September 2023 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports

MORE – Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2023

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 

  • Financial Updates (Neil)
    • $31.8k Net general increase 
    • $41.2k general revenues
      • $31.9k MoCo epic (includes sponsorships)
      • $5.6k Memberships
      • $2.1k Other general
      • $1.5k interest income
    • $9.4k general expenses
      • $6.3k Exec Director
      • $1.2k Summer picnic
      • $1.0k technology/website (Adobe consolidation cost)
    • $4.9k restricted fund decrease
    • $1.0k restricted revenues (various funds)
    • $5.9 restricted expenses
      • $2.0 West MoCo trails - stones for Greenway
      • $1.7k Rosaryville (GTF transfer to cover costs)
    • Dave M: Motion to increase the prizes and swag account by $4000.
      • Second: David
      • Passed unanimously.
    • Membership Update (Rob)
      • We had a pretty good month. We were a little underperforming versus last year, but last year was unusual because we had a high volume for August.
      • Our membership peaked at 2123, but finished 2118. So we’ve had a steady increase of 30 members per month.
      • High number of lapsed and expired memberships due to various timing issues and didn’t renew.
      • Some of people are renewing through the camping trip, so that will pick up some of that number.
      • 30 new joins for the month, 74 renewals.
      • A lot of the new joins are driven by MoCo and Kathy’s clinics.
      • For the year, we are on track for about $103k pre-IMBA share.
      • Auto renewing continues to slowly trickle up. By the time you add in monthly, we are close to $45k in auto renewing.
      • We may be able to do $10k in September due to MoCo. Doing pretty well.
    • Trails
      • Virginia (Tom)
        • Had to cancel liaison meeting because it was on labor day.
        • Ernie and I are going to meet with NOVA parks on Monday.
        • Jeff at Fountainhead has something in the works. Wants to put in a mile of beginner trail with some jumps and a pump tracks. Also, when you go through the main gate, before you get to the first set of drops, there could be a return line to come back.
        • Trying to get some work days scheduled throughout the different parks.
        • Nothing to report in Prince William County or at Lake Fairfax. Have some stuff in the works in Loudon County.
        • Trying to get a mile of two or two in Fauquier County.
      • Maryland (Dave M)
        • In West, the trailwork at Rivers Edge ($60k) is done. Three flow lines, bridges, and return line, have all been built out.
        • In Frederick, Dan Green has got a deal on the paved pump track MOU. MORE needs to raise $40k for grant. No obligation to provide money if can’t raise.
          • The plan is sign the agreement at the end of this week/weekend to kick off the fundraising process.
        • Moving east, the Wheaton Regional Park (MoCo Parks) opened the trails there. The trails are beginner oriented and more connectors because it’s a way for people to get through nice park to Northwest Branch. There is definitely a plan to build a bike skills park with flow trails there. Our liaisons have been sending ideas. Could be like Bacon Ridge. This is likely a 2024 project.
        • At Patuxent, have $100k grant from Maryland bond bill. Had a workshop on how this works. Looks like this will be easier to manage than RTP because procurement process is done according to rules of sponsor (i.e., MORE). In addition, they prefer to pay contracts directly, rather than having us in the middle. Grant agreements also last 7 years, as opposed to the 3 of RTP.
          • Having been through this process and knowing the support we can get, targeting 5-7 MORE grants in next session, for up to $1 million.
        • For Rosaryville, they are starting a $50k renovation project on the perimeter loop. This should start today. Dan Hudson said he hired a high-quality trail builder and is paying him hourly. This is another area where we need to put in for another grant.
      • Events
        • MoCo Epic Update (Jali)
          • Registration
            • Looking good, including for jump jam.
            • For Sunday rides, we are at 561 riders. We started lagging behind last year’s numbers, but it also includes volunteers. Will start pushing through the newsletter and past participants.
            • After the pandemic, the number of women participating has gone up. This year we are at 20%-woman participants.
            • This year we have a few women leading rides at the epic. This will help people who don’t want to ride solo.
            • We had 6 people contribute to the MoCo Epic scholarship, where we are offering free rides to Trails for Youth and Phoenix Bikes riders. Have had several people reach out looking for financial assistance.
          • Currently scrambling for one more aide station. Have two that are very excited and having them co-sponsor made it easier. Once this happens, all aide stations are filled.
          • This week will be working mostly on communications. Push on previous participants.
          • Regarding Neil’s questions about expenses, the biggest one is going to the balance of rental of the tent and chairs, we’ve already paid ½, but the total is $5000. Also have hired photographers for both days. One will sell photos and give us a portion of the profits. Food will be a big expense as well. Expected income will be more registration and merch. Haven’t included any income from merch. Making about $8 per shirt. Raffle has been doing well.
          • Ernie: Did we reach out to our prior free photographers to give them a chance to be the photographer?
            • Jali: Didn’t reach out, but it’s not too late. It would be great to have ride shots to take pictures.
          • Ernie: Did we come to a decision on raffling off the dogfish bike?
            • Jali: This will be used for the camping trip. We need to get an email out soon regarding this.
          • Dave M: We were talking about food at aide stations and how we traditionally supply some stuff (Gatorade, etc). So I hope “salty snacks” are on your radar.
          • Dave M: Thought it was useful to advertise what we are doing different. You may also want to repeat that we are doing the bypass of the dinosaur eggs.
      • Communications (Nate)
      • Sent around raw data from rider survey.
      • Beyond that, owe Jali a graphic for new signups.
      • Ride Program Report (Kathy)
      • Weekend rides. Thank you to Ernie, Tom, and Dave to hosting rides on your local trails.
      • We have been running some MoCo Epic training rides to get people ready for the 40-mile rides. Still holding clinics one per month.
      • Working to get night ride permits from MoCo County.
        • Dig In (Jali)
        • We are behind with fundraising for the project. Was hoping we’d be further ahead. This isn’t a trail project, so it’s a very intangible thing to donate to.
        • Currently at $735, so far off from match with Shimano.
        • Ernie: Ethically, can we use general fund donations for the grant match?
        • Dave M: If we aren’t going to make it, you should ask MORE board to allocate the money to make the catch.
        • MICL/MORE Partnership (Jali)
        • For Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, wants to do a dig day in Windy Ridge.
        • The plan is to get some NICA kids over there. Pat Ellis will talk about trail building and how families can get more involved with MORE.
        • Wants to get MORE memberships for their graduating seniors.
        • Working with IMBA to cover this year, so we wouldn’t need to spend anything. Hopefully we can get this done by next year.
        • It is something they want to offer to other chapters of NICA as well.
        • Ernie: Do we want to authorize Jali to spend $300 if they ask for that amount.
        • Neil: How do we review this? Ernie: This would be trailwork. Neil: We can slot this in to advocacy and allow Jali to use her discretion.

Activity Reports

  • President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
    • Working with Frederick Team and land owner for possible signage project
    • Help with bike-bag reservations
    • Store Yerba Mate tea for MoCo Epic
    • Help draft Frederick Pump Track Memorandum of Understanding
    • Recruit new ride leader
    • Send out donor "Thank you" emails
    • Lead ride at Wakefield Park
    • Conference call with volunteers and stakeholders for trails in Loudoun County
    • Host MD monthly Liaison call with Jali
    • Website Maintenance
    • Attend Lake Accotink Dredging Task Force and Sub-committee meetings
    • Testify in support of Capital Improvement Program budget for Montgomery County


  • Jali Fernando – Executive Director
    • MoCo Epic preparations and marketing
    • Organized Fort Dupont trail work day
    • Tabled at Patagonia Georgetown
    • Created Jug Bay page on website
    • Coordinated with MICL and Windy Ridge trails for a family ride/dig day
    • Weekly newsletter and regular social media communications


  • Secretary – David Beugelmans
    • Coordinated board meeting and finalized minutes


  • MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
    • Led group ride on the Needwood Loop
    • Organizing final round of trimming prior to the MoCoEpic
    • Recruiting volunteers to become chainsaw certified at SCSP, the park is offering a two day class
    • Working to revamp the plan for the gravel parking lot at Mullinix Mill Road, since the grant ends January 2024 and Howard County is done for the season with applying chip seal
    • Helped put final touches on the Frederick Pump Track MOU
    • Working to set up a fall meeting with the Secy of DNR
    • Working on route improvements for the Epic, a bypass of the Clopper Road underpass and a bypass of the dinosaur eggs section of Hoyles Mill trail
    • Working on MOU with DNR for the $100 Pax grant


  • VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
    • Lead / Sweep Monthly Beginner Saturday Ride at Wakefield
    • Planning for Trail Work at Wakefield
    • Planning for Trail Work at Mount Vernon District Park
    • Trying to find someone to take over as VA / DC Advocacy Director


  • Membership Director – Rob Lowe
    • Membership Processing as Usual (Reminders, Thank You's, etc).


  • Ride Program Director – Kathy Mihm


  • Set up numerous rides on Golden, Meetup and MORE calendar
  • Prepare Ride Resources document
  • Held Basic Skills Clinic at SGBP
  • Lead 2 MoCo Epic training rides - one with Pizza fundraiser at Ledo's
  • Lead women's rides - Cabin John
  • Lead/sweep co-ed rides at Muddy Branch
  • MoCo Epic - registration planning
  • MoCo Epic 2023 map revisions
  • Frederick Area trails maps


  • Communications Director – Nate Frey
    • [*]


  • Treasurer – Neil Blake
    • [*]


  • Activities Director – Clay Deming
    • [*]

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