Emergency Board Meeting:
March 2020
Coronavirus and United 39

Emergency meeting of TEAE was called to order by President Jim Lindner on March 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

This meeting, with slide sharing, was held by web conference thru FreeConferenceCall.com

Following Board Members were present: Sy Block, Tom Calvert, David Reina, Tom Ehrhart, Joe McConlogue, Barb Geschke.  Not present: Eric Gibeaut

Also present: President Jim Linder, Vice President Gary Holman, Treasurer Rob Harter, and Secretary Kerch McConlogue

Regional Reps Present: Ron Stein, Joe Montecalvo, Clark Vegazo, Joe Parlanti, Gary Corbett, Tom Hillmann

The purpose of the meeting:

was to discuss plans for United 39, scheduled for Greensboro, NC, August 27-30, 2020 in light of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our Primary Objective is to protect our members without bankrupting club.

Federal Government and the State of North Carolina have both declared a state of Emergency.

CDC says: For the majority of people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low. But risk is dependent on the location.

As of Mar 14, there are 23 known cases in NC. While none are reported in Greensboro, 12 are reported in Wake, Chatham and Durham Counties (just east of Guilford County)

Financial Situation:

To date the only expenditures have been $2,968 (Hotel deposit) and $126 Dash Plaques. No additional expenditures are required between now and June 1.

Hotel Cancellation Fees (according to contract) based on % of expected revenue of $43.2K Room and $9.9K Food and Bev (F&B)

Additionally, by contract, 257 room nights were guaranteed. We must pay for every room night ($169) below 80% of that number (206 rooms).

Estimated Room Attrition penalties by number attending are shown in the chart below. However, Jim feels he can renegotiate fewer room nights as we get closer to the event.

Number Attending Projected Room Nights @ 4 nights each Penalty Projected Room Nights @ 3 nights each Penalty
125 300 $0 225 $0
100 240 $0 180 $4394
75 180 $4,394 135 $11,999
50 120 $14,434 90 $19,604

Additionally, Jim was in contact with Hotel Management between Mar 11 and 13, 2020. They are currently focused on clients booked for March and April, so they have requested we defer our decision until June 1 to allow for mitigation measures to work and hopefully improve situation.

If, at that time, we felt our members were still at risk we could cancel, with the stipulation that we REBOOK our event for 2022, with NO PENALTY (TEAE is committed to the SUNI event in 2021)

If we cancel now, we would pay the penalty listed in the contract (roughly $24K)

They asked that we communicate with our members that The Grandover wants to work with our club and that we continue to promote the event. They also provided a document outlining the steps they are taking to ensure a safe environment.

Bottom line

Date Loss via cancellation penalty
Cancel Today $24,087
Cancel After June 1 No penalty

Jim offered these possible scenarios

  1. Crisis passes and we proceed unaffected
  2. We proceed with event, attendance normal and we mitigate any impact of COVID-19 successfully
  3. We wait until June 1st. If we feel our people are still at risk, we cancel (NO PENALTY contingent on requirement to rebook for 2022)
  4. We proceed with event. Attendance is low and we suffer losses from empty room fees
  5. We cancel United NOW ($24K penalty)
  6. We proceed with the event under current situation and somebody gets sick despite mitigating efforts. (This being the worst outcome)

Other Thoughts

Regardless of our course of action, we should begin planning preventative and mitigating measures in the event we hold the United as planned. These measures should include:

  • Planning for reinforcing self-protection methods with signage and providing hand sanitizer in goodie bags and in gathering rooms.
  • Advising members to not attend if they are sick
  • Coordinating with all gathering locations and local officials to determine measures in place, augmenting as necessary
  • Appointing person(s) to plan and implement prevention and mitigation measures
  • Trimming costs if low turnout expected. 

It was decided that Jim would write an email for distribution to the membership letting them know about plans. We are

  • a) monitoring the situation,
  • b) what we decided today, and
  • c) that we will contact them in May to ascertain continuing interest and support for the event.

A motion was made, seconded and passed that we wait until the June 1 deadline to decide how to proceed.

In further discussion it was suggested that we consider what specific criteria would inform the decision to cancel the event.

An aside suggestion was made by Joe Montecalvo that we consider building some kind of reserve account to protect the club in times such as these. The tax implications of our nonprofit status (501(c)7) would have to be considered.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:47 pm

Submitted by Kerch McConlogue, Secretary

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