Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Director's Report August 2017

Director's Report August 2017
Ed, Fisher

This is being written from our motor coach, parked in the Crested Butte RV Park, in Crested Butte Colorado. Everything is calm now, but got pretty stressful back in Nebraska when a large Deer leaped into our left corner windshield pillar, shattering the windshield, removing the drivers side window and destroying the outside mirror. With temporary repairs, we are back on the road, operating normally. I could fill a whole newsletter about this trip, but this is about the FMCA's 96th annual convention in Indianapolis, specifically the Governing Board Meeting.

President Charlie Adcock opened the meeting by having a quorum established and then with the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, then the singing of the Canadian and US National Anthems. The quorum was established with 277 delegates ( National Directors) present representing 73% of the possible total.

Charlie advised the delegates that there had been a net gain of 2000 members in the last quarter, and June had the best June net membership gain in the history of FMCA, with a net gain of 1150. (This seems to disagree with the Treasurers report further down-don't call me) Charlie said these figures take into account the membership reimbursements due to the collapse of the Verizon program collapse .

The Verizon Benefit was to provide unlimited MIFI data plans to FMCA members at a price of $49.99 per month. The agreement was intensely and thoroughly negotiated by FMCA staff with high level Verizon staff over a period of months, and when it went to Verizon top management for signature, they refused to sign it, citing  legal matters. I do not have all the details, but it had to do with Verizon's charter, and doing business with an organization such as FMCA. It was assumed by all parties concerned that the program would go forward, and a pre announcement got out, and there was a rush of new members joining just for that benefit. When the deal fell through, FMCA offered refunds to those who joined just for that benefit, and some did take the reimbursement.

There were 1477 Family coaches attending the convention.

Treasurer Percy Bell stated that the results of operations were very discouraging. The association was $211,000 under budget on membership revenue, but he stated the trend of loosing members seems to have subsided, with a net gain of 991 members in the first 7 months of the year. Expenses are over budget by $20,000 for the year. Magazine revenue continues to slip, being $41,000 under budget. The Treasurer sees further deterioration of the last 6 months of this year.

Executive Director Terry Smith stated that the 2018 budget is balanced. Not only that, but most items funded from investments (rather than being funded from the budget) including $680,000 of the FMCAssist program are now funded from operating expenses. Only $145,000 of FMCAssist will be funded from investment income.

Several of the new initiatives undertaken are:
     Continental tires have been added to the tire savings program.
    There is a new windshield replacement program administrated by the Guardian
    Cincinnati has a new phone system that has enhanced performance, features and
    reliability. FMCA owns the system rather than leasing from Cincinnati Bell, and the
    annual savings is $20,000 per year.
    There has been a website overhaul, new membership acquisition initiatives, and new
    store merchandise.

There were 3 bylaws amendments proposed. The first two failed, but the BIGGIE passed by the overwhelming majority of 85%. This amendment would allow RVs other than motor homes to become members along with motor homes. BIG NOTE- this vote by the Governing Board does not change the bylaws, it merely allows the whole FMCA membership to vote on the change. The Executive Board hopes to go through the necessary steps to have a vote by December 2017.

Jon Walker and Gaye Young were elected by acclimation to the office of National President and National Secretary respectively.
Rett Porter was elected as National Senior Vice President by a vote of 185 to 87 over a write in candidate.
Our own John Reynolds was narrowly elected as National Treasurer over Frank Tabor by a vote of 139 to 135.
        Ed Fisher
        Dogwood Chapter National Director