By Connie Pool, F140306
For all who participated in Family Motor Coach Association’s Governing Board meeting in Redmond, Oregon, this past August, I thank you for taking part in the governance of FMCA and bestowing on me the honor and opportunity to serve as national president for the next two years. I accept the responsibility with humility and vow to serve all the members with the dedication and commitment expected of the office. For those of you who have not been involved in the national elections and would like to learn more of my background, I would ask you to take a look at my Web site at www.conniepool.com.
When my husband, Corbett, and I bought our first coach and joined FMCA in 1990, we still had our 9-year-old daughter, Kelly, at home. She is probably the reason I am where I am today, as her participation in the youth program at the international summer conventions kept her interest in FMCA very high. Kelly also delighted in taking on, and, in most cases, defeating all players at cards and board games in the first FMCA chapter we joined, the Colonial Virginians.
Frequently we hear of someone following in the footsteps of a relative. That happens to be true in our family, only the roles have been reversed. In 2001, when I decided to run for election as national treasurer, Kelly informed me I was following in her footsteps. At the age of 14, she was first elected as the FMCA TATS (Teen Age Travelers) second vice president; the following year she was elected as the TATS first vice president; and she then served two terms as president, going out of office in 1999. In essence, I followed in the footsteps of my teenage daughter by serving three years as the national treasurer and two years as the national senior vice president prior to being elected as your national president.
During the Governing Board meeting on August 13 in Redmond, Oregon, our association business included approving a much-discussed budget for 2008, approving amendments to several policies and procedures, accepting committee reports for file, and discussing other association business. The last major business item of the day was the election of the four nationally elected officers for the 2007-2009 term. Elected to serve along with me were Nelson K. Stubbs, F107765, national senior vice president; Joanne Durbin, F76454, national secretary; and Doug Key, F72824, national treasurer.
Serving along with the four of us on the Executive Board for this next year will be the 10 national area vice presidents, and the immediate past national president, Don Moore, L154921. I am very encouraged and look forward to working with the members of the new Executive Board. They are a group of well-rounded individuals with experience in the business world and FMCA. They are all very excited about working together for their fellow FMCA members.
The newly elected officers took their oath of office and assumed their new responsibilities at the FMCA annual membership meeting held on the last day of the convention. The new Executive Board held our first meeting on the day after the convention and took care of the usual housekeeping items involved in transferring duties. Traditionally, at this meeting, the presidential appointments for the various FMCA committees for the coming year are presented to the Executive Board for confirmation. In my campaign, I promised I would not rush the appointments, but would take time to find new and qualified committee members regardless of their support during the campaign. FMCA is a committee-driven organization, and we need to ensure the committee members are the best qualified we can find.
I held a workshop following the Executive Board meeting to discuss the recommendations that had been submitted regarding potential committee members, along with several other items, since this Executive Board has seven new members. I received very good input from all the members of the Executive Board, and the names of committee members will be published in future articles in Family Motor Coaching magazine.
As I promised in my campaign for president, we will start immediately working on the major issues FMCA faces today. I have appointed a committee to work on developing a marketing strategy that will begin the work of having FMCA become better known to more people, so we will no longer be “the best-kept secret in the RV industry.”
I have also set up a Web Site Panel of our members who will review our Web site and provide our staff with comments and recommendations from the user’s viewpoint. We need additional members who are willing to participate with this panel. If you are an Internet surfer or a web master for a chapter, club, or other organization, we could use you to help in this important endeavor to make our Web site the best it can be for our members and prospective members.
We will analyze, change, and/or improve our current recruiting techniques and our efforts for retaining members. The open forums we have held at the conventions in Perry, Georgia, and Redmond, Oregon, plus at most of the area rallies since January 2007, provided some ideas that sound promising. We will apply as many as possible that are economical and feasible to implement. The Long-Range and Development Committee will take the rest of the recommendations from the forums and develop short-term and long-term goals for all facets of our organization. We also will establish benchmarks to ensure we are working toward the accomplishment of our goals.
I thank all of you for the trust and confidence you have placed in me, and I look forward to a lot of fun and fellowship with this FMCA family of ours. May all your travels be safe and worry-free.