Sunday, January 27, 2013

The last several weeks have been difficult for the club. President and Editor of Classic BMW Motorräder, the club's magazine, Jeff Yost, has had to resign his positions due to his health. As you may have read in his column in the Summer 2012 issue, he has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, which he was infected with as a result of a blood transfusion he had in 1974. The treatment is similar to chemotherapy for cancer, and he must endure it for 48 weeks (he has 20 more to go). It leaves him weak.

Jeff has been focused on completing the Fall 2012 issue of the magazine. It should go to the printer in the next week or two, so members should receive it towards the end of February.

At the same time, trustee Debbi Harbour, who is also serving as the club's membership administrator and also takes orders and fulfills them, has had to resign. Besides all of the work she does for the VBMWMO, she also has been president of the BMW RA and is the rally chair for the RA's 2013 National Rally at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Asheville, SC. The workload was just too high and something had to give.

The board had already been struggling along down one member. Needless to say, this really brought matters to a head.

Therefore, it is with great joy that the board is pleased to introduce three new members, to reach its full compliment of seven:

  • Brent Hansen: Brent and his wife, Sue Fritzke, are long time members and have in the past done order fulfillment for the club as well as helped to organize and run local events in the San Francisco bay area. Brent is the author (and Sue, the editor) of the Brent's Tech column that has been running for the last two years in the magazine. Brent is a certified BMW mechanic and runs Brent's Motorworks from his home in rural Sonoma County.
  • Greg Hutchinson: Greg, of Foster City, CA, is twice the past president of the BMW Club of Northern California (BMW NorCal), three times its past treasurer, past president of the BMW Club of Central California and has been chair of the BMW NorCal '49er rally and Range of Light Gypsy Tour. Greg is a management and marketing consultant, and rebuilds Airhead GSes.
  • Mac Kirkpatrick: Mac resides in Glenmoore, PA and has an amazing "basement museum", where he celebrates the Airhead. He has assisted Ian Falloon with his book, R90S, and Bill Stermer with his book, R100RS (Mac is pictured on the cover of that one). Mac is the founder of the R90S Worldnet mailing list on Yahoo Groups and past president of the R90S Sport Owners Club. He is also a member of the Mac-Pac Eating and Wrenching Society.

The board's first order of business is, of course, to get Classic BMW Motorräder back on schedule. Trustee Hans Rosenstein has volunteered to edit the Winter issue, but the board is very much looking for someone to become our magazine editor. The job involves finding and selecting material for the magazine, working with our talented layout designer Becca Arsenault to create each issue, and working with our printer to get the issue printed and mailed. Volunteers will assist with proofreading and story editing, as needed. The editor will probably want to build a network of contributors and columnists. If you think you could volunteer to help us out on a long term basis, we would very much like to talk to you.

Beyond that, we are striving to distribute and delegate tasks so that no one volunteer feels overloaded or becomes burnt out, and so that when we do have volunteers who must take a break, it doesn't foment a crisis. We are looking for members who can:

  • tackle the licking-and-sticking envelopes to mail the magazine to our international members
  • similarly mail renewal postcards
  • perform membership tasks, like receiving and entering new and renewal membership orders by mail and updating membership records
  • creating the classified ads pages for the magazine each quarter
  • oversee the club's store by entering orders received by mail into the website and entering all orders into Quickbooks, then sending fulfillment requests on to another volunteer
  • members who can participate and report on local events for the magazine

The board very much has its work cut out for it, but we are working hard to, not just overcome the current situation, but learn from it and advance the club. At our current level, the club is already the world's largest BMW club focused on vintage motorcycles. Only one club in Germany is larger than we are, and they include all BMW vehicles. We have more ideas for the future, but the club cannot grow without your participation.