August 7, 2012

The August 2012 Board Meeting of the Northwest Choral Society was held at the home of Mary Jane Matecki, 311 N. Prospect Manor, Mount Prospect, IL.  The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by NWCS board president Penny Perles.  The following board members were present:

David Hitch            Candy Mealer   
Noreen LaValle            Penny Perles
David Martin            Diane Szuberla       
Mary Jane Matecki        Ruta Veitmanis   

Penny Perles announced that Donna Heinzl will not be returning next season, but Brand Gustus will return.

The meeting minutes of the July 16, 2012 board meeting were reviewed and no corrections were needed.  Mary Jane Matecki made a motion to accept the minutes as presented.  The motion was seconded by Noreen Lavalle.  The motion passed.

Noreen presented the treasurer’s report for July.  Cash disbursements totaled $1,468.80. Cash receipts totaled $1,276.00.   Our regular account balance was $10,996.65.  Including the J. Melcher Memorial Fund and petty cash, our final total was $14,088.65.  Candy Mealer made a motion to accept the treasurer’s report.  David Hitch seconded the motion.  The motion passed.
Noreen also presented the Profit & Loss Detail for July 2012.  Our net income for July was    -$69.00.

Candy is finishing up sending thank you letters associated with the June concerts.  She reminded members to send her names and addresses of new donors, season ticket buyers, etc.

Alan Wellman could not attend this evening due to illness.  Penny stated that Alan has locked in four soloists and the orchestra for the December concert at a cost of $1350.00 and $1700.00 respectively.  For the March concert he has arranged a soprano and bass for $750.00.  We still need a second pianist.

Diane Szuberla has received nine Early Bird Ticket requests (13 tickets) and $498.00 in new donations ($774.00 total donations).  We are extending our deadline for Early Bird Ticket requests.  Diane will email previous buyers who have not yet requested them this season.  We also need to advertise this extension on our website.  Penny will ask Geoff Green to give David Martin administrative access to our website.  Geoff’s artistic ability in designing our program books, posters, postcards, website, etc. is greatly appreciated.  David Martin offered to do the technical work necessary to enable the designated maintainers to edit the website when needed, to interface with the site hosting service, and answer questions and troubleshoot as needed, but he does not want to be responsible for keeping the content on the site up-to-date.  Geoff has already contacted Alan about the design for the December concert advertisements and program book.

Board members agreed that an increase in the price of advertisements in our program book is warranted.  The advertisements will appear in the program book for all three concerts so that Geoff does not need to redesign the book for each concert.  The new prices will be $150.00 for a full page, $75.00 for a half page and $50.00 for a business card size advertisement.

David Hitch prepared a preliminary sample packet that we might use when asking corporations for sponsorship of our organization.  The packet includes three sections:
A description of our organization and its future goals.
Monetary levels of sponsorship and what we will give the corporation in return.
Application form for the corporation.
The entire packet follows at the end of the minutes.
Board members had several suggestions:
We should list some specific uses and/or needs for their donations.
We should increase the monetary value of some of the sponsorship levels.  For example, the Platinum level should be increased to at least $2,500.00.
David will work with Alan Wellman on finalizing this packet.

David Martin has received emails from five sopranos/altos interested in attending our Meet & Greet.  David Hitch stated that a large group from his alumni choir may also attend.
We will prepare an information packet/folder to hand out to potential new members at the Meet & Greet.  The packet will include information about the things we have done and what we will be doing in the next season, Penny’s ‘Welcome back’ letter, one of the articles about our participation in World Choir Games and one of our logo buttons.  David Hitch will also prepare a PowerPoint presentation using members’ photographs from the WCGs.
David Martin will help coordinate possible auditions with Alan for Tuesday the 28th.

Penny has a key for St. Martin’s to give to John Schindler.  However, John was not present this evening.

Jonna Guendling has agreed to continue in this position.

Noreen presented the proposed budget for the 2012-2013 concert season as worked out at last month’s board meeting. Mary Jane Matecki made a motion to accept the budget as presented.  The motion was seconded by Noreen Lavalle.  The motion passed.
At our first rehearsal September 4th, Penny will give each chorus member a copy of the budget so that they may see the expenses involved in running our organization and our income.  She will also hand out a form requesting member donations, emphasizing that this one time donation will hopefully eliminate the need for future fundraisers. 
The board members decided not to raise ticket prices this season.  Prices had already been raised recently.
Candy is coordinating the food for the Meet & Greet and David Hitch will bring beer, wine and ice.  (David Martin will check with St. Martin’s about the beer and wine).  The door will be open at 6:00 for the set up.
The Des Plaines Arts Festival, sponsored by the Des Plaines Arts Council, will take place at the Des Plaines Public Library the weekend of October 21st.  WCG chorus will sing on Sunday at 3:00 PM.  Chris Stukel will prepare a brochure for the public telling about our organization.  We can use some of our songs from the WCGs.

The following revisions to our Handbook are needed:
◦  Page 3: A new ‘A Message from Our President’ letter.
◦  Page 4: Revise board members and committee members list.
◦  Page 7: Revise first sentence under the heading ‘Notebooks’ to read: “Each member is responsible for providing a black cover folder to hold music.”
◦  Page 9: Concert dress must be updated.
Mary Jane Matecki made a motion to accept these Handbook revisions.  The motion was seconded by David Hitch.  The motion passed.
Under the By-Laws, several more revisions are needed. 
◦  Section II must be updated with our new Vision Statement.
◦  Section III must be updated with our new Mission Statement.
      ◦  In Section IV the two reference to ‘Music Director’ must be replaced with ‘Artistic Director.’ 
◦  In Appendix C, under the Development / Long-Range Planning Committee – Fundraising, the entire line referring to ‘Shop and Share’ must be deleted.
All changes to the by-laws must be accepted by 2/3 of the membership and they must receive the changes in writing ten days before the voting.  Penny will hand out these changes to the membership on the evening of the first rehearsal and then voting will be on the third rehearsal evening.
While at the WCGs, David Martin and several other chorus members began a discussion about changing the name of our group.  In the Chicago area, the use of the word ‘northwest’ usually is associated with the northwest suburbs.  This puts a kind of geographic limitation on us, whereas Alan would like to expand our audience to a greater part of the Chicago area.  Then, when we introduced ourselves to people from other parts of the U.S., they usually thought that we were from the Pacific Northwest, not the Midwest.  Also, many years ago we had talked about a name change because the word ‘society’ sounded old fashioned.  The two possible new names now mentioned were the Chicago Choral Singers or the Chicago Choral Society.  Both use the initials CCS and we would ask Geoff to design a logo.  Discussions will continue at our next board meeting.
Penny has arranged with Staples and Office Max that we need only show proper identification and we can buy supplies tax-free.  Letters are available showing our tax exemption number.

Our next Board Meeting will be September 11, 2012, 6:30 PM, before rehearsal at St. Martin’s.
The Board Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 PM by a motion from Noreen and a second from David Hitch.  The motion passed.

Ruta Veitmanis
Recording Secretary
Northwest Choral Society