BMW Motorcycle Owners of America
P.O. Box 3982, Ballwin, MO 63022
voice: (636) 394-7277 fax: (636) 391-1811
|October 2001 Board Meeting
BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Board Meeting Summary
St. Louis, MO
October 20, 2001
Board of Directors Meeting
October 20, 2001
St. Louis, MO
Present: President Don Hamblin, Vice President Jim Shaw, Secretary Deb Lower, Treasurer Rob Lentini, Directors Karol Patzer, Matt Parkhouse, Larry (Hawk) Hawthorne, George Glascock, Executive Director Ray Zimmerman, Managing Editor Sandy Cohen, Advertising Manager Ray Monroe, Bookkeeper Nancy Sulfstede, 2001 Rally Chair Gray Buckley, 2002 Rally Chair Don Faichney, Club Coordinator Greg Hutchinson, Advertising Assistant Jacque Pisano, Member Mae Glascock. Director Ted Verrill unable to attend.
Don Hamblin called the meeting to order.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Jim Shaw, that the minutes of the Redmond Board meeting be approved. Motion carried.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by George Glascock, that the minutes of the teleconference call as revised by Don Hamblin be approved. Motion carried.
Deb Lower reviewed the contents of the teleconference call. The Board approved Don Hamblin's appointment of the 2002 Nominating Committee of Gray Buckley, chair, Jeff Dunkle and Roger Wiles; and Paul and Voni Glaves' appointment as the 2002 Election Committee. Action on recommendation of potential rally sites was discussed in the call.
Don Hamblin stated that the Board is trying to move toward one-day Board meetings and to that end, the morning was spent in committee meetings. He asked that the committee reports be thorough but concise.
The New Board Member Orientation took place October 19 at the headquarters offices and at the Managing Editor's office. Don Hamblin asked Ray Zimmerman and Sandy Cohen to thank each of their staff members for him personally and on behalf of the Board for the hospitality shown to him, Karol Patzer and Hawk Hawthorne.
Rob Lentini reviewed year-to-date figures, citing examples of significant over or under budget items: $139,000 above budget in advertising income; interest income from investments is down but those are paper loses; under budget in membership promotion, staff travel, Board expenses and other expenses. Publications income is up $106,000 but cost of sales in printing the magazine is $42,000 over budget; the 2001 rally currently shows a $97,000 profit.
Regarding investments, BMW MOA did well in the recent market downturn: -4.55% compared to -12.76% for the Dow Jones, -12.3% for the S&P 500, and -19.41% for NASDAQ. Our bond exposures kept losses low and we are only $113K in the red as of October 18, 2001. The recent market performance did not trigger BMW MOA's "Black Friday" policy to be invoked; the market is back up to August into September levels. The economy is currently in a recession but corporate profits are expected to recover in the first quarter of next year. Our cash position is where we want it.
There will be an FYI article in the BMW Owners News and on the website to inform members how to take advantage of the existing dues structure before the increases take effect.
Executive Director's Report
Ray Zimmerman presented the financial charts to the Board. We are slightly ahead on Cost of Sales, Other Expenses are slightly lower than budget, and Actuals vs. Budget reflect the effect of the rally.
An updated Chart of Contracts was presented.
An updated list of writing assignments for the Strategic Plan was distributed. Don Hamblin requested that before the next Board meeting the blank sections are filled and other sections should be reviewed to reflect BMW MOA's strategy.
Preliminary work has been done to identify new office space. The current lease expires October 1, 2002 and we would like to sign a new lease by the end of August 2002 to allow a one-month overlap for moving. BMW MOA is currently paying $7.50/sq. ft. annualized; the renewal rate for the current space is $14-$16/sq. ft. annualized. We are working with Gundaker Commercial Group, which has presented five properties so far, ranging in cost from $10.90/sq. ft. to $23.50/sq. ft. Membership growth suggests two additional staff members in the next 3 to 5 years. The timeline calls for the presentation of 3 to 4 recommended properties to the Board at its January meeting, and the final decision on a property at the April Board meeting. Ray Z. is working with the Finance and Operations Committee during the search for new office space.
Ray Z. and Larry Stonestreet will staff a BMW MOA booth the International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention in Las Vegas December 3-6. The object is to sell BMW MOA to fair and exposition centers and eventually have those facilities seeking us to hold our International rallies at their facility.
A dozen BMW MOA staff and volunteers provided support for the Ride to the Guggenheim the last weekend of September. The level of support was so high that Laurence Kuykendall of BMW NA announced at the Saturday dinner that the event could not have taken place without BMW MOA's support.
Via a bar chart showing growth by month, Ray Z. illustrated the steady growth of membership over the past year. Membership numbers are now in the upper 90,000's and it is expected that the 100,000th member will join sometime in February or March of 2002. The Awards and Recognition Committee will suggest an appropriate way to recognize that person.
Because of the increase in types of electronic media and the need for protection, Ray Z. is searching for legal counsel specializing in intellectual property.
Managing Editor's Report
The magazine has been going out on schedule; the Anonymous book is in the planning stages; bids for graphics and layout of the magazine have been received; the 2002 Publications budget has been produced; advertising rates have been increased 7%; the November issue of the magazine contains a reader survey designed to provide demographics and marketing information for advertising; the 2002 editorial calendar was distributed.
Sandy Cohen attended the Ride to the Guggenheim and also the press opening of the Guggenheim exhibit. An overprint of 3000 copies of the BMW Owners News were shipped to Las Vegas to be inserted in the gift bag given out at the Ride to the Guggenheim.
BMW NA will give away an R1200C Phoenix at the Daytona Biketoberfest. The BMW Owners News is sending a representative to cover the giveaway and also present the winner with a BMW MOA gift membership.
Advertising Manager's Report
Ray Monroe reported that ad sales are on target to eclipse $802,000 for this year, which reflects a 32% increase over last year. Anonymous book ad sales rose 18% this year. The Rally Program showed an increase of 44% over last year.
Ray Monroe has resigned his position as Advertising Manager for BMW MOA. Don Hamblin thanked him on behalf of the Board and membership for his hard work over the past 12 years, and thanked him personally for his dedication. Ray Monroe said that it has been an honor to work for BMW MOA and that Sandy, the Board and Ray Z. have been fantastic.
Board Committee Reports
Communications and Marketing Committee - Jim Shaw, Chair
The Committee's recommendations and decisions regarding the Advertising Manager issue are: a) Ray Zimmerman has been authorized to hire a new Advertising Manager. Although it involves a contract beyond his immediate authorization, he will have the input of the President, at which time the Board will ratify the choice. Ray Z. was given guidelines in regard to his contract position. The contract will be for two years, renewable at one-year intervals; the Communications and Marketing Committee will establish bonuses, rate, etc. Ray Z. will direct advertising for the position with input of the Committee. b) Ray Monroe will continue working for BMW MOA on a declining basis and will be paid an agreed upon amount. c) Some paperwork and administrative duties will be assumed by the Editor's office. d) A toll-free 800 number will be established, pointing to Ray M. initially. e) Sandy Cohen will open a PO box near her home to receive direct mail.
The Committee recommended that Board authority be added to the Rally Marketing Chair, who is selected by the Rally Chairperson(s), and suggested Ray Z. as the person to provide Board authority. Ray Z. will make the decisions in the event of web vs. print disputes regarding rally publicity. At the request of the President a motion was postponed until after a report from the Rally and Events Committee, which also addressed this issue.
Staff has investigated costs of Canadian and overseas mailing of the BMW Owners News, the purpose being to keep mailing costs, and therefore dues costs, lower for foreign members. The findings indicated that mailing costs are already low, and the only advantage of changing foreign mailing houses may be a more timely arrival of the magazine. Staff will continue to pursue this issue. Don Faichney suggested an interim report in the BMW Owners News that this problem is being addressed.
The bidding process for the Anonymous book is complete and the Committee recommended Action Printing, which has printed the Anonymous book the past two years. Ray Monroe will stay on long enough to sell ads for the Anonymous book. Regarding bids for layout of the book, Ray Z. will review and decide between the two companies that came in with the lowest bids
Finance and Operations Committee - Rob Lentini, Chair
The 2002 budget will be presented later in the meeting. The Committee is leaving the headquarters property and leasing issue to Ray Z. for his recommendation.
BMW MOA Foundation Report - Jim Shaw, Board Representative
Members of the Foundation-Clark Luster, Dave Mishalof and Jim Shaw-discussed goals in Las Vegas while attending the Ride to the Guggenheim in September. The Foundation's programs will expand at the 2002 rally in Trenton. In addition to the existing safety programs, the Foundation will sponsor Camp Trenton, which will allow younger BMW MOA members to be part of their own group before other riders arrive. The details of Camp Trenton have not been established. On another Foundation subject, no conflict has been identified between the goals of BMW MOA and the BMW MOA Foundation.
Rally and Events Committee - Deb Lower, Chair
The Rally Manual contract has been concluded.
Rally & Events Committee with input from current and past rally chairs reviewed several policy issues. The Day Pass Policy will remain as it is currently. A suggestion was made to publicize the Day Pass Policy widely prior to the rally, and place at Registration 50 copies of a brief statement outlining the policy and the breadth of publicity, along with a comment card to the Board. Registration personnel will hand a copy to anyone who complains about not gaining admission to the rally via a day pass.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Hawk Hawthorne, that with 2002 International Rally announce rally grounds are open to rally set-up committee only prior to noon on day before the rally. Future rally sites registration before rally's first day will depend on the rally site contract. Motion carried. It is understood that workers and volunteers, ERC and Camp Trenton participants will be allowed in.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Hawk Hawthorne, that the BMW MOA Board through the BMW Owners News and the BMW MOA Website will announce future rally sites and locations only upon successful contract negotiation for the location, including a signed contract by both parties. The Rally site announcement, including dates, will be made by the Board in consultation with the Rally Chair of the current rally and the next rally only after the VIP motel rooms have been reserved. The Board will prominently display in the BMW Owners News and the BMW MOA website the names of the Rally Site Search Team members and the proposed areas of the country being considered for future years. However, the Rally Site Search Team members are not at liberty, nor is the Board and Staff, to release the location and dates of a potential rally site until Board action has taken place on the Rally Site, including a signed contract by both parties and not before the starting day of the prior year's rally. Rally Site presentations will be made in Executive Session by only members of the Rally Site Selection Team. If the rally chairperson(s) have been appointed, their name(s) will be announced at the same time the rally site is announced. The announcement will include the notification that most events are over the evening before the last day of the Rally. Motion carried.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Jim Shaw, that seminars presented at the BMW MOA International Rally will be offered for BMW riders, passengers, family, potential new riders, and/or potential new BMW owners. Each seminar will have an underlying purpose to promote safe and enjoyable motorcycle riding. Each presenter will sign an acknowledgement during the planning stage indicating the content of the presentation and the seminar is compliant with the underlying purpose. Motion carried.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Hawk Hawthorne, that the International Rally Chair will use the resources of the BMW MOA office to purchase (through competitive bidding process) all items that will become part of the Country Store inventory. The policy pertains to: t-shirts, pins, patches and any other items that could become part of the Country Store inventory such as rally posters or rally video. The Rally Chair has the responsibility to clearly state the request for competitive bidding of items determining with MOA staff the quantity, and for the BMW MOA staff to respond to the request in a timely manner. Motion carried.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, that the Rally Chair will identify a person for the position of Press Liaison who can represent BMW MOA in a professional manner and has intimate knowledge of the Rally and BMW MOA. Examples of individuals for the position could be Executive Director, BMW Owners News editor, previous rally chairs, Board of Directors, ambassadors. Motion passed. This policy gives Board support to the Press Liaison. The Rally and Events Committee will write a job description for this new volunteer position.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, to target the 2003 International Rally to introduce the use of automated rally registration. Beginning immediately appoint a working group to develop the functional requirements of the system using the current Registration Committee Chairs, past rally chair, MOA Staff and others. Contact large events that use automated registration to determine how they successfully do registration in this manner. Review the workload impact of this type of a change; determine the financial requirements for automating registration and build a budget item for 2002 and 2003 BMW MOA Budget. Motion carried. This motion begins an investigative process into automated on-site rally registration, with the additional possibilities of automated pre-registration and automated membership and renewal.
The Committee makes the following recommendation: During the next two years, MOA Staff and Board with input from International Rally Chairs and other volunteer staff, monitor the need for additional MOA staff and consulting resources for Rally and Other MOA Sponsored Events. Board identified this as part of Strategic Planning.
Regarding the Rally Manual's Lines of Responsibility under "BMW MOA International Chairperson(s)," bullet 5 was discussed and amended to read: "In consultation with the Editor of the BMW Owners News, the BMW MOA Rally Webmaster and Board designee, coordinate the content and timing of promotional material in the BMW MOA Owners News, the BMW MOA Rally Website, or other such media outlets available to the BMW MOA as determined by the Board designee." Deb Lower moved, seconded by Rob Lentini, to approve all lines of responsibility as amended. Motion carried.
Appointed Liaison Reports
Club Coordinator's Report - Greg Hutchinson
Greg is working with Ian Schmeisser to produce a website for use by chartered club rally masters. Different types of rallies are addressed: 2-day rallies with 200-400 participants, 4-day rallies with 500+ participants, rolling rallies, gypsy tours. The site will be a "living" site, constantly updated with new information submitted by rally masters via an online form.
Club renewal forms will be out within the next two weeks. Some international clubs from Germany and Italy have joined the BMW MOA.
The Communications and Marketing Committee will work with Greg to develop a process whereby club presidents, not just club contacts, can be identified to receive snail mail.
Potential ways in which BMW MOA can support clubs were discussed: A standardized directional banner that clubs can use to guide participants to their rallies, buy wristbands in bulk to provide to clubs, downloadable tech articles and other articles for club newsletters. Greg will make other recommendations. Currently clubs get free ads in the BMW Owners News ($328 value), they can get a membership discount if 10 or more members renew their BMW MOA memberships at one time and can request on an annual basis a club medallion.
Consumer Liaison - Rob Lentini
Complaints have become almost exclusively BMW NA and dealer oriented. Rob recommended that he and Ray Z. visit New Jersey to discuss the growing complaints. An alternative suggestion was that BMW NA personnel be invited to St. Louis for a meeting prior to a Board meeting.
Website Report - Ian Schmeisser
Ian gave a brief report in Ted Verrill's absence. The Roads Database now lists 50 to 60 roads.
2001 International Rally Wrap-Up - Gray Buckley
Gray thanked Susanna Parkhouse for her help and guidance and other committee chairs and volunteers.
Gray's comments on rally and future rallies were: having only one entertainment booking agent; assure the gate is wide enough to permit egress of motorcycles; not close the vendor building prior to the sewing booth being able to complete their work for members; be sure signs are put up quickly like the speed of this year's Sign Chair to get the word out about the swim center's changed schedule; notify food vendors they would make more money if they opened at 6 a.m.; take signs down before they are removed by non rally officials; consider making the Treasurer and the Registration Chairs paid staff so that those who normally do those jobs can enjoy the rally. Radios were purchased because they were cheaper than renting. The headquarters staff provided fast service when he needed something and the fairgrounds staff were very accommodating. There were complaints about the opening act of the Closing Ceremonies and an apologetic letter was received from the booking agent. Some money was wasted shipping door prizes back to headquarters. Gray stated chairing the rally was a good experience; many worked above and beyond expectations.
For his efforts, the Board presented Gray with an appreciation plaque and an embroidered Kermit chair.
2002 International Rally - Don "Kiltmeister" Faichney
Don presented a ten-minute, professionally produced video of the rally site and gave copies to the headquarters. If enough copies can be obtained in a timely manner staff will send a copy to each club and/or dealer. The tapes will be supplied at the videographer's cost. In conjunction with his Publicity Liaison, Don will produce a promotional poster, which will be sent to dealers listed in the Anonymous book.
A preliminary rally budget has been prepared.
In the August issue of the BMW Owners News appeared a listing of lodging available in the area for members to use for booking reservations. At this time, all hotels in the area of the rally are booked; the nearest vacancies are 30 miles away.
In consultation with Canadian Customs, Ted Verrill is putting together a Customs FAQ page. Don has prepared a letter to vendors, which outlines border issues. Ian Schmeisser volunteered to contact Jack Gucciardo, the Vendor Chair, about getting the vendor registration form online.
Deb Lower reminded Ian that the Rally and Events Committee has determined that the rally message board for the next rally should go live soon after the end of the current rally.
The rally t-shirts are designed and have a logo on front and back of the shirt.
Ray Z. presented the 2002 budget and line item review for adoption after modifications: A part-time person's salary was not included; the bid for a new server was higher than estimated (the caveat is that the server will be purchased this year); administrative duties for 4 months during the Advertising Manger transition. The money for the changes is in the proposed budget; and there are areas that can be reduced. Rob Lentini pointed out that the membership dues increase would not be available for about two years, so this budget is conservative. Jim Shaw moved, seconded by George Glascock, to approve the updated budget document. Motion carried.
The proposal for 2002 election ballot counting was considered. Deb Lower moved, seconded by Jim Shaw, that the Wolfe Nilges Nahorski proposal dated October 1, 2001 be amended to reflect that the ballots are sent to a post office box in care of Paul and Voni Glaves, and that the ballots be picked up from the post office box once per week. Motion carried.
Don Hamblin set the date of the next Board meeting as January 19, 2002.
Greg Hutchinson presented a proposal from Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. The company would provide legal service to members by phone, and has another level of service that is an affinity program. Don Hamblin tabled the proposal and referred it to the Finance and Operations Committee, with Greg as a consulting member of the Committee.
Hawk Hawthorne suggested that BMW MOA might provide financial "disaster relief" to charter clubs whose rallies have been loses due to weather. Don Hamblin tabled the suggestion and referred it to the Finance and Operations Committee, suggesting that the topic be expanded to include liability insurance.
Jim Shaw moved, seconded by George Glascock, that the Executive Director is charged with the responsibility and authority of the Board of Directors to implement and enhance the promotional plans of the 2002 rally Publicity Chairman and to cause that planned promotional material to be published in the BMW MOA magazine and/or website, as well as other media. To that end, the Executive Director may appoint volunteers to aid in this overall plan to be under his direction. Motion carried.
The open session was recessed at 6:00 pm with the Board to reconvene at 7:30 p.m. in Executive Session.
The Board reconvened in Open Session at 9 pm. During the Executive Session the Board confirmed the Rally Site Search Team's geographical areas for future years. The 2003 search area is the Mid-Atlantic, the 2004 search area is the West, the 2005 search area has been expanded beyond Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri to include Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and the mid-South, including Carolinas and Georgia. The 2006 search area is the North East including Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The 2007 search area is the Mid-West from top to bottom and the 2008 search area is the Rocky Mountain States including Western Canada.
The Awards and Recognition Committee is tasked to come up with definitions for Distinguished Service and Meritorious Service awards.
Motion to adjourn by Rob Lentini, second by George Glascock. Motion carried.
Marilyn Roberts, Recording Secretary
Approved by Deb Lower, BMW MOA Secretary (November 16, 2001)