GMNC May Meeting Minutes 13 May
6PM via Zoom
Board Members: Callie West, Dan Tille, Joe Ramey, Jodi Peterson, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Caryl Brown, Tina Wilson
Guests: Dave Knutson, Dave Smith, Winslow Robertson
• Dave S: listening in, nothing particular to tell us.
• Joe: Dave has worked really well with me during times of stress over Operations
• Winslow: Master Development Plan (MDP). Just jotted down ideas over winter as GMNC moves forward. Permanent shelter will require MDP. Albert sent template from another Nordic center and info to help with this. Winslow proposes that board have process to get ideas down and then a small committee to work on it and bring it back to the board.
• Joe: MDP provides framework for growth over 5 and 10 year period. Really important document.
• Albert can provide input informally from FS perspective.
• Winslow will be chair, Joe, Tina and Tim, and Lynea will serve on it.
• Motion to form this committee. Seconded. Passed unanimously.
• Winslow will forward material to committee and do an outline.
• Dave K: concerned that no one on committee is representing kids programs. Lynea offers to do so. Great that we did a survey at end of year. How does board insulate ops director from “knockers”, people who are constantly complaining about grooming etc.? Have to push back on people who hammer you. Most members love and appreciate what we’re doing.
Jodi- Acceptance of April minutes. Corrected version accepted, sent to Joe for posting.
Election of officers for 2020-21 season
VP: Tina decided to step down as VP, but will continue to create the newsletter and weekly MailChimp e-newsletter, graphics as needed for promotions and trail maps, will sit on the Master Development Planning committee and work on fundraisers. GMNC greatly appreciates her service and dedication!
Lynea was asked if she is willing to be vice president, and she agreed.
Jodi does not want to be secretary again but is happy to continue editing and proofing communications. Jodi will stay on board and do editing of all public-facing communication.
Callie: we could rotate minutes taking between board members.
Dan: would do minutes taking. Jodi can do editing of minutes.
Secretary position is open.
Callie doesn’t have as much time next season. Needs bookkeeper in place and membership director. Board needs to participate in and take ownership of budget. Board is supposed to have fiduciary responsibility. She will commit to continuing but those pieces need to be in place for next operating season.
Joe will remain in that role for one more season.
Motion to approve slate of candidates. Seconded. Unanimously passed.
Callie- Financial Review
• $500 from The Nature Connection came in, and will go into next fiscal year’s budget. Need 90 minute meeting in June to go over financials and create budget.
• Did summary of additional maps that are needed for trails, Colorado Barricade will give a quote for that.
• Dan: May 8 update from REI – has gone through first round of acceptance. That grant is for trail signs, max of $2600. Includes bigger maps for posting out on trails. (update: GMNC received this grant from REI!)
• All current maps are 12 by 18 inches. If we put a larger sign it may stress the posts too much in high winds. The signs are posted too high. Could we move signs up and down on posts? Big job to move all the signs, would be a full day or more. Could assign this task to grooming crew.
• June board meeting – board education, review this year’s financials line by line. Each expense line item should have an individual responsible for drafting estimates for next season. I suggest 60-90 min. June 10th.
• July board meeting – draft a budget, line by line. I estimate a session of 90 min – 2 hrs will be needed.
• Some of our volunteers do hazardous duties, handling chainsaws etc. and they just sign a waiver saying they won’t sue. Our responsibility is to protect all volunteers who put themselves at risk. We could put these people on payroll for a few hours so they are covered by Workmen’s Compensation. It’s the right thing to do. Can’t afford a blanket liability policy for all volunteers. Some of the volunteering like trail hosting does not put people in danger.
• Proposal: Put some volunteers on payroll to cover them, have light duty volunteers sign liability waiver, have specific work days with some kind of protection in place
• Not going to vote on this, more complex than we originally thought. We won’t be doing trail work again til August or September so it won’t be an issue til then. We’ll talk to pro-bono lawyer and other Nordic centers to find out best practices.
• Lynea- fuel/economy/usage data put together for analysis so we can make operations type decisions.
Joe- Season review- what went right and what went wrong.
• Lynea: would like to see track grooming for classic be as good as skate grooming. It’s a bit of hit or miss. Learned from mistakes of not having Xmas grooming. Did amazingly well with giving new board members info and directions. Board coalesced well and had a strong year after debacle of last year. Getting Dave Smith was great too.
• Joe: how often we groomed, when we groomed, etc. was a major item. We don’t have budget or personnel to do grooming every day. We have to be strategic in grooming.
• Tina: agreed, we can’t send groomers up into storms etc. but if we do have an unexpected storm and the grooming is buried, maybe we could have somebody go up and do at least part of the system… we don’t have to groom every single trail and make it all perfect. We are serving a community that’s expecting to be able to ski when they come up.
• Joe: We spent a huge amount of time and effort on grooming this year and still had lots of complaints from people. Not worth it to have groomers just do a 10K loop every day as has been suggested. Not workable. There will be days of no grooming because our groomers live far away and we have unique challenges. Still feeling wounded by his serving in that position, he got a lot of sh*t. That can’t occur next season. Can’t have that kind of verbal abuse.
• Dan: not realistic or feasible to have the same level of grooming as an in-town Nordic center. Need to increase membership and money coming in before we can consider more grooming.
• Caryl: Most people not aware of challenges or cost of grooming.
• Callie: Grooming is what we do. We have races, other programs but grooming is reason for GMNC’s existence. Rather than comparing our product to other Nordic areas we should promote fact that we are unique. Our location.
• Dave Smith: could we team up with snowmobile trail group and share some grooming to make daily grooming possible? Need grooming philosophy about what we’re going to provide and what it looks like. Clear message to everyone.
• Joe: We have no ops director to take over for next season, need to do work to plan for next season and figure out if we are going to hire someone to manage operations.
• Dan: Can we do what we did right/wrong via email instead? Yes, Joe will start it, and we can all add to it.
• How to operate while maintaining social distance – how do we do adult and kids lessons?
• Social media guidelines for the off-season. Need some guidelines in writing for what should be posted, what the messaging should be. Some kind of policy. Jodi can help develop this to preserve what he does to build enthusiasm, build membership, educate. What our expectations are. Dan and Jodi will work to develop these for the next meeting.
• Latest info on board development with Ilene Rogensack. Talked to her last week. Can do our meetings via Zoom. Less expensive. Can meet for a hour or hour and a half each month.
• Membership benefits – development of benefits and printed materials. What else do members want? Why would you want a membership? Newsletters, discounts on lessons, trail access, grooming reports, lessons. What would increase the value? Two things – retail discounts, and a membership card to clip on to something. The experience we provide is more valuable than the things, notes Dan. Provide ski experiences with board members? Bring back the bumper stickers? Have a scavenger hunt for something of value out on the trails?
• Caryl: Great interactions happen in huts. Maybe we could have 2 huts at some point?
Next meeting: June 10. Zoom again.