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SORBA Begins Strategic Planning

On Saturday July 18, The SORBA Executive Board, comprised of Paul Farrow, Angela Allen, and Annabeth Purcell (Dan Zafuto was not present); Jim Grover of the IMBA Board; and the SORBA staff, Tom Sauret, Terry Palmeri, and Robin Allen, met to discuss SORBA, its mission, and its present state-of-the-Union. The group began to outline the discussion for the entire SORBA Board Of Directors at the November 15th meeting in Charlotte, NC. The focus of the day-long meeting was two-fold: to think strategically about the future of the organization, and to plan and frame the discussion for the November meeting.

Strategic Planning July

The discussion began by taking a look at SORBA’s mission statement, which had not been revisited for at least a decade.

 Existing SORBA mission statement: SORBA’s mission is to promote land access, trail preservation, and new trail development in order to enhance mountain bike touring, racing, fun, and fellowship for all mountain bicyclists in the southeastern United States.

After lengthy discussion the group recommends the mission statement be revised to:

SORBA’s mission is to create, preserve and enhance great mountain biking experiences in the southeastern U.S..

Revising the mission statement will be discussed and any action to change the exiting mission will be decided by the entire BOD in November.

The bulk of the day was spent in looking at the challenges and the opportunities that SORBA faces and framing these as questions.

These are the big questions that Executive Board and staff have concerning the future of SORBA:

  1. How do we grow membership?
  2. How do we get more participation in our programs?
  3. How do we train volunteers over the region?
  4. How do we remain financially stable?
  5. How do we ensure SORBA’s sustainability?
  6. How do we provide policy and governance direction to IMBA?
  7. How do we enhance communication between IMBA and our members
  8. How do we enhance communication between our chapters?
  9. How do we enhance communication between SORBA and our members?
  10. How do we increase political influence?
  11. How do we increase community visibility?
  12. How do we most effectively work with other organizations (land managers and user groups) for mountain biking-friendly trails?
  13. How do we enhance credibility?
  14. How do we plan for the future?
  15.  How do we support our chapters so that they can effectively carry out their missions?
  16. How do we provide for leadership transition?
  17. How do we train our leaders?

This list is not exhaustive, and the group hopes that you will submit additional questions to the Executive Board for consideration at the November meeting. Bring these questions to your chapter meetings, and solicit input from your members.

The present idea is that the Board will begin to tackle these questions, and to set attainable objectives to address them at the November meeting.  Defining goals and setting objectives will be an ongoing process.This is an important and valuable process that has been set aside for far too long.

Thank you for you time and consideration.  Both Paul Farrow and Tom Sauret stand by to answer your questions and record your comments.