Shareholders Relations Committee Meeting, April 23rd 2002, Basebox MRG
Approved Minutes submitted by Rick Moulton Compiled by Irma Heeter
Meeting was called to order at 5:45 p.m. Committee members in attendance were: Rick Moulton, Bill Heinzerling, Lu Putnam, Fritz Branshofsky, Vivan Branschofsky, Jim Vann, Irma Heeter.
Staff Members were: Eric Friedman, Andrew Snow. New attendee was Lee Treffinger.
Rick Moulton was appointed to serve as our new chairman and moderator. We reviewed the minutes of the 3/15 meeting making a correction on the number of Echo’s actually published last season, which were four. Eric informed us that a printing and mailing of each newsletter is $1350.00 each time and around $600.00-700.00 dollars for just postage.
Procedure recommendation for getting our committee minutes out to shareholders faster is:
Send unapproved minutes around via e-mail to the committee members who attended that meeting for corrections, additions, etc. Then the chairman, (Rick), will adjust these minutes to include all corrections, get them back out to the committee for approval via e-mail. After this process, the approved minutes will go to Andrew Snow to be forwarded to the Board, to the shareholders via the web site and list server. Additionally printed copies are to be available by request through the office. When the Ski Area is open, these minutes will also be available, posted at the Coop Bulletin board.
The committee recommended that the Board accept, at its next meeting, the “Shareholder’s Rights and Responsibilities” document as written with one addition: Adding the word Guide to the title “A Guide Shareholder’s Rights and Responsibilities”. Upon adoption by the Board this document will serve as an advisory document that will be put on the shareholder website page, enclosed with new share sales kits, available in the office, and any other appropriate access for shareholders. It was suggested that the document be again sent to the Board well in advance of the next Board meeting.
Strategic Plan Document Procedure was discussed on how to circulate the plan when it emerges fromthe Board’s process to get feedback from shareholders. It was explained that the Board was looking to this committee for a recommended procedure. It was suggested that after shareholders get to read it, a brief questionnaire could be drafted in conjunction with Andrew this summer and be presented to shareholders by Green and Gold weekend. This procedure could act as a format for questionnaires and brief surveys for future when the Board wants to know how shareholders feel about something.
Motion: It was unanimously voted by all in attendance to have the Board budget separately for six issues of a dedicatedshareholder newsletter “Echo”. The mailing of these issues should be combined with other shareholder mailings, where possible (APR mailing, etc.) to reduce mailing costs. over and above anyother shareholder notices. Four issues are to be published monthly in Dec., Jan., Feb., Mar. (during our ski season) and two to be published in May and Aug. (off season). These issues are to be published in a timely manner with input from committees, shareholders at large, and staff.
Eric noted that the postcards are a marketing tool but that he creates a shareholder information version. The committee recommended that if the budget is tight, the newsletter format could be simplified or possibly a couple of postcard mailings to shareholders could be eliminated in order to pay for the full six issues of the Echo. Eric indicated that the cost savings from a simplified format would be negligible and felt a certain quality must be maintained from anything going out from his office.
Eric also expressed concern that in the past he has asked for contributions to the shareholder newsletter by the printing dead lines and got no response. Both he and Andrew Snow have asked for help from all of us to contribute articles, letters and ideas. The committee felt they could do a better job of providing timely material for these newsletters in the future. It was agreed that committee summary reports, etc., couldmake this a content rich newsletter.
Motion: A motion was made to rename the Shareholder Newsletter, currently called the Echo, revert back to its past name,” Chute.” It was noted by Fritz and Irma that this specific shareholder newsletter started out with the name “Chute”, which originated from this committee in conjunction with the staff who got it published. Lu voiced concern that if the name was changed back to the “Chute”, and no general public newspaper under the “Echo” name was resumed, there would be no publication Mad River Publication with the traditional “Echo”name. It was noted that the General Public newspaper is brought back, we can recommend switching names. A simple majority of the committee voted to leave the name “Echo” on this newsletter for the time being.
Bill Heinzerling noted that he is getting up a petition to get back a general public-community publication like the old Echo used to be. Since this is more a marketing issue then a shareholders relations concern the committee deferred further discussion on a Ski Area Newspaper. Bill also noted that Mad River Glen would be the featured exhibitor at the July opening of the new ski museum in Stowe.
Lu Putnam indicated that the committee needs to get our calendar of meeting dates, times, etc. to Eric right away in order to obtain 3 Sat. meetings on the holiday weekends. This will enable our out-of-state shareholders to attend.
Jim Vann asked that our meetings start at 5:30 pm on a regular basis. It’s very confusing when we have two or more e-mails changing the time.
Focus for the next meeting: Rick Moulton asked us to consider: What we as a committee can offer for input to enrich the shareholder newsletter publication.