Madison Motorsports
Jon Polen - Treasurer - Printable Version

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Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-18-2012

Hey all. My name is Jon Polen and I will be running for the Treasurer position for the upcoming year. Most of you I have met before, but for those who I haven't met yet (Looking at you Kaan) here is a link to my facebook to connect the name to a face. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.facebook.com/jon.polen">https://www.facebook.com/jon.polen</a><!-- m -->

This past year with MM has opened my eyes to a lot. At first I was disappointed with the way the club ran and how the officers communicated. I talked a lot with other members and alumni about the problems. Then one day Dan and I got to talking and decided to run for office with Chris Chrzan and Tyler M as the other members of our potential office.

So let's get this started. Obviously as the treasure, I would be in charge of the financial aspect of the club. In the past I know there have been many fundraiser ideas that did and didn't work. My goal for the upcoming year is to have at least 2 fundraisers for the club (One per semester).

1) Talking with alumni, one of the main fundraising events of the past has been stadium cleanup. This would be a great way to get the club some money while having fun and really not asking to much of everyone. Coming together as a club and hanging out while we use minimal effort to pick up trash seems like a no brainer to me. This can be done multiple times earning us many doll hairs.

My second fundraiser idea at the moment is going to be a bigger hurdle to pitch to JMU, but with enough effort and planning I see it passing with little problems.

2) This fundraiser would be implemented during midterm or finals week (other times are feasible, but stress is higher during exam week). I would like to purchase or preferably have a "dead" car donated to us from a local salvage yard. This car would then be placed on the commons and MM would sponsor a "swing your stress out" type of event. We could charge between $5-10 for a certain number of swings. I would like to use a car with little cosmetic damage so people can see the dents they are making. All glass would be removed prior to destruction day. With proper safety gear (helmet w/ visor, gloves, closed toed shows, and maybe a waiver) I feel as though we can convince JMU that this is a safe way to raise funds. I have seen this done on other campuses so we won't be pioneering it, but it will be a first at JMU. Advertising for this will be key and will be done through flyers, posters, word of mouth, and table tents. I would also like to bring one of JMU's student Djs out to create a hyped up atmosphere.

Obviously these are not the end of my ideas, but just the beginning for you guys to get a feel for my style.

A second thing of contention, mainly between the alumni, is the ability to see the club's books. I do not want to make the books public knowledge, but I would have no problem opening the books to interested members or to those who have donated money and would like to see where their money is going. I do not think this needs to be a secret and if knowing where your donations are going will make someone want to donate more than I am more than willing to open the books.

The last thing I want to address is not so much the task of the treasurer, but the whole executive team. This year, the officers lacked communication and the ability to execute plans. Communication is key between a small group of people to make sure everything runs smoothly. We saw what happened this year when this did not happen. As a club, we were not prepared for various events and things seemed to always be last minute. As part of the new executive team I vow to communicate with the other officers on a more than regular basis. As of now, Dan and I have lunch, dinner, or meet up at least once a week. I have regular lunches with Rex and hang out with Chris all the time. The idea of video conferencing came up today at lunch and I really liked the idea. Dan proposed a weekly video conference with the officers this coming summer to come up with ideas for next year. Building on that idea, I proposed we make the regular weekly classroom meetings available to anyone who is not in the area that would like to sit in. Alumni, this is where we are thinking of you. We know most of you live in Nova with some others peppered around the US and cannot attend meetings regularly. Utilizing Google+ and the hangout feature, we can video chat with an unlimited number of people. This is a way for you to participate without being in Harrisonburg.

Another key item I want to make sure is up to par is logistics. I know MM runs on MM time and is always late and that is fine, but I want to make sure as a club everyone knows what's going on at least 36 hours before any scheduled event. I want to make sure that when we go to Gforce, we know who is driving, who is riding with who, and that driver's gas tanks are full before the morning of. The car show flopped because of logistics. No one knew who was doing what, where the supplies were, and even when to get supplies. If I am elected to office, I promise to get plans to the members at least 36 hours in advance of any event. Obviously things may come up or plans change, but even then I want to make sure we have back up plans in place.

I know that there will be many questions so I will be collecting them and responding once I have a few questions posed. This way it will keep the thread a little less chaotic. Expect answers to your questions sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Thank for reading

Jon


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-18-2012

Thanks Justin. Don't know how I derped so hard.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JustinG - 04-18-2012

np


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JustinG - 04-18-2012

What are your major commitments outside of your class load? Do you work, participate in any other clubs, etc?


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Jake - 04-18-2012

Stadium cleanup = quick and easy. ProTip: do a basketball game instead of football. You will hate your life much less afterward.

I don't really care about seeing the books or not, but I do care to help where I can. Us alumni have Real Jobs that pay somewhere between $CanBarelyLiveInNoVA and $HaveMoneyToSwingAround. Thus, we can donate money to you! But we need to be asked for halp, and see where that money is going and see fundraising efforts otherwise.

I like your "advance planning" ideal. My take was always "meet at X Time, we leave at Y Time, if you are there at Y:01, we're leaving you" and it seemed to work.

For collaboration on stuff, Google Docs is fantastic. We use it at work ALL the time. I'm also a fan (as mentioned in Tyler's thread) of the video chat idea, both over the summer and in meetings.

If I come up with any legitimate questions, I'll get back to ya.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - DavidM - 04-18-2012

Jake Wrote:Stadium cleanup = quick and easy. ProTip: do a basketball game, one for girls, on a weeknight, instead of football. You will hate your life much less afterward.

FTFY. But seriously, when we did a girls game at convo they didn't even have the top sections open, so you only had to do half the stadium. Another option is working concessions (same deal, girls game, weeknight) I know some clubs do that and it can't be that bad (although you have to be there the whole time) but I don't know how much $$$ that is vs. cleanup.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - premiershine9 - 04-18-2012

Smile LETS DO THIS JON!!! Really liking the advanced planning idea over the summer you, I and Tyler came up with at lunch today. Amazing what you can think of in a couple of minutes when we all can collaborate!

- D


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-18-2012

I want to add a little background for those who don't know me. I began collecting Matchbox cars when I got my first happy meal at the age of 2. Healthfood critics come on out, McDonald's hasn't hurt me yet. My collection, although collecting dust in my closet, is probably over a few hundred cars now. I have been a car guy all my life and have love for many different types of cars and motorsports. I still will never understand the love for miatas or old beat up crusty BMWs, but to each their own. Leadership and the handling/control of money is not something new to me. When I was 7 years old I started my first business selling golf balls on the course I live on. Trekking into the woods to find the inventory was fun, but selling was even better. I had one other partner during this, but he was always to shy to talk to customers so I did the leg work and made the sales. Moving through the years, my neighbor and I started a detailing business (No comparison to the skill that Dan posses) and had a decent sized customer base. We both did the work and marketed the company. During the past 3 summers I worked as an intern in the finance department for the Howard County Public School System. I worked directly under the Chief Finance Officer and was entrusted with numerous responsibilities. My main responsibility was accounts payable. I handled hundreds of thousands of dollars a day (electronically). The largest sum of money I paid out one day was around $900,000. I know MM has a lot less in the account, but I feel my experience in accounts payable and receivable will greatly help me to keep MM's finances in order.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-18-2012

JustinG Wrote:What are your major commitments outside of your class load? Do you work, participate in any other clubs, etc?
As of now I have no other commitments besides a normal class schedule (15 credits). I am not working, but that may change depending on how much I save this summer and other factors. MM is my only club<3


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Cody - 04-18-2012

Jon. As I've mentioned on Dan's thread I HIGHLY encourage you to understand what the SGA Finance Committee has to offer. How will you go about getting contingency funds and possibly a program grant to be able to make the College AutoX self sufficient? As treasurer you will have to present to the committee and the SGA senate. This will involve a decent amount of work but you'll find it very rewarding.

I like the car smash idea.

What other opportunities do you see that we have to make money?

Will you keep the current cost of dues?

We have managed to leave the club in better financial standing than in the past, what do you plan to do with the money? What purchases do you think we should make that would serve well in the long run (hellz maybe save up for a toolbox MM Racing)?


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-18-2012

Quote:How will you go about getting contingency funds and possibly a program grant to be able to make the College AutoX self sufficient?
As you said earlier in the post the Senate Finance Committee and SGA are great sources of funding for clubs. I do not know the exact qualifications for receiving funding, but this is something I plan to learn and use to our advantage. I have already talked with other potential officers about this and we all agree that there is no reason not to do this. Getting free money for the club is a no brainer. Between Dan and my business knowledge and with the help of Tyler and Chris I feel as though I (or we if more than 1 person can present) can pitch a well thought out professional plan on how intend to use the funding.

Quote:What other opportunities do you see that we have to make money?
Besides stadium clean up and the car smash idea, I have a few other ideas. There has been numerous attempts to get some MMers out to Autox and Nasa? events (correct me if it was a different event, VIR?) to sell coffee/food. I know that the logistics part of this is tough and getting people out to these events can also be a challenge. I hope to get a solid group of people who are interested in going to events and implementing this "snack stand" at least once. Did I mention I ran a full blown concession stand (Dogs, burgers, pulled pork, snow cones, fries, the works) when I was 14? Running a consistent stand at events could net us a good amount of cash.

Quote:Will you keep the current cost of dues?
What are the cost of dues? $30 or $35 for the year? I don't see any need to increase this as they were increased this year and seemed to cover everything the club needed to do. With an increase in fundraising, dues do not need to be raised.

Quote:We have managed to leave the club in better financial standing than in the past, what do you plan to do with the money? What purchases do you think we should make that would serve well in the long run (hellz maybe save up for a toolbox MM Racing)?
As of now, I plan to use some of the money for the fundraisers mentioned above. Need to spend money to make money they say. I have been thinking about getting an MM tent and with the help of Scott I think we can have a really cool one made. I also have been picturing a flag(s) that can be seen from far away for MM to put out at the track and any other events we have. Everyone would know where we are in the paddock, why not bring more attention to our already obnoxious bunch? I want something along the lines of this:
[Image: tallsign.png]

Your idea for an MM toolbox is actually something I have never thought of or heard anyone talk about. If we could get some money from the Finance Committee and start collecting tools which could be passed down from year to year that would be awesome. I am going to look into this for sure. Tools are expensive, but last forever and could be really useful for wrench days in which people don't have their own tools.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - NTIman - 04-18-2012

JPolen01 Wrote:Healthfood critics come on out, McDonald's hasn't hurt me yet.

How can we trust you if McDonald's is obviously in your back pocket?

But in all seriousness,

Cody Wrote:I like the car smash idea.

If it will fly...


Opening up the books isn't a big issue with me. I understand the logic behind it, but it's just not a huge deal in my opinion.

What I would like to see is a yearly goal for fundraising, maybe the progress as that has gone along. Alternatively, it would be nice to see progress towards buying something that is needed. I think that everyone would be glad to help out if the club needed to pay for something, and it would be nice to know what that something is, how expensive it is, and how much more is needed to obtain it. (I think this makes sense :dunno: )


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Cody - 04-18-2012

Tools might not be purchasable through finance committee but the cost of a tent like that is 100% plausible. Feel free to use me as a resource, I was on the committee for 3 years (maybe again next semester muahaha).


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Jake - 04-19-2012

VIR = NASA.

For food, Justin put together a really great coffee stand plan at the NASA autocrosses in Richmond. The problem was, with all of us driving, we didn't have anyone to staff it. This is SUCH a great way to get n00bs without cars (or those who just don't wanna autocross) out to events, helping the club make some money and meeting a ton of great people. People you should know (and by "you" I mean anyone in the club, but officers specifically) include the Cobettos, Jon Felton, Zach & Nichole, and various other NASA crew. But, nobody will know anyone if they don't show to events.

Laura Cobetto had also mentioned a plan to have MM provide food at some track events. Again, we just need to see willing, committed members to come "do it" and it'll be a great fundraiser.

Re: tools -- ask around with alumni too! A lot of us have old tools when we upgrade, or have parents with stuff they're giving away. I think a pretty good set of basics could be cobbled together for not a ton of money. Hell, even a basic Craftsman kit only costs ~$100. Get every alum to chip in $5-10 and you have an MM 'box.

Tent is good. Where is the banner I handed down last year?


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Kaan - 04-19-2012

I'm right here bitches! Smile After the elections i provide ALL my contact information to the new officers. Use it... call/text/email/knock on my door (i dont usually shoot first)

I'm glad to read that you realize it takes money to make money. I feel that some of the previous requests to "open the books" were to see if we had enough money to cover the event AND have enough money left over to still raise funds and cover basic costs. Also, answers like "we have just enough to cover X" doesnt answer the question of "how much money is in the bank?" just remember that. Alumni can be very generous people.

Tents, banners, tools, etc... Come up with a plan. Tell us what the club can cover, what the costs look like, how you want to raise funds, and IF you would like donations. Dont look for handouts without some sort of leg work.

Also, the dues have gone up but the perks have dwindled. $20 used to get every member a shirt and a sticker. $40 doesnt get you jack shit now. We may or may not be in the situation to correct that issue this year but its something I would like to see return. If you have any ideas on how to get that back on track i'd love to hear it.

selling food at events can be a little weird. sort of like aramark at JMU, VIR and other tracks might have an issue. What other ideas do you have to promote MM at the track or events... not just bringing students, but promoting the club to the masses (from a financial aspect).


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Cody - 04-19-2012

Quote: Where is the banner I handed down last year?

We went over this and the conclusion was it's MIA. Unless DJ found it or was in possesion of it at some point. Regardless banners are another thing that is good to go as far as SGA goes. It's pitiful that someone was unable to take advantage of this free-be this year. This needs to be done, no excuses. I'm sure you'll take care of it Jon, ultimately you as treasurer have to see it through.

Dues- $25 per semester/ $40 per year worked great, it literally saved our ass since fundraising was MIA. If you plan on actually fundraising as treasurer you could even lower them say $20/ $35 (which is still much lower than other JMU clubs).

And just to put it in perspective the max amount for contingency funds are a % of the total balance on their account at the beginning of the year. We're talking around $1,200 for a 10 minute pitch and items that are approvable by the state. I'll help set you all up for success.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - CaptainHenreh - 04-19-2012

Cody Wrote:It's pitiful that someone was unable to take advantage of this free-be this year. This needs to be done, no excuses.

[Image: lolwut.jpg]


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - JPolen01 - 04-19-2012

Kaan Wrote:Tents, banners, tools, etc... Come up with a plan. Tell us what the club can cover, what the costs look like, how you want to raise funds, and IF you would like donations. Dont look for handouts without some sort of leg work.
Before any donations are asked for, you will be provided with a clearly written plan on what we plan to do with the money. Don't expect any give us money, we will figure out what to do with it later shenanigans.

Kaan Wrote:Also, the dues have gone up but the perks have dwindled. $20 used to get every member a shirt and a sticker. $40 doesnt get you jack shit now. We may or may not be in the situation to correct that issue this year but its something I would like to see return. If you have any ideas on how to get that back on track i'd love to hear it.
*EDIT*
I'll have to partly disagree with you here. Dues did go up (I can't remember if they are $30 or $35 now), but I don't think it was $40. Ok, so it was $40, but students or alumni (who actually pay!) still get a t shirt and sticker. They are also eligible to have MM pay for their first autox. That plan is still going although I do not think anyone took advantage of it last season. With the fundraising we hope to do these dues may be able to be lowered back to $30 for the year. This is something me and the other officers will need to discuss before we come back in the fall. I haven't really put much thought into what else we can do for members who pay dues, but that is what our summer video chats are going to be used for. We plan to generate a strong list of potential ideas and come back in the fall and report to you guys as well as implementing them.

Kaan Wrote:selling food at events can be a little weird. sort of like aramark at JMU, VIR and other tracks might have an issue. What other ideas do you have to promote MM at the track or events... not just bringing students, but promoting the club to the masses (from a financial aspect).
This is not something that I came up with. There have been talks between alumni (Rex? Jake?) and the Nasa people of MM providing better food for racers and workers of VIR. I think it fell through because of lack of staff for the stand. I plan to change this and provide VIR with a rotating team of people who want to go out to the track, get ride alongs, and switch off working the snack shack. As stated above, I ran a concession stand at a park with 2 football fields, and 6 baseball fields when I was 14. With my experience, we can definitely make this stand profitable while still serving good quality food. As far as promoting MM, I want to see the ever talked about MM tent come to fruition. I would also like to get 1 or 2 flags (posted above) made to put around the tent which will draw anyone in the paddock over to the MM snack table or general paddock area. If we can have flags and a tent which are visible from all over, we will be able to draw people even if it's just for the "whos big ass tent and flags are those over there" factor.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Kaan - 04-19-2012

Cody Wrote:Dues- $25 per semester/ $40 per year worked great, it literally saved our ass since fundraising was MIA. If you plan on actually fundraising as treasurer you could even lower them say $20/ $35 (which is still much lower than other JMU clubs).

i'm of the opinion you leave the dues where they are. from the outside, it seems there is a lot more work to do for club financial stability. but i'd like to hear the potential treasurers opinion on this.

if PR stuff is missing, like the banner, i would hope the officers would work out how to fix the situation ASAP.

After the election it might be helpful to have the officers sit down together and game plan the year. See what they think it will cost, what they think they will intake, and what the short falls are. Put a plan together to sovle the issues. Execute the plans and dont point fingers.


Re: Jon Polen - Treasurer - Sully - 04-19-2012

JPolen01 Wrote:
Kaan Wrote:Tents, banners, tools, etc... Come up with a plan. Tell us what the club can cover, what the costs look like, how you want to raise funds, and IF you would like donations. Dont look for handouts without some sort of leg work.
Before any donations are asked for, you will be provided with a clearly written plan on what we plan to do with the money. Don't expect any give us money, we will figure out what to do with it later shenanigans.

Kaan Wrote:Also, the dues have gone up but the perks have dwindled. $20 used to get every member a shirt and a sticker. $40 doesnt get you jack shit now. We may or may not be in the situation to correct that issue this year but its something I would like to see return. If you have any ideas on how to get that back on track i'd love to hear it.
*EDIT*
I'll have to partly disagree with you here. Dues did go up (I can't remember if they are $30 or $35 now), but I don't think it was $40. Ok, so it was $40, but students or alumni (who actually pay!) still get a t shirt and sticker. They are also eligible to have MM pay for their first autox. That plan is still going although I do not think anyone took advantage of it last season. With the fundraising we hope to do these dues may be able to be lowered back to $30 for the year. This is something me and the other officers will need to discuss before we come back in the fall. I haven't really put much thought into what else we can do for members who pay dues, but that is what our summer video chats are going to be used for. We plan to generate a strong list of potential ideas and come back in the fall and report to you guys as well as implementing them.

Kaan Wrote:selling food at events can be a little weird. sort of like aramark at JMU, VIR and other tracks might have an issue. What other ideas do you have to promote MM at the track or events... not just bringing students, but promoting the club to the masses (from a financial aspect).
This is not something that I came up with. There have been talks between alumni (Rex? Jake?) and the Nasa people of MM providing better food for racers and workers of VIR. I think it fell through because of lack of staff for the stand. I plan to change this and provide VIR with a rotating team of people who want to go out to the track, get ride alongs, and switch off working the snack shack. As stated above, I ran a concession stand at a park with 2 football fields, and 6 baseball fields when I was 14. With my experience, we can definitely make this stand profitable while still serving good quality food. As far as promoting MM, I want to see the ever talked about MM tent come to fruition. I would also like to get 1 or 2 flags (posted above) made to put around the tent which will draw anyone in the paddock over to the MM snack table or general paddock area. If we can have flags and a tent which are visible from all over, we will be able to draw people even if it's just for the "whos big ass tent and flags are those over there" factor.

VIR has there own concession stand which NASA pays for for its workers, now that being said, there was talk of MM cooking food for NASA workers only at a couple trial events next season...the details would have to be discussed with laura cobetto and it would really have to be planned out in advance because it simply is too big a commitment to let it fail. This only came into view about a month ago. And it was brought up by the Cobetto's

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