Minutes-Potomac Division Board of Directors meeting 1/29/11

The meeting was held via a conference call and was convened at 1pm on Saturday, January 29th, 2011.

Present at the initiation of the call were Marshall Abrams, Brian Sheron, Bill Day, Martin Brechbiel, Mike White, and Tom Brodrick. Marty McGuirk was delayed and joined the conference call during the discussion of the Minicon. Bill Demas was out of town and unavailable, and Clint Hyde was also unavailable. Brian Sheron volunteered to be acting clerk and record the minutes of the meeting.

Marshall Abrams started by announcing that the checks we had paid to the church for the 2010 Mincon had been found. Marshall also said that that Bill Demas reported that membership was currently 362 members, which was a 12 member decrease.

Mike White, the division computer clerk and webmaster, provided a list of all of the upgrades and changes he had made to the web page. He also said that the software he bought for mailing out information to the division membership was installed on his computer and running. Marshall Abrams asked to install it on his computer so the division would have a backup.

Brian Sheron discussed layout tours. The next open house would be at Pete and Jane Clark’s house in Damascus, tomorrow (January 30th). Brian would take layout photos, write the Flyer article,  and be the greeter at the door. Marshall said he would either bring a Certificate of Appreciation with him, or mail it to the Clark’s.

February has a clinic scheduled, so the next open house is March 13th at John Sethian’s. Martin Brechbiel will take photos of the layout, write the Flyer article, and serve as greeter. Marshall will arrange get a Certificate of Appreciation to John Sethian.

Several members requested that Brian send out the latest layout tour schedule, which he said he would do.

Mike White said that he had not received any photos of layout tours starting with last September. Various members that served as greeters agreed to forward photos to Mike.

Brian Sheron reported on the Achievement Program. He said that he had received his “Volunteer” achievement certificate, and that Mat Thompson had contacted him to let him know that he planned to enter at least 3 cars in the model contest at the Minicon, and asked Brian what forms were needed. Brian told him he needed NMRA form 502
rev. D and the Statement of Qualifications form.

Martin Brechbiel reported that so far, 8 people had signed up for the flat car clinic he and Bill Day were planning for February 22nd. Martin also reported that 3 people had signed up for the resin casting clinic he will be giving at the April Minicon. Martin asked if he could get the e-mail addresses of the people signed up for the flat car clinic so he could notify them if inclement weather forced a cancellation.

Tom Brodrick gave the Paymaster’s report. He reported that on 1/1/11, the division balance was $4364. Payments to the church for the 2010 Minicon and other expenses, brought the current balance to $3514.

Under Old Business, Marshall stated that the Service recognition Awards issue was closed. Service recognition Awards would be proactive only and not retroactive.

The Audit Committee reported that it was unable to perform the financial audit in December and January. Tom Brodrick had unexpected commitments that forced canceling the scheduled December audit, and Bill Demas, a member of the audit committee, was out of town for most of January. Tom agreed to find dates in February when he is available, and will propose them to the audit committee(Brian Sheron, Mike White, Bill Demas). The audit committee will select a date and perform the audit.

It was stated that there would be no annual donations made this year.

Marshall reported that the voting privileges issue as completed, as was the issue regarding the status of the Potomac Module Crew to the division. Marshall reported that Bob Minnis found notes from a 1998 Potomac Board of Director’s meeting that stated the PMC was an officially recognized activity of the Potomac Division. However, the more recent letter from Mark Andersen to the Board dissolved that relationship.

Marshall stated that the nominating committee is composed of Tom Brodrick and Mike White. The membership needs to be notified that nominations are open, and, per article 13 of the Bylaws, a candidate must be nominated by at least 3 members, must agree to serve, and nominations must be provided to the nominating committee in writing no later than March 2nd, 2011 (one month before the election).  Mike White will send out postcards to those members that do not receive division material by e-mail.

A discussion ensued about the Module Group liaison position. It was decided that Bill Day would serve as the division liaison, and that the there would not be a position of “Chair” of the liaison group. Much of the discussion focused on what the liaison function entails.

It was brought up that someone complained that on the Yahoo Group web site for the Potomac Division, someone was using it for commercial advertising. It was pointed out that the site was set up as a private site, that people must apply for membership, and that people can be “kicked out” if they don’t abide by the rules. Some discussion ensued as to what was a truly “commercial message” versus providing useful information about available products. The conclusion was that the site was not being abused.                                                                  

It had been brought up that some members have not updated their personal information (home address, e-mail address, etc.) and as such, the division has no way of getting in touch with these people. It was decided that we would remind people to update their personal information when we send out e-mails or postcards.

The discussion then turned to the upcoming April Minicon. Marshall stated that we still need a Clinics chair to coordinate the clinics, and that he will solicit interest when we send out the announcement on nominations.

The provision of food at the Minicon was then discussed. Bill Day said he would speak with the Church to see if they wanted to provide food at the Minicon.

Regarding the cost of the church, it was decided that we would pay the church $500 for use of the building, and then make a $250 donation to the church. This as consistent with the total amount spent for church use at the 2010 Minicon ($600 fee and $150 donation).

It was assumed Clint Hyde would take responsibility for running a white elephant table at the Minicon.  Marshall will talk to Clint about getting some apprentices to help him.

The next item discussed was the Flyer. Everyone noted the great feedback that was being provided regarding the Flyer’s new look, with much kudos to Marty.

Marty said that he wanted to get the next issue of the Flyer out in the first week of March, so information on the Minicon could be included. Therefore, the deadline for submissions is February 15th, 2011.

It was agreed that the next Board of Directors meeting would be held on Saturday, February 19th, 2011, starting at 12 noon at Marshall Abram’s house. February 26th will be the alternative date if there is inclement weather, etc.

The meeting adjourned at 2:50 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian Sheron