10 W Fallon Ave Baker, MT 59313
Fallon County of Montana

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – December 2023

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – December 2023

Board of Directors Meeting
December 22, 2023
6:30pm – Plevna Bar

Members Present:  Jodi Varner (President), Karol Zachmann (Treasurer), Sharon Gookin, , Alyson Lineback

Members Absent:  Krista Nemitz (Vice President), Kevin Dukart, Deborah Walraven-Wenger

Public Present:  Seven guests of the board were in attendance

Staff Present:  Vaughn Zenko (Executive Director), Shannon Johnson, Cheyanne Dame

Meeting called to order at 6:44pm by President Jodi Varner

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes:  The minutes from the November 28, 2023 were reviewed. It was noted that at that meeting, President Varner called the meeting to order, not Vice-President Nemitz. Sharon motioned to approve the minutes with the correction. Alyson seconded. All present in favor, minutes approved.

Financial Reports:  President Varner stated that she and Shannon Johnson were still working together to clean up the Quickbooks. Though they are still working on the line items, all of the balances presented are correct. 

SMART currently has $559,839.49 in total assets, $68,539.84 in total bank accounts (-32,323.73 from November), and $34,275.40 in the SMART general operating account (-$26,088.46).  These losses were due to payments made on the Visitor Center and Roof projects that could not be reimbursed through grant funds until the bills were paid. No further discussion.

Director’s Report: 
Vaughn stated that he has been approached about becoming a Regional Ambassador for the Montana Nonprofit Association. This would entail working with other non-profits in the area and would be within his scope of SMART work. Vaughn also noted that the MEDA Impact Award Plaque had been sent to EPEDC and would be presented to SMART at EPEDC’s Annual Meeting in January. He also brought up that the Community Theater Production of “A Christmas Carol” was a hit, selling out all three nights in Baker.

Old Business:
Visiting Center (Action Items):
Cheyanne Dame presented to the board options for flooring, paint, and trim. The board agreed that they liked the options that Cheyanne and Vice President Nemitz had chosen, and they should proceed. There was no official action taken.
During discussion, Vaughn also noted that he had agreed to an arrangement with the Moua Massage Institute to use the Visitor Center on Saturdays starting in January for the purpose of giving real-time experience to two local students, Michael Holliday and Amanda Rost. They will pay SMART $100 per week.

Finalize SMART By-Laws Amendment:  After revising the by-laws in the November meeting to account for policies and procedures, Vaughn apologized that he had not yet prepared a finalized version of the amendment for board approval due to a medical emergency. He will present the finalized amendment at the January meeting.

Other Old Business:  Vaughn informed the board that SMART had been approved for an operations grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation for $10,000. In addition, SMART has been awarded $12,950 for the Pocket Park from the Grid United Community Investment Program grant.

New Business:

SMART 2024 Marketing and Branding Strategy:  Shannon Johnson presented an idea to the board about clarifying SMART’s marketing and branding strategy. Currently, SMART has no established strategy, other than the logo and color scheme. Shannon suggested that, with the new website going online this year, now would be the time to do it. She stated that she and Vaughn had discussed ideas, including removing “Southeast Montana Area Revitalization Team” from marketing materials and replacing it with the phrase “Creative Solutions to Complicated Problems”.  She also suggested shorting SMART’s mission statement to create a secondary, more concise mission statement.  The board generally agreed that this was a good idea to explore. There was no further discussion.

Fallon County Community Theater Discussion:  The Community Theater generated more income than expected in its first year. The board had previously decided that all Community Theater proceeds go directly into the SMART general account and that future productions’ budgets could be decided as they came up. With the amount of money coming in, however, President Varner brought up the idea of creating a separate bank account for the Community Theater to make accounting simpler. The discussion was tabled for a future meeting.

Set Date for Preliminary FY2024 Budget Discussion:  The budget must be approved at the January 23, 2024 Annual Meeting. It was decided that, in the interest of time at that meeting, a preliminary budget discussion should occur. The board selected January 16th, 2024 at 6pm at the SMART Office for the preliminary budget meeting. Further discussion centered on what, besides the budget, must be addressed at the Annual Meeting. Vaughn said that three board positions expire and must be reelected. Those positions are Karol Zachmann, Alyson Lineback and Sharon Gookin.

Having no further business to attend to at this time, Karol motioned to adjourn.  Sharon seconded. All present in favor.  Meeting adjourned at 7:20pm. A merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

The scheduled preliminary budget meeting is January 16, 2024 at 6pm at the SMART Office.

The next scheduled monthly meeting is January 23, 2024 at noon Thee Garage Steakhouse.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________                         _____________________________

s\ Jodi L. Varner, President                                                  s\ Vaughn Zenko Jr, Executive Director