Archive for 2013

Web Site Changes

Wishing all of our members Season Greetings!

You may notice some funny things and just plain weird pictures   on the NMRA Canada web site over the next week or so!  We are making some changes and additions to the site…. And since I am very new at web design I must keep it live in order to get on line support.  So if you wondering what a bird or a fish have to do with model railroading… it does not! But I am hoping that once we are done the changes you will really enjoy our site even more! So hang in there while I learn how to design a web site…and if you’re a web designer or have skills in that area, by all means contact me I could use the help!

So just be patient and try not to laugh at the confusing  pictures on the site…

For all of us at NMRA Canada wishing you all the very best!

Clark Kooning, MMR

NMRA Canada President

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NMRA Financial Overview by Frank Koch

Welcome to the InfoNet-News For December, 2013

NOTE:  Please forward this email to your newsletter editor and officers, mention it in your editorial, bring it up at meetings.  Your members like to know what’s going on at National!

Message from Frank Koch, NMRA Chief Financial Officer:


 This provides a very broad perspective of NMRA economics.  Subsequent articles will provide more detail on individual elements and explain how we fund the various parts of our organization.  We have committed to place the annual audit results and budgets on the website once it is redesigned.  The IT department is busy with other higher priority work and this project is a bit down the list.

The NMRA is a not a club but is a non-profit corporation, must conduct its business in strict accord with laws and regulations, and must have an annual outside professional audit (We pass with no major issues.).  Like many corporations, we have multiple “business” units (four) and each plays a role in our overall financial strategy.  Each of the four units serves a specific purpose and we manage them accordingly.  The four units are Operations, NMRA Magazine, Non-Dues Programs, and Howell Day Museum (HDM).  The first three are interdependent while HDM is treated as an independent financial unit, but still a part of the NMRA.  The overall strategy is that the first three units balance each other every year.   We do plan for a small surplus in each annual budget to cover unexpected opportunities or expenses during the year.

Within each unit, there are income and expense streams that are budgeted, tracked, and monitored.  The challenge is to balance the first three against today’s mix of member services, while finding ways to increase net revenue so that improvements and/or new services and benefits can be provided.  We can also choose to redistribute our resources to change the mix of member benefits.  As an example, in 2013 the BOD chose to increase the budgets for IT and Marketing so that we could increase our reach and communication to members and non-members over the next few years.  The website is being redesigned and responsibility for some content is moving to the Department Heads.  The increased Marketing effort includes membership applications in all mail orders from several major suppliers, distribution of materials at railroad museums, and a trial of the Build A Memory initiative.

The total annual NMRA budget varies, but about $2.3 million in 2013.  This may seem like a lot but remember that it includes the annual convention, the National Train Show, and a major fund raising effort by HDM in 2013.  Each area has its own budget which is reviewed by a Department Manager, the Finance Committee, and then approved by the Board of Directors on an annual basis.  Each fiscal year starts with a zero budget and we build it based on the funds needed to deliver the agreed and planned programs.  The chart below shows how the 2013 budget was distributed between the four units.

NMRA 2013 BUDGET ($ Thousands)

Income            Expense

Operations                                         668                 720

Magazine                                           352                 441

Non-Dues Activities                          871                 673

Howell Day Museum                         458                 456

Total                                                    2,349              2,290


This has been a very brief introduction.  Over the next year, I’ll expand on each of the four areas and provide an introduction to the various types of assets and liabilities that make up the NMRA.  If you have any questions or thoughts, my contact information is in the Magazine and on the website.

Frank J. Koch, NMRA CFO

If you have any questions or comments about any of the above, please send them directly to a Director or Officer.  You’ll find those addresses at on in the NMRA Magazine.

If the person holding a region or division office changes, or their email address changes, please contact me at with the corrected information


Tom Draper – HLM, DSA, FA

Director – Support Services

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NMRA Canada Membership Information For December 2013


NMRA Canada Membership Information For December 2013

Please note membership renewals have been sent out via EMAIL today for those past due, and those members who expire in December, January and February. If you don’t see, an e mail and you are up for renewal, please check your spam filter, many email providers block unrecognized email addresses to protect you from email spam attempts.

The December membership deadline is December 15, any memberships not received by this date will be processed by the end of  January.

Just a reminder, those who receive the NMRA magazine if you fail to renew before you expire there can be a 2 month lag time before you will receive your magazine again. This is due to the fact publication dates and mailing labels are 2 months ahead time.

If you have checked the web page for information and if your answer is not there, send us an email just make sure you include your membership number. We are always happy to help!

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Live Skype Call in Show

Just a reminder to all members there will be a Live Skype Call in Show tomorrow night   Saturday November 23 at 7:30 eastern Standard time till 9:30 pm EST. Please click on the link in the header for full information on how to get Skype and participate.
The format of the show will be a short introduction, NMRA Canada Business, and then we will talk model railroading…from that point on we will let the participants dictate where the show goes.

Video: We will not be using the video portion of Skype on our calls.

We would strongly suggest if you’re going to participate rather than just listen to the show you go out and buy a mic and head set, this will reduce the background noise

The method used by Skype to establish a conversation is not the same as talking on a regular telephone. This requires taking some extra steps to ensure good quality sound. If you’d like to participate in the meeting, please find a quiet place to call in from. Background noise (such as radio, TV, cooling fan, or even an open window) or another discussion happening in the same room, gets picked up by your microphone even when you are not talking. This extra noise makes it harder for our host to manage the call in real time (he may have to mute your line frequently)
While on the call, please avoid typing on your keyboard or many of the typical activities associated with the hobby workbench. Sawing, sanding, filing, and other tasks can all be heard through your mic. All these extra noise inputs can sometimes overpower the voice of the person who is speaking. They took the time and effort to call in to the meeting, and deserve an equal chance to be heard.
We would ask that all callers respect other callers on the Skype call.  Any improper language or behaviour will result in removal by the host
When there are many members on the call, you will be asked to mute your mic and the host will call you in to participate in the call allowing a better conversation and discussions.
Please also use the instant messaging during the call to add comments to the discussion or request to ask a question or make a comment. It will add to your participation in the show.

Look forward to you calling in!
Clark Kooning, MMR

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