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GMNC Board meeting via Zoom, March 10, 6:00-8:25PM

3/10/21 GMNC minutes:


The Zoom meeting, Joe Ramey, President and host, commenced at 6 p.m.


Present:  Joe Ramey, Tom Ela, Winslow Robertson, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Larry Gruel, Caryl Brown (joined midway), Dave Smith (joined midway), Colleen McAllister, Dan Tille, Cameron Tyler, Winslow Robertson.  No guests requested to attend this meeting (checked website and Mailchimp).




Reviewed minutes from last meeting.  Delta County – $5,000 correct amount.  Other minor corrections noted.  Corrected minutes approved unanimously.




3/10/21 GMNC Board Meeting minutes


The Zoom meeting, Joe Ramey, President and host, commenced at 6 p.m.


Present:  Larry Gruel, Colleen McAllister, Joe Ramey, Tom Ela, Cameron Tyler, Lynea Schultz-Ela, Dan Tille, Kris Hjelle, Winslow Robertson


For future meetings, after 15 months running meetings, Joe suggests an email to everyone a day or so prior.  People then send Joe all their stuff for the next meeting, and then one email with agenda and documents will be sent out before the meeting.  Discussion that it is hard to read everything right before the meeting and we need someone, starting in June, to send this out earlier.


Mission statement read.


Minutes from February.  Feedback is minutes need to be more brief and summarize for membership what occurred.  Tom Ela – motion to accept the minutes.  Internal use only, summary to come.  Unanimous approval.  Corrections noted.


Topics of discussion or action in order presented:




1.    Lynea Schultz-Ela reported attending recent CRC seminar (community resource center America – successful for Colorado non-profits) and has notes.


2.    Discussion of Forest Service (FS) timber sale. Permit for closing Skyway one time per Ryan/Joe discussion.  They have 5 years to complete the project.   Could do all at once or little every year.  Ryan says small company may want to stretch it out.  Board is going to look into attending sale.  Unacceptable to have the road used for 5 years like that.  Nowhere we sign off on it?  Board overall want input on how this happens.


3.    Video project for website, Dan is working on.



4.    Financial report – Treasurer.  Trailboxes $10,000 through February.  Early March Lynea put in almost $900 and $800 from Joe.  Dan has the day use trail donation $930 first was 1/28/21.  In PayPal account.  See if can break out these with regard to donations.  Surveying # of cars – people checking?  Change ease of use – to do car counts.  Try and implement over summertime.


Continue to track well above on all categories for income, including first couple of lines on income – expense and income both up, net operating revenue up 11% YTD.  $55,000 contribution is not in there or Delta County $5,000.  Only $2,000 from Delta last year.  Form 7020 to get ERC payroll recovery for 2020 and 2021 Larry will look into.  PPP not worth it as payroll so low.


Individual contributions up 50%.  Business contributions up more than 100%.  Restricted gifts up too.  Trailboxes up 100%.  Why?  Signage is helpful, particularly the per day donation.


Joe mentions paper copy of contributors this season to discuss vis-a-vis membership when Colleen gets to that.


Budget from last summer was a break-even – we are $55,000 ahead in net revenue of the annual budget.  Will spend another $10,000 by 4/15.  Will still be $45,000 ahead even if no further income.  Below budget on Maintenance and Grooming ($11,000 left).  Ahead on payroll; behind on maint and fuel.  Haven=t had to do a lot of extra grooming.  Spreadsheet discussed in detail. $114,000 ahead of annual budgeted income.  Mesa County grant in that budget from last year?  Larry will look at and get info to add.  Lynea will look at P & L.  See where County grants are.  Tom will track down the $5,000 donation from a non-profit foundation – send a thank-you note.



Tax return – done in fall.  5 months after 4/30 financial year.  Have the one from last year.  Larry is going to make up a budget and then do the taxes.  We will share the completed 990 with members.


Tom Ela question – not see the race income/expenses.  Dan says will get to Kris by end of weekend.


Lynea – we need an action plan for budget for next year?  Larry was thinking – start?  Financial committee – 3 items on docket – Lynea has.


Joe – summer put a lot of work into the budget.  At end, why not just go with last year and add 10%?  Save a lot of work.  Tom – that’s what we’ve done in the past.  Know if need to tweak more than that.  Larry – look closely at the reasonableness of assuming same number of skiers will come.  Is this a one-year aberration?  Start listing expected expenses in categories.  Some increase/decrease where appropriate.


Lynea – last year had to build from scratch.  Didn’t=t get budget from Terry.


Mesa County $20,000 didn’t come in until April 2020.


Did we decide to put $$$ in an account to earn some income/interest?  Risk factors and rates and bring to board (Larry) – will send around and get some ideas.


5.    Discussion shifted to membership.  Colleen – get a copy of the green list of gifts that have been given for last several years.  Go to last page – interesting numbers re membership.  Basically, this year membership number is 578 – had more members last year (580) but doubled our money.   $138,000 this year.  $71,970 last year by this time.  Lynea Q – $136,000 not match what we have.  $55,000 included in that column and Steve Bennett $3,000 – down to $80,000 versus last year, so closer.  Joe went through list and 52 members that gave more this year than last year.  That accounts for the increase.


258 members gave last year and haven’t this year.  That seems like low-hanging fruit for increasing members.  How do we engage these people?

Seems like membership should be increasing more.



Collen is going to create a letter and send emails out to those people, run it by Joe.  Will send to everyone to review basic letter.  Will come from membership at Tom says we’ve done this in the past and gotten at least a little bump.  People forget they haven=t paid this year.  A little reminder is good.  Colleen will do by this weekend.


Whenever someone emails GMNC – Joe checks to see if a member and then emails to ask them to be a member. Valid exercise.  At beginning of season, sent out newsletter, but tried different manner.  This was an experiment.  If lost income, then back to snailmail for newsletter.  E newsletter effective.  Didn’t=t cost $1,000 in printing, stamps, volunteer time.  Dan – next season, look where membership is, monthly reports going back 3 years in LGL seeing when people renewing.  Help decide when need to send out that email – more than once a season, but monthly perhaps.


Need to make sure all membership getting MailChimp – comparing membership with Tom=s list.  Tom compared and actually there are quite a few people missing from MailChimp – about 108.   Tom is adding them in.  Going to do in next day and send most recent MailChimp and apology note.


Planning a new MailChimp for early next week – push the race again.  Tom appreciates any content anybody can send in, photos.  Caryl Brown going to send video of kids skiing for content.  Joe posted photo from Dave Smith – gorgeous, corduroy with bluebird sky.  Nearly all the photos are from Dave Smith.  He sends Joe 1 to 4 pics of trees, sunsets, trails.  Really useful.  Membership enjoys those graphics and lots of people view.   Dan would like to incorporate every 2 or 3 put a donation link when post photos.


6.    Board and mentorship.  Lynea – community/connectivity concept.  Meeting for a year virtually.  Vaccine status a Q – when all get can meet again.  Privileged to mentor Larry and enjoyed.  Could have done better with Caryl and Colleen – propose when bring a new board member on, assign a mentor.  Go through agenda, talk about history behind some of the issues, make feel a little more able to contribute and spread knowledge.  Propose that as a process going forward.


Caryl joined the meeting.  Great idea – Dan says Joe has been invaluable.  Caryl – often feel like do enough, not have business background, would like to contribute and would like to – lives long away, it would be good to have specific tasks to be assigned to.



Dave Smith joined the meeting.



Second thing – small tight group but don’t get to see each other that much.  Wondering if in order to build community spend 5 minutes in each meeting and one person tells a little story about themselves.  If know more multifaceted, more than just role on board (finances).  Not know a lot about each other.  Go around and everybody cough up one fact.  Done.


Nominations for board positions at main meeting.  Lynea – if going to stay on for another year, make known next month, so can fill position before main meeting.  Hope all stay on.  Joe Ramey leaving as president.  Operations board member – Winslow Robertson not going to continue.  Recruit or nominate from within.  Right now, have 9 filled.


7.    Executive Director concept.  Winslow, Joe, Cam on the committee – going to meet tomorrow night and meet about duties for ED.  Discussion requested and vote on whether board accepts the concept.  Professionalizing of management of the organization.  Comments welcome


Need someone getting paid to handle the details and do the heavy-lifting board is doing as an organization now.  Gaps in duties, loss of institutional knowledge as volunteers move on.  Looking for approval that we hire at some level.


Tom – 2 big aspects.  Concept = no brainer.  Good thing to unload duties onto paid position.  Other aspect – finance side.  What is the minimum salary could expect to find for someone to take bulk of duties?  Discussion of salary ranges and best and worst case scenarios.  Discussion of ED fund-raising.


Lynea – propose process.  Essentially a business approach to figure out.  Top down – what need.  Pie in the sky, description, broken into best, good, etcetera – 3 – levels.  Bottoms up, what can we afford to do as an organization?  To find best candidate – move around what do to fit skills of person we want to hire.  Process important to make a good decision.  Otherwise guessing.  Idea of hiring paid position is a no-brainer but have to define it.  Use good, better, best with numbers and then take back to financial committee.  Can’t be all fundraising work – have to fully fund in year 1.



Would like to have committee do this so can have a meaningful decision.  Larry agrees with the concept – ED has a lot more fundraising sponsorship building, PR role as opposed to manager more specifically focused on operations.  Analysis needs to be done as to best way to move forward.  Big question = how much is that person going to be the face of the organization, primary fundraiser, involved in fundraising side.  Working on snowcat versus shaking hands.


Winslow – think it’s unlikely to find one person with both skill sets.  Operations versus Ed.  Already have an operations manager – that was the track we were going on.  Breaking out operations from ED position.  2 jobs.  Joe – asked Dave to come to meeting because has served in capacity as operations manager.


Dave – ED is an investment in the future, so a risk, but if want to grow, need to buy the equipment and invest in future.  Part of stipulation from the beginning regarding applying for grants, etc.  COVID issues going to be the new norm, people being spread out and active, so dedicating someone paying attention to these issues.  Want to dedicate money – it’s there, could it be better, but what’s not there – we’ll see and think we should have done 10 years ago.


Dan not saying much because would be interested in the job.  Biggest thing thinking, finances aside, operations taken care of.  With Dave and crew have working, it’s been great.  Biggest thing we are not doing is not managing members.  Bringing on person to do that.  Not really engaging with membership – problems, trail use, not donating, ED role to try and tackle this.  ED overseeing all of the different aspects of membership, from programs, to marketing, to social media.  Developing new income coming into organization.  There’s probably a good half of everything that falls under operations – not an ED.  Some overlap.  How much do we want to engage the membership?  Need to have a clear understanding – promoting events, kid’s programs, moonlight ski, races, . . . creating programs/user base growing and making more opportunities for people to come to the trails.  Engaging and making feel part of the community.


Joe, looking to CB Nordic as a model – not a perfect fit, because a ski area in town.  Christy – their ED, painful to go from adolescent stage with volunteers, to professional, but income has increased 5x.  From 100,000 to over $1 million.  We are stuck and afraid to jump off the diving board.  Not going to know the income.


We hire this person, we see how it works, we work with the ED to gel the duties and try.  Not doing it this season, we are kicking it down the road.  Current model is failing.  Joe will not do what he has done the last two seasons.


Nobody should have to do all that is being done by volunteers.  Once we interact with membership at a higher level, business sponsorship which is untouched, income is going to change markedly.


Lynea – nobody objects to the doing.  Taking back to committee duties and what to pay.  Duties/pay – start defining and have that back to the board.


Tom – problem trying to solve is board overload.  Would like to note doing next to zero fundraising and next to zero member engagement.  Important to going forward, but top priorities to get people to take on the duties that are overwhelming.  What Joe has been doing for last 2 years make sure those are a priority.  Other duties people overwhelmed by on the top of the list.


Larry – worth considering ramping up or redefining the role of the operations manager that we have.  It is very part time and seasonal – add more hours and months to that position makes sense to pick up some of the more regular tasks around the operations.  May be a way to cover where we need to get those tasks covered.


Board agreed with committee defining and jelling what ED is and means.  Would like to charge the board to do that.  Attach a proposed wage and bonus range to that.  If only have PT operations manager, if beef it up – what is that definition going to be and what are the funds attached to that.  If those things get split – particularly if don=t have Winslow on what happens when.  List from Rich re: what needs to be done – could be tweaked, creating that to come back to the board, committee needs to present to their board what their solutions are and going to accomplish.


Joe – ready for committee to do the work and get the board to vote on.



Dave – Adog in this fight – operations, not stepping on Rich’s toes – is there a better way to do some of this stuff.  Sure; Rich a great tinkerer/fixer.  Now – he can say that has a good feel for the trails.  Knows where he’s going.  Getting better each time.  Working with CDOT to keep parking lots good, especially County Line.  The push to get things Cat groomed was due to Dave – going forward, want to do summer work so are golf-course rough and open quicker with less snow.  He’s committed to stick around and do the work up there.  Experience (his) and could take to a whole new level, different Cats, getting creative – operations manager side of it, but doesn’t think it’s needed.  Don’t need a separate position – extreme focus not necessary.  ED getting more members, activities, etc – that’s the biggest point.  More money more important than operations manager.  Winslow would add that there’s a lot that Dave doesn’t see.  Who picks up machines, works on over summer, over to Hotchkiss, etc.?  Winslow has done as volunteer and Rich does as paid employee – don’t want to ask Dave to do.  Cat died the other day, Rich fixed wiper motor, etc.  Saving lots of money by having him in that position.  Paying him $25/hour.


8.    Discussion shifted to end of season scheduling.  Winslow – Aend of season – not on the agenda.  Need to know a last day – arrange for transport of the Cat, breakdown, etcetera.  Grooming staff has to.  Unclear as to when PSIA clinics are.  4/15/21 is last day.  Clinics are end of March.  April 8, 9, 10 last clinics.  4/10 is a Saturday.  4/15 is a Thursday.  Winslow would like to end on 4/11 (Sunday).  Dan will get answer by tomorrow.


9.     GMNC videos.  Dan – when film GMNC co-own with video company (Caleb).  If has footage, would have access to it, and only need if edit subsequent films.  Proposal $5,700 3-4 days of shooting.  FS permit if need to happen – to do the filming.  Takes about a week.  Outside of that, go roll with questions.  Caryl – asked if were putting out that kind of money for a video, are there others for price comparison.  Dan responded and asked a couple.  Hasn’t heard from.  Seth @Loki said always start at $7,000 – two other companies a step above (film for Red Bull and Ducate and other).  Caleb shooting more for local companies.  No other bids.  Has reached out and no response.  CB Nordic and their website – who did theirs?  No idea – some professional film company.  Can we use somebody within our own organization – hire someone who is part of GMNC?  5-6 minutes of video; 40 to 50 hours (too much for a volunteer).  Could put it out to the membership.  We will need it while we have good snow – or delay until next year.

Cost is $5,700.  Aiming at 3 legs; trail management, trailhead management, and dogs on trails.  May connect with signage.  Hitting full force next winter.  Want to not get overrun again next year.  Board vote.  Joe – move ahead with the video creation with Lightbulb media.  Really have just a few weeks.  Joe moves to approve $6,000 charge for this – to accommodate any overrun.  Dan covered this with Caleb.  Cam Seconded.  Unanimous approval.



Dan will come up with bullet points on the actual messaging.  May need to fire up the Cat.  Scriptwriting professionally done and included.  Bullet points with voice-over.  Some actors for filming.  Lynea says script and script honing, bringing in a couple of people, to help with the messaging.  Families, kids, diverse people in the film.  Race and lesson footage.  If use anybody in video – release for use of images.  Add to registration for events.


Have a lot of extra lessons money – ends up as a donation at end of season.  Do we want to keep it that way?  Martin putting a lot of extra effort into this – normally take.  Not that much, not need to decide until after April and have firm numbers.  Suggesting we tip Martin for his extra work with this.  Not clear if Martin going to continue again next year.  Martin asking for – Dan thinks a good idea is it.  Things he has done/suggested, phone answering, etcetera – lessons program is the only phone number and Martin answers those general questions.  Good for us to be aware of.  Tom – all along we’ve considered lessons program to be a fundraiser for the GMNC as well as a needed community service.  We do incur a little extra grooming expense on their behalf, so would like to have flow back to GMNC.


Joe – revisit once we have numbers in April ($500 or $5,000).  Talk then.  Larry and Kris can have those for that board meeting.  We should be able to pull together for entire ski school season and race numbers.


Meeting adjourned 8:25 p.m.