November 11, 2017


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

Program Reports

Layout tours: one is scheduled for January, 2018. It was pointed out that, despite numerous requests to the membership, no one is coming forward and volunteering to host layout tours. A discussion ensued regarding the option to terminate the layout tour program due to a lack of participation. [Subsequent to this meeting, Nick Kalis volunteered to take on the role of Layout Tour Coordinator (which he had held very successfully for many years) and has started scheduling tours.]

Achievement Program: Matt Thompson was awarded his MMR at the recent MER convention in Harrisburg, PA. Matt could not attend the MER convention, so Brian Sheron brought Matt’s MMR package home with him and Matt picked it up at Brian’s house. Brian is aware of a few other members actively working on AP certificates.

Paymaster: we have $3,611 in our account.

Flyer: seven articles are available so far for the next issue scheduled for January, 2018. Marshall has been unable to get any members to assist him in editing and publishing the Flyer.

Webmaster: nothing to report.

Op Sessions: not discussed

Old Business

LCC meeting: An LCC (Local Convention Committee for the October, 2018, MER Convention) meeting was held earlier in the morning before the business meeting. Twelve members, including the four Board members, were in attendance. Brian opened the meeting by going over the various jobs that need to be done before and during the convention, and asked those in attendance to identify which jobs on which they would like to work. While most of the members in attendance volunteered to work on a number of the available jobs, there is still a need for more volunteers to help with such jobs as staffing the white elephant sale and staffing the A/V committee, (helping with ensuring that clinician’s presentations are properly loaded on computers and ready for presentation at the beginning of each clinic).

Committee status:

    Layout Tours and Call Board (Op Sessions): (Bill Demas) There will not be a suggested tour route guide, because Marshall Abrams has produced a digital App that will provide the route information between layouts.

    Publicity: (Ed Rosado, Bill Day) Although the PD was offered a table at the South Mountain Minicon for distributing brochures, the committee decided that leaving a pile of flyers on a table at their Miniconvention was sufficient. As the MER Convention gets closer, ads will be placed in appropriate model railroad magazines.

    Floor Manager/Hotel Liaison: (Tom Brodrick) A cell phone was purchased by the Susquehannock convention and offered to us.

    Silent Auction/White Elephant Room: (Bill Sydow, Gary Eames, Ernie Little, Bill White) Gary will check with Bob Clegg concerning availability of his silent auction software. 

    Photographer: Brian Benoit will be the Potomac Division’s photographer at the convention. A suggestion was made that Brian coordinate with whoever is the MER photographer

    Raffle prizes: Bill Lyders and Barry Thompson volunteered to contact model railroad manufacturers and solicit them to donate products that can be raffled off. 

    Publisher: (Marshall Abrams) Marshall reported that Bob Clegg from the New Jersey Division has volunteered to publish the convention booklet. He said that a member of the New Jersey Division has a company that can print the booklets, and will give us a good price for printing them.

    Banquet Speaker Liaison: (Brian Sheron) Brian reported that Lou Sassi will be the banquet speaker at the convention. Lou is a noted model railroading author and is also an contributing editor at Model Railroader magazine. Lou will also be giving a few clinics, and requested a $200 payment, since he needs to rent a van to carry the equipment he brings for his clinics.

    Commemorative models & merchandise sales: (Ed Rosado, Tom Brodrick) Tom will check with the Hagerstown and Carolina Divisions to determine their experiences with providing a commemorative model kit. Marshall Abrams will price a possible convention t-shirt.

    Prototype tours: (John Pagnoni): Possible prototype tours were discussed. Brian reported that he contacted the Washington chapter of the NRHS regarding a walking tour of Point of Rocks station and area. He said that the Washington chapter told him that October was their busy month and they would not be able to provide anyone to give a walking tour. He said that they gave him the name of a person who might give such a tour. Brian has sent him an e-mail but has received no response. The Trolley Museum in Silver Spring was discussed as a possible tour. Brian reported that the Walkersville Southern will be one of the tours. It will include both a short train ride on vintage passenger cars, and a tour of the yard and facilities. John will check on possible tours of the VRE near the Manassas Airport, Manassas Station, and other sites.

 Modulars: (Bill Sydow): Bill Sydow volunteered to coordinate the modular layout setups at the convention. Brian asked Tom Brodrick to provide Bill with the dimensions of the room at the hotel where the modular layouts will be set up, so that Bill can decide how many modulars can be set up in that room, and how much space each modular group can be allotted.

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

Spring Business Meeting: is set for March 24, backup date, if the hotel is already booked, March 10. We will have a speaker or clinics, possibly a white elephant room, and will vote on two issues: (1) a one-word revision of the new by-laws to eliminate allowing members to be notified of annual business meetings by electronic means only, (2) two Board member positions. Notice of the meeting for those without an e-mail address will be accomplished by a postcard. Tom Brodrick will check with Vista Print on printing and mailing. Bill White and John Paganoni will constitute the nominating committee in accordance with Article XIII 3 of the by-laws. John will reserve three rooms at the Hampton Inn, Manassas, for four hours at a cost of $375.

New Business

The Board is experiencing difficulties resulting from a lack of members who are willing to volunteer for activities. Consequently Brian Sheron will write an article for a special edition of the Flyer, which will be limited to this vital subject. Discussion of this problem will be the third item for the Spring Business Meeting.

Next Meeting: January 6, 2018, at Marshall Abram’s house or by teleconference, depending on the agenda.

Action Items:

Brian: write an article on member non-participation for Flyer special edition

Marshall: check on possibility of MER convention t-shirt

Tom: check with Carolina and Hagerstown Divisions on commemorative model kit.

John: check on local tour possibilities for the MER Convention

Bill & John: prepare notice to members of election of two Board candidates at the Spring Business Meeting.

John: reserve rooms at the Hampton Inn, Manassas for the Spring Business Meeting

Marshall: check on printer for postcard notification

Tom: check with Vista Print on postcard notification

Bill: prepare draft annual report to the MER for submission by Brian

Bill: write an article on the new Chesapeake Beach Museum Model Railroad Club for the next edition of the Flyer.