As an Officer in the NWTFC, I view the passing from one year to the next as an opportunity for NWTFC members to give a little through volunteering in the leadership of our Club while others can take a lot through the benefits of membership. I proclaim my enthusiastic and grateful thanks to the other 5 BOD members, Al Zimmerman, David Pierce, Mike Ashbridge, Paula Shull and Sue Bjornson who also gave their time and expertise for the benefit of others. In addition, our talented Committee heads, Mary Carlson, Helen Anderson, Nancy Harris and Jeanette Block, assisted by Penny Braden, exercised their extensive and talented skills to polish our image and assist the Board and our members. Thank you all.
Interestingly, our Annual Transition resulted in only one leadership member retiring, Helen Anderson, who is replaced by our new 2018 rally master, Ron Mahugh, a veteran NWTFC member. Welcome Ron. The balance of leadership either shifted chairs or continued in their same position. In addition the Board approved a new position in 2017 and Nancy Harris volunteered to begin the Membership Care position.
It is a fact that we have an upward trend for the NWTFC membership rolls. We are pushing 80 rigs piloted mostly by couples with only a few singles like me. This demographic allows for plenty of leadership opportunities for the rest of our 150 souls to aspire to participate in 2019 and beyond. Please consider joining us when the time comes to draft an officer’s slate as 3 positions are either re-nominated or replaced by new members.
As our NWTFC fortunes continue to grow in a favorable environment, our parent organization, the FMCA organization, adapts as well. It has expanded membership benefits and reversed the trend of declining membership. New rules of engagement have been adopted for 2018 and beyond and approved for the 73,000 member organization by a 9,300 vote or 13% overall. That percentage may seem small, but it is typical in a club environment. As an example, our NWTFC members volunteer at the National and regional rallies with 15 to 20 of our members or approximately 10-13% of our 160 enrolled members.
NWTFC rallies are the core activity in our club environment. Our rallies amplify our core value, FUN, which brings us together 4 to 5 times a year. We all look forward to the seasonal meetings with friends and associates from mostly the Pacific northwest, including Canada, but we do have members in other states as well. All of this takes a little planning and all NWTFC members are encouraged to participate as Wagon Masters who make it happen through the support of our Rally Coordinator and our Treasurer. For 2017, our continued thanks go to Helen Anderson and Sue Bjornson who supported our Wagon Masters: Zimmermans and Ashbridges, the Coopers and Andersons, the Blocks and Wrights. Encore please, for we had another fantastic year.
We continue to grow and prosper as an organization of shared interests from year to year through our periodic Board meetings throughout the year and Membership meetings at our rallies. In addition our club greatly benefits from an active newsletter edited by Al Zimmerman and a website maintained by our webmaster Mary Carlson. Big thanks are required as a lot of effort is required by these two members to produce a top-quality product. As an aside, I have used the web file references quite a lot in last four years to research club By-laws, Job descriptions, meeting notes and standing rules for governance and policy. We are fortunate to have this resource not only to record our history but to plan the future through browsing, researching and communication.
Hope to see you all at a Rally in 2018.
Steve Webber-Plank, President
My responsibility as VP was to organize the slate of nominees for the October election.
Paula Shull, Vice-President
The NWTFC is currently reporting membership at 80 rigs or plus/minus 160 people for 2017. We have had 15 applications for membership and so far 12 joining and sadly 16 rigs have left us.
Our economy continues to move quite positively and my expectations for the RV Industry are quite positive. FMCA is undergoing both benefit improvement and structural change which is going to affect all clubs.
Coordination is continuing with our Webmaster and membership lists as well as contact information is available via our website.
David Pierce, Secretary
Sue Bjornson, Treasurer
NATIONAL DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Al Zimmerman (national director) and Mike Ashbridge (alternate national director) attended the April and September planning meetings on behalf of the NW Trek Fun Club.
The key change for FMCA and a major topic for much of 2017 was the possibility of admitting towable RVs as members of FMCA. This was a major topic at the international convention in Indianapolis. The following definition of recreation vehicle was adopted during the Governing Board meeting at Indianapolis.
A recreation vehicle is a self-contained, wheeled vehicle that includes permanently-installed cooking, sleeping, and sanitary facilities.
This change will allow owners of towable RVs (trailers and 5th wheels) to join FMCA. There were questions about tent trailers and pick-up campers. It was decided that if they were self-contained and otherwise fit the definition, then we should welcome them and accept their dues.
The result of the membership vote was 6,820 in favor and 2,981 opposed to the change. Total votes cast was 9,801.
What will this FMCA bylaw change mean for NWTFC? The NWTFC executive board will consider any needed or desired changes to the NWTFC documents, and make a recommendation to the membership in 2018.
NWTFC once again staffed the FMCA merchandise store at the FMCA NW Area Rally in Longview at the Cowlitz County Event Center. As a FMCA chapter, it is volunteers who help make the area rallies a success. This year the following NWTFC members helped staff the store: Mike and Lynn Ashbridge, Gary and Lucy Brown, David Burton, Steve Webber-Plank, Al and Virginia Zimmerman, Nyla and Carla Swainston. Also helping as volunteers were: Bill and Jackie Johnson (Oregon River Ramblers (and OR WA Coaches for Christ), Mike and Renae Thurman (OR WA Coaches for Christ), Judy Jackson and Lucinda Haynes.
The store schedule worked well and there was plenty of help. Thursday evening was unscheduled so rally attendees could visit local restaurants and visit friends. Zimmermans and Ashbridges coordinated a BBQ dinner for store volunteers. Brisket, pulled pork and chicken came from the Hop n Grape in Longview.
The 2018 FMCA NW Area Rally at Coos Bay will be Kathie Balogh’s last as national vice president for FMCA NW. Andy and Kathie will be celebrating not having to travel east for meetings, but will miss many dear friends representing chapters around the country. A new national vice president for the NW Area will be elected by FMCA NW delegates at the spring planning meeting.
Some new items are planned for the FMCA NW Area Rally in Coos Bay:
- Ice cream sundaes on two days – one with strawberries and one with syrup toppings.
- Food truck carnival along with a special band – The Young Bucks. They are a band from Oregon that plays a wide variety of music, spanning mostly from Rock to Country.
- Salmon dinner cooked specially by the Coquille tribe for the rally.
- Special entertainment for Saturday.
- Coos Bay Wine Walk – for a small fee, visit various Coos Bay businesses for wine and specials.
Membership in FMCA is growing. There are now more than 73,003 members.
Future rally dates:
2018 FMCA International Convention, July 16 – 21, Gillette, WY.
NWTFC has a traveling rally planned in July with planned stops in Yellowstone, Cody, and Buffalo, WY.
2019 FMCA NW Area Rally June 6 – 9, Linn County Expo, Albany, OR
2020 No NW Area Rally – members encouraged to attend Redmond convention
2020 FMCA Intl. Convention Summer , Redmond, OR
Al Zimmerman, National Director
RALLY COORDINATOR’S REPORT
We had another fun year of getting together for NWTFC rallies. There were other rallies that NWTFC members attended, but they weren’t sponsored by NWTFC. NWTFC had three rallies this year.
In June there was the pre-rally to the FMCA rally at Kelso, WA with 14 coaches attending. There were three first-timers at this rally—Yahoo! One day some of the members caravanned to Johnson Ridge Observatory on Mt. St. Helens where they enjoyed a talk from a ranger and saw a couple Mt. St. Helens movies. An informative talk about Longview was presented by a member of the Cowlitz History Museum. Of course, meals were enjoyed together as well as time to socialize. Al & Virginia Zimmerman and Mike & Lynn Ashbridge were the wagon masters.
The next rally was held at the Seven Feathers RV Resort in Canyonvillle, OR. It is located across the freeway from the casino and is one of the nicest RV parks in Oregon. Twenty-seven coaches (!!) attended this fun rally. When you have Irva and Gary Cooper as wagon masters, you cannot have anything but fun. One evening we played bingo followed by a raffle. Many of the items were provided by the members of the club. From the money collected from raffle tickets, four bags with $75 each were awarded to the people who had that raffle ticket number. Robert Henderson and his crew from Henderson’s Line-Up in Grants Pass, OR, presented a seminar on “Safe and Happy RV Driving” as well offering complimentary inspections of our rigs. One evening they also treated the club members to ice cream with toppings. Another highlight was a breakfast of yogurt waffles and sausage links. Many people helped by bringing their waffle irons. Some club members attended a concert in the park in Myrtle Creek.
Twenty-two (!!) coaches attended the rally in Prosser, WA in Yakima Valley to enjoy the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Reservations had to be made at least three years in advance for this rally!
The main event was the launching of the balloons in the early morning. Also, a wine tasting tour was enjoyed, nightly wine tasting at the RV park, viewing the balloons at night for the Balloon Night Glow when the balloons are inflated but don’t fly, walking and shopping at the local street fair, and enjoying a BBQ dinner at the RV park.
You can always plan on having a good time at a NWTFC rally. Socializing and sharing meals is an integral part of every rally. New friendships are made, and old friendships are renewed at every rally. What a fantastic group of people!
Helen Anderson, Rally Coordinator
The new NWTFC website has worked out well for us – as a source for information for our members and potential members. Many of our new members have sited the website as how they found out about the club. It is one of the top results when anyone types ‘Trek’ using search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
In addition to corresponding with our members on a regular basis, I also average about five emails per month from people trying to find out more information about their Trek, where to sell their Trek, where to buy a Trek and how to fix something on their Trek! I redirect many of these people to our page on the History of the Trek and the Trek Brochures and if they have an Isuzu, I point them towards the Isuzu InfoLetter page and forward their email to Bret Medbury, the Ediotr of the InfoLetters. I also direct many people to Trek Tracks as being the best source of information for all things Trek. Many are trying to log into the Trek Tracks forum and I redirect them to the Trek Tracks Administrators.
We currently have 71 members signed up on the website so they can access the Member’s Only Page – (everyone can have their own login – i.e., I have one and Harry has one).
We currently have 58 people signed up to receive these posts: Only about half of these are current members, the rest are people interested in what we are doing but not yet members.
The new website has been up and running just a little over a year now. I started keeping track of some stats in August 2017 and since that time we have had 11,532 views of different pages on the site. Some of those views have come from FMCA links and articles, some from Trek Tracks when I post Newsletters and rally information and also when Bret posts InfoLetter updates.
Following are the top 9 pages visited:
- Trek Brochures: 2,527 views
- Home Page: 2,019 views
- Past Rallies: 1,700 views
- Trek History: 483 views
- Isuzu InfoLetters Index: 446 views
- Newsletters: 410 views
- Upcoming Rallies: 355 views
- Trek Documents: 297 views
- About the Trek: 289 views
Members (and non-members) can now sign up to receive an email anytime I add a post to the website. This could include the following:
- When a New Member has Joined
- When a New Rally is Posted
- Update to an Existing Rally (i.e. itinerary has changed, rally openings, etc.)
- Rally Reports and Pictures
- Report from the President or Board or committee member (i.e. Treasurer Report, FMCA National Director Report)
- New Isuzu InfoLetter
In order to receive these emails, members must sign up for them. The sign up form is found on the Home page of the website. And as a reminder, if a member wants to look at the items under the Member’s Only page, they need to have already signed up as a new member on the website (even if you have been a member for a long time).
In order to help our members navigate through our Member’s Only registration area, I have created a Help Page with detailed instructions. It can be found on the website under the Member’s Only main page and it is accessible without signing in to the Member’s Only page.
If you have questions or need help, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Mary Carlson, NWTFC Webmaster