January 6, 2018


Meeting called to order at 12:35 pm at Marshall Abram’s house. Present were Brian Sheron, Superintendent, Marshall Abrams, Senior Assistant Superintendent, Ed Rosado, Assistant Superintendent, Tom Brodrick, Paymaster, Bill White, Clerk, John Paganoni, Committee Chair.

Program Reports

Layout tours: Nick Kalis, our new layout coordinator, has filled out the schedule for 2018 and started on 2019 tours. The Board decided that beginning in 2019 layout tours should be scheduled on a quarterly basis with several tours in a regional group on one day and will so inform Nick.

Achievement Program: Matt Thompson, a new MMR in 2017, has taken over the Achievement Coordinator position from Brian Sheron. Marshall suggested that his articles on achievement procedures be incorporated into the PD Division website library. Ken Nesper submitted his application for the “Volunteer” certificate. It was approved by the Regional AP Chair, Charlie Flichman, and sent to National. Paymaster: There is $3,711.50 in the PD Division account. Flyer: The winter 2017 issue was 33 pages. There are several possible articles for the Spring 2018 edition. Webmaster: nothing to report. Op Sessions: The Board decided that participants who sign up for future op sessions should be required to pay a $5 registration fee which would refunded if they come to the op session.

Old Business

The MER budget was reviewed and tentatively approved with several items omitted including a commemorative rail car. Clarification of tax-exempt status is needed before the budget can be submitted to MER. A decision concerning advertising, which depends on rates, is also pending.


Brian will prepare a presentation at the March Business Meeting on member non-participation and the results of the recent survey reported in the Flyer special edition.

Marshall will make arrangements for a postcard to notify members without e-mail of the March Business Meeting.

The Business Meeting schedule is:

9:15 am Doors open

9:30 am - 10:00 am 1.) Election of Two Board Members

2.) Vote to amend the Bylaws

10:00 am - 10:30 am Kurt Thompson, Vice president of the MER will speak

10:30 am - 11:15 am Coffee Break and White Elephant Sale

11:15 am - 12:30 pm Discussion of member survey and path forward

12:30 pm Adjourn

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Layout tours in the Manassas area:
John Paganoni, Matt Thompson, Bryan Kidd, Ernie Little

The hotel will provide complementary coffee, candy, pads and pens.

Brian reported that Jim Kinder, who will be handling the White Elephant sale at the business meeting, had spoken to the Hobby Works owner in Fairfax, who indicated a willingness to donate a door prize that could be given away at the business meeting. It was noted that the Fairfax Hobby Works had recently announced that it was closing. With the only Hobby Works stores left within the Division being in Rockville and Laurel, if any members living in the furthest suburbs of Northern Virginia won, it would not be worth the long drive for them. The Board decided not to pursue a door prize.

MER Convention:

A tour of the Walkersville Southern Railroad will be offered. Brian will check with them concerning ticket availability, senior discounts, etc. For budgeting purposes the banquet will cost from $55-60. There will be an open bar from 5:30 until 9.

Bill Roman is interested in providing a switching layout test of skill at the convention.

The board discussed a publicity plan drafted by Ed. It approved printing an initial 1,000 copies.  Brian was to notify all MER Division Superintendents asking them if they could distribute flyers at their 2018 events.  Ed will send a draft announcement to division editors for publication in their newsletters.  Flyers are also to be distributed to hobby shops in our area and upcoming train shows.  Ed is also researching ad costs in railroad magazines such as Model Railroader, NMRA Magazine and Model Railroad Craftsman.  He will also write articles for the MER LOCAL with updated convention information.

The next LCC meeting will be February 10, 2018, at Ernie Little’s house.

New Business

Next Meeting: If necessary a Board Meeting will be scheduled for March 12 by conference call.

Action Items:

Tom: send out e-mails to owners who provided 2017 layout tours to insure they have received the participation certificate

Brian: prepare a presentation at the March Business Meeting on member non-participation and the results of the survey reported in the recent Flyer special edition

Brian: advise Nick Kalis of change in layout tour scheduling

Brian: contact Walkersville Southern concerning ticket costs, availability

Marshall: draft a postcard concerning the proposed by-law amendment and Board election

Tom: check with MER hotel concerning possible exemption from the state 15% room tax

Ed: check on advertising rates of various MR publications

Ed: send a draft MER announcement to division editors for publication in their newsletters.

Brian: ask Bill Roman about writing an article for the Flyer concerning switching layouts

Marshall: include reminder of Board nomination committee in e-mail reminder of layout tours

Brian: put out notice to LCC members informing them of the next meeting and inform committee chairs to present the status of their committees

Brian: ask Nick Kalis if he has lined up greeters for the January open houses

Brian: inform Bill Mosteller that the $5 op session fee will be refunded when an individual attends the op session

Brian: inform Jim Kinder that because the Fairfax Hobby Works store is closing, we will not be asking them for a door prize donation.

Brian: send an e-mail to all of the Division superintendents asking them to distribute convention flyers at an upcoming division event, and to ask how many copies of the flyer they need

Brian: contact Eric Dervinis and get his input/guidance regarding the arrangements made for the Superintendent’s breakfast, the options for an Editor’s breakfast, and whether certain items, such as the banquet, will be tax-exempt.