BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Inc.<
Open Session Board Meeting Minutes
May 22, 2004
Present: President Larry Hawthorne; Vice President Deb Lower; Treasurer Brian Mullins; Secretary Rob Nye; Directors Greg Feeler, Michael Friedle, Chuck Manley, Karol Patzer and Sue Rihn-Manke; Executive Director Ray Zimmerman; Rally Chair Jackie Hughes; Managing Editor Sandy Cohen; Advertising Director Ted Moyer; BMW MOA Foundation President Dave Celento; Recording Secretary Marilyn Roberts.
Larry Hawthorne opened the meeting by expressing his thanks to Sue Rihn-Manke for her service on the board. Sue will not be seeking re-election in the ongoing election.
Rob Nye moved, seconded by Deb Lower, approval the January 31 open session minutes as distributed. Motion carried. Rob Nye stated the subject matter of the March 16 conference call called as Executive Session; the topics included the Chartered Club Coordinator and the Club Coordinator position.
Treasurer’s Report – Brian Mullins
Brian reported that he is very happy with the performance of Bill Knott as a part-time bookkeeper and that his position will be moved from that of a temp to permanent part-time employee. Brain reported that the posting of all transactions is current, production of financial statements is within a week or two after the end of the month, the transfer of investment funds to Mellon Financial Corporation is complete and we enjoyed good year-to-date operating results. The BMW MOA is in excellent financial condition.
Executive Director’s Report – Ray Zimmerman
Membership: Membership continues to grow and is estimated to reach the 38,000 mark by the end of May or the first of June.
Marketing: Ray has submitted a budget to the Rally & Events Committee for next year’s Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows (IMS), BMW’s Asheville event, Daytona Bike Week and AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days. Larry Hawthorne requested a line item break out of each event in order to track money spent on each.
The 2003-04 season’s IMS shows showed a 43% increase in memberships sold compared to the 2002-03 shows. This was due to representation at an additional show over last season, but there was also an increase in the number of memberships sold. Michael Friedle requested that show data reflect the number of new and renewed memberships to better tailor our approach to the shows. Ray recommended a BMW MOA presence at the following IMS shows in 2004-05: Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis and Long Beach. The board recommended that a line of item of $1000 for the IMS shows be inserted in next year’s budget. This will allow Ray to participate in the IMS shows without board approval until the IMS expenditures exceed $1000. Sue Rihn-Manke suggested the purchase of a 19" monitor for use at membership promotion events; Ray will investigate costs.
Approximately 600 members visited the BMW MOA booth in Daytona this year. Although the goal was 200 new members, only 100 joined, but the booth provided ample goodwill and a sense of "home" to those members who stopped by. Ray recommended limiting booth days to Tuesday through Sunday morning in 2005. It was not decided whether to locate the booth at BMW Motorcycles of Daytona or at the IMS at the track. More potential new members would visit the booth at the IMS, but there is more goodwill at the dealership location. Sue Rihn-Manke suggested that instead of Orlando, the staff be housed closer to Daytona in 2005 to lessen wear and tear of a long drive. Deb Lower suggested locating a BMW MOA booth at the vintage track on Monday and Tuesday.
Membership Programs: The Platinum Program towing package will be enhanced to include a towing distance of 50 miles instead of the current 35 miles; all present program members will be grandfathered into the new distance. Several board members thought that the program needs more publicity. Ray and Ted Moyer will approach Nation Safe Drivers about advertising.
Super 8 has discontinued the V.I.P. program that provided a 10% discount to members. The discount is still available, but only at participating motels and only with a new program ID number.
There has been some interest in the Bekins program to ship bikes to the Spokane rally, but the response has not been as large as expected.
Ray is working with an insurance broker to provide accidental death and dismemberment insurance to members at no cost to them. A major challenge is that insurance is state-dependent and our members are widespread.
Rally Publicity: To date, there have been 35 Spokane rally publicity articles in the BMW Owners News. There were 12 articles in the May issue, 16 are in the June issue and 4 are planned in July. This represents more articles than were printed for each of the last 3 or 4 rallies. Sandy Cohen reported that other articles are not being bumped for the expanded rally coverage because the magazine is larger.
Project e!: Phase I is essentially complete. About 30 hours of work remain on Rally Pre-Registration and Member Join/Renew, plus about 2 hours per month that come with the maintenance contract with BSCI. Maintenance on Country Store will be ongoing in respect to updating what’s available for purchase. The total cost of Phase I was $108,661, which was $27,812 over budget. Most of the overage is due to increases in job scope, which were reported in past board meeting minutes. A complete breakdown of costs is available to members upon request.
Employee Insurance: Ray is working with a local agent to provide short and long term disability for the paid employees. This is an ongoing investigation, and BMW MOA may self-insure short term disability.
Investment Programs: Per approval in the January 31 Executive Session, BMW MOA is liquidating funds in six of its seven mutual fund investments. The funds are being turned over to Mellon Financial Corporation for investment.
Financial Status: Income is on track, cost of goods sold is running below budget, other costs are below budget and net income is above budget.
Awards and Recognition: Since the programs’ inceptions, 112 Helping Hand awards have been given (there are 12 in process), 3 Exemplary Service awards have been given, and 34 Honorary Lifetime Memberships have been awarded.
Trademarks: Trademarks for the BMW MOA logo, the BMW MOA International logo, the BMW Owners News and the BMW Owners Anonymous are in process and the paperwork has been sent to the Trademark office.
BMW Motorrad USA: Ray and Larry Hawthorne will meet with the new VP of Motorcycles, Arturo Pineiro, in New Jersey on June 15.
BMW MOA Foundation: Dave Celento, Paul and Voni Glaves, Deb Lower, Brian Mullins, Gary Rollins, Karol Patzer, Roger Wiles and Ray participated in a teleconference on May 17. Dave Celento covered the proceedings in his Foundation report.
Managing Editor’s Report – Sandy Cohen
The magazine has been mailed on schedule for the past quarter. Page count is up substantially to 124 pages the last two months. There are more 4-color ads in the magazine which support the increased page count. The BMW Owners Anonymous was mailed earlier than usual on February 20. The 2004 rally program will feature a new format with many new features and rider information; page count will be around 80 pages due to increased ad sales. The magazine staff attended the Dealer Expo and Daytona, and will be in Spokane. The magazine staff may attend Intermot later in the year.
BMW MOA Foundation – Dave Celento, President
Dave reviewed the minutes of the May 17 teleconference call as follows.
Improvements to the Foundation: Regarding trustees, the limit is 100 trustees, which could be effective if communication is enhanced via the trustee forum and an electronic newsletter. Trustee duties need to be clearly outlined. The Foundation’s new website is slated for completion by this fall if not sooner. Ideas, sponsorship, and administrative details are necessary for the Foundation to survive. Ray Zimmerman and Dave have begun discussions of possible utilization of BMW MOA office staff by the Foundation. Consideration is being given to the need for a paid Director, and possibly a paid funds raiser.
The Role of the BMW MOA: Dave requested confirmation to use the BMW Owners News to disseminate Foundation information. Larry Hawthorne said it’s logistically possible but as a matter of policy it has to be agreed to. Both websites and forums should be linked. Future funding of the Foundation by the BMW MOA could be possible should BMW MOA consider Foundation programs and efforts valuable.
Programs: Initial programs could utilize both Foundation trustees and BMW MOA chartered clubs. Focus would be on youth, women and other under represented riders. Programs beyond those offered at the International Rallies should be considered. Although the current strategy for fundraising for the RIDE Center will be to solicit directed donations, and to establish a percentage of general donations toward the project, there is no concerted effort to fund the RIDE Center.
Dave presented some fundraising ideas to the board. Solicitation for donations will primarily come from 3 sources: 1) estate planning, 2) corporate sponsorship and 3) general or program specific small and large donations (possibly including gear and equipment donations). Ideas include a "Win and BMW Motorcycle" campaign, auctioning items on eBay, donations solicited by a Roving Rally Representative, corporate sponsorship of programs and coffee sales at the BMW MOA rally.
Action items are to distribute Foundation brochures at a booth at the BMW MOA rally in Spokane, provide Foundation information to Arturo Pineiro through Ray Zimmerman and present information to BMW MOA clubs at the Spokane rally.
Ideas of Foundation activities included:
1) Riding Mentors—Riding Mentors would provide mentoring and guidance to new riders. Initial funding would be requested for the creation, printing and distribution of training guides.
2) F650 Demo Fleet—The proposal is for a van or trailer with 2 instructors and a half dozen F650s to travel throughout the country where riders of all experience levels would be given the opportunity to ride an F650 and learn about gear. Initial funding would be requested.
3) F650 Demo Fleet with BMW Fleet—This proposal is the same as item 2 except that the F650 fleet would travel with the BMW demo fleet if allowed. Initial funding would be requested.
Communications & Marketing Committee – Greg Feeler
Phase I of website upgrades is essentially complete. There remains a small amount of development plus maintenance. Some problems have been reported but those were addressed; most comments have been favorable.
Phase II, involving architectural and structural changes, was delayed because RFQs were not sent, due partially to the additional effort required by the iMIS implementation (Phase I). The "split" (members and non-members) will be designed and then bid out by the fall for new navigation and new interface proposals. The initial work on Phase II will require considerable communication among the Web Media Team, both face-to-face and via teleconference.
The Web Media Team has been working on a system of web & print media content management called "News & Resources." Ray Zimmerman and Sandy Cohen have discussed a prototype web page of "news" and everything else will be "resources." The BMW Owners News will provide the news content and volunteers will provide the resources content. "Resource" is defined as everything that isn’t news; it is not dynamic and not critical.
The forum has over 2000 registered participants. This number is only 40% of the total users, which means that there are 3000 potential members using the forum. Regarding Sue Rihn-Manke’s desire that forum users use their real names on posts, identities will be available when the site is split and the forum is joined with iMIS.
The Communications & Marketing Committee has reviewed the bylaws and met to consider the qualities and characteristics of a chartered club. These include but are not limited to 1) showing a dedication to BMW as the primary motorcycle of a majority of the membership, 2) the hosting of events specifically for BMW motorcycle riders, and 3) requiring BMW motorcycle ownership or an avowed interest in them for club membership or event attendance. Examples include using "BMW," "beemer," "boxer," "brick," etc. in the club name; Articles of Incorporation or other official documentation; reserving a special class of membership for BMW owners; or publicly identifying with the marque.
Greg Feeler moved, seconded by Brian Mullins, adoption of the amended Chartered Club Qualification Policy, which reads: When there is any doubt that a club may qualify for charter or renewal, before the Club Coordinator considers charter application or renewal the Club Coordinator shall notify the Board of Directors and the member who submitted the application. The Board will review the charter at its next scheduled meeting and provide guidance to the Club Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. The Board may ask for and consider supporting information such as newsletters, Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, websites or message board postings in its review of a club’s qualifications for charter. Motion carried.
Michael Friedle moved, seconded by Chuck Manley, adoption of the amended Legislative & Regulatory Information Publication Policy, which reads: BMW MOA, as a matter of policy, will avoid taking or advocating a public position on any legislative, regulatory, or political issue. However, BMW MOA believes information on these topics is of value to its members and will strive to coordinate with appropriate peer organizations for the dissemination of this information to our members. Therefore, BMW MOA will allow the publication of informative legislative or regulatory news in any of its media. All such information will be reviewed and approved by the Executive Director consistent with existing communication policy prior to publication in any BMW MOA media. Motion carried.
AMA Advertising Trade Proposal – In an effort to solicit additional members, the C&M Committee has investigated the feasibility of trading display advertising space between the BMW Owners News and the AMA’s American Motorcyclist. It is our intention for both parties to use their space for solicitation of new members. Because cost is similar, it makes sense to trade 4-color, one-quarter page ads for a 6-month period. To measure the results of this test program, we suggest offering a premium gift, such as a free t-shirt, to respondents who mention the ad when they join. The C&M Committee recommends the Board authorize the Executive Director to work with the magazine staff to approach the AMA with the goal of implementing an arrangement fundamentally conforming to this proposal. Rob Nye moved, seconded by Brian Mullins, to accept the proposal with the modifications discussed. Motion carried.
Rob Nye proposed that the approval of quarterly board meeting minutes be compressed to allow for routine publication of the full, approved minutes in the next available issue of the BMW Owners News. This can be done by routinely scheduling a short teleconference call at each board meeting that will allow for approval of the minutes from the next quarterly board meeting. Rob Nye moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, approval of a teleconference call scheduled for August 9, 2004 at 7 p.m. CDT to approve the July board meeting minutes and address any other issues that may arise. Motion carried.
Marilyn Roberts presented a brief Clubs report. There have been 4 new charters approved since the January board meeting. One application is pending, that of the Internet Sidecar Owners Club. According to the Chartered Club Qualification Policy adopted above, this application will be reviewed by the board at its July or October meeting. Former Club Coordinator Sam Lepore is providing club renewal forms to the BMW MOA office, and year 2005 renewal forms will be mailed in the next week.
Rally & Events Committee
Recent International Rally Chairs have received an embroidered Kermit Chair as a gift from BMW MOA for their hard work and sacrifices in putting on the rally, but past rally chairs did not receive such a gift. Sue Rihn-Manke presented a method of recognizing and rewarding all past rally chairs. The nature of the award cannot be revealed at the present time. The board requested that Sue look at other awards of the same type and present again at a future board meeting.
Jackie Hughes presented an update of the Spokane rally. There are 61 committees, with 81 people involved. Sixty-six commercial vendors were signed on as of May 19; they will use 122 spaces. Ten food vendors will provide a variety of food types. Door prizes are arriving. Facilities updates include the completion of the new Food Court at the Fairgrounds. The schedule has been completed, entertainment has been booked, Pioneer luncheon and Ambassador dinner has been scheduled, and trophies have been designed. Site visits were done by Ray Zimmerman (press conference), Susanna Parkhouse (seminars) and Jim Shaw (closing ceremony). Pre-registration is open, a promotional video was sent to approximately 100 clubs and dealers, the rally program is in production, the CVB is involved with community business and there have been articles about the upcoming rally in local newspapers. Mac’s Cycles in Lewiston, ID will not be onsite at the rally but the shop has blocked out 3 days before and after the rally for exclusive service to rally-goers, and has ordered an extra shipment of tires.
Michael Friedle presented a Local Rally Guidelines Checklist to the board. It is a checklist to assist local clubs to put on rallies, and is intended mostly for new clubs that have not done a rally before. It is a living document that will change with updated and additional information, either via the BMW MOA Presidents forum or through other means. Because the document had not yet been through committee, the draft will go back to committee for further consideration and input.
The BMW MOA will be represented by a booth at the AMA’s Vintage Motorcycle Days in Mansfield, OH this July. The booth was acquired at no cost for membership recruitment. Michael Friedle will coordinate the booth and the acquisition of bikes for the Vintage Bike Display. A budget of $2000 was submitted to and approved by the board for stickers and other expenses.
Chuck Manley presented 5 International Rally recommendations to the board:
1) Approximately 32% of our members live in the Southeastern, Southern or Southwestern regions of the United States. The Committee believes BMW MOA should not restrict the rally from areas that may typically be hot and/or humid in July. Chuck Manley moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, approval of a recommendation, which reads: Even though attendance may be lighter some years, the Rally Site Search Team should consider locations in all parts of the country. If the rally site meets our needs, the riding is good, and there are things to do and see, then the area should be considered. Motion carried with one opposed.
2) How should gate fees for future International Rallies be established? Chuck Manley moved, seconded by Rob Nye, approval of a recommendation, which reads: A policy should be implemented to require the Board of Directors to approve the estimated rally budget and gate fees beginning with the 2005 rally.
3) A number of individuals have chaired multiple rallies. Some have chaired a rally while serving on the Board of Directors. Most if not all have been approved at the time the future rally site was approved. Chuck Manley moved, seconded by Karol Patzer, approval of two recommendations, as amended, which read: a) A qualified person should not be restricted from chairing more than one International Rally. The best and/or most qualified candidate(s) should always be selected, and b) With future rally sites being approved 2-4 years out, the Committee believes it is no longer required to approve the Rally Chair(s) at that time. The Board should adopt a policy that the selection/approval of the Rally Chair(s) can be completed at a different date. Motion carried.
Two other issues relating to Rally Chair(s) were considered by the Committee. After considerable discussion the Committee was unable to resolve or come to a conclusion on either: a) How soon after chairing an International Rally should the same person be approved to chair another rally, and b) Because of the potential for conflict of interest or the appearance of same, should an individual be allowed to serve as Rally Chair while at the same time serving on the Board of Directors.
4) Should BMW MOA make an informal announcement of future rally locations once the Rally Chair(s) is approved, the site contract(s) is finalized, and the VIP lodging is secure? The formal announcement and promotion of the next rally would continue to commence at the previous year’s rally. After considerable discussion the Committee has been unable to resolve this issue. The Committee believes there should be further review and debate on this issue.
5) Should the BMW MOA contract with an outside vendor to ensure there will always be plenty of good coffee available at the International Rally? Chuck Manley moved, seconded by Greg Feeler, approval that beginning with the 2005 rally, BMW MOA will provide complementary morning coffee to rally attendees. Motion carried.
Awards & Recognition Committee
Sue Rihn-Manke reported that 4 Ambassadors have passed away this Spring: Jimmy Greer, Mary Hubbard, Norm DeGroot and Dick Wildauer. The board expressed their sympathy and condolences to the familes of these Ambassadors.
The Ambassador dinner at the Spokane rally has been set. It will be held on the rally grounds Thursday night beginning with the cocktail hour 6 p.m. and dinner served at 6:45 p.m. The event will be concluded by 8 p.m. All board members are invited to attend the Ambassador dinner.
Karol Patzer will send Mileage Contest results to Rob Nye or Steve Huber for placement on the BMW MOA website. New Mileage Contest pins, designed by Marilyn Roberts, were distributed to 2003 participants. The 2004 contest is off to a good start; Karol has 3 postal totes of beginning forms to process.
The next board meeting will be held at the International Rally in Spokane, WA on July 16th at 9:30. The exact location will be listed in the rally program.