Board meeting, Minutes, News -

August 2019 Board Meeting

Present at meeting
Ernie Rodriguez - President
Steve DonTigny - Executive Director
Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director
Sharon Maloid - Activities Director
Andrew Melito - Communications Director
Bob Caverly - Vice President
Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director
Neil Blake – Treasurer (by phone)

Not present at meeting
Rob Lowe – Membership Director – Documents submitted

Neil Blake – Financials

Unrestricted net increase $2,674 (YTD decrease $9,909)

$10k - MoCo Epic draw from BikeReg (this was just the cash transferred not registrations to date)

($4.3)k – Executive Director salary

($2.1)k - Banner and flag purchase expense

Restricted net increase $18,045 (YTD increase $54,114)

$20k Locust Shade grant from REI

($2.1)k - carsonite stickers for Patapsco

Unrestricted cash $146,114

Restricted cash $222,853 

Voting Item – Loch Raven funds: Dave Magill
Motion to transfer funds from Loch Raven to General Trails Fund and Gunpowder Falls based on request from Loch Raven trail liaison Bob Compton. Motion discussed as follows, seconded and approved.

  1. Create new Restricted fund for Gunpowder Falls (All voted to approve)
  2. Zero out the Loch Raven fund, giving $1,250 to Gunpowder Falls and the remaining $2,492 into the General Trails Restricted fund (All voted to approve)

Background on vote: Loch Raven has restricted funds of $3,742 with no activity in spending since 2015. They had funds to campaign for getting mountain bike access to the trails, but ultimately that failed. The Liaison is suggesting using funds to support trails at Gunpowder and the General Trails fund. $1,250 will help build trails at Gunpowder Falls and the remaining will help build trails in any other park, including Loch Raven if it needs the money.

Fundraising: Ernie
Discussion of loss of (CFC) Combined Federal Campaign. MORE would be subject to rules for accrual based accounting and audited financials. Accrual based accounting is required for CFC for organizations with revenue in excess of $100,000 per year. Audited financials in lieu of Reviewed financials are required by CFC with organizations with revenue in excess of $250,000. MORE exceeds revenue of $100,000 mostly because of MoCo Epic and classification of pass through grants exceeded the $250,000 limitation in 2017 due to accounting duplications. Our revenue in 2018 and trend for 2019 is below $250,000. MORE will consider moving forward in switching to accrual based accounting in 2019 after our books are closed for 2018. Changing from Reviewed Financials to Audited is significantly costly. MORE currently pays between $2,000 and $3,000 for a review and estimates for an Audit are approximately $10,000. This would exceed what we bring in from CFC and not support trail building and maintenance as we want to do with contributions. Ernie will continue to work with CFC to determine if we are eligible in future years without Audited Financial reports.

Additional discussion included fundraising through grants, events, campaigns and personal appeals. Bob Caverly’s birthday campaign on social media lead to Tom’s birthday campaign and now Ernie’s birthday campaign. Personal donations are the most significant channel as we raise funds for trails from individuals.

Membership – Rob Lowe via activity report
Rob submitted the following to the Board ahead of the meeting:

MORE Membership Summary – for July 2019

Prepared Aug 12 2019 – by Rob Lowe Membership Director

  • May membership spike is assumed to be associated with IMBA’s membership drive (Free Stuff)
  • Membership Totals (June/July/Aug) - 1249/1234/1226
  • 2017 July – 72 New/Renewals/Monthlies
  • 2018 July – 67 New/Renewals/Monthlies
  • 2019 July – 79 New/Renewals/Monthlies
  • 2019 Aug – 35 Partial Month/so far – No fall Camping #’s either. (69 in 2018)
  • Historically July is one of the slower months for membership. Also with the 1st major price change for MoCo Registrations in June there is no “savings” or other incentives for membership. With August and September MoCo and Fall Camping Trip related memberships will start driving up numbers in Sept and October.
  • Monthly Members – Start of Year vs Aug 1            - 10 vs 24
  • Auto Renewing Members – Start vs Aug 1 - 135 vs 198
  • Membership Dollars Last 3 Months - 8410 + 3092 +3391 = $14,893

Activities – Sharon Maloid
43 registered for the Fall Camping Trip so far

Discussion of changing the cabin lottery for next year, possibly auction style instead of lottery of early registrants

Sharon is seeking input and assistance planning the Winter Membership Meeting February 1, 2020. We need help with venue selection, food and beverage coordination, awards and recognition, and guest speaker.

sMORE’s Restricted Funds - Ernie
Discussion of sMORE’s expenditures and not currently having a budget line item for sMORE’s. Board agreed to add a line item to the 2019 budget to support sMORE’s and control spending.

Discussion and confirmation of expanding Restricted Funds to include sMORE’s regional groups. Tom Newton has been raising funds for MoCo sMORE’s and MORE is in favor of expanding support for fundraising to others who would like to raise tax deductible funds in support of sMORE’s groups. Specifically, this accommodates MICL teams who would like to continue riding under the sMORE’s umbrella with welcoming and inclusive rides. Rides will be open to any youth while maintaining liability insurance requirements to have a minimum of the ride leader and sweep be MORE members. We’d like to encourage parents to join MORE as well.

The board agreed on the approach to support sMORE’s expansion and restricted fund accounting for sMORE’s groups. The board also agreed this approach should yield additional members, volunteers, trail stewards and future leaders from today’s youth. 

Communications – Andrew Melito
The board congratulated Andrew on a great looking and content rich Trailhead News.

Andrew continues to make great improvements in content, look and feel of MORE collaterals and will work on “Who is MORE” next. Andrew will also work with Steve and the MoCo team as we continue to send out advertising for this year’s MoCo Epic.

Consideration for a member survey was discussed and tabled for future work.

Volunteer Recruitment – Ernie
Discussion of vacant Trail Boss position and importance of trail liaison support including Tools, Training and Work Day advertising on MORE’s calendar and social media. Currently emails are routed to Dave Magill, Tom Howe and Ernie Rodriguez for action. Additional discussion included updating the Trail Boss guide and working with trail liaisons to identify potential candidates.

Additional discussion centered on 2020 board elections and the lack of new candidates. We need to figure out how to leverage our current membership base to ask riders to join MORE to strengthen our Advocacy Voice and build our mountain biking community. Trails don’t build themselves and land managers don’t offer to build or fund trails. MORE advocates for access, fundraises and builds communities of volunteers to fund and care for trails.

 Trail Liaison Survey – Dave Magill, Tom Howe and Ernie Rodriguez
The annual trail liaison survey has been sent to all trail liaisons for tool, training and support needs. To-date, we’ve had 17 responses out of 90 invitations to participate. If you did not receive an invitation to the survey and are a liaison, please email to be added to the survey.

Additional discussion from Bob Caverly included organizing a combined order for the “Trail Boss” collapsible tool. This tool is collapsible and may be carried in a backpack for work deep in the woods.

 MD Advocacy - Dave Magill
Carlo Alfano secured an additional $25,000 grant from the City of Brunswick for Rivers Edge in addition to the $15,000 from last year. A portion of this grant will be used to design and place signage at Rivers Edge as the current RTP grant may not reimburse for signage, and the balance for trail building.

Patuxent permits are signed and approved! Cheers to Tom, Shawn and Patuxent team from the board. The next step is SHA’s approval to proceed which should be provided this fall. This is great news.

Frederick Watershed gravity trails have generated significant interest, volunteerism and fundraising. The team of Joe Whitehair, Dan Green and Clyde Hicks set a new standard for status reports to MD (SHA) State Highway Administration for (RTP) Recreational Trails Program documentation. Andrew Muller from Greenstone Trailcraft and volunteers are making great progress on the gravity trails. Sheduro is this coming Sunday, August 18 and will be one of the main fundraising activities for the Frederick Watershed.

David Beugelmans is setting new records for trail building at Annapolis Waterworks adding new trail every week. David will have the Mayor and his staff attend the trails work this Sunday August 18.

Cocktails for Trails was fantastic again this year. This is the major fundraiser for Friends of Patapsco, who among other thing support MORE trail building workdays in Patapsco Valley State Park. Dave Ferraro, Eric Crawford and Ed Dixon continue to set new records for the number of volunteers and quality work to build and maintain trails in PVSP.

Brock Lowery’s work is underway in MoCo to permanently fix wet spots on the Seneca Greenway and Seneca Bluffs trails.

 VA Advocacy – Tom Howe
Tom and the Wakefield team met with Fairfax County Park Authority and Dominion Energy as a follow-up to unwanted news attention from the damage to trails under the powerlines at Wakefield Park. FCPA asked for notice of routine maintenance from Dominion Energy and their contractors for awareness to help with public relations and call from users. Dominion was very responsive to the trail damage and fixed issues within days and is appreciative of partners such as MORE and FCPA. Both FCPA and MORE acknowledged Dominion has the right to maintain the power grid and trail use is secondary to providing power to customers.

Locust Shade new black loop trail build has completed corridor clearing and Brock Lowery (Ironwood Outdoors) is beginning work this week. Volunteers will be needed to complete the finish work. Volunteers have been playing with naming the elevated bench-cut trail “Loco Trail” or “Andes Trail” due to the steepness of the side slope along the trail. The bench will be a signature feature in Locust Shade Park trails.

FCPA is working on a county wide (MOU) memorandum of understanding for maintenance of trails in Fairfax County.

Golden Volunteer- Ernie Rodriguez

Ernie provided a status of efforts to reduce cost for tracking trail work and ride hours with Golden Volunteer. The goal is to make tracking easier for liaisons and volunteers. Golden has a few really nice features, however the biggest obstacle is having to download an app to sign-up for opportunities. Ernie is working with the Golden development team to upload historical data and build a volunteer base so invitations may be sent out to anyone who has previously attended a trail work day for each park. The board suggested working with 3 or 4 liaisons to make sure the process will work for MORE and not degrade tracking volunteer hours.

Meeting Adjourned

July Activity Reports:

President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez

  • Worked with Andrew to publish Trailhead News
  • Working with Martin to build out remaining trail pages on MORE website
  • Meeting with Fairfax County Park Authority with Tom - discuss power line maintenance and mowing with Dominion Energy
  • Work with Dave and Tom on Trail Liaison Survey - published with early results indicating 17 responses so far
  • Ordered additional MoCo Epic stickers to be included in registration packets
  • Work with Andrew to order additional Hang Tags to be included in Sheduro and MoCo Epic registration packets
  • Ordered and received Trail Work corrugated posters - available to liaisons
  • Approved Trailforks submissions for Bacon Ridge and Waterworks 
  • Work with Neil to answer Tax Review questions from accountant
  • Working on Golden Volunteer tracking and communication application with intent to replace and reduce cost of tracking hours in Track-it-Forward
  • Set-up several "Test" golden volunteer Opportunities to document process and ease transition for liaisons and ride leaders. The hope is to get Liaisons to try this out and make sure it works for them. Currently in discussion with them to see if we can get a better tool that automates some of the functions they are currently doing. Dave suggested piloting it with a few different Liaison groups to make sure it works as expected. That will reduce risk in making it a transition at once.
  • Post several calendar events; rides and trail work
  • Spoke about the need to fill vacancy in board positions upcoming, and how that needs to be thought about soon.
  • Suggested asking at trail events, reaching out via email to Liaisons.

Vice President – Bob Caverly

MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill

  • Discussed getting back in to CFC, but we had missed their guidelines and couldn’t participate. It was required that we get an official audit to remain in their program, and the cost of that audit for the amount we get in return resulted in a net loss. Discussion for getting an audit that qualifies for that should be affordable, which is why were looking for other accountants.
  • Worked on RTP or other funding options and paperwork for Rivers Edge maps and signs
  • Frederick Watershed trails are underway and they are track to complete their goals.
  • Permits for upper Patuxent have been issued and the next step is to get a formal letter to get permission to proceed. Expected to get that by October 1st. Work will begin in the fall, which will be clearing upfront by volunteers, and then contracted help to finish up the job. Contractors haven’t been determined, and there is a process to obtain one.
  • Waiting for Waterworks to be done, they are making great progress
  • Lots of work going on at Gunpowder
  • Assisted with Trailhead news
  • Led two MoCoEpic training rides
  • Distributed MoCoEpic flyer to liaisons and bike shops
  • Trail mowing
  • Ptap Cocktails for Trails was done by FOPSVP. They sell around 150 tickets at $75 a piece and get others to additionally sponsor, including silent auction. They bring in some local politicians as well to speak. Seems like a successful event.

 VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe

  • Met with Fairfax County Park Authority / Dominion Power to discuss communications.
  • Locust Shade Build Commenced, corridor cleared, Ironwood Outdoors working
  • Looking to get access to Turkey Run park with the NPS. Currently in talks to see if it’s possible. It’s in need of getting reworked.
  • Will review results of Liaisons Survey

Treasurer – Neil Blake

  • Working on 2019 books
  • July 2019 financials circulated to board for review
  • Asked about member revenue check. Steve said it was deposited on 8/9.
  • Overall a quiet month and with the current spending we’ll be in good shape for unrestricted funds.
  • Unrestricted net increase $2,674 (YTD decrease $9,909)
  • $10k - MoCo Epic transfer from Pioneer (this was just the cash transferred not registrations to date)
  • ($4.3)k - ED
  • ($2.1)k - Banner and flags
  • Restricted net increase $18,045 (YTD increase $54,114)
  • $20k Locust Shade grant
  • ($2.1)k - Carsonite stickers for Patapsco
  • Unrestricted cash $146,114
  • Restricted cash $222,853
  • NICA made a special request for funds, but haven’t seen anything come through as of this meeting.
  • Discussion around sMOREs funding and where it comes out to. Swag for the rides cost more than expected. Dave suggested setting aside funds in the budget for them each year so this is an expected expenses.
  • Additionally, Steve clarified fundraising check deposit from MOCO sMOREs
  • Sent out RFPs for accountants and have a couple of candidates to determine whether we want a review or an audit.
  • Ernie is also reaching out for references.


Activities Director – Sharon Maloid

  • Working on Fall Camping Trip with Phil VanWerkhoven. At the moment it’s 29 adults and about 9 kids. We’re hoping for 100, including 50 kids. Catering is booked and the price increased marginally.
  • Looking for help planning Winter Membership Meeting
    • Need to clarify the date, though it’s typically the night before super bowl Potential date is 2/1/20
    • Location is TBD
    • Still looking for featured speaker(s). Looking to see if a MD official can come out and speak.
    • Also need to discuss rewards, including hall of fame
  • Patapsco Trail Festival - September
  • MoCo Epic – October

Executive Director – Steve DonTigny

  • Loudoun County, Aberdeen, Oatlands site visits
  • Capital Trails Coalition meeting
  • PHTA Board Meeting
  • American Trails webinars
  • IMBA All Staff call
  • Membership fulfillments
  • Wednesdays @ Wakefield has been successful in turnout. Next year we should see it be more efficient and raise more funds.
  • Ran Bikenetic Dirty Crit Beer garden. Decent crowd showed up and Steve attended.
  • MoCo Epic
    • Marketing materials delivered
    • Budget review
    • Social media postings
    • Event/AS Sponsors confirmed
    • Reg #s 179 riders, 34 volunteers

 Membership Director – Rob Lowe

  • Monthly Membership Emails on Reminders, Joins and Renewals – See table below
  • Monthly Membership Summary Document - 1st Rev, expect to turn into a 2 pager next month, hopefully.
  • Dirty Bikenetic Crit - MORE Paid $580 for beer, we recieved a $300 donation towards the beer from Stahl Homes(ZM3) and collected $545 in cash donations, several promised to join or donate via website.  
  • Lead Wakefield Rides
  • Trailwork at Wakefield
  • Support of W@W

 Communications Director – Andrew Melito

  • Summer Newsletter sent out
    • Working to make it a template to save time next go around
  • Photo and Video Update
    • Collected some and placed on the SharePoint site under Asset Library
    • Only gathering high quality photos (in file size) that can be used
    • Will Nichols is willing to give us use to all of his photos. In exchange he wants to be a sponsor and need help deciding if that is possible and makes sense. Discussed making him an in kind sponsor and discussed what that means in terms of obligation.
    • Side topic of that is the expressed need to verify that sponsors we list to make sure they have kept up on their contribution levels. Need to do that for both member and event levels.
  • What is needed next?
    • Would like to do a survey to email respondents to learn more about why they join, what’s most important to them.
    • If time allows work on map updates, but next focus is Who is MORE flyer. Also discussed feedback on the map and where the board wants it to go.
    • Steve will be reaching out to create a template for a weekly email he has. 

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