BMW MOA Board of Directors Meeting

Open Session
July 11, 2003
Charleston, WV

Present: President Don Hamblin; Vice president Larry Hawthorne; Secretary Deb Lower; Treasurer Brian Mullins; Directors Rob Nye, Chuck Manley, Karol Patzer, Greg Feeler; Michael Friedle, Director and Rally Co-Chair; Executive Director Ray Zimmerman; Managing Editor Sandy Cohen; Advertising Director Ted Moyer; Art Director Michael Cohen; 2004 Rally Chair Jackie Hughes; Consumer Affairs Liaison Rob Lentini; Club Coordinator Sam Lepore; Ambassador Liaison Sue Rihn-Manke; Bookkeeper Michelle Wood; Recording Secretary and Executive Assistant Marilyn Roberts; Rally Webmaster Ian Schmeisser; Rally Site Search Team member Larry Stonestreet; Ambassadors George & Mae Glascock, Gil Laird, Bill Hamilton, Matt Parkhouse and Clark Luster; Members Roger Austin and Mark Austin.

An update was given on the rally-goers injured in Thursday’s collapse of the beer tent. Ray Zimmerman reported three individuals were transported to the hospital and one remained in the hospital for observation. Injuries included a possible brain contusion, a laceration into the jawbone, pulled ligaments or muscle in the hip and severe bruises. Ray Z., Michael Friedle and members spent time with the injured and provided transportation to the pharmacy and campground. In a television interview Michael Friedle thanked the Charleston medical response for its timely action. The Beer and Ice Committee chairs with volunteer support and assistance of the University of Charleston created a temporary solution for Thursday. The new beer tent was erected on Friday, as well as the continuation of entertainment. Greg Feeler took photographs of the collapsed tent. Mark Austin, who was under the tent at the time of its collapse, gave a report to the Board from his perspective.

The Board understands that there may be some complaints about the format of this rally as all major activities are not at one location. The diversified format to use a civic center for registration, vendors, bike display and seminars with a separate primary camping area with beer garden and entertainment is different from past rally site layouts.

Deb Lower moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Motion carried.

Executive Director’s Report – Ray Zimmerman

The transition with Bookkeeper Michelle Wood is nearly complete. Project e! staff training is complete, as well as online Rally Pre-registration. Membership is about 80% complete and Country Store is about 10% complete. There will be additional costs in the future, which we cannot predict at this point. Don Hamblin announced a Board conference call to be held August 19 at 7 p.m. CDT to discuss and approve, if necessary, additional costs. These funds will be in addition to those approved in the 2003 budget. Brian Mullins said that additional funds are available through our accrual process.

Membership continues to grow with 37,400+ at the end of June. Ray is looking into a new member motorcycle insurance benefit program with IMC Agency insurance.

Sixty-eight Helping Hand awards have been given; seven are in process. One Exemplary Service Award will be announced and presented at the Closing Ceremony on Saturday. Twenty-one Honorary Lifetime Memberships have been given.

Sue Rihn-Manke wished the minutes to reflect what a great job Ray did at the beer tent after its collapse. Ray gave credit to the many others who also helped.

Managing Editor’s Report Sandy Cohen

The ON has been mailed on schedule in the last quarter. RFQs for printing of the ON were sent out and the responses analyzed. Kingery Printing was awarded the contract. Sandy attended BMW’s 80th Anniversary celebration in Squaw Valley at BMW’s request and expense. Deb Lower also attended. The Rally Program arrived on schedule and contains a higher percentage of advertising over last year’s program. Fewer magazines are damaged in the mail since perfect binding began in January. Ray stated that he is getting an increasing number of compliments about the magazine.

Advertising Director’s Report Ted Moyer

Rally Program advertising increased in revenue by 13% and the August ON was up 1%. Overall ad revenue is up 3.9%. BMW is placing fewer insertion ads. Overall, there are no big issues or problems.

BMW MOA Foundation Clark Luster

Clark reported that the Foundation elected a new president a year ago but because of personal issues the Foundation has suffered from a lack of leadership. An enthusiastic group attended Camp Charleston. The Foundation’s Safety Awards will be given at the Closing Ceremony. A recent survey in the ON produced positive response about the Ride Center. Clark would like to see more cooperation between the Foundation and the BMW MOA. Larry Hawthorne moved, seconded by Chuck Manley to continue with Karol Patzer and Deb Lower as the BMW MOA’s representatives to the Executive Committee of the Foundation. Motion carried.

BMW’s 80th Anniversary Report Deb Lower

Deb reported that the event was first-rate. There was no BMW MOA presence there other than Sandy Cohen’s coverage of the event. Reportedly, twelve hundred pre-registered for the event and BMW plans a similar event for the East coast next year.

Finance and Operations Committee Report Brian Mullins

Year 2002 operating results are the best ever for BMW MOA. Revenues are up and expenses are under control. The balance sheet is strong with high liquidity and assets. A request was made of Brian to break out the Country Store revenues so that the results of online purchasing could be seen. The bear market has continued to depress portfolio values but some recovery has occurred in 2003. Brian has asked for proposals from two investment companies to manage our investments. Highlights YTD for 2003 include completing the transfer of accounts to QuickBooks, getting current the posting of 2003 transactions, breaking down accounting functions and assigning responsibilities, and establishing a monthly closing process. Current objectives are to be sure that finances are under control and to focus on the management of the investment portfolio.

Brian gave Marilyn Roberts credit for culling policies from the Board minutes and other documents. The original policy document produced by Marilyn was distilled by Deb Lower and Brian and was passed to the Board members for review after the May board meeting.

Awards and Recognition Committee Report Deb Lower

At the Closing Ceremony the Exemplary Service Award will be presented posthumously to Nancy Sulfstede. Because Phil Sulfstede could not attend the rally, Marilyn Roberts will accept the award on behalf of the family.

Rally and Events Committee Report Michael Friedle

Regarding the rally, things under our control are going well; things not under our control are being dealt with in a competent manner. The Charleston rally is an experiment and not a blueprint for future rallies. Deb Lower suggested an evaluation form be developed for completion at the Rally. It was also suggested to have an on-line evaluation for members who left the rally prior to the award ceremony. An ad hoc committee comprised of Larry Stonestreet, Chuck Manley, Matt Parkhouse and Michael Friedle was appointed. Deb Lower moved, seconded by Larry Hawthorne, to implement the survey immediately. Motion carried.

An application for assistance under the Rally Disaster Relief Fund was received and has been circulated among members of the Finance and Operations Committee, which recommended acceptance of the application. Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Deb Lower, to accept the Rally Disaster Relief Fund request from the Yankee Beemers for their loss at an annual rally held in 2002 during New Hampshire’s Bike Week. Motion carried.

Don Hamblin delegated authority to Michael to use additional funds to take care of our members injured in the collapse of the beer tent.

Jackie Hughes, the 2004 rally chair, was introduced. The dates of the Spokane, WA rally will be July 15 to 18, 2004. The format is at a Fairgrounds following the usual venue for an International Rally.

Chuck Manley gave a brief synopsis of how a rally site is selected. The U.S. and Canada is divided into sections with a member of the Rally Site Search Team assigned to each section. The Team consists of Don Faichney, Dave Swisher, Michael Friedle, Larry Stonestreet, Chuck Manley, Dave Parker and Gray Buckley. The rally is held during the second, third or fourth week in July. The site requires 100 acres in total area, 50,000 square feet for vendors, 65 acres of shaded camping, RV parking of 60-100 spaces, 2000 motel rooms within 20 miles of the site, suitable space for the ERC on or close to the site, seating for 3500 in the Closing Ceremony, on-site beer sales, shower/toilet requirements, etc. When a site is found, an on-site physical overview is done, the Team evaluates the site, and then it is presented to the Board for approval. Sites are contracted 4 to 5 years in advance and are held in a different section of the country each year.

Communications and Marketing Committee Report Greg Feeler

Ian Schmeisser has stepped down as Webmaster. The Board expressed its personal thanks to Ian for his time spent on the Web Team. His talent has been invaluable in almost every aspect of the site. Ian thanked everyone for the support, and he has enjoyed the seven years he has worked on the site. Ian received applause.

Greg Feeler presented a flow chart titled "BMW MOA Electronic Media Organization." Position descriptions were included with the flow chart. The chart was divided into three main sections: Web Media Team, Web Content Team and Web Technical Team. The latter two report to the first. In the original document, the Web Media Team was called the Web Media Committee. It was suggested that the name be changed to Web Media Team. Currently, the Marketing and Communications side is being managed by Greg and the Technical side is being managed by Rob Nye. Greg Feeler moved, seconded by Larry Hawthorne that the Board approve the general organization of the web team and subsequent changes. Motion carried with Deb Lower abstaining.

Deb Lower asked if there is a policy regarding the types of forums on our website. Don replied that the forums operate under general policies for communications, as they are a web-based publication. The rally forum was approved under Phase 1 of Project e! and then the other forums proliferated. Don charged the Communications and Marketing Committee to form basic strategy and recommend detailed policy for the forums by the October Board meeting. The Board recommended that no other forums be added until the program is established.

The rally page has had about 70,000 hits and the rally forum is pegging the meter. The forums have 900 registered members.

Greg reported that he signed up 18 new members at the 49er rally and was thanked for being there. Deb will have membership materials at the Top of the Rockies Rally. Greg Feeler moved, seconded by Deb Lower, that the BMW MOA should have a membership-selling presence at the larger regional rallies. Motion carried.

Don Hamblin will attend the International Council of BMW Clubs meeting in Germany in September at BMW AG expense, as Don is the Delegate from BMW MOA. Ray Zimmerman will be the Observer and BMW MOA will pay the way of the Observer, as it has traditionally been done.

Don Hamblin announced future meeting dates: Teleconference call on August 19 and the next Board meeting in St. Louis on October 25. BMW MOA will have its second Open House on September 20.

Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Chuck Manley, to adjourn. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Marilyn Roberts, Recording Secretary
Deb Lower, BMW MOA Secretary
Approved by BMW MOA Board, October 25, 2003