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GMNC Board meeting via Zoom, December 9, 6:00-8:40PM

GMNC Board meeting via Zoom, December 9, 6:00-8:40PM


Present: Joe Ramey, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Larry Gruel, Caryl Brown, Colleen McAllister, Dave Aschwanden, Dan Tille.  Absent: Winslow Robertson


Guests: Tom Ela, Kris Hjelle, Rich McCreanor, Cameron Tyler, Ben Graves.


Mission Statement reviewed.


1.  Guest Comments

  • Rich McCraenor began discussion of Forest Service (FS) and snow fence permission.  Immediately noted to be effective with some shoveling onto the trail.  Thought needed 500′ but we actually need 1,350′.  Plastic is cheaper but won’t last as long as wood and recommend the latter.  If buried or off-season, FS says the fence must come out.  Is the cost worth it (in light of being over-budget)?  Find a donor to pay for it each year rather than out of membership donations (do an Adopt-a-Fence)?  Rich is going to email the cost of acquiring the 1,350 feet of wooden snow fence.  Four people took about 3 hours to put up the fence this year.  Need most on Scales Lake Road sections.  Need to get back to this issue in January at the next Board meeting.  FS wants to know plan for next year by August.


  • Ben Graves from The Nature Connection joined to discuss pop-up ski days at County Line.   There are 5-6 of these involving intro to skiing (people can pre-register).  COVID discussion and 12′ distancing planned.   He discussed using some social media to promote, needing help with gear loading and unloading.  FS only allows on weekdays and County Line location.  FS requires organized events to use permit days at that trailhead location.  Ben did not want to compete with GMNC event days and wants to follow FS and COVID rules.  Joe thought GMNC has more than enough days, but neither he nor Tom Ela could remember how many days GMNC is alloted by the FS.  One of these is 1/9, which Joe stated would not be a problem.  FS wants Ben to cosponsor with GMNC.  Lynea asked about what any downside would be – none really identified, although this year is unusual.  Joe 99% certain plenty of days this year; need to check for next year, because use will be tighter.  Ben said there’s plenty of time to work on officially co-sponsoring and the two organizations can work together on this.  Ben will provide the necessary gear, introduce more families, and GMNC organize and provide lessons more long-term.  Wants to work together.  Joe will get with FS and let Ben know if there is any problem.  Ben addressed COVID protocols: providing skis, limiting to two families per hour, not expose staff, and programs will be COVID safe.  This program is under the school district and follows their guidelines.  Maybe do one at Skyway later in the year.  Joe asked Ben to send an email about when these occur when he knows so that grooming will be done.  No guarantees on that though – best effort.  Ben will send his publicity/flier, website info, put out in newsletter and spread the work.  Free for kids; $5 donation for adults.  Available for anyone who wants to participate at this point, even though it’s a Delta County/Olathe program.  Ben is going to connect with Caryl who teaches at Olathe Elementary.


  • Cameron Tyler introduced as potential secretary.  Backhoe ownership appears to have more value than his law degree.


  • Tom Ela, founding member of GMNC, with long knowledge of the organization, is willing and will sit and serve on board as much as he can.  He’s willing to make it official or just work on tasks.  Right now doing the Mailchimp emails, helping with the races.  Tom voted back onto the Board via unanimous vote.


  • Kris Hjelle works with Larry Gruel and Lynea as the financial team.  Kris and Larry are trying to get a handle on the books, finances, and financial report.  There is insufficient access to the history of finances.  She’s been very helpful to Larry.  Joe mentioned receipts and donation box money he has for Kris.


2. Review of November meeting minutes from the last meeting. Motion to accept was unanimous without comment.


3. Financial review– Larry, his first Board presentation.  He and Kris are going to keep this review similar to what has been presented to the Board before making changes.  Goal is to show breakout by January meeting what the monthly expenses are, making budget comparisons more useful without having to have a lot of background knowledge about income/expense timing.  Lynea noted the current budget seems to be behind on equipment repairs, but Kris has no new invoices.  SP Weekender invoice for $12,000 for new snowmobile, cover, hitch (all covered by Goodwin Foundation grant).  The $9,000 to $10,000 in repairs invoice needs to be located.  Lynea said donations look good; ordinary expense is higher than planned.  May even out over time.  Where we are budget-wise on 12/4 not as helpful as knowing month-to-month versus annual.


4. Fundraiser at Kannah Creek Brewery on 2 November raised $232.  Lower than previous years, but as expected with COVID.  Caryl said let’s do again and do mid-season so get more energy and participation, or after an event?  This year, with capacity restrictions and public sentiment, $$$ will likely be down no matter what we do.  Can’t really schedule as an event where people come together.  No prizes, etc.  Joe is going to see if we can do another this season.


5. Business sponsorship from Odin Recreation at the $250 level.  Joe asked to know when we get the money so he can put it on the website.  Our first business sponsorship – Kris will let Joe know.


6. Transition of Treasurer responsibilities from Callie to Larry occurred a week ago.  Larry says he’s still getting his arms around all the pieces, just needs to organize and things are good.  He can reach Callie with questions (except Friday mornings).  He needs to get the working email for her – she’s using the lessons email account.  There’s an Alpine Bank debit card changeover where Larry needs a signature from Callie – a copy of Callie’s driver’s license might work instead.


7. Colorado Gives Day had a wrong mailing address – was using a Montrose address.  Larry owns the account now and will take a look.  PO 4034 in GJ is the only address now for GMNC.


8. Reimbursements for race expenses – Tom Ela has race poster printing, receipts to be reimbursed under Race Budget.  Has old forms to use.  Will email to Larry.


9. Lessons Program discussion– Lynea.  Tom said they were the most requested item in years past.  Want to keep going until we have a lessons director again.  Wait to open up lessons until more trails open.  Lots of pent-up need for lessons.  Lynea doing the communication part with teachers-students.  Need the website to seamlessly linked to signup and ski technique – not her area of expertise.  Want to keep doing teacher clinics, surveys, create group clinics as these are GMNC moneymakers.  75% lesson fee stipend and 30% on group – that’s the plan, but she feels it’s beyond GMNC to coordinate right now.  Dan Tille said the website didn’t function when he test-ran it, so he will get with Martin to get fixed.  The way it should work is students pick an availability date, site auto-populates what instructors are available, student selects instructor, then books the lesson.  Once booked and paid, three emails sent to instructor, lessons@GMNC, and to student.  Lynea is managing the lessons right now.  Instructor should contact student to confirm lesson works and any complications dealt with.  Lynea involved if a refund or instructor/student can’t reach each other.  Lynea wants to get a plan/memo out to coaches.


10. Website and Programs discussion – Kris says two people paid for lessons through LGL and 12 have signed up.  Discussion of clinics versus lessons.  Payments to Martin or donations, Dan will find out how to tell.  Kris says none recorded as donations right now.  People have signed up who haven’t paid, need to fix the Paypal side.  Larry or Kris are going to take over these payment issues (there are under 10 right now).  Dan Tille is the account owner and wants to hand over ownership.  Only membership should be going into LGL account.  Dan will sort these hiccups of changeover out and report back.  Everything on the old website should be turned off.  Need to see if overwhelming number of requests for lessons.  Larry will let Dan and Joe know.


Dan Tille provided further update on the website, particularly e-commerce.  Need to reduce the form-filling-out portion, export the accounting, reduce clicks for race sign-up, etcetera.


11. Business advertising and donations discussion.  Larry and Lynea engaged on this, but it’s a big topic and Larry is new.  Dan Tille brought up COPMOBA and Crested Butte Nordic as organizations to emulate.  Establish different levels of business sponsorship, put logos on our website, mailing lists, and support sponsors that support GMNC.  Could sell sponsorships, have one – Tovia own Business.  Gear Junction in GJ is interested.  Dan says functionality for this is baked into the website and ready to go, just need to adjust LGL forms.  Clean up membership page to put logos there.  Lynea mentioned it is typical to have three levels of sponsorship, small, medium, large.  We have 4 layers.  Joe says Mailchimp mentions, but someone would need to monitor to make sure we satisfy the business levels of sponsorship.  Joe or Dan can do Facebook posts to support the, more Mailchimp letters, business website links.  Same verbiage should be used across the media, again someone would need to keep track of.  Colleen said she’d do.  With just one sponsor right now, not complicated to get this figured out.  Colleen can do with Wordtrack.  We can get sponsor lists from other organizations, talk up during events (REI, Loki, etc.), ask sponsors for their banners to fly (or make one for them if they pay enough).  Tom mentioned flying a Rocky Mountain Orthopedics banner one season).  Joe will reach out to Grand Mesa Outdoors in Cedar Edge.  Colleen will not approach businesses until the kinks are worked out.   COVID impact is an issue and Dan said he’d do outreach on this.


12. First race update– Dan Tille. The virtual race sign-up can continue until 12/20 – OK to sign up after the race (and finish the virtual within 9 days).  Joe asked about when signage for the race would be up on Friday afternoon, 12/11.  Let groomers know to keep cones in place – Dan letting people know only Scales Lake Road was groomed.  He’ll take a picture on the map and show roughly where.


13. USFS Snow Ranger– Joe. Shane Tulp from Gunnison; he skis.  Shane will be at the trailheads and on trails in uniform. He is not a law enforcement officer but can cite  We need his contact information.  GMNC should do some messaging in Mailchimp or Facebook about him, a picture and introduction?  Starts 12/22.  Joe will see how he wants to interact with us.  He’ll be on trails Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Shane will have other duties on the Mesa including the snowmobile trails.


14. Trail issues. Some discussion about various issues affecting trails (ski-joring, horses, foot traffic).  Gentle interactions recommended to all Board members as no FS rules prohibiting these.  Same with “no foot traffic” signage, dogs (consensus – not at Skyway), FS removal of sign.


15. Membership information– Colleen asked what kinds of membership information would be useful for board meetings.  A square on the dashboard for donors versus membership to review by month/year as comparative value is important.  This info will be in GMNC dashboard for board meetings.  Whatever Colleen thinks is interesting should be included:  comparisons, events, number of people reached, responses.  Larry says good to know if they are first-time donors versus recurring members.


16. USFS issues.  Annual Operation Plan adopted by FS.  Master Development Plan still under review.  FS still plans logging north and east of the tower, in some future season. USFS details of the timber sale, and GMNC response to this are still to be determined.  Topic tabled until after this ski season.


17. Race updates– Dave. January 19 race is cancelled based on Mesa County COVID restrictions.  Might postpone until Mesa Meltdown weekend.  The race is more likely to occur in March than January.  Can’t do mass start events.  Tom, Dave, and Dan are going to work on this.  Tom asked if the 10K citizen race on January 10 is going to happen?  Dan calling Mesa County Public Health – will be virtual.  Hoping the 2/20 event will be in person, wave start.  This is a post-Christmas project.  The March weekend should be moved to Sunday, 3/21 per Tom.  He won’t be able to help, but Dan said he’d get it done.  There is a CMU race that Saturday.  Possibly get some nationally-ranked racers which may change things.


18. Executive Session


End of official meeting at 8:40.

Next Board meeting will be on January 13, 2021.