December 2008

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

November 2, 2008

Ellen E. Linson Aquatics Center
5211 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740-3801

Recorded by Sue Bauer, CPA Secretary

  • Coordinator Dave Biss opens the meeting to all at noon
  • Members present: 28
  • Introduction of current officers, including:
    • Rich Stevens – Treasurer
    • Sue Bauer- Secretary/ Membership
  • Current Steering Committee:
    • Brian Blankinship
    • Ralph Heimlich
    • Ed Hershon
    • Gina Cicotello
    • Cyndi Janetzko
    • Marshall Woodruff
  • Business discussion

    Dave welcomed everyone, introduced current officers, and presented all of the available pamphlets, membership application, cold weather gear brochures, and current newsletters that were spread out along the front tables. He asked everyone to sign in – and to fill out their ballots for steering committee voting.

    Paul Bieri and Laurie Steele were volunteered to count the ballots and the earlier mailed ballots.

    Dave thanked everyone who assisted in obtaining the Club tax exempt status- especially with the help of Ed Hershon and Will Bush. Further thanks go to : Ralph Heimlich for his outstanding job as Managing Editor/ Layout of the club newsletter, and also introducing the new membership card program; Lynn Erwin who is the Articles Editor; Mark Woodside who handles the Newsletter mailing/ distribution and CPA patch distribution; Ed Hershon who is handling both the membership card program and the CPA patch distribution team starting this fall; Nelson and Carolyn Labbe who manage the CPA Library – books, DVDs and videos; and Paul Bieri who handles mail pickup at the PO Box and handled the annual meeting room arrangements. Dave also thanked all of the Piracy groups throughout the area for their support through the year.

    Rich Stevens CPA Treasurer presented the 2008 Annual Financial Report – a detailed copy can be found in the Meeting Reports attachment. He reported that cash on hand increased 28% to $16,025.49 since last year. The new Paypal payment option began in May 2008 with fees of $96.71 for the year to date on approximately $1,950.00 collected. The different events and activities expenses and net profits were provided. Chesapeake Bay Swim donation was $500 this year. Only Four piracies have claimed use of their available funds – including Pier 7, Georgetown, Patuxent and Potomac River.

    General discussion of the expenses and profits of the different events and other areas generated a lot of interest. Everyone agreed that the Club will need to find new ways and new ideas for events to properly use the funds during the year.

    Sue Bauer the CPA Secretary and Membership coordinator presented the summary of the current membership status based on the CPA membership database and charts compiled by Ralph Heimlich – a detailed copy can be found in the Meeting Reports attachment. As of 10/1/08 there were 604 current members, up from 573 in 10/1/2007. Trends in membership show a rapid increase since 2000. A study of membership longevity shows that 30% of the current members have been a member for less than a year, and 24 % have two years for less, and 25% have been members for more than 5 years. The charts also show that the Club is growing with 153-184 new members each year, but we are also losing 101-120 members each year. About 110 members leave after being in the Club for one year.

    Since 1988, 2859 people have been members – we have 604 active members as of 10/1/08. The summary charts show that 30% (179) currently have been members for less than one year, 75 % were members for 5 years or less , and 25% have been members for 6-15 + years. Regionally, Maryland represents 64 % (384) of active members and Virginia has 27 % (150) and DC is third highest count with a few more in PA, Delaware and WV.

    Group discussion offered many suggestions how to turn around this trend:

    • It is a normal statistical trend in organizations- formal and informal groups that only 20% are active, and contribute – and stay members.
    • Suggested poll of those leaving to find out what they are seeking
    • There is a website – called Survey Monkey – features online free polling opportunity
    • What features new paddlers would seek?
    • What can we do as a club?
    • Easier trips/ shorter distances / comfort level for beginning paddlers/ freq. breaks
    • More volunteer leaders involved / future leaders
    • Trips need to be less intimating
    • Less gear requirements – maybe no skirt in safe environment or hot weather
    • Start at beginner level
    • Local Piracies are good social connection to encourage beginners
    • More skill practice opportunities
    • Need a new category on FORUM where to ask questions (not FAQs necessarily)
    • Cross club events
    • Some new members felt intimidated
    • Some are getting into kayaking for other reasons – rec. fishing is fastest growing segment
    • Volunteer to represent the club at vendor’s events – EMS / REI/ CLC/ etc
    • When you see a new member coach them along
    • SK101 held in February – but we need later on the water local event opportunity
    • More & earlier publicity helps attendance this year ~may do twice a year – and during warmer months so people can get out and do group activities

    Coordinator Dave states that the CPA needs everyone in the club – everyone in the room – to become active and help create an informal committee to incorporate more of these ideas next season. Everyone has seen people on the water- with no pdf- no skirt and no skills. We need to be stewards for safety on the water. It shouldn’t be made intimating. We should offer beginning classes more than once year and a several locations. New paddlers need some basis instruction. Dave asked for volunteers – many raised their hands – and asked if they would email him.

    SK101 2009 February – Yvonne Thayer summarized plans for next event. – especially with assistance from Jenny Plummer- Welker who is handling publicity. It made a profit of $794 in 2008.

    SK102 2009 – Brian Blankenship – Last year was very successful – 10th anniversary with many returning instructors over the years. They had 80 students and 25 instructors on hand. He was surprised that there was a profit of $800 as the projected estimated attendance and the weather affects numbers. He is not planning to do it twice a year because of the logistics using the yard and getting available instructors before their season gets busy.

    ACA AWARD – Brian Blankenship – presented an award given at the ACA annual banquet. >> In 2008, the Paddlers Around the Chesapeake (a front for CPA) received the ACA – J. Henry Rushton Award “for outstanding achievements in advancing paddlesport and the mission of the ACA.” This award was based on the clinic SK102.

    Race Series 2008 – Brian and Cyndi Janetzko on Race Committee – had some neat ribbons to give out as first-second- third place winners- most everyone gets a ribbon. About 8-12 people come out for this event. He appreciates those paddlers who also assist as “bobbers” for turns – and don’t race. This year they are going to plan events to work on technique and go paddling as a group with one race event at the end of the year. There is a lot of competing race events with DELMARVA race series with lots of races in other areas on the same dates.

    NEWSLETTER – Editor Ralph Heimlich – requests more volunteer’s articles- and original stories to print

    SWIM SUPPORT – Dave encourages all to volunteer for the different events- such as the Bay Swim, Potomac River Swim, and several more triathlons such as the DC and Columbia and Iron Girl Triathlon. Practically everyone at the meeting has assisted at events this year.

    POOL SESSIONS – there are 2 locations during the winter – in VA and MD – check with Joan Spinner for dates and volunteer instructors needed at MD pool.

    PADDLE MAKING CLASS – Dave thanked Nelson Labbe and Carolyn for her assistance for his time and effort taking on the huge task of carving out all of the cedar blanks ahead of time to make the paddle making class very successful.

    GEAR DAY – Gina Cicotello and Suzanne Farace summarized the Club event at Truxton Park in Annapolis. It offered Show and Tell opportunities to show off your gear and to try out many members’ own boats. It was very successful – 60-70+ people attended. Everyone wanted to try the stand up paddle board.

    INCORPORATION – UPDATE – The club finalized the tax standing as a 501 C- 4 non profit organization this last year which assists the club on potential tax issues, as well as provides coverage for the officers and trip leaders for liability. The club is backing up trip leaders- the trip waivers may provide additional coverage. Dave recommends re-working the bylaws to bring the wording in line to reapply for 501c (3) tax status.

    Recognition of volunteers – Dave thanked all the volunteers – some who are doing a lot of work. The Club now needs to develop the next generation of volunteers, skill instructors, trip leaders, and officers. Partnering with new people and sharing responsibilities of a task also allows our new leaders to learn those skills. The Club always needs new volunteers to step into the mix.

  • Dave announces the SUPERVOLUNTEERS FOR 2008 – and presented a CPA ceramic tile board as a token of appreciation to:
    • Sue Bauer – who keeps our members up to date and maintains the CPA database,
    • Rich Stevens – who keeps our finances in order and manages the tax reporting,
    • Ralph Heimlich – who edited a terrific newsletter and the best camper trips
    • Brian Blankenship – who has lead SK102 for 10 yrs.
    • Gina Cicotello – who organized the newest Club events and Gear Day
    • Marshall Woodruff – who has lead the most varied and most number of paddle trips
    • Ed Hershon – who has assisted in completing the Club tax status

    As well as additional volunteer gift cards were presented/recommended to:

    • Yvonne Thayer – for organizing SK101 – getting more new members into paddling
    • Nelson Labbe – for his effort organizing the Greenland paddle workshop
    • Will Bush – for his assistance getting the tax status package organized

  • DEMO DAYS – are great opportunity to reach out for new paddlers- always need more Club members to volunteer their time- and not getting to paddle for that day.

    Both Suzanne Farace and Matt Blakey (although absent / was represented by Cyndi Janetzko) gave short introductions of their goals as potential steering club members.

    2009 OFFICERS ELECTION results:

    • Dave Biss – Coordinator
    • Rich Stevens – Treasurer
    • Sue Bauer – Secretary

    Steering Committee 2009 (6 members)

    • Brian Blankenship
    • Ed Hershon
    • Gina Cicotello
    • Ralph Heimlich
    • Suzanne Farace – newly elected
    • Yvonne Thayer – newly elected

    Dave Biss announced this, his third year, will be his last year as Coordinator. He would like to see new faces come into the leadership of the club. He has agreed to continue to handle the maintenance of the website as Web Master.

  • In 2009, Dave urged everyone to keep the membership topics active:
    • Need to address new paddler needs
    • How to hold on to paddlers and keep them members
    • Need more skill related events (fall out of your boat day, trip leader sessions)
    • Instill confidence for new trip leaders
    • More activities just for our Club members

  • Dave pointed out that many retailers and vendor offers rather expensive training in kayaking classes – that fill quickly- while our club offers the similar opportunities for free. Brian is considering offering additional trip leader training sessions. Need volunteers to join the various committees. We need to find additional ways to keep members active and support safety in paddling- all should try to reach out to new members on their first trip activity with the Club, find quiet protected areas for safe easy short trips, less strict requirements – but always a pfd – that encourage confidence in new paddlers. Dave mentioned that he is going to lead a beginner’s trip on the Bladensburg Waterfront Park to the National Arboretum this spring. In 2008 the Club was able to offer a Wilderness First Aid class for $45- many who came to that class are here at the meeting.
  • NEW BUSINESS – Plan for a second session on Wilderness First Aid Bill Dodge announced space in the upcoming camping trip to Chickahomminy VA Brian recommended the Club financially support the launch package fee for Jack’s in Georgetown – which Dave worked out a package price for the Piracy use last year.

  • MOTION– presented by Brian Blankenship:
    For the Club to provide financial support to any established Piracy group if they need assistance for established group season launch fees within a limited amount, and it will not be a part of their annual allocation of Piracy funds.

    SECONDED by Ed Hershon
    VOTE – ALL in favor – NO – none

  • Additional new business – to revise wording in Club Bylaws to eliminate any mention of any social activities or parties to qualify for 501c (3) status.

  • CPA HOLIDAY PARTY – DEC 6 hosted by Ralph and Beth Heimlich
  • MOTION– presented by Cyndi Janetzko:
    For the Club to further invest a maximum of 2/3 of the Club total checking funds into a short term safe investment account, at the Treasurer’s discretion.

    Seconded by Ed Hershon
    VOTE- ALL in favor – NO – none

  • 2009 TRIP PLANNING MEETINGS – all are welcome to attend either session Our Club goal to put lots of trips on calendar, find new locations for paddle trips and add events and seek new ideas.

  • CPA logo gear is for sale – and Club members selected the various CPA rockers: as volunteer, trip leader, swim support, steering committee, Pirate Captain, Safety Boater, and the rare RED Coordinator rocker.

  • Ralph Heimlich introduced examples of performance fabric paddle long sleeve shirts – which may be available for printing Club logo; he is comparing shirt prices and quality for possible future sales. Laurie Steele also has experience and access to professional grade embroidery equipment through her job.

  • Dave announced the annual meeting adjourned: 2:50 pm.
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