January 2022 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports

January 2022 MORE Board of Directors Meeting Minutes


Virtually present at meeting

Ernie Rodriguez - President

David Beugelmans - Vice President

Peggy Flaxman - Executive Director

Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director

Kathy Mihm - Communications Director

Rob Lowe – Membership Director

Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director

Larry Cautilli – VA Advocacy Co-Director


Not present at meeting

Neil Blake – Treasurer

Clay Deming - Activities Director



·      Financial Updates

o   Financial Update

o   Revenues $203.4k before transfers of $65.9k to the restricted fund ending with $137.5k

§  $79.2k Memberships

§  $54.5k general donations (via shopify, checks, REI, charitable funds, etc.)

§  $32.2k MoCo Epic, net of expenses

§  $20.8 PPP loans foregiven

o   Expenses $80.9k

§  $37.8k staff costs (net of MoCo allocation)

§  $5.9k insurance

§  various other expenses under $5k

o   Restricted funds were a net increase of $87.5k of which $50k was the transfer to the GTF and $15.9k is the expected MoCo Epic transfer (50% of the net proceeds)

o   2022 Budget Review (High Level)

§  Neil:

·      Started worked on preliminary budget. It has taken longer than normal.

·      Recommend to keep most of the line items we have but remove individual budgets like President’s Budget and incorporate it into other line items. So there would be columns that snow the most accountable person for each line item. This will reduce issues with finding budget.

·      If there is a particular thing you’d want to spend in a category, then you’d include a request.

·      In terms of process, we did approve a budget last year approved by the BoD. This year, make sure you look through it. If you want to change it, you need to bring it to whole board. So it’s better to plan out our year that way.

§  Dave M

·      If you have things in the back of your mind, just put it into the budget because you don’t need to spend it.

·      Neil: We don’t have the problem of people spending up to their budget. So make the request and we’ll go from there

§  Neil

·      Will send out draft budget and send out link to where that’s going to be in the MORE shared drive.

§  Dave M

·      The percent of money that we get from memberships is very high. It’s 1/3 or better. We need to thank our members for being so generous.

o   Large donation to trails in new trail fund

§  Ernie:

·      We had a large donor and the funds came in. There are some restrictions. The money must be spent on the dirt and on non-race course projects. The money also can’t be completely funded by these funds.

·      Ernie proposes that Neil track this separately and report out at least quarterly what we are doing with the funds and how we are spending it.

§  Dave

·      We want to communicate well, listen, and bring out own ideas. Didn’t say it needs to go to any particular place and wants our ideas.

·      Idea would be to match this with the General Trails Fund grants so that folks can get $20 to $25k

o   Memorial donations and MoCo Trails

§  Kathy

·      Want to make sure we are tracking total donations so that we can inform the family so that they can give recognition

·      Family wanted to designate funds for MoCo Trails

§  Ernie

·      Neil is tracking for MoCo.

·      Ernie is also tracking and letting family know who people are and amounts people are receiving.

o   Proposed transfer of $25k from unrestricted funds to General Trails Fund

§  Dave M.

·      Neil has covered that we’ve had a great year in terms of raising general funds. Our general funds have grown by $50k this year.

·      We created the General Trails Fund and expanded role to allow up to $10k for individual projects. While so far, the trails committee has approved $40k, we are going to use it all up relatively soon (Q1 2022)

·      Would be very happy to be able to tell liaisons that they are not stuck and the money is not out.

·      Thus, would like to see $25k transferred from unrestricted funds to general trail fund.

§  Peggy

·      We need to focus on spending money we have now on people on the trails now.

§  Neil

·      It is taking awhile to spend money that’s there now, so $25k is appropriate

§  Motion to approve transfer of $25k from unrestricted funds to General Trails Fund. Kathy seconded motion. Motion passed, unanimously.

o   Budget Request for MORE videos

§  Ernie

·      This is more of a discussion because I can include it in the new budget

·      Would like to propose that we contract with Korey Hopkins to do 3 videos with us. One being a “hype” that is short about mountain biking in the mid-Atlantic. One being the “value of MORE, that can be used for fundraisers. And the third would be a tourism video that would be longer.

·      Would like to ask for $15k to be able to work with Korey.

·      Korey is published editorially and has been in magazines etc.

§  Peggy

·      He has also done work for MICL and Black People Ride Bikes

·      Supports having him do this work

§  Dave M

·      Why do you want a budget this large and how do we stage the work to make sure we are spending it well?

o   Ernie

§  One thing that we failed to mention, during our conversation, he discussed using his contacts to get grants to pay for this.

§  We would want to work with him to pick the trails and features.

§  Peggy

·      I am convinced that a hype video would be very valuable.

§  Dave

·      How would you feel if we approved $5k, with the understanding that you could come back for more money. Likes the idea of a two stage process.

o   Peggy: Indicates she agrees with this.

§  Ernie

·      Based off feedback, will include $5k into budget for hype video as a marketing line.

o   Insurance

§  Peggy

·      Did reach out to person at Marsh with questions from previous board meetings. What is a “ride along event,” what are we covered for, and what requires a separate rider.

·      Response was, “I don’t know and I’ll get back to you”

·      The bottom line, they are reluctant to define any of the terms in MORE’s insurance, so when it comes renewal time in March, we’re going to need to talk to them to make sure we are covered moving forward.

·      Right now, they’ve said “MORE Members and their “guests” are covered.” So we aren’t getting anything specific.

·      We are going to need to do some due diligence to make sure we are covered.

§  Peggy to follow-up with David B. about definition of “guest” for purposes of the renewal of the insurance.

·      MORE representation at meetings (who can represent MORE’s position, how do we know where MORE stands?)

o   Dave

§  We have a very clear policy that liaisons that speak for MORE with that MORE wants at the parks they work with. We have a very clear policy on this.

o   Peggy

§  We need to be careful that when we post stuff on social media, we need to make sure we are on the same page.

§  This came up with the Virginia Trails Alliance. They want to write a letter and want members to sign off on it. Stuff like, are we for millions for multi-use trails, etc.

o   Dave

§  You have built a lot of credibility and is not concerned with what she does.

·      Strategic Planning Meeting

o   Peggy:

§  We should do this in place of our board meeting in February board meeting.

o   Agreement do this on Tuesday, Feb 15, starting at 6:30

§  Peggy will send some materials on BoD Member’s plans and ideas for 5, 10, 15 years.

·      Membership Updates (Rob)

o   Dec 2021

§  Pre-Imba Fee - 9872 vs 9251 (2020).

§  Post Imba Fee - Estimate - $8400

o   Year End

§  Pre-IMBA Fee - 2021 -> $97370

§  Pre-IMBA Fee - 2020 -> $84838

·      Increase of $12,532

§  Post-IMBA Fee - 2021 (EST) -> $79,338

§  Post-IMBA Fee - 2020 (est?) -> $69,528 - I may not have updated in actuals.

o   2022 Target - 250 New Members to 2050 Total - $110K in Memberships and thats near 85-90K post IMBA Fees - Budget Wise I'd say figure at 70K maybe this year post fee?

o   Members (Paid and Family) - Start of Year - We will hopefully end up in the 2000 to 2100 level this year.

§  2022 - 1803 -> (1817 as of Last Night)

§  2021 - 1505

§  2020 - 1268

§  2019 - 1056

o   Jan 2022 - We are off to the races

§  $1025 in 2 and partial days.

§  2020 - This took near 12 days

§  2021 - This took us near 6 days.

o   Rob

§  Signage and being very visible on social media is driving our membership.

·      MORE Membership Notes – Year in Review – 2021 (Rob)

o   2021 was an excellent year for MORE in the Membership area. Much of it due to improved social media and trail head visibility and diligent outreach to related clubs in Meetup and other areas. Our base membership in dollars grew by near $12.5K from $84.8K to $97.3K. Post processing fee we should be around $79K near $10K higher than 2020.

o   Auto Renewals - We had good growth again growing from 284 to 362 paying annual members at $25.6K and monthlies grew from 59 to 71 and now accounts for $8.2K a year meaning in auto renewals we are now at $33.8K in pre-fee membership dollars. Up from $26.1K in 2020.

o   New Joining Members – We had another HUGE year of new members joining driving our membership numbers up with 481 New Paying Memberships. That’s just paying members. Versus 400 in 2020 which was a huge year. Versus 2019 where we only had 249 New Joins.

o   Large Donor – 249 Members giving near $37.8K of our pre-fee membership dollars.

o   MoCo Epic – Was huge this year especially day of memberships. People wanted to be social after the covid impacts of 2020.

o   Fall Camping Trip was also good for memberships though still socially distancing and limited kept it a bit smaller than what was normal in 2019.

o   Smaller Fall Membership Drive did reduce renewals after last year we noticed a large spike in Oct 2020 joins who did NOT renew in 2021, but smaller than 2019 to 2020.

o   Total Members – We have been on a growth path solidly since the start of 2019. We grew again this year by over 250 members to 1803 at the end of the year and as of right now 1819. We started 2019 at around 1056 total members, 1268 at end of 2019, and 2020 we grew to 1505. In 2022 I hope to see us grow to a sustained 2050 to 2100 Members. That would probably lead us to near $110-115K in total memberships.


Membership Loss – Paying Members who expired in year. I had to estimate the original 2019-year loss value as I don’t have a file with that info. I had a count in a tracker, however.

o   2021 – End of Year – 415 @$24.5K

o   2020 – 2021 EoY 294 @$14.8 - 86 @$4.7K – Renewed

o   2020 – 2020 EoY 380 @$19.5

o   2019 – 2021 EoY 232 @$12.0 – 28 @$1.6K - Renewed

o   2019 – 2020 EoY 260 @$13.6 – 57 @ $3.3 - Estimated

o   2019 – 2019 EoY 317 @$16.9 – ($ is Estimated based on Nov 2019 file).


Points of Improvement –

·      Improve Retention of Lapsed/Expired Memberships – Want to move to the following

o   Reminders on 1st, 2nd 4th and 6th Months.

o   Reminders to Last Year on Membership Drives plus last 3-4 years.

o   Other options to be looked at.

§  New Reminder Format – Something more modern?

·      Large Membership Outreach – Both these need audit as they may have renewed in Jan!

o   47 Large Memberships - $7350 (100 and UP)

o   10 Very Large - $3600 (250 and UP)

·      Signage at/on Trail Head(s) – I think a new campaign of “BRAG” signs in 2022 may be worthwhile at the trails or in Kiosks to help us “identify” to all users that we support/maintain/build/etc.

·      Rides – I plan to try and work with our Event Coordinator to try and get Monthly BoD rides on starting in the spring and re-start the Discover Series from 2019.

·      Meet and Greet – As discussed in 2019 I think regional meet and greets every other month would be a good outreach for membership and communication.

Peggy offered to work with Rob on the content of the renewal reminder. Peggy said she will try to put it into a format to see what he thinks. Believes there would be some benefit to consistency across the board.


·      Communications

o   Member Survey

§  Kathy

·      This is something that Peggy brought up in the past. I think it’s important to understand what members are expecting from MORE. Is MORE providing the services MORE wants?

·      Wanted to throw this back out there.

·      Wants to get this out there in 2022.

§  Dave M

·      This should start with a pitch and ask if we are accomplishing our mission.

§  Dave B

·      We need to get this out ASAP so we have the responses before the strategic planning meeting

§  Agreement to get this out ASAP.

·      Events

o   2022 Events

§  Clay

·      Has been thinking what 2022 should look like.

·      Has been struggling with the Winter Membership meeting, but at this point is probably canceled.

§  Dave

·      Recommended outdoors on a weeknight at the silver branch

§  Clay

·      Thinks we will be able to do all our major events outside. But Jan/February is not going to happen and March is a little early. Doesn’t want to cancel everything, but need to delay to see what happens.

§  Ernie

·      We want to drive behavior of people reporting their hours.

§  Peggy

·      Thinks we need to get dates on calendar so we are able to plan. Happy to follow-up on getting all of these.

§  Rob

·      Until we know more about COVID, it’s going to be difficult to do the Spring Fling based on the viewpoints of the committee. The purpose of the Spring Fling is supposed to be low stress. We need to remember to keep it simple and we are not doing an epic. We want to do a spring social event.

·      Peggy

o   We should still get a date on the calendar and if we need to cancel it, we can.

§  Dave M

·      Clay should put in a large budget request for the 30th

§  Clay

·      For smaller events, general though it that we will get the message out that we want people to do rides. We should set up a monthly outlet for rides where some of us show up and we are going to do a ride at a certain time.

·      Hoping to include other places like Locust Shade, Bacon Ridge, etc to make sure we have ride leaders.

o   Monthly Rides and Rewards

§  Clay

·      Hoping to do some rewards to ride leaders. Asking shops if they want to donate gift cards for ride leaders. One bike shop did plan to give out gift cards and will give them out to ride leaders.

§  Rob

·      This helps. When joined for ride leadership there was usually a bike raffled off or a gift card given out from a shop. At this point, should be able to ask for $1500 for gift cards to top or random ride leaders.

o   New Ride/Family Ride Coordinator Recruit

§  Clay

·      To help with all this stuff, we really need a reliable family ride coordinator who will set up sMOREs rides and coordinate them. Peggy was basically doing this in Virginia.

·      It has been difficult to connect with the sMOREs rides leaders.

·      We need to recruit.

·      General agreement to put notice we are looking for someone via social media.

o   Volunteer Engagement

§  Peggy

·      When you get ready to put together these numbers for the budget, we need to do a better job of recognizing volunteers. Whether its jerseys, lotteries for gift cards. Something a little more than a handshake.

·      Trails

o   Virginia

§  Tom

·      Lake Fairfax is probably going to be submitting a new grant request. They are going to submit a new request.

o   Maryland

§  Dave M

·      No updates



Activity Reports

·       President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez

o   Insurance review

o   Setting up cabin auction for Bacon Ridge

o   Setting up honorarium donations for MoCo in honor of Joshua Reed

o   Exploratory meeting with Korey Hopkins for MORE promotional videos

o   Attend American Trails Webinar

o   Attend ASA Active Transportation and Equity training

o   Attend MNCPPC Parks and Recreation Open Space Planning meeting

o   Attend planning meeting for Fountainhead Reverse Ride with Sodirace

o   Helping prepare MoCo Epic profit and loss statement

o   Respond to email, social media and other MORE correspondence

o   Recruit volunteers to help board members and volunteer leadership

o   Attend donor meetings for fundraising

o   Attend Potomac Heritage Trails Alliance meeting

o   Discuss possible trail between Gordonsville - Montpelier - outside of MORE's area

o   Conduct annual performance review with Executive Director


·       Executive Director – Peggy Flaxman

o   MoCo Epic Profit/Loss Finalized

o   Insurance Review

o   Fountainhead Virtual Event Discussion

o   Fountainhead Spring Event Discussion

o   Arlington County Trails Meeting

o   Virginia Trails Alliance Meeting

o   Loch Raven Reservoir Meeting

o   VA Liaison Meeting

o   MORE BoD Elections

o   MORE Jersey Voting

o   Invasive Plant Control Meeting

o   Land Conservation and Greenways Conference Planning

o   Social Media Mgmt

o   Potomac Heritage Trail Meeting

o   Teams / Sharepoint Review

o   Mailed Swag

o   Mailed Holiday Cards

o   Updated/Created Trail Pages (Windy Ridge, Paint Branch)

o   Input on Liaison Guide

o   Cap Cross/Little Belgians Race

o   Created 2022 MoCo Epic Registration Page, begun changes to process to improve


·       Vice President – David Beugelmans

o   Conducted pro bono waiver review by Gordon Feinblatt LLC

o   Ad hoc Waterworks trailwork

o   Drafted and negotiated new City of Annapolis Truxton Park MOU


·       MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill

o   Patuxent – working to obtain SHA approval of modified scope for Phase 2 grant, with more money for trails, DNR building new parking

o   Patuxent – workday to finish phase 1 punchlist items including stream bank armoring, led SHA inspection of existing bridges

o   Rivers Edge – attended site visit for new RTP grant with SHA and liaison Carlo Alfano

o   General - Distributed 2022 annual waiver form to liaisons

o   General – supporting effort to get muddy trail signs put back up at trailheads

o   General – participated in MORE waiver review

o   SCSP – meetings, calls, site visits to scope out upgrading the Seneca Greenway trail under Clopper Road bridge and other projects to open 3 miles of this trail to bikes. Submitted written proposal to DNR

o   SCSP – four workdays to install Carsonite posts and directional decals, ordered additional decals

o   Greenbelt National Park – toured trails with local advocate, who is pursuing access for bikes on the 5 mile perimeter trail

o   Annapolis – assisted with negotiation of MOU for Truxton Park

o   Eastern Shore – discussions on possible bike park

o   Prince Georges County – advertised for help in advocacy, had two positive inquiries, planning to testify in budget meetings

o   Cosca – plan to flag potential new trails deferred by the snow storms



·       VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe

o   With Peggy and Ernie, met with a new volunteer, Adam Reel, who will be assisting with advocacy in VA

o   With Peggy, Ernie, and Adam, participated in a meeting to discuss the development of a trail between Gordonsville - Montpelier (which is outside of our MORE’s area) with Peter Huijk

o   Led the monthly VA / DC Liaison meetings with Ernie, Peggy and representatives from Lake Fairfax, Wakefield, and Locust Shade


·       Membership Director – Rob Lowe

o   Wakefield Trailwork - Kiosks with Scouts and Ad-Hoc TW

o   Presentation to Cubscout Troop for Stewardship of Land

o   Lead Ride at Wakefield

o   December Membership Processing and Reminders


·       Communications Director – Kathy Mihm

o   Assisted with Jersey contest

o   Reviewed and revised Ride Leader Guide

o   Prepared and distributed Year End Giving and Seasons Greetings messages

o   Participated in planning for MORE promotional video

o   Prepared mock up for Clopper Road underpass trail design


·       Treasurer – Neil Blake

o   Revenues $203.4k before transfers of $65.9k to the restricted fund ending with $137.5k

§  $79.2k Memberships

§  $54.5k general donations (via shopify, checks, REI, charitable funds, etc.)

§  $32.2k MoCo Epic, net of expenses

§  $20.8 PPP loans foregiven

o   Expenses $80.9k


§  $37.8k staff costs (net of MoCo allocation)

§  $5.9k insurance

§  various other expenses under $5k

o   Restricted funds were a net increase of $87.5k of which $50k was the transfer to the GTF and $15.9k is the expected MoCo Epic transfer (50% of the net proceeds)


·       Activities Director – Clay Deming

o   Working on an updated Ride Leader Guide

o   Assisting with jersey contest

o   Reaching out about Monthly Ride leader rewards

o   Contacting sMORE’s leaders regarding waiver

o   General Social Media support



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