January 2018 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, January 11, 2018 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2018, in the Associated Bank (3002 Fish Hatchery Road) Conference room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Roy Carter, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Dick Pearson Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, James Tye, Rhonda Arries

Members and advisors not present: Stuart Allbaugh, Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Allan Levin, Jerry Rekowski, Parker Waller

11:38 a.m. Call to Order: President Elect Dan Schultz called the meeting to order at 11:38 a.m.

Dan Schultz announced the 2018 slate of YLA officers: Dan Schultz - President; Sal Troia -President Elect and Treasurer; Annette Hellmer – Secretary. Joe Tisserand made a motion to elect the announced slate of officers for 2018. Dick Adler seconded the motion. Motion approved. Dan Schultz reported the following board members were re-elected to serve another 3 year term from 2018-2020: Caroline Fribance, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz and Sal Troia. The board currently has 2 openings. On the December ballot, we received 2 write-in candidates: Jim Imhoff and Ed Young (both reside on Lake Monona). Dan Schultz will follow-up but also felt that Lake Monona is represented on the board and would like to find candidates living on either Lake Kegonsa or Lake Waubesa. Joe Tisserand will talk with Peter Foy (President of Friends of Lake Kegonsa) to see if there’s someone he knows on Lake Kegonsa who would like to serve on the YLA Board. Dan Schultz will follow-up with potential candidates and then will send an email to board members to vote on final candidates to serve on the board.

11:45 a.m. Sal Troia discussed the 2018 financial budget.

  • The budget includes attracting 365 Individual Members vs. 331 in 2017. Dan Schultz will discuss ideas on how to grow the membership base later in the meeting.

  • Contributions of $1,750 include $1,000 for YLA signage on weed harvesters or potentially sponsoring an LTE Intern. Mike Gerner commented that the weed harvesting and/or weed pick-up barge signage is a great way to promote and differentiate YLA from other lake organizations. Dan Schultz envisions having a conversation with John Reimer’s group to understand their needs and see how YLA can partner with them to reach their goals. The idea would be to send out communication to YLA members when weed pick-ups occur and to look for YLA signage. James Tye noted that weed spraying hasn’t been done in a long time but maybe YLA could sponsor something like that for riparians once again. He noted there’s a blue green algae vacuum that will be used experimentally this year so maybe YLA can be a partner there, too. Mike Gerner encourages the YLA organization to “deficit spend” on these high profile, differentiating and specifically focused riparian projects because he feels it will be money well spent and help get awareness and these types of project off the ground. James Tye noted that Lake Tomahawk (up north) has a very active lake homeowner program supporting weed harvesting and suggested a YLA board member find out more from them.

  • Continuing with other budget items, donations are forecast for $5,000 vs. $7,615 in 2017. After general discussion of the budget ended, Dick Adler made a motion to approve the 2018 budget. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. Motion passed.

12:05 p.m. Minutes: Sal Troia made a motion to accept the November 9, 2017 meeting minutes. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.

12:06 p.m.Dan Schultz discussed 2018 goals. Dan would like to focus efforts on individual membership growth which has generally been declining (although 2017 showed an increase – mainly from Roy Carter’s 2016 initiative to give 1 year free memberships to new lake property owners. The first year of converting the “freebies” to actual members added 32 new members in 2017). This program will continue. Dan would also like to work on retention and converting non-members who board members have personal relationships with.

Rhonda Arries has loaded membership data from 2015, 2016 and 2017 onto interactive maps that can be accessed from the Board Member Only webpage. Dan has asked that all board members review and make sure their “membership circle” of nearby neighbors and those they have personal relationship with are members and are retained.

Dan asked each board member to commit to ensuring their membership circle has joined as 2018 members. If all board members follow-up, the forecast of 365 individual members in 2018 should be achieved. Rhonda will continue to send invoices to all 2017 members for renewal. Jame Tye noted that CLA is changing the timing of their membership/donation drive. CLA used to run 12 months but in 2018 it will change to a 6 month cycle with a “push” to get the majority of funds by Father’s Day. The new schedule will help James understand his 2018 funding “gaps” earlier so he can close the gap in the remaining part of the year.

Dan Schultz presented his second goal for 2018 which is to better focus and communicate YLA’s value propositions to riparians. He noted that communications are key to members. Carol Gillen has been wonderful in coordinating communications but Dan feels all board members need to take an active role in this effort. Dan also noted that the Annual Dinner is a good way to attract more members and thanked Joe Tisserand and Dick Adler for the hard work they put into making this event so successful. Further 2018 ideas to engage members are: holding a Spring seminar (tentatively Tuesday, May 15 from 5-7 p.m. at American Family Insurance auditorium) on lake levels and weeds with John Reimer along with a Dane County sheriff to talk about safety; holding a summer meet & greet social at a lake restaurant (preferably a corporate sponsor) in late July or early August. Dan’s goal is to try and create multiple contact points with members. Carol Gillen noted that it should be marketed so members bring a friend (who’s not a member) so others can see and hear more about YLA.

To further the goal of communicating to members, Dan would like to feature newsletter articles in a better way so it’s useful and easy to access riparian reference articles. He’d like to create webpages organized by topic so the website becomes a go-to resource for lake owners. Some ideas include a webpage for: shoreline regulations, managing lake levels, controlling weeds in Yahara Lakes, zebra mussels, efforts to improve water quality, pier rules, seawall restoration, building a boathouse, building rain gardens, etc. If we don’t have an archived or recent article in these categories, it becomes a great idea for an upcoming newsletter. James Tye noted that YLA doesn’t need to write content for everything but rather we could crosslink to CLA information, such as, on phosphorous reductions and CLA could crosslink to YLA riparian information which makes the project a win-win for both organizations. Dan asked for volunteers to look through the online newsletters and pick out topical articles and also for a few people to look on CLA’s or other lake organizations websites for material to crosslink to.

Carol Gillen, Roy Carter and Mike Gerner volunteered to look into this and provide information to Rhonda Arries so she can compile and create the new webpages. Mike Gerner noted that YLA should build awareness and distinguish itself from other organizations and not use the “YLA” acronym. As an example, James Tye has asked all of his staff and volunteers to not refer to their organization as “CLA” but rather refer to it as “Clean Lakes” or “Clean Lakes Alliance” because he feels they’re getting lost in the alphabet soup of organizations. Many board members agreed but no future action or mandate was made.

12:50 p.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand

  • The 2018 Annual Dinner will be held on June 19, 2018 at Blackhawk Country Club.

  • Joe and Dick confirmed the date. Mike Gerner suggested giving businesses and YLA members some sort of discount or value proposition to help establish linkages. Dan Schultz volunteered to contact a few corporate members to inquire how this might work. In the meantime, Rhonda Arries will mail corporate members a standard renewal invoice for 2018.

  • Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November February newsletter: Carol Gillen reported that John Reimer will submit an article on the upcoming weed program; Dan Schultz requested an update article on zebra mussels – James Tye is meeting with a University researcher and will follow up with an article; Dan will submit his 2018 objectives and “State of the State”; Katie Nichols will report on the Citizen Monitor program in 2018; Annette Hellmer will submit Board meeting notes; Mike Jensen will provide a summary of the membership survey conducted in the Fall 2017; Rhonda Arries will include a 2018 Membership form; Carol will include an “Ask the Expert” article and a “Share Your Photos” request. Carol noted the deadline for submitting articles to her is January 25, 2018. James Tye noted Clean Lakes Alliance will be holding the Frozen Asset weekend events which drew 6,000 people last year. He hopes to see YLA Board members and their friends attend the events this year and make donations to help with phosphorous reduction to keep our lakes clean. 1:10 p.m.

  • Government Tracking – Chair: TBD Government Tracking Committee was Dan Schultz in 2017. Dan asked if anyone is interested in volunteering. Doug Bach was recommended as a good candidate so Dan will follow up. Riparian Committee – Chair: Sal Troia Riparian Committee was Annette Hellmer in 2017. Sal Troia volunteered to be chairperson. Carol Gillen, Roy Carter and Dan Schultz will be committee members.

  • Environmental Tracking – Chair: Allan Levin

    • Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner is a CLA Board of Director member.

    • Lakes & Watershed (L&W) – Allan Levin is new YLA appointee (succeeded Mike Gerner)

    • Watershed Network Group – Roy Carter and Allan Levin

    • Healthy Farms/Healthy Lakes – Allan Levin will be on this committee for Dane County

1:14 p.m. New Business

  • Dan Schultz and several other board members will not be able to attend the March 8 board meeting. Dan asked Rhonda to send an inquiry to board members for possible re-schedule dates in March. Rhonda will follow-up.

1:15 p.m. Dick Adler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Sal Troia seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is to be determined in March, 2018