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Minutes NEBRA Directors Meeting of 9/09/2003
Monday, September 22, 2003

Minutes NEBRA Directors Meeting of 9/09/2003

A Board of Directors Meeting of NEBRA was held via conference call @9:30 PM EST on the evening of September 9, 2003. Connected with the call and participating were the following persons:

Laura Summers
Mike Norton
Diane Fortini
Adam Myerson
Bill Black

Kitty Farago (Treasurer)
Liz Campbell (VT Rep)
Judy Miller (USAC Dist. Rep)

Bill Black commenced the meeting by noting that NEBRA has established its existence but in the coming year it must convert goals and ideas into actions and solutions and that he believes the primary mission of NEBRA is twofold (1) to assist in the presentation of ever better races in New England and (2) the efficient and comprehensive processing of cycling related information concerning New England (e.g., results, rankings, informational listings, etc.).

Discussion then turned to the 2003 road racing season. Adam Myerson, Diane Fortini and Mike Norton noted that virtually all race promoters have and are now using electronic timing and results services. It was agreed by all Directors that NEBRA should not undertake providing these services as other District Associations have done (Texas for example), as New England has a number of for-profit private businesses offering these services and it is likely best for New England cycling that these businesses succeed and so long as there is competition amongst them in the marketplace, NEBRA should stay out of this line of endeavor. Further, it was agreed by all Directors that NEBRA should seek other uses for the approximate sum of $2,000 that NEBRA had previously projected to rebate pro rata to promoters using timing services and complying with certain other requirements, as such rebates would be so small as to be almost meaningless — Mike Norton being tasked to come up with ideas (as part of the outline he will be producing) for the productive expenditure of these funds to generally enhance the presentation of races in New England.

Discussion then turned to results and the failure of many promoters to forward their results to USAC, thereby resulting in New England riders not being ranked as they should be in the USAC National Rankings. It was generally agreed that forwarding of results should be part of the service that promoters contract for with the private timing/results providers — i.e., the results would be formatted as required by USAC and emailed to USAC by the results/timing service handling the race in question. This was to be an additional item for the Mike Norton outline that will be fleshed out in the coming weeks leading up to a working session with promoters (see below for scheduling and general discussion).

Discussion turned to the NEBRA website and increasing traffic, awareness and utilization of the site. Bill Black noted that the site has been somewhat marginalized by and that NEBRA needs to have some information on its site not shown elsewhere and that will attract riders — suggesting a New England ranking of riders and an emergency announcement bulletin board. Kitty Farago was authorized to contact The Ride and about placing button ad/links on their sites for the NEBRA site and to determine what terms could be agreed to for such ads. Later in the meeting it was also agreed that an informational listing of New England coaches should be placed on the NEBRA site and such other informational listings as would be attractive and a resource to the New England cycling community.

Discussion then turned to the meetings that will be necessary prior to December 31, 2003, with these being the annual meeting of NEBRA Members (clubs and promoters — principally for the election of Directors) and the meeting of promoters for scheduling and general planning and discussion of race presentation for 2004. The quorum requirements for the annual meeting are 33.33% of those "entitled to vote" and strictly construed this could be limited to those having paid their membership fees, which would make for a very short voting list and it was agreed that we need to obtain the list of those not having paid and Bill Black and Kitty will take the ball from there — Diane is to assemble the list, notices of the meeting must be sent out 15 days prior to the meeting and these can be sent by email or regular post. Matters are decided at the annual meeting by majority vote of those attending (providing a quorum is established). It was the view of all Directors that the annual meeting and the promoters’ meeting should be held the same day and that this should be on a cycling event date — likely Cyclocross race [subsequently, November 23, 2003 having been established as the date for the annual meeting].

Mike Norton then initiated discussion of a number of matters that he would like for NEBRA to address. These were new officials in New England and their training; seminars/training for coaches in New England (Adam pointed out that USAC runs a series of seminars for coaches and is implementing a new system for awarding points and elite status); the need for mechanics and getting more of them trained and involved as a resource for New England races; doing something to help with the track being planned for western Massachusetts, with all Directors agreeing that there is currently nothing to be done by NEBRA, as the plans for the track are still being finalized by the group involved; getting motos involved and attempting to encourage more use of rolling enclosures — Mike noted the Blue Knights have helped out with moto support at races and were doing so as volunteers with reimbursement for expenses only, thereby avoiding the USAC insurance problems; bidding for national events to be presented here in New England. All Directors agreed that these were all worthy objectives and should be pursued as part of the action items for Mike’s outline, although recognizing that the National bid is a separate matter and one that NEBRA would not itself make.

The rolling enclosure discussion led to Diane noting that fields, especially in the cat. 4/5 races, have become very large and something must be done to address the safety and other aspects of this. She noted that many cat. 5 riders will be upgrading to cat. 4 for 2004 and that continuing to combine cat. 4 and cat. 5 riders in single race fields will be problematic. Mike noted that straight cat. 5 fields are limited to 50 riders and this presents a problem for promoters; discussion resulted about using age cuts for the 4/5 races and discussing this more fully with the promoters at the upcoming meeting.

Brief discussion occurred, initiated by Mike Norton suggesting that corporate sponsorship should be pursued by NEBRA and that large dollars would be available to NEBRA through this means. Bill Black observed that NEBRA is not sufficiently mature to handle this currently and that NEBRA would need one person working almost full-time exclusively on fundraising, fund utilization/planning, and sponsor relations in order to make this work and that is not currently possible given NEBRA’s current status. The matter was tabled with all recognizing that it will be dealt with again in the future.

Bill Black noted that Diane Fortini’s contract needs to be renewed for the 2004 season and all Directors agreed that Diane has done an excellent job and she being agreeable to have her contract renewed on the same terms as currently, it was unanimously agreed by the Directors to so renew the contract (Diane Fortini abstaining on the vote for such renewal).

Bill Black noted in closing the meeting that teleconference meetings seem a good solution for getting the Directors together and that he would pursue inquiry into the service suggested by Kitty Farago,, as it appears more economical than that offered by Verizon (which was used for this meeting). Kitty suggested that each participant would simply pay his/her own toll charges for calling in to future meetings, as it is expected that those charges will be modest and likely less than what it was costing folks to commute to meetings.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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