By Jeff Jefcoat, F118344
Writing this column is the last of my duties as FMCA president. At the 70th International Convention in Buffalo, New York, on July 17, the Governing Board elected new FMCA officers for the 2003-2004 term: R.G. Wilson, F21025, of Oklahoma, national president; Don Moore, F154921, of Illinois, national senior vice president; Ginger Painter, F23514, of Florida, national secretary; and Connie Pool, F140306, of Tennessee, national treasurer. I’ve had the privilege of working with all of these officers over the past several years, and I know they will do a good job for us. My congratulations to each.
Six of FMCA’s 10 area vice presidents are new to their positions, and they also officially assumed their duties at the end of the annual membership meeting at the Buffalo convention. They are as follows:
Bill Conway, F99081, Northeast Area
Tony Innocenti, F56315, South Central Area
Ginny McGrath, F87335, Great Lakes Area
Duane Pindell, F105443, Rocky Mountain Area
George Schipper, F17603, Southeast Area
Nelson K. Stubbs, F107765, Midwest Area
The other four area vice presidents were re-elected for another term:
Max Durbin, F76454, International Area
Jim Phillips, F158824, Northwest Area
Skip Skipper, F119793, Eastern Area
Tony Vincent, F161584, Western Area
I ask you to welcome all of these people as they dedicate themselves to serving you, and appreciate their efforts in steering FMCA into its future.
Celebrating FMCA’s anniversary
During the Buffalo convention we looked at our past, too, as we marked FMCA’s 40th anniversary. We celebrated this milestone by awarding the prizes from FMCA’s 40th Anniversary Member Recruitment Contest. From August 15, 2002, to June 30, 2003, FMCA members who signed up a new member or who joined the association themselves were eligible to win. The grand prize for those who recruited a new FMCA member was a 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser, which was accompanied by a lube pump donated by Remco Manufacturing, C1590, and a towing package donated by Blue Ox, C2903. It was won by Thomas and Florence Townsend Jr., F16402. As you can tell by their membership number, they have been with FMCA for quite some time. As a matter of fact, the Townsends attended FMCA’s July 1983 convention at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In those days, FMCA regularly sold prize tickets at conventions and gave away various prizes. At the Bethlehem convention, a car was the grand prize. The Townsends were the first to be drawn for that giveaway, but it was a “reverse raffle,” so they won the third-place prize instead. I guess they were destined to win a car at an FMCA convention someday.
Three FMCA member recruiters won $1,000 cash: Dennis and Jan Slothower, F220339; Dennis and Claire Knight, F289753; and Joe and Bonnie Terry, F193558.
The winners of the six 14-karat-gold motorhome charms were Dean and Yvonne Minard, F245398; William and Bette Davern, F49346; Brian and Rae Ann Marler, F275759; C. Robert & Barbara Helms, F166947; Thomas and Goldia Kincaid, F215218; and Don and Marg Kay, F182106.
All new FMCA member families who joined during the contest period were entered in a separate prize drawing for either a 41-day Alaska caravan for two in 2004 or a post-Mardi Gras 2004 Caribbean cruise for two, donated by Creative World Rallies & Caravans Inc., C1350. The winners were Mark and Marian Peters, F321679; and Charles and Myneka Everitt, F316112. Mr. and Mrs. Peters opted for the cruise instead of the 41-day Alaskan caravan, because Mr. Peters is still working. Mr. and Mrs. Everitt, who are retired, were thrilled with the caravan.
The number-one winner in the Member Recruitment Contest, of course, was Family Motor Coach Association. During the contest period 10,466 families joined FMCA. Some of the best — and the largest numbers of — members we get are referred by current members. We thank all those who participated.
Governing Board Report
Following is the report I gave to the Governing Board on July 17, 2003:
When elected FMCA president in 2001, I selected three areas that I felt deserved special priority. All facets of the business must be maintained, of course, but I felt these three needed to be constantly monitored and emphasized.
1. Membership growth
The average age of the FMCA member — for men, 65, and women, 62 — dictates that we are more susceptible to health problems than younger people. Unfortunately, at times this can impact our ability to continue traveling and enjoying the motorhome lifestyle, and our FMCA membership. Our active membership at the end of JFMCA.com – Administrationune 2001 was 120,169 families. At the end of June 2003, there were 127,079 active member families. We have placed a lot of emphasis on this subject to achieve this number. I would like more members, but I am satisfied with this trend.
2. Motorhome quality and service after the sale
I’m not comfortable with this one. I feel consolidations and the striving to make a decent bottom line have remained much higher priorities among most manufacturers and most dealers over quality. The industry has a long way to go in this regard.
3. Member benefits
FMCA has many good member benefits, yet we are constantly on the alert for the possibility of new ones. Two benefits that I thought might help are term life insurance and medical insurance for those under 65. I asked an insurance executive if his company offered a term life insurance policy for seniors. His reply was, “Would you buy stock in a company that insures 75-year-olds?” I am fairly certain that I would not. Dick Sherman, F130225, chairman of our Risk Management Committee, has searched long and hard for medical coverage for FMCA members, and he states, “It simply isn’t there,” for a group plan. However, we’re pleased that we’re able to continue the MEDEX Plus Emergency Medical Evacuation Plan. In addition, our coverage for the deductible and coinsurance reimbursement plan when you are 100 miles or more from home now is being handled by the same company as MEDEX. I invite you to advise us of any idea you might have for additional or better benefits you think would be appropriate for FMCA members.
As FMCA’s immediate past president, I will continue to serve on the FMCA and FMC boards in an advisory capacity and will be glad to hear from you.
After these remarks, I also suggested that we begin to look for a permanent site for at least one of FMCA’s conventions each year — preferably in the Central Time Zone, to best serve the membership in both the west and east. The Long Range and Development Committee will be looking for such a site.
In conclusion, I want to again extend my thanks to everyone for allowing me to serve the greatest motorhome owners’ association in the world. FMCA members are the best folks on the road, and my wife, Jean, and I are glad to have met so many of you.