OH Steering Committee Meeting,
July 6, 2020, via Zoom
Present: Moose Meserve, Alex Ziko, Mike Waddell, Tom Kelleher, Stroker Rogovin, Peter Benson, Josh Alper, Elizabeth Seabury, Jeff Colt, Emily Griffin, Brian Post, Tom Deans, and Ken Olson.
1) Treasurer’s Report (Alex Ziko)
Alex reported the state of the treasury is good. We are receiving more dues via Pay Pal vs. Check and other payment methods. June tax payment was just paid and another one will come in December.
Josh Alper has filed the 501(c)3 fee. CD is down as no new CDs are being taken out. There are unknown costs for the Gervais land. Most of the donors have donated their year long pass to the club.
2) Cabin (Carter Bascom, Stroker, Emily Griffin. Emily Benson)
Acquiring abutting property
cabin status: AMC Research for June, otherwise closed
report: spring cleaning
Emily provided an update on the AMC researchers. Two researchers were at the cabin for two weeks and had a limited exclusive stay at the cabin. The opening of the cabin went well. Emily Benson helped open the cabin with some YOH who live nearby in Jackson. Both Emily Benson and Emily Griffin plan to get back up to check on the cabin. Stroker reaffirmed that the cabin was cleaned by the researchers. Mike Waddell was there a week ago, and someone consolidated the cabin mattresses and left it in really good shape. Emily Benson mentioned that there are some current caretakers who are questioning what options are available for the OH Cabin for caretakers. Emily Griffin checked in with Whitney and made it clear that caretakers should not be using the OH Cabin and if the caretakers need housing, that they should reach out to Emily and Whitney. Stroker made it clear that if there is an emergency, please reach out to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee had a conversation about the status of the OH Cabin. The Steering Committee decided to wait another two months to discuss.
The appraiser will be getting the report to us by Friday, July 10th, 2020.
Ken made suggestions on ideas on how best to purchase the Gervais property. Perhaps there should be a conversation with the Jackson Trust on their interest in the property. Another option may be a right of first refusal for an option to purchase. If someone else wants to run with this purchase, then that entity should certainly step up.
Josh Alper has filed with the State of NH and it will take some time to finalize the application process.
The application was filed in the last 60 days. It typically takes 5-6 months for a response.
Ken Olson mentioned that we should be open to a conservation buyer, who does not go into contract, but would be a benign owner. The Forest Service is not interested. The Town of Jackson is not interested.
There was some discussion on creating a sub-committee for the Gervais acquisition. Some of the members that might be of interest include but are not limited to: Pete Benson, Moose Meserve, Ken Olson, Mike Waddell, Stroker Rogovin, Phoebe, Alex, Ken Olson, Alex Ziko, and Carter Bascom.
3) Fallfest Reunion, Oct. 31 (Phoebe Howe, Stroker)
Special Members: Guy & Laura Waterman (Doug Teschner)
Honorary Member: John Nutter (Ken Olson)
We are currently in a holding pattern for Fall Fest. We may not have the event, but right now, things are in place in case it is a go. Laura Waterman can make it this year. Bill Barrett has given the OK to get Laura a stay and meal.
4) OHA Huts Scholarship (Ken Olson, Tom Deans)
Ken Olson is interested in starting a scholarship fund of $25,000 to match a fund for Hut Croo. Stroker’s concern is who will manage the scholarship. Emily Griffin felt that more discussion would need to be had on the topic. There was a discussion on how the scholarship would be distributed and what that process would look like.
The 501(c)3 status provides a vehicle for us to take on further monies to be placed into a further endowment. Emily Benson would step up to help with any scholarship process on the committee’s behalf.
Ken introduced the topic of the Huts Scholarship for OHA who are active through the huts and would prefer to set up an avenue through the OHA. Ken wants to help set up the OHA as a giving depository and have a serious investment plan for other members. This would not preclude the organization to do annual capital campaigns. Ken provided some background information on The NH Charitable Foundation. Tom Deans presented his interest in giving to the OHA, a general overview of his role and how the NH Charitable Foundation operates, and suggested a plan for setting up a fund specific to the OHA.
The NH Charitable Foundation was founded in 1962 and consists of one of 400 or more community foundations funded all over the country. Today, the Foundation has over 2,000 funds. Most initial investments and funds require a minimum of $10,000 – $25,000. Anyone can set up a fund for a specific organization or cause.
Right now, the foundation has over $800,000,000 assets, and is the largest source of scholarship aid in the State of NH. The investments are pooled.
Tom mentioned that Linda Gray can go over the specifics on how the fund will work and may be willing to help write a proposal on how this fund would operate. Ken explained that there are two funds that the OHA may be interested in; the designated fund or an agency fund.
Tom also informed the Steering Committee that one of the oldest living OHA is Hank Parker and his wife Polly who have an account with the charitable foundation.
Some discussion and questions were asked.
Who is responsible for maintaining the scholarship fund? And where is this money coming from?
One concern is the need to space out the two fundraising efforts with enough time in between so the OHA is not asking membership twice; one for scholarship and one for the Gervais Land.
There was discussion on funds and how to best use them for each fundraising effort.
Ken would like to place a condition that there is an investment plan in place for anyone that plans to make a gift. Ken wants this scholarship in place to help recognize the organization as a philanthropic organization and to encourage other OH give in their lifetime. Setting up this avenue will hopefully attract big donors to give to the OHA and benefit the organization with an endowment in the long run.
5) 2020 Joe Dodge Award Committee (Emily Griffin, Stroker)
Replacement needed for John Thompson
Emily: volunteer representatives on Committee?
Emily has not had opportunity yet to reach out to Kyra. JT has vacated his seat, and there are two others, including Elizabeth Seabury, Bill Barrett and Dominic Dodge on the committee.
6) Membership Outreach (Stroker)
Extending membership to Maine Woods and Camps
Offer life memberships? $625? ($25 x 25 years)
At the last meeting, there was a discussion on allowing other AMC affiliates and camps to be part of the OHA. Stroker does not think that there will be a huge influx of people who would want to join. There was a discussion from Steering Committee on membership status. All members were open to the idea of allowing others to join and become members. Elizabeth asked if Joy Street/City Square would be able to join? Stroker said that no, headquarters would not be included.
What would the Steering Committee be calling this group of people who would want to join?
The focus of the OHA is always going to be the huts, and if others want to join, they are welcome to do so.
One idea of designating other members would be to use the existing verbiage in the by-laws and mention camps by name. Josh mentioned that this decision would have to be ratified by the membership.
When Fall Fest comes around, there will be an email that circulates so they are educated no the topic.
Stroker mentioned an idea for a life membership. The annual membership is $25.00, multiplied by 25 years. Financially, cash now is better than cash in the future as it can be invested now. Moose mentioned that $25.00 on the front would be great, but we might miss the opportunity to get future donations. Alex mentioned that if we scale up marketing with email blasts and messages in front of people, through email and snail mail, we can still try to get those donations each membership cycle/year. There was discussion on ideas for membership outreach.
Lifetime membership is not necessarily going to impact those who want to donate, since they still have opportunity to do so each year, either annually or biennially.
Stroker asked if there is a way to separate people who have paid the lifetime membership and change the mailing for those participants. Alex mentioned that the database is changing, so there would be a new system that would easily delineate how to communicate with each member throughout the year. One new option is an automatic charge each year for an annual due. The lifetime membership was voted in as a new membership for $600.00.
7) Website (Schroeder, Carter)
Improvements proposed by Brian Post
Status of OHA FB page, privacy guidelines for OHA social media
Brian Post has joined the meeting to answer any questions on the membership and back end of the website.
Brian is working with Alex, Schroeder, and Stroker. He invites anyone to reach out if there are any questions or concerns with the website.
8) Hut System Report (Emily Griffin)
The huts are not open, but they are currently being used a public resource for day traffic. There are a lot of people being very respectful of the current situation. People visiting are required to wear face coverings. Caretakers are selling burritos and quesadillas for guests. There was a small trial run and most people had positive feedback. No one will be staying over this year. There are spigots outside for people to fill up water. The caretakers will be following this model through the fall. Emily mentioned that a new development includes volunteers who will be available on the weekends to help answer questions. Having three people at the hut during weekends will be very helpful. Overall, things are moving in a positive direction. Emily also explained that larger projects are on hold, but deep cleaning is actively going on. John Judge announced that 12 positions are being terminated. The Huts were not impacted by the termination announcement. Thru hikers are not allowed to do work for stay and the ATC closed the trail, so it appears the hiking traffic is slower this year.
9) Trails Report (Bill Barrett)
No update on the Resuscitator.
10) Resuscitator (Miles Howard & Emma Brandt)
Miles Howard who is professional freelance writer and Emma are stepping up to take on the editing.
11) New & Other Bidness
PNC 100th in October
Tom Deans is on the planning committee and is unsure how the committee plans to move forward.
12) Next Steering Committee Meeting: August 4, 6:30 PM, Zoom