Patrick here, Board Member, Treasurer, and yes, on the Elite Team. (Just in case anyone reading this is already cooking up conspiracy theories with that sentence, it may be worth mentioning that I was not involved in any voting regarding the creation of the Elite team and in the end the athletes were selected by USAT ranking, not relationships or voting. The same was true for a few other Board members.)
To the financial issue at hand: Thanks @hppeabody for the concern to not flood my inbox and the other thoughtful opinions shared here. I think it's worth conveying a few additional things:
1. The Board is happy to share financial information about the club. I've been the treasurer for half a year so far and this is the first request I've ever had for financial information. Lisa, others, feel free to contact me when you have specific questions.
2. I will find a way to make the budget more transparent to the whole club. At the first Board meeting this year, transparency of finances was one of the priorities established and it is something we have been discussing. Now that I have a good handle on our system and have made several upgrades (and see that there seems to be a sense of urgency for more info) I'll give some more direct attention to this. Be on the lookout (within the next month should be realistic).
3. @vatriathlete, you're right about gear costs, last year club members spent about $20,000 on gear.
4. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org (All emails for Board members are on the website for that matter. LEt us know your thoughts http://dctriclub.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Club.Board_of_Directors)
5. @doggybrown, good suggestion on the website. We're working through a punchlist of website improvements and I'll make sure that we look into adding that feature.
I hope you all find that I and the rest of Board are representing you well and helping the club to grow both with members and services. That's our goal! (Well, that and winning club champs this year--have you signed up for Myrtle Beach? We need you!)
I think everyone in the club appreciates and thanks you for your time and commitment. Anyone who has ever served as the treasurer for an organization knows the substantial time involved in what is largely a thankless job (this thread has been sort of a case in point…). Hopefully you don't feel that the comments were directed to you or other BOD members personally, that certainly was not my intention, and I think I can speak for the others as well.
I would have simply emailed to ask for a copy of the budget, but I wanted to see if the membership supported the formation of the Elite team, since I’ve heard some grumblings from members and am personally opposed to it. But, a good idea out of this thread and perhaps one thing to incorporate would be some financial info for the club available through a member sign in page thru the website.
I do feel the BOD does a great job, my question was more to the point of asking whether DC Tri's mission statement lends itself to the formation of an Elite team. And moreso, whether we as a club should be providing race entry fees/lodging expenses, etc to the members of that team. Again, nothing personal against any members of the team that was selected. My gf had applied and wasn’t selected, and I’ve been opposed to the idea all along. I have no problem with our money being spent to provide programs that are open to all members. Examples being the HIM, IM and NTP. However, I'm not of the opinion that member fees should be used to subsidize Elite team members, or that this program in any way encourages other people to join DC Tri.
I feel that if I saw someone on the podium with DC Tri gear it doesn’t make me want to join the club any more than I would if I hadn’t seen them on the podium. I'd be more likely to join based upon the fact that I see the tent out at races, members congregating, and DC Tri clothing n multiple racers and watching how they interact with each other before, during, and after the races. That’s why I joined a local bike team as well. Saw them down at Dean and DeLucas, said hey, they look cool and would be a fun group to ride with.
But, it appears that the overwhelming majority of the members support the idea, so I rest my case. I would just be curious to know how much we spend each year on this program, or how much is allotted, and then rely on the BOD to modify as necessary if there are no concrete results.
Thank you all for your comments! As a Board, we welcome your input, suggestions and feedback. We were elected to represent you, the club members, and serve the interests of the club so at any point you should feel free to ask for information, clarification or just voice your opinion. I invite you to reach out to me directly at President@DCTriClub.org or to any of the Board members with your questions or concerns; our e-mail addresses can be found on the website under the Contact tab.
Your requests for transparency have been heard and we are happy to provide more information to you so that you have a better understanding of our activities and process. To this end, we will publish the meeting minutes monthly, after each Board meeting and approval by those present. Additionally we will publish the financial information on a quarterly basis with the first installment being published within the next month. Questions about the budget can always be directed to our Treasurer at Treasurer@DCTriClub.org
With regard to the Elite Team, this is a program that has been discussed over the past several years. Four of the current Board members were elected on a platform that included the creation of a program to support elite athletes so this is an initiative that was driven by the membership of the club. Our goal as a club is to support members of all abilities, not excluding the fastest among us.
We have a structured governance process in place. Once the board of directors was elected, we had a facilitated session where we listed and voted on the efforts and programs for our club. This resulted in a prioritized list of activities and efforts for the board. The IM program and the Elite program were actions from this governance process. New actions are considered and voted for or against within
the context of this process.
We appreciate your comments, your enthusiasm and your commitment to the club. All of us on the Board are committed to providing our members with the best possible array of programs and services. I hope that you can support new initiatives as we strive to enhance our club offerings and ensure that DC Tri remains on top.