Potomac Division Board Meeting Minutes

February 9, 2013


The meeting of the Potomac Division Board of Directors meeting and the C&P Junction MER Convention Local Convention Committee (LCC) was called to order by Marshall Abrams at 12:30 PM at Marty McGuirk’s home.  Members present were Marshall Abrams, Bill Day, Brian Sheron, Mike White, Marty McGuirk, and Andrew Dodge.  A quorum was present.  Members of the LCC participating by telephone were Kurt Thompson, Tom Casey, and Arthur Meyer Boyd.


C & P 2013 Convention (meeting of the LCC)

The issues regarding the MER C & P 2013 Convention, October 10-13, 2013 were the main topics of discussion. 


Room Usage:

The board reviewed the room usage at the hotel and identified the tentative use of all the rooms.  Remington I would be used for the larger clinics while II and III would be set aside for modules.  The banquet and auction will be held in the Terrace area.  The board was also reminded to refer all questions about the hotel to Tom Brodrick.  Tom communicated to the board that the bar issues have been successfully negotiated.  


Module Layout Space and Times:

Module groups that have accepted invitations for the convention include Mad Modules, MAARS, and James River Division.  Contacts have been extended to Bantrak, and the board is expecting they will accept our invitation.  Bernie Kempinski has also offered to bring his O scale Civil War road show layout.  The module groups include one O standard gauge, two On30 groups, MAARS’ HO layout, and Bantrak’s N scale modular layout.


The groups will have access to Remington II and III with a total space of 3,290 square feet.  The board decided that the groups would be requested to keep their layouts up until 6 PM on Saturday but be removed by 12 PM on Sunday.


Dinner Food Service:

The hotel has set a price of $45 for dinner service, which includes all gratuities.  The board decided to have a sit-down service, but this has been altered to a buffet since the hotel belatedly informed Tom that they could not accommodate a sit-down dinner in the Terrance Room.


Convention Publicity: Bill led a review of all his efforts, which include distributing flyers, sending notices to all the major model magazines and publications, placing the convention notice on the NMRA calendar, and emailing the MER membership through Fred Miller. Marshall volunteered to send the Publicity PDF file to Kurt Thompson of the Chesapeake Division for their distribution. The Fred Miller Message of the Month will be sent to all superintendents of the MER, as well s photos. The board also agreed to add a $25.00 budget item to help other divisions with their publicity.





It was reiterated that no gratis coffee would be provided at the convention. Marshall will open an account with FEDEX Office to deal with any local printing costs.  The board also reviewed the issue of putting all clinic handouts on a CD if the clinician response in a timely fashion.  The cost of the CD program will be covered by the registration fee.


Mike White took the action to contact PJ about procedures for reimbursement for convention purchased made over the Internet.  After an unsuccessful attempt, Mike referred the matter to Marshall who discussed it with Eric.



The website is up and running with great reviews by the LCC staff.  Marshall is acting as webmaster while Bill Mosteller is away. A start has been made on posting the clinic information. 



Marty reported that more than 20 clinics have been posted on the web, and he will do scheduling in the coming months.  To be accepted as a clinician, Marty restated the need to provide a short description of the program and a publishable photograph.  Any cost, approximately $5-$15 per clinic may be charged to those attending hands-on “Make and Take” clinics.  There was also a call for volunteers from the Chesapeake Division to help with the clinics.


Personnel Assignments and Volunteers:

Board responded favorably to Bill’s suggestion that ladies be asked to volunteer because of their social skills and to offer them something to do while their husbands were doing other convention activities.  The board asked and Bill accepted to be the volunteer coordinator.  During the discussion, several job areas were put forth including staffing the White Elephant Room, Store, and registration desk. 


Badges for the staff:

The board renewed its discussion of convention badges, reviewing three designs that PJ Mattson had provided that included more information about the person’s model railroading interests. Marty and PJ Mattson will be in charge of finalizing the design. Subsequently, Marshall spoke to Eric Dervinis, MER Convention Coordinator, who will communicate to PJ that any of the three designs would be acceptable and would determine from J exactly what information would be on the badge.  Marshall provided sample badge for those running the convention, committee members, and other VIPs..


Layout Tours:

Brian reported to the board that he had 25 confirmed layouts will be open and the Chesapeake Division told the board that they had 20 that will be open in their area.  The board had a long discussion about methods of organizing information for the open houses by geographical areas and time slots.  No consensus was established, but Brian agreed to work on the issues before the next board meeting. 




Operational Call Board:

After a brief discussion, the board decided to place a list of all layout operating session on the website and on the registration form.  PJ handles all registration by U.S. mail. People would register for operating sessions as part of their convention registration.


Prototype Tours:

Kurt agreed to put together information for the website on the tours that would include maps and photographs.  A fee of $5 will be charged will be charged, the same as for operating sessions, to cover any expenses and to the probability that the individual will actually participate in the tour.  PJ Mattson will issue any tickets and collect any extra fee activities.  The only prototype tour will be of Baltimore Light Rail. Arthur Boyd is working with the B&O Museum for an event on Sunday after the Convention.



Since Clint Hyde was not in attendance, this subject was moved to the next meeting.  The one issue decided was that the staff would use cell phone communications Marshall we be adding cell phone numbers to the C&P Crew roster..


Door Prize:

The tickets for the door prizes will be handled by MER staff.  In order to get prizes, a member of the board asked by Marshall will contact Clint and/or John Glaab and ask them to head a committee to contact vendors for donations.


Agenda items for next board meeting:

The board will discuss the issue of car pooling to the prototype tours.

Creating posters to help participants find the correct rooms.


The LCC meeting concluded and the people on the phone disconnected.



Non-Convention Potomac Division Business:

Paymaster Update:

Mike distributed PD debit cards to the officers with signature authority on the checking account, Marshall, Andrew, and himself, that may be used instead of checks to pay for division bills.  He also presented a new voucher form that all members of the board will use when requesting reimbursements. 


Achievement Program and Layout Tours:

Brian presented his report on both topics by referring to his report to the board.  (See Board members reports.)


White Flag and Seminar Programs:

Bill and Andrew made the board aware that this could become a lengthy discussion, and the board decided to postpone the issue until the September board meeting.  Seminars and White Flag Extras will be suspended until September.



Potomac Flyer:

Marty and the board briefly discussed the question of having paid advertising in the Flyer but postponed any decisions.



Marshall volunteered to continue as the division’s webmaster while seeking a permanent webmaster.


Layout Disposal:

Since Clint was not in attendance, the topic was postponed to a later date.


Potomac Module Crew:

The agenda included a discussion of the relationship between the Potomac Module Crew and the Potomac Division. After it became apparent that a number of issues involving the relationship between the PMC and the division needed to be addressed, the board voted to postpone additional discussion and actions due to the lateness in the day and the board’s lengthy work on the C&P Convention earlier in the meeting.  Before moving to end this part of the meeting, the board decided to ask Marty McGuirk and Andrew Dodge to review the Division by-laws and the relationship of the PMC with the division.


Magarac Society:

The board approved John Glaab’s request to have the Magarac Society recognized as an NMRA activity under the auspices of the Potomac Division while awaiting approval by the national NMRA organization as a SIG.  


Next Board Meeting: 

Next board meeting will be at Bill Day’s home on April 6, 2013.



Respectfully submitted to the board for their review. 



                                    Andrew Dodge







Board Member’s Reports

Paymaster:  Mike reported:

Assets of $3718.34 at the beginning of the period. 

Deposits of $150.

No disbursements.

Checks not posted total $4.

Balance to date is $3881.34.


C&P Publicity:  Bill reported:

(1) We publicized the Rockville convention at the MER Convention in Sussex by having flyers in each registration envelope, handouts and a poster on a Rockville Convention Information table, and a five-minute presentation at the Banquet by MER officer Mike White.

(2) We distributed to our planning crew business cards and flyers for personal distribution.

(3) Our Convention has appeared in the national NMRA calendar.

(4) Our Convention website is up.

(5) We supplied 100 flyers at the last Timonium show.

(6) We released through Fred Miller the first of a monthly publicity pitch for the convention, a pitch going to every MER modeler.

(7) We have an article pending at the national NMRA magazine, Steve Priest, editor.

(8) We have an article to be printed in The Local’s next issue, Steve Kindig editor.

(9) We have no more publicity budget for flyers. Some of us are reprinting them in black-and-white for distribution. We should discuss increases in the publicity budget.

(10) The publicity plan needs the continued input of Kurt, Tom and their team to ensure that Chesapeake area publications are properly covered. Let's discuss appointing a publicity co-chair or assistant chair from Chesapeake to help cover those sources.


Layout Tours:  Brian reported:  

Layout Tours are scheduled for February, March, May, June, and September. I am still looking for a layout for April. If I can't find one, I'll host an open house, since I haven't done one since 2008.


Tour schedule.

Mar. 2, 2013 Alan Anderson and Dave Renard

Apr. 2013

May 2013 John King Boyds, MD.

Jun. 2013 Jim Stapleton 38200 Charlestown Pike, Purcellville, VA.

Sept. 2013 Tom Brodrick

Oct. 2013

Nov. 2013

Dec.2013 Nick Kalis


White Flag Extras:  Bill reported:

An Extra, seminar style, was held at Bill Day’s house (Easy Animation) on January 20. Six modelers attended.


Next Extra: May, 2013, at Leisure World, Maryland Clint Hyde, airbrushing, and Tom Brodrick, Industrial Cranes.


White Flag Seminar:  Andrew reported:

On Saturday, October 6, 2012, at 10 am he held a program on preparing a live steam engine for operations and was attended by two people.


Clerk:  Andrew reported:

Module groups that have accepted an invitation to participate in the C&P convention include Mad Modules, MAARS, James River Division, and Bernie Kempinski’s O scale Civil War Road Show layout.  Bantrak is being contacted.


AP Program:  Brian reported:

Achievement Program: no activity to speak of (no judging done, no certificates awarded). I answered a few questions regarding the Civil Engineer certificate for John Pagonani.

No other updates at this time.