April 2023 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports
MORE – Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
April 10, 2023
Virtually present at meeting
Ernie Rodriguez – President
Jali Fernando – Executive Secretary
Neil Blake – Treasurer
David Beugelmans - Secretary
Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director
Kathy Mihm – Ride Programs Director
Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director
Rob Lowe – Membership Director
Nate Frey – Communications Director
· Financial Updates (Neil)
o -$7k Unrestricted, net
o $4.7k revenues
§ $2k MORE store
§ $1k interest
o $11.7k expenses
§ $4.3k membership winter meeting (includes photography of $500)
§ $3.3k financials and tax return prep
§ $2.8 staff costs
o -($0.3)k Restricted, net
§ $6.9k revenues - all are for SHA reimbursement for West MoCo (wayfinding project)
o $7.1k expenses
§ $4.5k paid to CPJ for West MoCo
§ $2.2k Waterworks
· Membership Update and Discussion (Rob/Ernie)
o March wasn’t a terrible month. Did meet 2022 number, but did not meet 2021.
o Membership numbers started to slowly trickle up again. Pretty steady.
o Things were starting to improve. Starting to see new joiners.
o Total membership funds are around $100k per IMBA fee.
o We are almost $3000 where we were last year, but have hope that things may improve. Starting to see general improvement in membership.
o Annual numbers continue to go up, as are auto.
o We are growing again in terms of auto renewing and monthly memberships.
o After last week’s mailing, we did see a big spike in memberships come through. We went from low 30-40 range to, in a three day period, doing 30 memberships and another 15 over the weekend, which is really good. We are above average at this point for the month of April.
o Dave B – Why did IMBA add a requirement to create an account?
§ Ernie: This was added so people can belong to multiple chapters.
§ Dave B: Expressed concern that this creates another step that may decrease the number of new members. Indicated IMBA should improve the sign-up process, including “one click” Apple Pay signup for month memberships.
o Clinics are likely driving membership.
§ Tried to push membership with as many posts and emails and possible. It’s also a good point to get people to auto renew.
o Ernie – Membership Discussion
§ We were talking about a couple of different things. Incorporating spring membership drive into membership focus, the value of membership, and how to move forward with membership.
§ Rob: We did slow and it’s definitely real.
§ Kathy: Out of this comes from effective communication. If you use the trail, you can donate $39. Support all the work that MORE does.
o Virginia (Tom)
§ Ernie: At liaisons call, there was a request to see the final tool order and to add to that order.
§ Wakefield Contract – Contract is over $10k. To execute, we need the full board to vote to approve it.
· Wakefield has the funds.
· Neil: Concerned about cost of project per linear foot. How do we go about bidding out projects?
o Ernie: Prices have doubled. We have been lucky in that they have been holding down their costs.
· Tom: The point of this project is to completely fix eroded/concaved trail sections to make it more fun/flowy.
· Kathy moved to approve Wakefield contract
o Dave M seconded motion.
o Passed unanimously
o Maryland (Dave)
§ There has been a lot of advocacy going on and Jali has been helping.
§ We submitted comments with MD State Forests, where they have hired a full-time trail planner, who is now making some progress to get trails in state forests. Focuses on western forests (Garrett County, etc).
§ There is a lot going on in Garrett County as well.
§ Baltimore County has decided to have a meeting focused on mountain biking. Jali is working on getting people to turn out.
§ MoCo Parks – the budget process is ongoing. The operating budget is at risk of being smaller because the county executive recommended an increase that is less than the increase given out in salaries and pay. We have been arranging testimony from MORE members, as well as letters. A good turnout there.
· Jali: Had a good meeting. We do a lot of work with MoCo Parks. It is because they are very willing. We talked a bit more about working together with MORE outreach to communities we don’t usually tap. Got ideas to get more underserved communities mountain biking. Also talked about trails and rider education.
§ Got a request from a MORE member that wants to do a workday in Cabin John and pitched her on becoming a liaison.
§ RTP Update (Dave)
· Waterworks – new trail with berms and rollers
· NW Branch – bridges and boardwalks at northern end
· Patuxent – parking lot, connector trail, kiosks
· Seneca Bluffs – 70 foot bridge over Dry Seneca Creek
o Weekly newsletter – content and tracking (Jali)
§ Going to start tracking newsletter operns and other things. Can also see how many people are clicking “join and renew” from newsletter.
§ Would like to switch from linktree to Linkin in bio. Not sure if it is free. Instead of having a list of links, it mirrors your Instagram posts so it will take strait to the link. Would like to make it easier.
o Spring Membership Drive – comms plan (Jali)
§ Would appreciate if board could look at it and give comments. This is what I want to do throughout the month of May to drive membership. Lean on story telling and lean on members of the community.
o Clarification on MORE sponsor vs. MoCo Epic sponsor (Jali)
§ Was looking through files of sponsorship lists. Peggy was getting sponsors closer to October and making them sponsors as well. Could not find in files when sponsorship agreements are up and if they are a good for a year.
§ Kathy: My understanding is that she tried to clean this up and it would be on a calendar year basis. There are MORE sponsors and MoCo Epic sponsors, and they are separate.
§ Jali – There is catching up to do from January 1
§ Neil will set up time with Jali to figure out previous sponsors for outreach.
· Rider survey update + discuss next steps (Nate)
o Nothing dramatically changed from last iteration.
· Misc. Admin
o Status of board member input for annual report (Ernie)
§ Nate needs input from everybody because can’t do anything without input. What input does Nate need?
· Going to need to do the bulk of the work over the next few days. It has been beyond what he has time for and will have time this week.
· There were submissions from many. Need to find a few hours to focus on it.
§ Tom owes Nate content and will get it to Nate.
§ Also need to get Nate photos.
· President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
o Attend American Trails "Outdoor Active" webinar
o Add Jali to payroll
o Meeting with Arlington County and Arlington Trails to discuss public engagement process for trails planning
o Discussion with Deep Creek Adventure Bureau for possible collaboration
o Apply for DoMORE 24 as Maryland registered charity
o Meeting with volunteer to develop trail status application based on weather predictive algorithms
o Work with Kathy, Rob, Clay and Jali to organized Membership Committee strategy
o Host VA/DC Liaison meeting
o Work with Kem on annual Liaison Tool Survey
o Renew MORE's Liability Insurance
o Welcome new meetup members
o Introductory meetings with Jali with Seneca Creek State Park's Shea Niemann and Montgomery Parks Darren Flusche, Bob Turnbull, Kyle Lucas,
· Jali Fernando – Executive Director
o Meetings with Shea Niemann of Seneca Creek State Park and Montgomery Parks team; meeting scheduled with FPVSP
o Applied for HydroFlask in-kind grant
o Revived weekly newsletter and monthly membership posts
o Spring Membership Drive communications plan
o Communications around events (skills clinics, Women's MTB Day, Ibis demo day)
o Collected letters from members on MoCo FY 24 budget; assisting Dave with MORE's official letter
o Advocacy alert on the Western Maryland annual work plans
o Started with MoCo Epic permitting
· Secretary – David Beugelmans
o Coordinated board meeting and finalized minutes
o Drafted VA Form 102
· MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
o Working with liaisons for up to 4 RTP grant applications due May 15:
§ Waterworks – new trail with berms and rollers
§ NW Branch – bridges and boardwalks at northern end
§ Patuxent – parking lot, connector trail, kiosks
§ Seneca Bluffs – 70 foot bridge over Dry Seneca Creek
o Signed up to testify on MoCo parks budget, recruited others to testify also
o Working with Jali on comments in various DNR state forest land work plans
o Working with John McGrath to get bids for sidewalk under Clopper Road
o Meetings with HoCo Highways and a contractor to define scope and cost estimate for Pax parking lot renovations
o Meet and greet meeting with Jali, Ernie and the MoCo Parks mgmt. team
o Recruiting addl co liaison for Upper Rock Creek – Hank Kodan
· VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
· Membership Director – Rob Lowe
· Ride Program Director – Kathy Mihm
o Coordinate with multiple ride leaders and organize and set up rides Golden/Meetup/MORE Calendar
o Coordinate Anne Arundel sMORE's ride leader and set up rides in Golden/Calendar
o Organize Outlook groups/distribution lists for Ride Leaders, Womens Leader, sMORE's
o Introductory emails to existing ride leaders on rides for 2023
o Lots of ride leader communications/emails
o Discussions with 3 new ride leaders and getting them set up for leading rides
o Assist with planning for upcoming Women's MTB Day
o Plan, organize, and advertise 4 MORE skills clinic with Hillary Marques @ Fairland
o Obtain MoCo Parks Permit for skills clinics
o Hold Beginner skills clinic on 3/26 at SGBP
o Set up Background Check option for new ride leaders through Golden Volunteer
o Attend meeting on Kent Island sMORE's and MORE ride program
o Attend Membership Meeting - strategic discussion
o Prepare 'blurbs' on MORE Membership to promote membership in communications
o Miscellaneous Social Media posts
o Order more Trailhead signs and trailhead business cards
o Prepared paragraph on Communications 2022 for Annual Report
o Annual Report - transfer 2021 files and obtain more photos
· Communications Director – Nate Frey
o Social media posts before Jali onboarded
o Coordinated with Jali on social media templates and taking the lead on certain standardized routine posts
o Started looking at annual report tasks (will get a draft together this week)
· Treasurer – Neil Blake
· Activities Director – Clay Deming