Welcome to another great season of riding! We trust that everyone has taken advantage of the early season weather to enjoy the trails.

Your Board has been making steady progress in the three months since our appointment and we want you to know – we heard you. The 2009 Ridership Survey and the discussion at last year's annual general meeting were informative and we are working to make 2010 a great year. We wanted to take a moment to share what we've been working on.

Organizational Plumbing
The invisible part of our organization was in need of some updating. Director John Housser has implemented a new constituent relationship management system and web site, which will help us keep track of memberships, donations, events, and more. It also helps to facilitate better communication to you. We have also moved our email and document storage to Google's platform so that we have email of a standard that most people take for granted and also so that we can easily share documents among the Board.

On the financial side, Director Rachid Nayel has taken on the role of Treasurer and is ensuring that we have good financial controls in place. You can feel confident that monies collected through memberships, events, and donations are going toward our organization's mission.

While plumbing isn't sexy, it is absolutely critical for ensuring our success.

An Updated Vision and Mission
As part of the Board's desire to bring clarity around what we do, the Board took up volunteer Ilana Wapniarski's offer to facilitate a stakeholder analysis and work through some strategic development. One of the outputs was an updated vision statement:

The NSMBA is a voice for the mountain biking community of the North Shore. We develop and sustain a network of fun trails that provide opportunity for challenge and progression, while fostering mountain bike culture and a community that embraces it as a positive force.
And our vision is summed up in our mission statement, which is simply:

Trails for All, Trails Forever!

The vision and mission updates are only a piece of the strategic planning process and this work is ongoing. While we have an immediate focus of completing a 2010 plan, we will be developing a three year plan for the organization based on this work.

Trails & Government Relations
President Mathew Bond is acting in the vacant position of trails director and Director Adam Walsh has taken on Government Relations. The two jobs are inextricably linked. We have had good success engaging with the landowners and the relationship and status of the trails are positive (see the story on Fromme for more specifics of the types of things we've been doing). Working with landowners is a long process and in time, we hope that we will turn our current progress into something concrete and positive.

Although we are yet to announce our first group trail day of the year, rest assured that we do plan on running trail days this year. More details to come.

If you've read this far, you will already know that our events team (headed up by Directors Jeff Bryson and Tara Mowat) already have the first event of the season set-up with this Friday's Season Opener Party. We hope you'll join us for a great night!

For their next act, Jeff, Tara and Mark have already started orchestrating their first organized ride of the year. Stay tuned for more details on the resurrection of Wade's Excellent Adventure! The events team is also working on how we engage with the next generation of riders with their super-secret Youth Acquisition Program (there goes the secret). Additionally, Mark has been instrumental in ensuring that we've taken advantages of opportunities to appear at events such as the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and Lynn Valley Days during the Olympics.

Marketing,  Membership, and Fund Raising
Directors John, Mark, Rachid, and Tim Ambler are responsible for the rather broad bucket of activities related to marketing, membership, and fundraising.

As part of the organizational plumbing upgrades, the most obvious change that you will notice that we have a new web site with a more "blog-style" format. In addition to the web site, you can easily follow the NSMBA through our RSS feed, our @NSMBA Twitter account , or by becoming a fan of our Facebook page . In addition to how we communicate, you can expect that we are trying to send out more "nuggets" of information more frequently. This is in response to feedback from the membership that they didn't know what the organization was doing. While we're not there 100% yet, we hope that you've started to notice a positive change in how we communicate with you.

Also with our new plumbing, donating to or joining the NSMBA is super easy! Last year our membership drive was a bit stealthy but you can expect that we'll be a bit more overt in 2010. We hope that we'll have your support.

On the fund raising front, we have started to put together our Sponsorship plans together for 2010 and we hope to have all of our 2009 sponsors on board with us and to add a few more. We applied for our first grant of the year (thanks to Lee Lau for volunteering to write it) and have a few more applications in the pipeline. You can expect more news on this front.

We need your help, however you can provide it.
There is still much to do and the NSMBA needs your help. As a non-profit charity and volunteer organization, it is you who determines our success. We hope that you will choose to support the NSMBA however you can, whether that be through joining as a member, donating financially, or volunteering your time. Your support is appreciated by all riders of the Shore.