Minutes of the Board of Governors Meeting of 14 December 2017

Present: Mr. D. Benham, Jr., Mr. T. Berkel, Mr. J. Cleaveland, Mr. R. Congdon, Mr. M. Emprimo, Mr. R. Kelly, Mr. B. Hull, Mr. B. Leary, Ms. K. McCormick, Mr. B. Riva, Mrs. D. Whalen. Absent: Mrs. R. Dolber, Mr. D. Farrell, Mr. P. Fasano. In Attendance: Ms. J. VanDeusen, Ms. Liz Yeager, Mr. T. Sullivan.  The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM o’clock, President Dick Kelly presiding.

1.       Mr. Kelly requested and received approval from the Board of the Minutes of the Governor’s recorded on 26 October 2017 (there being no session in November).

2.       Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Treasurer Cleaveland presented the 2018 budget.

a.       Mr. Cleaveland reviewed 2017: (i) as a financially challenging year, (ii) with an unusual decline in membership, (iii) featuring increasingly complicated recruitment of new members than in the past when the Club basically presumed new recruited members would offset normal attrition, (iv) having a lack of ‘backfill’ membership revenue only partially offset by lower than budgeted expense, and (v) requiring expenses be balanced using “rainy day” funds from retained monies.

b.       Going forward managing the revenue side of the budget must take into account several factors, such as the aging of the Berkshire County (and by extension the Club’s) population, normal attrition from relocation, and other long standing (and desirable) internal policies such as freezing dues for qualified seniors (20 years member and age 70 or more). Wyantenuck now has 60 fully qualified senior memberships at varying dues rates. Putting all things together, new memberships are important for both the health of the Club’s financial matters and the number of members on our roster.

c.       Mr. Cleaveland noted that all 2018 budgets were accepted as submitted and he thanked the various department heads and committees for their disciplined budgeting.

d.       Expenses are expected to increase +4% inclusive of planned capital over last year’s actual figures. Capital expenditures will be prioritized and made based on revenues. The budget was developed recognizing normal operating expenses to maintain our conditions, which remain excellent and are the hallmark of Wyantenuck.   The 2018 budget income figures are +5% higher than last year’s actual figures.

e.       These two parts of our budget (expense & revenue) will be met by dues increases.

f.        There will be no assessment, and no change to the house minimums.

g.       Mr. Cleaveland answered a number of queries from the Board and explained the budgeting process and figures in detail. There was a constructive discussion about the budget and about the “way forward” toward a more extended strategic plan.

h.       Members are reminded that they are the best recruiters the Club has for finding members, and indeed, thus far all new 2018 members have been referrals.  The Board approved the 2018 Budget unanimously.

3.       Committee Reports

a.       House & Patio: Mr. Chairman B. Hull reported that the bar closed on 30 November. With the onset of chilly weather the upper and lower parts of the Clubhouse most vulnerable, have been drained and shut-down for the Winter. Mr. Hull reminded the Board that the 2018 event menu will be available for planning in March, and all Chairpersons and event leaders should establish early times to commence planning for the best results. Mr. Hull welcomed communication with all wishing to plan.

b.       Greens: Mr. Chairman Leary noted the work behind the putting surface on Hole #5, which eliminated the struggling arborvitae there, has been completed. Members who have not already seen it, will notice a collection and chipping area has replaced the conifer sentinels and a clever berm has been installed to protect players on the teeing ground of Hole #6. This project was lauded as both restorative to the course layout and an example of Mr. Bacon’s knack for thrift, as the Greens Chair and the Treasurer both expressed their pleasure. Mr. Leary also commented that an experimental teeing area forward of the current forward tee was piloted in the fall on Hole #8 and seems to be meeting with approval by players eligible or in need to use it. The Greens Committee will consider making it part of 2018 course revisions. Lastly Mr. Leary reminded the Board of his desire for a redesign of the lower entrance if time and financial resources would allow.

c.       Golf: In the absence of Mr. Chairman Belter, Mr. Congdon relayed the golf report. Mr. Congdon stated that the Golf Committee is committed to the application of smart technology where sensible when it might improve the fun of the golf experience. He reported some changes to the calendar for 2018: (i) Restored or added events will include Spring Open, President’s Cup, Greenkeeper’s Revenge, and Field Day (a restructuring of a season finale event for all golfers to include the paver dedication), (ii) With a design toward greater participation The Club Championship for Golf will be moved away from Labor Day to the weekend prior with all flights being accommodated on the weekend but with the Championship Flight (0-5 handicap) starting at noon of Friday for the first of their three rounds, and additionally the individual entry fee for all participants in this championship (and Tennis) has been eliminated. The Board thought the changes to be both bold and wise and applauded this new thinking.   d.  Pool:  None

e.      Membership: Ms. Co-Chair Yeager presented and the Board acted on several adjustments and new memberships for the 2018 season. First among them was the rejection of Mr. Teter Riva’s resignation do to age and reduced presence at the Club, and approval of an Honorary Membership to Mr. Riva reflecting his 40 year tenure as a loyal member. Other changes approved by the Board are as follows:                              RESIGNATIONS:                                                                                                                               NED & DEBORAH ODEGAARD       FAMILY GOLF & TENNIS                                                   BROOKE JANIS                               SINGLE TENNIS                                                                    LEAVE OF ABSENCE:                                                                                                                   PETER FASANO        SINGLE GOLF                                            ADJUSTMENTS:                                                                                                                                   DOT CONKLIN                         SENIOR SINGLE GOLF TO SOCIAL                                              LARRY FRANKEL                                 ADD SINGLE GOLF                                                             CHRISTOPHER & VIOLET EAGAN   DROP SINGLE GOLF & SINGLE TO FAMILY TENNIS                        ARNOLD KAPILOFF                            SINGLE GOLF TO NON-RESIDENT GOLF                             FRED WOLTERSDORF; RAY DECKER   SENIOR SINGLE GOLF(s)                                                   ELIHU & MARILYN KATZMAN             SENIOR SINGLE GOLF AND TENNIS                                    NEW MEMBERSHIPS:                                                                                                                            SAMUEL JOHNSON                            SINGLE GOLF                                                                 ROBERT RITTER & BARBARA OLINER   FAMILY GOLF                                                                  JAMES RUTLEDGE                              SINGLE GOLF        

f.        Tennis: Ms. Chairwoman Yeager stated a new contract is in place with our Tennis Professional and that the Committee will meet, as usual, during the Winter to review and identify Tennis priorities.

4.       Old Business: Mr. Kelly reminded the Board that he is formulating a charter and mission for a Task Force on broader strategic thinking and response to myriad changes WCC is managing now and will manage in the future.

5.       New Business:

a.       The Club received a number of gracious thank you notes for prior donations from:  Berkshire Humane Society; Literacy Network; St. Peter’s Church; Berkshire County Kid’s Place; The First Tee Massachusetts

b.       Gift certificates were approved for the following organizations for fund raising: 

        St. Peter’s Church; Rudolf Steiner School; New Marlborough School; Muddy Brook School

c.       The opportunity of WCC members to avail themselves of Winter dining at CC of Pittsfield (CCOP) has been formalized between the Clubs. WCC members need only call CCOP to introduce themselves and sign up with the one-time $10 fee for Winter Dining. Details can be learned by contacting CCOP.

d.       Mr. President Kelly announced the Committee Chairs for 2018:

                                            i.      Men’s Golf                           Steve Belter & Tom Barry

                                            ii.      Tennis                                 Liz Yeager

                                           iii.      Pool                                    Donna Benham

                                            iv.      Men’s 4-Ball                       Rich Congdon

                                             v.      Redfield Committee           Sharon Connelly

                                            vi.      Ladies Golf                        Marge Kinne

                                           vii.      Greens                               Bernie Leary

                                          viii.      House                                Bruce Hull

                                           ix.      Membership                       Tom Kinne & Liz Yeager

e.       The 2018 Calendar of Events and outing details were presented and following discussion resulting in minor adjustments, was approved by the Board.

f.        Mr. Kelly read a request from the Northeast NY PGA Section to play an event at WCC on Monday 7 May 2018. The Board approved the request and the event is expected to have minimal effect on play.

g.       Mr. Berkel asked that the appropriate committee to please review golf course marking. He noted the Club has had recent occasion to have the course in USGA compliance with how it is marked, but there seems to be a difference between that and our typical markings week in and week out. Mr. Congdon echoed the sentiment, suggesting a once and done approach makes sense, as referred to Green and Golf Committees.

6.       The next meeting of the Board of Governors will be Wednesday 17 January 2018 at 6:00 PM.

7.       There being no further business before the Board of Governors, the meeting adjourned: 8:02 PM o’clock.

 Respectfully submitted,

Thomas Berkel, Secretary