2011-11-05 minutes

Friends of Tuckerman Ravine
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
November 5, 2011 
1p.m. - 3 p.m.


Attendance: Jake Risch, Naomi Risch, Donna Woodward, Al Risch, Dan Houde, John Gorman, Tom Eastman, Eric Pedersen, Dana Lee, Rich Braule, Bruce Doten, Jeannie Ryan (later Chris Joosen).

Meeting called to order by Jake at 1:20pm.

1. Opening and President's Remarks: Jake Risch

  • Today is to be a great day (Awards Banquet) and a successful event. We sold 83 tickets with the potential for 10 or so extra folks showing up at the door.
  • This is Jake's first meeting as president. He's excited for the year ahead and bringing FOTR forward.
  • Had a meeting with Chris Joosen and Ted Sutton and it has become clear that we are becoming more relevant than ever for the Forest Service.
  • Jake wants to focus on actions and making decisions in meetings. All paperwork and documents need to be worked out in committees outside of the BOD meetings. There isn't enough time to develop ideas here and we need to keep moving forward with decisions.
  • The Forest Service is looking at a potential 10% budget cut. This proposed budget won't cover their fixed costs (ie: staff and maintaining equipment etc.). We are looking for ways to cover those costs and one way is a new snowmobile and a possible maintenance fund for the future. Safety videos and avalanche education fund and the idea of a youth school to take avalanche safety courses etc.

2. Treasurer's Report: Rich Braule

  • Rich asked whether or not the BOD wants to have the financials emailed to them and it was decided no.
  • Rich went through the budget and talked about the potential new Executive Director contract with the $8000/year salary with the potential for a year end bonus for Al.
  • Many things haven't changed. We've cut some costs through plowing fees and the trailer rental.
  • The end of the year depends on how the auction, the annual appeal letter and the Boston Ski Show go. These events are all critical to ending the year in the positive.
  • Accounting adjustments will be made for the 10yr supporting members in the future.
  • Bruce D made a motion to accept, Dana L second and the Treasurer's Report was approved.

3. Secretary's Report: Naomi Risch

  • Did everyone receive the minutes from the last meeting? (Yes) Any Changes? (No)
  • Bruce D made a motion to approve, Rich B. second and the Secretary's Report was approved.

4. Marketing Committee Report: Dan Houde and Naomi Risch

  • Dan: Since the last meeting we had a survey sent out using Survey Monkey and we got good feedback. This included spending and travel habits, people's opinion on the org. the membership value and our website.
  • The results were sent out this week, please take a look at them, they contain good information.
  • We don't have our own account and are using the Purity Spring's account. In the future we could use Constant Contact. Using the links provided from CC we are able to track where people are signing up for the newsletter and also able to target the website and facebook too.
  • The incentives with the 2012 calendar for volunteering and membership is going well.
  • We have a new software for the membership database and it is much better.
  • We used the Newspaper and Radio to promote the work weekend and the awards banquet. Both of these campaigns were very successful.
  • Naomi: We have just under 2000 fans on Facebook, which is being used to promote events etc. as well. We should do a membership drive on FB in the near future.
  • Dan: Our website needs to be re-vamped. Wants to create a site map to prioritize our needs. This issue was tabled until later in the meeting.

5. Public Relations: Tom Eastman, Jeannie Ryan

  • Tom and Dan work well together with getting the word out for both the work weekend and the awards dinner. The photos that were given to us added a lot to the media coverage.
  • It was mentioned about how difficult the website is to navigate to find press releases etc.
  • Everything that was sent out locally was also sent widely by Jeannie. Tom also wrote a story about the success of the work weekend for the paper and plugged the banquet as well.
  • Dan: All BOD members should be on the lookout for PR opportunities.

6. Membership: Dan Houde

  • The Survey Results: Highlights. The information obtained can be used for partnerships and memberships etc. It taught us who our members are and the next steps are unlimited.

7. Fundraising: Jake Risch and Bruce Doten

  • Jake: The Tux Dinner has over 80 people coming and we received over $13,000 in donated auction items. Mark Synnott is presenting his slideshow. The potential to make a lot of cash is good tonight.
  • Jake proposed we apply for the Gibson Woodbury Fund. We need to think of local projects to benefit the Mount Washington Valley.
  • Also proposed the Waterman Fund which is a grant that would reimburse the costs of the trail work weekend.
  • New this year is that we'll start accepting reservations for the inferno at the Boston ski show. This is the first year we've done this and the teams will have one month to pay before registration opens to the public.
  • Bruce: The Chamonix Trip. He wants to get 10 BOD members to sign up for go to France to ski and promote the Inferno to the French. The goal would be to bring international attention, sponsors and teams.
  • Suggestions were made on folks from the community who might be influential in the venture as well and potential past racers who are big fans of FOTR.

8. Nominating Committee: John Gorman and Dana Lee

  • We need a new representative from the AMC on the BOD in order to keep a strong working relationship going.
  • Nominated to take this position was Eric Pedersen.
  • Bruce D. moved to accept, John G. second and the motion to accept Eric to the BOD was accepted.

9. Executive Director's Report: Al Risch

  • Al has been busy.

10. Old Business: Jake Risch

  • Jake: Committees etc. Jake is trying to figure out who is on which committee etc and to see the relevance of each committee etc. A sheet of paper was passed around and people signed their names to which committees they were currently part of and which they would be interested in being a part of. Jake wants to restructure things so we can be more productive as an organization.
  • With a set list of people and committees we will develop an adhoc committee to deal with issues as they arise.
  • Dan: The website was discussed earlier in the meeting. It will be dealt with in committee.
  • Rich: New ED contract. The Executive Committee developed a new contract for Al's payment system. Concerns were raised with Al receiving a commission so we decided to move him to a salaried position. We came up with $8000/year plus incentives.
  • It was asked whether or not we can pay an Executive Director in New Hampshire a bonus legally. It was decided that we would ask Matt Serge to look into it and get back to us.
  • John G. wants to make sure we're protecting where the decisions are being made from and have more BOD involvement.

11. New Business: Jake Risch

  • The Gibson Woodbury Grant: BOD has to approve of us applying for this grant. It would comprise of $10,000 for a new snowmobile, $7,000 for a video and $3,000 for an education fund.
  • John G. made a motion to accept, Rich B second and the motion was approved.
  • Donna let everyone know that the laptop crashed this summer and everything was lost. It cost us over $2,000 to get it all back and it was suggested that we purchase sort of back up.
  • Tom was pleased with the fact that we spent a bit of $ for advertising this fall. The feedback has generally been good and next year we'll have more time to track these ads so we know where to focus our efforts in the future. He did stress though that a bit of give and take is extremely important when it comes to advertising.

12. Forest Service Report: Chris Joosen

  • The financial situation of the country is starting to trickle down into the Forest Service's Budget. They are expecting 5-10% of the budget to be cut this year. This new budget cannot cover the fixed costs of daily operation and if we were able to purchase a new snowmobile for they it would eliminate $3,200 from the annual budget immediately.
  • Chris went through the annual costs for running the program and explained why it is so important for us to work hard to help in any way we can. The biggest goal is to avoid layoffs wherever possible.
  • The Avalanche Awareness class is a big success and will be even bigger next year. All of the proceeds will go to the Avalanche Fund. This will be held the first weekend in November.

The next meeting was set for January 21st at 9:00 am at King Pine.

This meeting was adjourned at 3:30pm.


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