Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: September 10, 2016






   Mad River Glen Cooperative

   Board of Trustees Meeting

   Saturday, September 10th 2016


Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Saturday September 10, 2016


After due notice, a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Mad River Glen Cooperative was convened at 8:00am on Saturday September 10th, 2016 on the third floor of the Base Box at the Mad River Glen Ski Area (MRG) in Fayston, Vermont.


8:00 AM          Call to order

 In attendance: Board – Meg Hourihan, John Tobin, Jon Anderson, Annika Holtan, Matt Kenny, Deb Steines, Alan Bates and Ron Shems (via phone).

Absent: Eric Palola – Also present were Sharon Crawford, Eric Friedman, Nate Martin, and approximately 15 shareholders.


8:05 AM Shareholder Comments

Shareholder David Wilson of the White Plains Ski-Club invited all to explore their offerings and encouraged the assembled to consider joining in Bike events they hold in the summer.

Shareholder Penny Parson of Stark Mountain Foundation presented the Board with a donation of $20,000 to repair damage done to the mountain by the recent extreme rain storms.

Shareholder Mike Hawker commented positively on the Pub being open this summer and praised the quality of staff.


8:10 AM  Appointment to Fill Vacant Board Seat (Action)

Alan Bates was introduced and he gave a brief history of his time at MRG. This led to a motion.

Motion to approve Alan Bates to fill the Vacant Board Seat by Trustee Steines, 2nd Trustee Tobin. All in favor


8:15 AM Review & Approve Minutes of June 11, 2016 and September 1, 2016 (Action)

Motion to approve Minutes of June 11, 2016 by Trustee Holtan, 2nd by Trustee Tobin. All in favor

Motion to approve Minutes of September 1, 2016 by Trustee Steines, 2nd Trustee Kenny. All in favor.


8:20 AM Management Team Introduction & Report (Quad Team) 

Chair Hourihan introduced Sharon, Eric and Nate and they each spoke briefly about their longevity at MRG. They then presented the management report which is included at the conclusion of these Minutes.

The Board also expressed their gratitude to Betsy Jondro for all her hard work on the Mad River Store.


8:27 AM Finance Committee Report (John Tobin)

Trustee Tobin reported on the current financial status. While last year was a financial disaster the steps taken to reduce losses were helpful.  The co-op has been using the line of credit but hoped to pay it down with income from pre-season sales as well as grants from SMF. 

Discussion following his report touched on the Campaign, options to create other income streams and how the new snow-cat is being financed.


8:40 AM Fund Raising Committee Report (Annika)

Trustee Holtan reported an initial milestone during the quiet phase is within reach. The Committee continues their work on the Advance Gifts and the Leadership Gift volunteer organization is almost complete. 

She also reiterated that It is important to remember that “cash” in the context of the Preserve our Paradise campaign – namely funds that are received in the form of grants from the Stark Mountain Foundation – can only be used for capital improvements and campaign related expenses, not for general operating needs of the Co-op. There was also discussion of when we plan on going public with the campaign.


8:50 AM Revised SMF MOU and Pledge Agreement (Annika, Action)

Trustee Holtan reported on the revised MOU. This was done to insure the insure the tax-exempt status of SMF as well as protect the MRG Co-op.

Motion to approve the Revised SMF MOU and Pledge Agreement by Trustee Holtan, 2nd by Trustee Shems. All in favor.


8:53 AM Executive Search Preliminary Discussion (Action)

Prior to the meeting the board had lengthy discussions regarding the importance of this task including reviewing the entire operation before making any decisions. The board determined that a committee should be formed.


Motion by Trustee Steines, 2nd by Trustee Kenny :

To form a special MRG Organizational Review and Search Committee reporting to the Board of Trustees who will draft a mission statement; Committee to be comprised of a Chair and participants recommended by the Committee Chair and approved by the board. All in favor.  Chair Hourihan stated this task is of the utmost importance to the co-op and volunteered to lead that committee. She also will step down as Chair of the facilities committee.

Motion to approve Meg Hourihan as Chair of the MRG Organizational Review and Search Committee by Trustee Steines, 2nd Trustee Kenny. All in favor.


9:07 AM Plans for Green & Gold Town Meeting 

The board discussed the upcoming Green and Gold weekend, the primary topics will be the Executive Search and the ongoing Campaign.


9:14 AM Action Item Review (Jon A)

New Facilities Committee Chair

Create MRG Organizational Review and Search Committee

Discussion ensued at the close of the meeting and topics included: Thanks to the new “Quad Team”, Snowshoe trails, the need to be proactive and transparent with the executive search and thanks to SMF for their ongoing help.


9:25AM Adjourn

Motion to adjourn by Trustee Kenny, 2nd Trustee Tobin. All in favor.


Respectfully submitted,

Jon Anderson


August Management Report

Submitted for September 10, 2016 Board Meeting

Presented by: Sharon Crawford, Eric Friedman & Nate Martin

Mountain Ops

On the evening of Tuesday August 16 we had a major down pour that dumped 2.5+” of rain on the mountain in a very short period of time. It caused flash flooding conditions in many areas of Central Vermont and it caused a handful of slides and sloughs on some of the steeper terrain. The most significant being on the Creamery which slid from just below the cut-over to the mid-station down on to Broadway (see images in the appendix). There were several other much smaller slides on Lower Glade, Paradise and Lynx along with damage to the work road (mostly lower down on the mountain).

Nate quickly assessed the situation and immediately began work fixing the work road utilizing the mountain’s excavator. He then turned his attention to fixing the lower part of the slide (on Broadway) and had it graded out, mulched and seeded within a week after the event. He consulted with Jay Appelton and Lars Bruns, the past and current leaders of the mountain work day crews to formulate a plan of action. They decided to place fabric above the slide and at the top of it to help prevent more damage. They came to the conclusion that there was not much else they could do beyond seeding the slide and having the mountain work crews attempt to plant some seedlings. This effort began this past week by the mountain ops crew and several of the hand mowing crew that stayed on after completing the hand mowing effort.

The Mountain Ops team spent the vast majority of the month doing line work on the lifts, machine mowing the novice and intermediate trails and fixing the damage from the flash flood and supporting the hand mowing crew. 

Nate has begun excavating the snowmaking pond which was filled with debris following the flash floods.  He is going to need rent a dump trailer that will cost $750.00 He is planning on picking it up with his truck on Monday September 12. The fill will be used to fill gaps in the parking lot and on Schuss Pass Road.

Nate has begun putting a list together for next summer’s projects to ensure that the existing plans are clear, complete and ranked by priority and ranked by priority.  Once he has some more time he will make a more complete list of items that most likely were not disclosed to the board.  For next summer some of the things that need to be done are: 

Snowmaking electric renovation

Rebuilding the lift #4 shack. I don’t know how much the building will be but I do not think it will be too bad.

              The cost of taking out and reinstalling the electric service will be roughly $8,000.00

Nate would like you to know that the Single Chair seat pads are in very bad shape. They have been on his capital list for quite some time and it was included once again this past spring. It got shot down. The cost will be around $5,000.00 without bungees or shipping.  Not cheap. I think we will be getting a lot of people complaining this year, something everyone should know.


Sharon has been very busy of late dealing with the administrative issues regarding the current transition.

Compiling budgets for 2017 and preparing to distribute approved budgets to department heads and preparing to distribute approved budgets to department heads

Budgets versus actuals for dept. heads for last year.

Organizing, switching over and closing accounts

Monthly reconciliations for shares and mountain ops

Ongoing AP & AR

Processing daily deposits

End of month delinquent shareholders shares will be dissolved if past due APR’s are not paid. These numbers will be made available as we approach the end of the month.

Share Sales

A good share sales month with 6 new shares sold giving us a total of 27 for FY16 YTD. Not bad compared to 29 last year which we may all recall was a bit better snow-wise.  Our budget for share sales in FY16 is 30.  Here is the detail;

Mad River Glen Co-op Share Summary 2015-16










New subscription



$      1,350.00

New full



$       1,500.00

New full



$                    –  

New full



$     34,000.00

Payment on Shares



$     23,076.00

Total new this month



$     59,926.00

Shares converted to P.S.



$                    –  

Tendered shares



$   (42,250.00)




$                    –  




$     (4,500.00)




$     13,176.00





Preservation Certificates



$                    –  





New Tender Request




29 – 2014/15





Ticket Office

Preseason sales and APR payments are coming in and are all entered into the point of sale. Most of the orders are coming via USPS and being paid for by check. A few online orders are coming in, but that will pick up until the last week of September.

Season Pass will be ready to pick up by Monday, September 19th

2 of 3 Ticket Office Staff from last year will definitely be returning for the winter and to work the fall foliage weekends, and the October 15th deadline.


The Season Pass mailing went out as scheduled on September 1. The sales period is now in full swing.

College Pass sales are being handled by the Sugarbush team with part time help from Ry Young. He is paid by MRG and that money is factored into the overall marketing costs of the college pass program.

Eric and Ry will be attending various ski shop sales (Alpine Shop, Ski Rack, Middlebury Mountaineer, club events, ski movie nights and other off-premise sales opportunities throughout the fall selling season.

Making the rounds to various local businesses doing the normal pre-season outreach and check-ins. Meeting business owners, distributing brochures, snow report posters, etc.…

Ongoing communications & Social Media Efforts

Eric will be attending the NSAA Conference at Sunday River, Maine on Sept 13-15. He has been invited to speak and participate on a panel discussion. This invitation provides free lodging and registration for the event. A savings of over $500. Background on the presentation:

Tribal Loyalty – Tribal WarfareModerator: Jack Turner, Ski Nation

Panelists: Michael Colbourn, Stowe Mountain Resort; Cathy Witherspoon, Sugarloaf Mountain Resort; John DeVivo, Cannon Mountain and Eric Friedman, Mad River Glen


The sense of tribe (belonging to the group) is where the greatest opportunity lies for the industry-creating ways to make newcomers feel like insiders as soon as possible.  The appeal is loyalty, a matter of heart more than the mind. Moreover, the tribe is as much about what you stand against as what you stand for. 

Ski Patrol

State mandated lift evacuation took place this past Tuesday. This is a new requirement that the state imposed recently. The state lift inspector needs to watch the evacuation process to ensure the staff is competent. Patrol Director, John Ayers, Assistant Patrol Director Bart Howe, a crew of volunteer patrollers and the mountain ops team took part in the exercise which we passed with flying.

In the rush to close down in March for budget reasons the patrol was let go early and did not get a chance to strip the mountain and put away their equipment properly. Patrol Director, John Ayers, is hoping to be brought back in for some time this fall to get prepped for the season. We will be in discussions with him to figure out the costs and the timing for this. This was an expense that was merely shifted from spring to fall and does not represent additional budgeted expenses and simply needs to be done.


General Stark’s Pub has been running its regular schedule with a few closures for private parties. Once the transition  situation has been settled we plan to give more financial details for the restaurant operation.


There was a very successful wedding this past Sunday. Going forward in subsequent years the plan is to focus on restaurant and not do weddings and other events that force us to close the restaurant.

A new AV/Audio system set up on the 3rd floor of the Basebox by a Co-op shareholder who works for us on trade. This will be beneficial for meetings, movies and other activities on the 3rd floor.


Ski School

Leigh Clark, the Assistant Director has been coming in once or twice a week to begin prepping

for the upcoming season. She is reaching out to staff, ensuring forms and information are correct and setting things up for another successful season.

Retail Shop (submitted by Karen Derrick)


August is one the busier months in the store from a management point of view. All of our t-shirts and other logo accessories are sourced, designed and ordered during August in order to receive/process goods by Fall Foliage and Columbus Day openings. This segment of the business entailed working with approximately 20+- different vendors. We had several on site meetings with primary vendors during August.


We receive the bulk of the season inventory starting at the end of August through the month of September. Goods are being delivered daily. Receive meaning, unpack, count against PO, ticket, display, and process invoices. It is a labor intensive process for both the manager and retail staff who are scheduled to help. This translates into an uptick in management and staffing hours. The goal is to have all of our logo and unique to MRG goods ready for the opening weekends.

Web Store

Photos were taken of new items and the website has been updated. The process is ongoing as new items arrive. Eileen Shine our photographer is a valuable and capable resource. I am considering having her assume a larger role this season in helping me maintain the web store. The inventories do not speak to each other so there is a manual process involved in reflecting web sales to our inventory on hand in Sirius. In the current model the Retail Manager performs all tasks related to the web store other than taking the pictures. I will review all processes relative to the web store over the next month and consider moving to a different model if deemed appropriate.


Gross sales for the month of August were $3,897.52. For the same time period LY gross sales were $3,353.79.  Sales primarily represent online sales through the web store.


August saw time spent with Betsy buttoning down any loose ends or questions I have as I prepare to move into her role as of October 1, 2016. Betsy has been away for much of August and will be away much of September. This has afforded me the opportunity to make a nice transition into my new role. I feel confident, ready and grateful to have this opportunity! I look forward to working with the rest of the Management Team as we all move forward into what will be an exciting time for Mad River Glen. As always…thinking snow!


Addendum – from Management Team – As Betsy’s time managing the General Store enters its last month we’d like to thank her for he years of service to the mountain. She has done a remarkable job starting and growing the retail operation, for selecting and training Karen and leaving the General Store in good hands. Thanks you Betsy for a job well done. We hope you get to spend some more time skiing the mountain this winter.