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Minutes of Meetings


09/12/2015 Board Meeting for Civil War Friends of Alcatraz (FOCWA)

Guests: Gary Hormel; Jim Lundsten

Members present: Brad Schall; Fred Bohmfalk; Jeff Vaillant; Steve Johnson; Constance Smith and Greg Tracy

Proxies: Chuck Gardali

Pledge of Allegiance recited; roll cal taken - the quorum was met.

Discussion re: purchasing a captain�s uniform to be ordered for Gary Hormeg to assist in his interpretation of Captain Stewart on Alcatraz.

Jeff Vaillant moved to make such a purchase; Steve John son seconded

Ayes: 5 nays: 0 abstentions: 0

Need for the annual membership meeting was discussed. The bylaws require a meeting and election of new officers are to take place. It was agreed better communication with general members is needed. The third Sunday in January 2016 was proposed as the meeting date.  Brad Schall will contact NPS for concurrence for the use of facilities. Members can take the staff boat. Brad will check if comp tickets are available for latecomers.

Steve suggested that once the date is set the secretary issue e-mails to all members with an announcement, monthly reminders and then a final week reminder.

Living History Day on The Rock will be 09/26/2015.The band has been confirmed & twenty-six (26) members have confirmed attendance.  A discussion followed a suggestion about adding interested parties who are members being added to the distribution list. Civil War Reenactment Times (CWRT) used the previous Living History Day on The Rock as their lead story.  It was generally approved that round tables and camps could be added to the list. The FOCA newsletter is also being distributed to the round tables. The article from the SF Chronicle about the reopening of the sally port resulted in ten (10) e-mails from new sources.

John Nevins has an �all contacts� list. Brad agreed to contact him in order to have the list provided to Constance as secretary.

The Citadel is now open but guides must be certified by NPS. Steve Johnson & Constance Smith are certified. The goal is to have a total of twelve (12) members certified and actively conducting tours in The Citadel. A constant schedule of guide(s) would increase awareness of the site. Steve Johnson & Constance Smith reviewed the safety protocol NPS wants followed as well as John Martini�s handout and lecture which preceded the certification.

Financial review:

 Jim Lundsten provided information submitted to him by Greg Tracy. The auditors were originally unable to �follow the numbers� but a misplaced chequebook was located and all information was reconciled.  As of 01/10/2016 the reports will be quarterly instead of annually. Constance Smith suggested that a full profit and loss statement (P&L) be submitted rather than simply the balances of accounts. The board was reminded that the generally membership need to vote to approve the change.

Membership committee:

The new application form was shown to the board by Fred Bohmfalk. The response address will need to be changed. Constance Smith as secretary will secure a Post office box as point of contact.

It was noted that the application could be completed online but transmission was not always successful. The corrected application is to be electronically provided to all those on the distribution list.

Letter proposing authorization of up to twenty (20) was read. There are thirteen (13) members on the board but three (3) may be leaving. A meeting of the membership committee is scheduled for Sept. 2015. Brad Schall proposed that letters be issued to all standing board members asking for written confirmation of active participation.


New applications have been added which has increased and improved communications with the round tables. This in turn led to an eight hundred dollar ($800.00) donation to FOCWA.  The plan for 2016 is to add more pictures to motivate more people to join and to increase awareness amongst the round table members. A redesign may allow the inclusion of music such as recording of the brass band. Contacts on the website need to be updated.


Articles are needed. Steve Johnson stated these need be only a paragraph or two. Longer articles could be published serially.


It was proposed the board issue awards or gifts to departing members with significant contributions. Steve Johnson, Fred Bohmfalk; Constance Smith will form a committee. They will research possible gifts / plaques/ awards then return to the board for a budget and to confirm recipients. It was agreed than an annual plaque be issued in the name of the founders of FOCWA. It was suggested that John Nevins be the first to receive the plaque.

Suggestions for the awards ranged from paper certificates, to flowers, gifts designed to match the recipient.  An online site www.123certificate.com was submitted as a source. Constance Smith will research the cost of engraved gifts / plaques.

The next meeting date was set as 01/17/2016

Meeting was adjourned



4/19/2015 Board Meeting for Civil War Friends of Alcatraz (FOCWA)

Held at 223 Halleck; San Francisco (The Presidio)

Roll call: Brad Schall, Jeffrey Vaillant; Greg Tracy, Chuck Gardali, Bob Hubbs, Steve Johnson, Constance Smith. The quorum was met

This meeting was also the General membership meeting; Kenny Felton attended.  This was in response to an all members email distribution invitation.

A report by Doris Brown on Captain Joseph Stewart was passed around and the Board appreciates her efforts.

Brad Schall acknowledged the efforts of Chuck Gardali and Fred Bohmfalk for there work on Membership this year.  We have a record number of members.  Steve Johnson for his work on the Civil War rooms, school programs and interfacing with other Civil war groups and to Constance Smith for the numbers of hours she put forth for her first meeting as Secretary.

Minutes from the meeting were reviewed and amendments made to correct misspelling of names.  Mr. Hubbs raised the point that at the 02/28/2015 meeting, the Board was informed that the Form 990 was filed. He wanted clarification as to whether this meant �filed with the IRS� or filed in the organization�s archives. Mr. Schall explained that no formal archival storage exists at this time. The treasurer of the board maintains copies of all filed returns. Mr. Tracy was reminded that all Forms 990 are to be reviewed and approved by the board prior to the timely filing of the annual return; as the board members can be held personally responsible by the IRS for any incorrect information. The by-laws will need to be reviewed to confirm that this requirement is included.  Brad Schall and Greg Tracy will develop a plan to meet these requirements.  Copies of fillings should be included in the annual report.

The motion it accept the minutes as amended was made by Mr. Vaillant and seconded by Mr. Schall.

Ayes: 6        Nays: 0        abstentions: 1

A written description of the secretary�s duties was issued. The secretary is to be copied on all e-mails that pertain to the function of the organization. Mr. Schall requested all e-mails issued by him be acknowledged. John Cantwell,  and Marcus Koenen at the National Park Service (NPS) have requested that they receive e-mails from FOCWA only when the matter concerns activities on Alcatraz.

A written description of the treasurer�s duties was issued. Mr. Tracy announced the annual audit is ongoing. The by-laws require that the audit be conducted by individuals who do not sit on the board.

The updated budget and bank balances were presented. Attachments can be provided to any individual who places a request with the secretary at DixieDr2@aol.com. FOCWA has a positive cash flow and expenses are within budget.

A discussion re: allowing all members access to the minutes was held and it was determined that as of this meeting, the minutes would be posted on the FOCWA website, www.friendsofcivilwaralcatraz.org.

A suggestion was made that the webpage would have its language adjusted so that the �archives� would be renamed to reflect the original drawings and maps posted under the link. Mr. Schall intends to add 100 more pages under this heading in 2015.

Concern that many search engines do not list FOCWA when �Alcatraz� is researched was expressed. Mr. Johnson will contact Catherine at NPS to request FOCWA be added to all the other links on Alcatraz�s home page. Brad Schall will contact webmaster Kim Knightenting for her suggestions.

Methods to increase both membership and increase the level of activities for current members were discussed. Suggestions included issuing more brochures; letters of invitation to people who have expressed interest, such as members of Civil War round tables, or to be placed in the newsletters of the local re-enactor societies; verbal invitations to the re-enactors who participate at the Civil War Days on Alcatraz.

Mr. Gardali has sent out 100-105 letters and received a 25% response.  Chuck Gardali asked that we find someone who can assist the membership committee in writing the membership letters.

Adding a list of members who are available to speak at schools and groups to the webpage was proposed. Members Hubbs, Vaillant, Johnson, Gardali and Schall have given programs this year to class rooms, service clubs, genealogical and ancestral groups.  Brad Schall will gather these information and place on the website.

The Mission Statement was issued and Mr. Schall urged all board members to review and keep the mission in the forefront of all interactions on behalf of the (club delete) Friends of Civil War Alcatraz..

Several members indicated interest in research on their registration cards; Mr. Hubbs will assign research topics to those members.

The Memorial Day ceremonies are to be held in conjunction with NPS, SUVCW Camp #24 and FOCWA members on 05/25/2015 at the Presidio.  Muster at 10:00 am. Near the Flag pole on the parade grounds.  Parade starts at 10:30 am. Parking will be free on that day. Mr. Johnson has not yet secured permission from NPS for separate presentations to be made at individual graves. As soon as he is granted permission Ms. Smith will contact all local media. Ms. Smith suggested contacted the media for Civil War Days. Ms. Smith will contact John Cantwell and Lori Bresnan with an invitation for all rangers, seasonal and staff to join FOCWA at the ceremonies.

Ms. Smith has volunteered to provide a lunch for all FOCWA participants consisting of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, 5 bean backed beans, fruit and a raw vegetable plate with tea and lemonade. She will not be able to bake desserts and requested assistance. FOCWA members will need to bring period plates, cups and eating utensils.  This would not only be a good way for members to interact but would also provide something different for the media to add to any report. An accurate count of participants will be needed to insure adequate amounts of food.

The meeting was concluded with the determination of Sunday 06/28/2015 as the next board meeting. The location will be 223 Halleck; San Francisco (The Presidio)

Approved at Board meeting 28 June 2015

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