By Ginger Painter, F23514
National Vice President, International Area
The Family Motor Coach Association is 39 years old this year. Our member-owned organization has grown to include more than 123,000 active member families. FMCA has 10 area rallies and two extravaganzas (conventions) each year across the United States and Canada for you the members to enjoy.
Since I became International Area Vice President, there have been three area rallies. The first was in Quartzsite, Arizona. This sleepy little town of under 3,000 residents becomes a booming RV metropolis in January of each year when there is an invasion of over 300,000 RVers who become winter residents of the desert. Our International Area will be returning to Quartzsite in January of 2003. Every FMCA member is welcome to join us.
This past year has been a busy one for me. Setting my sights on a San Antonio, Texas, rally and seeing it through was a dream that I had when I took office. We held the rally during a very special time of year. The rally-goers were able to enjoy — along with the usual rally events, seminars, vendors, and show coaches — the largest Fiesta in Texas, the River Walk, and the shopping in El Mercado (Market Square) downtown. Each of the three Fiesta parades commanded more than 500,000 spectators.
During this rally our area had a 50-50 ticket sale. Our proceeds were turned over to our International Area chapter, FMCA Chapter: Habitat For Humanity®. We were able to present them with $1,500 and an additional $2,000 from private donations, making a total donation of $3,500. At a following post rally, one of our chapters made an additional donation of $1,000. We are still short $16,000 to build our own Habitat home from the ground up. I would be very proud to be able to say in Hutchinson, Kansas, that during my time as area vice president our very own chapter of Habitat was able to do a second complete build. Through a donation from one of our International Area members and chapter officers, there will be a build in conjunction with the Kansas extravaganza. This is a charity we all can be proud to be a part of.
In addition to the International Area rallies, I have served on the Policy and Procedure (P&P) Committee for the past 3-1/2 years. This has been a big year for FMCA, in that we are revising the association’s Constitution, Bylaws, and P&Ps. During the time that I have been on this committee, it has been a challenge, and I enjoy a challenge.
While we are in Hutchinson in October, there will be a two-day meeting of your Governing Board. They will be working toward a goal of approval for these three documents. Our Governing Board of over 400 voting members must ratify two documents by a mail ballot at a later date. The third document, the Constitution, will be approved by all 123,000-plus member families of FMCA. A ballot will be enclosed in a future issue of the magazine for all to use.
An expert on bylaws was hired to remove inconsistencies and duplications that have been added through the years to the existing documents. Most of our bylaws have been changed, added to, and procedures included in them. We now will have a clean document in both our Constitution and in our Bylaws. Our P&Ps have grown through this cleaning-up procedure. There are 55 new P&Ps, all of which initially will require Governing Board approval; 34 of these have been recommended to remain at the Governing Board approval level. In our old Policies and Procedures we only had two P&Ps that required this level of approval.
During the meeting in Hutchinson, the Governing Board will go into a “Committee of the Whole.” This will give the attending Governing Board members the opportunity to change the content of the presented documents. As was promised, the P&Ps did not change in wording as items were brought from the Bylaws. Taking the advice of the consultant hired to revise and rewrite them, all things are the same. During the next year, if these documents are accepted, there will be a big job for the P&P Committee to take care of the redundancy and make appropriate revisions to the Policies and Procedures for approval by their respective approval level, whether it is the Governing Board, the Executive Committee, or the executive director.
All in all, it has been a very busy year for all at the Executive level, and we need your support for the task ahead. I look forward to seeing you in Hutchinson.