Submitted by lisadmuci on Sat, 08/18/2018 - 4:50 PM
Report Date
Committee Name



3:00 PM, August 15, 2018

Trinity Center Community Room

Attendance: Chuck Coutant, chair, Chuck Darling, Jim Rome, Paul Leiby, Lisa Muci Eckhoff, Lois McKeever

Chuck Coutant called the meeting to order shortly after 3:00.




Chuck Coutant announced that the First United Methodist Church, our landlord, is preparing to offer the Trinity Center for sale. Lois, Lisa and Chuck C. attended a congregational information meeting held at FUMC on August 1 where information on a possible sale was presented. Representatives of the Trinity Center Board, FUMC Finance Committee, and FUMC Church Council each explained their rationale for selling. The basic reason is current and likely costs to FUMC for repairs, tenuous state of the Grace Covenant Church that rents the sanctuary (potential loss of rent), and general drain on FUMC volunteers. FUMC is considering sale to the denomination of the Hispanic church, which also uses the sanctuary, at well below appraised value as a mission action. Impact to ORCMA and other tenants, if any, is unknown at this time.




Lois guided the committee through the July financial accounting. Taxes (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) for staff have been paid. We withdrew $26,000 from our Standard & Poor 500 Endowment Account to balance the operating deficit from the past fiscal year.


Operating status:

Income: $18,948.77

Expense: $8,722.24

Net Income: $10,226.53


Accounts status:

Bank (July 31):  $222,722.39 (including $211,628.41 from gifts to be invested); 2018-2019 season funds =  $11,093.98

Broker (July 31):

Investment Account = $170,503.85 (versus $167,474 on June 30, 2018, FY gain of $3,029.37)

Endowment Account = $210,629.85 (versus $202,033.45 on June 30, 2018; FY gain of $8,596.40) Adjusted for $26,000 withdrawal from this account.

Total invested funds = $381,133.70 (versus $370,549.50 on June 30, 2018; FY gain of $11,625.77) Adjusted for $26,000 withdrawal from the Endowment Account.


We reviewed the 2018-2019 itemized budget in light of the deficit in the fiscal year just ended and historical income and expenses. Lois provided a table of actual income and expenses in the past few years and suggested where adjustments might be made. No formal action.


As decided last month, Chuck C. sent a letter to representatives of several investment firms in Oak Ridge inviting them to help us decide how to invest our recent gifts. These were Ameriprise Financial Services, Coulter & Justice Wealth Advisors, Edward Jones Investments, Merrill Edge Financial Solutions/Bank of America, Retirement Planning Group, and UBS Financial Services. As of the F&F meeting, Chuck C., Chuck D, and Jim have met with our current broker, Scott Parkhurst of Cumberland Wealth Management, Jim Charles of Edward Jones, and Jeremy Doll of Merrill. C&J has emailed that they are sending a package in the surface mail, which had not yet been received. Lois is to check with Ameriprise; Chuck C. will check with UBS and RPG to see if they plan to provide information. Our current broker said they would invest whatever we wanted, leaving the decision to us. Jim Charles (Edward Jones) and Jeremy Doll (Merrill) each provided a set of alternative investments to meet what they considered balanced holdings likely to provide annual gains of about $30,000 from the total invested funds. Each stressed the need for clear financial objectives, which we discussed (note below on draft Financial Strategic Plan). We decided to put the gift money in a liquid Money Market (or similar) fund with highest rates until we decide on a more permanent investment. Chuck C. to check rates with Pinnacle Bank (David Bradshaw). Jim to search for high rates.


Although comments had been requested last month on the committee’s Financial Strategic Plan (prepared in April 2016), members had not come prepared. Our meeting with financial advisors highlighted the need for this plan. Comments were requested for discussion at the September meeting.


Season subscriptions and gifts are coming in. Lisa reported 61 subscriptions (13 symphony/chorus, 14 chamber, and 34 combined) to date. Gifts associated with subscriptions totaled $7,580.





Octoberfest was set for Friday, October 12 at Willow Ridge. Rock to Bach was tentatively set for February 16, although January 26 or February 23 might be ok if the UU Church isn’t available on the 16th


The Chamber concert on February 9 is to feature carbon fiber instruments. We discussed inviting a representative of the local carbon fiber company, perhaps its owner, Greg Lemond, to sponsor it or be a contributor. Paul is to follow up with local ORNL and others.


Program ads have raised $5,500 but still could use more (Freddy’s suggested). Arts Council drive continues until December 1 but donor names would not be in programs after July 31.





Lisa mentioned that we have been invited to supply musicians or chorus for some local events: Friendship Bell pavilion dedication on September 20, the Cold War Patriots National Day of Remembrance on October 26, and Oliver Springs’ October Sky celebration on October 20. The October Sky event seems less likely for us. The bell pavilion dedication seems reasonable, as does the Cold War Patriots. Lisa to ask Susan Shor about a string quartet and Jaclyn regarding chorus. We agreed that it would have to be volunteers, as we would not be able to pay musicians. May need board discussion.


Lisa also mentioned the desirability of doing something to thank the First Presbyterian and First United Methodist churches for use of their facilities. Cash donations were ruled out, but an in-kind service by some of our musicians might be a possibility.  No action.


The meeting adjourned about 4:45.


Chuck Coutant, Chair

Action items are underlined.