Meeting Minutes for January 2009 Board Meeting
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Common Man, Merrimack, NH
Attendees: Al Legerlotz, Laura Fallis, Dave Harrison, Dana Sion, Michael Morin, Cassandra Vorisek-Creto, Paul Michali, Dick Cadieux
Meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm
I. Transition Activities, Web site, etc.
Nationals questionnaire for new board members needs to be filled out and submitted by March 1st, 2009; Al will take care of this item.
David has been provided a new email address and will let Paul know if he wants an alias established with it.
Officer and staff, DEC and SEC web pages have been completed but can be tweaked as needed. Al is the (acting) DEC chair, Michael needs to be confirmed as the new membership chair and will replace Laura as the contact.
The Profile calendar has been changed so that it automatically updates on the web.
Paul is also in the process of establishing the correct links associated with the “ask us page”. Michael will be the contact for the “general questions” link and Paul will reach out as needed for updates on other contacts.
The club’s domain registration is expiring in March. The hosting service currently provides 2 domain names and we’ll need to transfer the (unused) domain to the active site; Paul is still waiting to hear from Network Solutions so we can begin this process.
II. Creating a common calendar of chapter events for the year
Al wants to create a calendar of events to encompass all events during the year. He’d like to see each event’s calendar created in a project manner so the club will be able to easily identify tasks, milestones and timelines required in order to make each event a success. Point in case given for the need for this approach was when we forgot to get insurance for driving event/school and had to scramble at the 11th hour. By approaching each event as a project and creating re-usable templates, future events should run much more efficiently. Al asked that each sub-committee develop a calendar for each of their respective events and have available for our next meeting.
III. Advertisers list and renewal schedule
There was a substantial amount of discussion on this topic after Dana and Michael presented a new advertising summary sheet (provides a great snapshot of our advertising base/activity). Al wanted to see if we could amend the summary to show unused advertising units so we’d know where/when we needed to make the extra effort. The balance of the discussion focused on two main areas; the timing of advertising renewals and if / how we segment our advertising sales to capitalize on perceived value. Regarding the renewals, the consensus was that we move toward a standard renewal schedule. Not only would this be easier to track and administer for the club but it would be easier for our advertisers during their budgeting process. Given that the majority of our advertisers were up for renewal in March, it made sense to have this be the standard month for renewals. And given that March is just around the corner, we’ll need to reach out as soon as possible. Additionally, we need to think more broadly when considering potential advertisers. Besides the traditional automotive segment, there must be other businesses that would find the chapter’s demographics attractive. This discussion then followed into statistics from the chapter’s website; in 2008, there were 372,000 unique hits – far greater than the 700+ members to whom we mail our Profile and far greater than anyone had suspected. It’s worthwhile to note to our advertisers that we have an increasing number of members moving toward e-subscriptions of the Profile. We subsequently discussed the difference between sponsors and advertisers, what benefit they each receive and whether or not we should we develop tiered levels of advertising/sponsorship that demonstrate a progressively higher value proposition. Al compared the situation to that of coach vs. first class accommodations on an airline. Incremental value is created in first class by offering minor distinctions such as larger seats, complimentary food and beverage, etc that justify a premium being charged. Similarly, what distinctions can we offer an advertiser or sponsor that will bring them a higher perceived value and the club a greater premium? But to Dick’s point, we need to ensure that our offering is market-based and competitive. Let’s come to the next meeting with thoughts on alternative advertisers and sponsors whom we haven’t traditionally considered.
IV. Board meeting schedule and operations for the year
Given the realities of everyone’s work and personal schedules, some of which require travel on short notice, Al proposed that we trial a different approach to the meetings for a few months. The proposal was that the board and committee chairs would have a conference call on the first Wednesday of each month (7PM) with additional face-to-face meetings every other month on the second Wednesday of the month. Al will provide a conference bridge to the membership so that anyone who’d like to listen/participate is welcome. Face to face meetings will continue at the various venues we’ve been using but will be a little less business (review and comment on previous week’s agenda) and a little more social. February’s meeting will be scheduled as a face-to-face.
V. DEC Update
First meeting set for Wednesday January 21st. Al is the acting chair until someone steps up to take his spot; it’s thought that Mark Viola is a potential candidate so Al will discuss with him at the meeting. The street survival contact will continue to be Bruce Smith.
VI. SEC update
To date, we have 21 (paid) registrants for the Winter Reunion and have raised ~ $2,000 for the event. Cassandra and the board voiced concerns as to whether or the not the event could still be held with such light attendance. If we do cancel, we’d lose our $300 deposit with the Highlander unless we reschedule the event with them. Cassandra will check with the Highlander to see if there is a minimum plate requirement in order to hold the event and will advise the board as soon as she knows. The consensus with the board was that we go ahead with the event with the numbers we have as long as there’s not an issue with the Highlander. A meeting is scheduled for the week of 1/19 to make final preparations for the reunion.
As discussion turned to other events planned for the year, it was noted that Climb to the Clouds would likely be cancelled this year and possibly indefinitely.
VII. Web site update
Paul would like to get a content management system (Druple?); the system is free but would be an issue of time to implement. Paul is also looking at SSL (secure socket layer) packages for the site; estimated cost is $49/yr. This would help prevent the site from being hacked especially when a CCA member with admin access was connected wirelessly at a public venue. It was noted that we wouldn’t use the SSL to process financial transactions; not an area we want to get into. Al asked that Paul put this infomration into his budget and bring to next meeting.
IIX. Recruiting Committee Volunteers
Al noted that the DEC (and all committees) needs extra volunteers. It was suggested that we have the April board meeting take on an open-house approach to generate interest in driving events among the active membership. Laura suggested that we make an attempt to broaden our membership by attending new/different events – i.e.World of Wheels. It is thought that opening up the membership base, in general, will drive up the level of volunteers. We’ll need to invest some money in marketing in order to increase the membership; i.e. possibly putting on a tech seminar at a sponsor facility (maybe Euro Depot). Al wants Dana to put a straw man together to see what it would cost to do a tech seminar; Dana will reach out to the Boston chapter to gauge their experience.
IX. Meal costs for non-club members during board meetings
The board unanimously agreed to pay for Martin’s meals during board meetings. Despite his “in-active” membership status, he’s considered an employee of the chapter given his responsibilities with the Profile.
X. Profile update
The latest issue has been uploaded to the printer, is up on our website and the national office has been notified. Al’s article for this issue is a summary of this year’s events. Given Martin’s absence from the meeting, the board merely reviewed those discussion items he wanted brought up and tabled them for further discussion until the next meeting. Some of these items included:
Including “cost of publication” on the issue
Charging for members’ requests for additional copies
XI. National Driving Events Congress
This event is coming up in March; two club members will go for free, additional members may go but at cost. Dana suggested that we might offer this up as an opportunity to entice someone to the DEC chair but Al noted that this event is more for experienced drivers. DEC chair and chief instructor are typically identified to attend.
Michael noted that at year-end (2008), we had 713 members. This number represented another monthly net decrease but it was interesting to note that while we lost full membership numbers we increased associate (both dual and triple) membership numbers. The top three counties in terms of membership are: Rockingham 223, Hillsborough 200 Merrimack 58.
Al would like all budgets to be prepared by the respective chairs and available for discussion at the next board meeting.
XIV. New business
Dana brought up the idea of purchasing a desk top mailing solution; $229 for up front costs plus postage expense. Al advised Dana to put in this into his budget for presentation next month.
Dick wanted to know who would be responsible for getting officers credit card; Al will follow up with Mike Dion on this. Obtaining cards will likely needs to happen in person at the Concord branch of the bank. Dick asked that he keep his card and not turn it in as he will likely need to pay for various track events; the board agreed.
The meeting adjourned at roughly 9 PM.