BMW MOA Board of Directors Meeting
January 31, 2004
St. Louis, MO
Present: President Larry Hawthorne; Vice president Deb Lower; Secretary Rob Nye; Treasurer Brian Mullins; Directors Greg Feeler, Michael Friedle, Chuck Manley, Karol Patzer and Sue Rihn-Manke; 2004 Rally Chair Jackie Hughes; Club Coordinator Sam Lepore; Executive Director Ray Zimmerman; Managing Editor Sandy Cohen; Advertising Director Ted Moyer; Nominating Committee Chair Jim Shaw; BMW MOA Foundation President Dave Celento; Recording Secretary Marilyn Roberts; BMW MOA Bookkeeper Bill Knott; members Linda (Helen Twowheels) Hedden and Mark Degler; Staff member Sandee Lumpkin for Project e! presentation only.
President Larry Hawthorne opened the meeting by presenting a request from Alabama club president Connie Reaves to list motorcycle-only campgrounds in the BMW Owners Anonymous. Sandy Cohen stated that there is such a list already in the book.
Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, approval of the October 25, 2003 open session board meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Jim Shaw reported that his committee had completed its work, nominating two candidates for president including the incumbent, two candidates for secretary including the incumbent, and five or six candidates for the two director positions. Larry Hawthorne thanked Jim for his service.
Brian Mullins praised BMW MOA’s new bookkeeper, Bill Knott, for his high level of experience and education. Bill replaced Michelle Wood early this year. Accounting functions among the staff have been redistributed for smoother workflow. Accounting firm Wolfe Nilges Nahorski is still slow with the monthly statements; the last statement received is for November 2003.
For year end December 31, 2003, operating revenue was below budget, primarily because of a slump in advertising revenue due to the economy. Rally receipts were higher than anticipated. Country Store and the affinity programs created more revenue than expected; the affinity program revenue was due to the Nation Safe Drivers program.
Regarding operating expenses, publications expenses were lower because of fewer ad pages, rally expenses were higher than budgeted, Country Store (St. Louis office only) expenses were lower than budgeted and office and administrative costs were down. The net operating expenses were below budget.
BMW MOA’s investments are getting back into range but they are still behind cost basis.
Overall, net assets exceed liabilities.
Current objectives are to get a permanent system and person to handle accounting and financial reporting and to choose a high-quality investment manager for the organization’s investments.
Executive Director’s Report
Ray Zimmerman presented a quarterly report. Contracts in process include a contract with Wolfe Nilges Nahorski for counting the 2004 election ballots. The Managing Editor’s contract expires in February of 2005.
Ray presented a membership graph representing January 2001 to November 2003, which showed the traditional cycle of a slump September through December, but a general rise through the years.
Regarding membership programs, the Nation Safe Drivers affinity program has continued to improve and generate income. Ray is working with Bekin Van Lines moving company to provide transport of bikes to the rally, and discounts to members for household moving and storage. The Warren Group may provide insurance for office staff and for the general membership. Because of negative comments and opinions of board members, a planned trip to the Geico offices to work out a motorcycle insurance program for members was cancelled. Ray is working with Ron Ayres Adventures to provide a New Zealand tour specifically for BMW MOA members. The BMW Club of Canada is interested in holding a joint rally in a year or two; the board advised Ray to pursue it but to make no commitments. Ray will continue to work with Rob Rasor, president of the AMA.
Financially, Bill Knott has been hired as a part time bookkeeper, FY 03 financials have been loaded in Quickbooks and the year end audit is ongoing by Wolfe Nilges Nahorski.
One hundred four Helping Hand awards have been given, three Exemplary Service awards have been awarded and 32 Honorary Lifetime Memberships have been bestowed.
Ray has sent on behalf of President Hawk Hawthorne and VP Deb Lower a welcome letter with proposals for future years to the new head of BMW Motorrad USA, Arturo Pineiro. Per Laurence Kuykendal, BMW Motorrad USA will send the two smaller demo units to the Spokane rally and the larger unit to Vintage Motorcycle Days. Pending approval of a contract on the apparel truck, the truck will go to Spokane.
Managing Editor’s Report
The magazine has been mailed on schedule the past quarter. Kingery Printing has reduced costs over the past year. BMW MOA provided an R1200GS scoop on its website by getting the January 13 press release posted in a timely manner. Greg Feeler congratulated Sandy for the timely release of that information. Over 200 holiday cards were sent to 2003 magazine contributors.
Sandy presented 2003 stats: There were 134 feature contributors from 43 states, 3 Canadian provinces and 2 foreign countries; 87 chartered clubs listed their event in When & Where, and 29 clubs sent display ads totaling 50 ads, which was $12,750 in ad value.
Kingery Printing will print the BMW Owners Anonymous and it is on schedule for a February 20 mailing. A sample rally program has been produced using a new format and theme, which Ted Moyer used in his presentation to businesses in Spokane.
BMW Owners News staff will attend the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis and Daytona Bike Week.
Advertising Director’s Report
Ted Moyer is encouraged by the February and March issues, which presented the best round of new advertisers ever. Eighteen new advertisers joined the magazine in the first quarter of 2004. A couple of national companies—Metzeler and Arai—are coming onboard in March; there has not been any response from BMW Motorrad USA. Overall, ad sales were down significantly for February and March. BMW Owners Anonymous ad sales were down but the sales were not as volatile as they were for the BMW Owners News.
The rally program is smaller and is intended as a keepsake for participants. Four-color rates are offered and ad sales for the rally program have been more competitive than in the past.
Goals for new advertisers and new contacts have been set. Ted has added a commissioned staff person to work on "outside the box" advertisers, such as boards of tourism, etc. Ted will attend the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis and an International Motorcycle Show in March, and he may return to Spokane for more rally program sales.
Finance & Operations Committee Report
Brian Mullins moved, seconded by Deb Lower, that the amendments to the 2004 budget proposed earlier in closed session be accepted. Motion carried. Those amendments were additions for: an AccountTemps bookkeeper; a Fall of 2004 membership survey; upgrades to the website hosting plan, maintenance and software purchases; non-standard travel for the volunteer board and staff members; converting the Rally Manual to CD; and a high-speed, centralized printer for the St. Louis office.
From four proposals, the F&O Committee recommended the appointment of Mellon Financial Corporation as professional investment managers for BMW MOA’s investments. Brian Mullins moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, the appointment of Mellon Financial Corporation to manage BMW MOA’s investment portfolio. Motion carried.
Communications & Marketing Committee Report
Rob Nye, with Sandee Lumpkin’s assistance, demonstrated Phase I of Project e!, which provides for secure member login validated against the membership database. The secure login allows for new member sign-up, membership renewals, rally pre-registration and Country Store purchases. Phase I should go live in about 15 days, after an error is corrected.
Rob Nye and Greg Feeler gave a recap of and stated the goals of Project e!, which includes iMIS integration, a division of the site into "Guests" and "Members" sections, a provision for encrypted services, a switch from Front Page to Dreamweaver, an updating of the interface to a more modern look, coordination of the roles of electronic and print media, and the development of a list of additional web content and service along with a schedule of implementation. The following have been accomplished: Developed a web strategic plan, replaced the single webmaster with a Web Media Team, and authorized the funding of web infrastructure enhancements.
Greg Feeler moved, seconded by Chuck Manley, approval of the final version of the web strategic plan as presented by Greg Feeler in his report. Motion carried.
Greg provided an overview of the Web Development Plan. Phase I is nearly complete. It integrated eModules into the existing website to provide online membership join and renew, profile maintenance, rally pre-registration, and e-commerce. Phase I is significantly over budget.
Phase II will split the site into "Guest" and "Member" sections. Member access will be based on real-time membership validation through the iMIS modules, and it will provide a single login for both the website and forums. This phase will also update the site’s looks. RFPs will be requested for updating the site interface and artwork. The Committee will make available storybooks of graphics for the board’s perusal. Greg Feeler moved, seconded by Rob Nye, approval to schedule a teleconference call on March 16, 2004 at 7 p.m. MT. The purpose of the call will be to vote on approval of the selected design company. Motion carried. The estimated cost of Phase II is within the Executive Director’s limit of authority with the boards’ approval via email, but even so, the teleconference will be scheduled for any discussions that may be needed.
Phase III will assign content responsibilities between the Web Content Team and the BMW Owners News, marking integration of both the print and electronic version of the BMW Owners News into the "BMW MOA News" organization. There will be more marketing information on the Guest section of the website. All further media development will build from this phase.
With developments and upgrades to the website, especially the guest section, combined with a presence at motorcycle shows, BMW MOA may need a Marketing Manager. The C&M Committee will provide a report and recommendation at the next board meeting. A basis will be laid for a professional webmaster, which will grow out of the volunteer effort perhaps in a year or two.
Ray Zimmerman and Chuck Manley will investigate the potential of advertising in the AMA’s American Motorcyclist magazine, and will present a recommendation at the next board meeting.
There is currently no media policy on legislative and regulatory issues. The C&M Committee will fashion a policy by the next board meeting.
At the next board meeting the C&M Committee will propose policy on the approval and distribution of the board meeting minutes.
Rob Nye outlined the proposal and budget for a BMW MOA presence at Daytona Bike Week. Because of the long hours and number of days involved, he proposed staffing needs be met professionally, and that the presence in Daytona be a task for the Executive Director. The ED would ensure the purchase of an EZ Up tent, provide minimum staffing in the booth from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and manage volunteers who would like to work in the booth. In order to ensure adequate staffing, Ray and Marilyn Roberts would attend, and possibly a third person paid as a temp. Rob suggested giving away bottled water and souvenir stickers at the booth. Along with his proposal, Rob submitted a budget to the board. Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, approval of the Daytona Bike Week budget as submitted by Rob Nye in his report to the board. Motion carried.
Awards & Recognition Committee
Ray gave an overview of progress with the Helping Hand trademark issue. Our Helping Hand is an award, the AMA’s Help N Hands is a service. The BMW MOA has turned the issue over to its attorney (trademark, copyright, unfair competition and Internet law).
Rally & Events Committee
A recap of the completed Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows showed 34 memberships in Seattle, 82 memberships in New York, and 46 memberships in Atlanta. Marilyn Roberts and Ray Zimmerman will attend the Chicago show on February 6-8 on an advisory basis to coordinator Jerry Sjostrom, and Karol Patzer will coordinate the Minneapolis show March 26-28.
Ray presented a list of 2004 Rally publicity articles to the board. The BMW Owners News will carry articles from October 2003 through July 2004. A detailed 2004 rally budget, which is part of the BMW MOA’s overall 2004 budget, was presented to the board. Jackie Hughes reported the appointment of 60 active committees with 82 people involved. She still has to find someone to fill a Transportation Committee and staff the Sewing Booth. Packets will go out to the vendors on February 15; there is a new pricing structure for vendor booths. A request for door prizes will be sent with the vendor packets. An R1100S has been purchased as a second rally bike door prize. At least 12 food vendors will provide a variety of food and drink; a new food court will be completed prior to the rally. Twenty shower trailers will be on-site, as well as use of the Spokane Community College showers Thursday through Friday. Bids have been received for vendor and seminar piping, drape and tenting; porta-potties and golf carts. Special events will include an off-road riding school, track school, Spokane Indians baseball game and flat track racing on-site. The Rally Program deadline is April 26. The redesigned program will include committee head photos but no bios. A publicity Meet and Greet was held, which resulted in a TV interview. The Journal of Business lists our rally as the 3rd largest group in 2004. Jackie showed a promotional CD and the TV interview for the board and others in attendance at the board meeting. Finding a proper ERC course has been a concern.
The AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days is scheduled the same day as the Spokane rally. The featured marque of VMD is BMW. Michael Friedle suggested that BMW MOA have a VMD booth, which will be on the same scale as the BMW MOA booth in Daytona. Michael will present a proposal at the next board meeting.
Karol Patzer and Jackie Hughes suggested family pricing for our International rallies. They reasoned that current pricing discourages large families from attending the rally. The R&E Committee met briefly. Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Brian Mullins that rally admission for the age group 6 to 15 be reduced to $5 pre-registered and $10 at the gate. The committee took into account the value received by that age group, which is a rally pin and children’s events, and felt that the new pricing will encourage participation by younger riders. Motion carried with one opposed.
Michael Friedle reported that the local club rally manual is close to being done. It is basically a check-off list. Michael will distribute hard copies to those clubs that cannot get it online.
The R&E Committee will reexamine rally site search zones, ownership of the beer garden, whether a sitting board member should be a Rally Chair, and guidelines of policies. Contracts have been written for the ’05 and ’06 rallies and the Rally Site Search Committee is reviewing ’07 and ’08 sites.
Sam Lepore reported one new club since October, and he has only two invalid email addresses. Information for the BMW Owners Anonymous got to Sandy Cohen on time and that information is also refreshed on the website. Club requirements and the renewal page are also completed. Sam thanked Steve Huber for keeping club information up-to-date in a timely manner on the website.
The clerical portions of the Club Coordinator’s job were turned over to the office staff, who will send out club renewals in April. Sam will turn over fully functioning data and forms to the office. Michael Friedle will give local rally manual information to Sam for his next ON column, and Rob Nye will give Sam information about the club forum.
A discussion was held about clubs that do not meet the current criteria for a BMW club, i.e. that do not have "BMW" in the club name, clubs that include all brands of motorcycles, and clubs that sponsor all brands events. There are 28 such clubs. Sam asked for guidance from the board re a definition of a BMW club as it relates to a BMW MOA chartered club. Larry Hawthorne advised Sam to use his discretion and if a club objects to Sam’s decision, it can appeal to the board. Beyond the immediate decision, the C&M Committee will address the issue.
Sue Rihn-Manke reported that Jimmy Greer passed away. Harold Schey asked about Ambassador Emeritus status but Sue has not received a return response. Harold has been ill. The program continues to be viable because new Ambassadors continue to be appointed. The Ambassador mail list is popular and there is no interest in using a forum.
Ray Zimmerman gave Rob Lentini’s report in Rob’s absence.
Karol Patzer asked if finishers can be listed on the website. Regarding integration through iMIS for data entry, the web team is not confident enough to begin that at this time.
BMW MOA Foundation
Dave Celento, president of the BMW MOA Foundation, presented an appeal to the BMW MOA. His presentation included comparisons and data from the BMW Car Club of America Foundation and the BMW MOA Foundation’s attorney. The BMW MOA’s membership survey revealed that our members want focus on riding skills and safety and on under represented riders, such as women and youths. This is what the Foundation is about. Dave listed what the BMW MOA can do: share a mailing list, share staff, share equipment, provide space in the ON, recognize Foundation donors, provide links and provide financial support.
After the Foundation was refused use of the BMW MOA forum for Trustee communication, it set up its own forum, thanks to Blake Smith. The Foundation has also hired a firm to redesign its website.
BMW MOA board members provided constructive input: The RIDE center is not a popular concept, BMW MOA members see the Foundation as a diversion of our efforts and resources, BMW MOA members do not know that the Foundation and the BMW MOA are different entities, there are already other active rights organizations and safety organizations, the Foundation’s purpose is not clear and the Foundation has to climb out of a PR hole from the early days.
The BMW MOA board asked Dave to come back with short-term, realistic plans. Deb Lower, Karol Patzer, Brian Mullins, Rob Nye and Ray Zimmerman will work with Dave and the Foundation’s Executive Board to bring recommendations to the BMW MOA board at its next meeting.
Brian Mullins presented the completed Operations & Governance Manual, which includes the organization’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, policies, personnel polices, strategic plan and an appendix. It’s a useful reference manual, and it’s a living document. Brian thanked Marilyn Roberts and Deb Lower for pulling the information together.
Brian Mullins moved, seconded by Rob Nye to change the wording of "101. Legal Requirements" in the policies to "All legal reporting pertaining to registration and taxation will be filed in a timely manner with the proper governmental office." Motion carried.
Rob Nye reported results of Closed Session. New Ambassadors are Sam Munn, Jane Johnson and Jim Shaw.
The next board meeting will be held in St. Louis on May 22, 2004.
Rob Nye moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, to adjourn the meeting.
Marilyn Roberts, Recording Secretary
Approved by Rob Nye, BMW MOA Secretary
February XX, 2004