2014 Annual Meeting
Highpointers Club Board of Directors
July 26, 2014
The Highpointers Club Board of Directors met in the Greenbrier Room in the Atrium Tower of the River Terrace Resort, during the Highpointers Annual Convention.
President Tim Webb called the meeting to order at 2:07 pm.
12 Directors attending: 3 Directors absent:
1. Kamell Abdnour 1. Charlie Feris
2. Marion Bauman 2. Eric Lichtenstein
3. Mark Comstock 3. Roger Rowlett
4. Kathy Dalsaso
5. Mick Dunn
6. Nikki Hemphill
7. Don Holmes 1 Ex-officio Directors attending:
8. John Keator 1. John Mitchler
9. Ray Nelson
10. Jim Sutton
11. Gary Szelc
12. Tim Webb
Committee Chairs and Members Attending:
1. Alan Ritter 8. Jan Nelson
2. Penn Watson 9. Gene Elliott
3. Eric Swedberg 10. Lillian Elliott
4. Richard Swedberg 11. Bomber Brown – Merc
5. Dean Swedberg 12. Ruth Anne Heselbarth
6. Roger Kaul 13. Mike Schwartz
7. Craig Noland 14. Charlie Zerphey
II. Old Business
1. Approval of Minutes (Roger Rowlett)
Minutes of recent email activity was not available, so no action was taken.
2. Treasurer’s Report (Don Holmes)
Don reported a healthy financial situation. Nikki Hemphill moved to accept, Kathy Dalsaso seconded, and the motion passed.
3. Honorary Members (Ray Nelson)
The week prior, Ray emailed a table which listed 85 Honorary Members. During the meeting John Mitchler distributed this table which he had filled-in with details of how each Honorary Member was associated with a highpoint, plus additional considerations at the bottom of the table. Discussion ensued. John noted that 47 highpoint “owners” were on the list, but 4 were not (DE, HI, MD, NE) and explained why.
Ray moved to add Lorrie Krontz pending Tim Webb’s obtaining acceptance from Lorrie, Don Holmes seconded, and the motion passed.
Jim Sutton moved that the Directors be given time to review this annotated list, as well as Stony Burk, and approve it a future date, Kathy Dalsaso seconded, and the motion passed.
4. Other Old Business – none
III. Committee Reports
1. Conventions (Nikki Hemphill)
Nikki once again had glowing reports for two conventions.
Nikki reported that Tennessee 2014 was going well, especially considering the committee turnover, and was on-track to break even. A highlight has been the watermelon event in the parking lot of Clingmans Dome, where the public was invited to join Highpointers. 15 monster watermelons consumed and all 100 Club brochures were distributed.
Nikki reported that Iowa 2015 planning was going well, thanks to the Chair Jim Sutton, co-host Don Holmes, and Mike Earll of the County Economic Development Board in Iowa. Nikki has a registration form which she expects every Director to fill-out and submit today. Nikki also has an activity list. The host hotel will be the Comfort Inn in Minnesota, across the border from the Iowa highpoint. Nikki reports the Chair has complied with the contract terms.
2. Newsletter (John Mitchler)
John distributed his Editor’s report, as well as extra copies of the most recent newsletter and “thin” (no roster) Directory for the Directors to distribute during their travels.
3. Records (John Mitchler)
John distributed his committee report and noted that it emphasized a consideration of the source for the Club’s official list of state highpoints, namely the USGS publication “Elevations and Distances.” John also distributed a table showing changes to elevations and names during the 14 years. At John’s recommendation, Don Holmes moved to add the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a territory, to our official list, Mick Dunn seconded, and the motion passed.
4. Liaison (Stony Burk)
Stony was not present and a report was not submitted.
5. Website (Roger Rowlett)
Roger was not present and a report was not submitted.
6. Membership (Ray Nelson)
Ray explained the process he uses and identified the key roles played by Jan Nelson, and Diane & Charlie Winger. Ray reports his committee’s annual budget is $2,000, and that has seen a recent uptick in renewals and memberships. John Mitchler noted that Charlie Winger has written a comprehensive procedure for the membership database, so that any Access user could perform their role of updating the data and preparing the reports which Ray needs.
7. Merc (Bomber Brown)
Bomber reports that all is going well, and he has prepared guidelines for his operation of the Club’s mercantile. The Board applauded Bomber’s success and John Mitchler noted that Bomber’s highest compliment is that Merc creator, Jean Trousdale, really likes what she sees with Bomber’s new Merc.
8. Bylaws (Don Holmes)
Don reports no changes.
9. Foundation (Kathy Dalsaso)
Kathy received a detailed report of operations and finances from the Highpointers Foundation, and she reports they have a list of state-specific projects. The Foundation has received $10,000 a year in donations since 2007. John Mitchler noted that the Foundation’s projects seem to be evolving from simple bench & registers to more involved construction projects.
10. Marketing (Bill Deitzer)
Bill was not present and a report was not submitted.
11. Longacre Memorial (Tim Webb)
Tim reports this project is finished. Don Holmes reports the land deed was sold to Tom Altwies for $10, and the Club purchased back an easement for $1, for a net of $9, but more importantly, can now discontinue the $750 annual liability insurance. In addition, Tom gave the Club a $1,000 donation. At John Mitchler’s request for clarification if this special committee is disbanding, and Tim indicated it would continue through the end of the year, although Alan Ritter would continue to monitor and upkeep the Memorial site.
12. Finance (Marion Bauman)
Marion distributed a list of 7 points of progress during the past 12 months. He reports an improvement in financial controls by the Club Treasurer, no indication of mismanagement of funds, and the receipt of an Expense Summary for 2013.
Treasurer Don Holmes distributed an Expense Summary for 2013 which is prepared for the IRS. Nikki Hemphill has experience with this and noted Don’s summary was as good as any she’s seen. The Summary was divided into the Club’s 7 bank accounts, 4 of which can be accessed by John Mitchler and Don, 1 which is the Merc, 1 which is the Membership, and 1 which is for Conventions. Don requested this Summary not be distributed beyond the Board.
Pen Watson asked if form 990EZ is used for IRS reporting and Don confirmed. Jim Sutton noted a line item in the Summary for “dues refunds” and asked Ray Nelson if we were giving refunds to members, but Ray indicates these were for double-payments.
IV. New Business (2:58pm)
1. Donation to Friends of the Smokies (Don Holmes)
Don moved that the Club make a traditional “convention donation” of $200 to FOTS for their many Smoky Mountains projects, Gary Szelc seconded, and the motion passed.
2. HP Club Scholarship (Kathy Dalsaso)
Kathy asked members to look at the graph of membership by year on page 22 of the 2014 Directory (which John Mitchler distributed to Directors and Members present). To remain relevant and retain members, Kathy recommends the Club do something bigger than annual meetings and focusing on state highpoints, suggesting an annual scholarship of $500 awarded to a student child of Club members, based on an essay loosely related to highpointing. She provided examples of how travel and hiking have helped round-out student perspectives, leading to awards and recognition. Don Holmes noted the Treasury has funds to cover this for five years after which the Club could ask for donations. Don Holmes moved to form a special committee for scholarships chaired by Kathy, Jim Sutton seconded, and the motion passed. Several Directors immediately requested to be part of this committee and Gary Szelc suggested a committee name of “Highpointing is Not Just 50 States.”
3. Retaining Members (Mark Comstock)
The discussion of scholarships merged seamlessly into member retention. When Mark received his Directory in the mail, he saw the membership graph, so he took a closer look at the roster and noticed certain members he knew had dropped out of the Club. He asked for the Board to brainstorm for ideas on how to acquire and retain members. Mark asked Directors to invite people they knew who travel and hike to join the Club. John Mitchler noted that the recent years plunge in membership was not the fault of the Membership Committee. Kathy and Mark invited Alan Ritter to discuss an outreach to the Boy Scouts of America, such as 1) site specific projects (such as the Eagle Scouts in IN and AL), 2) hiking goals, and 3) distributing brochures at scout camps such as Philmont. Jim Sutton noted that GSA might be less focused on highpointing than BSA, but that the co-ed Venturing clubs might be good for outreach. Alan suggested a highpointing article for the two BSA magazines, one for adult leaders and one for the youth members. No motion was made although Directors were supportive of Mark’s ideas.
4. Mercantile Operating Procedures (Don Holmes)
This was discussed during Bomber’s committee report.
5. Financial Report to Club Members (Marion Bauman)
This was discussed during Marion’s committee report.
6. Convention Host & Club Contract (Tim Webb)
Tim noted that conventions could be kept on track if the Board, led by the President, would be more active in monitoring and more aggressive in handling problem situations. Tim committed to being more involved in recognizing when a Host is off track.
7. Items from the Floor
Ray Nelson asked if publishing new members’ addresses in the newsletter was legal. The Board agreed it was because it followed a similar procedure of publishing addresses in the annual Directory. It was noted that we do not make public the phone numbers and email addresses.
V. Group Photograph
12 Directors assembled on the second floor after adjournment for a photo.
At 3:30pm, Don Holmes moved for adjournment, Jim Sutton seconded, and the motion quickly passed.
Respectfully prepared for consideration,