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Grand Mesa Nordic Council

Board Meeting

May 22, 2024

Bill Heddles Recreation Center, Delta


Board members present in person: Tom Ela, Christine Noel, Ben Graves, Dan Tille, Susie Attaway, and Marguerite Tuthill

Board members present via phone: John Traylor

Board members not present: Larry Gruel

Staff present in person: Christie Aschwanden, Melissa Newell

Staff present via phone: Tigran Bailey

Guests: Nike VanArsdale, Brett Soratino, Tate Locke


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

  • Public Comment Period. No guests had comments to share during this period.

  • Building Contractor Presentation. Tate Locke & Brett Soratino with Cristee-Meade Building Company presented their pre-construction plan and contract. This is a local company that has been in business for 20 years. Tate provided an overview of similar projects completed in similar terrain, including building the Grand Mesa Lodge and a few cabins on the Grand Mesa. Tate and Brett discussed their Pre-Construction Service Agreement and provided details on their proposed project plan for completing the Skyway Station.

  • Vote on Board Positions for 2024-2025 Year. Nike shared her interest in joining the Board. She submitted her application prior to the meeting. Tom motioned to elect the following slate for the upcoming year: Dan as President, John as Vice President, Christine as Treasurer, Marguerite as Secretary, with additional Board members being Tom, Susie, Nike, Ben. Susie seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

  • Pre-construction Service Agreement. Ben moved to hire Cristee-Meade and sign the pre-construction agreement with the understanding that the Board will discuss a construction agreement separately. Susie seconded; motion passed unanimously. Dan will move forward with terminating the pre-construction agreement with Asset Engineering. Dan and Marguerite will work with Hoskins, Farina, & Kampf on the construction agreement review.

  • April Meeting Minutes. Tom motioned to accept the April minutes as submitted. Christine seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

  • Monthly Financials. Christine provided her written report in the Board packet.

April 2024 and Fiscal Year-End Financials – Christine review this past fiscal year versus the previous fiscal year. Highlights include:

  • Revenues:
    • Modest increase in advertising revenues.
    • Slight decrease in overall contributions, but business contributions significantly up; moderate increase in trailhead donations. 
    • Adult program revenues up significantly; all programs/races earning modest profits.
    • Special fundraising really took the cake! $9,000 was budgeted; more than $14,000 was raised. Melissa did an excellent job with her fundraising efforts. 
    • Overall, GMNC had a very strong year with total revenues of a little over $280,000, exceeding budgeted revenues as well as last year’s revenues. 
  • Expenses:
    • GMNC was overcharged for payroll taxes and recently got them refunded. 
    • GMNC experienced a significant increase in credit card fees.
    • GMNC was slammed with increased insurance expenses. 
    • Snow Cat maintenance expenses were higher than anticipated. 
    • Staff did an excellent job keeping expenses in line. Total expenses were just over $290,000, which were less (by a smidge) than last year’s, and also came in under budget. 
  • Bottom line, GMNC nearly broke even, which is truly commendable. 
  • The new budget will be challenging due to increasing costs (such as the new accounting system, and the purchase of a new snowmobile) and anticipated reduced grant proceeds. 


QuickBooks Migration to New Accounting System – QuickBooks’ most recent “update” crippled its operational capabilities, forcing users to move to (presumably) QuickBooks Online. GMNC needs to migrate all accounting records to a new accounting platform ASAP. This provides an opportunity to fully integrate all systems and drastically cut the amount of manual input currently done by the bookkeeper. Travis Boyd, CPA, provided a comparison of accounting systems with payroll integration with our payroll provider (see Accounting System Evaluations document). The Finance Committee is considering 3 of these: ZOHO, ACCOUNTEDGE, and ZERO with cloud storage. Travis has proposed a $3,000 engagement letter to complete the necessary review to select a new system and then assist with migrating GMNC to the new system. The Finance Committee recommends we go forward with this engagement. Marguerite motioned to accept the engagement letter. Susie seconded, and motion passed unanimously.


Investments Updates – Christine shared how the $50,000 CD w/ Edward Jones matured near the end of April. GMNC reinvested $51,000 for 12 months at 5.1%.  $55.64 in cash was transferred to the Alpine Bank money market account. The $100,000 CD is maturing on May 23rd and GMNC plans to reinvest those funds for 12 months. A $125,000 13-week T-bill will be purchased on May 23rd. This leaves more than $90,000 in operating cash for summer months.


The next Finance Committee meeting will be held on Friday, June 7th at 3:00pm via Zoom. 


Susie led the Board in congratulating the GMNC staff in ending the year in such a strong financial standing. Christie thanked Christine for the many volunteer hours she spent in completing these financials because of the struggles with Quickbooks.

  • Community Outreach Director Update. Melissa submitted her written report with the Board packet. She asked if any Board members had questions on her report. Christie commended Melissa for her strong end to the ski season. Melissa explained how all proceeds from the whiskey tastings at The Yarrow Taproom will go to the Grand Mesa Nordic Council.

  • Operations Update. Tigran reported the season has been wrapped up and all grooming materials have been moved into storage.

  • Executive Director Update. Christie submitted her written report with the Board packet. Christie filed the end of season report with the US Forest Service. Christie submitted a grant proposal for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 2024 Partners in the Outdoors Grant. Asked for $4800. The Nature Connection (thanks Ben!) is listed as a partner. Grant would fund our free ski clinics this year.


She also submitted a DMEA Operation Round Up grant proposal for $2500 to help with replacement of the snowmobile but GMNC unfortunately didn’t receive the grant. DMEA also has grants for capital projects, but it turns out GMNC is not eligible because the Skyway Station isn’t located in their operating area.


She applied for an Applefest grant of $2,500 for help replacing the stolen snowmobile and GMNC received the grant!

  • 2024-2025 Budget Discussion. Christie reviewed the 2024-2025 financial year as being a tough year. Christie walked through the proposed budget and answered questions. Christie reviewed her proposal for increasing membership fees to meet the rising operating costs. 2017 was the last time GMNC raised membership fees.


Next meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, June 11 from 3-5p.


Christine motioned to adjourn the meeting; Ben seconded. Meeting adjourned at 7:59pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Marguerite Tuthill

Board Secretary