Neil Gilbert, President
Jan Harris, Treasurer
Kathryn Desiderio, Secretary
Sandy Ford, Vice President
Ted Janes, Vice President
Dwight Willis, Vice President
The meeting was called to order at 10:15 a.m.
ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES
Dwight Willis moved, and Jan Harris seconded acceptance of the minutes of July 5, 2017, as written.
VOTE: AYES ALL
Jan Harris reviewed an accounting the BEAT’s account at BB&T in Sunset Beach. As of June 27, 2017, there was a balance of $182 in the account. An additional donation of $60 brought the total to $292. Offsetting that cost was $33 for checks leaving a total balance of $259.00 in the account.
The Sonic Seas event raised $182.00. The July 17, 2017 event raised $97. BEAT Tee shirts added an additional $788.00 to the account. However, Jan has donated the cost of the shirts so there is no offsetting expense for this item. The total balance in the account as of this date is $1,083.06. An additional $20 has been given today as a donation, which upon deposit will bring the balance to $1,103.06.
Neil Gilbert noted that all three event have been financed through donations.
After further discussion, Kathy Desiderio moved, and Neil Gilbert seconded approval to have Jan Harris order additional BEAT tee shirts for a cost of approximately $400.00. The cost will be paid out of the BB&T account.
VOTE: AYES ALL
Dwight Willis moved, and Sandy Ford seconded approval of the Treasurer’s Report as presented.
VOTE: AYES ALL
REVIEW OF EVENTS
1) Sonic Seas in Bolivia
Jan Harris indicated that the viewing of Sonic Seas at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, NC went well. Jan Harris and Neil Gilbert further noted that BEAT anticipated having 100 people in attendance, however, expectations were exceeded as approximately 130 people came from around Brunswick County and Horry County. Neil Gilbert stated that BEAT received many positive comments about the presentation and the food. Furthermore, Brunswick Community College was a good site for the event. Despite the success there were some minor obstacles that proved to be learning opportunities. Randy Sturgill initially had problems with the sound system, but it got worked out. Fortunately, the staff at Brunswick Community College was very helpful. Also, more volunteers were needed to help with set-up and clean-up. Overall, this first BEAT event in a new facility was a success and exceeded expectations.
2) Sonic Seas viewing in Leland
Sandy Ford noted that the event, albeit in a smaller setting that did not afford the opportunity to provide food, was a success. About 30 people attended the event at the Leland Library. Sandy outlined some things we should consider for future events. The library wasn’t available until 9 a.m. for the 10 a.m. event. This made it difficult to set-up and test equipment. Consequently, there were some minor issues with the sound system which was rectified. Also, more time was needed to plan the event and more help was needed.
Sandy Ford also noted that she was able to borrow a copy of Something in the Water, narrated by Rosario Dawson. A discussion followed as to whether we want to have another public viewing event or show it at a General Membership Meeting. It was agreed that it would be worthwhile to have a future viewing for the general membership, but, not at the next meeting since we have a full agenda already.
3) BEAT Rally
The BEAT Rally was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance. Media coverage was excellent. WECT showed segments of the Rally at multiple times throughout the day. WWAY and the Beacon also provided terrific coverage. Neil Gilbert indicated that we may want to recruit Joanne Mathews of Sun News as a good contact for media events. Many volunteers were present to assist with a long list of duties required before, during, and after to ensure a smooth and seamless, successful rally. As a result, set-up went smoothly, as did the clean-up. The Board was disappointed that Mike Forte was unable to attend as he had a death in his family, but, at the behest of Mike Forte, Dwight Willis stepped in as Mike’s spokesman. The speakers were well received and kept to their allotted time and the weather held up. Moving forward, we need to establish committees to handle multiple aspects of event planning including someone assigned to work with the approving agency, a media liaison, a representative to follow-up with thank you notes, a site coordinator to manage a set-up and clean-up crew, as well as, coordinating volunteer job assignments and any to coordinate with any participating agencies.
Ted Janes emphasized that we should scope out what a committee does; provide helpful hints, etc. However, he noted that the Chair of the committee should come up with his or her own plan. Our role should be to guide and assist with some of our learning experiences to ensure successful events. Ted Janes also suggested that we should send thank you notes to the media. These notes would be in addition to the thank you notes that Neil Gilbert sent out following the rally.
501 (C) (3) STATUS
Kathy Desiderio drew attention to the importance of remaining non-partisan so as not to violate our 501 (C) (3) status. She noted that under the 501 (C) (3) IRS rules it states that in addition to the clause that an organization may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities; it also states that it cannot participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. She further queried the Board as to whether a 501 (C) (3) status would serve the organization best or if a different organization structure would meet the needs. A further discussion ensued with respect to other organizations that are structured as a club. The advantage of a 501 (C) (3) is that we can solicit donations and they are tax deductible. The non-profit status enables BEAT to obtain more funds to support the education and advocacy goals set forth in our mission. A club status would allow for endorsing candidates that are friendly to the environment, but it has limitations on funding which will directly impact its effectiveness. Following further discussion, it was agreed that a 501 (C) (3) status is more advantageous.
Before reviewing the proposed By-Laws, the Board discussed whether BEAT should be incorporated or become a limited liability corporation. The limited liability offers liability protection to all members. Jan indicated that her recollection was that LLC’s weren’t permissible with a 501 (C) (3) status. Following further discussion, it was agreed that Kathy Desiderio would compile a list of question to disseminate to the Board pertaining to the advantages and disadvantages of an LLC and if it’s permissible under a 501 (C) (3) status, whether an LLC or Incorporation would better meet BEAT’s needs, what liability board members have under the various types of entities, and what is involved in liability insurance if we hold an event. Board members would then seek free advice from attorneys they know. The Board then will cull the findings in order to reach a determination.
In addition, Kathy Desiderio pointed out that in researching by-laws it was strongly indicated that they include an article on (a) conflict of interest and policies and procedures; and (b) how grant monies will be distributed. Ted Janes asked that someone draft the proposed language. Kathy Desiderio agreed to research it further and draft language.
Some minor grammatical, typographical, and formatting changes were noted. Following a brief discussion, it was agreed to add to the corresponding secretary’s responsibilities communicating with the board by email when emergency situations arise. An emergency meeting would take place via email to enable a quick response to events. The minutes of the next board meeting would then revisit the actions and so append them to the minutes.
1) BEAT WEBSITE - Dr. Greg Weiss addressed the Board on the primary goals of a BEAT website and what content and format was desirous. The BEAT logo as printed on the tee shirts was suggested as the logo, along with the colors blue and green which are already part of that logo. The site will include the mission and vision statements, Board Officer’s and their contact information, membership information, meeting calendar, minutes of BEAT meetings. It was also agreed that a brief history of BEAT be incorporated into the site, as well as past and future events. As an education team, it was agreed to an environmental issues section along with links to sites that would be informative and further the educational purpose of the organization. Links to BEAT’s Facebook and possibly other social media sites would also be included as a part of the website.
Ted Janes moved, and Kathy Desiderio seconded approval for Dr. Greg Weiss to set up the website. The first year cost to manage the site will be borne by an anonymous donor. The motion was unanimously carried.
2) EVENT COMMITTEE - Following a brief discussion it was agreed that the board move forward with setting up an interim event committee. The committee will also serve as a template for designing committees. Neil Gilbert agreed to send out a blast requesting a volunteer to Chair an event committee as well as volunteers to be a part of the committee.
3) INVITES TO ATTEND ENVIRONMENTAL MEETINGS IN NEIGHBORING AREAS
(a) The Clean Cape Fear River Group has invited BEAT to participate in a roundtable event it is hosting on August 1, 2017 at 6 p.m. in Wilmington, NC. Dale Todd agreed to attend the event and Kathy Desiderio will confirm whether she can attend the event. Neil Gilbert will forward the information to Dale and Kathy.
(b) SODA is hosting an event in opposition to off-shore drilling on August 1 at 7 p.m. in Myrtle Beach. Neil Gilbert agreed to attend the event and Jan Harris will confirm whether she is able to attend the event.
(c ) Dwight Willis noted that the Democratic Party is having a family day ‘Blue Extravaganza’ on August 12, that includes vendors and exhibitors. He noted that OCEANA is attending and has offered to share a table with BEAT. It was further noted that if the Republican Party offered a table to vendors BEAT would also attend such an event, in keeping with its non-partisan status.
A discussion followed with respect to what BEAT would have to hand out to the public. It was agreed that Jan would send a picture of the logo and Kathy Desiderio will write up a brochure style information sheet containing the mission and vision statements and our core values. BEAT will also give out bottled water free of charge. Membership sign-up sheets will also be available, as well as order for tee shirts and the donation jar will be on the table.
NEXT MEETING OF THE BOARD
Dwight Willis moved and Sandy Ford seconded to hold the next Interim Board meeting on August 16, 2017 at Brunswick Electric Building at 10:00 a.m.
VOTE: AYES ALL
INTERIM BOARD VACANCY
Kathy Desiderio noted that the membership voted for eight people to be on the Interim Board. Since that time, two members have resigned. The By-Laws provide for the Board to appoint members to the unexpired vacancy, with the proviso that a vote be taken at the next general membership meeting. Following a review of the resumes offered for Board membership, Dwight Willis moved, and Sandy Ford seconded to appoint Dale Todd and Anne Neely to the Interim Board effective immediately. Dr. Greg Weiss was also invited to attend meetings as an ex-officio web master.
VOTE: AYES ALL
Neil Gilbert moved and Jan Harris seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion was unanimously carried. The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
BRUNSWICK ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION TEAM (BEAT)
MINUTES OF THE INTERIM BOARD WORKING SESSION
(Held at Brunswick Electric Corporation Building,
795 Ocean Highway West, Supply, NC)
July 26, 2017