By Tom Iervolino
Well, it is the day after Christmas and all is quiet in the house, except my new 180-gram remastered Led Zeppelin – Mothership LP’s playing not so quietly in the background. LOL!! Santa was very good to me this year . The deadline for my February P4Us article is December 24 and I have not even chaired my first Board of Governors (BoG) meeting yet. Oh well, I must respect the editorial calendar to stay in the good graces of our Editor-in-Chief, Michele Lynn.
Our first BoG meeting is on January 7 and it is at that meeting where we set the 2016 events calendar for NNJR. Once that is set, I will report back to you on an overview of the year and talk about some special 2016 events.
In this article I want to let you know about some ideas and goals I have for NNJR that I will seek the input on and consensus from my fellow BoG members. When I was NNJR’s Track Chair, I had two main goals; 1: Leave no student behind and 2: Enhance the education aspect of our DE program. The idea was that we needed to ensure we take the necessary steps/changes to ensure that we get all students into the events they wanted to attend and improve our trackside classrooms. We made a series of changes and with the great support of our BoG and the Chief Instructors and hence, we were successful. If you step back from the specific goals for a moment, the basic premises were inclusiveness and communication.
For 2016 and on, I want to build on those two points, but Region-wide. So here are a few things that are going on behind the scenes and in the early stages.
Communication: We welcome our new Communications Chair, Matt Fine, who will lead our efforts in establishing how and when we communicate what. He will work with all of the various activity or Program Chairs and establish what is the best way to communicate what is going on with each program in print (P4Us), NNJR web site, PCA National web site, email blasts, NNJR Facebook page, etc…. This higher level and more comprehensive Communication plan should allow everyone to hear and learn about what is going on at NNJR in the form and vehicle that works best for them. It will also better leverage YouTube and Facebook. Besides the obvious info about our various activities, he will also work with our Dealer Liason and Sponsorship Co-chairs (Bill Gilbert and Steve Corodemus) ensuring we fully leverage the wonderful and valuable NNJR-PCA “brand”. In doing this we are hopeful that we can bring a real value proposition to more commercial entities and create a win-win for them and NNJR. The better the job we do here, the more sponsorship and financial support we should get in return.
Inclusiveness: When you take a look at what NNJR offers its members, we are a 12 month full service organization. We publish a magazine every month and there is something to do every month of the year. Once we get into early spring, we really up our game and there are multiple things to do each month and in some cases each week. This level of activity runs through early November if not into December. Quite clearly there is something for everybody. So why the need to improve “Inclusiveness”? Like anything else in life, both in our private and work lives, there is always an opportunity for Continuous Improvement. We have great examples of some of the results of our various Chair-people and their desire to improve their respective program and to make it more inclusive (read: more attractive to a larger group and hence, more participation). Rally is a great example; John Vogt took our Rally Program and went from the more strict time and distance type event into more of a family friendly gimmick rally. Well, the results speak for themselves as participation went from a dozen or so participants per event to 40-50, then 60-80 then the crazy 100+ participant Dreyfus event. This is so impressive (and a lot of work by a crazy loyal Chairman). Our Concours leadership (Murray Kane and Jeff McFayden) not only increased the number of events but increased participation by making it easier to show race cars, added more wash and shine classes, collaborated with Social and held family friendly Concours/Social events, etc… Guess what? Attendance went up and Concours inclusiveness likely reached an all time high. Our Program Chairs Michele and Scott Lynn not only brought in an incredible list of Member Meeting speakers, they brought our mid-summer BBQ/Trek/Car Show to an all time high regarding participation. This event is supported by literally every BoG member and has grown to the point where I don’t even know what to call it. It is the “how many cars can you fit in a very large field” event that has great food/beer/wine and a great band. Special thanks to John Vogt who has managed to get his Mendham community to allow a bunch of Porsche nuts to throw a huge party once a year at their band shell/lake area. So, what is next? In 2016, our Autocross Chair and NNJR Governor Grant Lenahan will build on our successful 2015 program and hold more events and more runs. NNJR Autocross will also be sponsored by Flemington Porsche. Thank you to our friends at Flemington Porsche. Our Social Chairs, Cindy (our NNJR Secretary) and Tony Cristello will be looking at possibly adding a Trek type event in 2016. Treks (destination type events) have been very popular with other Regions and are from my vantage point growing on popularity.
I could go on and on about some of the wonderful plans in the works where we will be looking to improve our communication and increase participation and the value that a membership in NNJR-PCA can provide. In the end, I am very excited about the great team known as the NNJR BoG and the incredible spirit they have to make NNJR the best PCA Region to belong to.
See you out there in 2016.
Tom Iervolino, email@example.com, (862) 206-9160 (cell)