Janice Ernsting -NNJR President
November 17, 2020
As I recently spent the afternoon preparing for our annual meeting and elections, I started to reflect on this past year and all the changes that have come about as a result of the global pandemic and the effects it has had on our Club. At the end of last year, as I was preparing to become NNJR’s next President, before anyone had heard of Covid-19, I was thinking about the two things that I, along with our Board of Governors, wanted to accomplish in the coming year. At that time, they both seemed monumental; the first was to modify our monthly Program meetings to involve more members and the second was to find a way to move away from a very expensive and laborious printed monthly magazine. Change is never easy and both these things, I knew, would require big changes. How would our members respond? And, would they be happy with the changes that I felt were necessary?
Along came the pandemic and took these two matters out of my hands. Suddenly, we couldn’t meet in person, so Program was forced to become remote or virtual. Shannon Muller had agreed to become our Program Chair in 2020 and was enthusiastic about trying this new format. In the past, our Program meetings, held each month, were in person and met at the VFW in Morris Plains. Attendance was down to around 30 members each month. How to get more members to attend? How could we attract the speakers that would draw more members? The answer was pretty simple but required a bit of technology and virtual thinking; we would ask noted speakers and our members to meet via Zoom. The results were immediate and impactful. Suddenly the Club was able to access a whole array of speakers and activities; Hurley Haywood, Ross Bentley, the Peterson Museum, the owners from VIR and, my favorite, the Brumos Collection, were literally at our fingertips. Immediately, our attendance tripled and, since the events are recorded and available on NNJR’s YouTube channel, they are there for members to enjoy at their leisure. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
As for Porscheforus, I had a call from our Editor, Petra Swift, in late February informing me that the magazine’s printer could no longer guarantee its production. Petra suggested that the club immediately convert to a digital format and she set about to do just that. It was a tremendous amount of work and Petra was able to do it without even missing an edition. The result is a magazine that features all color photos (something that would have been cost prohibitive in the past), video links and links to our advertisers and additional items of interest. In addition to all these benefits, it is very affordable and much more timely in its content. In the future, we hope to augment the digital version of Porscheforus with occasional printed magazines. If you are not receiving your digital Porscheforus, please go to PCA.org and update your email address.
In addition to these two important changes, our Board was also able to accomplish a number of other notable and significant achievements this year. Some of these include; implementation of a new website; donations to local food banks, first responders and Cheshire Home that matched last year’s donations; DE and Autocross seasons that were well attended and cash-positive; and creative and innovative ways to gather socially in a safe and responsible manner, such as Rally’s drive-in movie. And to top it all off, our membership increased 8% year over year.
The best part about the above accomplishments is that they didn’t happen because I or any other single individual wanted them to happen. They all came about as the result of our Board members and committee chairs and their passion, creativity, dedication and hard work for this club. Our membership is very fortunate to have this impressive group of people working for them and so am I.
Stay safe and stay healthy,