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September Meeting Minutes and August Activity Reports

MORE Board of Directors Meeting

September 11, 2017 at REI NoMA Washington DC


Board Members Present:

Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez – President

Rob Lowe – Vice President

Aaron Richter – Treasurer

Carlos Alfaro – Activities Director

Jeff Niner – VA Advocacy Director


MORE Staff and Members Present:

Steve DonTigny – Executive Director

Jonah Meyers – Assistant Treasurer

Item #1: Briefing on Mid-Atlantic Outdoor Alliance (Jonah)

Meeting with Don Beyer went very well.  Ernie, Steve Jeff and Jonah (all MORE MTBer’s attended the meeting).   He surprised us by asking where we would be biking as he walked in the door.  He did ask us what specifically we need help with, e.g. National Park Service, local trails, power line access, West County Trail (Fairfax).  We will continue to follow-up with specific asks and invitation to interact with membership.

Meeting with US Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD) went well.  Chris (no last name) from Whitewater Paddlers and Jonah attended the meeting.  Will follow-up discussions on Riley’s Lock closures on the Potomac and invitation to interact with members at the Patapsco Trail Festival and MoCo Epic.

Item #2:  Briefing on Financials (Aaron)

All bills are current and funds are accounted for.  We had a check come in from BikeReg as partial payment for MoCo Registrations.  We also had a refund check for our deposit from The Loft for our Gala.  We discussed adding Rob, Steve or both as signers for our bank account.

Item #3:  Briefing on membership (Ernie)

Membership communications have been transferred to Tom Howe who successfully sent out messages to lapsed members and members whose membership will expire in September.  Tom is also taking over daily “Thank you for joining/renewing” emails to members.  We have members who live outside MORE territory and this makes a complete membership count difficult.  Currently MORE has 1,602 members with some members actually belonging to multiple organizations or having duplicate email addresses.  If MORE-only members and duplicate email addresses are filtered out, the membership number is about 1400.

Item #4:  Briefing on VA Trails (Jeff)

Kyle Bondo had a successful trail workday at Laurel Hill in support of Wolf Bouncer (race).  Tom and Carlos were able to get tools to Kyle in support of the work day.

Applied Trails Research completed a trail assessment for the first 6.5 miles of trails at Bull Run Occoquan Trail (BROT).  Larry Cautilli, Steve DonTigny, and Ernest Rodriguez attended a meeting with NOVA Parks and PATC to gain approval to proceed with two segments of trail reroutes.  Reroutes will comply with NOVA Parks environmental and sustainability parameters.

Mike Mullins continues to work on rerouting muddy areas of Conway Robinson to improve trail sustainability.

Ryan Delaney hosted a Prince William County Trails Workshop.  Steve DonTigny reported about 30 people attended including two representing Fort Dupont (Washington, DC) and one Arlington County MORE member.  It was a great class taught by Applied Trails Research for two days of both classroom and field application.

Steve DonTigny is planning to attend the Loudoun County Parks and Recreation Outdoor Spaces meeting to answer questions regarding MORE and building sustainable trails communities.

Continuing work on Mount Vernon, Meadowood, Wakefield, and Laurel Hill by key volunteers and liaisons.

Item #5: MoCo Epic Update (Steve)

We currently have 380 registered riders with three weeks to go.

Steve will continue sending out communications for registration, volunteers, and critical needs.

Continuing work on beer sponsor, final permits, food vendor, logistics, aid stations, fencing, first-aid, demo’s, course marking, seeping and set-up.

Will need help with obtaining artwork from sponsors to create printable graphics for t-shirts, marketing.  A volunteer is needed to coordinate producing artwork and printing.

Will need help with support vehicles to supply aid stations and shuttle riders who are not able to complete course.  A logistics coordination volunteer is needed.

Item #6:  Fundraising (all)

Jeff Niner sent out personal letters to prospective donors with ask for support.

Ernie applied for Keen Effect grant from Keen apparel.

Item #7: Trailhead News (Rob)

We are overdue for an issue of Trailhead News.  Rob is planning to ask for content from board members and publish Trailhead News over the next couple of weeks.  Topics will include our calendar, events, night riding, and trail project updates.

Item #8:  Communications Update (Rob)

Rob will continue to coordinate generation of monthly communications briefs by board members to keep liaisons, staff and members in the know of activities with MORE.  The intent is to standardize monthly communications previously completed by Ernie.

Item #9:  IMBA update (Ernie)

Ernie has accepted a position on IMBA’s Board of Directors effective October 2017.  IMBA will issue a news release.

IMBA has begun the fall membership campaign in support of growing chapter membership.  MORE members who signed up in August through Patapsco Trails Fest, the MORE Camping Trip, or MoCo Epic will be included in the drawings for SWAG and bike as memberships were processed in September, not August.

IMBA is beginning a “Dig the Dirt” fundraising campaign to support local trail projects for chapters.  IMBA has secured a national sponsor who will match funds raised by local chapters, collected through the IMBA website up to $30,000.  These funds will be matched until the fund is exhausted nationwide.  Matching is dependent on local chapters raising funds and only matching the first $30,000 nationwide.

Item #10: MORE’s Fall Retreat (All)

Discussion among Board about upcoming November Board of Directors strategic retreat in West Virginia.  Idea proposed to solicit member input for topics.  Already on the agenda are job descriptions, division of effort/labor, task assignments, events, membership, branding and communications.

Item #11: Winter Membership Meeting and Summer Festival 2018 (Carlos)

Carlos has already reserved Seneca Creek State Park for our 2018 summer festival with a deposit.  Carlos has reserved Gwendolyn Coffield Community Recreation Center (in Maryland, site of our previous Winter Meetings) for our Winter Membership meeting and will finalize the time and deposit soon.


August Activity Reports:


Steve DonTigny

  • IMBA All Staff calls
  • Capital Trails Coalition meeting
  • Bikenitc Dirty Crit
  • BikeArlington Our Shared Streets Pop Up event
  • NoVa Parks BROT meeting
  • Prince William County Trail Building Seminar

MoCo Epic

  • MoCo Parks meeting/logistics
  • Final Permitting
  • Menu Planning, Whole Foods meeting
  • Team Meeting, volunteer committees, task assignments
  • Aid Station letters, Sponsor Packages sent
  • BikeReg editing/updates, e-blasts, funds request
  • Inventory of supplies
  • Rental payments/deposits
  • Sponsor calls
  • Family Ride Day planning, sponsors

Dave Magill

  • Revised IMBA ride center application for MoCo; which is being given final review by MoCo parks before submission to IMBA
  • Finalized routing for Pepco trail in MoCo from Muddy Branch to Soccerplex, allowing the license agreement to be finalized and permitting to begin
  • Working with Tom Newton, collected all data for Patuxent permit applications, working with DNR to finalize map/gps track needed for permit applications
  • Working with Carlo Alfano, amended the Rivers Edge RTP grant MOU based on discussions with SHA personnel, awaiting their feedback regarding whether the MOU is now in a form SHA will execute, which allow work to begin on the project area
  • Procured additional pavers for SCSP, fixed stepping stones on Seneca Bluffs trail and drainage on the Schaeffer whoops.
  • Supported MoCoEpic route planning.

Ernie Rodriguez

  • Membership processing for Fall Camping Trip, Patapsco Trail Fest and MoCo Epic
  • Transfer of membership renewal communications to Tom Howe
  • Meeting with Don Byer in support of multisport advocacy
  • Meeting with NOVA Parks for Bull Run Occoquan Trail

Tom Howe

  • Assumed ownership of membership renewal communications from Ernie
  • Provided tools to Kyle Bondo (of Reckoneer) from the Wakefield tool cache for his Sunday, 9/10 Work Day at Laurel Hill in support of his upcoming races the weekend of 9/23, 9/24

Jeff Niner

  • Compiled/mailed out fundraising letters & materials to companies on Steve D’s list
  • Arranged donation from CenturyLink SVP (one for IMBA, another for MORE)
  • BROT re-route meeting preps/review
  • Conway-Robinson re-route preps/review
  • Helped arrange tool loan to Kyle Bondo for 9/10 trail work day at Laurel Hill in preps for Wolf Bouncer Race


Aaron Richter

  • Paid bills,
  • worked on books,
  • filed for Maryland sales tax exemption.


Carlos Alfaro

  • Delivered new tools to Mt. Vernon (Thanks to Tom Howe). Trail work there is great, going to wind down for winter to only 2x a month trail work days.
  • Reservation for Summer Festival Completed, Seneca Creek State Park, Saturday June 02, Paid In Full
  • Reservation for Winter Membership Party almost done, Gwendolyn Caulfield Center, Saturday February 3, 6-9pm, Not Paid Yet, Staff marked it on hold, just waiting on nonprofit price and will pay for it with my CC.
  • Offered help to Phil Von Hoen for MORE Fall Camping trip.


Greg Dwyer

  • Various social media postings, emails, etc.
  • Posting of monthly BoD minutes to the MORE web-page

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