October 2023 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports
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
Clay Deming – Events Director
Nate Frey – Communications Director
- Executive Director Report (Jali)
- Things are slowing down with the MoCo Epic being done
- Working on Halloween Ride with MICL. Have heard there are some Halloween rides being planned by MoCo sMOREs.
- The next big thing is working on volunteer super series which we got funding for from IMBA and Shimano. Got just under $10k.
- We have funding to run some volunteer training and a lot of it will be training for trail liaisons and rider leaders, but also have suggestions for other training as well, such as first aid, and advocacy training.
- Some trail liaisons are interested in a mentoring program,
- Dave M – you might want to put out a question like “We’ve got $10k to bring in professional trainers and put on events. But then ask if anyone has a venue that is available to them.” People may be able to provide a venue for free.
- MoCo Epic Report (Jali)
- Saturday – 127 + 38 jump jam
- Sunday – 920
- Numbers close to last year, but a little short. Not a huge difference.
- Gross income -- $66,668
- Pending income: square and cash transactions
- Pending expenses: beer
- Positive Feedback
- Good course marking and directions
- Aid stations had a variety and didn’t run out of food
- Good selection of post-ride food
- Needs Improvement
- Some 30-milers got lost on route
- Few people unhappy with food selection
- People want ride with distance between 13 and 30 milers
- Day of Registration
- After doing day of registration, I am fine with day of registration. Initially was concerned about it, but it was not a big problem. It went really smoothly with BikeReg open. It shouldn’t be something we encourage.
- Now that I’ve been through it once, it wasn’t that stressful. It was a lot of work leading up, but it’s not that difficult.
- Would have liked to be more on top of everything. Some things were done because volunteers knew it needed to be done.
- Financial Updates (Neil)
- No update because don’t have all the information from MoCo. So will wait until next month.
- The only significant expenses this month were payments for Rivers Edge.
- Membership Update (Rob)
- A mix of good and bad things this month.
Monetarily we nearly matched 2022 once again we were short versus 2022 by $450 and about 11 membership transactions which matches closely to the avg of $40 per membership.
- The bad is we had a large spike in lapsed memberships that hit near the end of the month where we jumped from 120 to near 180 lapsed, and as of the 12th of October we are at 206.
- This has dropped our total membership from 2100+ to now less than 2050. New joins remained solid at 30 in the month of September.
- New Joining Tracking – 30 in September, 30 in Aug, 29 in July.
- Total Current Members – 2,062 with 181 lapsed members in August and September 2023.
- This is the first year we did not take new memberships or renewables at the MoCo Epic. Tried using a coupon code that was circulated among members.
- Will get some membership reminders lined up.
- Apologized to Heather at IMBA with that one email comment using negative language.
- Likes how Jali used the coupon code.
- Virginia (Tom)
- Met with NoVA Parks. Great meet, with Ernie and Jali attending. Caught up with everyone that is going on.
- Had monthly meeting, which was well attended.
- No updates for Meadowood.
- For Prince William County, sMOREs rides are still going well at Andrew Leech. Chance will have some more rake and ride trail. At Forest Green, will have some trail around golf course.
- At Fountainhead, going to have a fall trailwork day. Will focus on entrance to black trail. Also discussed future plans, including beginner area and progressive jumps, along with pump track.
- In Loudon County, have a bunch of stuff going on. Just opened some new trail by one of the wineries. Evergreen Mills. There are opportunities happening.
- At Lake Fairfax, they are in a holding pattern. Done all the new trail they are going to do for awhile. Park management has changed. Focused on some reroutes.
- Had workday at Wakefield a few weeks ago. DMV has helped out all over the MoCo Parks, as well as the MoCo Epic.
- Got an email from Fairfax County Park Authority that they have $1 million for trail maintenance and potential new builds. Will get them list of projects. Can include bridges and boardwalks.
- Maryland (Dave)
- General Update
- DNR Meeting
- Had meeting with DNR Secretary. Well structure, and about an hour long.
- Had an agenda and photos/pictures. Said not looking for money, just support in other ways.
- Presented five different trail projects on their land that we hope they will support.
- Two asks: reexamine TTF policy (can’t use anything other than natural materials)
- MD grant applications over the next 12 months – LBI and RTP (Dave)
- Trying to do five of them. Working with liaisons.
- Maryland is coming up on a tougher financial year.
- Will have a good set of documentation to put in. Will go in for about $800k in grants. Will be happy if we get $200k.
- Had call with SHA about RTP.
- Provided feedback on grants. We had submitted four grants, but got only one.
- A lot come out of it to think about. Don’t have answers to think about it.
- Did say it is competitive and it’s hard to get more than one grant per organization.
- If had more distinctive regional organization, then could get more grants.
- Also said they are taking pre-application meetings and they want people to come out and view the area.
- Have change order to finish parking lot at Patuxent.
- Friends of Patapsco and MORE cooperation on Patapsco workdays (Dave)
- Have had conversations with Eric Crawford. Folks at Friends of Patapsco were concerned about it being a MORE waiver.
- Going forward, people will sign two waivers (one for each organization). They think that is fine. They have asked and we will put them on as an additional insured on our insurance. We will also be added as an additional insured on their insurance.
- DNR Meeting
- General Update
- Virginia (Tom)
- Events (Clay)
- It gets quiet after the epic.
- Winter meeting venue is booked. Date is in February.
- 2023 Awards Reminder (Clay)
- Have not been as involved this year. Will need help nominating people and who deserves what. Will send out and include descriptions, such as why we give them out.
- Communications (Nate)
- Chance to talk to Dave Magill at Epic. Will likely step-down next year. It has turned out that I don’t have time to do this.
- Outstanding items: new one pager. This has come up a few times. We will definitely use. Wondering if there is anything else I should get done while I’m able.
- Ride Program Report (Kathy)
- Been getting night ride permits. Don’t have anything going on in VA or other counties other than Montgomery County. Subsequently trying to get ride leaders for this parks.
- Rider Resources on Website (Kathy)
- Done work on getting summary of rider resources for new rides. People don’t know all the Facebook pages for regional areas, etc. Tried to consolidate them onto a page called “rider resources”
- IMBA Hill Visit report-out (Ernie)
- Todd Keller (member and works IMBA for government affairs) had a fly in with people across the country.
- Was here before the impending shutdown, so got time with some of the elected officials instead of staff.
- Met with a lot of positive reaction. Very successful and very last minute.
- Advocating for Bolt Act (long distance trails) – it’s being reintroduced and make both chambers mirror each other.
- Also the proposed conservation rules, which BLM is working on with interior, which is a new rule that will be published.
- Part of the rule is a new category where they can take existing land and say it is conservation.
- IMBA Board Meeting report-out (Ernie)
- This is probably the best one I had been to. We are on a good track. We were in Quincy, CA. In Quincy, they are not a community of volunteers. We intersect because we are very social, but the key difference is they are organized for fundraising to create jobs and gain employment.
- They operate an outfitter for profit to support them. They give themselves jobs to support themselves. Do comprehensive planning. Do trail building and maintenance and get paid for everything. Realize they needed help with long term planning and design.
- Also some changes on board and recognition that we left too much on the table by focusing on trail building. Now focusing on creating communities and supporting social programming and membership. And that chapters need to grow.
- A mix of good and bad things this month.
President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
- Membership records processing for DonorPerfect
- Help plan, organize and deliver MoCo Epic
- Participate with fellow IMBA representatives from around the country to advocate for natural surface trails
- Meeting with new MD Secretary of DNR
- Meeting to support development of Adaptive Trails with MORE's adaptive trails volunteers
- Meeting with NOVA Parks
- Meetings with Fairfax County Park Authority as MORE's representative for Dredging Alternatives for Lake Accotink
- Meetings and conference calls to support Loudoun County Trails - Evergreen Mills is now open to bikes, more on the way
- Lead two beginner rides with Tom Howe
- Trail work day and planning work at Wakefield
- Donor contribution "Thank you" notes, swag and email
- Visit Cacapon State Park to connect with local leadership and IMBA support staff
- Attend quarterly IMBA board meeting in Quincy CA
- Coordinated sharing mower/string trimmer tools among liaisons
- Purchased new mower/string trimmers for volunteers
- Volunteered and help with MoCo Epic
- Jali Fernando – Executive Director
- Met with NOVA Parks
- Met with Cacapon Resort State Park Foundation
- Met with Maryland DNR Secretary Kurtz and Delegate Frasier Hidalgo
- Met with FPVSP and adaptive trail liaisons for Patapsco Heritage Grant application
- MoCo Epic planning and execution
- Planning for MICL x MORE Halloween dig and ride event
- Regular communications via newsletter and social media
Secretary – David Beugelmans
- Coordinated board meeting and finalized minutes
- Volunteer at MoCo Epic
- Meetings with Chesapeake Conservancy regarding trails at Saltworks Property
- MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
- Drafting grant applications for MD LBI program (legislative bond initiatives) and supporting liaisons and other working on these
- John McGrath, Ted Diss, Tom Newton, Dave Beugelmans, Sanka Perera, Mike Moses
- Mike Manteuffel helping with the overall effort
- Calls to discuss whether and how to support the a bill in MD to create a separate dept of trails
- Four days of volunteering at the MoCo Epic – course marking, set and tear down, course marshalling
- Working with Carlo Alfano on paperwork to get reimbursed for the Rivers edge RTP grant
- Call with Cheryl Ladota on SHA to discuss feedback on RTP grants
- Obtained change order from SHA to be able to go forward with the Mullinix Mill parking lot refurb at Pax, executed contract for $13k
- Organized volunteers doing mowing and trimming and chainsawing for the MoCo Epic
- Meeting in Annapolis with DNR secy Josh Kurtz and Delegate David Fraser Hidalgo (also from MORE were, Ernie, Jali, Casey)
- Asked for changes to TTF policy, additional trails in state forests, and support for capital projects
- Calls with Eric Crawford about how to have Friends of Patapsco and MORE both lead the Fun series workdays, have two waivers, insurance questions etc.
- Cut in temp bypass trail around “dinosaur eggs” bottleneck at the beginning the Epic, and alternate routes across Clopper Road
VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
- Met with NoVA Parks (9/18)
- Monthly VA / DC Liaisons Meeting (10/2)
- Wakefield Trail Work Day (9/30) Planning
- Attended MoCo Epic Sticker and Swag Party (9/30) in order to help stuff the swag bags
- Attended MoCo Epic / Rode the MoCo Epic 30 Miler
- Led Weekend Beginner Ride at Wakefield (9/16)
- Swept Weekend Beginner Ride at Laurel Hill (9/30)
- Led (weather permitting) Weekend Beginner Ride at Wakefield (10/14)
Membership Director – Rob Lowe
- Membership Processing and Reminders Sept 2023
Ride Program Director – Kathy Mihm
- Secured night ride permits for Schaeffer Farm Trails and 4 MoCo Parks trail systems (Muddy Branch, Fairland, Seneca Greenway/Little Bennett, and Cabin John)
- Set up night rides in MoCo
- Led multiple rides at Cabin John and Muddy Branch
- Led MoCo Epic training ride
- Revised and completed MoCo Epic Event map for aid stations
- Completed registration files for Moco Epic
- Participated in MoCo Epic Event planning, set up, registration, and clean up
- Held 2 MTB clinics at MoCo Epic Family Day
- Prepared map for DNR meeting
- Numerous correspondence with Ride Leaders and ride event setups
Communications Director – Nate Frey
- Volunteering at MoCo Epic
Treasurer – Neil Blake
Activities Director – Clay Deming
- Sock redesign and order