Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 6 minutes of HHA

Helderberg Hilltowns Association

June 6, 2011
Tim Lippert’s Crosby Farm
Present: Zenie Gladieux, Tim Lippert, John Elberfeld, Jane McLean, Anna Wolfe, Amy Pokorny, Dawn Jordan, Barb Husek, Gerry Chartier
Zenie opened the meeting at 7:20 after a tour of Tim’s home/old farmhouse—thank you, Tim
  • WEBSITE UPDATE: Discussion about farms on website; John sent 30 letters to farms as listed on Hal Miller’s website, informing them about website. Anna showed “FarmFresh Guide to Schoharie County” as a sample of what could be done. We discussed the value of paper advertising vs. website, and concluded both are needed. We discussed concentrating on getting businesses on website by sending our brochure, either on paper or as a PDF? The possibility of a center supplement in Altamont Enterprise was raised, but they charge for paper/printing; perhaps we could get promotional articles in Enterprise, ex. places to eat, farm stands using letters to the editor every couple of weeks. Tim mentioned Constant Contact as a tool for an enewsletter: the question was raised, are we preaching to the choir? We can ask our HHA group if someone wants to do an e-newsletter with topics, ex. farmstands.
  • DUDLEY OBSERVATORY: Amy reported: June 4 introduction at Octagon Barn: event a great success, “a lovely evening”. Invitations sent to dignitaries from federal to county to town levels; Sandy Gordon, Albany County, Tom Wolfe & Nick Viscio, Town of Knox, attended. There were approximately 50 people in attendance for the presentation; folks kept arriving and some went directly out to the telescopes, so approximately 115 attendees and workers were actually there, including members from at least three star clubs associated with Dudley. Zenie spoke for HHA, Sandy welcomed Dudley to the Hilltowns. The refreshments were a hit! Dudley people were also present at renewable energy expo on same day w/ solar telescope. Dudley people want to have another event; their focus is on education. Amy would like an “Astronomy for Dummies” program. The only problem was getting the folks to leave! It was suggested for next time to put an end time on all publicity materials.
Helderberg is metamorphosizing into Sara is expanding to four counties with more and different farmers on her website; consumers can choose the county they wish.
Po’ Boys farmers market has not been heard from since we handed it off to them. It is difficult to keep a market going in Hilltowns.
Zenie urged getting all small businesses on website to push “Buy Local”. We need to get more of our brochures into circulation; Zenie can’t keep upo with the demand alone so she distributed sheets of the heavier brochure paper for people to print their own copies of Dawn’s brochure as well as HHA form for website listing information.
There was discussion on how to get our local businesses hooked into the various GPS systems tourists might use; Gerry will research how businesses get listed on GPS.
  • PUBLICITY: Dawn is preparing a presentation to town boards, approx. 10 minutes, starting w/ Zenie’s elevator speech from the Dudley Star Party, and adding proposed activities and screen prints of website as a handout for each board member. There should be a statement about how HHA will benefit the town—promote businesses for revenue, and what we want the towns to do for us? Can we take a prototype for each town presentation to facilitate current businesses? We might then ask the towns to appropriate funds for marketing, provide permission/personnel for installation of signage, tell us what kind of marketing the town is doing for its community [ex. signage: Gerry talked about Greene County’s signage; Tim kiosk at border, Anna visitor center; info glass front w/ brochures]. The group leader will contact the town clerk and ask to be put on the agenda for 10 minutes; that should get us more time than using public comments. Several people will attend as a group; in July: Rensselaerville 07/, Barb leads, Tim, Dawn, Pam McSweeney; Berne: 07/13, Dawn leads, Gerry; Knox 07/12: John leads, Jane, Amy, Anna; Westerlo 07/05: Bonnie? Gerry Boone? We still need to get an informational direct mail to local organizations, but it’s too late for this summer. Russ Pokorny in Knox and Tim in Berne/Rensselaerville will contact fire departments to see if we can get our logo/website on firefighters calendar for this year.
TO DO: Many projects!!
FALL WEEKEND: 09/10-11 “Discover the Hilltowns: Farm and Artisan Tours” farm tours, craft/artisan open studios. We can use Amy’s list of local businesses to contact them, and also use our website. John will add information to our website as it becomes available. Dawn will develop a flier and sign-up sheet.
EVENT: Knox Historical Society: 07/31 new display, period music, Civil War w/ reenactors, Michael Barckley’s letters, and biographies of Knox soldiers available for research
06/27: Knox (John and Jane) at Beebe Farm, 66 Beebe Road [Cty Rd. 259]
07/18: Westerlo (Dawn)
08/08: Rensselaerville (Barb)
Respectfully submitted, Phoebe Beebe