By Don Moore, F154921
Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, was the location for FMCA’s 76th International Convention this past August. And as we usually do at summer conventions, we conducted FMCA business during meetings that took place before and during the event.
We held the annual Governing Board meeting on Monday, August 14, at West Cabarrus Church, located near Lowe’s Motor Speedway, the convention site. The Governing Board consists of the Executive Board and the national directors elected from among FMCA voting members in their respective chapters. The national director from your chapter is your voice at the Governing Board meeting. The meeting was well attended by 381 national directors (or other chapter voting representatives) and 14 Executive Board members, making a total of 395 out of a possible 501 “” a quorum of 79 percent.
The Governing Board, acting in accordance with the policy and procedure on “Governing Board Responsibilities,” as presented in the Member And Volunteer Handbook, has oversight responsibilities over the affairs, funds, and property of FMCA and carries out the purpose of FMCA in accordance with the bylaws and the strategic plan.
Governing Board members receive several mailings from the FMCA office during the year to keep them informed. They receive a mailed packet just before the annual meeting with important information about the business to be conducted there. It includes bylaws and policy and procedure changes, minutes of the previous Executive Board and Board of Directors meetings, the treasurer’s report and budget, etc. The national directors are asked to read and study the information so they will be well informed before the meeting. If they have a question, they are able to call their area vice president or request more info from the national office in Cincinnati.
In the past we’ve held a national director training seminar prior to the meeting. This year, many of the area vice presidents held a caucus with the national directors in his or her area to explain items to be discussed and voted on. The caucuses were meant to be informative and to answer questions, not to tell national directors how to vote. If an individual plans to make a motion, he or she should be well informed on the subject and submit the motion in writing to the secretary. I believe the caucuses were beneficial and helped make the meeting go more smoothly.
At our meeting, the budget was presented and adjusted, and then voted on and approved. Committee reports were made and placed on file. There were several bylaws amendments and policy and procedure items presented for approval.
We did not hold elections for the four nationally elected officers this year because of the bylaw change made last year that resulted in two-year terms. Elections will be held in August 2007 during the 78th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon.
As noted, the national president, senior vice president, secretary, and treasurer now are elected for two-year terms. The president and senior vice president can serve only one two-year term, and the secretary and treasurer may serve no more than two two-year terms.
Each of the 10 area vice presidents is elected for a two-year term, and may serve no more than two two-year terms in that position in a lifetime. The area vice president elections are divided so that half of the 10 are elected in odd-numbered years, and the other half in even-numbered years. These officers are elected by the national directors in their respective areas, and the results of these votes are announced each June.
This year, newly elected were Tom Ainsley, F182814, Western Area, and Ross Boyer, F268985, Great Lakes Area. Re-elected for two-year terms were Jay Blumenthal, F230605, International Area; Judy Czarsty, F79148, Eastern Area; and Donzella Leahy, F234822, Northwest Area. We wish the best to outgoing area vice presidents Ginny McGrath, F87335, Great Lakes Area, and Tony Vincent, F161584, Western Area. We appreciate their years of service to FMCA.
The annual membership meeting was held on the morning of Thursday, August 17. I conducted a regular business meeting, at which time we installed the five elected area vice presidents. Photos of these leaders and information about their backgrounds can be seen in “Meet The Newly Elected & Re-Elected National Area Vice Presidents,” beginning on page 60.
We also recognized four FMCA member couples who each have recruited 100 members into FMCA over the years. These individuals each received a gold watch with their FMCA family membership number engraved on it. We thank Owen and Vivian Autry, F55048; Chuck and Ginny Belba, F235429; Eugene and Joyce LeMeur, F40278; and George and Ann Schipper, F17603, for their recruiting efforts.
Also recognized for many years of service helping to park the numerous commercial coaches at conventions was Asa Hupp, F38920. And Howard Cowles, L18517, was honored for 25 years of calling square dances and line dances at FMCA conventions. Outgoing and newly elected TATS (Teen-Age Travelers) officers were recognized. Following the meeting, 10 lucky FMCA members won $250 participation awards.
This convention was different from most, because logistics were such that not everything could be centrally located, and it was not always convenient to get from point A to point B. The Convention Committee and convention staff had been encouraged to try a racetrack for a convention site. Each location is different, and when we try new locations it’s always a challenge. We must work with what’s available at the facility.
Lowe’s Motor Speedway staff were very helpful, glad to have us there, and were willing to work with our convention staff and volunteers. Approximately 850 member volunteers assisted us at this convention, and I’m grateful for their help. We’ve said it many times before, but it bears repeating: these events would be impossible to host without the time and talents generously supplied by the FMCA member volunteers. I very much appreciate the patience of the Speedway staff, the volunteers, and the FMCA staff as they worked with convention attendees who might have had certain expectations related to the facilities and events.
The weather really wasn’t working in our favor either and could have been more pleasant, but, as you know, that’s something outside our control. This summer was unusually warm almost everywhere across the country, and rallies always seem to bring rain, even to drought-stricken areas.
Our conventions should be all about fun, fellowship, and friendship. It’s gratifying when convention attendees approach the event with a positive attitude toward our valuable volunteers and staff, facility officials, and those from the area who are hired to help us. You’ll find that these folks generally are doing the best job they can under circumstances that can be trying at times.
For a complete roundup of the convention’s activities and happenings, refer to the article on page 68 and learn more about the good times we had at the “Fast Track To Fun” convention.
And speaking of conventions, I am looking forward to seeing you in Perry, Georgia, March 19 through 22, 2007, as we celebrate FMCA’s 77th International Convention at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter. Between now and that next convention, the Executive Board will hold its November meetings, which take place each year at the FMCA national office.
Traveler’s Message Service To Be Discontinued
FMCA’s Traveler’s Message Service, a voice mail service first offered in the early 1990s, will be discontinued as of December 31, 2006.
Because of the widespread use of cell phones and e-mail, the service now has only a small number of members using it. And, as we announced last year, the system that supports the service relies on older equipment, and it is no longer cost-effective to maintain and repair it. So, this past August during its meeting at the FMCA convention in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, the Governing Board supported the Executive Board’s motion to discontinue the service effective December 31, 2006.
In the event that the system fails prior to that date, the Traveler’s Message Service will need to be immediately discontinued, without further notice to users. After December 31, 2006, or when the equipment stops working, whichever comes first, there will be no way to gain access to messages.
For the time being you are welcome to continue to use the service, but if you are using it, you are advised to find another method of communication as soon as possible.