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

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – November 2023

SMART Board of Directors Meeting – November 2023

Board of Directors Meeting
November 28, 2023
12pm – The Garage Steakhouse

Members Present:  Jodi Varner (President), Karol Zachmann (Treasurer, Kevin Dukart, Sharon Gookin, Deborah Walraven-Wenger, Alyson Lineback (via phone)

Members Absent:  Krista Nemitz (Vice President)

Public Present:  Baker Chamber of Commerce board members: Josie Madler, Dean Wang, Alissa Miller, Mariah Miller, Linda Howard, Tammy O’Donnell

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

Meeting called to order at 12:01pm by Vice President Krista Nemitz

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes:  Tabled

Financial Reports:  Tabled

Director’s Report: 

Old Business:
Baker Chamber of Commerce Possibly Moving Operations to Visitor Center):
Vaughn explained that previous discussions with the Chamber about moving into the Visitor Center had ended with a decision that the space would not be large enough for their employees. Since that time, the Chamber has seen a staff member leave and was again interested in the idea. Vaughn noted how the the Chamber moving in would affect the proposed layout and plans for the building and said there would be minimal impact to SMART’s plans for the building. 
Chamber President Alissa Miller addressed some Chamber Concerns, including the original plan that the Chamber would also act as staff for the Visitor Center, saying that would not be possible with their Director’s schedule. Vaughn said, with the new plan, SMART would also move their operations to the Visitor Center and handle all staffing. Alissa also addressed the question of rent and utilities. After discussion, it was agreed that SMART would pay all utilities, including internet, but the Chamber would pay for their own phone service. Kevin Dukart moved that SMART offer the Chamber an office in the Visitor Center for $400 per month rent, with all utilities paid except for phone service. The rental agreement will be re-evaluated after one year’s time. Deborah seconded. All present in favor, motion carried. At such time as the building is prepared for occupancy, the Chamber will be able to move into the available office space.  Dean Wang thanked the SMART board for the opportunity.

12:22pm:  Tammy O’Donnell, Linda Howard, and Mariah Miller left the meeting

Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes (off the table):  The SMART Board reviewed the minutes from the October 24th monthly meeting.  Deborah motioned to approve the minutes as written. Sharon seconded. All present in favor, motion carried. The October 24th meeting minutes approved.

Financial Report (off the table):  The board reviewed the financial report prepared by SMART Assistant Shannon Johnson. SMART currently has $362,402.87 in total assets (-9,891.13 from October), $99,752.57 in total bank accounts (-9,891.13), and $60,363.86 in the SMART general operating account (-9,909.59).  President Varner stated that she and Shannon are continuing to work with Rachel’s Accounting on cleaning up the SMART Quickbooks. No further discussion.

12:36pm:  Dean Wang left the meeting

Director’s Report (off the table):  Vaughn said that he had been very busy with events and assisting local organizations with grants over the last month. SMART assisted on five of the eight grant applications to the Montana Community Foundation for the latest round of Community Investment Program grants from Grid United.

Other Old Business:

Events Update:  Escape Room, Christmas in the Park and A Country Christmas:  Vaughn brought up that SMART had held multiple events since the last meeting in October. The Escape Room, despite weather and technical problems still made money, generating $2,600 in income ($700 after expenses). He noted that Cheyanne played a huge role in its success. All funds generated from the Escape Room will be directed to the Save the BSB Clock fund at Grasslands. SMART also held the 2nd Annual “A Country Christmas” on November 25th as a fundraiser for the Baker Arts & Culture Council. While donations to the silent auction were up this year, total funds raised were down. Just $822 were raised ($322 after expenses), and attendance at the event was low. Vaughn suggested that for next year, we’ll try extending the hours of the event from 7pm-10pm to 9pm-2am to hopefully generate better attendance and more silent auction bids. SMART also had a booth at the annual Christmas in the Park. Attendance was down, but SMART’s “Letters to Santa” feature was well received.
SMART is also about to launch their annual “Cards of Christmas Cheer” campaign, encouraging Baker residents to complete some cards on coloring pages that will then be delivered to residents of the Senior living facilities in Baker before Christmas.
There had been discussion about holding another Pizza, Puzzles and Pints event in December, but Vaughn stated that with people’s busy schedules, it would be best to push the next event into 2024. Board members who attended the first event reiterated that all of the puzzles should be the same for the next event.

New Business:

SMART By-Laws Amendment: Vaughn said that for a recent grant application, they requested information on SMART’s policies regarding conflict of interest, whistle blower, document retention, etc. Vaughn said that SMART currently has no policies in place regarding those and other issues. He suggested on the grant application that for all issues not addressed specifically in the by-laws, SMART defers to the policies and procedures of the Montana Nonprofit Association. Vaughn said, though, that that specific point should be noted in SMART’s by-laws. Deborah motioned that SMART’s by-laws be amended to include that in all instances not addressed specifically in the SMART by-laws that the organization will defer to the policies and procedures of the MNA. Sharon seconded. All present in favor, motion carried. SMART’s by-laws will be amended with the new note on policies and procedures.

Visitor Center Interior Planning:  Visitor Center Director Cheyanne Dame presented her plans for the Visitor Center to the board. She began with a logo design for the exterior signage. Baker Metal as agreed to create the exterior sign for $800. The board made several suggestions for the logo, including removing an oil derrick and water tower from the design and replacing those features with a windmill and actual pumping unit.

12:50pm:  Josie Madler left the meeting

12:51pm:  Kevin Dukart left the meeting

Visitor Center Interior Planning (continued):  Cheyanne brought up paying Kim Gookin to provide Western décor for the building while also selling her product. The board was against this, citing possible competition with Junction 39.

Cheyanne presented several flooring options for the building, of different shades and thickness, based on the options that Vice President Krista Nemitz had presented at the September meeting. Without taking official action, the board generally agreed that the heavier of the options would be better for the Visitor Center. Even though it is more expensive, it will be sturdier and hold up against the anticipated foot traffic.

1:03pm:  Alyson Lineback (via phone) left the meeting

Visitor Center Interior Planning (continued):  Cheyanne continued her presentation, presenting options for both a darker and lighter interior electric fire place. The remaining board generally preferred the darker option.

1:06pm:  Alissa Miller left the meeting

1:07pm:  Karol Zachmann left the meeting

Visitor Center Interior Planning (continued):  Cheyanne also had prepared several paint options for the walls. With time a consideration, it was agreed that Cheyanne would send the paint swatches to the board via email for review and vote.

Agenda items:  World’s Best Pocket Park Planning, AI Demographic Report, and SMART 2024 Project Update were all tabled by President Varner for a future meeting due to lack of quorum.

Other new business:  The December monthly meeting will also be the SMART Christmas Party. Board members remaining decided that Friday, December 22 would be the best option, considering everyone’s busy Holiday schedules. The meeting and Christmas Party will be held at the Plevna Bar at 6:30pm on Friday, December 22. It was decided no gift exchange would be necessary, though Vaughn will devise some entertainment for the meeting.

Having no other business to attend to at this time, Sharon motioned to adjourn.  Deborah seconded. All present in favor.  Meeting adjourned at 1:16pm.

The next scheduled monthly meeting is December 22, 2023 at the Plevna Bar.

Respectfully submitted:

______________________________                         _____________________________

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