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Grand Mesa Nordic Council

Board Meeting

September 20, 2023



Board Members Present: Dan Tille, Tom Ela, Christine Noel, Marguerite Tuthill, John Traylor & Larry Gruel

Board Members Absent: Susie Attaway

GMNC Staff: Christie Aschwanden, Melissa Newell, and Tigran Bailey

Guests: Greg Randall


Dan Tille called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm and read the GMNC mission statement.


  1. Public Comment Period. The Board opened the meeting to public comment.

Tigran introduced himself to the Board. He shared his experience grooming at Aspen Mountain and Ashcroft. 


Greg Randall joined the meeting but was unable to sort out his audio or video again, but was able to provide comments via chat.


  1. August Minutes Approval. Tom motioned to approve the August minutes as submitted, John seconded, motion was approved unanimously.


  1. Finance Report. Christine reviewed the financial dashboard included in the Board packet.  There was not much change to report from July to August. All August 2023 expenses and revenues are tracking well when compared with last year and are  within budget parameters.  


Financial Literacy – Christine introduced her financial literacy lessons that will be shared at each Board meeting. These lessons will provide information on the elements of the financial statements, the financial statements themselves, and related important fiscal information. These will be cataloged for future new Board members. This month she discussed internal audits, external reviews, and external audits. The lesson write up was included in the Board packet. 


990 – GMNC’s new CPA filed an extension of the 2022-2023 990 and tax return. This was filed and accepted by the IRS on August 21. The new 990 filing deadline is March 15, 2024. Christine explained the GMNC chose to extend the 990 submission to allow time for an internal audit, if approved by the GMNC Board.


Internal Audit – Christine provided a breakdown of what the internal audit would include:

  • Risk assessment. Examples of Some of the risks we face could include such things as improper filings of forms such as 1099s, misclassification of expenses, or grant compliance issues. None of these are expected.
  • Full internal control assessment. A review of all of our policies and procedures involving financial information and assets.
  • Reclassification of some outdated equity line items on our balance sheet to ensure that all reporting is correct going forward.
  • Coordination of account line items in QuickBooks with 990 line items to ensure smooth filings of our tax returns.


The Finance Committee strongly recommends that GMNC move forward with the internal audit. It requires Board approval as the Board did not budget for the $3,000 for an audit for the current fiscal year. The Board asked questions about the timing and process. Christine shared the budget will be reviewed and modified in January to deal with the cumulative changes on the expense and revenue sides. The internal audit cost will be included into the budget at that time. 


Tom motioned to proceed with an internal audit with an estimated cost of $3,000 to be merged into the budget at a later date. John seconded, and the motion was approved unanimously. 


  1. Executive Director Report. Christie reviewed her Executive Director report included in the Board packet. Details she highlighted include:


Grants – Christie submitted the DOLA infrastructure grant that would fund a portion of her and Melissa’s salaries for two years. She will likely hear back by the end of December. She is also submitting a CPW grant for trail planning. CPW has an additional grant for execution of the project funded during the planning grant. USFS is supportive of this grant application and project. Tom asked how the potential federal government shutdown could impact this grant application and general GMNC operations. Christie shared the materials will be submitted prior to the shutdown deadline. The City of Grand Junction accepted the $5,000 request for a new snowmobile roller.


Grooming Staff – Tigran provided an update on the status of hiring the grooming staff for the upcoming season. One person with great snowmobile experience has been hired.  Another person with snowcat experience is still being discussed. Tigran is working to have redundancy built into the grooming staff for safety and coverage reasons. Christie shared she is requesting East Ward grooming in the annual operations plan being submitted to USFS. 


Membership Donations – Christie shared she and Melissa are developing a sustaining membership program so members can choose to provide monthly donations throughout the year. John asked if credit card information will be stored for these monthly donations.  Christie explained no credit card information will be stored and everything will be run through LGL and a third party company.


  1. Community Outreach Director Report. Melissa reviewed her Community Outreach Director report included in the Board packet. Details she highlighted include:


Silent Auction – Melissa provided an update on the work being down to prepare for the silent auction. This month was busy with reaching out to businesses, mostly in Delta County. Additionally, Tom and Melissa did a site visit at Edgewater Brewery to better plan out the live event.  The schedule of events for the evening has been set.


Events Update – At this time, all events have been set on the calendar with the exception of the Firkin event at Kannah Creek which Tom is working on. The first non-trail work day event of the year will be Saturday, September 23rd, the Run For Snow.


Trail Maintenance – GMNC has had five trail work days thus far, and all maintenance on all three trail systems has been completed with the exception of some brush cutting.  The trail work days were well supported by numerous volunteers including operations leadership from Rich McCreanor.  Skyway and County Line work has been finished.  One final trail work day on October 5th will finish up work at Ward. Melissa is estimating around 150 to 200 hours of volunteer time on these days.


Marketing and Event Promotion – Melissa has spent time working on event promotion, creating marketing materials, and reinitiating GMNC’s presence on social media.  Right now the focus is on the Run For Snow, the Kick Off Parties, and the First Ski Contest.


Business Sponsorships – All of our map ad sponsors have committed and GMNC is hoping to go to print with the 2023/24 map on October 1st.  She has been seeking business sponsorships in coordination with silent auction donation solicitations.


Christine asked about the silent auction link. Melissa shared she hasn’t updated the site and is instead tracking items on a spreadsheet.  She will update the site closer to the October 15 launch deadline.


  1. Policies. Dan reviewed the three policies for review and approval: EEO and Non Harassment Policy, Public Comment Period Policy, and Board Meeting Format Policy. He explained that the three policies, if approved, would be placed on the GMNC website. The Board discussed the public comment policy, specifically how to word prioritization of GMNC member speaking time over guest speaking time and that prior notification of attendance is preferred. Dan will edit the Public Comment Period Policy to reflect the Board’s discussion and bring to the next Board meeting.


Marguerite motioned  to approve the EEO and Non Harassment Policy and the Board Meeting Format Policy as written and Christine seconded, motion was approved unanimously.


  1. Miscellaneous Business. John reminded the Board that an investment report is due at the next Board meeting. He also reminded the Board of Marguerite’s email asking for Mission and Vision edits by September 29th. Melissa asked if trail ambassadors should also review and sign the EEO and Non Harassment Policy. Board agreed that would be a prudent approach and Christie will share the document with Melissa.


The GMNC Board will meet next in-person at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta on October 17th at 6pm.


Marguerite motioned and Dan seconded to adjourn the meeting. Meeting was adjourned at 7:18 pm.

         Respectfully Submitted,


         Marguerite Tuthill