Board Minutes: December 15, 2021




A Zoom meeting of the board of directors of Western Mass Climbers Coalition (WMCC, a Massachusetts Nonprofit corporation), was held on December 15, 2021 at 7p ET pursuant to notice given in accordance with Article 11, Section 3 of the WMCC’s bylaws.


Stephanie Giguere, President; Dolci Mascolo and Sara McFadden, Co-Vice Presidents; Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Secretary; Danielle Rao, Treasurer; Sam Copland; Josh Seamon, and Rob Sullivan. General members: Rama Davis, Christopher Caplinger, Bill Fogel, Joshua Musial, Alan M., Kayla Crowe, Derrick Roma, Alec Baker, Wayne Burleson, Eliana Wallack, Jeff Squire, Ryan  Stefiuk, Jon LaValley

Stephanie Giguere called the meeting to order. Based on the number of directors in attendance at the meeting and the Non-Profit’s by-laws, the Secretary determined that a quorum was present and stated that the meeting could proceed. 


Topics discussed and decisions made follow below.


  1. Welcome new board members!
    1. Emeritus board position
      1. Jeff Squire has rejoined the board. He’ll be able to contribute institutional knowledge, operational advice, and will be a non-voting board member.
    2. 2021 recap
      1. Hanging Mountain! Massive accomplishment. Many, many people were and continued to be involved.
      2. We have had strong membership growth. More members than ever. 
  2. JDEI committee update: Sara McFadden
    1. Winter Speaker Series
      1. Cody Kaemmerlen and Shara Zaia from Climb United – successful event with 19 participants
        1. Lots of topics including route names, access to the outdoors, and more.
      2. Community Ascension Project- Community Presentation – Dec. 16th – register here
      3. Community Ascension Project – Jan 6th – register here
      4. Feb. 1, 2022 – Azizza Singh
        1. Affinity spaces in climbing
      5. Myjak Burkhart with Sendhers & AMC in March 
  3. Hanging Mountain Stewardship Committee Update: Rob Sullivan
    1. Corps Wall; closed
    2. Wonderful fall, lots of visitors, cars from all over
      1. Success caught the attention of the Army Corps of Engineers; impressed, climbers when present on site. Still no climbing on Army Corps property and would like us to stop climbing for now. We’ll go through the process of making climbing official sanctioned along with a plan for proper stewardship.
      2. Sara, Pam, and Dolci went into action when the wall needed to be closed. Signs went up, social media blasts, updated guidebook. Rob has continued communication with the Army Corps and is working on a proposal.
      3. We need to show we are good stewards and not climb on the Corps Wall for now. People can walk and hike there, but not climb.
      4. We’ll get information out when there is more information.
    3. Questions/Comments
      1. Any exceptions to climbing on Corps land in other places? Couldn’t find any place in the NE, but there are places outside of the NE that have worked out permission. Access Fund provided 4 example places. Rob sent in the info. They are not used to climbing. They want it done right and safely. 
      2. Army Corps has been happy with WMCC’s coordination with the state. 
      3. Hunting is allowed and is potentially dangerous and they have a  positive connection with the activity.
      4. Working hard to make sure they like rock climbers!
      5. Need to make sure dogs are on leashes. Please wear helmets. Set a good example.
  4. Finance update/grants: Danielle Rao & Stephanie Giguere
    1. The WMCC was awarded a $9,000 (updated number) grant from the Arthur Ashley Williams Foundation for the Farley parking lot project.
      1. Help from Rama! Details coming soon.
    2. Access Fund grant has been closed out – thanks Dolci!
    3. Donate to the Access Fund before Dec. 20th and have your gift matched by Black Diamond.
    4. Now donate using Venmo!
      1. Through Donorbox
    5. Stripe fees
      1. Around $50 per $1,000. Encourage people to send in money via other methods?
    6. Financial overview
      1. Year and quarterly views
      2. Stronger membership revenue than ever
      3. Silent auction broke 10K for the first time
      4. Porta pottie fees add up. Take them out in the winter?
        1. People should let us know if there are issues with any of the porta potties.
      5. Questions/comments
        1. Last few years has seen an increase in revenue and grants.
        2. Organizational improvements have buoyed the organization.
        3. Professional help has been needed to file our taxes.
        4. End of year recap will be built after year’s end, shared
        5. 2018 = $981 in memberships, 2021 = ~7K
    7. Silent Auction
      1. First week of March? Sat. March 5th or Sunday March 6th?
      2. Online, in person or hybrid?
        1. Online bidding won’t go away; not sure yet how it’ll be folded in
          1. We’ll need to research system functionality
          2. Keep all the bids online, face to face event in addition
        2. Running an in-person event with food and drinks could be challenging
        3. Could we run an event outside?
          1. Would need to push it to later in the year
          2. Could increase the cost?
        4. We need to be able to make money, turn it into climbing areas!
      3. Esselon Cafe? CRG Hadley?
        1. CRG is large, wide open, could have it on a Saturday (Saturdays have not been possible as Esselon)
          1. Economical option
          2. Helps recruit people to join WMCC!
      4. Volunteers and donations needed 
        1. Contact Danielle ( if you have a donation
        2. Needs help doing the day to day work of the event
  5. Porta Potties:
    1. Porta potties at Hanging Mountain and Farley will be cancelled soon – make sure to bring wag bags!
      1. Could be cancelled next week. Kept them this last week due to warm weather.
    2. How often should they be cleaned? Weekly/monthly?
    3. Pit toilet instead of porta potty?
      1. 20 to 25K each. Do have to get them pumped out.
      2. No immediate savings would materialize
      3. Project what the costs would be like over 5-10 years?
      4. Aim for it be our next grant?
  6. Tube Counter installed at Farley lot – thank you Wayne!
    1. Tracks number of cars going in and out
    2. Started collecting on Sunday morning
    3. Costs us nothing
    4. Data is manually collected, eventually get it online?
    5. Looking to install it at HM as well
  7. Marketing intern – please share with students or recent grads who may be interested!
    1. Social media work, email blasts
    2. Great way for a young person to start with the organization
  8. Crag Committees
    1. We need stewards for all of our local crags! Are you interested in serving on a committee? We are creating two committees: The Farley Committee and Access Committee. Committees may propose policies, hold events, and make proposals to the board. 
      1. Farley Committee: The Farley committee will review access issues related to Farley, including parking, trail maintenance, land manager relations and other access concerns. 
      2. Access Committee:  This committee would identify action issues at other Western MA crags, including open and closed crags, and take actionable steps to protect, improve, or open access. Access topics would include trail maintenance, parking issues, land manager interactions, and land acquisition.
    2. Questions/comments
      1. Appointed by the board. Making sure to keep an eye on DEIB.
      2. Anyone who is interested should join!
      3. There’s more than enough work to go around to people that aren’t local.
      4. Looking for people who may have specific interest in specific crags.
      5. Our smaller crags have similar issues to larger crags.
  9. Membership Update
    1. One year anniversary of Donorbox!
      1. Very helpful
    2. Sustaining members and direct members pay more than joint members
    3. Dec 2020 = 200, now 251 – Sustaining and Direct members continue to grow each quarter. Sustaining memberships have been live for just over a year now and the sustaining memberships have made it much easier to track and for members to keep their membership up to date. We did not hit the goal of 300 members, but still made significant improvements since last year!
    4. 101 New members, 83 did not renew
    5. Average membership amount = $46 (Direct and sustaining members)
    6. Questions/comment
      1. Errant messages regarding memberships needing renewal when they are automatic renewals. All seems to now be okay.
      2. Automatic renewal with Access Fund is not something Stephanie can see.



Joshua Seamon