HTC Executive Board Meeting – 5 April 2004

Board Members Present: David Purinton (President), Ashley Cain (VP-Programs), Harold Tinsley (VP-Communications), Anne Park (Secretary), Kathy Youngren (Treasurer), Jim Oaks (Appointed Member—Cotton Row Director) Dick Franklin (VP-Races & Equipment) Malcolm Gillis (Appointed Member—Rocket City Marathon).  Also Present:  HTC member Joe Francica, representative from the Committee on Volunteerism. 


Board Members Absent: Craig Armstrong (Appointed Member)


David opened the meeting at 7:10 PM with the request that we send a donation to the Roads Scholar AARC/RRCA Fund.  Jim made a motion that we donate $500 to this fund, the motion was seconded by Harold, and the motion carried.


There was a brief discussion regarding past track club donations in memory of members whose service to the club was particularly commendable.  Jim moved and Harold seconded the motion that we give a donation in memory of Earl Jacoby’s wife in recognition of their having given so much of their time and assistance to the Huntsville Track Club over a period of many years.  The motion carried.


There were a few other brief orders of business:


·         Malcolm announced that he would be conducting his annual nature walk on Easter Sunday, April 11, at Banyon Bottom Wetland, and that all are welcome to come and enjoy this experience.

·         Jim announced receipt of the two new computers.   He will show them to the board at the next board meeting and explain how these machines will be used for HTC activities.


Since there was no further business the meeting was turned over to Joe Francica for the purpose of presenting ideas and suggestions from the Committee on Volunteerism.  This committee conducted a series of four meetings with the goal of generating a list of recommended actions which would improve the number and depth of experience of HTC volunteers.  Joe presented the committee’s recommendations for each week’s in-depth focus.


Week #1: Race volunteerism and support – It was recommended that we appoint a Committee on Volunteers, including a Committee Coordinator, which would have a direct voice on the HTC board and which would provide assistance to Race Directors as they secure volunteers for their race.  Race packets for every HTC race should include an information sheet requesting volunteer sign-up information from the runner to be placed in a Volunteer box provided at the race.  This volunteer form has been created and is being reviewed by the HTC Executive Board.


It was suggested that each HTC member be encouraged to volunteer for at least two events per year, and many suggestions were made involving rewarding and recognizing the valuable service that volunteers are providing.  Volunteers should also be informed of the specific procedure and time involvement of their job, and workers should be cross-trained for key jobs, improving our depth in “skilled” positions.  Joe presented many additional helpful suggestions which were analyzed and discussed.


Week #2:  Race Directorship and Successorship – In order to prevent the turnover of Race Directors, the committee assessed the duties of the Director and how we could assist them and provide incentives for them to continue their yearly endeavor.  One suggestion was that the club enlist a Sponsor Coordinator who would recruit and maintain sponsors for all races.  The Coordinator would assist the club/Race Directors in contacting businesses to present them with our event list and discuss their potential sponsorship.  Race Directors should, if possible, also appoint/enlist an Assistant Race Director.


It was suggested that we have an annual dinner for Race Directors, possibly including race volunteers.  Other expressions of Race Director appreciation were mentioned including Harold’s suggestion that we provide each Director with a quality shirt such as a golf shirt containing a small and attractive Race Director logo.  Additional helpful suggestions were brought forth and discussed.


Week #3:  Improving meeting attendance at all HTC functions – This discussion began by questioning why members would be interested in attending meetings; that is, are social and club information needs met in other ways so that members have no reason to attend functions other than races? 


There were many suggestions given involving changing meeting times, dates, locations, and meeting format to engender a larger turnout.  Harold gave the Board an overview of how club meetings were held in the 1980s when attendance was substantial, and how a slow change in all aspects of the meetings caused attendance to dwindle.  An attempt was made to understand our 2004 running culture and many helpful suggestions were given to increase HTC meeting turnout including finding event speakers with expertise in all areas of running and having shoe and garment clinics and/or other programs helpful to runners.


Week #4:  Marketing the HTC to the public – The main objective here was to understand how best to raise awareness of the HTC among the general Huntsville and Greater Northern Alabama population.  Discussion centered around providing membership information to non-members at HTC races and other races that we support, as well as gyms and fitness centers, coding forms to track source in order to quantify effectiveness of specific sources.


Other suggestions that Joe presented from the committee were that we enlist a HTC Marketing Coordinator with responsibility to provide information to radio, TV, newspapers and other media outlets, and add notices in the “Things to do” column in the Huntsville Times.  We could provide information to be announced in media sources for club meetings with notable speakers or topics of interest.  We could also set up a kiosk at races providing race flyers & membership/volunteer forms.


Having had much discussion on all these issues there was no further business, and the meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.