NCR Board Meeting

Meeting Date
David McMullian, President
Scott Kremer, Vice President
Marty LaForte*, Secretary
Larry Wolohan, MMR, Treasurer
Jack Watson, Director
Glenn Joppich, Director
Skip Luyk, Director
Chuck White, Div. 3 Superintendent
Mark Baldwin, Div. 4 Superintendent
John Hartmann, Div. 5 Superintendent
Howard Andrews, Div. 6 Superintendent
Don Westcott, Div.10 Superintendent
Uwe Thormaehen**, Resident Agent (non-board member)
David Simmons, Registrar (non-board member)
Barry Hensel, HotBox Editor (non-board member)
Dean Pyers, Past Treasurer (non-board member)
Andrew Keeney, Div. 5 Asst. Supt. (non-board member)
William Gawthrop, Div. 8 Convention (non-board member)
Bill Neale, MMR, Guest
Michael Shirey, Guest
Marv Linke, Guest
Pete Magoun, MMR, NMRA Director (non-board member)

* Arrived at 6:15
** Arrived at 6:30

The Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, BOD, held at the Hampton Inn, Mt. Clemens Michigan, was called to order by President Dave McMullian at 6:00 pm, November 3, 2012.



David Simmons reported that regional membership as of 10/31/12 is up 19% to 966 members. Paid subscriptions to the HotBox have declined almost 3% to 348 subscriptions, of which 44 to 48 are lifetime regional members who have lifetime subscriptions.

Visitors to the Web site are about equally divided between reading the HotBox, looking at events or searching for information on the various Divisions.

In additional to the Web site, David also maintains a facebook page and a twitter feed. NCR Website also host websites for Divisions 3, 5, 8 and 9. There is additional room to host additional divisions. David is also available to help in setting up a web page.


Uwe Thormaehlen reported that the By Laws dated 10/02/10 are current. The last third of the Rules of Operations still need to be revised which he hopes to finish by the end of the year.

The section regarding the election of the BOD officers also needs to be revised to reflect the changes made at the last BOD meeting. Other items mention by Uwe included the fact that per the state requirements, votes via email cannot be used for revisions of certain parts of the By Laws; per an attorney he talked to, the term limited officers are only the four BOD officers and the Directors, the Divisions Superintendents are not included in the term limits requirements; several Divisions are missing information in their By Laws; per the Rules of Operations, the four officers elections are to be held on alternating years from the Directors’ election. Recently we have been electing both during at the same time.

The Regions By Laws, Rules of Operations, minutes of the previously BOD meetings, motions adopted, job descriptions for the BOD officers, Divisions By Laws should be complied and held by the BOD officers.

Motion by Don Westcott, seconded by John Hartmann: The Resident Agent shall compile the following information:
  • Regional By Laws
  • Regional Rules of Operations
  • Adopted motions
  • BOD meeting minutes
  • Required annual report to Federal Authorities
  • Required annual report to State Authorities
  • Job Descriptions of the Regional Officers
  • By Laws of the Regional Divisions
The Resident Agent shall, once a year, around the 1st of October, publish the gathered information on a CD, which will be distributed to the Region's President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.

There was discussion regarding time of elections and the date that the new terms should start. It was suggested that the elections be moved to be held in the fall with the new officers taking office at the first of the year. The By Law committee of Uwe Thormaehlen, Fred Lux and Skip Luyk will study the question and report back to the BOD. Dave McMullian will join the committee and efforts will be made to have the revised rules of operation ready for review and action at the Spring board meeting.


Martin LaForte presented the minutes from the last BOD meeting of 11,04/11, prepared by the former secretary Larry Wolohon. Discussion occurred regarding the minutes and how, where and when they should be submitted and approved.

Motion by Howard Andrews, seconded by Skip Luyk: The Secretary will send a draft of the Board of Directors meeting minutes to the President for review, corrections/omissions and/or comments. The revised minutes will then be forward via email to the Regional Officers, Directors and Division's Superintendents for review and comments. The revised minutes shall be accompanied by directions to “Reply to All” with any comments and if no comments are received from an individual within ten calendar days, it will be assumed that the individual has approved the minutes as submitted. The approved minutes will then be noted as such and be forwarded to all BOD members. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.


Howard Andrews showed samples of the proposed plaque for first place and two different certificates, one commercial produced and a second one produced via programs on the Internet. The Committee desires is to have a consistent level of awards at the various conventions.

Motion by John Hartmann, seconded by Howard Andrews: The certificates that the Convention Award committee shall use will be the commercially prepared style as sampled, with the budget for the plaques and certificates to be approximately $150.00. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.


Larry Wolohon reported that during the past year most of the AP's earned have been by the members of Divisions 6 and 8. The year before Division 5 had the most.

Larry is in the process of producing an overview of the Achievement Program for Division 6.


Barry Hensel reported that the printing cost for the September issue of HotBox was $902 for 432 copies, or $2.67 per copy. Barry pointed out that as the number of copies printed is reduced, the cost per issue will increase. We are currently approaching such a price point.

Barry was directed to research where the cost breaks versus number printed and inform the BOD.

Everyone agreed that Barry is doing a good job in gathering the information and printing the HotBox.


DIVISION ONE reports they are still having fun. They meet on the 3rd Friday of the month, September through May. Average 25-30 people with five new members at the last meeting. They recently bought a digital camera, projector, sound system, and overhead screen. During their show and tell they place the item being discussed on a carousal and project it on the screen. They also have short 2- minute mini clinics.

DIVISION THREE now meets semi-annually, though they have an operation session every month with 10 to 15 members attending.

They have been active in building 9” X 9”, “T-Track”, N scale modular units. Using snap track they can have the layout set up and running within 10-15 minutes. They set up at most train shows in their areas. They also give out old train magazines with their Division information and inexpensive train whistles at the train shows. They have lost their meeting place at the church.

DIVISION FOUR is in a rebirth mode since the National Convention this summer. The Division has all new officers and also does not have a regular meeting place.

Mark Baldwin has contacted every member via email asking what they desire. The response has been evenly split between operations and clinics. There are nine clubs in the area with several strongly anti-NMRA.

DIVISION FIVE meets the 2nd Saturday of the month, September through April. The last two years they have scheduled outdoor activities during the summer such as rail fanning, picnic etc. They have two different groups of 20 to 35 who attend their meetings, depending on the type of activity scheduled. There are only 5 to 7 members that overlap the two groups.

They have started a lending library consisting of donated DVD's and books.

DIVISION SIX meets on the third Friday of the month year round. Turnout averages around 50 members. Meetings consist of show and tell, a member who shows different tools and a second member who shows different ways to build loads, weather cars and building tips. They also have a history lesson and a clinic. During most months two members have their layouts open during a Sunday afternoon.

DIVISION EIGHT meets on the third Thursday of the month. They have around 80 active members with 40 to 60 members attending the meetings. They have a short business meeting and then show and tell. The items are on display on a table in the front of the room for all to see during the break. After the break they have a clinic.

DIVISION NINE voted to dissolve this fall. David Simmons sent an email to all, approximately 40, NMRA members who lived within the Division's boundary asking for their input on what they desire. Of the eleven responses received, one voted to disband, five to be connected to Division 5 and five to be connected to Division 6.

There are two active clubs within Washtenaw County, one pro NMRA and the other one is anti NMRA.

If ten percent (4 members} sign a petition to be reassigned to a different Division, the Regional President with assistance from the Secretary will contact each NMRA member within the Division to determine their desire. It should be stressed to the members that regardless of which Division they are in, they can attend any Division's meeting. However if they desire to hold a Division office they must live within that Division.

DIVISION TEN is also in a state of renewal. The number of active members dropped when the meeting place was moved into Flint. A small committee of five has started to rebuild the Division by holding a monthly meeting at a member’s house and arranging a discussion topic and monthly Saturday open houses.

There was a discussion regarding establishing a new Division consisting of the seven counties in southwest Michigan. The northern tier of three counties are located along I-94 with the remaining located along the state line. Four of the counties presently are assigned to Division 4 with the remaining assigned to Division 5. There are 50 NMRA member within the seven counties. Neither Mark Baldwin, Division 4 nor John Hartmann, Division 5 had any objections to the loss of these areas from their Divisions.

The Regional President with assistance from the Secretary will contact each NMRA member within the proposed Division to determine their interest. It needs to made clear that the members realize that regardless of which Division they are in, they can attend any Division's meeting. However if they desire to hold a Division office they must live within that Division.


2013 convention will be hosted by Division 8, November 1-3 2013 at the Troy Convention Center, Troy Michigan. There will not be a convention hotel. Plans are well under way with the budget almost set. The convention will have clinics by internationally known experts, Model & Photo Contests, Layout Tours, Silent Auction and Operation sessions Thursday evening and continuing throughout the convention. The BOD will meet Saturday morning with the awards breakfast on Sunday morning.

The cost though not set will probably be $65 or less with additional fee for the make and take project.

2014 convention will be hosted by Division 1, April 25-27, 2014 at the same hotel in Toledo that they have used in the past. The new management has been very easy to work with.

2015 convention will be hosted by Division 3.


Dean Pyers presented the idea of the Region hosting an annual convention. Some of the possible outcome of hosting a convention: spread out the frequency for each division to host from every six years to every eight or nine years; add areas we have not visited and/or are inactive such as Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Midland etc.; could also partner with smaller Divisions, sharing in work and profits.

Dave McMullian asked for volunteers reestablish the standing regional convention committee and study the idea. Martin LaForte, Div. 6; Bill Gawthrop, Div. 8; David Simmons; Andy Keeney, Div 5; Chuck White, Div. 3 and Mark Baldwin, Div. 4 all volunteered.


2013 BUDGET was presented by outgoing treasure Dean Pyers for discussion.

Dave McMullian proposed and presented arguments to end the so-called “head tax”, a portion of regional convention registration fees that have been collected by the host division and paid to the region.

Motion by Glenn Joppich, seconded by Chuck White: The Regional Head Tax is hereby voided by the deletion of Article V, Section 3 from the Rules of Operation. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.

Discussion regarding moving the expense for the contest awards to the hosting Division took place.

Motion by Don Westcott, seconded by Chuck White: The expense for the award plaques and certificates at the regional convention will be the responsibility of the hosting Division. Passed via a voice vote with one dissenting vote.
Motion by John Hartmann, seconded by Chuck White: The selection of the award plaques and certificates will be the responsibility of the Awards Committee with the cost being the responsibility of the hosting division. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.
Motion by Glean Joppich, Seconded by Jack Watson The proposed annual budget presented by Dean Pyers, shall have the line items consisting of the head tax income and the awards cost deleted. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.
Motion by Howard Andrews, seconded by David Simmons: The amended budget shall be adopted. Passed unanimously via a voice vote.

NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE Scott Kremer and Bill Neale will be the representatives from the NCR. There was some discussion about having strategic planning efforts at the regional and divisional level as well.

There are still several items that need the yearly clean up, repair and maintenance.

NMRA REPORT was presented by Pete Magoun, NMRA Director:

  • NMRA established a Strategic Planning Committee
  • Web site is a disaster and is being worked on to improve it
  • Average age of members is now 65 and continues to rise
  • Jim Six of the Michiana Division is leading the development of a comprehensive clinic and education program for NMRA use

NEXT BOD MEETING will be the second Saturday after Easter, 2013 in Lansing.

Motion by Andrew Howard, seconded by Larry Wolohon to adjourn. Passed unanimously via a voice vote at 10:30pm.

Respectively submitted,

Martin LaForte

Approved by the BOD members via email, December 15, 2012.

Martin LaForte