Board Meeting: Monday, March 10, 2008
Attendees: The Wharton Club of New York
Monday, March 10, 2008
Hosted by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
The Wharton Club of New York
Roe Bonelli (via phone)
Peter Hildick Smith
Thanks to Clifford Aronson of Skadden for hosting this meeting.
1. Chairman’s Remarks (Nigel Edelshain)
In the Chairman’s absence the meeting was called to order by the President at 6:45 pm and the minutes of 10/18/07 was reviewed.
Motion to accept minutes:
Motion: Allen Levinson
Second: Bill Haddad
2. President’s Report (Ken Beck)
I. Joseph Wharton Dinner
- All previous award recipients have committed to be involved in the 2008 Joseph Wharton Dinner including John Scully who received the award in the 70s...
- The selection process is open to the entire Wharton committee and trustees. It is set up using survey monkey.
- The awards committee will do the vetting of the names of those who are nominated, and will present a short list to the previous awards recipients. The real recommendation will come from the previous awards recipients who are no longer eligible for the award.
- The dinner will be held at the Pierre Hotel on October 2nd and the contract is already signed.
- II. Operations
- The school is replacing WAVE the online community with Alumni Magnet and all Wharton Clubs now using Alumni Magnet will be connected through the school. The Club will still control its website, but the data flow will now become transparent, and will provide us with enormous amount of connectability. We are required to sign a contract with the School that we will utilize the service. Part of the contract includes a requirement that all Wharton Clubs must adhere to the minimum standards set by the alumni association.
- Kenny suggested a Global Wharton Alumni Association and a 6 person task force will be set up to look into this. It is not clear whether WCNY will be responsible to pay the hosting fee.
- Website. A tremendous amount of work has been done on the website by Jack our Webmaster. The website is a great tool to drive people to the “Take the Call” forum. A suggestion was made to add a link on the website to indicate when an announcement is posted in order to get traction. The Club is now moving towards 2-3 separate e-mails per week.
- Dues. Many of our Volunteers’ dues are not up to date. One of the benefits of membership is being able to volunteer. The Club will be sending out an e-mail reminder to individuals to renew their membership. According to our bylaws, all Wharton alumni in the New York metropolitan area are members of the Club. There are different tiered levels of membership. Membership provides access to the website, the ability to vote, receive the e-Newsletter and discounts on events.
- Group Health Insurance. The Club’s group health insurance is taking on life. Atlantis has agreed to provide coverage to all Wharton alumni 18-65 years of age.
The alumnus no longer has to show $15,000 in income and be incorporated.
As a not for profit we cannot collect commission.
There will be no insurance broker on the account.
Atlantis will however pay $2,500 per issue or $10,000 per year to support the newsletter.
The club will receive an administrative fee of $10/person covered/month.
Kenny has created a company to take this program to other alumni associations.
Atlantis Health Coverage
Workable Solutions is responsible for collecting the fees and paying Atlantis.
Better program and plans for the Alumni.
The alumnus must live in the tri state area.
There is a $20 admin fee per person. $10 for Club, $10 for Workable Solutions.
50 individuals are now covered and in excess of 2000 alumni have made inquiries.
Corporate Membership for small businesses –this includes coverage for employees.
- Code of Conduct. The need for this arises from an issue within the leads council involving a complaint about a member acting unethical. Kenny acted as the investigator and it was decided that the Wharton Club of New York needed a code of conduct. Currently the school has a code of conduct and the Club has a board by which we can set up a committee. Kenny asked Peter to be the Chair. Bill, Hans, Alan and Dana will be responsible to develop the code of conduct and processes. Peter noted that he has been in contact with Tom Robertson’s office at the Wharton School and informed us that the School’s code of conduct has not been updated in 10 years. Said he will continue to do follow-up.
- Credit Card Processing. Kenny informed the board that a contract was signed with First Data Corporation to provide credit card processing for the club and our members. In addition we will receive the following:
5 percent of any fees generated by alumni using First Data Corporation.
First Data has committed a $5000 per year in the newsletter for the 3 years of the contract.
Hans asked if we should now consider scholarships now that we have excess revenue. Kenny said we are thinking about what we can do strategically with the excess revenue. Alan said the questions should be (a) how do we invest the excess revenue? and (b) what will be the end result?
The strategy will be to:
Develop a board committee to administer the investment of funds.
Alan was asked to Chair the committee with Hans and Dana as committee members.
- Hans said that the Club has come a long way and that the Newsletter makes a lot of sense, as it is an integral part of the Club and should be funded.
- Kenny welcomed Rob to the finance committee and acknowledged that the committee is doing a phenomenal job. Roe added that the Club is at a point were it now needs to have a separate auditing process which will start this calendar year.
- Most of our expenses are variable. Stephanie will move from a 1099 employee to a W2 employee and Paychex will be engaged to streamline payments. This is done for legal and financial reasons.
- Udi is our new Sponsorship Chair. Udi is the Vice President of Business Development at Times Square Alliance is now charged with setting up the alliance. The vehicle will be targeted (i) Joseph Wharton Dinner (ii) Newsletter and (iii) New Business Plan Competition.
- Kenny said the Newsletter is an 80K a year expense (20K per issue). Alan suggested having more sponsors and charging less.
III. Internal Communication
- Everything on the website is public. The view count shows how many people view the events and how many sign up.
- Jack will be asked to put a ‘watch button’ on the website to remind individuals of upcoming events or events they have not yet signed up for.
Finance & Budgeting (Kent Trabing)
The report looked at the financial year 2006 minus financial year 2005 and compared with 2007.
Joseph Wharton Dinner.
Revenues are up $369,000 compared to $40,000 two financial years ago, an increase from 35 percent to 84 percent. This increase is due to the JWD.
Revenue remains the same with revenues in 2005 and 2006 at $76,036 and $72,285 respectively.
Online Event Revenue
Gross profit is $227,000 up from $187,000 2 years ago
Net Income is $165,000
Overall revenue for 2007 is good.
Business Development (Jason Breemen)
Kenny informed the board that Jason has accepted a new position in India and will be moving in the next 4 or so weeks. Jason was acknowledged for all the work he did as VP of Development. Jason reports as follows:
- Wharton Angel Network will have their 1st business competition this year.
- Wharton Hedge Fund Network has been in existence since 2005 and is doing great generating 1/3 of event revenue for the club.
- The Wharton Non for Profit Group is doing a fantastic job with almost 60 members involved in the program.
- Wharton Education Network is doing great under the leadership of Sergio. They average 30 members per event.
- Wharton Investment Resource Exchange Affinity Group had their first meeting which was very successful.
- The Business Plan Competition is the new social breed of the Wharton Angel Network.
Kenny noted that the Business Plan Competition is expected to be counter cyclical to the Joseph Wharton Dinner. The target audience for the Joseph Wharton Dinner is our senior alumni, and for the Business Plan Competition are our small business entrepreneurs. The winner of the Business Plan Competition will be our guest at the dinner.
Leads Councils are all doing great.
The Media & Entertainment Affinity Group has 135 active members. They have networking events, speaker events and have a small digital working group.
Working with Professor Fader to try to reignite the media network on campus.
Programming Division (Regina Jaslow)
- Special/Social Events Committee - Pam Perskie stepped down as Chair and is replaced by Peter Tripp who is in the wine business and currently looking for volunteers. Peter has put together a social connect plan (blue event and red event) to attract the different audience. A Happy Hour will be his first event in June.
- Speaker Series Committee - Jennifer Gregoriou is doing a great job with the Speaker Series Committee. The next upcoming event is with Kaihan Krippendorff on Tuesday, April 1st @ 6:00 PM.
- Alliances and Community Services Committee - Preston Heller and Robyn Yairi participated in New York Day Community Consulting, which is a not for profit that needs support.
- Alan suggested that maybe the Club should encourage our people to go to Pennsylvania and recruit new members as a symbiotic relationship. It was suggested that someone could attend and wear a pin which says “I am a member of the Wharton Club of New York”. Kenny suggested passing this on to the University Relations Department.
- Bill suggested that having a table of some sort at the Alumni weekend would be a great idea, and Kenny added that the Club should attempt to indoctrinate the students during this process. Alan asked if we provide a welcome package and Kenny said the alumni receive regular e-mails to which Hans made reference to the Wharton lifelong e-mail.
Career Development (Alan Riffkin)
- Career Development continues its mission, and has had a series of speaker series events. The primary focus is on technology which is the connecting tool to the Job Board. The committee is working to get the technology up and running and is always looking for volunteers.
Human Resources: (Diana Davenport)
- The next Volunteer Orientation is on Monday, September 15, 2008 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. This will be preceded by a Management meeting from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.
- Amendments to bylaws 3.2 to amend Associate Membership to read: Associate Membership is also available to widows and widowers of Wharton Alumni and the spouses of any member.
Motion: Johannes Albeck
Second: Dana Michael
- Amendments to by laws 5.2 to add a Vice President of Volunteers Services.
Motion: Dana Michael
Second: Johannes Albeck
New Business (Kenny Beck)
There being no new business to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.
Motion to adjourned Meeting
Motion: Dana Michael
Second: Regina Jaslow
Minutes respectfully submitted by Stephanie Shaw