TransOptions, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting 9/20/2012 Hosted by

TransOptions, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting
Hosted by: Dewberry
600 Parsippany Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054
In attendance: Robert Altieri, Carol Anderson, Kathy Avola, Deena Leary, Pamela Fischer, Jim Jones,
Paul Spiegel, John Yakimik
Guest: Staff members: Judy Bortman and Anne Vivino
John Yakimik welcomed the Board to Dewberry and gave a brief overview about Dewberry.
John Ciaffone thanked John for hosting the meeting.
John Ciaffone then introduced two staff members, Anne Vivino and Judy Bortman, explaining that Anne
Vivino works closely with Pam Fischer on The Teen Driving Coalition and distracted driving and Judy
Bortman writes most of the newsletters and articles for TransOptions, and the TMAC newsletter and
articles for the ACT newsletter. She has also developed senior pedestrian safety programs.
Anne gave a brief presentation about driving safety, explaining that her goal is to educate the public on
how to safely maneuver the roads. She told the Board that while she has been successful speaking to
the public, she would like to present the program to the business community by doing lunch and learns.
She would also like to get involved in driver education classes. One of her goal is to purchase a driving
simulator through grant money. She is also meeting with the motorcycle coalition to discuss motorcycle
Pam Fischer suggested Annie contact AAA about their Car Fit Program which is a program that deals
with senior driving safety.
Judy Bortman then spoke about pedestrian safety, focusing on senior pedestrian safety. She told the
Board that she will be reaching out to meet with seniors in other counties in our service area.
Judy told the Board that a year ago she and Anne came up with a program which they call the Walk This
Way Challenge; it has been extremely well received. In 2011 they had 278 people registered. The
program is designed to get people to walk between October 1 and October 31 and to learn to walk
safely. All the information is on our website.
She told the Board that next year she would like to get a grant to cover the cost of the program, which is
The Board suggested Judy contact large sporting supply stores for grants and for support; they also
suggested that Judy contact the mayors in our service area to do a challenge in their towns.
The first 150 people who register receive Walk This Way Challenge packets; all registrants are entered
for a drawing for a gift certificate.
Bob Altieri thanked Judy and Anne for their presentations and thanked John Yakimik for hosting the
meeting. He reminded the Board to use the website.
Bob asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the June meeting. Deena Leary moved to approve
with Pam Fischer seconding the motion.
Lunar Golf
As of the date of the meeting there were nine foursomes registered. Stan Puszcz and Ted Christian have
been working hard, along with the staff, to make the event a success. Presently we have a $6,000
profit, which John said he is very pleased with.
Stan and Ted will remain on the Lunar Golf Committee for next year’s event.
John explained that he is considering making some changes to the event; moving the event to a
Thursday night, on the theory that the companies that are willing to pay for their salesmen to have an
entertaining event for clients are finding that clients don‘t want to give up their Friday nights but would
be willing to come on a Thursday night. He would also serve refreshments before to allow for the event
to end earlier.
Another issue that came up is that people do not want to buy ads for an ad journal. Instead John would
like to offer a social media package; 30-60 tweets on our twitter; time on our website. We would offer
different packages at different rates.
We are also looking at offering TransOptions traff-alert sponsorships for sale. John explained that we
can offer monthly, six months or yearly packages. We would target the auto insurance industry. John
asked the Board for any ideas or suggestions.
John passed out an analytical report showing the website and social media stats. This report will be
done quarterly for each Board meeting and put on the website.
He then handed out the President’s Update which will also be done quarterly and put on the Board
John told the Board that TransOptions has received a $15,000 grant from Alcoa for JSS with a stipulation
that we double participation in Junior Solar Sprints, which John said he feels we will be able to do. We
will be extending the races to a fifth day in Hunterdon County, with HART’s approval.
He then informed the Board that he has been talking to our accountant about their fees for the audit,
explaining that he feels Sax, Macy Fromm is asking for too much money.
John told the Board that he has been interviewing other accounting firms to do our yearly audit. He has
spoken to the other TMA’s and they are paying between $7,000 and $9,000 for their audits. He also
asked the TMA’s for names of the audit companies they use. Ridewise uses Suplee, Clooney & Co. After
calling three of their references we have decided to go with them.
We will get a Letter of Engagement from them today with a bid price.
Bob Altieri said he was also impressed with their list of clients.
John said the advantage to using them is that they are familiar with the workings of the TMA’s, having
worked with Ridewise.
Suplee Clooney & Co. will get a draft to us by the December Executive Committee meeting and will
present the report to the Board at the December Board meeting. They had no problem with this
John left a copy of the Suplee company profile with John Yakimik, as Treasurer of the Board of Director.
Bob Altieri suggested getting a three year contract with the option to renew after the first year for with
a cap on the audit fee.
John told the Board that the only concern the auditor had was that we check to make sure payroll taxes
are being paid regularly by checking with the government, not our payroll company.
John explained to the Board that we had to cut the total HTS grant amount to $140,000. Two TMA’s
were removed; HART and TransOptions will get 5% increases and the other TMA’s will stay the same as
last year.
We have doubled the SRTS grant from $70,000 to $140,000. John handed out a revised budget to
reflect the changes.
John asked for a motion to approve the amended budget; Kathy Avola moved to approve with Bob
Altieri seconding. The Board approved it unanimously.
This budget will be used for all our grant requests.
John informed the Board that he has been asked to sign letters by two coalitions and that he is not
comfortable doing this; one is the Traffic Safety Coalition. He explained he does not want to get involved
with their issues, one of which is the red light cameras. He does not want to get involved in the politics.
The other organization is the New Jersey National Safe Routes to School Coalition. They want the TMA’s
to sign off on a letter that petitions the Governor and the Commission of Transportation not to cut bike
and pedestrian SRTS funding under MAC-21.
John does not want to bring this up to the radar screen.
Pam interjected that all funds have been lumped together whereas they used to be line items, now
everyone is competing to get money for their issues. She said she feels John must be very careful about
signing anything that might put him in a light that could potentially hurt him with the funders and open
him up to scrutiny that he does not want or need. The Board agreed.
John told the Board that he emailed the coalitions that he has some concerns about signing these and
he would discuss it with his TMAC Board and get back to them.
Deena asked if we had hired a SRTS Coordinator. John responded that he has hired Linda Bartek-Smith
and is very pleased with her work.
Joseph Caravella is going out to every school he has previously worked with to get children involved in
the JSS program and at the same time promote SRTS.
The work program is being developed for 2013-2014 submission.
We are going to submit a grant application to Hyde and Watson to purchase I-Pads.
Another new program we are looking at is a pilot bike share program with Fairleigh Dickenson, Drew and
St. Elizabeth’s and the township of Madison, using NJTPA labor dollars and money from the universities
and the township.
The TMA’s will be working together to advocate to get the budgets increased for 2013-2014.
Pam Fischer said the NJTJPA is very happy with the TMA’s and that they are very well respected.
John said he is going to try and get a separate NJTPA grant for a full time JSS coordinator. He explained
that there is interest from Rowan University and Stevens Institute of Technology in the statewide JSS.
The NJTEA and the NJAAEE are also interested in the statewide JSS.
Kathy asked for a list of what specifically is needed for the statewide JSS. John responded that it will be
done by the end of October. Kathy said she would like to share the list with CCM’s engineering
department who might be able to offer volunteers.
John stated that we need to determine what capacity we can handle, reiterating that it is important that
we will do it slowly so that it is done correctly.
John said the volunteer list will include job descriptions for the volunteers and it will be on our website.
He went on to tell the Board that the month of October will be very busy with staff working on the Walk
This Way Challenge, the Walk to School Month, and the Lunar Golf Challenge.
Pam asked for a list of schools involved in the Walk to School Month program for the NJTPA; explaining
they would like to put it up on their website. John responded it is on our website and they can go there
to get the list.
Deena asked if we had received the Morris County Grant check. John told her we had received the
voucher, but not the check. Deena said she will bring it up at the next Morris County meeting on
Carol Anderson mentioned that she had referred the SRTS program to Mendham Borough. John said he
would tell Linda Bartek-Smith.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.