Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
Annual Membership Directory
Here we are again at the beginning of another new year. Each January issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, also known as the Membership Directory issue, includes the “Member Benefits Guide,” a detailed description of FMCA member benefits, along with other information that is published only once a year. I encourage you to read through the descriptions of the member benefits that begin on page 182, as well as the related articles that are printed in this magazine to assist you in understanding the details of some of the benefits.
I also would encourage those of you who are not members of an FMCA chapter to make a New Year’s resolution to visit some chapters and to consider joining one or more of them for true FMCA fun and fellowship. A Chapter Directory, which lists all of FMCA’s 450-plus chapters, begins on page 282 of this magazine. It first lists chapter names according to their respective FMCA area. Next comes a state-by-state and province-by-province list of chapter names. Finally, the directory has a list organized alphabetically by chapter name that provides other chapter details, including a chapter member to contact for more information. Find a chapter that is in your area or one that interests you and give the chapter’s point of contact a call to find out when and where the group’s next rally is going to be held. Periodic updates to the Chapter Directory appear in the magazine under the title “Chapter Changes,” and the entire directory is updated and published again in the August issue of the magazine.
The Business Directory, which starts on page 1073, is a listing of all of FMCA’s commercial members. Just as family members join FMCA, the association has a commercial membership side. Companies join FMCA as commercial members in order to participate in FMCA’s conventions and area rallies, as well as to be listed in this directory and on the FMCA Web site. In many cases, these companies provide special benefits and discounts to FMCA members. Please consider using their products and services when making a purchase, and be sure to let them know that you found out about them through FMCA. The Business Directory is updated midyear and published again in the June issue of the magazine. It appears on FMCA.com in an interactive form that is updated continually.
Several other items of interest appear in this issue of the magazine, so please become familiar with its contents and carry it with you all year as you travel. And remember that all of this information also is available to you on the FMCA Web site “” www.fmca.com.
Member Benefit Changes
There are a couple of changes to the member benefits listing to which I want to draw your attention.
FMCA has renegotiated the agreement with Passport America, C5542, and with an initial membership in Passport America, FMCA members now will be provided an additional six free months (a $22 value).
Ganis Credit Corporation, C4076, which has been working with FMCA members in financing and refinancing motorhomes since 1988, was acquired by E*Trade Bank last year. This acquisition may open up future banking options, but for the present it has permitted them to consider refinancing Ganis motorhome loans that are more than 12 months old. Previously, Ganis had a policy of not refinancing its own loans. FMCA members refinancing motorhome loans from 13 to 24 months old will pay a 1 percent loan fee, whereas those with loans more than 24 months old will have no refinancing loan fee. While Ganis rates may not always be the lowest in the market, the company frequently can assist you when you desire to refinance and you are upside-down in your motorhome value to loan amount.
Due to a substantial increase in the renewal cost of the Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan, it was determined that this benefit was no longer affordable in its previous structure. Effective January 1, 2004, the Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan has been modified to an accident and dental coverage only plan. Past claims under the old program must be submitted and received within six months from the date of occurrence in order to be eligible for consideration. Please refer to the description of the revised Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Plan in the Member Benefits section on page 192 of this magazine.
Member Recruitment Program
You will note in this magazine an announcement on page 31 of the new membership recruitment program that is now under way for family and associate members. Called “Gimme Five!,” this program will provide an opportunity for family and associate members to receive a free year of membership dues for recruiting five new members to FMCA during calendar year 2004. Please consider talking with fellow motorhomers who are not a part of the FMCA family and encourage them to join. We will be happy to provide assistance, so please review the program announcement and start recruiting.
Renew Your Dues – Now!
During the last quarter of 2003, the FMCA Governing Board voted to raise the annual dues of family and associate memberships from $25 to $35. This also included an increase in the first-year new family membership fee from $35 to $45. As I indicated in my “Executive Director’s Commentary” in the October 2003 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, the plan if the dues increase were approved was to give members the opportunity to purchase two, three, or five additional advance years for a limited period of time at the old discounted rate schedule.
The new discounted rate schedule is two years for $66.50, three years for $94.50, and five years for $140. However, between now and March 31, 2004, you can purchase up to five additional advance years at the old discounted rate of two years for $47.50, three years for $67.50, and five years for $100. There have been many questions about the maximum number of years that a member may purchase in advance. Assuming that a member renewed in 2003 and at that time purchased five years for $100 at the old discounted rate, he would currently have four years of advance dues on the books. The proposal that was approved, contingent on the dues increase passing, was to permit anyone to purchase an additional five years at the old discounted rate during the first three months of 2004. Therefore, during January, February, or March of 2004, a member with four years on the books could purchase an additional five years at the old discounted rate even though their membership renewal is not due at this time. This would bring them up to nine years, which is the maximum number of advance years authorized. The bottom line is that members will want to consider purchasing up to an additional five years at the old discounted rate at this time. Please keep in mind, however, that this is a limited opportunity and will expire on March 31, 2004. Don’t hesitate to contact the Membership Services Department at this time at (800) 543-3622 if you want to take advantage of this opportunity. The Membership Department staff will be happy to answer your questions regarding this offer. Or visit www.fmca.com and sign up online.
Remember, effective immediately, the annual membership dues are $35 for a single year. If your dues renewal is this year, a multiple-year purchase at this time in any amount will certainly benefit you.
The national office staff joins me in wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year.