December 2022 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports

MORE – Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
December 12, 2022


Virtually present at meeting

Ernie Rodriguez - President

David Beugelmans - Vice President

Peggy Flaxman - Executive Director

Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director

Kathy Mihm - Communications Director

Clay Deming – Activities Director

Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director

Neil Blake – Treasurer

Rob Lowe – Membership Director


  • Financial Updates (Neil)
    • $6.4k Net general decrease
    • $12.4k revenues
      • $5k memberships (rough estimate to be finalized from Rob)
      • $4.2k Gala
      • $2.1k Other general
    • $18.8k expenses
  • $9.3k Gala
  • $6.7k Exec Director
  • $1.6k MoCo Epic
  • $4.2k Net restricted increase
  • $5.7k revenues
    • $2k Frederick (donation from Marathon event)
    • $1.7k Wakefield
    • $1.3k James Long
  • $1.5k expenses
    • $1k Locust Shade (supplies and materials)
    • $0.5k Frederick
    • Other
      • Increase budget line items for training (Ernie)
        • Will be discussed as part of budget process
        • Dave M: How many people are going to take this training? When I think about my advocacy budget, it wasn’t for training for first aid. We should have a line item for training and we should be communicating what we are doing for our liaisons and our ride leaders so they see what we are doing.
        • Neil: Agree that this should be a separate line item.
        • Ernie: The course is in February 2023.
        • General agreement to allocated $5000 to training.
      • Reimbursement process for ride leaders and trail liaisons attending Wilderness First Aid courses (Ernie)
        • Ernie: Should requests go to Neil?
        • Dave M: The current process going to Neil works and we should do it that way.
      • Elections (Ernie)
        • Want to talk about nominations. Only have two. David and Kathy.
        • Don’t have anyone for other positions. Peggy has put it out there.
        • Is there anything else that we need to be doing? Do I need to send out messages through CVCRM?
        • Peggy
          • We just aren’t getting interest
        • Dave M
          • There are a lot of people who don’t know if the position is open. The information that we haven’t been providing is whether a position is open.
          • I would be in favor or saying which positions are open so that people know they aren’t going to need to compete.
          • Putting that work out there would be worth saying.
        • Dave B
          • I agree with Dave M
          • We should make it clear on social media what duties are needed for people
        • Review of Strategic Plan Progress (Peggy)
          • We should go over our short term goals and talk about where we are and what we need to do to make some progress on the goals that we haven’t touched on.
          • Goals


  • Increase Communications (Quantity and Methods)
  • - Value of membership
    - Trail work opportunities - Clinics
    - Weekend rides
    - Trailhead Signs

Peggy: This is something we have done, but there is work we can do here.

  • Dave M: What do you see as the potential area where we can improve communications.
  • Peggy: I think this is an area where we have made progress, but we still have a lot of outlets and don’t have a cohesive way of managing them.


  • Increase Board & Volunteer Training
  • - Liaison Training - Advocacy
    - DEI
    - Ride leaders

Peggy: Accidentally, the Trailforks stuff has been a good opportunity. This is the kind of stuff we had in mind to show liaisons and other volunteers that they are valuable. Ride leaders are eligible for wilderness first aid stuff. Haven’t done any DEI training.

  • Tom: Monthly meetings have made liaisons come into their own. The best thing is that they help each other. We are seeing future potential leaders emerging.
  • Dave B: Should we be doing this in Maryland?
  • Dave M: This makes me think we should try this again in Maryland. Put call out before, but we will do it again to see if there is interest. Will try to set this up in 30 days.
  • Modify Activities to Match Community Needs
  • - Accessible group rides (including more beginner + weekends)

Peggy: Thanks to Kathy, the beginner rides continue. Weekend rides are growing. Kathy has also set up clinics, including drop clinic at Fairland.

  • Advocate on Multiple Levels
  • - Reach out to community & state leaders

Dave M: This is ongoing.

Ernie: Dave is right. Things are going well, but they could go better. We need to keep Peggy more informed on what’s going on.

Increase Attention to Underserved Areas to increase accessibility, build community and trails

  • - Prince George’s County - Loudoun County
    - Arlington County
    - DC

Dave M: This is a slog to keep on working on this. For Loudon County, we need to do a better job communicating the progress being made. We can only do what the land managers allows us to do.

  • Plan a member roundtable event to address DEI

Peggy: Clay hosted a DEI meeting.

Clay: This was a good start. Everyone who showed up got along. The question is how to do we start, where do we start. What can we do? Everything from our activities to leadership to volunteering. Touched on a lot. The question is going to be continuing. Would like to see what happens organically with this and communicate with board what committee thinks we should do.

Ernie: Wants to get involved.

Communicate/Coordinate with Partners on shared goals to determine how we can support them and work together

Peggy: Don’t have anything to report.

Clay: Reached out to Trails for Youth and Phoenix Bikes and invited them. Followed up with Emily a bit more. Asked her what we can do. People would bring helmets to pop up events and thinks like that. She seemed enthusiastic about that.

Formalize & Track Fundraising Efforts to include outreach to corporate donors.

Peggy: Have made progress with Donor Perfect, which will allow us to do EOY reporting. I have not done any outreach to corporate donors, except inviting them to things.

  • 2023 MORE Calendar (Peggy)
    • Peggy: Would like us to have a list by month that has dates for things we know are occurring so we can start determining so we know what we can put out for the community and what our needs are.
      • For instance, figure out dates for tent events so we can use these for planning purposes for 2023.
      • Have some dates for Friends of Patapsco State Park. We need to plan around those.
      • We need a master calendar. Will create a spreadsheet that we can add to.
    • Membership Updates (Rob)
      • November 2022 was our slowest join month since in January 2020 with only 9 true new members during the month and only 1 above our slowest month on record. We also had significant loss of members due to non-renewal, perhaps due to recent economic forces or other factors around weather and change of season or people leaving the sport after the pandemic boom.
      • Most concerning is we only got 9 new members. Slowing new joint point since January 2020, which was our slowest month. November is always slow and relative it is probably about the same level of drop off.
      • Total Current Members – 1964, with 169 lapsed members still between mid-Oct and Nov 2022.
      • Neil:
        • The more members you have, the better. Membership is a loss leader. You just want to increase the numbers, and revenue will follow from there.
        • Inflation has been high, and the membership levels have stayed the same. It could make sense to increase the minimum amount. Thinks this is worth raising with IMBA.
      • 2023 Membership Prediction for Budget (Rob)
        • Watching the trends and slow down we have seen. Looking at the financial implications. It is clear that we may be seeing the end of post pandemic boom and we may see a membership retraction next year.
        • Dave M: We should just use between 1900 and 2000.
          • Neil: Just take average from 2022, and then that’s your number.
        • Events
          • Winter Meeting (Clay)
            • Scrambled around for a month or so trying to find a venue
            • Came up with March 5, which is a Sunday, at Silver Spring Civic Center, from 5:30 to 9:30, with event from 6 to 9.
            • Going to think about getting a reservation in on a Saturday for next year because they are booked well in advance.
            • Going to find a caterer for a main dish and we will have a potlock. Will start bugging folks to nominate awards for 2022, but can wait until January for that.
            • Haven’t finalized budget but will get that out soon.
          • Trailforks (Ernie)
            • Wants to understand, what will happen if we do nothing.
            • Very appreciative of Trailforks’ efforts to educate club and revisited all our trails and tried to do as much work as he could.
            • It is not realistic for us to edit every trail. There is a gambit of people who don’t know what trails look like, to high quality like at Fountainhead where it has all kinds of good stuff.
            • Focus is what are the capabilities and how can we reduce out workload.
            • Like the heat maps are automatically included and like how can search and find trails.
            • Downloaded and linking the maps is the last thing we covered. There are some capabilities. We can make the tool as vibrant as we can make it.
            • The maps are basically crowdsourced and the addition of data makes it better. The more people that use it, the better.
            • What is also impressive is the counts of usage. We know that Trailforks isn’t representative of everyone, but we don’t know what percentage it is. We know it’s a group, so if Trailforks is selling us there are 20k people using trails, it tells us that we have a potential for membership.
            • If Trailforks is already connecting with these people, we can download reports and get emails/usernames. They don’t sell the data, but we have it as admins. We need to be smart how we use the data.
            • Dave M
              • The focus should be on getting liaisons on how to update the trails. Let’s not focus on trail conditions. Let’s not focus on trailwork. What we want to do is make sure that maps are accurate and up to date.
              • We need to focus on these critical skills and not too much scope.
            • Trails
              • Virginia (Tom)
                • Good liaison meeting
                • With CCT, Zane is back for the holidays. Going to work with area manager to do work he wants to do.
                • At Lake Fairfax, cat cross was a few weeks ago
                • Tony is looking to enhance machinery he has. Looking for attachments for his dingo and has offered to set up a training day. Dave M should look at this for liaison outreach and training
                • At Lake Accotink, good meeting with new manager and could make progress.
                • Still on hold with Brookfield connector
                • For Fountainhead, there is going to an EX2 race next year.
                  • Jeff has some scout projects to line up
                  • There are some horse trails that will be part of race course.
                  • There are other opportunities in the park.
                • At Andy Guest, had a great meeting. Looking for approval to build more miles of trails. Working on getting information on when cabins are available. This would be a great place for an event. Can ride to Elizabeth Furnace with minimal road.
                • At Locust Shade, there are expenses coming in and more ideas for future builds and features.
                • Looking into adaptive cycling in NOVA. Fountainhead may be a good candidate
              • Maryland (Dave)
                • Busy month for Maryland trails
                • Patuxent Phase I, got project close out letter from SHA, meaning they signed off work and will pay $18k. The last step is to put up signs and blazing and maps
                • Phase II, just authorized $2000 to get final wetlands study so we can submit permit. Hope to be putting out for bids for 3 miles of trail middle of next year.
                • Schaefer, in a matter of 3 weeks, got a concept that we reviewed with team, got approvals, and mobilized contractor, who started today. We are making a beginner loop for about 4000 feed. Going to add another $1000 to do some more cleanup. Will be done by the time Schaefer reopens.
                • Signed another contract for 2 new trail kiosks funded by RTP that will be at black rock mill and Schaefer
                • Seneca Greenway trail just today authorized the engineer to do the sequence of construction documents needed for MDE approval.
                • Hashawa, trails committee approved $3000 to put in a bike service station and a job box. Ken and Jason are creating community that are enthusiastic. Huge amount of land with great opportunity.
                • Rivers Edge, posted bit documents for 1.5 miles of trail. Goal is to have them done by September.
              • Executive Session for end of year personnel business (Ernie)
                • [Confidential]



Activity Reports

  • President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
    • Helping plan Winter Membership Meeting
    • Wakefield Trail Work
    • Ask for help with tracking volunteer hours
    • Attend Patapsco Valley State Park update including Adaptive MTBing 
    • Working with IMBA and Trailforks to clean-up trails, information and provide training to administrators
    • Help with MORE Elections communications
    • Participate with US Forest Service to plan stakeholder meeting January 28, 2023 for Sustainable Recreation
    • Meeting with Prince William Trails Coalition and City of Manassas Park regarding Blooms Park
    • Trails committee project approvals for James Long and Schaeffer Farms grant requests
    • Visits to Capitol Hill to promote the Biking Over Long distance Trails and National Recreation Areas to Senate Members
    • Add Brunswick/Rivers Edge Bidders Package to MORE's website 
    • VA/DC Liaison meeting


  • Executive Director – Peggy Flaxman
  • Social media communications
  • Weekly communications
  • Unsung Trail Heroes Coordination 
  • BikeBox support
  • Website Updates
  • Giving Tuesday posts & communications
  • DEI Meeting
  • Liaison Meeting
  • FPSV Meeting
  • Capitol Hill Meetings
  • 30th Anniversary Gala Support
  • Prepped MORE Survey
  • MORE Board Election Support
  • MORE Store Support


  • Vice President – David Beugelmans
    • Coordinated board meeting and finalized minutes


  • MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
    • Patuxent Ph 1– Submitted final invoice for Phase 1 (look for a $18k check before year end). 
    • Patuxent Ph 2 – continuing to try to provide all needed info for the MDE application.  Working with an environmental firm on wetland delineation near a bridge site
    • Waterworks – supporting Dave B who is pursuing pro-built reroutes of two very steep sections. Discussed same with parks personnel
    • Schaeffer – obtained approvals and signed contract with Greenstone Trailcraft to renovate ¾ mile of trail (orange SH2-7) to make it beginner friendly.  Work should start December 12
    • SCSP kiosks – obtained bids and selected winning contractor to build two additional trailhead kiosks in SCSP, funded by RTP money
    • Seneca Greenway Trail – continuing to push the engineer to prepare the sidewalk construction plans needed for the MDE permit and for obtaining bids
    • Hashawha – supported the liaisons in obtaining approval to procure a bike service station and tool box to be installed in the park
    • Rivers Edge – worked with Carlo liaison to finalize and post the bid documents for the RTP funded project to build 1.5 miles of new trail and 2 bridges.  Bids are due Jan 2.
    • Trailforks – working with Ernie and the Trailforks team to add liaisons as administrators who can edit info in TF for their park
    • Adaptive Cycling – participated in Zoom call with Ferraro and Crawford to hear about adaptive trail being built in Patapsco, and learning what is involved, so we can possible build other adaptive cycling trails in MORE territory
    • Night Rides in MoCo - assisted Kathy Mihm and Kem Chavez in connecting wthi the right parties to obtain night riding permits in MoCo parks
    • Winter membership meeting – discussions with Clay about possible venues


  • VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
    • Monthly VA/DC Liaisons Meeting
    • Trail Forks Meetings for Region Definitions and End User Training
    • Trails Committee Meeting for GTF Grant Requests for James Long Park and Schaeffer Farms


  • Membership Director – Rob Lowe
  • November Membership Processing - Thank You's, Reminders, Etc


  • Communications Director – Kathy Mihm
    • Help organize and set up for MORE 30th Anniversary Gala
    • MORE Elections - writeups for positions
    • Kent Island mapping revisions
    • MORE Volunteer end of year data meeting and evaluation of TIF, CalendarWiz and Golden data options
    • GIS mapping for Trailforks coordination (with Ernie)
    • Planning for MORE Winter Meeting
    • Set up Women’s ride group rides
    • Night ride permits for MoCo Parks and permit for skills clinics
    • Arrange, manage and attend 2 Drop Clinics with Hillary M for MORE Skills clinics 
    • Work with liaisons to identify which parks need Muddy Trail signs, and begin planning for printing/distribution
    • Emails to Meetup for options for data downloads that are available and options for signing waivers
    • First aid class for MORE - contact Red Cross for group instruction


  • Treasurer – Neil Blake
    • $6.4k Net general decrease
    • $12.4k revenues
      • $5k memberships (rough estimate to be finalized from Rob)
      • $4.2k Gala
      • $2.1k Other general
    • $18.8k expenses
  • $9.3k Gala
  • $6.7k Exec Director
  • $1.6k MoCo Epic
  • $4.2k Net restricted increase
  • $5.7k revenues
    • $2k Frederick (donation from Marathon event)
    • $1.7k Wakefield
    • $1.3k James Long
  • $1.5k expenses
    • $1k Locust Shade (supplies and materials)
    • $0.5k Frederick


  • Activities Director – Clay Deming
    • 30th Gala and Rides 
    • Start planning winter meeting
    • Lock in Civic Center looking for simple caterer for main dish
    • Working on 23 Budget
    • DEI Meeting


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