Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association is due for new elections for the cabinet, board members, and appointees for volunteer liaison positions. Elections are to be held at REI Boca Park, Sunday, November 9th, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM (room closes at 7). So what does this mean to you and why should you be a part of the Board for SNMBA? If you are passionate about cycling and what can become of mountain biking in Southern Nevada, then it’s time you consider being a part of a greater cause.
SNMBA was established about 9 years ago to help bring the mountain bike community together and to create a voice which we can represent to the city and land managers for continued trail access, rights, and future trails which can be built properly in the valley. We called upon IMBA so we could have a larger, solid entity representing us at a national level, but also locally by backing us in the event we need assistance in the proper way to keep trails open or creating a new trail system through sustainability. IMBA has really helped us along the way, and each year, SNMBA learned something new and tried and improve on where we were the year before. We asked for assistance in writing grants, and obtained a great one on our first try which means we are ready to write and ask for more. We learned a great deal working with IMBA’s Trail Crew on how to maintain and build a sustainable trail which can withstand the rigors of desert rains or lack thereof. Working with Great Basin Institute, we took a slower approach to study the land we ride to see what Mother Nature does when it rains. Just going out and throwing a shovel to ground doesn’t work anymore, that’s like building a house without doing proper research where it’s being built and how it will hand the elements thrown at it. But all in all, we learned a lot these past few years, and are ready to move forward in SNMBA’s next chapter.
SNMBA vision for the next year is to be there for the community more. This includes group rides, any and all cycling events including races out of town, promotional and charity events, and support of the local shops. We want to be there for YOU. Although SNMBA is an advocate for the mountain biker, we are not truly trail builders, meaning, we are not responsible for building all the trails in or near Las Vegas, but we are a part of it when called upon. All IMBA chapters in their respective hometowns are the stewards to the trails in their home cities, and we are no different. There is a very thin line we must toe when it comes to building trails, and stepping on the land manager’s toes will not help SNMBA’s cause when it comes to asking for trails to stay open or for more access. IF a trail is going to be closed, we can promise you we will step up to the plate and take action, personally putting ourselves as the responsible party to care for this trail if we can continue to access the trail, or pass the word if the closure is truly legitimate. Who else can you count on in our city to do this for you? I know you can mention people, but you need leaders who are vocal and aren’t afraid to put their name on a cause. It took many years by a few dedicated individuals to build a relationship with the US Forest Service to put into motion the foundation that produced the Showgirl Trail network which is legal, planned, and will be there for years. So, for Q4 2014 and into 2015, we can set forth this vision that the new Leadership can adopt, or scratch and start anew.
During the next year and beyond, we will see: Bear’s Best Trail be leveled for more “affordable housing”, creating a need for a new legitimate trail system; breaking of soil in 2015 for a future gravity bike park (?); Southwest Ridge Park taking shape introducing singletrack south of BBT; new MTB racing in the valley with the possibility of even more; NICA Nevada High School Racing League; pump and cyclocross tracks being established and planned (?); and the new mecca of mountain biking – Caliente. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but some of these projects can’t move without your involvement. Some are pipe dreams, and in the discussion stage, but so was Showgirl. Some are legitimate (Caliente), and are happening as we speak.
SNMBA speaks to many people in higher level positions in the cities (LV and Henderson), land management (BLM and Forest Service), and foundations (Outside Las Vegas), so when it comes to those individuals looking at the cycling community and who represents them, it’s us; just as hikers, equestrians, bird lovers, gun owners, etc., have professional and even local chapters representing them (Sierra, Audubon, American Horse Council, NRA, etc.). IMBA can only represent those who are members, all the while understanding there are millions of mountain bikers, but when legality is factored in, only represents the number on paper. All of these organizations support their local chapters, but let the chapters run on their own, meaning: we have to support you just like you need to support your community.
So, do you have that passion to make our community one of the top 50 in the country or higher? Do you have time to take on a volunteer role? And do you have a unique skill and personality that will help SNMBA be better in 2015? Or do you have someone in mind that would like to take on a position? (That person will have to accept a nomination). If you do, read the positions listed below, their respective roles, and if something interests you, speak up on this post on Facebook and voice your nomination and ask others to support you:
PRESIDENT: Sets vision and plans voted on by board into motion; communicates with community (blog, vocal, physical); meets with representatives from city and land managements, manufacturers and cycling businesses; represents SNMBA at official events/meetings; stays up-to-date with local and national issues pertaining to land access, laws and regulations; maintains legal status with Legal Advisor/Tax Liaison.
VICE PRESIDENT: Assists President with setting plans in motion; maintains board member involvement/active roles; tracks membership.
SECRETARY: Maintains club records, minutes, scheduling for meetings, and follow-ups (email, web searching) with IMBA for grants/events.
TREASURER: Maintains club funds and banking transactions; works with Tax Liaison for any IRS issues; helps with grants.
BOARD MEMBERS (3 positions + Legal Advisor)
Board members can have any (but do not have to) of the Liaison positions listed below. Board members have a holding vote and voice in direction of club but are not a sitting Cabinet Member. Board members are active in the club, have the same vision, and are participating in mountain biking in the Las Vegas community.
Legal Advisor – Appointed person who is familiar with the legality of operating a non-profit and handles communication between IMBA legal staff and SNMBA President.
SNMBA is seeking Appointees for the following:
Social Media Liaison(s) – person(s) who enjoys social media; responsible for all FB, Twitter, Instagram, web, etc.
Trip/Event Liaison(s) – person(s) to help coordinate trips and events (local and abroad) with the board
Gov’t/Lobbyist Liaison - Keep up with the IMBA legal and government affairs that pertain to cycling
Marketing Liaison - person to help create media files for flyers, promote events, reach out to supporting shops/businesses
Photo/Video Liaison - person SNMBA can call on in a moment’s notice for professional photos/videos, editing and posting via Vimeo or YouTube
Membership Liaison(s) - person to help maintain emails for membership retention, put out blasts for updates, attend fairs and tent days for membership drives
Financial Aid Liaison - person who has skills in non-profits who is ready to talk to persons/businesses seeking money for SNMBA (trips, schwag, etc.)
REMINDER: SNMBA is not a full-time gig, but how much effort you put in is what will we be rewarded. 4 hours per week is truly enough, and with Smartphones, emails are easy and quick allowing you to stay in contact passing vital information with those in your network. Planned events are typically once a month.
To close, I would like to say on behalf of the SNMBA Board, thank you. We’ve been proud to support and serve you this year and it’s been our pleasure in taking SNMBA forward, building a stronger mountain bike community and making one big goal complete and that is the Showgirl Trail. – Erik Montville, Vice President
Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association Board
- David Jaget – President
- Erik Montville – Vice President
- Brett Call – Treasurer
- Rich Mueller – Secretary
- Rodney Ward – Board Member Emeritus
- Ashlie Watters – Board Member
- Kenny Newby – Board Member
- Brandon Monette – Board Member
- Andrew Olsen – Board Member
- Jon Blum – Legal Advisor Emeritus
- Patrick Kell – Southwest IMBA Director