Board Meeting Notes From Jan 2, 2015 Meeting - Not Yet Approved
President George Tracy, presiding, called the meeting to order at 1600 hours on Jan 5, 2015 at the Meadows Community Center. ATTENDANCE: George Tracy (President) Tom Piazze (Director); Linda Gould (2nd VP); Christa Friedlander (Treasurer); Brian McCarthy (1st VP); Craig Hullinger (Secretary); Alan Forester (Director); Claire Power (Director) and John O’Brien (Past President & SOT); Troy Scott (Past President); Committee Chairs and Visitors Present: Pat McLain (SC Vet. Com.); & Len Friedlander (Newsletter); James Connell and Diane Connell (Public Relations)
First of all, Thank You!! for joining me on the Board! I know this is volunteer work and it humbles me to know that such as yourselves are willing help me try to make 2015 another MOAS Banner Year!
I want to thank John O’Brien, Troy and Tom Piazze for their efforts in helping put together our strategic plan. It is time now for us to put it to use. I would emphasize that the plan (attached and on our website) is still a work in progress until we take ownership. Until then it is a reference and a guide to doing a better job for ourselves and our membership. So let’s take ownership and free Tom to address his other priorities. Where we have people already assigned to responsibilities, please adapt your part of the plan to what works best for you. We will revisit the plan quarterly and adjust accordingly. I will be working with Bryan, Linda and Troy to fill in where we have openings.
Our key priority is Membership on which all else depends!! Although we have made some notable strides in “marketing our brand” with publicity, meet & greets, and community outreach, we have not yet found a way to overcome the attrition of our older membership and to reach our non-member local veteran-officer community, especially the younger ones. Brian, Troy, Len and myself will be attending the FCOC Leadership Conference in Ocala FL 16-17 January. It will include a Membership Workshop, which I believe will benefit our recruiting efforts.
That said, Linda Gould will MC the January Luncheon and I want to be sure she gets all the support that she needs. Note I took over a number of items from John O’Brien at the Gala including one flag stand, awards and historical artifacts. I would like to inventory particularly those items that we use for the luncheons, so that we lose nothing in transition.
As you will note in the Membership report, Len received a nice, though brief, note from John Saputo, who has been so generous in letting us use his Golden Eagle Distributing Conference Center for one or two “Meet & Greet” recruiting events.Troy reminds us that we have a Board-approved $300 (half-page) ad in process of publication in the Chapter Convention Magazine of the FCOC 2015 Annual MOAA Convention next June in St. Augustine FL. Christa has the necessary form ready (due by 30 March 2015).
Troy needs our confirmation that we want La Croix to provide our music once at our Gala next December (12/13/2015). I make a motion in favor!! And Given that Tom Piazze has presented for Board approval motions for Board approval of increased support (financial support, insurance coverage of liability) of Flag Initiative-related activities, such as, Flag Retirement ceremonies, I submit that, while I applaud Tom Piazze’s award-winning efforts in leading the American Flag Initiative, I believe that the MOAS role in this effort should revert to one of support, and turn event hosting and Flag-related leadership over to those, who historically are focused on that service to the community, e.g. VFW (http://www.vfw3233.org/), American Legion (http://www.ampost266.net/). President Tracy read into the record a certificate thanking and recognizing Tom Piazza for all of his work, signed by Norbert Ryan of National MOAA.
I believe that the MOAS mission of advocacy for veterans needs to be re-emphasized in refocusing our energies and limited financial resources on reinforcing and expanding our membership, our current programs and our voice on behalf of veterans’ plights, rights and benefits at the local, state (FCOC) and national (MOAA) levels. So, I do not support Flag Initiative motions for expanded MOAS Flag Initiative commitment that, in my view, redirect resources away from our primary mission!Tracy is looking at a realignment of efforts. Our membership is declining. We need to have more of a focus on our membership. He noted that we have put a lot of effort into this effort. He thanked Len Friedlander for all his work. Membership must be a focus of our organization. Brian McCarthy will chair the Membership Committee; Troy Scott and George Tracy are on the committee.
He is pleased that John Saputo responded to our membership request. He is too busy to be an active member. There are two people Tracy would like to consider making an honorary member. Tracy discussed making Kurt Gilroy, former Secretary of Defense, a member.
Tracy noted that our relationship with the State and National MOAA organizations can be improved. He noted that he and McCarthy are going to the State MOAA conference. Linda Gould will run the luncheon meeting.
McCarthy moved and Clair seconded a motion to consider making individual honorary members.
Linda Gould will MC the January Luncheon and I want to be sure she gets all the support that she needs. Note I took over a number of items from John O’Brien at the Gala including one flag stand, awards and historical artifacts. I would like to inventory particularly those items that we use for the luncheons, so that we lose nothing in transition.
Secretary’s Report (Craig Hullinger)
The minutes for the Dec 2015 Board meeting and newsletter update were unanimously approved.
Scheduled Events (Elke Scott)
Troy Scott noted that we earned over $1,000 from the Gala. The Gala was very successful.
Treasurer’s Report (Christa Friedlander):
The Treasurer noted that she had emailed 3 Financial documents. Alan Forrest moved and Brian McCarthy seconded a motion to approve the Financial reports.The reports dated December 31 2014 for the Military Officers Association of Sarasota, Inc.
Military Officers Association of Sarasota, Inc.
December 31, 2014
MOAS Operating Account:
Balance November 30, 2014 $25,137.50
Operating Receipts $ 15,451.00
Operating Expenses $ 12,468.71
LoV Flag Initiative Receipts $ -0-
LoV Flag Initiative Expense $ -0-
New Operating Balance December 31, 2014 $28,119.79
Operating Account Detail:
Operating Fund $ 19,409.83
LoV Flag initiative $ 8,709.96
MOAS Scholarship Fund:
Balance November 30, 2014 $37, 296.55
Scholarship Receipts $ 6,716.20
Scholarship Expenses $ 2,000.00
SOT Receipts $ 50.00
SOT Expenses $ 222.60
New Scholarship Balance December 31, 2014 $41,840.15
Scholarship Account Detail:
CD; 14 months; .65% $ 6,057.98 (Exp. June 2015)
Checking Account $ 35,782.17
Undesignated Scholarship Fund $ 22,991.96
Schmidt Scholarships $ 4,000.00
SOT Fund $ 3,790.21
Future CD (Board approved) $ 5,000.00
Newsletter (Len Friedlander):
The January 2015 issue of the Breeze was published and distributed (180 hardcopies via USPS, and 283 via email) to our membership, MOAS & FCOC leaders, congressional offices, and interested organizations. I want to thank Craig Hullinger and Mike Adkinson for taking photos at the Gala on Dec 14th, and for Mike’s arranging for Gala guests to have professional ‘portrait’ photos taken. As a result of the number of Gala pictures----and MoE’s low-level lighting--- the photos were not conducive to being re-worked into Black and White. Therefore the hardcopy edition had to be printed in color at additional expense.
To-date, we have 49 members who have opted for the print version of the newsletter (46 have paid $12). Of the 49 requesting the paper copy, 25 have valid email addresses. (Looks like we will have more than previously expected.) There are an additional 25 members who have not yet responded to the call for membership renewals who do not have email addresses, making it look as though we will have a minimum of paper copies being mailed each month. As originally planned, we plan to publish the February issue with the electronic version and minimize the printing costs with ONLY printing and mailing the required number of copies. We still need to “push” on gathering our members’ email addresses to reduce the overall cost in time and dollars.
I will not be at the next luncheon---FCOC meeting in Ocala---- would request a volunteer to take the requisite pictures… and Request articles be submitted NLT January 10th. The Board committed to a full-page ad for the FCOC Convention Book (St Augustine in May 2015) at a cost of $295. The proposed ad is provided with this report. Request approval so it may be submitted to the host chapter as early as possible.
The February issue will be strictly electronic except for the members who have paid to have paper copies mailed. The Board discussed the Breeze and the advertisement and agreed they were of very high quality. Action to approve the Ad was required.
Brian McCarhty moved and Clair Power seconded a motion to approve the advertisement. Unanimous.
Scholarships & Projects (Claire Power): Scholarship Committee Report for 1/5/2015
1. We have received and deposited a $4,000 check from the Schmidt Foundation.
2. Merit and JROTC Scholarships will be mailed to schools the second week of January.
3. I have contacted all the JROTC Senior Military Instructors and they will be providing us with articles for the Breeze.
4. The Scholarship Committee will meet on January 26th.
5. Discuss Tom Piazze’s proposal that the Flag Imitative be added as a program under the Scholarship Fund.
Publicity: (Alan Forrester):
Our regular press release has been sent to the Tampabay Newswire along with the outgoing and incoming President's photo. Tampabay News Wire published the press release and copies have been sent to all of you. Craig has also published the press release in our social media outlets which is a new process and will provide us with additional exposure. The release has also been sent to all other media contacts including MOAA. the Herald Tribune and the Sarasota Chamber of commerce.
We are pleased to announce that Jim and Diane Connell have agreed to serve on the Publicity Committee beginning January 1, 2015. Jim's “career” included 21 years with the Procter and Gamble Co. ending with an assignment as Worldwide Media Manager. Diane has over 30 years’ experience in a variety of airline marketing and ground service positions. Her final assignment was Chairperson of the Delta Airlines Employee Forum. We are very excited about the expansion of our team.
Tracy noted that the Committee is doing an excellent job getting publicity for the organization.
Programs (Chris White):
Proposed schedule of upcoming events:
Military Officers Association of Sarasota Luncheon Programs Blueprint
Date Theme Speaker Topic Contact
January 16, 2015 Community Fred Scheerle Habitat for Humanity
February 20, 2015 Health David C. Zonies M.D., FACC
March 20, 2015 Veterans Support Alicia Irvin
April 17, 2015 Veterans Support Ryan Simonson Veterans U
May 15, 2015 Scholarship LTC Alexander Espinosa USF ROTC
June 19, 2015 Veterans Legacy Jim Hesson has name Fall of Saigon
July 17, 2015 Community Tom Esselman Institute for the Ages
August 21, 2015 Veterans Legacy
September 18, 2015 MOAA National TBD
October 16, 2015 Multi Service Mixer MacDill/USSOCOM Speaker
November 20, 2015 Membership Luncheon
December 13, 2015 Annual Gala
The Board discussed the program. One possible program would be to invite recipients of our scholarships to the meeting to tell about their experiences.
Membership (George Tracy):
a) Membership (George Tracy/Brian McCarthy)
i) MOAS Active Membership
(1) Allied: Total=4 (Regular=3; Life=1)
(2) Auxiliary: Total=81 (Regular=61, Life=20)
(3) Regular: Total=278 (Regular 241 + Associate 1= 242; Life=36)
(4) Totals from above: Grand Total=363 (Regular (+2)=306; Life (-1)=57)
ii) As of 12/31/2014, MOAS membership has decreased since the beginning of the year (1/1/2014) from 379 to a total of 363 MOAS active members (Allied, Auxiliary & Regular), including all known attrition in the 2014 renewal process and new members recruited in 2014, reflecting an increase since last month of three Regular members and offset by the loss of three (1 Auxiliary and 2 Regular-Life). I expect that our renewal process will regrettably reveal the unreported loss of additional life members, as we go forward.
iii) Renewal Summary - The 2015 Renewal Campaign for active membership retention is in progress with 281 active-dues-paying and 80 active-exempt renewals emailed or sent-postal (see the below to-date):
2015 Renewal Responses To-Date:
(1) Dues Paying: 155 recorded including 151 paid (139 billed + 12 new members); 1 resign, 2 lost-contact, 1 pay-error.
(2) Exempt/Life: 26 recorded including 2 deceased and 1 move.
(3) Outstanding: 139 dues paying; 44 exempt (38 Life; 6 Regular).
(4) 130 email reminders sent 1/3/2015; 9 targeted for phone follow-up.
(5) Breeze Print Copy to be sent via mail – 42 (6 did not pay the additional $12).
iv) MOAS-MOAA Recruiting:
(1) MOAS recruited a total of 40 new members during 2014 including 12 in the last quarter (Oct-Nov-Dec) with several more in process.
(2) In response to Len's and my MOAS Thank You notes, we received assurance from John Saputo, whose Golden Eagle Distributing Conference Center hosts our MOAS Meet & Greet sessions, that he "will be glad to work with the club on any of your events as in the past."
(3) Craig Hullinger continues to stimulate attendance at our monthly "Meet & Greet" at the Sarasota Wine Club using our MOAA prospect list, the MOAS Blog and social media interaction.
(4) Alan Forrester's press releases, which provide marketing support to our recruiting efforts, are getting broader coverage through the local Herald Tribune, Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay News Wire include a brief description of MOAS and attraction to our website: www.sarasotamoaa.com."
(5) Continued MOAS Brochure-Application content modification for reorder, still in-process.
(6) The MOAS Membership Committee Chair will be attending the MOAA Florida Council of Chapters (FCOC) Leadership Conference and Membership Workshop (16-17 January) to consider how best to enhance recruiting efforts with available resources.
b) MOAS Membership Database
i) Routine maintenance including setting up of 2015 files, recording of renewal responses and additions (new members) and changes, as necessary.
ii) Ongoing review, analysis and adjustment of active member email addresses that are not connecting.
iii) Ongoing analysis of MOAS Life Members, who do not respond to the 2015 Renewal Campaign, to determine their status.
iv) Ongoing reconciliation of MOAS Membership database with national MOAA database for currency and recruiting.
v) Preparation and validation of MOAS Membership Roster (Database) as of 31 December 2014 for MOAA/FCOC submission for performance credit.
c) MOAS Website(s)
i) Routine maintenance monitoring visit counters to both MOAS websites - http://www.sarasotamoaa.com/ and http://www.supportourtroopsmoas.com/ - including:
- Gala Invitation link, Holiday Greeting link to http://militarybenefits.info/how-to-help-veterans-during-the-holidays/
- updates to the 2015 Home Page, President's Welcome, Strategic Plan comment link, Membership (add Associate), Breeze newsletters and Luncheons
ii) Review of our Internet Service Provider (Genesis Domains) available no-cost services to improve search visibility, email exchange and other features.
iii) Ongoing exploration of potential enhancements to the MOAS Sarasota website that better assist MOAS Membership management and administration and offer service/interaction features that enhance recruiting appeal.
iv) Prepare to coordinate web site hosting annual service payment with transfer to MOAS account under George Tracy.
d) Membership Management, Administration and Interaction:
i) Continued review of do-it-yourself options using existing, no-cost resources. Ideas, suggestions, preferences or available no-cost options worth considering are welcome!!
e) The MOAS Brochure/Application reorder: See MOAS-MOAA Recruiting (2) above. Thanks for your input!!
Following my related report last month (attached for reference)! Submitted with respect! Thanks for your support!!.
Support Our Troops (John O’Brien):
John O’Brien noted that we continue to support our troops with care packages. He went to Riverview High school where a student had collected $100 to help pay to ship the packages.
The Veterans Day parade will probably get more boxes distributed. He noted that some of the boxes were returned since a unit had withdrawn. A number of people called to get the corrected address. Jim Hessan was able to get the corrected address. We got 100 boxes distributed at McCallisters. We still have 609 boxes in the garage. We will have to change the address.
Yahoo Events (John O’Brien):
O’brien summarized the events that are being planned. They have developed an aggressive program of events, with dates and times to be firmed up. Scott noted that we have sold 26 tickets to the Hockey game. O’brien is setting up a Polo Match event - come if you wish. In August a Siesta Key beach party is planned.
Sarasota County Veterans Commission (Pat McLain):
Mike Adkinson filled in for Pat at the last Veterans meeting. We have not had the Veterans Commission meeting yet.
Auxiliary Representative: None
Linda Gould noted that we are still looking for a Auxiliary Representative.
Credit Card Payments
Brian McCarthy noted that many organizations are moving towards using credit card payments. He noted that there are costs associated. He knows a person who does this type of work who could come to the Board to make a presentation.
Costs are about 3.5% plus $.19 a transaction. The monthly fee is $10 a month, which includes $100,000 on insurance. It would cost us a $1.00 a luncheon ticket.
McCarthy recommends that we raise the luncheon cost to $28.00 to cover the costs. Christa Friedlander noted that we ran into problems trying to do this in the past. She noted that the fees can be high.
The Board decided to bring the representative into the next Board meeting to learn more about using credit card payments.
Goodwill Manasota - Linda Gould
Linda Gould noted that they met with Goodwill Manasota. Mike Adkinson and Tom Piazze also attended. The discussed possible fund raising efforts with Goodwill Manasota. She noted that they are still in the exploratory stage. They discussed the potential of a fund raiser with the Symphony at the Opera House. The tickets would be $150.00. Tom Piazze noted that the fund raising event would be a continuation of Legacy of Valor efforts, Tom noted that partnering with an organization like Manasota Goodwill could be good because they are a large capable organization.
American Flag Protocol Initiative – Tom Piazze
On 4 December 2014, I chaired a Planning Committee Meeting for the Flag Retirement Ceremony to be held at Patriot Plaza on Flag Day 2015. In attendance were Andy Hooker, President, and Woody Shiffman, Sarasota County Veterans Commission, and Lee Kichen, Chair, Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Commission. Absent from the meeting was Don Courtney, Chairman, Manatee County Veterans Council. Purpose of the meeting was to review progress to date; clarify the central purpose of the ceremony, the participating organizations, and intended target audience; obtain committee member input regarding content and proposed sequence of events for the ceremony itself; and initiate action for the development of a VIP invitation list. Following a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that to provide the best results, the actual Flag Retirement Ceremony should take the form of an educational event for the general public that focused on the origin, history and traditions of the American Flag. It was also suggested that this performance be supported by a local musical group, if possible. Based on the results of the meeting, I contacted the following individuals to determine interest and availability to support the ceremony: Vane Scott, Producer, “Many Faces of Old Glory”; Pat Joslyn, Vice President, Operations, Sarasota Symphony Orchestra; and Ryan Gant, Director, Booker High School Concert Band. All were interested and honored to be considered for the performance, but needed additional time to determine availability. I also received from Lee Kichen and John Rosentrater, Director, Sarasota National Cemetery, a proposed list of VIP’s to be invited to the ceremony.
QUESTION FOR MOAS BOARD: As the host organization for the Flag Retirement Ceremony…and in support of our new Strategic Plan…does the Board wish to expand the proposed list of VIPs to include key MOAA and political leaders from the State of Florida?? If so, who is to develop the list and issue invitations??
As a result of our discussion at the December MOAS Board Meeting, I also contacted Hartford/USAA Insurance to investigate the necessity and cost of purchasing special liability insurance for the Flag Retirement Ceremony at Patriot Plaza on Flag Day 2014. After several phone calls and follow-up discussions with various underwriters, I was notified that a special rider would be required at an additional cost of $94.33. Due to the timing of the event and renewal of our current policy, it was recommended that this additional premium be paid in April 2015. (See Document attached to e-mail). REQUEST: That the MOAS Board approve this action and notify Hartford/USAA of its intentions NLT 12 January 2015, as outlined in its e-mail response. Due to this late development, I am prepared to provide additional funding required this year from grant monies received from The Patterson Foundation.
In anticipation of long term funding needs to support The American Flag Protocol Initiative over time, I met with Susie Bowie, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, to discuss how best to position the program to increase visibility and contributions from potential donors. Susie suggested several options for how MOAS might proceed to include: corporate sponsorship; an Immediate Impact Grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County; and active participation in the Foundation’s Annual Giving Challenge. However, Susie also cautioned me that to be eligible to receive support through the Community Foundation, the American Flag Protocol Initiative needed to be included in the Giving Partner Profile for the Sarasota Military Officers’ Scholarship Fund. REQUEST: That the MOAS Board of Directors…in it’s role as Board of Directors/Officers for the Sarasota Military Officers Scholarship Fund, INC….approve listing the American Flag Protocol Initiative as an active program in the Fund’s Giving Partner Profile. Further request that the Program description included in the Giving Partner Profile read as follows:
American Flag Protocol Initiative: A multi-faceted educational program that focuses on the origin and history of the American Flag and the proper etiquette and respect that should be afforded it. Target audiences include elementary school students, business and civic leaders and private citizens residing in Sarasota County and beyond. If this request is approved, I will provide Claire Power the additional information required to complete this addition to the Profile.
After receiving and reviewing the minutes for the 20 November 2015 Meeting of the Veteran’s Task Force (See document attached to e-mail), Linda Gould, Mike Adkinson and I requested a meeting with Veronica Brandon Miller, Vice President Foundation and Marketing, and C. J. Bannister, Director, American Veterans and Their Families Initiative, Goodwill Manasota, to update them on our new Strategic Plan and discuss potential partnership opportunities between our two organizations. This meeting was held on 18 December and included several areas for collaboration to include: a Joint Fundraising Event (to be held in early November 2015) to benefit on-going programs for those who may serve, are currently serving, or who have served (which would include our SOT, JROTC and Veteran Scholarship Programs and the American Flag Protocol Initiative). We also offered to expand the scope of Lesson 10, American Flag Protocol Initiative to include remarks by the MOAA representative about the meaning, fulfillment and personal satisfaction that comes from military service. Finally, we addressed the intended role of MOAS in advocating for veterans at both the local and state levels with emphasis on the need for close coordination, consistency and solidarity when delivering messages to our elected leaders. QUESTION: The Strategic Plan calls for the Legislative Committee to take the lead in the area of advocacy. Who is currently appointed to the committee and what is its plan of action in both the near term and long term? To avoid confusion in the future, recommend that the Chairman of the Legislative Committee present an update to the Board of Directors at the next scheduled board meeting.
American Flag Protocol (Tom Piazze):
Flag retirement ceremony. He made some calls and got a quote from USAA that we would be required to have liability for this scheduled event. The cost would be $94.33. USAA recommended that this be added to the policy we have with USAA. Len Friedlander asked if this coverage for this scheduled event would be same as our standard policy. The Director of the VA cemetery requires us to sign a statement accepting liability for the event. Friedlander noted that the event would be open to the public and involve many people who were not members of MOAA.
Tracy noted that we have done a great job with the flag initiative. We are a Veterans Group, not a Flag retirement organization.
Piazze noted that this is part of the education process for proper flag etiquette. The American Legion is going to do the ceremony, but MOAA would make it an event that we would lead the marketing of the event.
Piazze noted that we would like to do this every year on Flag Day which this year is on the 14th of June. It would be a large event at Patriot Plaza with many other Veterans Organization. The other veterans organizations would do much of the work. We would have to pay for a portable latrine, which costs $80. Security must be Federal and is paid for by the cemetery. The decision must be made about whether we are in or not by getting USAA insurance to go forward.
Linda Gould noted that our Flag initiative with the Legacy of Valor Project involved three programs. The development of 10 lesson plans on Flag etiquette - completed; The brochure on flag etiquette - completed; A flag retirement ceremony.
Piazza noted that the Veterans Cemetery covers 9 Counties. There are many other MOAA Chapters that potentially would be involved. He asked if we could determine if the State MOAA organization would support this at the State Convention.
Tracy asked why MOAA would be taking the lead? Gould stated that MOAA took the lead on the 3 issues in the Legacy of Valor program. Christa Friedlander expressed concerns about the cost of the program. Piazze noted that we still have funds left over to cover these costs.
Motion to go ahead with the necessary step to authorize obtaining the rider Piazze moved and second by Chris White to authorize the expenditure of $94.33 for the additional USAA Insurance. Unanimous.
Next Board Meeting:
Scheduled for 02FEB14 at the Meadows Community Center at 1600
Adjourn Meeting:The meeting was adjourned at 1800 hours.