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May 2020 RNA Board Meeting

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting

Thursday, May 7, 7:00 p.m.  -  VIRTUAL MEETING – Minutes

  1. Call to Order 7:03. Last month’s minutes approved. Attendance:

Governing Board Attendees

Mike Stroz, President

Brett Tolpin, VP

Mike Babian, Treasurer

Doug Purington, PR, Membership

Beth Grey, Recording Secretary

Board Members at Large Attendees

Ed Kugler

Jeff Levin

Paul Silverman

Absent Board Member

Justin Kee

Jeff Stern


Guest Attendees

Virginia Gordon

Shruthi Potocek

  1. President’s Report (Mike Stroz).

No president’s report. RNA Supports Ravinia District Merchants During Covid-19 project: Thank you to Jeff Levin for getting merchants on board and the survey completed, and Mike B. and others for recruiting merchants

  1. Residents’ Time.

No input.

  1. Treasurer’s Report (Michael Babian).


Checking Balance $3493.25

CD Balance $5525.21

Total Balance $9,018.46


Mike has $50 from a membership which Doug dropped that needs to be deposited.   

Payments issued over $50: $99 Survey Monkey last payment debited on 4/27/20 and no other payments issued over $50.

  1. Publicity/Membership/Ravinia District Report (Doug Purington).
    1. All 2020 paper newsletters are suspended until further notice.

A motion was made and duly seconded to cease publication of printed newsletters for the duration of the COVID 19 pandemic, except for a small number to be used as handouts and as promotions. The vote was 8-0 in favor.

No new members or renewals due to Covid-19.

  1. Move to a virtual newsletter on the website & Facebook.


Annual $3400 savings if go to virtual newsletter. Cost would offset by ads: $1000 - $2000. Printing - $100-200 in postage; total per newsletter approximately $1450 for print + postage.

$179/year for professional emails

Kim is in Palm Springs and can probably assemble virtual newsletter if RNA provides content.

Articles (emailed list from Doug):

  • Opening of BWB.Rocks
  • Yana Khernburg’s New Shop (Jeff Stern)
  • Update from Al Klairmont on Ravinia Crossing Redevelopment (Mike Babian)
  • Opening of the 2020 season for Ravinia Farmers Market (Ed Kugler)
  • Historical article on how Ravinia has handled crises in the past (Elliott Miller)
  • Rosewood Beach update (Paul Silverman)
  • Ravinia Barber Shop: Tanya (Jeff Levin)
  • Benches for Ravinia Train Station (Jeff Stern)
  • Local houses of significant architectural renown: (Susan Benjamin)
  • Situation at former Ravinia Cleaners site: (Jeff Stern)

Virginia Gordon offered to do an article on how to reduce stress

5 paid ads: Baker Boys, Pieros, Jeff Cohen Photography, Field Violin, Ravinia Plumbing. No objection if can’t run an ad even if paid. Ed will do ad for organic food club and Farmers Market

  1. Previous Action Items:
  2. E-Mail Voting Process: Pressing Matters Between Meetings, including approval of Minutes (Mike Stroz): This issue was tabled.
  3. Ravinia Farmers Market Relationship with the RNA (Ed Kugler).

Ed created detailed safety guidelines after looking at other community approaches to farmers’ markets. He submitted the plan to the city, Ghida went to bat with the park district to allow market on their grounds, reversing an earlier decision. Park district grounds has many advantages over Ravinia Festival grounds. Virginia Gordon will volunteer to cover the RNA stand.

  1. Update on publicity of local merchants’ specials via email. Viaggio, Chris Walker, Abigails ads; negligible non-subscribers; also posted on Facebook; should poll merchants to see if had upsurge or think beneficial; sent 390 emails, only received 70 back. Businesses which advertised are grateful, heard back from two merchants, one is a member. We should ask merchants to do new ads, e.g., Pieros, Ukeleles.        
  2. Status of succession/continuity plans. Justin still needs to be in touch with Doug. Mike B. has not yet reached out to Jeff Levin. Doug is updating others so they can get into accounts.
  3. Change Survey Monkey and Mailchimp accounts. Jeff L. and Mike B. are working to revise our Survey Monkey account. Survey Monkey is currently charging a credit card $99/month but we should be able to save approximately $800 with another account. Beth volunteered to call Survey Monkey and attempt to get a prorated refund. A motion was made and duly seconded to subscribe to MailChimp at the best value rate at Doug's discretion either monthly or yearly in order to communicate with the membership. The vote was 7 (in favor)-0 (again)-1(abstention).

  1. New Business:

General discussion of the RNA mission for 2020, assuming significant curtailment of social activities for the remainder of the year. Voted to offer membership a 6 month grace period for payment of dues.

  1. Other Business/Additional Comments or Concerns from Board Members
  2. Elections coming up in June/July: Think about who will run for the board, Mike S. not inclined to run for President, wants to continue on the board.
  3. Covid-19 cancellations: No Food Truck Thursdays, no 4th of July parade, no Ravinia Festival.  
    1. Adjournment 8:55. Next Board Meeting: June 4, 2020