Saturday, July 20, 2013

Letter from new FBV President

Dear Members,

The new officers of the French Broad Vignerons met on July 2 to plan for our second formal year of activities.  During the meeting we reviewed our experiences and began to formulate an action plan for our organization that would improve governance, expand member participation, and move us toward our goal of support for grape and fruit growers and product producers of our region.  This letter will outline some of the changes we are implementing.  

A review of the existing by-laws shows that we have been operating outside of the original plan. The officers have agreed to operate in the spirit of the current by-laws while we refine and revise them.  The most significant change is the fact that the by-laws call for an organization run by a board.  This would make membership meetings more informative, less tedious, and provide more time at meetings for the things we find most enjoyable - spending time with one another in a useful way.  Therefore we have begun to operate as a board driven organization.  

We are currently considering meeting on a bimonthly basis with a far more interesting and inviting agenda for the members that attend.   Each meeting will be devoted to a review of the actions of the board and then member centered activities involving education, product tastings, evaluations, and demonstrations.  We will ask you to respond to a question about meetings shortly.

During the meeting of the board we established a formal budget, identified tasks and people responsible for them, and agreed we need a membership drive.  The specifics of  these actions will appear as minutes on the FBV Blog.

While we are in transition, the board agreed to suspend the meeting for July and to plan a recreational activity for August/September.  The next regularly scheduled membership meeting is now scheduled for September.  In July we will conduct our second wine evaluation training session.  In August we will actively participate at the Asheville Wine and Food Festival by operating an information booth and judging the wines submitted for the wine competition.

While we recognize that we are making some significant changes, we feel it is in the best interest of the organization and the members.  We look forward to a very busy year with expanded membership, clearly stated goals and objectives, and a purpose driven plan.  We look forward to your support and we will be taking some specific initiatives to assure that all members are fully aware of the actions of the board and the organization.

We hope you will be supportive of this plan.

Pete Fland, President
French Broad Vignerons

Current Officers:

President - Pete Fland - - (828) 649-1264

Vice President - Chuck Blethen -             (828) 606-3130

Vice President - Alan Staton - - (828) 243-3512

Treasurer - Judy Fland - - (828) 649-1264

Secretary - Tom Mincarelli -                            (828) 777-9501



Membership Drive - We need to expand the organization to be as inclusive as possible.  There will come a time in this next year when we will begin applying for grants to do specific things.  The larger the membership the better our opportunity.
Fruit, Product, and Vineyard Census - A compilation of as many vineyards and grape and fruit product producers as possible.  The rational is the same as above.  We need to have the support of those we are trying to represent and we can only do this when we know who and where they are.

Complete Vineyard Maps Using GPS Coordinates - This is both a data base and a tool to help electric companies, railroads, road departments and others that maintain “rights of way” to know where they need to exercise care when spraying and defoliating.

 The Best of the Appalachians - A project to help publicize and support makers of products that would be deemed superior from a consumers point of view.  This will be both a marketing assistance tool for producers and a small fundraising activity for FBV.

Expand Our Group of Trained Consumer Wine and Product Evaluators - This would expand our trained base so that we may undertake a variety of consumer product evaluations to support our members and our industries.

This will be a very challenging year to say the least.

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