Potomac Chapter National Railway Historical Society, Inc.
February 18, 2019
Silver Spring B&O Station
Gordy Bjoraker, President
John Sery, Vice President
Bill Holdsworth, Secretary
Jay Creswell, Treasurer
Rick Davidson, National Representative
Carl Franz, Director at Large
Stephen Sery, Director at Large
Absent: Gordon Piscacek, Director at Large; Bob Dixon-Gumm, Director at Large
President Gordy Bjoraker called the meeting to order at 8:04 p.m.
Bill Holdsworth distributed minutes of the November meeting and subsequent activity.
Jay Creswell reviewed the treasurer’s report.
Directors agreed that the holiday social went well.
Membership renewals: Rick Davidson provided provided a status, as of February 12:
Members: 50 members (incl. 5 family members – 12 members have not renewed)
Chapter Only Members: 16 members (Only 3 have not renewed)
Associates: 10 Associates have renewed (4 have not renewed)
Jay has tracked down addresses for some of the notices that had come back as undeliverable. He will send new reminders.
Rick reported that Orange County, CA is the likely site for the 2020 NRHS convention. He will miss the upcoming directors conference in Birmingham, AL.
John Sery and Bill reported that the storage locker has been closed. John is the custodian of the Flack film collection Jay and John have some books that were deemed worthy of selling. Bill has the Flack slide collection, chapter historical records, and books that the chapter is retaining.
Directors approved a motion to adopt the process submitted by Carl Franz and Alex Mayes for selecting future banquet speakers. (See text below.)
Directors approved Carl's motion to put the board on record that it is willing to consider spending up to nominally $1,000.00 for speaker travel expenses when the quality of the proposed banquet program justifies such an expense.
Carl thought the motion would clarify the board's position. In the past, many quality banquet speakers were dropped from consideration because of a perceived limitation on allowable transportation expenses.
Directors agreed that the chapter should continue its joint picnic with the Baltimore Chapter. That participation shouldn't preclude the chapter holding a separate event.
The meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m. One westbound train passed during the meeting.
Approved Process For Selecting Future Banquet Speakers
To Provide High-Quality Speakers and Topics For Future Potomac Chapter Banquets.
Why The Need For A New Process:
The chapter’s past banquet-selection process has placed an undue burden on one person, our program chairman, to identify prospective topics and speakers and then implement that selection. The task has often been difficult because he has felt compelled to eliminate many fine speakers from consideration due to an implied restriction to keep speaker costs to a minimum.
Core Principles Of The New Process:
It is based on the board’s approved motion of May 8, 2018 that states that the board has the final responsibility to approve the speaker, the topic and the projected expenses.
In an effort to identify outstanding topics and speakers, the process will rely on the combined creative efforts of board members, chapter members and the chairman of the program committee.
The board will evaluate each speaker, topic and the associated travel costs on its own merits. If a speaker and topic is sufficiently noteworthy, the board can authorize a speaker that requires an expenditure that exceeds our normal allocations.
Details Of The Process:
An announcement shall be made in the July PRN (or sooner) requesting members to submit suggested banquet topics and/or banquet speakers to the chapter’s secretary via email.
Prior to the August board meeting (or sooner), as part of their leadership responsibilities, each board member and the program chairman would be expected to email the secretary a minimum of two suggested topics and/or speakers for the board's consideration. We need every board member to participate.
The proposed agenda for the August (or sooner) board meeting (distributed prior to the meeting) shall list the suggested speakers and topics so that board members can review the list prior to the board meeting.
The board will discuss the merits of the suggestions and the associated costs.
The board will then, rank the top five or six speakers/topics in order of their preference. If a topic is proposed without a suggested speaker, the final ranking may have to be delayed until the program chairman or others locate a speaker. If the anticipated costs of a speaker/topic can be reasonably estimated, the board has the option of pre-approving a speaker/topic. If the costs are unknown, final approval will occur after the program chairman reports his cost findings to the board.
The list shall be sent to the program chairman for his action. The chairman will extend the invitations in order of their rankings. If the first choice accepts, that will end the process. If not, the invitation will be extended to the next choice, and so on, until a speaker is found.
If there is a personal relationship between a proposed speaker and the person suggesting that speaker, the program chairman may choose to work with that person or to defer negotiations to that person.
The program chairman will extend a formal invitation to the speaker and work with the chapter’s treasurer and banquet chairman to complete the necessary arrangements.
If a topic/speaker is not pre-approved due to unknown costs:
Note: This situation can occur when a topic is suggested, but a suitable speaker has not been identified. As an example: We may want someone to speak on the Golden Spike Celebration and/or Union Pacific 4014. Possible speakers may include a chapter member, Jim Wrinn in Milwaukee or someone out West from the Union Pacific railroad. In such a case, the program chairman may decide to present several options to the board for consideration.
Discussions with the proposed speaker must convey the fact that we are pursuing various options and that there is no implied invitation at that time.
The program chairman will report his findings and recommendations, including the anticipated costs, to the board members by email.
The board will consider the recommendations and costs and grant, or reject, final approval. For expediency, this will likely be done via an email vote.