Minutes of Reston Runners Club Annual Meeting
February 21, 2021, 4:00 pm
Virtual Zoom Meeting due to COVID restrictions on public gatherings
A quorum of members was present, including all current and incoming members of the Board of Directors. Secretary Claire Tse established the presence of a quorum and laid out the agenda and procedures for the meeting.
Remembrance of Departed Members
The club remembered two members who passed away in 2020. Leslie Stanfield gave a remembrance of Pat Brown, and Jerry Bonnes gave a remembrance of Joe Stowers.
President Mike McCord gave a recap of major events and issues facing the club in 2020 and a look ahead to 2021. He noted that the COVID pandemic dominated the club’s year in 2020 as it did all other aspects of our lives. The board paid particular attention to understanding and following various federal, state, local and RRCA public health and safety guidance. To that end, in accordance with the Governor’s orders, the club suspended group activities in March 2020, resumed them in July, and was forced to suspend them again in mid-November 2020.
The President reported that the club had no known positive COVID cases, or cases of member to member transmission, in 2020, and that the club had received no complaints about our distancing or masking practices from our neighbors in the Reston community. He also noted that club members improvised a way to keep the spirit of community alive by instituting lawn- chair gatherings in parking lots after informal small-group weekend runs.
He reminded members that the Board also developed a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement which is a good first step, but that more needs to be done on being the diverse and welcoming club we want to be.
He also noted that the Board spent much of its time in 2020 on our financial situation in light of COVID, forced us to confront the need to square our dues with our fixed costs. He thanked all members who took the time to participate and vote in our special meeting to change our dues structure on that September 20, 2020.
Looking ahead to 2021, we expect to be back to normal by next year’s annual meeting and hopefully earlier than that. The board has new ideas in mind, such as doing runs from the library followed by a discussion on training or other topics of interest in one of their meeting rooms. But everything depends on us being able to get back to running and walking together.
Board member Jack Tozier presented statistics on club membership from 2017 through 2020, showing a trend of continuing decline in paid memberships. He highlighted the membership numbers before and after the members voted to eliminate family memberships in September
2020. In January 2020 there were 389 members including 70 family members. In January 2021 that decreased to 246 members including 42 “grandfathered” family members.
Club Treasurer Mary Shedlock summarized the club’s 2020 financial statements, which were posted on the Club’s website, and gave the club’s current financial status.
For calendar year and fiscal year 2020, the club’s net income was -$9,826.00, compared to net income of +$4,589.56 in 2019. This decrease was driven by the pandemic, which forced the club to cancel both of its races and most of its programs. Program income fell dramatically in 2020, and overall club income dropped from $120,576 in 2019 to just $40,359 in 2020.
Club President Mike McCord noted that excluding the funds in RMR account, the club lost as much money in 2020 as it has left in its main bank account to get through 2021, and that the club balance sheet is likely to worsen as RMR refunds go out. However, the board believes we have sufficient resources to make it through 2021, and we will continue to cut expenses where possible. He also noted that the club’s financial situation could have been far worse in 2020 had the RMR committee not had sufficient warning to avoid up to $30,000 in RMR race expenses for items such as facility rentals, police support, and food.
Reston Runners Community Fund (RRCF)
Reston Runners Community Fund Treasurer Mary Shedlock and Secretary Mike McCord provided a report on the finances and activities of the RRCF for 2020.
The RRCF’s core program and donations continued: 4 scholarships of $1,000 each to the most deserving South Lakes HS and Herndon HS male and female senior track/cross country athletes, as selected by the coaching staffs of those two high schools. In addition, in 2020, the RRCF provided $1,000 each in general support to the broader SLHS and HHS track and cross country teams for travel and other support costs. The RRCF had 2019 income of $4,250.29, expenses (all donations) of $6,000, and net income of -$1,749.71.
The pandemic disrupted the momentum the RRCF had built up in 2019 by working with Reston elementary schools, as schools were closed most of 2020. The fund hopes to resume those programs such as sponsoring fun runs.
Report on Runners Marathon of Reston (RMR) for 2021
RMR Race Director Anna Newcomb announced that RMR race committee decided this week that they would have to cancel the RMR scheduled for April 2021, making the second consecutive year the club’s main race will be canceled due to the pandemic. The committee had reached the point where it would have had to start committing funding to the race but it did not appear that the club and its race partner, Potomac River Running, would be able to secure the necessary permits for the race.
Anna went on to explain the committee’s proposed refund policy to offer full refunds of 2021 race entry fees, but not of 2020 entry fees. Registered participants will be offered a chance to run the 2022 event for $25.
Board of Directors Election Results
Club Secretary Claire Tse announced the results of the annual elections for the club’s Board of Directors. The following members were elected or re-elected:
Mike McCord, President
Catherine Nelson, Vice President
Mary Shedlock, Treasurer
Claire Tse, Secretary
Director of Walking Programs – vacant, no member agreed to be nominated Elsy “Roz” Cherry, Member-at-Large
Dan Grove, Member-at-Large
Jeannie Johns, Member-at-Large
Caitlin McBride, Under-40 Member-at-Large
The club recognized the service of the following departing board members: Director of Walking Programs Mary Goebel and Member-at-Large Jack Tozier.
Proposed Amendments to Club Constitution
The members voted on two amendments to the Club’s constitution proposed by the Board of Directors. These amendments were provided to members two weeks in advance, as required, via email, with links on the club’s website, Facebook page, and e-news. The text of the proposed amendments was also provided in the meeting invitation.
Amendments Package #1 would revise the constitution to conform to changes members adopted in our special meeting of September 20, 2020. It also corrects pre-existing errors or inconsistencies in our constitution. This amendment contained three parts:
PART 1-MEMBERSHIP: Reflects that membership is now on an individual basis only and runs one year from the date a member joins or renews, rather than a uniform calendar year basis. It also reflects the elimination of free family memberships for spouses or children of past Presidents.
PART 2- ELECTIONS: Corrects outdated language stating the board members were either officers or at-large members (the Director of Walking Programs is a third category of board member already recognized in our constitution) and clarifying that members vote for all board members (not just officers) and may from time to time vote on other matters beyond board elections.
PART 3-MEETING FORMATS: States that meetings may also be held in a virtual format, as is currently required by public health regulations.
Text of AMENDMENT #1
PART 1 - MEMBERSHIP
Current wording: “The only requirement for membership is the payment of dues for the membership year. Past presidents of Reston Runners are granted lifetime family memberships in recognition of their service.”
Proposed language: “Members of the club are required to pay annual dues. Past presidents of Reston Runners are granted lifetime memberships in recognition of their service.”
Current wording: “Annual membership begins on January 1 and lasts until 31
December. Individuals who are members for a calendar year are eligible to vote for officers in the election year of their membership and in the following year.”
Proposed language: “Annual membership shall run one year from the date on which a member initiates or renews their membership and pays the annual dues. Current members are eligible to vote in board elections or on any other matters that may be put to the membership for a vote.”
AMENDMENT PART 2: ELECTIONS
Current wording: D. Election of Officers
Proposed language: D. Election of Board of Directors
Current wording: 3. “Election Results. Officers will be elected by plurality vote, that is, candidates receiving the most votes are elected. The At Large positions will be awarded to the 4 individuals with the most votes.”
Proposed language: 3. “Election Results. Officers, and the Director of Walking Programs, will be elected by plurality vote, that is, candidates receiving the most votes are elected. The At Large positions will be awarded to the 4 individuals with the most votes”.
AMENDMENT PART 3: MEETING FORMATS
Current wording: F. Procedural Requirements for General Meetings
1. “Announcement of General Meetings. General meetings of the entire membership must be announced at least fourteen days in advance.”
Proposed language: F. Procedural Requirements for General Meetings
1. “Announcement of General Meetings. General meetings of the entire membership must be
announced at least fourteen days in advance. Meetings may be held in a virtual format.”
Amendment #1 was adopted by a vote of 93% of members present in favor, 5% opposed, and 2% abstaining.
The proposed amendment would grant the board of directors the authority to increase or decrease the dues within a limited range of up to 10% in any year. This would provide the club’s managers discretion similar to what a typical homeowner’s association board has. This change would become effective January 1, 2022.
Current Wording of section VI, FINANCES:
“A. Dues are determined by a majority of the members at a general meeting and will not be changed more than once per year.”
Proposed Amendment: Effective on January 1, 2022, revise subsection A to read as follows: Subsections B through E would be unchanged.
“A. Dues are determined by the board of directors. The board of directors may change the dues by no more than 10% percent of the current dues. If the proposed change will be greater than 10%, then a majority of the members at a general meeting will need to approve the new dues. Dues will not be changed more than once per year.”
Amendment #2 was adopted by a vote of 86% of members present voting in favor and 14% opposed.
Green Jacket Award
Club President Mike McCord presented the Club’s 18th annual Joe Fleig “Green Jacket” award for sustained service to the club to John and Joan Koss.
Thank you to volunteers
The board thanked all the volunteers who support our weekly runs and walks, training programs, and races, including the RMR race committee, the course committee, and those who provided water support. President Mike McCord thanked John Nusbaum for his years of providing water support for our Saturday runs, and noted other members who had done so.
In addition to agenda items proposed by the Board, several members asked the Board to consider preparing a policy for a future membership vote that would prohibit non-members from participating in our programs or social events if they don’t pay the dues, arguing that failing to do so causes both financial and equity issues. Other members expressed concerns that such a policy would be counter-productive to increasing our membership and to our brand as a welcoming club.