BMW MOA Open Session Minutes
St. Louis, MO
May 3, 2003
Present: President Don Hamblin, Vice President Larry Hawthorne, Secretary Deb Lower, Treasurer Brian Mullins, Director and 2003 Rally Chair Michael Friedle, Director Rob Nye, Director Greg Feeler, Director Chuck Manley, Director Karol Patzer, Executive Director Ray Zimmerman, Bookkeeper Michelle Wood, Managing Editor Sandy Cohen, Advertising Director Ted Moyer, Ambassador Liaison Sue Rihn-Manke, Ambassadors George and Mae Glascock, Ambassador Dave Parker, Recording Secretary Marilyn Roberts.
Don Hamblin welcomed Michelle Wood, BMW MOA’s new Bookkeeper.
Deb Lower moved, seconded by Michael Friedle, approval of the minutes of the Open Session from February 2003. Motion carried.
Deb Lower reported comments from members about the proposed bylaws change printed in the BMW Owners News. The member requested that it be made clear in the bylaws that an Associate Member can request a copy of the BMW Owners Anonymous for a fee of $5, per the policy set at the last Board meeting, and that it be stated on the membership form. Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Deb Lower, to amend the policy to 1) reflect that any member may purchase additional copies of the BMW Owners Anonymous for $5 each, and that it be stated on the membership form, and 2) that the bylaws will not be amended to reflect this. Motion carried. The policy just amended was set at the February 1 Board meeting with the following motion: "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."
Vote was taken on the motion from the February 1 Board of Directors meeting to amend the bylaws. The motion read "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." Motion carried. One grammatical correction, which does not affect the intent of the bylaw, will be made to Article IV, Section 3. Election Committee. The first sentence shall read, "The board of directors shall designate an election committee to certify the results…" The italicized "to" was inadvertently struck out in the BMW Owners News copy.
Mae and George Glascock requested that the location, date and time of future Board meetings be advertised more prominently in the BMW Owners News. Sandy Cohen responded that the date is always published but that the location and time are usually not known in time to be published, due to lead time of the magazine. Michael Friedle will get the information to Sandy in time for the June issue, and Sandy will begin publishing the information in a more visible box near the front of the magazine.
Don Hamblin submitted names for the 2004 Nominating Committee and 2004 Election Committee for Board advice and consent. The Nominating Committee will consist of Jim Shaw, Chair; Tom Harbrecht; Ted Verrill and Dave Mishalof. The Election Committee will consist of George and Mae Glascock. Deb Lower moved, seconded by Michael Friedle, advice and consent of the Board for these appointments. Motion carried. It was clarified that Wolfe Nilges Nahorski, CPA will count the ballots. The Election Committee may certify the count in any manner they feel comfortable.
Brian Mullins reported highlights of the first quarter of 2003 to be the hiring of a bookkeeper as an employee, the transfer of accounts to QuickBooks are essentially complete, January through April transactions are posted, and the accounting functions are broken down and responsibilities are assigned. The monthly closing process needs refining but that will come in due time and it should be complete by the end of next quarter.
Brian reported a strong balance sheet and the best operating results that BMW MOA has ever had. Although the bear market has continued to depress our investment portfolio, the loss is an unrealized loss and the market is showing signs of recovery. All but one of the investment funds has shown a gain since the beginning of the year. Revenue from membership dues has increased over the first quarter, while revenue from other sources, including the Country Store, is down. Office and administrative costs are up slightly but indicate good control by the Executive Director and office staff.
Current objectives are to be sure that the finances are under control and, now that the war in Iraq is winding down, to focus on the investment portfolio and perhaps engage a professional manager.
Executive Director’s Report
Regarding the accounting/bookkeeping transition, Ray reported that the 2002 books are closed; the 2003 first quarter actuals are loaded, although some adjustments may be required; and the 2003 budgets are loaded. Our CPA, Wolfe Nilges Nahorski, will oversee the accounting process on a monthly basis to provide redundancy. Ray presented graphs indicating that net income actuals are ahead of budget, cost of sales actuals are below budget, income actuals are slightly under budget, and other expenses actuals are slightly under budget.
New contracts are in place for the current Managing Editor, Advertising Director and Art Director.
The membership growth trend is continuing to rise. As of April 30 membership stood at 36,998. The Nation Safe Drivers towing program membership benefit is a huge success. Nation Safe Drivers representatives will be at the Almost Heaven Rally to provide rescue via phone calls to local towing vendors in the Nation Safe Drivers network. The booth will be located near the Membership booth at the rally. Ray is still looking for a motorcycle insurance discount for members but as yet has not found a company that will give a discount and has coverage in most states and Canada.
Ray proposed using the International logo on some Country Store products instead of the BMW MOA logo. Don clarified for the board that we have several logos: 1) the historical logo, which we use most often, 2) the International Council logo, which is the one being talked about here, 3) the BMW Owners News logo, and 4) the International rally logos. The consensus of the Board was that using two different logos would produce confusion and that we should always use the historical logo on Country Store clothing and other items.
The BMW Motorrad USA 80th anniversary celebration in Asheville has been canceled but the event in Lake Tahoe will take place. BMW Motorrad USA will support the Almost Heaven Rally at the same level as last year.
Sixty-five Helping Hand Awards have been awarded. One Exemplary Service Award will be announced and presented at the Almost Heaven Rally. Thirteen Honorary Lifetime Members have been accepted. Each will receive a certificate, a patch, a pin and a special gold membership card, which could also be used as a nametag. The Top Recruiting Dealer plaque has been sent to Foothills BMW in Colorado.
Ray thanked the Board for their input to the Strategic Plan and will email the completed document to Board members.
Managing Editor’s Report
Sandy Cohen reported that the magazine has been mailed on schedule during the quarter. An editorial calendar was attached to the report handed out to the Board members.
RFQs have been sent to printers. Kingery Printing, our current printer, was included. A recent reduction in the cost of paper is reflected on our costs from Kingery. The magazine page count is up, the magazine is now perfect bound and more 4-color is being used, all of which presents more challenge to the printer.
The magazine has a new contributing editor, who will be writing a Euro Connection column. It is hoped that he will be invited to local press events, and he will peruse as many European magazines as possible for news from Germany. Reservations have been made for the Second Annual BMW Owners News Contributors’ Dinner at the Almost Heaven Rally. Last year’s dinner was a huge success.
Gary Prickett, who is local to the area, did both the K12GT intro near Los Angeles and the Rockster mini-press intro at the Rock Store. He will also do a comparison article between the Yamaha FJR and the GT. The BMW Owners News staff attended the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis, Daytona, Edelweiss Tour’s Arizona Touring Center, and the grand opening of BMW of Northern Colorado in Loveland, CO.
The BMW Owners Anonymous was mailed to members on March 7. Bids will be received for a different printer for next year’s book. Ambassadors are proofing the BMW Owner’s Anonymous for corrections to the area codes/locations of cities in their areas. This is working well and the Ambassadors are enthusiastic.
Rally program production will begin on May 7. Kingery Printing is printing the programs and will deliver them to the Almost Heaven rally site on July 7.
Advertising Director’s Report
Ted Moyer reported sales are off by 3.5%. This is due primarily to the economy and to the lack of BMW Motorrad USA spreads, especially in the June issue, but BMW Motorrad USA’s volume is beginning to show signs of strength and organization in advertising. Many regular advertisers have cut back because of the economy or because there has been a change in their structure or ownership. Many tour companies have been hit hard since 911. Ted is responding with better communication and reinforcing the value of the BMW Owners News, as well as picking up other advertisers. Ted predicts that 2003 should be well ahead of 2002 in advertising income.
Thirteen new advertisers have been added, including two that are returning. The Indianapolis dealer show produced fewer but higher quality leads over previous years. There is increased interest in Business Reply Cards (such as BMW Motorrad USA’s ad in the May issue) in advertising and that is a billable item. Rally program sales are strong and are generating greater response than in Trenton. Ted has made one sales trip to Charleston and another is planned soon.
Board Committee Reports
Communications and Marketing – As chairman of the Communications and Marketing Committee, Larry Hawthorne wished it stated in the minutes that he personally thanks Ray Zimmerman, Greg Feeler, Rob Nye, Ian Schmeisser and Sandee Lumpkin for hard work done over the past weeks on Project e!.
Ray presented a progress report on Phase I of Project e!. Computer hardware has been installed, including IIS server, SQL server, T-1 line and firewall. Two T-1 lines now run into the office, one for telephone and one for computers. Software has been installed, including iMIS 10 database software, eCustomer module, eOrders module, and eEvents module. SSL security has been installed but is not operational because eOrders is not operational at this time. New server software includes SQL, Cold Fusion, Windows 2000, IIS and Veritas.
Staff training is ongoing through Grace Advisors. Some customization of the iMIS software is necessary. The Webmaster was included in the implementation though conference calls. Remote access is in place for the Webmaster and System Administrator. Rally pre-registration requirements have been defined but some script development is necessary.
Implementation of rally pre-registration and member data access is due May 21. There was a problem—now solved—with the firewall/router interface. Additional customization is needed, due to permissions. In-house modifications to the iMIS web pages are limited due to encryption of some files by the vendor.
The project is currently over budget by about 10% due to unexpected costs, such as taxes, shipping, eEvents module, software modifications and a cabinet to hold the servers.
Phase II of Project e! was addressed by Rob Nye and Greg Feeler. The website forums were introduced on March 15, and at the present time there are 599 registered users. The forums went through a month’s bandwidth transfer in 17 days. The problem has been addressed and we now have unlimited bandwidth for a nominal fee to Verio. The forums will get a visual re-do to match colors to the rest of the website.
The web team has been solidified with the addition of Scott Conary, a graphics specialist, and Dave and Tina Swider. A vendor has been contacted for assistance to change from Microsoft Front Page to pure HTML (Dreamweaver) format. A seminar in Charleston will allow discussion of the basic design elements and new look of the site. The redesign will be complete before the October Board meeting.
The Communications and Marketing Committee will submit a media strategic plan with emphasis on the website. The intent is to maximize the benefit of BMW MOA’s media to the membership. The focus will be on the three major areas—iMIS upgrade, forums and web pages—as well as proper polices and procedures for crucial functions, such as data protection. The BMW Owners News will not be emphasized in the strategic plan because it is running well and does not need attention. Advertisements on the website were discussed but there is a current policy against it.
Finance and Operations Committee – Brian Mullins said that Project e! will have a great effect on the whole organization and will streamline office procedures. He appreciates the work of those involved.
Brian and Marilyn Roberts have reviewed the policies draft compiled by Marilyn. Brain would like for Deb to provide input before it goes to the committee heads. After the committee heads give their input, it will go to the full Board for approval. Deb Lower commended Marilyn for doing the monumental task of pulling policies from past Board minutes since 1972.
Awards and Recognition Committee – Deb Lower reported that there is some confusion about the requirements for Honorary Lifetime Membership and that it needs further clarification. The Rule of 100 must have 2 components met: the member must be 75 years of age and have 25 years of consecutive paid membership. Deb will write a clarification for the BMW Owners News.
Sue asked the Ambassadors if there is a better system to choose the Ambassador Liaison and the response was that they are happy with the process as it is, that is, general acclimation at the annual Ambassador meeting held at the International rally each year.
BMW MOA Foundation
Deb Lower reported further on the proposal discussed at the last Board meeting about the Foundation’s wish to purchase land near Daytona for the use of Daytona-bound BMW riders and other purposes. Roger Wiles, Treasurer of the Foundation, took the proposal to an attorney who said that in its present form, it would not meet IRS guidelines. Roger proposed, through the BMW MOA Board representatives, that the BMW MOA help the Foundation by purchasing the property. Don Hamblin assigned the topic to the Finance and Operations Committee but subsequent discussion resulted in the following motion. Chuck Manley moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, that BMW MOA does not feel this project is appropriate at this time. This is also the Finance and Operations Committee’s recommendation. Motion carried.
The Foundation’s Nominating Committee is looking for candidates for Trustee, and it is also looking for Treasurer candidates. Roger Wiles will be stepping down as treasurer.
Appointed Liaison Reports
Sam Lepore was not able to attend the meeting but he submitted a written report. Six potential club founders have made contact and have been advised and assisted. One club has objected to its categorization as a virtual club; the issue is being discussed with the Almost Heaven Awards & Tally Committee chair.
The online charter application form has been revised to be used for both new and renewal applications. Work is in process to make the form updatable online so that it can be printed complete with detailed data. All forms are now being sent first to the BMW MOA office for quicker processing of checks and credit card numbers.
The clubs web page is being generated entirely by output from the clubs database, so that the webmaster no longer has to code thousands of detail lines and updates are sent in cut-and-paste format, making the web page an up-to-date reflection of the database.
Sam has collected samples of club bylaws, which are available to any club that asks.
No activity has occurred on the clubs rally manual. Michael Friedle has the contents page from the International Rally Manual and will use it as a starting grid for a local manual as soon as his duties as the Almost Heaven rally chair are finished.
Dave Parker asked if new clubs are provided with a list of Ambassadors in their area. Ambassadors can bring a wealth of knowledge and assistance to new clubs. Although the ten or more BMW MOA members who form a new club can look in their BMW Owners Anonymous books for that information, the Board will bring the idea to Sam.
Sue Rihn-Manke apologized to Larry Hawthorne for not getting her agenda items to him on time. All Ambassador certificates have been mailed.
The BMW MOA’s Trenton rally was the subject of a two-page spread in BMW Magazine. An Ambassador submitted the article.
Rob Lentini was unable to attend the meeting but he sent a written report. Eight complaints have been closed since June of 2002. Three complaints are still open. Rob will lead a seminar at the Charleston rally, and he would like to expand the Consumer Affairs Liaison offering to the website.
Karol Patzer thanked office staff members Tammy Leuthauser, Beth Cooper and Becky Weber who helped get the finishing pins in the mail. Mileage Contest finishers will be put on the website.
The Board adjourned to closed session.
The Board resumed open session to make the following announcements from closed session.
Three new Ambassadors were appointed: Jon & Sue Diaz and Jeff Dean. Sue Rihn-Manke will notify the new Ambassadors and the people who nominated them.
Rally site presentations were made for the years 2005 and 2006. The Board will have a teleconference on June 2 at 7 p.m. CDT, if needed to complete deliberations on future rally sites.
The Board set advertising policy. The Advertising Director will not accept advertising from any non-BMW motorcycle corporate entity or dealers who do not sell or service BMW motorcycles. Ray Zimmerman will prepare a plan that describes the relationship BMW MOA wishes to have with BMW Motorrad USA and will bring that plan back to the Board for approval.
The next Board meeting will be in Charleston, WV at the Almost Heaven rally. Details will be published in the June issue of the BMW Owners News.
Rob Nye moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, to adjourn. Motion carried.
Marilyn Roberts, Recording Secretary
Approved by Deb Lower, Secretary
May 21, 2003