HTC Executive Board Meeting – 4 November 2004


Board Members Present:  David Purinton (President), Ashley Cain (VP-Programs), Harold Tinsley (VP-Communications), Dick Franklin (VP-Races & Equipment), Kathy Youngren (Treasurer), Anne Park (Secretary), Jim Oaks (Appointed Member—Cotton Row Director), Malcolm Gillis (Appointed Member—Rocket City Marathon Director), Craig Armstrong (Appointed Member—Past Officer).


Also present were HTC members Dink and Suzanne Taylor. 


The meeting was held in the conference room at Southwood Presbyterian Church, Huntsville, Alabama, and began at 6:35 p.m.


The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the upcoming 2004 Rocket City Marathon in view of the loss of major sponsorship, particularly in regard to whether to suspend the giving of prize money for the 2004 race.


To begin the meeting, a couple of brief items of business were discussed.  With Craig Armstrong stepping down as director of the 15K race, Dr. James Reid, Assistant Professor at Alabama A&M University has volunteered to assume this directorship.  He assisted Craig at the 2004 race and is an experienced race director and runner.  David made a motion that we accept James at the new 15K director, Craig seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


Since the AARC will dissolve at the end of 2004 and will fold back into the RRCA, our club received a vote ballot.  David moved and Jim seconded that we vote FOR the dissolution of the AARC and for the HTC to become a member once again of the RRCA in 2005.  Agreement was unanimous.


Malcolm then distributed to each member financial data regarding the Rocket City Marathon from 1996 forward to give a clear picture regarding how the race fares monetarily.  Dink and Suzanne Taylor were present, having expressed an interest in possibly taking over the race directorship beginning with the 2005 race.  Several options involving prize money were discussed:


Malcolm felt that since it's too late to get a major sponsor this year it would be worthwhile to try eliminating all prize money for the 2004 race and then assess the effects this action has on the overall race and participation.  Jim mentioned that our race can exist reasonably well without prize money for one year.  Suzanne briefly described how Houston handled not having prize money one year and they did quite well using the money for other "perks" that increased the quality and enjoyment of the race for all participants. 


Kathy suggested giving less money less deep this year and Harold felt this might be wise because not giving prize money might have a profound effect on the perception of the race, giving the impression that the marathon might be dwindling.  Craig also pointed out that such change in perception of the race might effect future sponsors.  David included the media in that possibility, and also projected this further to how the City might react if lack of prize money results in our numbers being down, since fewer out-of-state runners will result in less tax revenue.  Harold expressed concern that the $4000 Age Graded Grand Master's Prize Money given was probably not adding much if anything to the event.  It was thought the $4000 each year could be better spent for promotion and advertising of the event.


At this point in the discussion Harold suggested that perhaps we should hear from Dink and Suzanne regarding how our decisions this evening would effect their decision regarding taking over the race directorship in 2005, and how they feel our decision regarding prize money would impact the race next year.  Suzanne began by detailing her efforts thus far in obtaining sponsorship for next year but explained that she needed more information regarding how sponsorship categories are determined.  Harold briefly described the 1995 marathon sponsorship commitments and will provide detailed information regarding title and lesser sponsorships. 


David asked Dink and Suzanne to describe where they want the marathon to go from here, and Suzanne explained that prize money won't make or break the marathon. Rather, she envisions a well-run event where everything is well organized, and where both the runners and the town thoroughly enjoy the race.  A few ideas were discussed which could add interest to the event.  Dink and Suzanne then expressed their desire to become directors for next year.  As Malcolm Gillis had previously expressed his desire to step down as marathon director, David moved that we accept Dink and Suzanne as directors beginning with the 2005 race, Craig seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously carried.


Returning to the issue of prize money, a poll of the board members resulted in a majority wanting to continue giving prize money but with less money less deep.  The following prize structure finally prevailed:


First five open: $1,000, $750, $500, $250, $250 - Top three masters: $750, $500. $250


It was agreed that age graded prize money would be dispensed with.


David moved and Craig seconded this proposal and it was passed by the majority.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.


Addendum to minutes: Subsequent to this meeting Malcolm proposed reinstating grand masters age graded prize money for the top three places in the amounts of $500, $250, and $100.  The money would be donated by Malcolm to cover these prizes.  A discussion and vote was taken via email and the proposal was passed on 10 November 2004.