Board Minutes: September 22, 2021


A Zoom meeting of the board of directors of Western Mass Climbers Coalition (WMCC, a Massachusetts Nonprofit corporation), was held on September 22, 2021 at 7p ET pursuant to notice given in accordance with Article 11, Section 3 of the WMCC’s bylaws.
This meeting was open to all members of the WMCC.

Stephanie Giguere, President; Dolci Mascolo, co-VP; Sara McFadden, co-VP; Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Treasurer; Wayne Burleson; Rob Sullivan; Alec Baker, Michelle Bourget, Ryan Brown, Christopher Caplinger, Dan Navarro, Jessica Schiffman, Josh Seamon, Jeff Squire

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.opics discussed and decisions made follow below.


Stephanie welcomed the Board and WMCC members to the meeting. Wayne Burleson, former president of the WMCC, stepped down from his duties in July and will step down from the Board at the end of this month. Stephanie thanked him for his service and the projects that had been initiated during his term.

Nominations and Deadlines:

  • Deadline for nominations is today, Sept. 22
  • Voting will occur via emailed ballots October15 to November 15. Running for election are Sam Copland, Danielle Rao, Josh Seamon, and Rob Sullivan.

Dolci Mascolo gave general updates on WMCC’s activities:
  • Congratulations to Sara McFadden on accepting the position of JDEI Committee chair, replacing Michelle Dedischew-Lloyd, who stepped down this summer.
  • Congratulations to Josh Seamon, who is our new Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Bylaws and the new Mission Statement have been approved and submitted to the state.
  • Minutes from board meetings can now be found on the website.

Membership Update for Q3 2021:

Stephanie reported that we have increased our membership from a little under 150 members last year at this time to 225 members, with an increase of 55 new members just in this calendar year. The average membership contribution is $45, which is considerably up from previous years due to the different membership categories introduced by Stephanie.

Membership Stats Q3 2021 (1)

It was suggested at the last meeting to put a list of members on the website with donation levels. This was not very popular among people signing up, so we have nixed that plan.

October will be our first annual membership drive. The goal is to sign up 50 members, either new or lapsed. New members signing up in October will receive a discount on the new WMCC t-shirts.

JDEI Committee update:

Dolci Mascolo reported that Eliana Wallack, a competitive paraclimber on the JDEI Committee, did a survey of adaptive climbers and the response  was overwhelmingly in favor of having an ADA porta-potty at Hanging Mountain (HM).

Also at Eliana’s suggestion, we are adding distances from the parking lot and to each crag to the HM guidebook and to the map at the kiosk in the parking lot. The guidebook will have pictures of the trailhead and be downloadable as a free PDF and eventually be available as a Gunks app.

Other JDEI initiatives at Hanging Mountain
All signs will have a visual, so language will not be a barrier to climbers. Other signs include a Safe Space sign, Land Acknowledgement for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band, and one for an Accessible parking spot.

JDEI Volunteers
We are preparing a questionnaire to see what specific areas people might want to be involved in:
• Speaker series
• Accessibility
• Indigenous Peoples – outreach and programs, including youth climbing
• Route Names

Those who want to volunteer for JDEI activities can sign up at this link.

Financial Update

Operating Reserve
: The board recently formalized an Operating Reserve Policy. It will be calculated at 18 months of our operating costs, or $22,500. The Operating Reserve policy will ensure WMCC’s financial health and stability. It will help us to budget and plan for future projects and spending, as well as to set fundraising goals.

Access Fund Loan
: Will be paid off in the first quarter of 2022.

FERC/FL Update

Pamela Matsuda-Dunn reported that, in accordance with a unanimous vote by the board, she is asking First Light Power (FL) to transfer 40 acres covering the Farley Ledges climbing area to WMCC. The next settlement meeting with FL and stakeholders is September 30.

Hanging Mountain Stewardship Committee Update

Rob Sullivan reported that the MassTrails grant of $25,500 has been granted and is now in effect. All funding from this grant must be spent by December 2022. The grant covers a small expansion to the Hanging Mountain lot, signage, trail construction tools, a prefab shed, and technical trail work from the AMC trail crew.

Half of Hanging Mountain has been established. A route development protocol for the remainder is being established.

Opening Date is October 2nd. There will be a tabling events each weekend in October at HM. The goal is to welcome people, collect donations, sign up new members, and establish expectations at the crags (dogs on leash, helmets, etc.)

Celebration for the opening of HM: tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 16.

Other Upcoming Events
Hanging Mountain opening date: Oct. 2nd
Board elections: Oct. 15th-Nov. 15th
Membership drive: October
Next Quarterly meeting: Dec. 15th
There being no other business to consider, the meeting was adjourned.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20 at 7p via Zoom.

Pamela Matsuda-Dunn