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Meeting Minutes

Executive Committee Meeting
Fritz Senftleber (Pres), Rich Larsen (Treas), Eric Rossier (Activities Dir.)
Tony Shaw, Chris Weed, Jay Lewis, Matt Kiedaisch, Susanne Schaeffer, John Floyd
Treasurer's Report
Club purpose/vision
Call for Volunteers
Membership Promotion/Retention
Website outgrowing AOL server
The meeting was called to order by Fritz Senftleber, at the Shaw home.
Rich reported that he had received about 120 membership dues for 2003, lower than in recent years. The winter pool sessions broke even, roughly. One reason for this was that UVM did not end up charging us the full rate due to a misunderstanding, although Rich had offered to pay the original agreed-upon amount. Rich expressed concern that the club's expenses were going to exceed its revenues for the second year in a row (by about $300 per year). At that rate the club treasury could be exhausted in another 3-4 years.
Tony noted that new officers were due to be elected by the end of 2003, for two year terms. Rich said he would be interested in holding a get together for officer prospects, to encourage a few of our new but avid members to volunteer to run for office. In the meantime, Tony was going to develop a web page where officer nominations could be submitted.
Jay, who was active in a PA paddling club before moving to VT in 2002, was asked how he thought the VPC could improve its member relations. Jay felt that the rules around charging non-ACA members an additional $5 at the pool sessions, and on river trips, were too rigid and were therefore off-putting. He would like to see the novice clinic resurrected for 2004, and would like to reward clinic volunteers by letting them enroll a friend or two in the clinic for free. He also felt the VPC website was not as useful as it could be. For example, the 2003 dam release schedule was posted belatedly this year, and the message board is slow to load and does not allow for messages to be grouped into threaded discussions.
Eric moved for the VPC to appropriate $100 for the creation of new brochures, and volunteered to work on designing and distributing them. The motion was defeated, apparently out of concern for the budget, but then Eric agreed to work on updating the VPC brochure and print copies at his own expense on a home printer. Tony gave Eric a copy of the two most recent brochures (one created by Randy Mead and the other by Marcy Gibson) to facilitate this work.
Eric moved we appropriate money for the purchase of a 3' by 5' banner bearing the VPC logo and web address. The motion passed, and John Floyd (owner of Design Signs, Williston) agreed to produce the banner for under $100 in time for the West River release September 19-20.
More ideas were shared regarding what the club must do to be appealing to new members, and to retain existing ones. Rich suspects that some paddlers join the VPCNews email list (for free) and then assume that they've joined the VPC. Eric proposed that a members-only section of the VPC website might be a needed enticement. Will noted that all of the thriving paddling clubs with which he's be associated outside of VT had websites with "threaded" message boards, and also had a published trips schedule with "official" trips for various abilities throughout the spring, summer, and fall. All agreed that it was important to have these things. Tony moved that the club appropriate $35 so he could purchase a new domain name,, and begin redesigning the website with a non-aol web host, making a threaded message board possible. The motion passed. Recruiting next year's trip organizers and putting together a full slate of official club trips will be the responsibility of the newly elected VPC officers (specifically the VP and Activities Director), and it was agreed that we should try to recruit officer candidates who are passionate enough about the sport (and the club) to fulfill this responsibility. Tony apologized for failing to hold an organizational meeting for the novice clinic last spring, and lamented the fact that the clinic fell through this summer. The clinic, he said, is one of the most positive programs the club offers. It provides quality, affordable instruction to novice boaters, gives club members an opportunity to improve their own skills and knowledge through teaching, and is FUN! Someone reminded Tony that organizing the novice clinic ordinarily would be the responsibility of the Safety & Education Director, but he has shown very little ambition where the club is concerned lately. In truth, we really only have 3 of 7 elected officers who have taken their responsibilities seriously this year (Pres., Treas., & Activities Dir.), which has been making it burdensome. For '04-'05 we are going to need all 7 officers to pitch in, so as not to burn out the minority who take their responsibility seriously.
Fritz, noting how busy everyone has become and how difficult it is to recruit/retain volunteers, wondered if the VPC could carry out its mission as an internet-only enterprise: no mailings, no meetings, minimal demands on officers. Tony countered that this likely would beget further member attrition, as there would be little incentive for paddlers to pay dues if all they got was the online content published by the VPC (with the expectation of www content being freely available, as a rule). Susanne, as a new VPC member, agreed that she came to the VPC with expectations that the club would be able to offer a slate of organized trips for varying paddler abilities, and would have taken advantage of the 2003 Novice Clinic if it had taken place. A lively discussion ensued, without any unanymity. The consensus seemed to be that we should invest some energy this fall in recruiting/electing a group of energetic officers for '04-'05, and see if the club can be re-energized.
Tony Shaw
The meeting minutes below date back to 2003. Prior year meeting minutes generally appear in the 'Bow and Stern' Newsletter Archive.
Minutes still in 'draft' form are omitted from this list. Thus, the minutes below have been 'released' for public viewing. The VPC secretary will typically post minutes from recent meetings once they have been finalized/approved.
To view meeting minutes or other meeting attachments in WORD or EXCEL, you will need to have those applications installed on your phone or computer.















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