March 26, 2010
Cove Ridge Center
Present: President Joy Nihil, Bob McConnell, Benny Reed, Lisa McConnell, Dr Larry Fleenor, John Mullin, Sally Kelly, John Stafford
The meeting was called to order at 12:10 by President Joy Nihil. She expressed thanks to the members of the Board for meeting two Fridays in a row; and explained that one of By-law changes was for the Board to begin to conduct much of business of the Association. The primary purpose of this meeting is to determine how to do that. Nihil expressed that there is a wish to have some Association meetings that will be program meetings. One possibility is of alternating Association business meetings and Association program meetings. We might consider having the major committees report directly to the Board; and whether to do that by the chairs attending the Board meetings or by submitting a report. It was suggested that minutes of these Board meetings will go to the membership, along with the minutes of the Association meetings. Discussion ensued regarding how often should the Board meet? One suggestion was for even months for the Board and odd, as it is now, for the Association. Joy pointed out that most Board members responded that they would be able to make this meeting. There was some discussion regarding the Association’s efforts to have some evening meetings; and the fact that noon actually seems to be best for most people. It is also important to consider if the Committees are doing most of the work of the Association. It was agreed to do the even/odd plan and see how it goes. Most members expressed a feeling that the role for the Board will gradually evolve; and that it is important to get meetings on the calendar so that members can plan. At some point it may become possible for the Board to do its work by email. Our by-laws provide for that. It was agreed that a meeting will be better if an issue involves a lot of discussion. Sally made a motion that this Board will meet in even months on the third Friday; and the Association will meet in the odd ones. It was seconded by LIsa McConnell and approved. The secretary, Sally, was asked to send both sets of minutes to the membership. Committee Chairs will be asked to write up a report and forward it electronically to the secretary prior to the Board meeting. Those minutes are to be included with the minutes sent to the membership prior to Association meetings. During Association meetings, committee chairs could give a brief overview. Perhaps it will be prudent to give committee chairs a deadline to get their minutes to the Secretary. We can also better control the length of meetings by asking the membership to read the minutes and form questions ahead of time.
It was suggested that if we have programs, there must be criteria for that. Providing a time frame, and asking that the nature of the program be consistent with mission of the Association would be important. Programs need to be historically documented. Dr Fleenor stated that most programs could be about 30 minutes with 15 minutes for questions.
It was suggested to take to the membership a change of meeting format where the detailed treasurer’s report would go to the Board. And in the minutes to the membership. A summary report would be given at Association meetings. There was some discussion regarding US mail of minutes. Getting it there costs more than membership dues bring in. As only four members get the minutes and meeting notices by US mail, it was agreed to continue with that.
Bob believes our financial approach needs restructuring. We started with little inventory of material. Then we added the Driving Tour, prints, medallions, books, and clothing. No careful inventory of these materials was kept. All goods at the Interpretive Center are carefully inventoried. The Association is gradually moving all inventory to the Interpretive Center. We have three ways of selling goods in addition to the Interpretive Center: Internet (The Kingsport Times News processes, sends notice and address to Bob and he packages and ships.); Bob sells items (Folks call him, he gets checks to Joe who has the receipt book.); We have orders from Eastern National via Cumberland Gap Park orders (These go to Joe, Bob ships, invoice goes to EN, they send Joe a check.) At the Interpretive Center, we take cash, check, and credit card. There are three different bank accounts. The Association needed to have a credit card as most inventory must be ordered that way; and that is why the Interpretive Center has a separate account. Now we have our CDs, thanks to Ron Short, and we want to market that in a professional way. Our approach is convoluted. Bob and Wanda are working on an accurate inventory. The Association requires an annual physical inventory. Joe is also concerned about counting from several directions. With most nonprofits, all money goes into one account, all dispersals are from one account. Bob suggests that the Board should meet with Joe, Wanda, and Short for the purpose of reassessing our financial works.. Lisa says this type of account is called a Trust Fund Account. There was discussion regarding whether such a meeting requires the full Board, or just the Finance Committee. It was decided that the Committee will meet and report to Board. Our present Finance Committee includes Joe and Margaret. It needs to also include another Board member in addition to Joe. They can create a logical financial set up that can be easily followed by future officers. Such a finance committee will be asked to meet.
Nihil suggested that we revisit our Strategic Plan to look at progress. Our organization needs to know in advance any needs for funding, especially concerning applications for grants.
Discussion made clear a number of ideas. Our Association should be eligible to apply for a Transportation Enhancement grant in 2013, so the Kane Gap Trail project can become a priority, especially as Joe Brown now owns the Yoakley property in the gap. A geocaching project is still an excellent idea so it will be left on the list. Resources for that are needed. Renovation of the monument at the Anderson Blockhouse site is still viable. It was pointed out that visitors to the Wilderness Road Blockhouse and the Interpretive Center often express interest in visiting that site. Scott County owns that property, it was deeded to Clerk of the Court. The site needs work, though, as there is no place to park. We could perhaps install an interpretive panel. We decided to leave it on the list, in spite of problems associated with the project. After some discussion, it was decided to combine the projects regarding interpretive panels along the Wilderness Road. A Transportation grant could be applied for without specifying the sites. The earliest we could do that is 2011, as the annual deadline is April 1. No decision was made regarding print marketing. Discussion revolved around the possibilities of a new brochure, a revised driving tour, and, perhaps. a business card.
It was suggested that we need to have a membership committee to pursue more members to get our large work load of projects accomplished. Perhaps Joan Short would be willing to head that. Joy will continue to look at the committees and will contact the chairs to ask if they will continue in that position. Bob will send Joy the prioritized file of the strategic plan so that it can be undated with new priorities. He will present a power point presentation concerning these projects. At the next Association meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:02 PM
Respectfully submitted, Sally Kelly Secretary