October 2017 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, October 12, 2017, in the Associated Bank (3002 Fish Hatchery Road) Conference room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Stuart Allbaugh, Roy Carter, Caroline Fribance, Annette Hellmer, Mike Jensen, Allan Levin, Dick Pearson, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, James Tye and Rhonda Arries

Members and advisors not present: Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Debbie Waite and Parker Waller

11:31 a.m. Call to Order: President Allan Levin called the meeting to order at 11:31 a.m.

11:32 a.m. Minutes: Joe Tisserand made a motion to accept the September 14, 2017 meeting minutes. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:33 a.m. Mike Jensen gave an update on the membership survey work he and the Membership Committee are working on. Mike and his team suggest doing an online survey to all members. Mike stated the average consumer research response rate is 10 - 20% but doesn’t know what to expect regarding YLA member responses. Survey Monkey, a free, online survey provide, will be used. The Membership Committee and Rhonda Arries will finalize the survey questions. The proposed timeframe is to send out at the end of October or beginning of November to avoid the holidays. James Tye, CLA Executive Director, reported on the CLA /YLA joint mailing. The join mailing began in 2012 and has provided new members and awareness for YLA. YLA is a sponsor for the CLA breakfast and then we do a joint mailing. James reported that CLA has approximately 1,000 members that will have contributed $215,000 this year to CLA. James reported on CLA’s plans for the future:

  • CLA would like to triple the size of the lake guide (about 25,000 were printed this year). The goal would be to go from 25 pages to 50 pages and from 25,000 copies to 75,000 copies. James noted that YLA might want to become a bigger presence in the lake guide. James suggested writing an article about YLA (i.e. history of the organization, it’s reason for being, etc.). Write up should be to James by the end of the year – a board member will need to volunteer to complete this task.

  • 2018 budget talks should be done so James and the 2018 YLA leadership know what the partnership will look like in the year ahead. CLA’s annual campaign goal is to raise $1M – thru event donations, personal donations and business donations. James would like to meet with YLA leadership in December and will reach out to Dan Schultz and Rhonda Arries to schedule a date.

  • James also discussed CLA’s organizational structure is changing to accommodate their growth. He will add staff to specifically manage their database and realign their existing staff to best service their members and donors. James noted that CLA’s administrative expenses are 14% of total revenues and is working hard to get to the “gold standard” of administrative expenses being 12% of total revenues. CLA noted that it is now one of the largest non-profits in Madison. Discussion then ensued about YLA’s data management. James Tye commented that YLA appears to be an advocacy organization that gathers members so in the event a riparian issue arises, the organization can “activate” its membership base to the given cause.

  • Rhonda concurred with James and further commented that member data exists at a fairly good breakdown. Rhonda noted that the Board of Directors needs to first identify what the short and long term goals are of the organization and then establish the data needs to accomplish the goal (i.e. the data may already exist but without a goal to report against the data has no meaning). Discussion continued and then tabled so the Membership Committee and Rhonda can have an separate discussion and provide suggestions at the next Board meeting.

  • Allan Levin suggested holding a Spring Symposium in 2018 and proposed the topic to be lake levels. Dan Schultz suggested holding the Symposium on a Saturday a.m. James Tye said CLA is planning to hold a partnership class at UW on Saturday a.m. with parents and kids. He is also considering having a Tuesday evening class. James noted that more people are interested in the lakes and want information. James said holding it at the UW campus promotes the lake and links the meeting place with the topics of lakes. James is on the UW Board and is happy to help YLA schedule and event at the Memorial Union on the lake. Dan Schultz and Allan Levin will work with James on the scheduling date – either a weeknight (early in the week) or Saturday a.m.

12:35 p.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer

  • Sal Troia deferred the financial report to Rhonda Arries. Rhonda reported membership income to-date is $17,095 vs last year annually of $15,805. Also, donations to-date are $7,615 vs. $6,745. Therefore, with the increase in membership income and donations, the overall net income for the year will be favorable vs. last year. Overall, expenses are in line with budget and on trend with previous years.

  • Dick Adler made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Caroline Fribance seconded the motion. Motion passed.

12:40 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. 12:45 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Mike Jensen

  • Rhonda Arries reported 360 total members to-date in 2017 (29 corporate and 331 individual members) vs. 336 total members in 2016. 64 new members were added this year – 6 new corporate members, 26 new members from the CLA joint mailing and 32 new members (mainly from retaining those that were given free memberships in 2016 who then became paying members in 2017). A full breakdown of membership is on http://yaharalakes.org/board-members-only/

  • Allan Levin went to a Green Lake meeting which has approximately 2000 riparians. Their lake organization has 3 full time paid staff and has a membership of approximately 600. The membership fees are tiered with $80 being the lowest entry fee to become a member. Allan noted that if there are approximately 2,000 riparians in the Yahara lakes and current membership is 360 with 1 contracted administrator, YLA is probably on track with its membership. Rhonda noted that the board needs to identify what is the “right” number for membership based on the short and long term goals of the organization. She noted that identifying the goals and the “right” membership target will help advance discussions towards achieving goals vs. sliding back to looping discussions on membership numbers.

  • Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November Carol Gillen reported that all November newsletter articles are due to her by the end of October. Jerry Rekowski commented that the sharing of newsletters and information across organizations such as FOLKS (Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society) is good to build awareness of both organizations.

12:50 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: TBD  Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner is a CLA Board of Director member.

  • Lakes & Watershed (L&W) – Allan Levin new 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.

12:55 p.m. Government Tracking:

  • Dan Schultz noted that high capacity wells will continue to be in the news.

  • Dan also noted the lake level management continues to be an issue for riparians.

  • James Tye stated adaptive management continues with its goal to clean water and our lakes at the source – i.e. at the municipal and individual level in order to stave off the building of a new $175MM water sewage treatment. Progress continues but vigilance is needed.

1:00 p.m. Dick Adler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is November 9, 2017