USA Track & Field - New England Association

Board of Governors Meeting

Association Offices, Brighton, MA

July 7, 2014

Present:        Tom Derderian, Jim Garcia, Mike Travers, Lisa Doucett, Stephen Peckiconis, Justin Kuo, Alex Ivanov, John Oleski, Steve Vaitones and Steve Viegas

Also Attending:  Former Assn President and National Masters Indoor Track Chair, Gary Snyder

Conference phone:        Larisa Bifano, Victoria Barnaby and Paul Kirsch

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM

Secretary’s Report:  Eric Narcisi was absent.  Steve Viegas was appointed secretary pro tem.  The April and June minutes were tabled until the August meeting.

Treasurer’s Report:   Stephen passed out his report.  He said that the association is doing better than he thought.  We are $35,000 ahead this year.  A year ago we were at $15,000 last year.  There appears to be no increase in membership at this point. The master’s indoor meet did well.  He is assembling the figures. There were questions about the $3,500 for testing and where it is in the accounts.  It was voted to accept the Treasurer’s report.

President’s Opening Remarks:  Tom noted congratulations to Lisa on winning National Championship at Loon.  Tom opened with discussion of promoting our sport.  He stated that we may be a considering a new hire in the future.  He announced that he will be recommending a marketing consultant.

Managing Director's Report:   Steve emailed his written report.  He noted that Junior Olympics have been consuming a lot of his work schedule.  The regional meet will be over 4 days.  Thursday, the first day will be the decathlon.  Alex Ivanov has engineered a new schedule to make the events flow over the 4 days.  Steve and Alex discussed problems with the Coach O program.

Meeting with Victoria Nessen Kohlasch, the Marketing Consultant:  Victoria handed out her proposal which Tom had previously emailed to the board for review.  

Phase One of her work would be to talk to board members and a follow up with survey of members.  She said this provides great information which is not essential.  Without the survey she would do board interviews and rely or depend on board assertions without testing them.

In Phase One she would design research to survey members.  She would interview three board members.  In response to a question about surveying non-members, she noted that this research is entirely internal.  Depending on findings from it we could do external research.

Surveys may be done in two ways: qualitative (well-designed questions, a smaller sample) and quantitative (going for information from a larger group).  She advised that qualitative research is better.

In a marketing plan 25 percent of time is spent on strategy and 75 percent on actual marketing.

Steve asked about local/national split.  He explained our relationship with national and his concern that we not crowd out our neighboring associations.  Victoria said we should try to do our best within our market and look to ways to collaborate with neighboring associations where that makes sense.

She was asked if she had experience in helping to grow membership for non-profits

She told about her work within the disability community building membership.  She also had relevant experience with the YMCA of Greater Boston.  She could provide reference to other non-profits with which she has worked.

She talked about defining playgrounds (areas the association needs to work on).  Her firm will then make recommendations.  

Phase Two is budget and implementation.  They will give us options.  If hire marketing person, we would have the plan as a measuring tool.

We discussed problems with growth we couldn't support.

We discussed why and what it means to be a member of USATF-NE

Steve was concerned with the lack volunteers and staff and how it would work.  how to work with organization without lots of staff.  Victoria said their job is to assess and have a plan which will work with available resources.

Jim stated that he preferred to spend a day with facilitator.  He pointed out that the discovery period is mostly for the benefit of the marketing consultant.  If we terminate without going further we are left with only that information.

Victoria was dismissed.  After a short break the board reconvened and after a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of the marketing proposal.

Stephen Peckiconis MOVED that the Association hire JK&A Marketing to execute Steps 1 and 2 of Phase One of the proposal for a cost not to exceed $5,500, which steps are outlined in pages 4-7 in the proposal.  Alex Ivanov seconded the motion.

After additional debate the question was moved.  The vote was unanimous with one abstention.

The board proceeded to the main vote, which was voted unanimously with two abstentions.

August 4, 2014 is the first Monday next month.  We may have received some information from Victoria by that date but the meeting will be primarily a meeting to prepare for the annual meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 PM

                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                Stephen G. Viegas, Secretary pro tem