Board of Directors Meeting, Open Session
St. Louis, Missouri
February 1, 2003
Present: President Don Hamblin, Vice President Larry (Hawk) Hawthorne, Treasurer Brian Mullins, Secretary Deb Lower, Directors Greg Feeler, Chuck Manley, and Rob Nye, Director and Mileage Contest Coordinator Karol Patzer, Director and 2003 Rally Chair Michael Friedle, Club Coordinator Sam Lepore, Ambassador Liaison Sue Rihn-Manke, Webmaster Ian Schmeisser, Managing Editor Sandy Cohen, Advertising Director Ted Moyer, Executive Director Ray Zimmerman, Recording Secretary Marilyn Roberts, Member Gray Buckley.
Don Hamblin opened the meeting by expressing sympathy on behalf of the Board to the families of the Shuttle Columbia crew and to Phil Sulfstede and family. With Nancy’s death the organization lost a dedicated BMW MOA member, Gateway Rider member and friend; it is a significant loss to BMW MOA.
Don publicly thanked in the name of the Board of Directors and BMW MOA those volunteers who staffed the BMW MOA booths at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows in St. Louis, Denver, New York and Minneapolis. Those volunteers and staff are as follows. St. Louis: Sandy Cohen, Bill Graham, Tammy Leuthauser, Sandee Lumpkin, Art Mester, Marilyn Roberts, James Shaw, Art Wheeler, Ray & Lorra Zimmerman. Denver: Matt Baroody, Gray & Alison Buckley, Bob Burnham, Jeff Galligan, Kelly and Lori Huett, Bill Keighin, Deb Lower, Bob Ohman, Karen & Tom Wise, Mark Zimmer. New York: Josh Ascher, Allen Clarkson, Brian Curry, Don Eilenberger, Court Fisher, Michael Friedle, Max Monaco, Rob Nye, Dennis Swanson, Roger Trendowski, Cy Young. Minneapolis: Charlie Coons, Jerry Dubrall, Larry & Mary Hawes, Karol Patzer, Dale Peterson.
Secretary’s Report: Deb Lower moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, approval of the minutes from the last meeting. Motion carried. Deb Lower introduced the proposed bylaws amendments presented for discussion over the last three board meetings. Brian Mullins moved, seconded by Deb Lower, approval of the amendments to the bylaws with the understanding that the vote will be taken after 60 days, which includes 30 days after the proposed amendments appear in the April issue of the BMW Owners News. The motion was tabled until May 3, 2003, the date of the next Board meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Current objectives are to hire a bookkeeper and be sure that finances are under control, and to continue to review asset allocation of the investment portfolio. Response by the Executive Director and staff to the loss of Nancy Sulfstede has been timely and well constructed. For eleven months ending November 30, 2002 revenues are 15% ahead of expectations and expenses are 4% below expectations. The balance sheet contains high liquidity; Brian is reluctant to invest in stocks and bonds at the present time. Brian Mullins moved, seconded by Deb Lower, approval of the 2003 budget circulated on January 14. Discussion and vote was held under the Executive Director’s report.
Executive Director’s Report: The 2003 budget provides for an Open House or other event. The rally guidelines line item includes funds for copyrighting of the International Rally Manual. The budget is conservative on membership growth, providing for only 3% growth. Based on the budget, BMW MOA can weather a downturn in the coming year. Vote on the motion to approve the 2003 budget: motion carried.
To get bookkeeping and accounting tasks under control, Sandy Cohen, Tammy Leuthauser, Marilyn Roberts, and Ray Z. met to identify managerial tasks that each could oversee. Marilyn and Frieda Siebel-Spath from Wolfe Nilges Nahorski, CPA spent a day going through files to identify those tasks that need immediate attention, such as taxes, 1099 forms and closing of the year. Hiring of a bookkeeper will be initiated next week; the position will be a part time employee.
Contracts for Managing Editor, Advertising Director and magazine production will be discussed in detail in Closed Session.
Revenue and cost savings programs include the new roadside assistance program and mailing of the BMW Owners Anonymous book from the office using Smart Mailer. The enhanced Nation Safe Drivers roadside assistance program has netted 392 years of participation since the program’s October inception. Mailing of BMW Owners Anonymous books from the office to new members during the year using the Smart Mail system has resulted in a savings of $2560 since July 2002.
Aged receivables from BMW Owners News advertising are being worked for collection by Dun & Bradstreet. Three accounts have been turned over to attorneys used by the collection agency.
A few Associate members have asked for a BMW Owners Anonymous book. Associate members do not receive an Anonymous book as part of their membership. Larry Hawthorne moved, seconded by Chuck Manley, authorization to print additional copies of the BMW Owners Anonymous book based on the staff’s best estimate and to make them available for $5 each only to Associate members who ask for them. Motion carried. Karol Patzer pointed out that Article II, Section 2 of the bylaws should be amended to read, "…with the exception of a subscription to the BMW Owners News and the BMW Owners Anonymous." This does not need a motion.
Ray is in communication with KOA regarding a membership benefit. Board permission was given to pursue Med Jet and/or Sky Jet for possible membership benefits/discounts. Ray is working to identify an insurance company that will provide a discount to BMW MOA members. The May Agency is familiar with providing insurance for chartered club events. Dairyland gives a discount to BMW MOA members, as they provide discounts to touring clubs in general.
After a discussion of Canadian dues rates, it was the consensus of the Board that the BMW MOA accept checks written on Canadian banks, and keep open the Canadian bank account established for the 2002 International Rally held in Trenton, Ontario.
There have been some requests for posters of the marketing materials created by Rodgers Townsend, which appeared in the January ON. Ray presented costs for posters and postcards. Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Rob Nye, approval to purchase one thousand 5-color posters in sets of three. Motion carried. The posters will be sold through the Country Store and distributed to BMW dealers who will display them.
BMW MOA participation at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows netted 160 new members and renewals. This number does not include future memberships garnered from brochure handouts. BMW MOA will have a booth at the shows next year, and perhaps expand the number of venues. BMW MOA will have a booth at the Motorcycle Jubilee in Springfield, MO over the Labor Day weekend. Our presence has been requested at Holiday Park in Daytona; the B3 club is looking for assistance with coffee. Rob Nye moved, seconded by Michael Friedle, approval to provide coffee at Daytona if 1) B3 does not charge or solicit donations in a coffee can, 2) B3 can sell cups but if a customer has a cup their coffee will be free, and 3) expenses will not exceed $500 exclusive of cups. Motion carried.
BMW MOA will provide limited support to BMW Motorcycles’ 80th anniversary celebrations. BMW Motorcycles has asked BMW MOA to assist in staffing.
BMW MOA’s policies are being reviewed and updated from a historical perspective by Deb Lower and Marilyn Roberts. The goal is to have the policies current and presented in a professional manner.
All of BMW MOA’s insurance policies have been reviewed and updated relative to the new facility.
Gray Buckley chaired a committee on automating rally registration and collected additional information on an automated registration process presented by a BMW MOA member. He cited an example in the horse industry (www.horsesportsworld.com) as having the type of automated registration that would lend itself well to our rallies. Don Hamblin referred the project to the Communications & Marketing Committee for presentation and recommendation to the Board at its May 3, 2003 meeting.
The Board, paid staff, contractors and volunteer staff met last evening to update the organization’s strategic plan. The meeting was a good collaboration, and it was open to all.
Ian Schmeisser gave the website report during the Executive Director’s report. The objectives of the website are to serve the members, foster community, build loyalty, expand relationships, lower costs and attract new members. Tactical options for the site are an improved infrastructure, enhanced security and expanded support resources. Ian presented some site grid possibilities, and a chart of information and resource centralization. Forums were presented as a way of providing instant community, low cost and increased traffic. Database integration could include connecting inputs from web to iMIS database, connecting iMIS database to the web and connecting iMIS database to commerce applications. Ian presented a budget summary for the above.
Managing Editor’s Report: Sandy Cohen distributed an editorial calendar. Ad sales continue to exceed previous years. Perfect binding was started with the January issue in order to keep the entire year uniform. Over 200 holiday cards were sent to BMW ON 2002 contributors. The contributor’s list was mapped to ensure a balanced representation of the membership in publication. Gary Prickett from Mission Viejo, CA is in possession of the K1200GT test bike and will write a First Impression article. The BMW ON staff will attend Daytona and the Indianapolis Dealer show. The BMW Owners Anonymous book is in production and on schedule; S. Rosenthal of Cincinnati, OH is printing it.
Advertising Director’s Report: Ted Moyer has brought 14 new advertisers on board. A number of significant advertisers are holdouts or non-renewals from 2002. The economy is tightening, especially where large advertisers are concerned. BMW Owners Anonymous book revenues have increased significantly. Rally program sales have begun; the existing sales are already half of the 2002 sales. Ted will work with the Commercial Vendor Chair and the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau. A rally flyer will be mailed by March 15. Ted is targeting a three issue rotation of two times in the BMW ON and one time in the rally program.
Rally and Events Committee: Michael Friedle reported on the 2003 rally. A contract snag with the university has been resolved. Everything else is progressing. The rally is being advertised via flyers through parts houses. Hotel reservations are well received, from both the web and the March issue of the BMW ON. Information from the West Virginia tourism department will be on the web next week. There have been over 10,000 hits to the rally page on the website. Committee chair list will be available very soon.
Chuck Manley presented a rally fee formula in which the entry fees would be keyed to the cost of the site. The first 1000 registrants will cover the cost of the rally site with the registration fee not to be under a $25 minimum. The Rally Site Search Team will help the rally team set the fee, with the approval of the rally chairperson.
Awards and Recognition Committee: Deb Lower reported for the committee on a task started with the previous board to study the feasibility of a dealer award. The committee determined that members through the Helping Hands Award could recognize dealers. BMW Motorcycles has its own dealer recognition program. BMW MOA does not want to complete with the BMW Motorcycles Dealer recognition program.
Those riders who exceed one million miles on BMW motorcycles will receive mounted certificates at 100,000-mile increments and will receive a pin and patch at 250,000-mile increments.
Don Faichney, organizer of the Trenton, Ontario rally, received the Max Award presented at the motorcycle show in Toronto. He received the award in the "Organizer" category.
BMW MOA Foundation: Deb Lower and Karol Patzer discussed the Daytona project proposal presented to the BMW MOA Foundation Executive Committee. A copy of the proposal was delivered to the Board at the meeting from Roger Wiles. The Daytona project proposal includes entering into an option to purchase property within 60 miles of Daytona for social, educational activities in conjunction with Bike Week, Biketoberfest and other times. Karol and Deb both expressed their request for clarification of the proposal in conjunction with the Foundation’s mission. The majority of the Foundation’s Executive Board has approved the concept. It was stressed that this is not the Ride Center. The BMW MOA Board expressed concern as to whether this project meets 501(c) 3 requirements. Brian Mullins recommended a review by BMW MOA Foundation legal counsel. At a minimum the proposal needs to have a section specifically outlining how the project meets the goals of the Foundation.
Club Coordinator: Sam Lepore reported that the renewal process is complete, but it is never really complete. Problems are 1) Contact info is not being kept updated; 2) December is not a good time of the year for clubs. Many clubs elect officers in December and most riders are not thinking about riding and renewing. Sam suggested changing the charter period to end June 30. Rob Nye moved, seconded by Larry Hawthorne, to change the date for annual club charter renewals to June 30 and current charters will be extended to June 30, 2004. Motion carried.
The club charter application will change to eliminate some information and add other information. Removed will be current officers and the charity question. Added will be a contact for information about the club and a question about how many people attend each of the clubs annual events.
Currently there is an online, printable club charter renewal form on the website. Sam would like to see an updateable online form that can be electronically submitted to the BMW MOA office with a credit card number. In the meantime, he would like for the printed forms and checks to be mailed to the BMW MOA office; this would streamline check processing and eliminate Sam’s handling of money. The Membergram should have an addition to inform new members where to find local club information.
The cost of supporting a club amounts to very little. The medallion (if it’s requested), certificate and postage total around $5. That is offset by a club’s free annual event advertisement in the BMW ON, which is a $265 value. Sam proposed "Rally Bucks," which would be a certificate for $5 off the International Rally admission. Sam would also like to see enhancements to the BMW MOA website as a portal to club sites.
Sam will work with the Rally and Events Committee to produce a local club rally manual and serve as the focal point to send the manual to clubs and receive input.
Ambassador Liaison: Sue Rihn-Manke has completed certificates for Ambassadors. The Ambassador dinner at Charleston will be Thursday night on a sternwheeler; cost is $25. The Board is invited to attend the dinner. Sue asked Ray Z. if he would help with invitations to non-Ambassadors, including the BMW Motorcycles staff.
Consumer Affairs Liaison: Rob Lentini was not present but he sent a written report and proposal. Rob proposes to expand the Consumer Affairs Liaison offering to the BMW MOA website by putting up the Job Description, Request Form and "Help Desk." Rob would also like to conduct a Consumer Affairs Liaison seminar in Charleston. The purpose is to ensure that members know of the service and can easily make use of it. Brian Mullins will look over Rob’s proposal and make a recommendation. Seven complaints have been closed since October. Four remain open.
Mileage Contest: Karol Patzer announced the first place finishers in the Men’s and Women’s categories. Top finishers will be listed in the April issue of the BMW ON along with an entry form for the 2003 contest. The 2003 contest dates are April 12 to October 12. Results will be listed on the web in the future, along with a brief history of the contest.
Results of the Closed Session: Deb Lower reported that Yvon L’Heureux from Quebec Canada was appointed as the newest Ambassador.
The Awards and Recognition Committee announced the Honorary Life Membership. Requirements for the Honorary Life Membership are to be made by the member who has reached a minimum of 75 years of age and has been a BMW MOA member for 25 consecutive years. The Honorary Life Membership represents a "rule of 100 years".
The Communications and Marketing Committee, along with Ray Zimmerman, will perform due diligence in researching additions to the iMIS system, which will enable automated rally registration, secure sales from the website and website upgrades to include certain kinds of member input. The president has approved the expenditure, pending due diligence. To take advantage of price breaks, Board decision must be made by February 25, 2003. If needed, a telephone conference will be held March 3 at 7 p.m. CST.
Marilyn Roberts, Recording Secretary
Approved by Deb Lower, Secretary
February 28, 2003