Sumit Committee Meeting


6:00 PM

The word document of the meeting can be found here


Christian Fyke—Interim State Chair of Pennsylvania

Benjamin Valimont—Interim Secretary

Kyle DeMarino—Interim Regional Chair of Eastern Pennsylvania

Hector Diaz—Interim Regional Chair of Central Pennsylvania

Brian McMurray— Interim Regional Chair of Western Pennsylvania

Jack Merritt

Bill Jones

Christian Clark

Rachel Shanok




Craig Snyder

Alex Upton

Matt Fogal

Cortney Hazen

Gabe McGuire

Timothy Snyder



  1. Location/Date


The first item of business tonight was to nail down a location in Gettysburg & a date. Chairman Fyke noted that we had originally planed for the summit to consist of a Friday/Saturday timeline with The Meeting & The Dinner happening on Friday followed by The Campaign & The event on Sunday. However, in contacting Gettysburg college, he learned that they would not be open to host the meeting until Monday May 22. He then prompted a discussion on whether we wanted to modify our plans. The room cost were $200 for larger room up to ten hours, or $150 for the smaller room for up to ten hours.


Bill Jones noted that he reached out to three venues: one was unavailable; one is $76 dollars per person; and the last $500 for Friday & $1,000 for the event on Saturday. If we changed the schedule Bill would have to check to see if the $1,000 Ballroom is available on Sunday.


Jack Merritt stressed that the team planning The Event had counted on The Meeting occurring the day prior. Secretary Valimont also noted that if we had The Event on a Sunday, we might suffer with attendance less attendance. If we do not get out of The Event until late in the evening on a worknight, people who have to travel might be precluded from attending.


Chairman Fyke responded that if people drive in for The Event that would be great, but the public facing side of the summit is more geared towards building up the Party in Franklin & Adams counties. We want to be able to help Matt Fogal when the time is right.


Chair McMurray posed the question of how late on Monday would we plan to go? Because we might want to consider livestreaming portions of Monday.


Rachel Shanok commented on whether the elections would be taking place at the summit or if they would be done beforehand. Chairman Fyke stated that we are formally installing the officers & adopting the bylaws before going into the rest of the agenda. 


Jack reiterate that he believes that we should have all of the formal business side wrapped up before The Event. He stressed that it would feel awkward for us to meet up for the first time & immediately begin campaigning. He stressed that it would be much harder to hold The Event that the team planning The Event on Sunday versus a Saturday. He advocated that we need our officers to be locked in & have finalized the details of The Event at The Meeting. The Event is what we are showing to the public & we need to present that we have everything together.


Chairman Fyke noted that we did originally plan for a Friday/Saturday but with Gettysburg College unavailable on the Friday, we were discussing the possibility of changing our plans. Jack noted that the prices for the Gettysburg hotel are very good for what we are planning to do. It was at this time Secretary Valimont asked Bill Jones how much the estimate for the Friday room was again—$500. With that amount, Secretary Valimont questioned whether it was even worth changing our entire weekend around to save around $250.


Bill Detwiler joined the call at this time. He had expressed interest in planning the convention & so he was invited to join the call tonight.


To settle this Chairman Fyke called for someone to make a motion to take a vote. Jack Merritt moved to select our original plans for a Friday/Saturday summit. In the opinion of Chairman Fyke a majority voted in favor of the motion. There were a few members who did not vote with no votes against.


As a result of the vote, Gettysburg college is not available & we immediately transition into moving ahead on getting Bill to reserve the rooms. This confirms the dates & the general time schedule.


  1. The Meeting


Chairman Fyke suggested that the formal piece of installing the officers & adopting the by-laws would occur at the end of The Meeting. Secretary Valimont wanted to confirm that it was just the officers that would need to be installed. Chairman Fyke also noted that other members of the leadership team would be witnesses for this ceremony. He noted that it is the last two things he has for The Meeting’s agenda before adjourning to enjoy The Dinner. Rachel raised a concern if any of the officers couldn’t be there, if there was a work around. Chairman Fyke responded that we could indeed work with an individual officer if they could not be there at the end of The Meeting.


There was some confusion as to whether the election of officers would occur at The Meeting or beforehand. Monday’s drop-in session had turned into a workshop on the elections. What we had decided there, & partly at last week’s meeting, was that the elections would occur beforehand. At this month’s general meeting we will be calling for nominations with the elections to follow electronically. The results will be known well before the summit. What they will be doing at the summit is formally installing the elected officers. Secretary Valimont likened it to the inauguration of the President on January 20th following the November election.


  1. The Dinner


Chairman Fyke noted that The Dinner would be an opportunity for the participants of The Meeting, and anyone who would be traveling with them, to enjoy meal together. This would be a chance for those people to get to know everyone as well. We might even extend the invitation to cocktails afterward to anyone in the area who wants to get to know us.


Secretary Valimont floated the idea of possibly having a few seats open to larger donors. Chairman Fyke noted that he saw the utility in the idea, but was hesitant to adopt it noting that he would want The Dinner to be reserved for those who have donated their time to the cause. There was general consensus that there would be other opportunities to fundraise besides The Dinner.


Moving on, Chairman Fyke stated that we need to define who we will invite & decide which venue to hold it at. There are a few aspects of The Dinner that needs to be ironed out. Jack questioned whether it was going to be held at a ballroom, some big horseshoe table, a back room of a nice restaurant, or are we taking over a Golden Coral. Jack noted that the Andrew Yang Pizza party was successful despite being informal.


While acknowledging that he has never planned a dinner for a group, Secretary Valimont suggested finding one of the historic restaurants in Gettysburg to hold The Dinner at.


Chair DeMarino volunteered to take the helm of planning the dinner. He just needed to get an idea of how many people would be attending the dinner.


As a post-dinner idea, Secretary Valimont posited that there are ghost tours in Gettysburg. He was not sure if it would be something that we would as a formal plan or as just something that individuals informally decided to do together. Chairman Fyke tasked the Secretary with getting more information.


  1. The Campaign


The Campaign may need to be re-named. In talking with Matt Fogal, Chairman Fyke stated that Matt might not be ready to start gathering signatures by the time we hold the summit. So this portion is going to need to transition into building the ground floor for either his campaign or for the Pennsylvania Forward Party. In that regard, Christian Clark suggested that we do something at one of the monuments. If nothing else but for the publicity of it.


Rachel made the suggestion that we do plan a civic engagement event. Chairman Fyke suggested that someone reach out to Matt Fogal to help guide our decision making for the Saturday Morning event.


  1. The Event


In addition to the pep rally aspects of The Event, Jack Merrit suggested including a segment for something called a world café. This is a way to promote collaboration. What happens is that there would be several tables & each one would have an issue or policy. Several people would be assigned to be a tables referee & note taker, but everyone one else would move around the room to different tables where they would talk about the topic for 10 to 15 minutes before moving onto the next table with no repeats. Jack provided a link to an organization that is dedicated to it.


Jack noted that the big ballroom would be a large enough space to hold a world café. He further noted that there are ways to make a large room look full no matter how many people show up.


Bill noted that we should also have a merch table. This brought up the need to find either a team or a person who would be the point person to organize our merchandizing needs. We do need to be aware that we National won’t let us go off on our own to get merchandise made. National does have a graphic team where we could submit a request.


  1. Budgeting


After a short tangent on making business cards on Canva, Chairman Fyke brought the conversation back to the topic at hand by turning to the budget. He wanted to estimate how much we belief each portion would cost:

  • The Meeting~$1,200
    • $530 for the room
    • All day soft drinks cost $14 a person ($14 x ~20= $280)
    • Lunch


  • The Dinner~$1,000
    • ~$40 x 25 people = $1,000

For The Dinner Chairman Fyke suggested that the cost of the dinner & one alcoholic beverage would be covered by the Party with the individual covering drinks beyond that.


  • The Outreach
    • Everyone who gets involved with this project should get a T-shirt.
    • We will also need transportation.
    • We may also want to provide a box lunch.


  • The Event
    • $1000 for the room
    • Cookie table
    • ~$100 for World Café supplies
    • ~$500 for a Disc Jockey
    • Swag costs
    • Beverage service for 4 hours is $8 a person ($8 x ~350= $2,800)
      • Secretary Valimont suggested that this price be added to the ticket price of the event.


Bill Detweiler spoke up at this point and noted that he is in operations & project management. He suggested that we create an excel file that has this all laid out in tasks & subtasks.


Secretary Valimont questioned whether The Event portion also considered speaking fees yet. Without those fees we are coming in at around our initial $8,000 estimate. Chairman Fyke stated that he expects that National would cover the costs of any speaking fees for any principals from National. He could be surprised but he stated that he was more concerned with the summit fitting into their schedule over any speaking fees. Secretary Valimont brought this topic up because he was playing with the Michael Smerconish website & discovered his speaking fees are quite substantial—$25,000.


In closing Chairman Fyke noted that he is also one of the candidates for the Denver Summit Planning Committee. If you have been onboarded from National, you should have received a ballot today.


Before we closed however, Chair McMurray noted that we skipped over Christian Clark’s idea of fitting in some of the monuments into the summit. Secretary Valimont provided even more information on the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. He posted a link to about the memorial ( He went on to gush about this monument. It was dedicated by FDR at the very last reunion of Civil War Veterans on the 75th anniversary of the battle as a monument to peace and national unity. If this monument doesn’t scream out our ideals, I don’t know what does.



Benjamin Valimont


I am an advocate for democracy & making our government work for us.