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June 2020 RNA Board Meeting

P.O. Box 1123

Highland Park, IL



Minutes – Thursday June 4, 2020 

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting   

Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. - VIRTUAL MEETING – Dial-in Number: (267) 930-4000

Participant Access: 429-481-402

I.   Call to Order 7:02pm.

Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President; Brett Tolpin, Vice President; Mike Babian, Treasurer; Doug Purington, Membership, PR; Beth Grey, Secretary

Members at Large Attendees

Ed Kugler, Jeff Levin, Jeff Stern, Paul Silverman

Absent Board Members

Justin Kee


Shruthi Potocek, Katie Alland, Ali Freundlich

II.  President’s Report (Mike Stroz). Mike is pleased we have a full slate of board members and special thanks to Justin Kee who is stepping off the board. Paul S. moved to accept May minutes, seconded by Ed K. All in favor so motion carried unanimously.

III.  Residents Time: Address Items Not on Agenda. Paul and Elliot will be meeting with Dan Voss of the PDHP to do a walk-through of Jens Jensen park, when they’ll discuss plantings and other issues.

IV. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian). Checking $7181.94, CD $ 5,525.89; Pay Pal $361.41; total $13,069.24. Only one payment over $50: 5/8 $331.20 - Survey Monkey - remainder of annual fee paid. Deposited $4000 donation check which is included in checking account.

V. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington). Thank you, Doug, for providing notes prior to meeting, which are included here with some additions.

  • 14 COVID-19 Emails went out to merchants
    • Also posted on our Facebook page each time
    • Not calling for vote but discuss whether appropriate to continue w/email campaign for local merchants until July.
    • 4/600 who received emails don’t want emails.
    • Everyone who commented on the emails was in favor of continuing at least through Phase 3, June/July.
    • Mailchimp Use
      • Mailchimp works great and is so much more professional in appearance
      • Used to advertise the Outdoor Picnic Grove on Roger Williams
        • Also posted on Facebook
          • Boosted for five days ($50)
            • Reached 7,209+ people
  • Used to recognize Dana Reed Designs’ 1st year anniversary
  • Will be recognizing the 20th anniversary of Tanya at Ravinia Barber Shop on June 14th
  • Renewal Campaign
    • First emails went out May 8th
    • Second emails went out June 1st
    • Monies received = $1,235
      • Includes 3 ads for 3 times each = $430 (19 renewals)
      • No one has taken us up on hardship membership
      • Update on June/July Newsletter (largest and best ever put out)
        • Twelve articles submitted by nine persons
          • Four by Jeff Stern
          • Newest: Ilyse at Whipple Relations, press release, outdoor dining photo
  • Nine ads totaling 5.25 pages
  • Will submit all to Kim Stroz shortly
  • Size will be 20 or 24 pages
  • Will only print 100 copies
  • Will provide on website, via Facebook and via email
  • Additional comments: Make extra copies of newsletter available at famers markets. $1500 to $2000 for 500 copies. Doug printing 100 copies, Ed can have 50. Too expensive to print more. There are people at the market who live outside of Ravinia who might not join. Display one newsletter with a membership application alongside the newsletter. If someone takes an application, they can then get a newsletter. Doug will print a stack of membership applications. There are a few newsletters left at the kiosk at Ravinia station. Jeff L. suggested printing the first couple of pages of the newsletter in a copier. Katie suggested that the application be updated and include a link to the newsletter at the top. We should give paper copies of the newsletter to people who are the subject of the articles.
  • Update on the Proposed Slate of Candidates for the 2020 – 2021 Governing Board. Get correct names and spelling to Doug and Beth before sending out to members

Proposed Office & Board for the RNA 2020 to 2021

Office                                                                     Agreed to stand           Proposed continuity

  • for the office of:                                                                                  backup position:
  • President                                                         Mike Stroz
  • Vice President                                                 Brett Tolpin
  • Treasurer                                                         Mike Babian               Jeff Levin
  • Secretary                                                         Beth Grey                    TBD 1
  • Director Communication and Membership    Doug Purington          TBD 2
  • At Large Board Member 1                             Ed Kugler                   
  • At Large Board Member 2                             Jeff Levin                   
  • At Large Board Member 3                             Paul Silverman           
  • At Large Board Member 4                             Jeff Stern
  • At Large Board Member 5                             Shruthi Potocek                                             
  • At Large Board Member 6                             Katie Alland              

  • There were no nominations for any positions from the Membership after they were polled by Doug in May.
  • Justin Kee is leaving the Board with our thanks for his past service.
  • Statements from two prospective Board Members supporting their nominations:

Shruthi Potocek is a relatively new member but is already interacting with the Board. Here is her statement supporting her nomination:

I believe I would be a good addition to the RNA board because ever since my family (spouse and twins) moved to the area in
mid-2017, we have found a true passion in living in Ravinia.  I have a genuine interest in networking and building communities that ultimately provide a safe and healthy environment for Ravinia families.  I believe I can bring some fresh ideas and perspective to an outstanding existing board!

Best regards,


Katie Alland is a returning Board member. Here is her statement supporting her nomination:

As a proud member of the Ravinia community, I would be honored to come back and serve as a Board Member at Large for the RNA.  I was previously on the board as the Secretary (2018-2019), and while my love for typing still exists, two babies at home and a full time job mean that I would not be able to dedicate the appropriate amount of time to a position like that at this time.  Building up and supporting our community members and local business is still of utmost importance to me, however, and therefore I would love to serve at large.  Thanks for your consideration and looking forward to when we can all see each other in person again!  ~Katie Alland

  • Brett moved to recommend the slate and Doug seconded the motion. Mike, Doug, Mike, Beth, Ed, Jeff L, Paul, Jeff S, Brett: 9 yays unanimous
    • Mike S. is staying on as President. He will be in Palm Springs less often because of Covid-19 so he can do a second year. Brett is not yet retired so he has less time to assume that position. Mike’s done a lot of heavy lifting and has brought on new members.
      • Copy of the slate sent to the current board.
        • No members commented via email
  • Emails re slate will be sent to members to cast their votes
  • Agreed upon candidates will take office July 1st

VI. Previous Action Items.

• E-Mail Voting Process. Mike S. will work on this for next meeting, to handle pressing matters between meetings, including approval of minutes.

• Status of succession/continuity plans: We’ll discuss at the next meeting which members at large will be backups for Doug and Beth. Backups would not have to replace a board member who would no longer be able to serve. They would just be asked to serve until a replacement would be found. Jeff L. and Mike B. discussed details about what Jeff would need to do as a Treasurer backup. They will meet again when the audit is conducted, Mike will show Jeff the books with passwords and documentation, and Jeff will be involved in the audit. Ed suggested a possible video of board members explaining the operation side of their positions.

• Status of Survey Monkey. We are now paying $331.20/year which is considerably less than $99/month. We can use Survey Monkey instead of Mail Chimp to vote on the board slate. Action item: Jeff L is the only one who knows how to set up Survey Monkey for the Board vote so Jeff L will work with Doug. Vote goes out by 6/15/20 so they have 2 weeks to get the vote back before July 1st.

VII. New Business.

• Report on first Farmers Market of 2020 (Ed Kugler). City came, every merchant thought it was a good first day, volunteers were welcoming everyone. There were 200-300 people during the first hours. Dogs were there but the city wants to stick with the no dog policy. This is the only event in HP. Failed to call Virginia Gordon to come out, but it would be nice to have someone there for five hours. Everyone goes through the same entrance. Maybe invest in T-Shirts for volunteers. Keyth is the other sponsor so their logo would go on the t-shirt in addition to RNA’s logo. Channel 5 covered the market. Past market website not available to Ed so Facebook probably not available. Brett deals with trademarks and domain names so he’ll take a look at the old Ravinia Farmers Market website owned by the former market owner and see if he can get the website from the old owner. Carolyn Hersch with the City was responsible for purchasing two banners. Ed was interviewed by the Tribune, there was an article in the Barrington and Lake Zurich papers, and an article on Ed was included in the Highland Park weekend magazine, Ed will send Doug a photo of the current market. Ed will create a t-shirt proposal and send it to us. We will consider whether to purchase 48 t-shirts. 24 t-shirts are under $300. Ed has a new local vendor.

• Discussion of what should be done with the Laura/Russ Brown Charitable Fund $4000 gift to the RNA. Ideas included saving the money, providing scholarships, and mounting projects and events. Discussion to be continued at the next meeting.

VIII. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members.

  • Doug spoke w/Al Klairmont who said they’ll be ready for residents by Dec. 20th which is on target.
  • The dry cleaners blocked off the sidewalk on Roger Williams. The building is for sale.  eff S noticed the loose bricks and called the city to see if the building was inspected in the last six years. The city said they’d come the next day but by the time the inspector arrived, bricks had fallen out. Jeff S. wrote about it in the newsletter.

IX. Next Board Meeting: July 9, 2020. 8:17pm meeting adjourned.