BFA BOARD 2013 MEETING REPORT

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The 2013 annual Board of Directors meeting was held at the Holiday Inn during the Reunion.  All current members of the Board were present except Traci Pollard, Bob Bowling, and Randy Bell.  Emeritus members Lee Stifter and Flora Adams were present as well as outgoing Treasurer Betty Pickell.  Web Site Manager Chip Boling participated by telephone.
 
All of the officer and committee reports had been submitted in writing in advance and are available on request to the President.  They will be summarized here along with discussion. 
 
President:  This year we must carefully look at how our Family model operates and what we must do to ensure our organization’s viability in the future.  Carol has expressed this very well in her report.  The problem indicators include: member loss through both non-renewal and death; decreasing number of new members, especially family of current members; decreasing input to our data base and newsletter; decline in reunion attendance; and an increasingly aging membership.  The BFA Data Sheet attached at the bottom of these reports shows the trends. [not attached to online version]
 
Our strongest elements are: Committed Board membership; Genealogy Gang commitment; DNA testing program; Data Base; Web Site; quarterly newsletters; publications and sales items; Family Collection and Genealogy Library; and formally organized Family structure.
 
I am very proud of the work that we and our predecessors, especially Bud Bolling, have done to make us what we are today.  However, our leadership team must evaluate where we are and how we build our future.
 
Vice-President:  We need to start thinking about the relevance of BFA in this current electronic-age and culture.  When Bud started BFA everyone had to do research by going to churches, cemeteries, libraries, interviewing relatives, writing letters to people, and so on.  Genealogy has evolved with this electronic age into a very different form, with so much available at one's fingertips.  People would much rather research from the kitchen table (so to speak) than to go to a convention. How do we take advantage of the internet - Facebook, Chat Sites and other Media Activities?  The other thing is generational, how do we get the next generation involved in BFA?  This is a major problem, and will be our downfall if we can't figure out a way to bring in the relatives of those who were on the original roster.  We're not getting enough new members each year to counter the loss of the "original" generation.  Look at the figures that Woody provides on membership renewals and losses.
 
Secretary:  In 2013, we continued the unfortunate pattern of a significant number of non-renewals which was about 50.   A number of the non-renewals are family members whose parent or grandparent was paying their dues.  I have maintained the mailing labels files and the membership roster which I recently reviewed for correctness.  Our current membership is 345 and 40 libraries and museums who receive our newsletter. 
 
Treasurer:  In 2012, our total income was $6,549.41 and total expenses were $6,654.64, with a net loss of $105.23.  For 2013 through Sep. 20, our income was $5,461.83.  Total expenses to date are $4,374.16 including a Reunion prepayment to the hotel of $500.  Thus our available funds for the remainder of the year including the Nov. newsletter will be $1,587.67.
 
Bolling Foundation (John Bowling): The Bolling Foundation continues to support cemetery upkeep and makes donations to assist Bolling sites of interest.  The Foundation continues to solicit donations (tax-deductible) to continue the support of the needs of Bolling sites and other family related initiatives.  The Foundation also will help fund the operation of the Bolling Family Genealogical Library and Collection at its new site and the BFA Institutions of Interest. We can use every dollar that anyone donates; so I ask you to consider the Foundation in your own charitable giving.  The Foundation is a separate fund according to IRS Regulations and the Board members are Woody Bentley, John Bowling, and Larry Bowling.  Finance report 2012:  $1,036.32, Expenses $2,660, Balance $6,019.94. Finance report 2013 year to date: Income $524.49, Expenses $660.00, Balance $5,601.43.  The members are asked to consider donations to the Foundation to help us meet our necessary expenses annually.
 
Genealogy Gang (Larry Bowling):  The activity of the Gang over the past year has been focused on two areas, expansion of our research into each DNA Group looking for immigrant ancestors and helping others with their research.  In summary, the DNA has dramatically changed the focus of the Gang over the past few years into a much more DNA family group orientation and much less a broader BFA orientation as we continue to expand our knowledge of each group and look for immigrant ancestors.  Similarly, the effects of online genealogy research, both outside of BFA and within BFA, also impacts the Gang as well as membership in BFA.  Many people now rely on Ancestry.com and Family Search for their research and do it from the PC at home, not realizing the shortcomings of these approaches alone.
 
BFA DNA Study (Larry Bowling):  With 365 total members, the Bolling Family Association’s DNA study remains one of the largest at Family Tree DNA.  Begun in 2001 at the beginning of DNA use for genealogy, the study’s main goal was to define the biological families within BFA.  With almost all Bollings having the family legend of Pocahontas in their line, our initial goal was to see if this was indeed true.  Eight men took the tests of 12 markers and when the results came back, we knew the truth.  The two men with strong paper trails back to Robert Bolling 1646, the immigrant who married Pocahontas’ granddaughter, matched each other exactly.  The other six men did not match the Robert descendants but fell into three other families.  Thus the initial beginnings of our Group 1, 2, 3, and 5.  Others quickly followed and within a short time Groups 4 and 6 were defined.  As the groups grew, it became very apparent that BFA was made up of a number of different biological families all sharing a common surname with various spellings.
We now have 21 different biological family groups, meaning the men in each group do not share a common Bolling ancestor with the other groups, i.e., not related through the male Bolling line.  Given that we have identified over 70 immigrants with the Bolling surname, it is not unexpected that they are not all related. As the science of DNA for genealogy has grown, the number of markers has also increased to over 67 now with other tests also available.  Generally, the more markers, the more precise the match as defined by number of generations to most recent common ancestor.  Thus if two men match each other exactly 67/67, they share a common male ancestor with about 8 generations or less with a high degree of probability.
 
Web Site (Chip Boling):  Over the last year, we have had approximately 120 people create accounts on the website and I typically receive about two emails a month regarding the site, people looking for information, and some wishing to join.  For each email I have either answered them personally (even talked to a few over the phone) or referred them to the proper person to answer their questions.  One significant feature that has not yet been completed is an online store for membership registration and eventually for purchase of BFA related articles and publications.  The infrastructure work for the online commerce site is completed and includes Product Display pages, checkout forms, shipping information, and invoice lists.  Currently the ‘payment system’ is just a test interface that can be used to test the checkout process and will be substituted with an actual PayPal interface once the commerce features are mature and tested.  I will continue working on improvements and welcome inquiries and comments.
 
Data Base (Jeff Jacobs):  The number of people in the database is constantly changing. I am going through it and trying to take out the duplicates. Every request but (1) has been for an ahnentafel report as opposed to a descendant report. We can also provide MANY different charts, including: Pedigree, Descendant, Relationship, Hourglass, Bow tie, Family Tree. These can have a custom background if desired. And will be provided in a PDF format.  At last count, we have 83,357 names, 27,653 marriages, and 10,666 surnames going back to 330AD.
 
Newsletter (Woody Bentley): We continue to publish four newsletters per year.  The cost of layout, printing and mailing consumes about 3/4th of our annual budget.  Our format has remained the same with about three to four articles and the various sections that are in each issue.  We manage to get enough stories per issue, but I really need more assistance in that area and I would also like to get another editor so I can spend more time on other Family business.  If someone else created the newsletter and emailed it to me, I could continue to publish and mail using my current printer.  We have considered emailing the newsletter, but our membership and other considerations have led us not to take this route.
 
Reunion (Woody Bentley): This Reunion follows the format of our previous ones.  We will suffer a loss this year, as the number of attendees does not manage to fund our current format.  The cost of using a hotel for our hospitality room and Family meeting will not be fully covered.  The bus cost may also be over our tour income.  For these reasons, we must discuss how to hold future Family Reunions at reduced cost.  
 
Status of the Bolling Collection and Genealogical Library (Woody Bentley): Our Bolling Collection of paintings, pictures, and wall hangings is currently at Centre Hill Museum.  Our Genealogical Files are currently in storage and are being inventoried to ensure we have an overview of all the documents.  Our plan to house the Library at Centre Hill does not appear feasible at this time.  We need to discuss our alternatives.
 
Nominations Committee (Woody Bentley): Reported the following nominations for terms running from 2013 to 2017 per the by-laws:  Vice President Carol Smith and Directors Larry Bowling and John Bowling for re-election, Mary Stuart Bolling and Jeff Jacobs to fill Director vacancies and Barbara Chapman for Treasurer.  The remaining officers and directors terms run from 2011 to 2015.
 
Biography Committee (John Bowling): There are currently ten biographies for eight current and four Emeritus or deceased Board members.  There are two Legacy member biographies.  There are 17 historical Bolling biographies.  I will ask the current Board members who have not provided one to do so.
 
Site and Cemetery Committee (Traci Bowling Pollard): No report received.
 
Map Committee (Ran Pickell):  My work on the map issues have been slowed by the illness of Betty over the last couple of years.  I have compiled a list of all the known sites and have focused my efforts on finding the exact location by address and map coordinates.  My color coded list has three sections: red for those that I do not know if they are Bolling sites and where they are located; black for those which we know exist but need the exact location and coordinates. The remainder is those for which I have locations. I have a Black Book that lists the sites and nominal information gained to date.  I have a large Red book of Virginia County maps on which these sites are identified as well as a large Virginia map showing the known locations.  A picture of the Great Working Map of Bolling Sites in Virginia is in the Nov. 2011 Newsletter.  A listing of some sites needing coordinates is in the Feb. 2011 Newsletter.
 
Publications and Sales Items (Carol Bowlin Smith):
 
There have been few sales this year.  An inventory of current stock and their prices will be provided to the Board.  Items available continue to be advertised in the BFA newsletter.
 
Institutions of Interest (Carol Bowlin Smith):  I continue to track on institutions, sites, and libraries.  Members are encouraged to identify new ones for addition to the list.  The institutions and libraries receive copies of our newsletter.  I also communicate with them by Christmas card.
 
By-Laws (Woody Bentley): The proposed bylaw amendment reads:
 
The number of elected Directors will be six, with the addition that persons serving as Family Genealogist, Data Base Manager, Web Master, or Chair of the Site and Cemetery and Institutions of Interest Committees, who are not elected Directors, can be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board to serve as Directors with full voting rights during their term of appointed office.
 
Old Business:
 
MRB Reprint:  Due to the cost of issuing this to new members which equals the annual membership fee, the Board agreed that it will be reduced in size and the contents removed will be sold separately.
 
Memorial Plaque at Bolling Hall:  The plaque for Bud Bolling and Peter Algar is still under discussion with Bolling Hall and pricing has not been completed.
 
Final Location of the Bolling Genealogical Library: The Board voted to research the feasibility of donating the Library to the Library of Virginia with conditions of use being satisfactory to both BFA and the Library.
 
New Business:
 
Future BFA Model:  After lengthy discussion, the Board agreed to continue in our current operating mode and emphasize new membership and renewals as well as encouraging life and legacy memberships.  We will continue to provide our services to members.  While our Facebook page is a good outreach to non-members in the younger generation, it is not generating new members.  This must be reemphasized on that page.
 
Nominations and By-laws Reports:  The reports were accepted and approved.
 
Reunions:  The Board voted to continue reunions, with the next in Williamsburg, VA in October 2015.  Efforts will be made to minimize costs of room rentals and the banquet even if it means a change to the location.