Meeting Minutes of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council
13 May, 2021

GMNC Board Meeting 4/14/21 Present:

Joe Ramey, Dan Tille, Colleen McCallister, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Tom Ela, Cameron Tyler, Larry Gruel, Jeff Miner, Winslow Robertson. Chris Hjelle joined part way.

Joe invites everyone to speak their minds about the decisions to be made tonight.

Mission Statement read.

Guest Comments: Jeff Miner declined, just observing.

Review: Minutes of last meeting. Secretary Cameron Tyler reported unable to timely complete and will have the March, 2021 minutes done shortly.

Topics of discussion in the following order:

1. Financial: Larry G – not get together, computer glitch. Christy got data to Larry, but projections and ED documents are good. $11,000 plus donations since last meeting. Astounding increase. Not include Delta grant. Just LGL and donation boxes and the donate button Martin suggested.

2. Grooming: Winslow – will do to April 30, 2021. Groomed early today, Dave did with small cat. 8’ trail. Winslow – need direction. Go to one day midweek and have weekends ready for skiing, no matter the weather. Even though not a lot of traffic during week, couple of people to trash trail if too warm – ruts. Not cost- effective to do it. Dan – what about doing it at night. No need for Monday skiers. Sets up and degrades really quickly this time of year. Recommends one day a week – mid-week. When freezes is unsafe. Not worth doing daily grooming. Lynea – groups go Wed and Thur – no idea what the biggest day is. 6 cars today at noon, blowing though. Skiing good but challenging, good and fast then hit drift and stop. Shoot for Wednesday. Dan – Joe posted on Facebook has reached 2,000 people. Telluride Nordic Center shared with their user groups. Shared 14 times. Like a mid-season post, lot of people saying thanks. People saying want to go up one more time. More traffic this weekend. Last fix come up depending on weather. If snowing, continue with normal schedule – soon as stops snowing stop

grooming. Hitting 50 degrees on top. Joe – not in the forecast next week. 30s. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (or Thursday if passes).

Rich’s grooming plan – 10’ skate lane (double pass). Not necessary. Tiller 2.5 meters, but with flap over 10’. Bonus skiing one pass with small cat is fine. Winslow looked at with Dave today, one pass is fine. Dave did double passes and used 26 gallons of fuel (half of what in the PB).

3. Snowmobile repairs/purchase. Joe – snowmobile has a problem, transmission fluid leak – need dealt with now? Typically deal with mid-summer (shops switched to ATVs and not want to look at snowmobiles now). Cedar Edge shop will do. Buy a new machine now and get better deal, not find out need to replace and can’t get one. Typically order now. Winslow will get with Rich on that. Determine if repairable. Tough to get parts for. Need shipped – hard to find.

Joe will provide weather info for mid-week grooming (Dan – put donate button in the grooming report). Lynea – ask on Mailchimp well-worded.

4. End of Season Responsibilities:

Tom need another mailchimp – pictures of races, nature connection van, grooming pictures, signs, great year and looking forward to the future. Dan – just pull pictures we’ve posted on Facebook – as many as want. 6-10 nice variety would be good per Tom. Dan and Joe – need to keep Social Media presence up during warm season (once a week post). Lynea – Klister removal tips. Dan – if go up to trails, snap a picture. Send to Joe and Dan (Dan starts putting in Instagram – he’s been engaging with people tagging GMNC). Trail-clearing in August, filler. Colleen and Joe have a list of volunteers over last 18 months – tap into that list. Anytime someone clicks the volunteer button, we should engage with them right then. “Thanks for volunteering – will get back to you, etc.” Something a membership person or ED would do. Lot of work to interact.

Lynea would like to compare volunteer list to summer list. Dan – if volunteer can have waivers signed and track who shows up to an event. Lynea says there are some great volunteers not signed up.

Dan’s list: close out discussions with Dave and Rich (Joe on that – talks with Dave 5 days a week). Close out discussion with Martin, get his view get information on what happened and close out by May

5. Budget discussions for next meeting. We need a budget meeting and set the budget – Larry needs to do, including ski school. Need that for next meeting to approve expenditures. Larry back in town first week of May can do then. Need budget from race director, ski school, Winslow and Rich (budget and wishlist).

Dan – Martin has a budget already and a business plan started. Wants to start tours for people who have never been up there. Guides/instructors – help generate revenue. Lynea – Winslow should develop grooming and maintenance budget. Can try to do before first of May. Will need numbers for hours and Chris knows best. Skeleton of budget is what’s needed – so can adjust later as needed, and so job postings can go out.

Joe – the work being done is not tied to budget. Talked with Chris today – she said she worked more than was budgeted for, took on more duties, learning curve, etc. Dan – going to take a few years before we can really pin it down and know. Budget is a useful exercise – not a bible. We are at a hinge point in growth – was slow, this year took off. Usage and donations never seen before. Future is different. Lynea agrees, but think about it in the sense of fiscally we have to have one. Framework – when something outside the budget, made decisions about how much income and what is criteria for making a decision of what goes beyond the budget. Sled, Chris, snow-fence, a whole bunch of things like that this year. Helps make those decisions. Minute put a number on paper, it’s wrong. Need the budget for grants; fiscal responsibility. Float skeleton budget at next meeting – get additional feedback at that point. Standard items and then cost of wishlist items. Capital expenditures list: snowmobile, snowfence. Will exercise judgment about that.

6. Review of instructors/lessons. Jeff – how many instructors able to work under GMNC – Dan says 3 on regular basis. Martin was turning lessons away because didn’t have staff available. Jeff – with PSIA Level I or II be an instructor? Anyone can come in and have a job? Dan – as long as adequate. Need to do a check-ski to make sure they are an adequate instructor. How affect Day Use? Dan – need to tackle during the off season. Need to do with FS to make sure we have

as many skier days as we can get. Too many instructors not going to be an issue until get a bigger pool. Steve B. wants to create a $5,000 scholarship fund for professional ski certification and developing the instructor pool. Larry G – we are not a full PSIA school – not required, but preferred. Instructors should be a member of GMNC too. If instruct minors, families, need the Safe Sport Certification process. Required by FS.

Dan – might get instructors from collegiate programs (assuming don’t go home during Christmas break). Jeff – also some may be home and have a break before US Championships. Is a pool of people excited about skiing. Dan – working on a youth program. Woman who runs mountainbiking program with 200 kids reached out to Dan about collaborating. Question is how going to do it and how. Dawn with Boneshakers. Can make something happen this coming winter, just don’t know what form that will take.

  1. Warming Hut. On Joe’s to-do list and may need to at least empty it.
  2. Lynea – need a seasonal trash pick up day. Last year was 20-year of

stuff. This year should be minimal, no races. Lynea will check and see.

9. Dan – film project. Had a handful of shooting days. Last shoot this Friday. One more day with the people who participated – Tom will do the voice- over. Entire project done by end of May. Should have a rough cut of the intro video by next week. Will be great. Did two dog interactions. Good footage; parking lot footage. Leashing dogs. Picking up poop. Will work with Martin over the summer to incorporate into the website.

10. Forest Service: discussion of how to partner with FS and get FS to help with management. FS not listening and not seeing what is happening daily. Ranger cleaning bathrooms is a valuable service, but many other issues that need to be addressed.

11. Walkers’ trail. Discussion of what we have and should consider for snowshoe trails. Winslow offered information on what snowshoers want – a big loop. We need another trail out through the trees to the overlook. Can’t expect snowshoers to stay off groomed trails unless we give them a good option. Plan to discuss this further.

12. Executive Director. Joe – when talking with board members. Concern about wage level – variety of opinion on that. Larry – definitely in support of higher salary – critical part of keeping things going and face of GMNC. Important to get somebody good at a high level and professionally. Larry worries about getting somebody who will do what we want at the level we want for less.

Dan – concerned. Serving our community – trying to quantify how many hours a week working on. Dan into film project by 20 hours. ED literally going to be marketing, Social Media, finance, operations management, membership, programs – each one of those tasks could be full-time. Supervising employees. Each one of those is a FT job – Joe doing 5-10 hours a week just doing Social Media. More than 40-hour week job. 20 hours is behind a computer. Trailboxes. Trip to bank, etc. 1x/week – 2x/week. From summertime – relationships and partnerships to get business sponsors. Requires management and communication. Because they are building all of this from the ground up. Asking this employee to do a lot of work. In season and offseason.

Joe – our list is pretty crude at this point. Would do more than the skeleton list. Joe described the research on ED. Tom – no pushback on the position – dialing in the details. Many job features, volunteers could do – ED would more supervise. Tom doing Mailchimp for example. Larry - Can adjust list of duties based on volunteer help. List is going to depend on whoever is in the job – will write itself over time. Not having had an ED – not know completely and might be too much for anybody. Proposals for job lists – kind of like a budget, kind of a framework. Colleen – ED position, a lot of it is fundraising. Pay could be performance-based. Talk with the ED about the expectations – if the organization grows they can make more. Everyone agrees they need to grow the funds. ED focused on building the organization through fundraising and programs.

Long discussion about what looking for in ED and what the budget level should be. Need to do budget for May meeting and then decide what positions altogether (ED, Ops Manager, Bookkeeper, Ski/Race Director). Winslow says range, op to move up, depending on performance basically and candidate qualifications.

Joe – he will get job description and $$$ offer out, but need to do a lot before we can hire, and we need to hire by mid-summer. Dan – need to see framework budget, annual budget with that in there. Discussion of role of Operations Manager, who does it, and need to define what it involves. With Winslow leaving, need to assess if last year’s budget adequate. Rich intends to come back. Winslow would propose in the ops budget what Rich has done – see it not being much different for next year. What Winslow doing can hand off what he is doing to ED. Then don’t need to focus a whole lot on Ops Manager – Rich reports to ED. Winslow – how many hours he putting in managing, opening and closing – Rich has carried the load this year. It was done by volunteers before. In the fall there’s a lot; less in the spring.

Will know more if get numbers back from Chris. Winslow on the trails and knows about grooming – somebody else on the board can do. Can’t rely on one person to do grooming – COVID kept Kenton from doing. Had a good candidate. We can get that done.

13. Ski school – going to have to plug some money into it to get it off the ground and going. Dan says no way to know - $5,000 or $10,000. Assuming next year increase instructors and lessons – will increase work load of the ski school instructor. Discussion of the finances related to the ski school program.

Don’t disagree whoever coordinates the lessons should be paid for their time. Ski School different from a platform that provides for lessons. Dan disagrees. Platform for lessons just means low-key and provide something to increase membership. Ski School is employees and a separate organization. Martin says is running the “lessons program”. Didn’t call it a ski school. It is going to be lessons on the Grand Mesa by a paid person. Caryl calling it growing pains – booming business. Caryl was instructor at Telluride and the ski lessons were part of the organization. What are the expectations per Lynea – what is the program going to be. Changes with the semantics. Caryl – should be all interconnected. Larry, Caryl, Martin – etcetera be on the committee regarding a ski school. Caryl would like to be on the committee re: youth participation. Q they will explore is, how much we are going to pay Ski School Director going to impact how much can pay an ED.

Dan – to move forward, need framework budget, to get to ED job offer. Have a deadline ED to have a job advertisement. Need to put it out for two months. Larry already did a good bit of the projection. ED committee should flesh things out at the best level – do an actual job announcement.

Board discussed need for a vote. No vote needed because all discussion was work needed to get to decisions at next meeting.

Joe is going to stay on the board and help with FS and selection of committee and training of ED.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.