OUSA Board Meeting
- Approved minutes from last meeting.
- Approved supporting membership application from Vindura LLC, a group that wants to hold Rogaines in Kentucky. It was made clear to Vindura that the benefits of insurance were only for Rogaines, not adventure races or trail races.
- OCIN bid for 2020 Flying Pig being the OUSA Nationals event was discussed. Originally, the vote to approve 2020 Nationals was postponed to the September meeting. My objection was that OCIN has hosted the 2018 Nationals and 2018 Masters held in April 2019. To award a third in three years gives one third of US championship events to a single club. That said, there were mitigating circumstances - OCIN held the 2018 Masters Nationals (retrospectively) as a favor to OUSA, and 2018 US champs was also one where OCIN agreed to hold it with no other bidding clubs. There was also a problem that Alex (VP Events) wasn't on the call and so couldn't confirm whether there was another event bid. Ultimately, we voted to approve with the qualification that Alex can veto the bid awarding if there is another club bidding for 2020 Nationals. The motion passed unanimously.
- Donna Fluegel is retiring from running ONA, which she has kindly done since the Bermans stepped down. We had a long discussion about the possibilities going forward. A few considerations: we need to provide services to the membership to make it worthwhile. ONA currently costs ~$19k/yr for five issues, which is in the neighborhood of $15/person. Many of the reasons or motivations for ONA from its inception (e.g. results, photos, maps) are satisfied by the internet. And finally, we need mechanisms to communicate with the membership.
In discussion with Boris and others, we've envisioned three layers of communication with OUSA members and clubs:
- Instantaneous - e-mail, twitter, instagram, facebook etc
- Regular (monthly) channel, like the newsletter - announcements and brief engagement material
- A more substantial periodical with feature articles, map exercises, and content that takes longer to consume.
These are complementary channels, but they are all important for engaging the membership. The Board wants to find a way to maintain the third channel with either an online periodical (e-zine or blog, say). We discussed the idea of having a paid part-time communications director to take over all three channels. While our communications volunteers are great - Janet Tryson, Boris and Alli, Kathleen Lennon, and others - if you want to engage all of OUSA's communications apparatus, you have to contact like 5 different people. A communications director could be one point of contact and offer marketing expertise. Maybe the director could even help graphic design for ads, social media engagement, and so on - so an event director could come with just the pertinent details about their event and some photos and end up with complete marketing materials. This OUSA communications apparatus could potentially be made available to help clubs market directly to their constituencies (e.g. local ads etc).
No votes were taken by the Board, but we discussed finding the right people, starting with the community, and putting together a job description. I envision a trial year for 2020, with a target salary in the $10-15k range. The goal would be to make an e-zine or similar digital replacement for ONA with a secondary goal of prototyping communications integration and materials. If this turned out to be a valuable service, we could expand it going forward. This would still be less than the previous annual budget for ONA.
It was also suggested that we make a physical OUSA calendar to mail as a perk for members with photos from OUSA events, dates of upcoming OUSA national events, and so on. An interesting idea, especially if we can do it inexpensively.