Meeting Minutes of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council
15 Jul, 2021

GMNC MINUTES  6-16-21 

 

Present:  Larry Gruel, Tom Ela, Joe Ramey, Dan Tille, Colleen McCallister, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Cameron Tyler.

Lynea and Dan, the current Co-Chairs, called the meeting to Order and read the Mission Statement at 6 p.m.  

This was the first in-person board meeting in over a year, and there was much discussion prior to the meeting starting. 

 

1.  Financial Report by Treasurer Larry.  Some discussion of why the substantial increase in donations.  Grand Mesa was open when other areas were not, website made it easier to donate.  Board compared the financials to budget and addressed future budgeting – 2020 was unusual – Tom pointed out race budget was very low, programming budget will be tough to predict.  Locations of some minor expense items on the Dashboard questioned.  

Larry has the May financials done and will break the budget analysis down in several pieces by August – to allow the new Executive Director (ED) to get involved.  The Board also reviewed the GMNC asset and liabilities sheet. 

Dan will connect with Kris about race expenses.  Larry will import Quickbooks to create Dashboard for monthly meetings.

 

2.  Minutes from prior meeting reviewed and minor spelling errors fixed.  Cam is to send the minutes to Dan when done for future board meetings.  Feedback on pay for groomers was positive and noted. 

 

3.   Dan discussed the Lightbulb media work for GMNC on videos.  The final versions are done, and just need some adjustments.  The voice work was drafted by Lynea and Dan and shot with the professional – one shot done with just one edit.  Waiting on word from the Forest Service about what can be said regarding dogs on hiking trails.  May need to wait for the fall for that.  All the filming is done with just the voiceover work remaining, all within the original quoted price.  

Dan discussed security and software updates on the website – done quarterly and it takes 3 to 4 hours to update.  When the board approves the next budget, it will need money for updates and software security work.  $300 approximately to $600.

Dan has done research on the cost.  Every time we spend money we need board approval if it is not in budget.  We have a fairly complex website – ecommerce store, grooming reports – ecommerce is a need.  Martin charges $75/hour.  Tom moved, Joe seconded and getting the security and software update done was approved unanimously.   

 

4.  Joe gave an update on communications with the Forest Service.  A meeting is planned with Ryan and Mike Jones, but hard to schedule as they are both busy now with summer trail work.  Joe asked about the timber sale and has persisted in trying to find out what the details are in terms of impacting GMNC operations.  We also need to discuss hut staying (if permanent hut approved, the temporary hut apparently can stay).  If not approved – may need volunteers to help remove.  Discussed Mike Jones being new with the FS, just started 10 days ago and needs to learn what’s going on.  The expectation via Martin is that Mike was a good advocate for mountain bikes and will do the same for GMNC.  

Dan – going to meet with the hut donor in July.  

 

5.  Committee changes and defining roles of board discussed next.  Lynea prepared a printout of possible committees.  The Secretary should be in charge of Google Drive and organize by year in common folders.  Need a system for archiving documents that cannot be changed, only viewed.  Need a registry of GMNC information as well  – VIN numbers, passwords, Godaddy sent to Kris.  Collating the list – question of where to put it.  ED keep this – Dan suggests keeping a binder to help facilitate if someone leaves the board.   Centralize what is the important info and then collate it and then decide who keeps this.

 

Committees – board member must be on a committee.  List of essential committees reviewed.  Need to allow ED to format other committees as we go.  Lynea’s list has a current board lead on each and participants she knew about.  Colleen needs support with membership.  ED will want to grow that.  Don’t have an operations person on the board now with Winslow leaving.  Lessons, adult programs, clinics, kids’ programs - need someone to lead these.  Colleen for example – if want to add people and form committee work with ED on it.  Capital campaign, permanent warming hut, these additional things not fall under ED – need a committee.  Joe offered to work with Colleen on membership.  Tom says talk with Kevin O’Brien in Paonia regarding membership – was on the board and did membership.  Colleen will do.

Finance – Larry and Lynea and Dan on the finance committee.  Winslow wants to be a member of operations committee.  Tom Lambert says he wants to work with Winslow on that committee.  Dan says to put this volunteer Director of Operations board member on website.  Mid-July for timing to announce.  Paper trail maps a special project need someone to do and needs to be done this year.  Tina has prior version – asked Joe and he will call and get files from her – need to modify these after FS project.  

Programs – decisions need to be made.  Lessons, race, would like to have a kids program.  Lessons and race exist – just need to decide how it’s going to be.  Dan wants to be on the lessons committee – has done and would like to have a person who takes this on.  Dan could be lead on that, and the committee person does it.  Steve Bennett expressed interest in being on that committee.  Dan and Lynea – each board member should be on a committee.  Next meeting every director put together something about the committee that they would want to be on.  Cam wants to get involved in the USFS committee.  

Marketing – we don’t need Mailchimp committee.  Tom may need another person to instruct him.  Discussed how to outreach for committees that need member participants.  

Social media – Dan will lead, but will turn over to ED.  Dan is the account owner – still sees playing a role.  Putting up posts – GMNC should be doing 3 Instagram posts a day; now we  doing 3 a season.  We would engage the younger users more if we did.  Facebook is messaging as well as promotion for lost items, trail conditions, etcetera.  Martin promoted on.  Turning these tasks over to the ED.  

Move signs and maps to special projects?  Signs belong to Operations.  

Top committees on the list are important and essential – we want ED to develop and direct the rest.

 

7.   Bylaw revisions.  Lynea – revised Bylaws printed out for people to review.  Went over the changes.  Read and next meeting decide to adopt or not.  Lynea will circulate a digital version to everyone.  Final approval after Annie Murphy (attorney and former board president) reviews.  

8.   Programs and budget from programming standpoint.  Race program budget – Dan put in a high number.  Want to push race and events programs.  From going through ED process, events should be a better fundraising tool.  Discussed doing a Marquee event, and/or expand the race series.  Biggest problems are parking, infrastructure, and weather.  Dan suggested a 24-hour race kind of thing, snow or shine?  May need various gear, perhaps a relay.  Team, 3 person, test it and aim for late January?  Dovetail with Alley Loop or the Owl Chase.  Be smart about timing.  To do a 12-hour race, we need a permanent structure.  Could do as a 6-hour event.  Do we want to do it?  Consider a non-race marquee event?  Dan and Tom support that.  End of year ski bash?  Race with child as team member – total age = certain number.  ED came up with this idea too.  Need to embrace the non-racers.  Tom – Spring Gulch ski area has done: skiing with 3 or 4 stations with progressive dinner, ski the loop.  Big social thing.  Bring up a food truck, serve beer, once a month moonlight ski with bonfires?  Serving hot chocolate or wine.  Carol suggested we target kids and youth and families.  Need to get kids in.  Larry thinks first season with ED, this is a lot to add this big event.  Might be a good season to spitball ideas and not get too far with the marquee – but an idea to have a non-race event is not a big job.  General agreement to make these fundraisers – get sponsors involved.  Questions about insurance and alcohol.  Tom – have had end of season bashes.  Tend to be sparsely attended.  Earlier in the year is better.  Dan has a budget – just a four-race series, could reduce what Dan has.  Did include $750 per race for grooming.  Food cost – soupline.  Supplies and awards – come up with a unique award.  Leadville is a good model.  Earn a belt buckle.  Every year get a bigger belt buckle.  Hats, headlamps, other potential awards.  Step it up on the awards.  $200/race using Striders.  $1,200 potentially to get from Grand Junction sports commission each year.  Supplies include printing, paper, Callie’s list of other – not defined, but always something.  Dave says should find a grooming sponsor for each race or a blueboard sponsor.  Spraypaint the Sponsor’s name on the blueboard.  Lynea notes the budget for this is a shot in the dark.  Depends on the number of racers.  What are race program fees – four races = 3,200 in fees.  Based on normal race year.  Dan hoping for 30 to 50 racers per race.  Talked with Crested Butte Nordic about doing a co-race series.  Their ED, Kristy Hix likes that idea and asked Dan to connect with who does their race series.  $20 for 40 people per race.  Need to have a number for the ED.  Need sponsors and general agreement race series and best to make money from the get go.  New bibs?  Advertising for the bibs.  Dan has the bibs.  Alpine Bank for example could buy bids.  Proposal for a break-even budget for races right now – meaning whatever it costs sponsors or fees.  No motion needed right now – sense of group to be incorporated into the budget.

Lessons program – decisions need to be made.  Long discussion of costs, proposals and ideas.  Essentially a project for new ED to move forward based on these ideas.  

Executive Session started and remainder of board discussion involved ED process and candidates and the need for continued board clarification of the ED duties and role.  Christie Aschwanden was hired as the new ED by a 7-1 vote of the board.