January 2007 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

††††††††††† This month Iíd like to start by wishing you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Iím also hoping your holiday season was pleasant with all of your seasonal dreams coming true.

††††††††††† During this time of year we must begin our planning for our upcoming season. Before you know it the warm weather will be here once again.

††††††††††† Almost three years ago the Board of Directors, members of the Museum, and the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau attended numerous strategic planning meetings to formulate a business plan for the Museumís future. We focused on short, medium, and long-term goals, and prioritized these according to importance. I feel that we must continue this process in order to keep our focus and direction. Of course, this was a guideline and obviously priorities can and will change. I also feel that the challenges are still before us and we must continue to work toward these goals. Listed below are the three categories:

Short Term (1 year)

1. Establish a tour guide and car host training program for all members to attend.

2. Obtain more grant money.

3. Schedule more motor coach tours to increase attendance.

4. Upgrade five hundred feet of track and two switches in the rail yard.

5. Establish the position of a strong volunteer coordinator.

Medium Term (5 year)

1. Construct a building in the rail yard for maintenance of equipment.

2. Operate rail excursions outside of the rail yard.

3. Obtain trackage rights to the New York State line.

4. Do necessary maintenance and repair work on the turntable.

5. Get the yard and turntable on the List of National Historical Places.

6. Enhance our marketing program.

7. Work on Board and membership development.

8. Develop and encourage younger members.

Long Term (10 year)

1. Reconstruct the roundhouse and shop buildings in the rail yard.

2. Run rail excursions with our own equipment.

3. Seek ongoing government funding.

4. Establish a rail station at the Danbury Fair Mall.

5. Offer daily train rides vs. weekends only.

††††††††††† We must continue to plan for our future and must have an idea of our direction. Itís very important for fund raising , grant writing, and budgeting, but most importantly for the growth of our Museum.

††††††††††† I ask that the membership and, of course, the Board of Directors support this program and become part of this process. Membership will change over the years, people come and go unfortunately, but we must maintain this focus that we have formulated for our Museum. Please support and become part of our future.