By Bradford Koshland, F313666
Well, it is that time of year again, with the holidays fast approaching. This month, I have asked the new chairman of the Membership/Member Services Committee, John Breisch, to write a little something about himself and about what his committee has been doing.
Before I turn over the column to John, I would like to reflect back on the year 2011. I would personally like to extend a warm and heartfelt thank-you to all of our members who renewed their membership with FMCA for the year 2011 and beyond. As most of you know, membership is the main source of revenue for the operation of FMCA and its national headquarters office in Cincinnati. Membership dues support our membership database, our FMCA Web page, and all that goes into keeping the association operational. Dues revenue provides liability insurance for all area and chapter rallies. It provides you with FMCAssist, the medical evacuation program. And it helps to support the great Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase events FMCA hosts.
There are many reasons to be a part of FMCA, not only for this year but for the coming years. This is an exciting time to be a part of “YOUR” organization, so please do not miss out on the benefits, especially the fun and fellowship. Those of you who continue to be members of FMCA truly realize the worth of your membership and the benefits that come with being a member of FMCA. Share that information with other motorhome owners and invite them to be a part of it.
On a personal note, I would like to thank you all for the opportunity afforded to me in 2011 when I was hired as executive director of this great association. Due to circumstances beyond my control, and keeping in mind that family comes first, I have decided to tender my resignation to attend to family responsibilities. So, this will be my last column. Take care and God bless you all.
On behalf of the staff here in Cincinnati, we wish you all safe travels over the holidays, wherever that may take you. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012.
By John Breisch, F258217
I’d like to begin by introducing myself, and telling you a bit about how I came to be a motorhome owner and to serve this year as chairman of FMCA’s Membership/Member Services Committee.
I was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, where my first experience with camping was in a tent as a Boy Scout. In 1976 my wife and I purchased a towable RV and resumed camping with our three young children. A two-week vacation with friends in a rental motorhome in 1999 sold us on the lifestyle, and shortly thereafter we bought our first motorhome. We then joined FMCA and over time have become involved at the chapter, area, and national levels of our organization. I spent my entire working career with the Pennsylvania Department of Health in various positions related to public health.
During our first weekend rally with Penn Coachmen in 2000, we were challenged by the president to become involved in the chapter’s activities. One of those was staffing the FMCA booth at the annual Pennsylvania RV Show. To the president’s surprise, my wife and I, along with another couple of newbies, volunteered to cochair this event. I guess you could say the rest is history — we’ve been doing it ever since! This experience has encouraged me to spread the word about FMCA to every motorhome owner I encounter. To date, we’ve recruited more than 165 members for our organization.
This year’s Pennsylvania RV Show in Hershey enjoyed the largest recorded attendance, 36,410 people, in spite of the devastating flooding in the region caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Another encouraging sign was the many RVs of all types that were sold during the five-day show. By the conclusion of the event, Penn Coachmen volunteers had recruited a total of 73 new members for FMCA.
The role of the Membership/Member Services Committee is to promote FMCA membership growth and to recommend new and improved member benefits and services that will enhance the motorhome lifestyle. During the Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase in Perry, Georgia, in March 2011, the Recruitment Task Force of this committee recommended that a program known as “G.R.O.W.”— Go Recruiting On Wheels — be initiated to promote growth in our membership. Through the outstanding work of several FMCA staff members, an excellent presentation was developed and shared during a recruitment seminar at the Family Reunion in Madison, Wisconsin. The seminar was well-received, and 54 attendees pledged to assist in this recruitment effort.
The committee’s goal is to have a team of recruiters working within each geographical area of FMCA. Plans are under way to have this seminar presented at each future area rally and Family Reunion, in an effort to have committed FMCA recruiters all across the United States and Canada.
For those unable to attend a seminar in person, a CD containing the presentation, as well as excellent printed materials to assist in recruitment, may be requested from the Member Services staff at the national office in Cincinnati (firstname.lastname@example.org; 800-543-2622 or 513-474-3622).
In conclusion, membership growth is not the exclusive job of this committee and the recruitment teams but is the responsibility of each FMCA member. The tools are available for your use. So, let’s not keep the valuable benefits of FMCA membership to ourselves. Let’s share this with others and G.R.O.W. our organization.
Together we can do it!