Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000, Executive Director
Once again, the New Year brings a new Directory/Member Benefits Guide within the pages of Family Motor Coaching magazine. You’re holding the latest version of the issue that I believe we should carry with us in our motorhomes all year. Before I describe why, I want to address a category of FMCA membership that might not be familiar to some.
Membership in FMCA focuses on motorhome ownership. But did you know that if the time comes when you no longer own a motorhome, it doesn’t mean you can’t remain an FMCA member? Family Associate membership is available for former FMCA members who have stopped traveling by motorhome.
Some FMCA members remain active in the association with a Family Associate membership. This allows you to continue to receive Family Motor Coaching magazine and to attend FMCA events such as international conventions on a passport; area rallies; or chapter rallies in your local area. Now, you might be thinking, “It was my understanding that you needed to own a motorhome to be a member of FMCA.” That statement is partially true. To be a “Full Member,” you must own a qualifying motorhome. However, some years back, the membership category of “Family Associate” was created for former members who no longer own a qualifying motorhome. They continue to pay the same annual dues amount as they did when they owned a motorhome, and they receive all of the FMCA member benefits. The only difference is, they can no longer be elected to hold office and are not eligible to vote.
If you no longer own a motorhome but you are continuing to pay your membership dues so you can continue receiving Family Motor Coaching magazine and participate in association activities, we need to know that. Please notify the national office so that we can change your membership from the Full Member category to that of Family Associate category. All of the benefits of FMCA that are available to the motorhoming members are available to Family Associate members.
FMCA members are travelers at heart, and the sale of our motorhomes doesn’t necessarily mean that we will stop traveling. We’re glad to provide you with an opportunity to continue your relationship with the association and to maintain those friendships you have built over the years, as well as continue to be eligible for FMCA member benefits.
The membership renewal form has been designed to permit you to indicate that you have sold your motorhome and should be moved to the Family Associate membership category. Considering that many members purchase multiple years of membership at a time, it is essential that you let us know if your motorhoming status has changed. Just call the Member Services Department at the national office (800-543-3622) and they will make the change to your membership records. We really don’t want to lose you.
As I continue to travel, I have learned to appreciate the Directory/Member Benefits Guide issue of the magazine more each year. To FMCA members, it is an essential publication that contains much more than a January magazine. Don’t overlook the added value found within the pages of this issue of the magazine. Look it over closely now and be sure to keep it in a special place for reference as needs arise.
Each year this publication details your up-to-date member benefits. You can read all about them fully, not just in the outline form that appears in each issue of the magazine, and can reference these descriptions when needed. Refer to the article titled “FMCA Member Benefits Guide” beginning on page 117.
This article includes information that puts some of the more complex benefits “” such as the MEDEX PLUS emergency medical evacuation program “” into language that we laymen can understand. On pages 109 and 110 you’ll find the front and back of your MEDEX PLUS “cards” with instructions and necessary information. You can cut these out, laminate them, and keep them handy in case you need emergency medical transportation. The “FMCA Member Benefits Guide” article also describes the procedures for using FMCA’s Mail Forwarding Service.
The Directory/Member Benefits Guide also includes the Chapter Directory, which lists every FMCA chapter and the name of an individual you can contact to learn more about that chapter. The Chapter Directory also is published each year in the August issue, and you can always access the information online at FMCA.com. Individuals interested in joining a chapter have a wealth of information here to help them link up. At the FMCA Web site, you can do a chapter search and receive specific information from a chapter’s point of contact via e-mail.
Inside this Directory/Member Benefits Guide is “Stoppin’ Spots,” a list of FMCA members who have indicated their desire to provide support and hospitality to fellow members in four different ways. Please refer to my commentary in the December 2008 issue (page 14) to see the value of the Stop Over Spot, Come Visit, Mechanic’s Helper, and Pinch Hit Driver listings.
The Directory/Member Benefits Guide also provides a chart that lists state and provincial motorhome regulations, and it includes a list of public-operated sanitary disposals that are available throughout the United States.
And last, but certainly not least, this magazine carries an up-to-date version of the FMCA Business Directory. The Business Directory is a listing of all FMCA commercial members, their contact information, and the services or products they offer. The listing is published twice each year, in January and June, and is available online at FMCA.com. You will find that it is user-friendly.
Please join me in carrying this issue of Family Motor Coaching with you as you travel. Instead of multiple booklets, pamphlets, and documents detailing the specifics of membership, FMCA has seen fit to incorporate this information into one volume that is updated annually. I hope you will keep it handy and be able to find it easily in your motorhome when you need to refer to it.
I also hope your membership in FMCA will provide you with assistance and support as you enjoy your motorhome. FMCA’s programs and benefits have been specifically selected to support us as motorhome owners.
As 2009 begins, I wish you all safe and enjoyable travels.