April 15, 2020

NOTE:  Meeting conducted online via Zoom.

Present:  John Besser, Lottie Bushmann, Laura Hillman, Greg Leonard, Bill Mees, Doug Miller, Jean Neely, Eric Reuter, Lisa Schenker, Eric Seaman, Allison Vaughn, Eric Wood, Nancy Bedan

President John Besser called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m.

Insurance Report:  Eric R reviewed new information in the CAS Liability Insurance Committee’s April 15 report (attached). He summarized the board’s options: 1) approve the complete proposal offered by the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group (NIAG) at a cost of $3,746; 2) approve the NIAG proposal, leaving out some coverage; 3) retain the current level of coverage through State Farm; and 4) pursue a quote from another vendor. He noted that Eric S (who joined the meeting later) thinks the NIAG coverage is too expensive, and if CAS approves full coverage, our administrative costs will increase substantially and be a much higher percentage of our total budget. Board members discussed coverage priorities and ways to lower costs.

Bill M moved (Eric R seconded) that CAS purchase insurance coverage through NIAG. Motion approved without dissent.

Eric R moved (Doug M seconded) to include liability coverage for sexual misconduct (cost $700). The motion was defeated 11-2.

Eric S will take responsibility for purchasing the new NIAG policy and making sure the current and new policies overlap by a month. Eric R thanked Eric W, Eric S, Allison V and Joanna Reuter for their work on the project.

Minutes: Eric R moved (Eric W seconded) approval of minutes from the March 18 board meeting, as amended. Motion approved without dissent.

Slate of Officers:  John B said the board is behind schedule in preparing a slate of officers for next year, and a board member is needed to serve as nominating committee chair. Nancy B agreed to form a nominating committee to prepare a slate of officers and directors for consideration by membership in May.

2020-21 Budget: Board members continued to discuss the proposed budget for 2020-21. Bill M and Lottie B reported that the Hog Island summer program for teachers has been cancelled because of the virus outbreak. Eric S noted that National Audubon has already cashed the CAS payment of $3,435 for three teachers to attend. Board members discussed whether to request a refund or a credit from National Audubon, and, if the2020 payment is a credit, whether to budget additional funds for teacher scholarships in 2020-21.

Board members discussed the teacher scholarship program, suggesting that the application process be strengthened and that local teacher training options be included. Education Committee Co-chair Lisa S said the committee is planning to improve the application and the candidate selection process. Allison V offered to help. Lisa S and Lottie B explained that the teachers who apply for the CAS scholarships can choose from several programs offered at Audubon Hog Island camp, but most choose to attend the Educator Week, which focuses on nature education generally.

Eric S will revise the 2020-21 budget proposal to include the expenditures for the new insurance policy. The board will vote on the budget at its next meeting, which will likely be conducted online via Zoom.

Future Meetings:  John B noted that the annual picnic, which was to be held at Wild Haven Nature Sanctuary in May, will likely be cancelled or moved to June. The slate of board officers and directors will need to be presented to membership for approval, but it may be necessary to hold that vote by e-mail.

Migratory Bird Count:  Board members discussed if and how to participate in the annual North American Migration Count on May 9. Laura H will contact the 13 Boone County team leaders to see if they are comfortable doing the count this year. If they are, John B will collect the eBird data, and Allison V will compile the county results. John B noted that the NAMC coincides with the Cornell Lab’s Global Big Day count on May 9, when birders worldwide will submit checklists via eBird.

Nature School Update: Bill M reported that the March 31 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Boone County Nature School has been cancelled. Columbia Public Schools and the Missouri Department of Conservation are planning a “virtual groundbreaking” in late May. He said work on the Phase One infrastructure, including the CAS-funded council house, is under way. Plans are to complete the entrance road, council house, pavilion and adjacent restrooms, prairie restoration, and planting of native food and pollinator plots by Oct. 1, so that students and teachers can begin using the area during the next school year.

MU Student Capstone Project: Students of Dr. Charlie Nilon at the MU School of Natural Resources are surveying community residents who use the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary and developing recommendations to enhance education and outreach at CANS. John B and Bill M will meet (via Zoom) with the students involved in the capstone project on Monday, April 20, at 2 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 7 p.m.

CAS liability insurance committee report

April 15, 2020
Eric Reuter, committee chair and Field Trip chair

New information:

  • I finally made contact with St. Louis Audubon (SLAS), which has non-profit insurance coverage through Chubb (Alliant). They’ve had this for 5 or 6 years and haven’t had to test it. They have General Liability ($878/yr) and Director & Officer ($867/yr), as well as Worker’s Comp (not relevant to us); these are fairly similar to the NIA proposal. SLAS owns no acreage, unlike CAS, so does not incur that expense. Their policy seems pretty similar to the NIA proposal in terms of max coverage limits, autos & volunteers, etc.; theirs is a bit cheaper but NIA’s seems more comprehensive. One big difference is SLAS doesn’t seem to have a specific sexual misconduct policy (NIA includes an optional one for $700/yr). Instead, SLAS maintains a master list of people allowed to represent the group (field trip or event leaders, people doing educational outreach, etc.) and does background checks on them as well as some basic training. I think they have to sign something as well.
  • Answers to questions raised in the previous meeting:
    • Is amount of medical coverage too low/can it be raised? The medical coverage offered is already the maximum available (and is similar to what SLAS carries).
    • What is the difference between general liability coverage and that for our acreage? The General Liability and Directors & Officers covers specific actions and activities taken by the group. E.g., something about the way a field trip was led caused the accident or concern, or a representative of the group took (or did not take) an action that led to a problem (negligence). The added acreage insurance covers things happening on land we own. E.g., someone enters the acreage on their own initiative and gets hurt, or something occurs on the acreage (whether or not during an official event/trip) that was caused by a physical condition like a broken/slippery bridge, a poorly signed trail, or a natural hazard like snakes, bees, or slippery trail conditions. Basically, it’s the difference between whether the accident/injury was primarily caused by a person or action affiliated with CAS, or by some aspect of the acreage whether or not the injured person had any connection to CAS.
    • How does the acreage premium vary by parcel? It is a per-acre rate that does not vary for different parcels. If CAS ever decided to part with some land, the cost would go down proportionally.
  • Note on buildings: I confirmed that the NIA acreage coverage does not include protection for damage to any of the buildings (e.g., shop or picnic shelter at Wild Haven), but does include liability for personal accidents related to them (e.g., someone hurts themselves getting into the shop, interacting with the shelter, falling off a slippery bridge, etc.). Hollida does consider the Wild Haven buildings in their current state a liability risk after reviewing photos and advises repairing or replacing them.

Coverage comparison


  • Premium summary: Current CAS insurance budget is $1,375 annually. With acreage coverage, NIA adds up to $3,746 (total increase of $2,371).
General liability

(covers volunteers)


General aggregate: $2,000,000

Per occurrence: $1,000,000

Damage to premises rented to you: $500,000

Medical expenses (per person): $20,000

Liquor liability: $1,000,000




Premium: $852


(extent of coverage unclear)


General aggregate: $1,000,000

Per occurrence: could not find listed

Damage to premises rented to you: $300,000

Medical expenses (per person): $5,000

Liquor liability: could not find listed

Business liability (unclear what this covers): $500,000


Premium: could not find listed

Improper sexual conduct
Aggregate: $1,000,000


Premium: $700


Could not find listed

Directors & officers

(covers volunteers& spouses)

Aggregate/each act: $1,000,025000


Premium: $600


(does not cover volunteers, only board members, if memory of conversation with SF rep is correct)

Aggregate/each act: $1,000,000


Premium: could not find listed

Auto liability

(covers auto liability after primary insurance or becomes primary if no insurance; covers organization and driver)


Liability: $1,000,000



Non-owned auto (volunteers): $200

Hired auto (rented): $50



(no details given)




Hired auto: Listed, could not find levels or premiums


Non-owned auto: Not listed

Accident (accidental death/injury/medical)

(covers volunteers & participants)

Aggregate: $1,000,000


Premium: $166



Could not find


Covers anything happening on our land, whether or not related to actual CAS events.


Premium: $1178


(Only Wild Haven listed)


Wide variety of items listed, many unclear. Not clear if/how other properties covered.


Premium: could not find


Inland marine (property items like mower)


Not needed as CAS owns no relevant items.



Misc. articles: $6,300

Computer prop: $25,000


Premium: $110