Hello NWTFC Fellow Trekkers, Happy New Year
2016 was a successful year for the NWTFC. We continued to attract a record number of new members throughout the year and pursued a successful rally schedule while meeting our rally goals. Communication among our members and the Club’s Board was lively and diverse. Several improvements were made within our procedures. We also established a financial home base for the beloved blog, Trek Tracks. Our Bylaws provide for an annual rotation of Club officers and that was successful thanks to the efforts of our VP, Dean Bjornson, and his committee.
Active Rally schedule and Calendar to meet our needs:
Under the direction of Helen Anderson, our 2106 rally schedule covered a big swatch of Washington and Oregon. Treks were everywhere it seemed, up and down the I-5 and points East of the Cascades. As always, the every other year at Port Townsend was an Epic get together as the weather held up and all the Pubs were open. We even coincided with a pirate bash afloat at the local Marina. Those of you that missed out on the Eastern Washington Traveling Rally and the Wallowa year-end Rally, really missed out on a quality program. Thanks to all our Rally Masters and to Ken Anderson who provided a key support level at the NWA FMCA area rally in June. Check out the NWTFC site for the Rally reports in 2016 and our schedule for 2017.
Executive Board Meetings and General membership meetings at Rallies:
The NWTFC Board conducted three email meetings, and two on site peer to peer sessions. Additionally we had a strong quorum allowing us to conduct our Annual Membership Meeting at Port Townsend and three non-quorum membership meetings at the other rallies.
The Club newsletter, Trek Travels, went to press five times thanks to Al Zimmerman, past President and our FMCA National Director. This allows your club the ability to highlight what’s happening in the past and future tense.
Our on line presence has changed last year due to a host of factors. Webmaster, Mary Carlson reformatted our cyber footprint to fit new standards required by her industry. In other words, we migrated. Typical Trekker. It’s not over yet and as she will explain we are tied to Trek Tracks and their team has a big job to complete the links. Please refer to the other annual Board reports for greater detail. Looking forward to returning to NWTFC.com.
It’s always a good omen when you open up the Past Presidents section in the Members section of our web site and you can recognize all 6 players who date back to 2005. That is because they are all still coming to our rallies every year. The amazing thing is they don’t appear to get any older! A benefit from volunteering.
The 2016 Board is humbled by the fact that so many new members chose to join NWTFC this past year. We hope we can meet your expectations. Please feel free to contact any of your Officers on club issues. The club roster now stands at 84 plus 4 Honorary members. The official tabulation should be published by the end of January. Many thanks to all the hard work from our membership team; Mary, David, Sue and Jeanette.
Modified rally guidelines adopted in 2016 to allow for more rally masters per rally and extended stay for remote locations. We approved advance funding for rallies that require a heavy down payment far in advance of rally receipts including the option of a prior club check to the Rally master where a state park might require a credit card.
The National Director, Al Zimmerman, conducted a broad survey on FMCA participation and Member preferences. That was completed in December and a summary will be published in our upcoming January, 2017 Trek Travels:
Both the NWTFC web site and Trek Tracks forum were structurally deficient as the platforms adopted many years ago are no longer viable or supported. Our Web Master created a plan in 2015 to migrate to new lands and the NWTFC move was completed in the 4th quarter of 2016. Our club, through Board approval, took on the responsibility of receiving, accounting and disbursing the donated funds associated with the complicated conversion of Trek Tracks, a blog that we have hosted for many years but do not manage. It is almost done thanks to the generosity of its members and vision of its administrators and volunteers. Glad we could help.
A “lot of work” goes on in the back office of the NWTFC to keep the club’s programs rolling along. Our Spreadsheet Guru is NWTFC’s Treasurer Sue Bjornson and she has somehow managed to grow our club assets by over 25% when compared to the last two year average of cash available for operations. We have also developed a new format for our Statement of Financial Condition. You can read all about our P&L in her annual treasurer’s report. Thanks, Sue.
Change of Officers:
A fond farewell was given to Officers Dean Bjornson, Ken Anderson and new officers were voted on in November. They are Vice President – Paula Shull, Alternate National Director – Mike Ashbridge, Treasurer – Sue Bjornson retained her position as Treasurer for a 2nd term. Thanks to all.
In 2017 three more Officers will rotate out. The President, FMCA National Director and Secretary. Please think about service when Paula Shull comes calling.
I look forward to seeing all of you at one or more of our rallies and safe travels in 2017.
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Paula Shull and Bret Medbury served along with me on this year’s Nominating Committee. The following slate of potential officers and committee members was provided for elections:
Vice President: Paula Shull
Treasurer: Sue Bjornson
Alternate National FMCA Director: Mike Ashbridge
Elections were held and the vote was unanimous in favor of the slated names.
Many thanks to Paula Shull and Bret Medbury for serving on the 2016 Nominating Committee and for those people who volunteered their time to be officers and committee members to further the success of the Northwest Trek Fun Club.
Vice President (2014-2016)
This past year has been exciting – NWTFC has 30 new members but have lost 12. Our membership now stands at 82.
Further our web site has gone through a complete rebuild, thank you Mary Carlson, which now even recognizes those of us that have moved to SOME OTHER BRAND. Our Web Master has also contributed to the rebuild of Trek Tracks which we as an Organization continue to support.
Our Newsletter continues on a quarterly basis and has gotten many compliments across the various Club Chapters, thank you Al Zimmerman.
Further growth and excitement continues, the RV Industry is growing supported by low interest rates, low fuel costs and an expected future employment market (Boeing Forecast).
David and Sue Pierce
Click on the following links to open the 2016 year-end Treasurer’s Reports in pdf format:
Final 2016 NWTFC Income & Expense Report
2016 Statement of Financial Condition, 12_31_16
NATIONAL DIRECTOR’S REPORT
National Director represents NW Trek Fun Club at FMCA NW Area Meetings and National Meetings when able. Attends the two FMCA NW Area Planning Meetings each year in April and September. Assists the NWTFC President with FMCA Rally Volunteer Services. If unable to personally participate, asks the Alternate Director to attend and vote at the FMCA NW meeting. Votes on FMCA ballots as representative of NWTFC. Keeps up-to-date with FMCA Governing Board mailings and summarizes relevant material for the Executive Board and membership.
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FMCA national items from area meetings and national convention
- FMCA executive director resigned.
- Chris Smith is the new executive director/chief financial officer. He joined FMCA in 2013 as director of administrative services/controller.
- FMCA store is now being outsourced and this should lead to better inventory for sale at area rallies..
- FMCA is acquiring new members – the challenge is retaining members. A call center is being used to follow-up of membership renewals. For 2016 FMCA nationally had an increase in membership numbers for the first time in several years.
- FMCAssist has been a positive factor in acquiring new members. New FMCA membership card has FMCAssist info on the back of the card. FMCAssist claims are exceeding anticipated figures resulting in losses. Premiums will be increasing to cover these losses. At the present time, FMCAssist premiums are being paid from investment earnings. There were 73 claims last year.
- In an effort to amplify FMCA’s membership marketing effort and utilize social media venues, invested $250,000 from investment reserves in RVillage, an online social network website. In return, the FMCA logo is displayed on the RVillage website as a means of encouraging the recruitment of new members.
- A dues increase of $10 per year was implemented effective October 2016.
- In an effort to reach younger people and new groups, it was proposed that FMCA alter its Articles of Incorporation so that FMCA as an organization is not strictly limited to motorhome owners. A vote by the FMCA membership was conducted through the FMCA magazine with ballots due by December 31. The result may be a division or separate company associated with FMCA that may include towable RV owners.
Upcoming FMCA national convention dates:
March 2017 Chandler, AZ
July 2017 Indianapolis, IN
2018 Summer Gillette, WY
2019 Winter Chandler, AZ
2019 Summer St. Paul, MN
2020 Winter Perry, GA
2020 Summer Redmond, OR
Spring FMCA NW Area Planning Meeting was held at the Linn County Expo in Albany. NWTFC was represented by Al Zimmerman (national director) and Steve Webber-Plank (president).
A new incentive program was announced to increase attendance at area rallies. If a member brings a friend to an area rally in a self-contained RV and that person has never been a member of FMCA, that member’s name will be placed in a drawing for $200. The member must be present at the end of the rally to claim the prize.
Upcoming FMCA NW Area rally dates:
June 22 – 25, 2017 FMCA NW Area Rally, Cowlitz Cty Fair, Kelso, WA
June 21 – 14, 2018 FMCA NW Area Rally, Mill Casino, Coos Bay, OR
June 20 – 23, 2019 FMCA NW Area Rally, Linn County Expo, Albany, OR
2020 No NW Area Rally because national convention in Redmond
NWTFC held a pre-rally at Antique Powerland in Brooks. Members staffed the store at the FMCA NW area rally at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany.
Fall FMCA NW Area Planning Meeting was held at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds in Kelso. Much of the time was spent on reviewing plans for the 2017 rally since the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds is a new venue for FMCA.
NW Area officer elections were held and the following were elected:
- Barbara Schleuse, Treasurer, NW Country Coachers
- Dennis Martin, Vice President, Pacers Northwest
- Bill Chambers, Vice President, Puget Sounders
NWTFC will staff the store at the NW Area rally in Longview (June 22 – 25, 2017). A NWTFC Pre-rally will be held at Brookhollow RV Park, Kelso (June 17 – 20). Frustrated Maestros will share the clubhouse for some of the pre-rally days.
A survey was submitted to the NWTFC membership to gauge the interest in FMCA activities and volunteering at area rallies. Results will be tabulated and reported after January 10.
RALLY COORDINATOR’S REPORT
What a FUN and great year 2016 has been for rallies. We had 4 rallies and had such good attendance at all of them. FUN was the operative word at each of these rallies!!
TRAVELING RALLY at Lake Chelan, Sun Lakes, Coulee City/Grand Coulee Dam from May 21-28 – 12 rigs attended and Sue and Dean Bjornson were wagon masters.
This rally was designed so that members could be part of all activities/destinations, leave at any time, join at any time, or rejoin if you liked. Many people commented that they were fond of this rally. Some members took the day trip by boat to Stehekin on Lake Chelan. At Sun Lakes we visited the Interpretive Center at Dry Falls and explored the area. Spring Canyon National Forest campground (dry camping) was the final stopping place where we had a tour of the Grand Coulee Dam and enjoyed an evening watching the first laser-light show of 2016 on the dam’s face.
ANTIQUE POWERLAND PRE-RALLY IN BROOKS, OR from June 19-22 –10 rigs attended and Pat and Tom Wilhelm were wagon masters.
Antique Powerland is a collection of museums for power equipment such as farm machinery, commercial trucks, trains, construction equipment, and engines which power them. We could wander around and look at this equipment. The day of arrival we got a ride on the electric trolley and visited the trolley warehouse where trollies were being restored. We also got a tour of the Covanta Waste to Energy Plant which was most interesting. We were treated to a delicious breakfast at Wilhelm’s beautiful home and surrounding grounds.
PORT TOWNSEND, WA RALLY from August 11-14 held at the Pt. Townsend Marina. 24 rigs attended and Mary Burchett and Ron Mahugh were wagon masters. Honorary members rented a motel and some members dropped in for the potluck dinner to be with valued friends.
NWTFC members always swarm to this rally. Members are on their own to do as they like–visit the town (which is just a short walk from the marina), visit the area, take a drive, share time with NWTFC members, take a nap, read, knit…you name it. The weather was perfect and the view over the water to the Cascades and Mt. Baker couldn’t be beat.
HARVEST MOON RALLY IN WALLOWA/JOSEPH, OR from Sept. 13-17 — 12 rigs attended and Paula and Bill Shull and Nancy and Dick Harris were wagon masters.
This rally was held at Wallowa Lake State Park. A tour of the Valley Bronze Foundry included all facets of the bronze process. This foundry produced all the extensive bronze work that makes up the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Another adventure took them on a human-powered ride on the Joseph Branch rail line—12 miles round trip to Enterprise! The tram to the top of Mt. Howard was another activity that some enjoyed.
2017 brings us three rallies. Others can be planned if there are people who want to be wagon masters. Just contact the rally coordinator.
- June 17-20 – Pre-Rally to the FMCA Area Rally @ Kelso, WA. Brookhollow RV Park, Kelso. Wagon masters are Al & Virginia Zimmerman.
- August 21-25—7 Feathers RV Resort @ Canyonville, OR. Wagon masters are Irva & Gary Cooper and Helen & Ken Anderson.
- September 22-24— Great Prosser Ballooon Rally @ Prosser, WA. Wine Country RV Park, Prosser. Wagon masters are Ed & Jeanette Block and Rodger & Colleen Wright.
Check out the NWTFC website under rallies to find out more information.
As with all of our rallies, we had FUN, and enjoyed spending time together whether it was sharing a meal, sightseeing, or relaxing at the camping ground. Here’s to more companionship in 2017!
Click on the following links for the 2016 Rally Reports and Pictures:
2016 Rally Reports
Quartzsite, AZ Rally, January 15-18, 2016
Traveling Rally, Washington, May 21-29, 2016
Brooks, OR – Antique Powerland Rally, June 19-22, 2016
Port Townsend, WA Rally, August 11-15, 2016
Wallowa, OR – Harvest Moon Rally, September 13-17, 2016
The Northwest Trek Fun Club website was built on programs and platforms that have not been supported by Windows and hosting companies for several years. We knew we would need to update our website software and hardware and so at the beginning of 2016 we requested suggestions from our members and the NWTFC members for website developers who could create a new website for the Northwest Trek Fun Club.
Three Requests for Proposals were sent out and bids were received from each company. Although all three companies could build us a website for a reasonable amount of money, moving our existing 16 years’ worth (and 283 web pages) of historical pages was more than the companies/individuals were interested in tackling.
Using my experience with my own personal website, I created a new NWTFC website, copied the historical data over and it was ready early in the year. We eventually moved it over to a new Linux server and is it currently available at www.enfusiastic.com and will remain there until the Trek Tracks forum is ready to be moved to that same server. Any attempt on our part to move the www.nwtfc.com link would have broken the Trek Tracks forum link.
As many of you know, the original creator of the NWTFC also created the Trek Tracks forum and we have been partners with them ever since. They are independent from the NWTFC, but we have played a supporting role in their success over the years as we have shared the same server and maintained the contract on their domain names.
Their forum was also built on old, outdated programs and hardware and needed to be updated. Their webmaster resigned the end of March and I have worked with the administrators to find a new webmaster, set up a funding and payment agreement with our Board, and assisted as I could to help move the Trek Tracks forum forward to a new software. A group of moderators reviewed different programs and a new forum is currently being tested and should be up soon. Once that is done, we will resume use of our old website url: www.nwtfc.com.
Some of the features of the new NWTFC website are:
- A secure Member’s Only Section, only viewable to members who are logged in. It includes:
- Administrative Information, i.e., Bylaws, Minutes, etc.
- A Member Directory. Logged in members can view member’s information. Each member can also view and edit their profile. Members can even upload pictures and include links to personal websites, blogs, Linked-In pages, etc.
- A Connect page, where members can post travel plans, places they will be, opportunities to meet up, etc.
- Club Newsletters and a brochure that members can print out to give to prospective members.
- A list of current and future rallies.
- An index of past rallies. Just click on the rally link and see the club report and pictures from that rally.
- A history of the Trek and brochures for each Trek year.
- The Isuzu InfoLetters page. (This is another membership group) that we partner with. Bret Medbury is the current editor of the InfoLetter. He submits it to me and I upload it to our website. There are currently 39 issues online and although focused on the Isuzu, there is information there that could apply to any year.
So far 46 members have set up a member account on the new website. If you haven’t, please do so. In the future you will be getting an email notice each time I post anything on the website – rally notices, new members, etc. If you need help, just email me and I’ll be glad to help you. I will also be sending out instructions once the site is finalized.
And while looking through the website, let me know if you have suggestions or see things I may have overlooked!