July 2021 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports

MORE Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

July 12, 2021, 7pm

Location: Virtual Due to COVID-19 Restrictions (Zoom)


  • Meeting Attendance
    • Ernie Rodriguez - President
    • Peggy Flaxman - Executive Director
    • Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director
    • Rob Lowe - Membership Director
    • Clay Deming - Activities Director
    • David Beugelmans - Vice President
    • Neil Blake – Treasurer
    • Kathy Mihm – Communications Director



  • Financial Updates
    • General funds increase $17k ($10k from REI plus some significant individual donations). Some MoCo expenses are coming in ($2.5k)
    • Restricted funds increase $5.3k ($12k from Patuxent RTP grant came in less various expenses on trails)
    • Ernie:
      • Moved to increase Peggy’s delegation for MoCo Epic by another $10,000 so she doesn’t need to come back to us. Insurance is $4000, which is going to eat up most of the already allocated $5000.
      • Neil: Says that MoCo Committee led by Peggy can spend up to $35k without coming to us, which wouldn’t require this approval.
        • The sooner we can highlight budget overruns, the better.
      • No vote on motion.
      • Peggy: Doesn’t see why she can’t come to the board as needed.
    • Neil: Do we want to consider the MoCo insurance expense a MoCo expense or an insurance expense
      • Ernie: It’s a MoCo expense.
    • Start election and volunteer recognition discussion for year end
      • Ernie: This is like college recruitment day. Wants to get it on the agenda so people can start thinking about it.
        • Has anyone approached you about serving on the board? Wants to get it on the radar and get people thinking about it. Especially new people who want to be part of this.
      • Clay: People have communicated to me that they want to help more and be more involved.
      • Kathy: What positions are opening up in December?
        • Ernie: President, Vice President, Treasurer
      • Ernie: We need to do a better job of getting the word out about the board elections.
      • Peggy: We also need to include Trail boss and also try to figure out what is going on the position of Ride Coordinator.
        • Rob: We need to get the word out about Ride Coordinator and also look for co-chairs to do it. It’s a staff position.
      • Membership updates (monthly/6 month)
        • Best June ever, we beat last year as a previous best by over $2300 (Pre-Fee) at $9168.  All together we beat last year's membership drive by a $150 total, and that's without 2 $1k donors, those donors seem to always...be a bit slow.  Hopefully they do come in this year at some point.
        • Our New Join Transactions were 50 for June again and with May's 50 puts us currently around 207 though I haven't processed any in the last 24 hours and we could be at 210.  In 2019 we did 249 entirely, and in 2020 we did 400, if we have a good MoCo and fall we should surpass 2020 easily.  
        • Post fee, we should be around $7450 for the month and my quarterly estimate post IMBA fee is around $21k versus $19.6K in Q2 of 2020.  In 2019 I estimate our Q2 was only $13K.
        • Total Membership is hovering between 1660-1670'ish.  Up from 1505 where we started the year.  
        • Ernie:
          • Peggy, would you be able to pull the numbers of joins from BikeReg every 2 weeks?
            • Peggy: will do.
            • Rob: Suggests twice a month
          • Volunteer engagement
            • Ernie: We are getting more and more people reaching out saying they’d like to help. We used to get calls of “why don’t you do XYZ” but now we are getting people asking how they can help. What can I do to help out, etc.
              • At the summer festival, sat down and had a long conversation with someone who asked him about how to get involved and volunteering.
            • Kathy: In leading some beginner clinics and rides, people ask about how they can participate. But it’s hard to get information on how they can participate.
            • Dave B: Idea of trying to automate emails using Calendar Wiz every month with opportunities.
            • Ernie: Yes, there is a way to do this on Calendar Wiz by emailing all subscribers, but then there is regional focus. This brings us to social media, meeting up, golden.
              • CVCRM you can target but city and state. Golden has a communication medium built in. Constant contact is another way to do it.
              • The common thread that unites everything is the calendar. That’s the easiest way to do it.
            • Kathy: If it’s on the calendar, how do people get alerted to it.
            • Peggy: Will plan on doing a weekly post about what’s upcoming generated from the calendar.
            • Ernie: Pointing people to the calendar makes the organization look cliquish, so it’s a problem we are trying to attack. We want to engage new volunteers and meet them where they’re at. Each one of the approaches has its benefits.
              • Golden has some of these features. It automatically creates a group for an area and then you can email that group.
            • Peggy: Why don’t we add something to the Trailhead news about how to become involved with suggestions like check the calendar, Facebook, etc.? Peggy will write something up to include.
            • Ernie: We should recognize new members at least once a week. This is something Peggy can delegate.
              • Peggy: Rob and I have been doing this off and on. The issue is getting up to date information.
              • Rob: The complication is that with IMBA’s standard reports old members can look like new members. Another issue are the monthly people show up as new.
            • Communications
              • Request from Sue Estes to promote Cosca Park
                • Kathy: Sue is looking for ways to get riders out there. Gave her suggestions like leading rides etc.
                  • Maybe we can promote fringe parks like Cosca and have events there focusing on park and having a series of rides there.
                • Clay: We have talked about this as a goal for later this year. If she has people who are willing to lead rides, the problem is people aren’t familiar with some of these places. Some of us who are willing to volunteer could sweep, bring a pop-up, etc. If she could provide us with ride leaders that would be tremendous.
                • Ernie: Should ask her for 2-4 ride leaders to help jumpstart an event.
                • Ernie: Her concern is connecting with the community and getting people to come out.
              • Events
                • Summer Picnic Review
                  • Clary:
                    • Thank you to everyone for helping and had a really good time.
                    • It was a really good learning experience and a lot of work went into this.
                    • If people have suggestions, it would be great to hear it.
                    • Wants to create a document of things he did for people organizing the event in the future.
                    • It would be useful to have those things condensed into a document.
                  • Peggy
                    • We should have maps for next year. People were asking where they should ride and how long will rides be, etc.
                  • Kathy
                    • We should of split the beginner ride into two groups to make it better for riders.
                    • Rob: Any ride over 10-12 people is always difficult.
                  • Ernie
                    • Very surprised and thankful when Clay sent out thank you emails to sponsors.
                    • The food was perfect. For the most part, you guys were on it and everybody was happy and talking.
                    • You created some good excitement.
                    • You also brought in local leadership to create excitement with the trials course. And TYO put it over the top with the kids.
                  • MoCo Epic
                    • All updates are in activity report
                    • Doing well with engaging sponsors.
                    • We have $4500 in sponsor dollars. This should be well above what we expected.
                    • For aid stations, there are three available. If you know of someone to reach out to, happy to send out.
                    • All of our rides currently have sponsors.
                    • Have about 230 riders signed up. We should get about 1000 riders this year, which is significantly more than before (highest was 900).
                    • The insurance is going to be about $4200, which is more than we’ve paid in the past, but the structure of insurance has changed. It’s about $5.80/rider.
                    • We are not going to limit registration and do the best we can.
                    • Has a meeting set up with Montgomery County Parks to talk about what they can do to get involved. Have asked the county for some assistance as a co-sponsor to help on permitting costs and security costs.
                    • Ernie will follow-up with two friends groups to see if they do aid stations.
                    • Maryland has changed its permitting for MoCo transportation and state for how they permit crossing public streets. The process has changed. Peggy has gone to the police station, but they have a new process. Spent hours on the phone to figure out how to do it.
                  • Trails
                    • Virginia (Tom)
                      • Had trail liaison meeting with great attendance.
                      • Fountainhead is going to develop a new trail. Looking to get folks out to help walk the line. Going to reach out to local trail builders.
                      • Brookfield, for pump track, going to make a connector to CCT.
                      • Locust Shade is going well.
                      • Meadowood is going to make changes to address long standing issues.
                      • Vernon had a trailwork day
                      • Wakefield is figuring out to spend grant
                      • Lake Fairfax is lining things up to build new trail
                    • Maryland (Dave not present)
                      • Loch Raven
                        • Jaren Shaw has taken on advocating for loch raven and has engaged the community.
                        • Has become involved and making connections. He may be able to get somewhere.
                        • Every day he seems to engage a new partner.



June 2021 Activity Reports


  • President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
    • Activity Report
    • Help with outline and message creation for Trailhead News
    • Coordinate Adaptive MTB Tour with Catalyst Sports non-profit - Patapsco McKeldin area will be the stop for DC Area
    • Participate in Lake Accotink dredging project design and planning
    • Participate with Brookfield team to connect Brookfield to GCCCT including reroute
    • Coordinate with Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League for MoCo Epic activities and event
    • Coordinate donation of equipment for trail work mowing and trimming
    • Participate in mowing and trimming at Wakefield Park
    • Help Tom, Dave and Peggy plan Annual Liaison meeting and survey
    • Social media post and surveys for advocacy
    • Attend American Trails webinars
    • Send out donor "Thank you" emails 
    • Contribute to discussion, planning and documents for Loch Raven access and advocacy
    • Contribute to MoCo Epic planning and organization
    • Help with Summer Festival planning and cleaning up and organizing SGBP shed
    • Transport TTF and provide SWAG to support Arlington Trails Skills and Demonstration 
    • Walk prospective Veterans Park at Balls Rd for access to trails with Leesburg Parks Director and liaison Erik Scudder
    • Apply for gear grant from REI to support MoCo Epic


  • Executive Director – Peggy Flaxman


MoCo Epic

Registration Updates: 

220 riders registered, 40 volunteers



Submitted permits applications for Montgomery Parks, National Parks Service and DNR

Submitted request for co-sponsorship with MNCPPC

Workinget signatures for MDOT and Montgomery County DOT Special Event Permits


AS Sponsors:

The Bike Lane (AS 1)

Bikenetic (AS 2)

Conte’s Bike Shop (AS 4)

REI, with staffing limitations will need someone to partner with (AS 6)

Darius Mark, State Farm (AS 8)

Spokes & Shimano (AS 9)

Aid Stations 3, 5 and 7 still need sponsors. If you know anyone who might be interested, pass along the attached Sponsorship Package!


Financial/Other Sponsors Secured:

Fine Earth Landscape ($1000)

NV Waterproofing ($1000)

Conte’s Bike Shop ($2500)

Sandy Spring Bank (cinch bags, cash ?)

Darius Mark, State Farm (cash ?)

In discussion with Conte’s bike shop to come in as a “Presenting Sponsor”, we are working out the details.



See attached proof.

Early bird volunteers will get a “special” shirt and swag as incentives.



Meeting with Jeff Brooks 7/6 to discuss food & beer

Organized shed, inventoried items for MoCo Epic *If you have items (First Aid, Registration, etc.) in the shed that you’d like to ‘review’ and will be at Saturday’s picnic, I will pick stuff up and bring it to you!*

Reserved generator and light towers (Sunbelt)

Contacted Key Sanitation re: Porta Johns


Insurance Note: As you all may know, MORE changed insurers in 2020 and reduced our annual costs by changing the structure of our policy.  As a result we will need to ADD the MoCo Epic as an event, so the cost of insurance for the 2021 Epic will be significantly higher than in past years (but is offset but the reduced price of the annual policy.)


Loch Raven Advocacy: Ongoing work with Jaron Shaul

Cleaned out SGBP Shed

Helped with Picnic Organizing

Outreach to Black People Ride Bikes

Ribbon Cutting for Brookfield

Supported sMORE’s rides


- Understanding the NRT program

- IMBA NICA Workshop


  • Vice President – David Beugelmans
    • Leave due to injury


  • MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill


  • Patuxent – mobilized latest contractor Dirt Artisans, working to get SHA approval for bridge design
  • Loch Raven – site visit with Jaron Shaul, various emails to support his advocacy efforts
  • Cumberland – site visit to meet Lee Borror and the parks team, who are trying to develop trails in the city of Cumberland
  • West MoCo – ordered carsonite posts for Wayfinding project, trim vegetation, organize trimming efforts
  • Liaison Meeting – organizing logistics for the August 15 liaison meeting
  • Frederick Watershed – reviewed edited and approved GTF funding request for sign posts in the Shed



  • VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
  • Held Monthly VA/DC Liaisons Meeting
  • Volunteering at Summer Picnic
  • Participated in Liaisons Meeting Planning
  • Mowing and Trimming at Wakefield Park
  • Participate with Brookfield team to connect Brookfield to GCCCT including reroute
  • Working with Wakefield Park Liaison on planning how to best use Mastenbrook Grant


  • Membership Director – Rob Lowe
    • Monthly 2 of Membership Drive - Emailing previous years who expired and high value donors in past years.
    • Thank You's for Join's and Renews


  • Communications Director – Kathy Mihm
    • Distributed Trailhead Kiosk signs, business card boxes, trailwork ahead/closed, and membership signs to Maryland liaisons for posting at parks
    • Preparation of Summer Trailhead Newsletter
    • Conducted 1 Beginner Clinic, 1 Beginner-plus ride, and 2 Women’s rides
    • Participated in planning for the Summer Picnic
    • Worked up Bike Box Loan form
    • MORE Business cards – ordered more for distribution
    • MoCo Epic business cards – updated design for 2021 and ordered cards
    • Mapping aid to Middletown/Brunswick trail area


  • Treasurer – Neil Blake
    • General funds increase $17k ($10k from REI plus some significant individual donations). Some MoCo expenses are coming in ($2.5k)
    • Restricted funds increase $5.3k ($12k from Patuxent RTP grant came in less various expenses on trails)



  • Activities Director – Clay Deming
    • Summer Picnic- planning, reaching out to ride leaders, reaching out to sponsors, reserving, shopping. 
    • Led rides in MD and VA
    • Explored the use of Golden Volunteer
    • Helped a few get their rides on the Calendar
    • Chatted with a few ride leaders about needs/wants.



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