2008-12-13 minutes

Friends of Tuckerman Ravine
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
December 13, 2008, Wildcat Mountain, 8:05-10:30 AM


Directors present:  Jessie McAleer, Bill Downey, John Gorman, Sally Dinsmore, Bob Ackland, Ed Holmes, Dave Esty, Rich Brauel, Don Bishop, Tom Eastman, Marc Hauser, Jeff Leich

Advisory Board & Staff present: Al Risch, Donna Woodward, Matt Risch, Naomi Risch

Forest Service representative present: Dave Neely

With 12 members present, a quorum was in place (9 are required).

1. Welcome: Dave Esty

*As president of the organization, Dave welcomed all and thanked Wildcat and Thomas Prindle for hosting the meeting and providing lift tickets. Dave Neely's report will be given first, as he has a commitment later in the morning.

2. USFS Update-Dave Neely:

*Al has delivered the Inferno operating plan ahead of schedule. He met with the NH National Guard, which has new people at the helm. MPs will be on the road for traffic control but not on the mountain this year for the Inferno.

*Tom Moore monitors all permits for the Forest Service, and will be handling the Inferno permit.

*Forest Service districts have received new guidance regarding advertising and sponsorship; this allows for recognition of sponsors for 1-time events like the Inferno. This means that banners and sponsor logos can be displayed at points during the event.

*The MOU between the Forest Service, AMC, MWVSP and FOTR is a priority. Before Dave writes a draft, he proposes a meeting between the groups to define the partnership relationships between the organizations. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 8, 2009 from 11 AM to 1:30 PM at either Pinkham or Androscoggin district. Dave noted that other groups like the Observatory and HMC are important cooperators as well, but for now the 4-way relationship is the most important to define.

*Dave E reiterated the need to establish FOTR as a member-driven organization. Dave N needs to tell us what the taxpayers cannot fund and give us projects in the five digits to target. Dave N replied that the Avalanche Center costs between $180,000 and 190,000 per year, and any support the Forest Service can find to help cover those costs is welcome. Advocacy for this program is important as well.

3. Secretary's Report: Jeff Leich:

*The minutes were circulated by e-mail after the last meeting.

*John Gorman motioned to accept the minutes as written. Bill Downey seconded the motion, which was voted unanimously.

4. Treasurer's Report: Rich Brauel

*The organization is $8400 ahead of budget near the end of the fiscal year. The Seacoast event, the director's fund drive and membership from the Boston Ski Show are responsible.

*There is $5500 in the checking account to carry over into the new fiscal year.

*Al noted there will be a new member event in Wellesley, MA on January 20. Racers who get on the reserved list to guarantee an Inferno entry spot must now be members, and this also contributes to the good showing.

*Dave E had hoped to be able to close the bank account he set up recently to fund hiring Donna from the director's fund drive, but this isn't happening. The key to raising funds from corporations and foundations will be the ability to show that 100% of the board contributes financially at some level. Until participation reaches 100% he will keep the account open. Close to 75% have donated to date, and others are urged to send Dave a check, for $10, or more if possible. John Gorman noted that he structured his gift to the fund drive as a life membership for his son.

*Ed Holmes made a motion to accept the Treasurer's Report. Bob Ackland seconded it, and the motion passed unanimously.

5. Executive Director's Report, Al Risch:

*Al passed out mounted posters to Bill for himself and Jeannie Ryan in gratitude for their work on the Seacoast event. He also showed a poster for the membership event in Wellesley.

*There is a new website consultant, and good comments on the site are being received. We are getting new members.

*There is a promotional DVD now, and Dana Lee will shoot extensive footage of the 2009 event and it will be available for sale.

*The 62" screen was a very effective format for showing the DVD at the Boston Ski Show.

6. Nominating Committee-Bob Ackland:

*The Nominating Committee had e-mail conversations between meetings. One immediate concern that should be addressed is to re-elect those directors whose terms expire in 2008.

*Dave E made a motion to elect Ackland, Brauel, Damon, Eastman, Gorman, and Leich to three-year terms on the board of directors. Ed Holmes seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

*Bob continued by saying while the Bylaws allow up to 30 directors, the Nominating Committee recommends that the board not be expanded beyond the current 25 members unless a unique need arises.

*The Nominating Committee further recommends that as a rule new board members will be elected at the annual meeting only, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Board candidates can be invited to assist on a committee between annual meetings.

*If the Nominating Committee is deemed to be needed by the President, all board nominations will go through the committee. Dave E feels a strong organization requires a strong Nominating Committee.

*Bob made a motion that the Nominating Committee suggests maintaining the current level of 25 board members; that board members be elected only at the annual meeting unless exceptional circumstances exist; and that if the Nominating Committee is serving, all nominations will go through the Committee. Tom Eastman seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

*Several changes to the Articles of Association and Bylaws will be scheduled for a vote at the next meeting via a notice to all board members 30 days prior to the meeting. Those changes proposed will be to eliminate the wording that requires the annual meeting be held in the spring, and to add the position of chairman as an Officer.

*Dave E spoke in favor of having a chairman, and sees Ted Sutton in the position.

Ted and Matt Serge as president will work well together. Al asked what the purpose of the chairman will be. Bob answered that the chairman will be the chief liaison with the Forest Service. The relationships are becoming more complex, and Ted is a wise hand with much experience with the Forest Service, and a good deal of credibility with that agency. In response to a question from Marc Hauser, Al said it would be beneficial to have Ted as chairman.

*Dave reported that Ellen Chandler has had to resign from the board, but will stay involved as a member of the advisory board.

7. Marketing Committee

*Dave mentioned that he would like to think that Bill and Jeannie can help with the Marketing Committee in Ellen's absence. Tom mentioned Kathy Bennett at Cranmore. Bill has a friend with an MBA in Marketing, and he will speak with Tom.

8. Membership & Fundraising-Donna Woodward

*Membership efforts were successful at the Seacoast Chapter event, and at the Boston Ski show. We are hoping it goes well at the Wellesley event also. 260 new members have been added.

*The membership database is barely functional. Donna and Al have viewed a custom membership software program at the ski museum and have spoken with Gene Dennebaum of Wingman Enterprises, the programmer who designed it. Donna feels the program is almost perfect for FOTR. The cost to buy the software from the museum and Wingman, and have FOTR's existing data converted by Wingman would be $2500.

*Rich Brauel made a motion to purchase the software package and engage Gene Dennebaum to convert FOTR's data, subject to a review by Bob Ackland and Dave Esty. John Gorman seconded the motion. Jeff Leich abstained, and the motion passed unanimously.

*Dave reported that he has half a dozen potential corporate sponsors that are prepared to support us with dollars and member benefits once the organization can document our membership numbers.

*Donna is considering a grant application to the Waterman Fund. Dave welcomed this, and recommended working with the Forest Service to design a specific project in line with their grant guidelines.

*Donna reported that she and Al have had conversations with Chef's Market, Giant bicycle, Ski Chair, and Subaru regarding corporate sponsorship.

*Donna asked that directors send their bios to her for posting on the website. Her e-mail address: [email protected]

9. Steve Eastman Award Committee-John Gorman

*The committee has a recipient in mind, and will refine the details of the award before the next meeting.

*Tom mentioned that the group needs a comprehensive e-mail press list; Bob will work with Tom to obtain one.

10. Edward Tuckerman Memorabilia:

*Dave reported that the Esty family would like to see the Tuckerman objects, which belong to FOTR, displayed to the public in a place like the Observatory, Pinkham Notch, or the ski museum.

*For the short term, the collection will go to the ski museum on a loan basis while a location is found.

11. Adjournment

*Bob Ackland made a motion to adjourn; Rich Brauel seconded it, and it passed unanimously.


Respectfully submitted, Jeff Leich

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