Meeting Minutes for May 2008 Board Meeting
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: The Common Man, Merrimack NH
Attendees : Alan Legerlotz, Dana Sion, Michael Morin, Tom Blinn, Laura Fallis, Paul Michali, Cassandra Vorisek-Creto, David Thibodeau, Bruce Smith, Dick Cadieaux, Mike Safford, David Harrison, Mike Marsh.
Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.
Membership News: Laura said we have 732 members this month, so we have grown a bit. Laura has been working with Michael Morin to produce some of the statistical data that has been done in the past and will do some mailings with that info. Laura has been chatting with new members and people seem quite excited about the events we have planned. Laura has been working closely with Dana on marketing and they have been meeting with potential sponsors.
Financial update: Mike Dion sent an email and the highlights are -
$17,845.46 in the bank
$1,867.76 profit from Cabin Fever
$55.82 profit from April ADSS
Meeting minutes: Al posted the April minutes. Starting with the next meeting we will be approving minutes from the prior meeting. Dana suggested that we print the minutes in the Profile, but discussion was that we shouldn’t because they are on the web and most everyone has access to them there.
SEC Update: Cassandra said that the Go Karting event is getting ready to go from a logistical point of view… as of now we have 4 of a possible 100 participants. The Boston chapter is possibly interested in doing a reverse version of the road rally we did last year. The Climb to the Clouds is still something we’re considering participating in, but with more of a companion event. The idea is to have a BBQ followed by a sunset drive up the mountain and then a tour of the observatory. People can do a van ride for around $40 if they like. For $5 additional the tour of the observatory can be done. The good thing about this is that it’s a low cost event for us and for participants. We are already looking at holiday party plans, and because CR Sparks is moving, we’re looking at other locations, including a hotel. One idea for raising funds is to do silent auctions for things, including having an outside vendor handling the silent auction. The outside vendor (cMarket) would also open things up to outsiders on the web so we could potentially raise more money. There are additional things we can do in terms of bigger ticket items on which we can make a commission… The relationship for the year is around $395 and Cassandra is talking with them. To generate funds for the charity, some of the entry fee would be earmarked for the charity, so this way we would know before hand the minimum that we’re giving. Because there is no raffle, the lower priced items would go into a giveaway bag. People have mentioned that they tend to not like the raffle because it takes too long, so the SEC is looking at ways to minimize it. Sponsors will be encouraged to include things to go into the goody bags.
DEC Update - Driving Event status
Bruce gave a Street Survival update. Twenty Six participants registered with Twenty Four actually showing up, which was good for mother’s day. Liberty Mutual was there with water and to help out. Dana was surprised how intense things were and Mike Marsh from Liberty Mutual was impressed with how things went as well. Erik and Bruce are going out to The Tire Rack in South Bend, IN and one of the things they’re going to talk about is our relationship with Liberty Mutual. From what Mike said, the BMW Club is on the radar at Liberty Mutual in a good way and a longer term relationship will result. The BMW Foundation is working with Mercedes on Street Survival as well. We had a number of people at the Street Survival School, including the Manchester police. We are moving forward with doing the skid school at Watkins Glen.
Website Update/Editor Update, News from National, National conference: Paul said that there is a new banner on the top of every page. There is a photo gallery on the site now that is heavily linked in. There are 6 profiles on the web site, along with an admin feature so that Martin can post. Some of our event links have been broken by the change from NHIS to NHMS, so Paul is trying to find and fix those. Dick asked about the Climb to the Clouds video link and he was saying that it was hard to find. Paul is going to look into making it easier. Al asked about publishing the profile electronically. Paul said that this was addressed at the national conference and apparently there is a potential savings by allowing chapters to deliver electronically instead of via mail. The requirement is that people need to be able to opt to get a printed copy mailed to them. Al asked about the kick-back that we get from national and if it will continue if we publish electronically. A change is that we will not have to do us mail of the profile to national and they will make it available to the other chapters and service officers. As of august, the reimbursement from national will be doing away. To save money, we’re going to have to prune through the list of participants and do as many electronic deliveries as possible. Dick suggested that we continue to send hard copies to our “friend” chapters that are close by as a courtesy. Dana asked Mike Marsh how he thinks Liberty Mutual would feel, as a sponsor, about having the newsletter be electronic instead of in print. Mike seemed to think that the things that make sense are that the number of people seeing it is still the number of people seeing it and that should be ok regardless of the delivery mechanism. He did, however, say that he could not speak for Maureen, who actually signed the advertising agreement.
In addition, lots of things happened at the conference. BMW AG is switching the logo requirements for everyone. The Chapter specific image goes on the upper right with the chapter name below it, and then a bar and the roundel goes on the right hand side. Mark Calebrese is talking with BMW AG because this is going to result in ugly logos. The new rules will go into play in 2010, so we are compliant now, but will need to change the logo again in 2010 if the rules stay as they are. In addition there was a crisis contact card distributed at the conference that had lots of contact numbers on it and it seemed handy. There was a guest speaker (Jeff Crilley) who talked about generating interest in your chapter and getting some publicity for it. The idea was to find people who talk/write about the type of thing and contact them and get them to come to the event. There was a speaker talking about copyrights and trademarks, etc… The takeaway from that presentation was that this probably isn’t something to worry about because its tough to enforce, but if you want to copyright stuff you need to follow through. They also talked about web site and helping get things in line with the canned span law – one restriction is allowing people to opt out, to putting on a physical address, etc… There is also some talk about how if someone considers your emails span, they can actually get you on the spam list and its tough to get off it. Credit card processing is something we want to avoid, but Motorsport.Reg does it so we can continue to use them or Paypal.
Martin said that we are already doing a lot of things that were discussed in the newsletter breakout sessions. Ad space to content ratio is supposed to be about 40%, which we are in line with. There is a style guide available and Martin has looked it over and will dig a little deeper and adopt one of the included styles for our Profile. Electronic delivery will be “opt in” rather than the other way around. Electronic delivery is encouraged by national and the only down side is managing the email list of who gets the newsletter. Dana asked if members would get the same version as the printer and Martin suggested sending people a pointer to both a hi-res copy and a low-res copy. Bruce asked if it was worthwhile and both Martin and Paul indicated that it was. Publisher wise, we’re trying Spectrum and we’ll see how that goes. Martin is also going to meet with the printer that Boston is using and we’ll see how things will work. The Bimmer is printed by a place in south east NH, so Martin will be contacting that printer to see if they’re cheaper than Spectrum. We are in line with the minimum standards for the newsletter in terms of content, but Dick mentioned grabbing things from the National Archive when we’re light on content. There were some tips presented at the national conference about how to put things together and generate good content. The requirement that Chapters have a web site is new. Thom mentioned that a lot of minimum standards information is in this month’s Roundel as well, in an article by Bruce Hazard. There was talk about either more frequent web conferences or regional ones.
Marketing Update: Dana has been side tracked a bit with helping find printers for the profile, but is making progress both on marketing and with printers. For now we’re using Spectrum for our printing, but that may change. We currently have several banners that we’ve been using for marketing. Dana has signed on new advertisers, including the Best Western Hotel in Waterville Valley, as well as Ultimate Motorwerks in Plaistow. We have an ad with Escort, and Dana is talking with Turner Motorsport as well as Tire Rack. There are some seasonal ads that will be coming through as well. In Dana’s opinion, our ad rates are too low, so we may want to raise those in the future. Bavarian Autosport has been re-signed as an advertiser. Martin mentioned some guidelines discussed at the conference in terms of calculating the appropriate ad rates, and we’ll be going through that process. Dana has been working on promoting our programs with the Manchester police and they came to the street survival school to observe.
Profile update: Bruce asked about content and if Martin is getting enough of it. Martin thinks that we’re turning the corner with respect to content coming in and people viewing the content as something they’re committed to rather than a “nice to have” that they’ll do if they get around to it. There is some opportunity for sponsors to do an article that appeals to everyone but also advertises their product or service in additional to their normal ads. Mike Marsh, as a sponsor, brought up the idea of having a parents’ class either as the sponsor talking about something like insuring new drivers to something to do with the program itself. Martin said that at the next meeting we can get some better numbers around how costs for the Profile with Spectrum compare with prior issues.
The General meeting was concluded at 8:40 and the people who stayed for the Board portion of the meeting were: Bruce Smith, Alan Legerlotz, Dick Cadieaux, Dana Sion, Laura Fallis and Cassandra Vorisek-Creto.
Sensitive topics were discussed during this part of the meeting and although meeting minutes have been taken, they will not be published on the web site.
The private session was adjourned at 9:35 pm.