Meeting of December 1, 2007
The final quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors was held on Dec. 1, 2007, at the Lake George headquarters building. Since it's quite impossible to summarize all that was said in a five-hour meeting, and much is readily available at the ADK web site (especially regarding conservation, education, and recreation), my focus here is on issues about ADK as an organization. The main item on the agenda was the budget - and what was presented was a three-year budget, although it will be reviewed at the end of each year and subject to re-approval.
The board approved a budget that plans for deficits over the next two years, as the club invests in staffing and membership growth activities that are expected to bring us to a stronger position by the third year. A communication director and a development associate have recently been hired. We should be seeing ADK in the news more often. Direct mail is being used to expand membership, and the latest round was quite successful. Most new members are coming in through the website, which points out how critical the new communication media have become. Another of the new initiatives will be to make the ADK website more interactive.
The management team has identified ways in which the club must change or be forced to begin abandoning some of its plans. For the past four years we have run balanced budgets, but that has been done by cutting costs and keeping positions unfilled - "a short-term fix for a long-term problem." The main sources of funding for the new plans are these: new member revenue from successful membership efforts, sale of land near the Lake George property, and member notes or bank funding during the second and third years, if needed.
A few resolutions we passed:
- to encourage members and chapters to avoid hikes in high peak areas during "mud season"
- to not sponsor any chapter trips or outings which involve rock or ice climbing, or white water trips on class IV or higher waters
- to establish the Jane C. Neale memorial scholarship for a high school volunteer trail crew position.
A lot of work has been done recently on both JBL and the Heart Lake properties. Also, the men's room at the Loj will be renovated next week. Items of immediate interest include
- public comments on the proposed North Country Trail are due by Jan. 4 (see the ADK web site for details);
- with the new membership initiatives underway, chapters are encouraged to welcome new members in their area so that they are retained in the club;
- a new edition of the Northville-Lake Placid Trail Guide has come out.