By Connie Pool, F140306
Some of the most important decisions entrusted to a new FMCA president are made within the first few weeks of assuming office. They include appointing members to the national committees that will, for the most part, guide FMCA through the coming year.
Throughout my campaign for election as national president, I promised to appoint members based on their qualifications and experience, and to provide as much diversification as I possibly could. I asked the members of the new Executive Board to give me lists of individuals, along with their nominees’ qualifications, for possible appointment to specific committees. I received excellent input. As I made my selections, I found myself further challenged by the 2008 budget limitations, which, because of funding, affect committee size, composition, and the number of meetings available to conduct business.
I put other limiting criteria on my appointments as well. I limited the use of past national officers and did not use member staff because they are already presidential appointees. I dismissed the thought of using Executive Board spouses, although many are highly qualified, as I wanted to get more members involved in our association, and in most cases spouses already provide valuable counsel and input on an individual basis.
I also placed certain criteria on individuals considered for appointment to committees. I maximized the use of Executive Board members as committee chairs if they had the qualifications. Area association officers were appointed if recommended and qualified, as many of them may well be the future face of FMCA, and serving on a committee provides excellent training at the national level. I sought diversification as much as possible by introducing as many new qualified members on committees as we could find in such a short time. This search will continue during the coming year so we can continue to add new faces and diversity. Finally, I chose people from among all 10 areas within FMCA as fairly as possible based on qualifications.
As promised during my campaign, I have established the Marketing Strategy Committee to develop and implement a new marketing strategy for FMCA. This is a temporary committee that eventually will be absorbed by the Membership/Member Services Committee. However, I believe it is extremely important that we place an immediate and concentrated emphasis on this vital effort.
We cannot continue to rely on our current methods of recruitment, and we have no exact strategy for getting FMCA better known among the general RVing public. We have relied on word of mouth by our family members, and this method does provide approximately 41 percent of our monthly totals. Referrals and recruitment by commercial members accounts for another large percentage. While these have been our most successful recruiting methods in the past, the scope is limited. Not surprisingly, some motorhome owners have learned about FMCA via the Internet. We need to identify the motorhome owners we are not reaching; find out why they are buying motorhomes; and determine how we can make FMCA a valuable addition to their RV lifestyle.
Another temporary committee I established that should be able to complete its assignment during the coming year is the Special Committee for Review of the President’s Council Responsibilities. During and after President’s Council proceedings this past year, questions arose about the responsibilities and rights of all the individuals involved in the process when issues were presented to the president. This special committee will review the FMCA Bylaws and policies and procedures, and the actual way the council functions, and provide recommendations for any changes that may be necessary. FMCA’s legal counsel also will be involved in the final review of their deliberations to ensure all our members’ rights are protected. This group will begin its work via telephone and e-mail and will not be meeting in Cincinnati when other committees convene in November.
I also have established a Web Site Panel to monitor our Web site “” FMCA.com “” and provide comments back to the web master from a user’s point of view. This panel is similar to the FMC Magazine Panel, which has given valuable feedback to Family Motor Coaching staff. As I mentioned, FMCA.com is a steady source of new members, and we need to maximize our recruitment opportunities from the Internet. The site must be user-friendly and a valuable source of information for new and current motorhome owners. The potential audience for FMCA from our Web site far exceeds the distribution of Family Motor Coaching magazine. We need to ensure that members and nonmembers will not only visit our site but that the visit will help them to justify a new or continued membership.
Two of the 10 committees that will meet at the FMCA headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, this month (November 2007) are to be composed of Executive Board members only. The other eight committees are composed of an Executive Board member and three or four other members. The 10 2007– 2008 committees that will meet in Cincinnati in November are Constitution & Bylaws, Convention, Education, Finance, Governmental & Legislative Affairs, Long-Range & Development, Marketing Strategy, Membership/Member Services, Policy & Procedure, and Risk Management. The Cincinnati Support Committee is composed of Executive Board members’ spouses, and they plan for and supervise evening meals at FMCA’s Round Bottom Road campground for members attending the meetings.
There are three other committees, two panels, and two councils that perform their functions via means other than a meeting in Cincinnati. These are the Nominating Committee (elected biannually), the Youth Activities Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee, the Magazine Panel, the Web Site Panel, the Commercial Council, and the President’s Council.
Future issues of Family Motor Coaching magazine will feature individual articles about the various committees that will include a list of the members of the committee, their responsibilities, and a synopsis of their ongoing actions.
Peace, and may all your travels be safe and trouble-free.
January 2008 Magazine Notes
The January 2008 directory/member benefits issue of Family Motor Coaching will be dropped into the postal system in late December during the high-volume holiday season. So, please allow extra time for your magazine to arrive.
Also, please note that in accordance with the Governing Board’s decision this past August, to save publishing and postage costs, the magazine will no longer contain numeric and alphabetical listings of FMCA members. FMCA members still will be able to find friends and look up fellow members they meet in their travels by logging on to FMCA.com. All of the other valuable information members are used to seeing in the January issue still will be provided in the magazine.
Since the lighter directory will cost less to mail, members who use mail forwarding may want to consider having it forwarded rather than held for them, and others who make special arrangements for this issue of the magazine may want to reconsider. The deadline for making a change in mailing arrangements or an address for the January 2008 issue will be December 3, 2007.