April 2008 Board Meeting Minutes

by Alan Legerlotz April 7, 2008

Meeting Minutes for April 2008 Board Meeting

Date:                     4/3/08

Time:                     6:30 pm

Location:              The Common Man, Concord NH


Attendees :  Bruce Smith,  Alan Legerlotz,  Dana Sion, Michael Morin,  David Thibodeau, Mark Viola, Jim Vail, Dick Cadieux, Gordon Geike,  Mike Dion,  Maureen Pearson (Liberty Mutual),  Linda Mertz, Paul Mertz, Cassandra Vorisek-Creto, Erik Wensberg, Amy Martineau (Spectrum Marketing), Martin Calahan, Paul Lillios, Peter Duffy.

Meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm.

Introductions were done given that there were some new faces at the meeting.

Financial update:  Taxes have been filed and there were no issues there.  We have $22,700 In the bank, due in part to registration for spring event coming up.  The year end financials are shown in the latest Profile.    Dick asked about the instructor car and expenses for it.  We haven’t really worried about the “asset” aspect of it given that it isn’t worth very much money, but fuel and other things are charged to the event during which the expenses were incurred.

Social Events:  The go-karting event is July 19th.  Sampling of the catered food will take place at the next SEC meeting.  For this year we have taken a full day at the go karting venue because last year the event was sold out and people complained that they didn’t get enough time behind the wheel.  This year there will be three 15 lap sessions.  The other issue last year was a lack of food, so this year there will be food catered at what we consider a very reasonable price (around $7 per person).  Hot Laps, the venue, will match pricing for last year even though their prices have increased since then.  We can accommodate a maximum of 125 participants or so.  Last year we had 40 to 50 participants, but we only had half a day at the venue.   People who don’t want to drive will be able to take part in the picnic lunch for $5 each.  This is a family event, so people are encouraged to bring their children.  Kids ages 7 to 15 can be enrolled at a reduced rate.   In terms of other events, we’re invited as participants at the Tulley BMW unveiling of the 1 series.  Cassandra is expecting a call back from someone at the Mt Washington Road Rally; This event was not in the budget to be something huge, but we’ll see what we can put together.

DEC Report:  The ADSS school is sold out and David will close registration for it.  We have 35 participants with 6 Instructors, but we’re confident that we’ll get more instructors.  We have 54 drivers and 28 Instructors signed up for the Driving school on the track 4/18 so numbers aren’t looking too bad.  There are 13 interested IDP Candidates for this season, but we don’t know if all of them will ultimately sign up.  Ed will do classroom at the track school and will help with instructing some of the vintage/kit cars. Bruce was approached by the Boston Chapter about “Accessible Racing” which is a group that helps get people with disabilities out on the track if they have an interest and aptitude.  They would like to come up to observe our event.  Bruce already gave them the go ahead for this – Brian Hannaford is the contact.  Dennis Friedman will show him around.  Dave will be grabbing the cones for “Mini’s on Top” in June.  We have a possible sponsor in the BMW CCA Foundation in the “Climb to the Clouds”.  We need to get a date for the “Climb to the Clouds” and open registration ASAP.  Street Survival is May 11, and Bruce has materials.  This year there are more schools than last year for the Street Survival program… there were 56 last year, and there are 71 to 72 scheduled for this year with a target of 80. We have the instructor day May 10th for Street Survival Instructors.  Conducting this instructor day prior to the event should ensure consistency of instruction.  Gordon has commented again that registration for Street Survival is difficult and urged Bruce and Erik to look into that.  Maureen will be at the Street Survival event representing Liberty Mutual; they will provide bottled water, some give aways, etc…

Marketing Update:   Marketing is going well, there is a lot more money coming in and we have more partners coming on.  We have a few that we’ve lost and others that are new, so overall we’re better off.  There were some communication issues that we’d identified, but Dana is doing a lot to figure out how to satisfy our advertisers and things are working well.

Meeting Guest:  Maureen has been with Liberty Mutual for 28 years and she’s happy to be involved with us.  They are now an advertiser with us and they are working on some things with BMW CCA National.  They are also involved with the BMW Foundation and Street Survival.  Gordon asked if our participants are covered on the track during a school if they are insured with Liberty Mutual and Maureen indicated that she’s not sure.  She did not think so because its on the track but when we indicated that other insurance companies in the state do, so she’s not sure.  Al suggested that someone from the insurance company attend the event to see how we conduct it.

Meeting Guest:  Amy from Spectrum Marketing, here to give a presentation related to the Profile newsletter.  Spectrum is a full service marketing firm with their own printing press, trucks, etc…  They can print the Profile and mail it directly.  They have been in business 18 years and have a newsletter that goes to 320K households.  They are closely involved with the US postal service, so they are completely up to date on any mailing issues.  Amy has done a quote for doing our Profile.  The office is in Manchester and we’re welcome to take a tour.  They can also do other printing items and things.  Dana suggested we fold the newsletter to save on postage.  Turnaround on a proof should be 5 days to the time when it gets mailed.  Bruce asked how much time we need for lead time to get something announced in the next month’s issue of the “Spectrum News”.

Profile Newsletter:  The new Profile is out.  Most people have received them, but its likely we’ll be dropping the current printer / shipper.  Martin described the issues we’ve been encountering.  The place through which we’re printing was someone we switched to a couple of years ago.  They seemed like a good solution at the time, but over time using them has become an issue because we’ve adopted a more rigid schedule and they cannot deliver on this schedule very well; they’ve missed deadlines and appear to be over-extended and given the issues, we feel we need to go another way.  We think we need a local printer and Spectrum is a likely candidate.  We have the opportunity to change our postage rate whether or not we use Spectrum and Dana has been looking into this.  Profile costs have been rising and we feel that we need to get this under control as well as tightening the deadlines and our ability to meet them.  We’ve gone from costs of around $1100 four times a year to costs of around $2600 six times a year and this is a big issue.  We need to either sell a lot more advertising or trim down what we’re doing for the Profile.  Bruce asked if the Profile in its current state (from a look and feel perspective) is sustainable.  Martin indicated that the salesman at the printing company has been difficult to deal with and getting prices out of him has been hard.  We are now printing in 4 color and that costs more, but if costs continue at their present level, there’s a problem.   Gordon asked about whether or not we have an actual budget for the newletter and the answer is “no”, we have never had a set budget for the newsletter because we’ve gone at this “loosey goosey” and we can’t do that given existing costs.  One question is whether or not we need to raise advertising rates because they’re not high enough.  We need to analyze rates to see if they’re correct.  Gordon questions whether or not we should put this much effort into the newsletter and make it bigger and better just because we can.  Cassandra asked about getting quotes other than Spectrum.  She said that there is a company in Merrimack through which she gets newsletters now and perhaps we should get multiple quotes.  We definitely need to address this soon, however.  Paul Mertz asked about whether the spectrum proposal is really a savings.  Dick indicated from his experience that postage is a not the biggest cost item, the printing and other items are bigger.  We need to form a committee to determine the future of the profile and how to deal with it – Martin, Dick, Dana, and Peter are interested in volunteering.

Dana mentioned that he’s managed to get some profile advertising with Ultimate Motorworks.

The General meeting was concluded at 8:30 and the people who stayed for the Board portion of the meeting were:  Bruce Smith, Alan Legerlotz, Dick Cadieaux, Mike Dion, Dana Sion, Gordon Geike, and Cassandra Vorisek-Creto.

Sensitive topics were discussed during this part of the meeting and although meeting minutes have been taken, they will not be published on the web site.

The private session was adjourned at 9:35 pm.