January 14, 2017

Meeting called to order at 12:00 pm by teleconference. Present were Brian Sheron, Superintendent, Marshall Abrams, Senior Assistant Superintendent, Ed Rosado, Assistant Superintendent, Tom Brodrick, Paymaster, Bill White, Clerk, John Paganoni, Committee Chair, Bill Mosteller, webmaster.

Note: Once the draft minutes are promulgated to the Board, members will be asked to comment within a week. If a member does not respond within that period, the Board will assume he or she agrees with the content. Once comments are received and incorporated into the minutes and a final version is sent to the Board for review, the same rule will apply.

Program Reports

•    Layout tours: Tom will take over tours and Nick Kalis will assist. Tours are set for this year until November. Nick has volunteered to host a tour in November. An additional layout for that tour is desirable.
•    Achievement Program: Brian, Tom and Ed visited Jim Hellwege’s layout in Alexandria and judged it for the Golden Spike Certificate and the AP Scenery Certificate. His layout met the criteria for both certificates and his package has been sent to Charlie Flichman for processing.
•    Paymaster: since the last meeting we spent $117 for three miscellaneous items and have a balance of $4,252.67.
•    Flyer: needs descriptions of clinics & clinic schedule and a biographical statement from the candidates for the Board and their pictures.
•    Webmaster: Bill Mosteller reported no problems at this time.
•    Op Sessions: next one set for January 28; only two people have signed up so far.

2017 Minicon
         Confirmed for March 4 at St. Mathews Church, but there is no back-up date yet. Eight clinics are pretty well nailed down and will be announced in the Flyer.
So far they are:
      Marine Terminals, Bernie Kempinski
      Port Scenes, Mat Thompson
      3-D Printing, Gil Fuchs
      Santa Fe Railroading, Raymond Rose
      Detailing Blue Box Boxcars, Nigel Phelps
      G Scale Plantation Railroading, Nick Kalis (depending on Nick’s submission to Tom)
      Construction as Scenery, Tom Brodrick
      Obtaining the Authorship Certificate, Martin Briechiel
Tom will send clinic descriptions to Bill Mosteller for publication on the web site. The NV N-trackers are confirmed and Tom will look into adding the PMC. John will handle the contest room and will write an article for the Flyer on contest rules as well as find a photographer. Similarly Brian will check with Jim Kinder about writing a Flyer article on White Elephant Room procedures.

Business Meeting: will start at 11:15, followed by lunch and the speaker. Bob Sprague will be the speaker and indicates he will talk for about an hour. There was no response to a Flyer request for nominations to the Board, but all incumbents have agreed to run for Board positions again. There were no comments on the by-laws from members following Winter Flyer. Bill White will discuss the changes and request a vote for approval at the Minicon.

2018 MER Convention

•    Rockville Hilton, October 3-7. Lou Sassi will be the banquet speaker and will give two clinics.  Marty McGuirk will be in charge of organizing the clinics and clinicians. On Sunday morning one room will be rented for a clinic followed by the MER business meeting. The RPM group was informed that they could display their models, but no free room would be provided. To date no response has been received. Brian’s son has designed an excellent logo for the occasion. Bill Demas will organize the layout tours. Doug Moore, a web page designer, will prepare the web page.

Old Business
•    Outreach: Brian’s article on the subject was published in the Flyer. To date no responses have been received to his request for possible clubs or groups to visit.  
•    The question of annexing counties in VA & WVA not included in a Division’s territory has finally been acted on by the MER which contacted the individuals in question. No responses were received and the matter is closed.
•    A new portable PA system has been purchased.
•    The Board approved the membership survey. Marshall will investigate putting the survey on line as a low priority task.

New Business
Brian will contact Nick Kalis to obtain his plans, including a budget, for the proposed Steamtown excursion.

Next Meeting: February 18, 2017, at John’s house.

Action Items:

➢    check with Nick Kalis on a nearby layout for the November layout tour: Tom
➢    send clinic descriptions to Bill Mosteller for publication on the web site: Tom
➢    check on adding the PMC at the Minicon: Tom
➢    Flyer article on contest room procedures: John
➢    procure a photographer for the contest room: John
➢    check with Jim Kinder about writing a Flyer article on White Elephant Room procedures: Brian
➢    check with Nick Kalis on his plans for the Steamtown excursion: Brian
➢    investigate putting the survey on line (low priority task): Marshall