early in 2019.
      • A call for 2019 trail tread program waivers has gone out and participants are asked to email completed waivers to trailboss@more-mtb.org . Trail tread program accommodates volunteers who go out to fix mud puddles, drains or other issues on their own without the need to schedule a work day with additional volunteers.  This is a way for volunteers to get credit for work they are already doing in support of trails.
    • Ride Coordinator
      • MORE’s ride coordinator is a support position to help schedule and advertise rides on the MORE calendar and social media pages.
      • Brad Hawk is the current ride coordinator
      • Discussion about recruiting someone to help split duties to better support rides in DC, MD and VA.  It may be too much for one person to support all rides.
      • Questions about setting up organized ride; use MORE calendar Facebook and Meetup to advertise rides.  Waivers must be signed to meet our liability insurance requirements.  Ride leaders need to be MORE members to lead a ride per our liability insurance requirements.
      • Discussion of how to use MORE FB page.  Contact Martin or Ernie if access to social media pages is required.
    • sMORE’s
      • Elaine Hess/Anne Mader – Wakefield
      • Peggy Flaxman – Lake Fairfax
      • Meadowood – Kenny Nesbit
      • MoCo – Todd Bauer, Tom Newton, Victor Beltran and others
      • Bacon Ridge – Tom Wheeler
      • BaltisMORE’s – Debbie Cleaver
      • We need to expand our sMORE’s ride program to additional parks
    • MORE Meetup Groups
      • Washington DC Mountain Bike Meetup
      • MORE Mountain Bike Rides
      • MVD Mountain Bike Rides – externally organized and valued partner
  6. 2019 Strategic Plan
    • Circulated as read ahead
    • Discussion centered around strategic goals and specifically gaining the interest and involvement of women and younger riders.
    • Ernie committed to reinstitute the monthly emails to communicate with liaisons and staff at least once per month to help them be in the “know” as they communicate with riders and volunteers.
    • MORE Instagram, Facebook and Meetup are available to advertise rides, trail work days and events.  Ask Martin or Ernie if you need access to organizer roles.
    • Discussion about MICL’s (MD chapter of NICA) annual report centered around professionalism and opportunity to communicate effectiveness, mission, vision and enable fundraising.  Neil and Ernie request your help in producing an annual report for MORE.
      • Discussion around how NICA is organized in VA and how they operate.
    • Discussion of Regional Support for trail liaisons with training, grants and advocacy.  Dave Magill and Tom Howe will plan and host this years trail liaison dinner in addition to regional training.
  7. Development Plan Workshop
    • Steve created a listing of potential donors from business and industry
    • BoDs were asked to contact potential donors
    • Cold calls generally don’t work; proposal to send out targeting efforts instead
    • Standard letter list to send out – needs to be created
    • Registered with the CFC – available to any member that participates in payroll deductions through federal gov
    • Events with beer donations (proceeds from beer sales). Technically don’t sell beer. Give beer away and take donations.
    • Membership tables at events have had limited results, however we will continue effort
    • Discussion about a portion of donations for a specific trail be allocated to unrestricted expenses? Yes, but may not are a good idea because it may reduce specific donations.  Decision, 100 % of donations to restricted fund are for the restricted fund, no administrative fee will be recovered.  MORE will pay the administrative fees from paypal from the general fund to keep donation intact for restricted funds.
    • MORE participates with corporations who match employee donations from cash or volunteer hours
    • Trail Care has proven to be a good source of funding for MORE.  These are micro donations accumulated from riders with linked Strava accounts who ride our trails and donate after riding.
    • The MORE BoD’s is committed to making good faith efforts to generate donations
    • Discussion about what the Grants Working Capital Fund should be.  Good discussion which lead to acknowledgement of inadequacy of working capital fund if Patuxent ($100k), Frederick ($30-80k) and Brunswick ($30k) all required backstop at the same time.  A backstop is the ability to fund the work before reimbursement occurs from State Highway Administration, Recreational Trails Program.
  8. Financial guidelines for 2019 budget
    • Forecast performance to 2019 budget in March if not Mid-Year to make sure we are on track
    • Revisit budget at mid-year
  9. Communications
    • Ernie is committing to communicate current status and upcoming events on a monthly basis with trail liaisons and staff
    • Discussion about communication plan and how to use FB to post updates – frequency, volume of trail updates, rides, etc.  Steve DonTigny has been leading the communications effort with social media and constant contact.
    • We need to be more strategic of sharing of FB pages.  This is an item for additional discussion and expertise.
  10. Other items
    • IT discussion – vote to approve Website Committee. Bob formed committee to provide proposal for how to solve deficiencies in website design and performance, including amending the 2019 budget if necessary.  BoD volunteers include Ernie Rodriguez, Tom Howe and Rob Lowe lead by Bob Caverly.
    • IMBA – The new membership model flows all membership dollars to MORE except for a transaction fee per member at join/renewal.  The fee is $12 per member at join/renewal.  Discussion about when and how funds are sent to MORE from IMBA.  IMBA issues membership checks on a quarterly basis.  Locally collected memberships such as MoCo Epic or Fall Camping Trip are sent to IMBA for processing and then IMBA cuts a check to MORE. Effective Jan 2019, MORE has switched from using IMBA to provide payroll services for the Executive Director to a third party service.
    • Silver Spoke nominations are due to Ernie by noon January 13, 2019
      • Changing the date of the Winter Membership Meeting will give BoD’s additional time to submit nominations, confer with regional leaders and gather TiF data for awards
  11. BoD Meeting Schedule
    • Bob Caverly already set-up the dates on the MORE calendar for the year
    • Locations will be added by the end of February
    • The goal of rotating meetings is to reduce travel pain for board members and guest

 

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