Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: January 14, 2017





Board of Trustees Meeting
Mad River Glen Cooperative



Jon Anderson

Alan Bates

Matt Kenny

Annika Holtan

Meg Hourihan

Eric Palola – Absent; provided comments for consideration in executive session

Ron Shems

Deb Steines

John Tobin



5:00 PM

The meeting was called to order



5:01 PM

Welcome & Shareholder Comments


Deri Meier – asked about the interim manager’s contract and whether that sets a precedent.


John Stetson – stated that the interim general contract was needed and that the Board and Interim General Manager had been doing a great job seeing the Coop through a difficult time. 


Bill Coyle– Trustees should not be compensated and expressed concern that this creates conflicts of interest and violates bylaws. 


Ron Shems – stated that the contract is explicitly for management services and not for any trustee duties.  It is common for organizations such as the Coop to appoint a board member as interim GM.  To expect someone to volunteer 20 to 50 hours a week for more than 5 months, in addition to Board duties, is unrealistic.  The Board’s obligation to assure the Coop’s sound management requires professional management.   


Barbara Toole – not involved, but grateful that someone can step in and do the work and thanks the Board.


Lu Putnam – appreciates the Board’s role, and wants to discuss snowmaking.  Need water and training of ski school or lift attendants to help with snowmaking.  Need storage and permit for water storage.  And need another pump.


Steve Miele– Feedback on GM search process important to look at candidates’ motivation and whether it is consistent with Roland Palmedo’s vision.  Assure viability, but maintain vision and character. 





5:08 PM

Approve minutes of December 10, 2016 (Action)


Deb Steines moved, Jon Anderson second


Unanimously approved.



5:09 PM

Management Report (Meg Hourihan)


See attached.


The mountain will suspend mid-week operations beginning Tuesday, January 17th until enough snow falls to allow the main mountain to re-open.  On weekends, Lift 4 on the Practice slope as well as the handle tow at Callie’s Corner will be operating.

Employees have been notified of the layoff.



5:11 PM

Finance Committee Report (John Tobin)


See attached



5:15 PM

Fund Raising Committee Report (Annika Holtan)


November and December were “giving months” for donors to the Preserve our Paradise campaign.  Donors took advantage of the strong market performance and matching gift opportunities to fulfill pledges early.

The endowment fund at the Vermont Community Foundation currently has donor-designated deposits of $250k.

A successful volunteer training session was held on December 29th with 20 participants. Another to be scheduled in February.


Next campaign e-newsletter to be distributed in late January.


5:20 PM

Parking Committee Report (Ron)


Some problem parking on Rte 17 is continuing.  Options are being explored including satellite parking and having the sheriff help manage parking on powder days.



5:25 PM

Executive Search Committee Report (Ron Shems)


The Executive Search Committee Broad conducted a broad and inclusive search process. 

  • Search committee composed of 3 current and 2 former trustees
  • The position was widely advertised
  • More than 50 applicants
  • Search committee narrowed resumes to 10 for initial interviews
  • Initial interviews narrowed the field to 6 for second interviews
  • Second interviews were conducted by a new team including 2 staff, 2 shareholders and 2 trustees not on the Search Committee. This team narrowed the field to two finalists
  • The 2 finalist each spent 2 full days at the mountain meeting with staff, shareholders, former trustees and the Board
  • In all, over 28 shareholders and staff vetted the applicants, and all 28 are providing feedback directly to the Board
  • The Board hopes to formulate an offer shortly




5:30 PM

Board Development (Deb Steines)


  • Two in-state, one out-of-state positions available
  • 1 in-state incumbent, Alan Bates
  • John Tobin, out-of-state, has not yet declared whether he will run again
  • Jon Anderson, in-state, is finishing his second term and cannot run again
  • Candidates have to declare by 2/1




5:35 PM

Additional Shareholder Comments


A shareholder, Wendy Harman, suggested a use of a microphone for audience to hear board members.



5:40 PM

Action Item Review (Ron)






5:40 PM





5:38 PM

The Board went into executive session to hear comments from the interviewers, and then without any guests to discuss the finalists







7:25 PM

The Board came out of executive session


Matt Kenny made, and John Tobin seconded a motion to authorize Meg Hourihan to make and negotiate an offer for the GM/ED position. 


Unanimously approved


7:35 PM

The Board adjourned