In the past two issues of Family Motor Coaching, I wrote about the Czarsty family and our motorhoming experiences. This month, among other topics, I want to focus on the staff who keep FMCA’s national office humming, and on Brad Koshland, F313666, FMCA’s new executive director, who began work on January 3.
FMCA members often say “Cincinnati” or “national” when they refer to the people who work at FMCA’s headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. This tells me that members, who own this organization, could use more insight into the association’s paid staff, who play a vital role in keeping FMCA running, and whom I consider part of our FMCA family.
We currently have 47 full-time and two part-time employees at FMCA national headquarters. Some have worked in more than one department over the years, and several have responsibilities in multiple departments (communications and conventions, for example). The average worker’s tenure is 12 years, but we have a number who have been with FMCA for more than 20 years; a few for more than 30 years; and one who has been with FMCA for 40 years. Over the next few months we will focus on staff members and the services that our five departments provide for you in a column titled “Employee Spotlight.” Turn to page 30 to check out the first installment.
Speaking of magazine columns, the executive director’s column will resume in the April issue, so be sure to look for it to learn more about Brad Koshland. As noted, Brad has been on the job since the first week of January 2011. The specially formed Mentoring Committee has been assisting him with his orientation. Serving on this committee along with me are Bobby Donald, national vice president, Western Area; Paul DuBois, national vice president, Northeast Area; and Al Talbott, national vice president, Midwest Area. We got together at the end of January to give Brad insights from an Executive Board member’s perspective on the many functions of the national office staff, including how they support the area vice presidents, areas, and chapters. We also provided Brad with information about the relationship between the executive director and the Governing Board, the president, and the Executive Board. I think this proved to be an excellent experience for all of us.
My experience on the Governing Board and the Constitution and Bylaws Committee has helped me to be an old hand at understanding the history and workings of FMCA’s constitution, bylaws, and Governing Board. However, as you know, I am a newbie in the position of acting national president. So, to gain perspective about the relationship between the executive director and national president, I turned to five past national presidents, including our immediate past president, Charlie Schrenkel.
The experience and advice of these past presidents proved to be invaluable. In fact, I looked at this orientation as an opportunity to refresh and enhance my knowledge of FMCA and my responsibilities as acting president. In short, it was a learning experience for me as well as for Brad.
By the time you read this, we will be into March and looking forward to FMCA’s Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Perry, Georgia, March 14-17. Although Brad has attended conventions as an FMCA member, the Perry Family Reunion will be his first as executive director. He will shadow various people, including the director of commercial services and conventions, other convention department staff, member staff, and volunteers. An Executive Board meeting will be held in Perry, too, so he’ll have an opportunity to see the group in action. I told him to bring his running shoes, because he is going to be very, very busy.
In 2011 FMCA will elect a national president, national senior vice president, national treasurer, and national secretary. As they have in recent years, the Nominating Committee will interview potential candidates prior to the start of the winter convention, in this case Perry, and select the slate of candidates they will present to the Governing Board when it convenes at the summer convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Those candidates will be invited to participate in the candidates forum in Perry, as well as the forum that will take place in Madison prior to the Governing Board meeting. National directors attending the convention in Perry will have a chance to attend a candidates forum, where they will have the opportunity to ask candidates questions about various issues. Of course, all members are invited and encouraged to attend this forum and learn about the people who would like to lead your organization.
FMCA committee members enter a very busy period following the Perry Family Reunion, as it will be time for them to wrap up their work and prepare reports for the Governing Board. The most important work during this period is the development of the budget. Brad and the staff directors have been working on this since the end of February. It will culminate with the meetings of the Finance Committee. Somehow, accord is reached, compromise takes place, and the budget is revised and presented to the Executive Board for the approval needed to send it to the Governing Board for adoption.
In the coming months, you will have a rare opportunity to see and learn about your FMCA staff family. I hope you will turn to the new “Employee Spotlight” column on page 30 to begin this glimpse behind the national scene.