By Ginger Painter, F23514
When I asked for the opportunity to write this column, my deadline was far in the future. Like everything, time passes by rather fast. It has been a busy year within the FMCA family.
As FMCA’s national secretary, it has been my privilege to meet with many of you at the area rallies. I have tried to attend each area rally at least once. During these events I’ve been presenting seminars for chapter secretaries. They have been a great way to share the new secretary guidelines and to discuss the new chapter bylaws format. Most of the chapters have updated their bylaws or are entertaining the thought of doing so.
The two Chapter Fairs that have been produced in such great spirit by the Chapter Services Department have brought impressive results “” with chapters acquiring new members and family members who wanted to find just the right chapter to belong to being able to do so. It was all in great fun, just what FMCA is all about.
Although it is a trying time in terms of our national economy and with the price of gasoline rising daily like the morning sun, it is still the friendship of the FMCA family that brings us out. We have our chapter meetings, rallies, and conventions where we gather to show what a great association we have.
On August 15, 16, 17, and 18 in Minot, North Dakota, we will gather for FMCA’s 74th International Convention. Some will attend to see and meet old friends; some will arrive to purchase a new coach or RV-related merchandise; but more than 450 of our members will go to this convention to fulfill one of the biggest responsibilities in FMCA. On the Monday of the convention they will attend the annual Governing Board meeting to take care of FMCA business and also to elect new national officers. We, the elected delegates, attend these meetings because we do take our obligation to this organization very seriously.
The FMCA Executive Board consists of the four nationally elected officers, the past national president, and the 10 area vice presidents. The area vice presidents are elected by each of the designated 10 geographic areas. The actions of the Executive Board during the year and their recommendations will be presented to the Governing Board for their review and approval. The Governing Board will be asked to approve the $15 million annual budget for the upcoming year. This budget includes funds for the salaries, wages, and employee benefits for our 58 full-time employees and 10 part-time employees in our Cincinnati national office. Also included in this budget are the funds to provide the benefits to our members, which cost approximately $95 per member family. It is quite a balancing act for the Executive Board to provide the funding for our member benefits and also provide the funds to provide competitive salaries for our employees and their office needs.
As you know, we elected officers are all volunteers. The only funds we receive are reimbursement of our travel costs. We are happy to contribute our time and talents to fulfill our responsibilities to FMCA. Our pay is the association we enjoy working with, and having fun and fellowship with others in serving our great association.
It is very rewarding to be a part of an administration that negotiates and drives a hard bargain to provide great benefits such as MEDEX medical evacuation and travel assistance coverage, conventions, insurance, and a first-class monthly motorhome magazine.
Our Executive Board has managed our finances so we have built up cash reserves that permit us to prepay large-cost benefits and receive large discounts. In addition to our elected officers, we have good, loyal, long-term employees who work very closely with our Executive Board in managing our business activities. This is teamwork, and I am very happy to be a part of this team. Trust is important in this teamwork. We all strive to build this trust. We want the Governing Board to be a part of this trust. This is why we strive to be open about all our activities and keep Governing Board members informed.
As stated earlier, we will be meeting with the Governing Board in Minot, North Dakota, in August for their review and approval. We are looking forward to seeing each of you at this convention. Hope you can join us.