By Connie Pool, F140306, National President
Greetings from Cincinnati, Ohio. As I write this month’s column, we are in the final two days of committee meetings at the FMCA national office. During the meetings, we stay at the FMCA campground at 3590 Round Bottom Road, located next to the building that houses FMCA’s Member Services Department. Since the campground is my current home, I thought this would be an appropriate time to bring you up-to-date on the functions and responsibilities of that department.
FMCA’s Member Services Department employees are responsible for handling membership records, membership benefits, and more. They process and maintain the records for family and commercial memberships and Family Motor Coaching magazine subscriptions. Over the past 45 years that FMCA has been in existence, they have assigned more than 400,000 membership numbers to new FMCA members. The FMCA computer system recently assigned F400000 to Bill and Linda Lancaster of Titusville, Florida. The members who recruited Bill and Linda were Larry and Debbie Feather, F315362, of Mims, Florida. If you happen to be in St. Paul, Minnesota, for FMCA’s 80th International Convention, be sure to stop by their coaches and offer your congratulations to both couples.
The Member Services Department manages the Membership Club, which assists and rewards members for their recruiting efforts and coordinates other approved programs for recruitment of new members. Staff members make sure that members who reach certain plateaus in recruiting others get due recognition in the Membership Club for their efforts.
Members’ telephone inquiries and correspondence, much of which is now via e-mail, are directed to the Member Services Department. The staff provides members with information about the many benefits they receive from FMCA and works with the association’s national committees to research, develop, and implement new member benefits and services. The department works as a liaison with vendors such as MEDEX, Coach-Net, Passport America, and others that provide benefits for members and is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the effectiveness of these products and services.
Member Services staff members also provide support to the Governmental & Legislative Affairs Committee in its efforts to communicate with members about impending legislation that could impact the motorhome lifestyle. Working in conjunction with committee chairman Max Durbin, staff members send e-mail and postal mail communications to inform members about situations that arise and to suggest action that members might take to have a positive impact. The staff also helps the committee as it assists members who face local parking rights problems and other restrictions that hamper the use of their motorhomes.
The “Member Benefits Guide,” published annually in the January issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine, includes updated information regarding the many benefits and services available to members. I urge all of you to take the time to read through the guide to ensure you are taking advantage of everything the association has to offer. FMCA’s Web site, http://www.fmca.com/, also has complete details about your member benefits.
A brief description of FMCA member benefits is included in the magazine every month; see pages 141 to 144 of this issue. Along with the monthly summary of benefits is a membership application. Why not introduce a motorhoming friend or acquaintance to FMCA? They’ll be glad you did, and you’ll help your association grow and thrive.
You also can offer a friend a free six-month subscription to Family Motor Coaching magazine. Every other month (most recently in May 2008), the magazine includes postage-paid cards that you can use for this purpose; you’ll need to put your name and membership number on the cards in order for your friends to be eligible for this introductory offer. If you would like a supply of materials to help you explain FMCA to motorhome owners you meet in your travels, the Member Services Department would be glad to furnish you with a recruitment “tool kit.” Just ask.
Member Services Department staff attend FMCA conventions and many area rallies. Visit the membership booth at these events and you can discuss member benefits, ask questions, and make suggestions. The staff also works with area vice presidents to coordinate FMCA exhibit booths at various commercial RV shows, where non-members are introduced to the association and given the opportunity to join.
Mail forwarding is one outstanding benefit also under the supervision of the Member Services Department. Corbett and I have used this service for the past five years. First offered in January 1980, FMCA mail forwarding is for members who plan to be on the road for an extended period of time “” two months or longer. At this time, the mail forwarding staff processes mail for approximately 3,000 active accounts at the Round Bottom Road facility.
The Round Bottom Road facility is approximately five miles from the main headquarters office complex, located at 8291 Clough Pike. FMCA members are invited to stop at Round Bottom Road for two nights of free camping (per month), and I would encourage you to take a tour of the Member Services Department and mail-handling facilities before heading up to Clough Pike to tour that office. (Please note that the Clough Pike office parking lot is not able to accommodate motorhomes, so please bring your towed car.)
The Member Services and mail forwarding staff are dedicated to assisting members in receiving the services that will help to make their travels more enjoyable and worry-free. Don’t hesitate to contact the Member Services Department at (800) 543-3622; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; mail forwarding, (800) 448-1212. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Finally, I encourage all of you to join us in St. Paul, Minnesota, for what is going to be a super summer convention July 14 through 17. Don’t miss this chance to make great new friends, attend informational seminars, enjoy live entertainment, and browse countless motorhomes and related exhibits. Plus, bring your kids or grandchildren to take part in all the fun activities designed especially for them. With the July convention dates, this should allow plenty of time to get the kids home in time to prepare for the new school year. I hope to see you in the “North Star State”!