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GMNC Board meeting minutes November 10, 2021 6:00 -7:46 PM

Our Mission Statement: “Grand Mesa Nordic Council is a community-supported, nonprofit organization of people who love to cross-country ski on the Grand Mesa in western Colorado. We are dedicated to promoting fun, safe, cross-country skiing experiences for skiers of all ages and abilities.”

Attending: Board members: Lynea Schultz-Ela, Joe Ramey, Dan Tille, Larry Gruel, Tom Ela, Denise Massart; absent Cameron Tyler. Key employees attending: Christie Aschwanden, Dave Smith, Kris Hjelle

  1. Meeting time limits – Time limits have been established for board meetings going forward. Dan Tille will keep track of time during meeting. If keeping to time limits is successful, board could return to meeting at Delta Bill Heddles Recreation Center which closes at 8:00 p.m. Denise Massart will record this meeting.


  1. Previous board meeting minutes – Denise Massart moves to accept the October board meeting minutes. Dan Tille seconded. Motion passes.


  1. Treasurer report – Larry Gruel explains that budget comparisons on treasurer reports are based on historical data.  There are more contributions this year to date than last year. Possible early donations. Discuss how LGL website filtering works in order to see donations. Instruction training expense and instructor fees which occurred last fiscal year carried over to this fiscal year because we are on a cash basis.  Day use donations coming in on website are shown under individual contributions. Request financial team to track web donations separately in order to see if donor is a member or not. Finance team will separate out the web donations from regular donations.


Kris suggests getting web donations into database. Christie Aschwanden had set up a form for donations to help get donors into database. Dan Tille and Christie Aschwanden discuss ways to integrate donation form into the donation pages.  Christie Aschwanden will work on integrating donation form into the website donation pages.


  1. Executive Director report – Christie Aschwanden reports that things are going really well, Ops is up and running, Dave doing a great job. Public is very excited about early season skiing and this may be a reason we have more pre-season donations. New and improved membership pins will be available at the 11/14 Grand Junction Kick Off Party event.  Maps were ordered on Wednesday and will arrive in a week at the soonest.


Have been working on business memberships. A lot of people want to support GMNC but haven’t been asked. Working on grants from Community Hospital and Timberline Bank. Always better to apply for something specific. Will ask members to give more on upcoming Colorado Gives Day campaign in order to support more grooming and professionalizing the organization. Wants to be the carrot not the stick. Still waiting to hear from Mike Jones at the Forest Service regarding the Annual Operating Plan.  Signs are ordered and we have approval for user days. Over the next month, will support Dave Smith with daily operations and push memberships. Will work on Ambassador program around Thanksgiving if there’s good snow. Currently there are 3-4 folks interested in the program. Will push again closer to opening day though might be more effective to recruit on ski trails.


Have updated content on the website updated but need to finalize to make it look nice. Been familiarizing with website to learn how it works and be able to do things in house. Asked Empowered Energy to give more of a donation in order to sponsor the race series. It’s time consuming to approach businesses and ask for donations.  Raised 5K on map ads. Maps were less than 1K to buy. Continue having Tina work on the maps if it continues to be affordable. Post movie on website on opening day November 15th. Possibly show movie on screen on GJ Kick Off Party event. Discuss how GJ event will work for presentations, wifi, room setups, quantity of chairs.


Christie Aschwanden will bring jackets, Tom Ela will shop for prizes & finish flyer, Dan Tille will find a projector, all Board Members will bring old maps to the Sunday event.


  1. Operations Committee – Joe Ramey reviews the provided Ops Log which outlines getting ready for opening day. Will submit Ops Log monthly. Ops running smoothly. Discusses satellite trackers to keep track of groomers. Has SOS button. There’s always concern regarding Ward snowmobile groomers working alone. Satellite trackers Garmin account updated last year but never activated tracker accounts. We can upgrade to professional account for multiple users which is $155/year for each of the 2 trackers.  Joe Ramey & Dave Smith to discuss details on safety devices for groomers, bring to board for an email vote due to timeliness.


Logbook from last year never located. Dave Smith said its ok that we don’t have logbook for historical purposes as it was only tracked hours, grooming reports and fuel usage. Fuel use is obvious by what the fuel tank quantity.  We can create a new log. Dave Smith suggests bulky grooming report on website be streamlined into a checklist, so it is easier for members & users to use. Dan Tille will pick up the Loki groomer jackets.


  1. Maps – Christie Aschwanden will distribute and maintain map inventory at trailheads.


  1. Race & Events – Tom Ela reiterates Empowered energy sponsor. Race flyers ready to print for each trailhead, flyers are printed for events and GJ Kick Off Party event. Cameron Tyler’s donated $200 for drawing merchandise for GJ event so Tom Ela will possibly shop for Loki flannel shirts with this donation. Lynea Schultz-Ela will give Denise Massart flyers for Race Series for Paonia posting, Lynea Schultz-Ela will post in Hotchkiss & Delta, Christie Aschwanden will post in Surface Creek.


  1. Financial Committee – Lynea Schultz-Ela discussed finalizing the FY20-21 financial report for website posting. Used previous year’s template. Retained earnings weren’t moved into reserve funds or the infrastructure cost. Should these #s be fixed on Financial Report? This version can go on website and retained earnings will be amended after the 990 completed and adjusting journal entries are finalized. Lynea Schultz-Ela will work with Dan Tille to finalize financial report and Dan Tille will post on website. Lynea Schultz-Ela will talk to Larry Gruel re Retained earnings after the 990 and adjusting journal entries are finalized.


  1. Permanent Building Committee – Joe Ramey reports on visit to Mesa County building dept and the need for an address before moving forward. Working with the Forest Service on getting an address. Next step after address is creating a site plan. Decide on building size and location. Perhaps locate near original warming hut location, on a slope to accommodate equipment storage underneath. Discuss amongst board next steps for discussion with the donor and pledge, and perhaps come up with a proposal for donor? Committee will meet to go over how to move forward and create a skeleton budget. Joe Ramey & Christie Aschwanden will discuss the status of EIS with Forest Service Mike Jones.


  1. Miscellaneous items – Lynea Schultz-Ela asks if there are any edits for the 5 months of minutes. Dan Tille moves to approve the 5 months of minutes after a final run through by Dan Tille & Christie Aschwanden. Joe Ramey seconds. Motion passes. Dan Tille & Christie Aschwanden will look through the 5 months of minutes for a final look. Dan Tille will post. Dan Tille will post monthly Minutes and Financial reports on the website going forward.


  1. Sit ski donation – Steve Bennett has offered to donate the full cost of a sit ski valued at approx. $3500. Creates an opportunity for teaching people to ski who need a sit ski. Challenges are maintenance costs, storage, hauling it to the top. Martin Wiesiolek would like to train instructors to give lessons with it. Would Powderhorn or Colorado Discover Ability be better suited to have this piece of equipment? Shared ownership/use between organizations would be complicated.

Is this something we want to do? Dan Tille makes a motion to accept Steve Bennett’s offer to fund a sit ski, will talk to Martin Wiesiolek to talk about details. Tom Ela seconds. Motion passes. Dan Tille will talk to Martin Wiesiolek and Steve Bennett for more details.

  1. Executive Session


Next meeting via Zoom moved to Tuesday, December 7th due to a board member conflict.

Joe Ramey moves to end this meeting at 7:46 p.m. Dan Tille seconds the motion. Motion passes.