March 27, 2020
WTBOA Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Jim Engstrom, Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst, Jennifer Webber – all via phone.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Dr. Duane Hopp and David Israel.
WTBOA Staff Members Present: M. Anne Sweet.
The meeting was called to order at 12:23 p.m. by President Halvorson.
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the February 21, 2020 meeting were presented and reviewed. Bultena moved to approve the minutes as presented. Lewin seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
Finance: There haven’t been a lot of changes in the past month.
Ideas to increase advertising in the e newsletter were discussed. With a reduction to only two print magazines, it will be even more important to generate additional revenue through advertising outside of the magazine.
The awards banquet showed only a $750 difference in the bottom line from last year.
Financially the organization is in a better position from last year. The 12-month Profit and Loss report is $11,000 in the red as opposed to this time last year when it was a negative $92,000. Part of the difference is attributed to: tightening the belt across the board; an increase in stallion auction revenue, part of which was allocated into the general fund; and reduction in staff hours.
Northwest Race Series: The deadline for the late payments into the NWRS has been put on hold, pending the announcement of Emerald Downs’ race dates, which have been delayed due to COVID-19.
Sales: An email was sent to California consignors asking them to consider selling at the WTBOA sale. There has been some positive feedback and new memberships as a result.
A save-the-date flyer was sent to Arizona featuring some of the sales horses that have been successful at Turf Paradise. Unfortunately, it was right before the track closed early and may not have been as effective as it could have been.
At the time of the Board meeting there were 41 yearlings nominated to the sale with approximately 85 committed.
The next sales committee meeting is scheduled for April 21 and will most likely be conducted by phone.
Publications: Sweet is working on the spring issue of the magazine, which will be presented online only. The focus will be on Washington Champions and year-end statistics. Susie Sharp has been working on a foal project story that will also be included. Sweet has been working on ramping up digital advertising in the magazine and e-newsletter. The issue will be out mid-April.
WHRC/Emerald Downs update: The sports betting tribal only bill was signed by Governor Inslee on March 23. It should not affect the racing industry. It is expected that the Maverick Group will file a lawsuit in opposition to the bill.
Emerald Downs is still open for training. Management is still hoping to open no later than June 20, with plans to extend the season later into the year. Once a start date is determined, they will decide on a closing date. Most of the full time Emerald Downs employees have been furloughed for the time being.
Several people involved in Washington racing traveled to Olympia to attend the legislative work session. It was noted that WHRC Executive Secretary Doug Moore and his staff did a wonderful job on the PowerPoint presentation. Moore and WHBPA President Pat LePley focused on how each state helped the racing industry and explored some ideas to generate revenue that are not tied into the handle. For example, in Texas they take a portion of the sales tax and redirect it back into the industry. Moore has had some follow up conversations and is working to stay in communication with the committee members.
Industry Promotional Video: Board member Petra Lewin and Emerald Downs Director of Broadcast Media Joe Withee had the industry promotional video ready to go for the annual awards banquet. However, Emerald President Phil Ziegler had provided some critique regarding the content and asked that different footage be used. The video is currently at a standstill until the COVID-19 situation is resolved.
Goals and Initiatives: Nothing new to report.
New Business: The 2019 TOBA award winner was discussed. Sweet said she would send out a list of past winners and this year’s contenders.
Next meeting is scheduled for May 1, 2020, at 12:00 p.m. via phone conference.
It was moved by Pabst and seconded by Bultena to adjourn the meeting at 1:26 p.m. Motion passed and the meeting was adjourned.
May 1, 2020, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, May 29, 2020