BOD Election Results Notice

San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

San Francisco Suites BOD Election Results Notice

Uncontested Election

Tuesday. February 6, 2024

 

The deadline for the applications for the 2 open positions on the SFS Board
was February 1, 2024, at 5 pm.
There were 2 applications received:

Jo Ann Trembath

Nancy Hudson

The SFS Election Rules state:

“When at the close of nominations, the number of qualified candidates nominated does not exceed the number of vacancies, the candidates may be declared elected without the need of balloting and will take their seats on the date set for the annual membership meeting.”

Applications are below:

Please join me in congratulating Jo Ann Trembath and Nancy Hudson and welcoming them to take their seats at the Board of Directors Annual Meeting

Saturday, March 9.2024

11 am

They will both serve 3 years on the Board.

The Annual Business Meeting Agenda will soon follow.

Thank you,

Chuck Meibeyer, President
San Francisco Suites

The State of the Suites – January

San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

The State of the Suites – January 2024

My very warm regards to the San Francisco Suites owners. I am finishing my 9th year as a member of the Board and my fifth year as President. Due to other commitments I am not running for another three year term. Before I step down, I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

The Suites’ faces a number of challenges. Many of our owners have reached an age where they do not come to the Suites as often, and many in the younger generation do not have the same feeling about the Suites.

Inflation has impacted our ownership; and increased insurance costs and the costs of maintaining and upgrading a 113 year old building require increased Assessments. San Francisco’s reputation has declined due to economic struggles – particularly in our backyard around Union Square and formerly vibrant areas such as San Francisco Center which has lost most of its businesses. And there is no doubt that homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction are a terrible tragedy in San Francisco.

But Cynthia’s General Manager letters remind us all, however, that San Francisco is still a beautiful City with wonderful restaurants, art, culture, and sports teams. It also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world with world class beautiful sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, the new Tunnel Top park, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and the Embarcadero. Cynthia and the staff will continue to inform our owners and their guests that there is still much to love about San Francisco. And the ongoing improvements to the Suites make it a comfortable and elegant “home away from home” for our owners.

As I step off the Board, I want to share with you my belief that we have the best collective Board membership that we have ever had during my service.

This Board is cohesive, thoughtful, intelligent, and hard working – constantly thinking about what is best for the Suites and its ownership. We have faced surprise costs and other challenges, but we have been proactive and creative in managing the Suites and its finances. Jeff Reichel is “termed out” and I am leaving, but the three remaining Board members – Fred Munroe, Dwight Walker, and Geoffrey Bellah – share many leadership characteristics that will provide a solid foundation for the next Board. I hope that those who run for election, and those for whom the owners vote, share those characteristics.

  • Collegiality and Respect. The entire Board works well together because we respect the other Board members, the staff, and the owners, and have worked collaboratively on problem solving. That has not always been true in the past, but it is essential for an effective Board to address the important issues we face.

  • Expertise. Dwight provides in depth and comprehensive financial information that helps the Board carefully plan for the future, and to pivot when circumstances change. Fred’s work in the travel industry provides important insights into how small lodging facilities can provide better services to their guests. Geoffrey served several years as Board President and is dedicated to the aesthetic qualities of our property.

  • Selflessness. None of these Board members are serving on the Board to achieve some personal agenda. Their decisions are made with the best interests of the owners and the staff in mind.

  • Energy. While there are only five Board Meetings in a year, there is a substantial amount of research outside of meetings through various Board subcommittees. Board members need to be hard working to help guide the management of this 113 year old building and complicated lodging operation.

  • Passion. These Board Members have (and those joining them must have) a love and passion for this beautiful property, and the well-being of those owners and guests who stay here.

When voting for new board members – PLEASE choose candidates who share these qualities. The Suites will be much better off if you support those kinds of candidates. It would also be helpful to have women run to serve, the Board needs a balanced membership to reflect the interests and needs of all owners and guests.

I thank Jeff Riechel for his service on the Board. After earlier Board membership (including as President) I reached out to Jeff and asked him to rejoin the Board in an emergency. He has been a valuable Board member and has become a very good friend.

Last, but not least, I have to shine the spotlight on Cynthia Reid, our General Manager. In my nine years’ service on the Board, my most important action was being President when we hired Cynthia as our General Manager. When you read her GM letters, or talk to her in the lobby, it is obvious how much she loves San Francisco, and this incredibly special property. Cynthia joined us after having served decades as the Chief Concierge at the Huntington Hotel and she helped elevate the quality of the customer service provided to our owners and guests. In recent years she has become incredibly effective at helping to find solutions to financial and estate planning challenges faced by our owners, while helping to maintain the financial health of the organization.

I love this property, and I am very honored to have had the opportunity to participate in helping preserve, protect, and enhance the building, and the people within. Thank you so very much for allowing me to have this opportunity.

Sincerely, Chuck Meibeyer

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

January 1, 2024 

San Francisco Suites Owners, 

As we begin a new year, we are preparing for our Annual Owners’ Meeting to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, and for the election of two (2) Directors. We encourage those interested in serving on the Board of Directors to complete the accompanying application and review the Board Directors’ commitment pledge. You may also include a one page resume. A candidate must be an owner in good standing and meet the qualifications outlined in the Association’s By Laws. (located on the web site www.sfsuitescsa.com). 

We are a self-managed Association, and Directors are required to attend scheduled Board meetings at least five times a year and to actively participate in the business of the Association. The Board establishes policy, manages the financial affairs of the Association, and works closely with the General Manager, who oversees the daily operations. The Board is also responsible for strategic planning and special projects. Serving on the Board requires a commitment of time and effort, but it can be very gratifying while providing an important service to the Association and the Suites. 

Applications from all candidates must be returned by 5pm on February 1, 2024, in order to prepare the voting packets for mailing to the membership on February 9th, 2024. Applications received after 5pm on February 1 cannot be included in the election. 

Please send your application to: 

Cynthia Reid, GM
San Francisco Suites
710 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94108 

The Inspectors of Election has been hired to mail the election materials, ballots and to count the ballots during the March 9.2024 BOD Meeting which will be held on zoom. 

Thank you for your consideration, and please remember: VOTE! 

Sincerely, 

Chuck Meibeyer
President, Board of Directors
San Francisco Suites City Share Association

Presidents Letter September 2023

I hope everyone had the opportunity to read the General Manager’s Letter that was circulated yesterday, which reminded us all how wonderful San Francisco has been, and continues to be, despite many challenges.

Today’s letter will not, however, be as uplifting as Cynthia’s. In advance of Saturday’s Board of Directors Meeting, the Board wanted to inform its ownership of some challenges we’ve recently faced in obtaining insurance coverage for the Suites.

At the beginning of July, Farmers Insurance notified us that the insurance for the Suites would not be renewed on September 1st, although we had been a loyal Farmers’ customer for decades. The “official” reason the insurance was not available was because the Suites no longer qualified because the building is more than 100 years old, but that cancellation was really based on a massive failure in the insurance industry, particularly in California, where many carriers such as State Farm and Allstate have abandoned the state. In previous times, many carriers were able to share risks by buying “reinsurance” — we learned, however, that market has collapsed, and carriers are much less willing to take on risks and have substantially increased the cost of insurance if you are lucky enough to find it.

We asked our existing agent to seek out substitute coverage, but we knew that we needed to pursue other alternatives. Through our Treasurer Dwight Walker we were fortunate to get help from Gallagher, one of the largest insurance brokerage companies in the United States – which ordinarily would not have helped a small time share like the Suites. During August we worked exhaustively toward finding possible coverage through both agents and sought ways to lower costs. Gallagher was able to find all the needed coverage but at a substantially increased cost. We received indications of a possible smaller increase from our existing agent, but that coverage failed to be available at the last minute. Fortunately, we had a backup from Gallagher.

Our property and business insurance from Farmers cost us $39,606 from 9/1/22 to 8/31/23. Despite efforts to reduce costs, the premium for the next year will total $140,284 – almost exactly a $100,000 increase. When divided among the 816 shares, that is an annual cost increase of $123 per share (and that’s before accounting for other cost increases, we face due to inflation and continued supply chain disruptions).

We want all Suites owners to know that the Board will continue doing everything it can to keep costs down to minimize the financial burden for our owners during these challenging times.

My very warm regards,

Chuck Meibeyer,
President of the San Francisco Suites

president’s letter march 2022

PRESIDENT’S LETTER

As the President of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Suites I am writing regarding the March 12, 2022 Board Meeting and Elections. The Report of the Inspector of Elections is attached, but I need to add additional information regarding the new Board positions.

After the results of the election were revealed, Linda Banner, a current board member who was reelected to the Board, disclosed that, due to personal circumstances, she had decided that she could not continue serving on the Board, and resigned from her position. Those of us who know Linda, and have worked with her, are very appreciative of all of the contributions she made to the Suites as a board member over a number of years, particularly in areas of interior design, employee relations, and as a calming influence on the Board. We respect her decision and will miss her dearly.

The Board of Directors then immediately elected Dwight Walker, who finished a close third in the election, to replace Linda on the Board as provided for under the Association’s Bylaws. Also joining the Board is Fred Munroe, who received the most votes in the election.

The Board elected the following officers for the 2022-2023 Board of Directors:

President Chuck Meibeyer
Vice-President JoAnn Trembath
Treasurer Dwight Walker
Secretary Fred Munroe
Member at Large Jeff Reichel

We all expressed our sincere appreciation to Geoffrey Bellah, who had served on the Board for many years, including a number of years as President, and who is now required to step down from the Board due to term limits. Board members and owners noted the many contributions Geoffrey made to the Suites during his service, including particularly all of his efforts in addressing the impact of COVID and the restructuring of the Association’s Bylaws, at the Suites, as well as his calm, friendly, and helpful demeanor. We know Geoffrey loves the Suites and will continue to help in any way he can.

While two long-standing Board Members have left the Board, I am very excited about the talents and experience that both Fred and Dwight bring to the Board and look forward to working with the entire Board to do all that we can to continue to maintain the excellence, and the warm spirit of the San Francisco Suites. We are also fortunate to have our General Manager Cynthia Reid available to continue to work with the Board and owners toward making the Suites a wonderful “home away from home” for all of us. Please let Cynthia and the Board know if you have any suggestions or questions regarding the Suites – we are here to serve you as best we are able.

Very warm regards,
Chuck Meibeyer

President’s last letter

My Last “President’s Letter”

It is not uncommon for a professor, upon retirement, to offer up to the academic community a summation of his or her career in a formal presentation usually titled “My Last Lecture.” As I reach the end of my tenure on the Board of San Francisco Suites, as both Board member and President, I’d like to offer the Association some parting thoughts which I hope will appropriately characterize the Board’s work during the past six years and inspire other Association members to carry it forward by joining the Board.

None of the Board members with whom I’ve served, including myself, came from backgrounds in the hospitality industry although several had related experiences in law, interior decorating, accounting, and real estate development. As a retired English Professor, I admittedly brought little to the Board Room table except having previously served on my Palm Springs condominium’s HOA Board. However, I must say that serving on the Suites’ Board for anyone involves accelerated coursework in real estate law, hospitality practices, interior design, and construction, not to omit Human Resources and even psychology. Suddenly one feels as if he or she has acquired several new degrees in fields far from one’s own specialty but which have very practical and immediate outcomes on the Association’s success.

The Suites Boards on which I’ve served have done their work extraordinarily well, carrying out their regular duties with dedication and intelligence, but also meeting sudden challenges and crises with a seriousness of purpose and a commitment to get the required work done well and efficiently To give a few examples of the former, I must mention the kitchen and bathroom remodeling as well as the rooftop landscaping, the gradual raising of staff salaries and improvement of their benefits, reupholstered chairs and window seating throughout, the renovation of the “4” suites, new hires to replace retired staff, and the sales or adoption of Suites-owned shares to assure the Association’s major revenue source. Of course, none of the above could have been accomplished without the General Manager’s essential help and expertise.

Regarding the Board’s resourceful, even imaginative responses to the unexpected, I must identify two: the need to immediately revise our Bylaws and other governing documents to comply with Governor Newsom’s signing of SB 323, which in effect voided our election rules; and the best actions to take during the Covid-19 pandemic to safeguard guests and staff. Eventually “restating” the Bylaws, with the Association’s approval, divested the Association from California’s often irrelevant and burdensome Davis-Stirling Act, which oversees HOAs but poorly fits timeshares – in effect a “Declaration of Independence” for San Francisco Suites!

With a foresight not given to many others in San Francisco’s hotel industries and timeshare organizations, who remain closed to this day due to staff shortages, this Board decided to keep the business of the Association operating during the mandated shutdowns to handle reservations, to maintain and secure the property; and to not lay off any staff, thereby ensuring that our staff would stay healthy, not seek employment elsewhere, and could return to work at the last minute. This was done without any budgetary shortfall, mostly because our revenue is not dependent on bookings but on assessments and partly due to the government-provided Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loan, which was subsequently forgiven precisely because we kept all our staff employed.

Once the Suites reopened, the Board devised a compensation plan to allow owners who had lost share time during the shutdown periods to rebook that time up to August of this year. It was an extraordinary move, given the Bylaws’ prohibition on banking unused share time, but the Board felt strongly that doing so was fair and that it would create goodwill and confidence in the Association. Were we not independently owned, managed, and governed, unlike so many corporate timeshares, the Board would not have been able to act in a way specific to our owners’ needs and preferences.

Finally, I must say that what is truly exceptional about the San Francisco Suites is precisely that responsiveness to our ownership, in making sure that every guest feels as if he or she were visiting their very special second home, which incidentally is shared with an extended family of over 600 people. The Board’s explicit function is to ensure the financial integrity of the Association while maintaining or even enhancing the high standards of service and accommodation that owners expect of San Francisco Suites. I can say with confidence that for the past six years this Board has met and even exceeded these responsibilities.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to serve you.

Geoffrey Bellah