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Category: President’s Column


President’s Article May 2019

President’s Article May 2019

Octoberfest has a long and storied history beginning 50 years ago in Boston. This year’s 50th anniversary in South Carolina should be on everyone’s list of things to do this summer.

My first O’fest was in 2002 in Keystone, Colorado. I had become a member of the club in 1999, but had not attended any club activities yet at that point. I had read about O’fest in Roundel several times, so it seemed like an event where people just like me would gather and have fun with their cars for a week.

I had just leased a brand new black 2001 330ci and our son Kolin had purchased the family 325i from us. It was the summer between his sophomore and junior years, so we decided the two of us would make the trip with both of our cars to see what this BMW celebration was all about.

Since Kolin was an avid bicyclist and camper, we decided it would be fun to make the trip and camp in the Colorado Mountains during the event. We also discovered a caravan was beginning on the east coast and would make a stop in Omaha to pick up Midwestern members. We made the trip to the pick-up point hotel in Omaha the night before the great voyage would begin. We were excited to arrive at the hotel with a parking lot full of BMW’s from Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska and many states to the east. Current BMW National staff member Steven Schlosman was part of that group.

A caravan of nearly 30 cars departed from the west side of Omaha early in the morning with new and old BMW’s snaking its way toward the west. Not too far out in the Nebraska countryside, the caravan came to a halt when a newly restored 2002 from Minneapolis blew up a new Korman engine. The entire 30 car caravan was stopped on the side of Interstate 80 wondering what to do. This is the first time I met Scott Smed and Joyce. He had just purchased a new white 330ci, just like mine, so the conversation came easily. The owner of the 2002 would call a tow truck for the 2002 and the caravan would proceed. A member of the Nebraska group was also driving a 2002 without air conditioning, and that member eventually passed off his wife on my 16 year old son for the next many hours of riding with the AC on.

Once we arrived in Colorado, we learned there was a fire ban in the mountains due to the dry conditions, and camping was illegal. A decision had to be made on what to do next. Do we try to find hotels in with a large convention happening, do we go home or find someone to share a room with? If it had not been for that caravan, I don’t know what we would have done. On the caravan was the large contingent of Club members from the Omaha area whom we had met. Jeff Goman and Sheridan White were people we had met at the hotel pick-up point. I don’t remember the exact process, but they had rented a 4 bedroom townhouse for the Nebraska group and a few others. They were so kind to offer us a place to stay for the week. I shared a room with Vince, from Chicago, and Kolin slept on the living room couch. Each day the group would prepare meals as everyone donated money for the grocery shopping.

Each morning, Vince would rise early and jack up his old 2002 to do the daily repairs it required. He had a trunk load of parts, almost everything he needed to replace many old parts to keep it running. All the rest of us would go to the car wash and polish the cars until they shone in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.

Since Kolin and I were 1st timers, we did not enter into any events, but simply attended as many as we could to observe and learn about O’fest activities. One of the vendors was F1, which included an F1 car and the Pit Girls. I still have that picture of Kolin and me with those tall, beautiful Pit Girls. Visiting the F1 booth gave us the drive and desire to attend our first F1 race in Indianapolis yet that fall.

We had such a good time at our first O’fest, we have attended many since, and have of course, persuaded Becky and Katie to join us for the fun at several. Those are memories that will be will us for the rest of our lives and ones we can pass on to others who are interested in attending O’fest.

The highlight of the week was the Friday evening meal at the top of a mountain in which attendees rode up the mountain in cable cars. Early on Saturday morning we were off for home and began planning on attending the following year.

Presidents Article July 2018

Presidents Article July 2018

For anyone born after 1980, the methods of communication and relating to one’s peers have changed from past generations. Prior to the internet and instant communication, people tended to, and needed to gather together in social settings to feel the importance of belonging to a group.

Today, with instant communication via the internet and social websites, a group can gather in a matter of minutes to create a social setting where people of like interests can gather.

Unfortunately, this has had a tremendous impact on established groups created for people who have had similar and shared interests in certain topics. Most all of these types of groups, who have had a long and storied history, are diminishing in importance and have a shrinking membership. The BMW CCA is included in the groups who are struggling to maintain or grow their membership at a constant pace. Therefore, the BMW CCA has created a new rebate program to help foster membership retention and create growth. The following statement is reprinted from the BMW CCA statement concerning the attraction of new members who may be interested in purchasing a new or CPO vehicle from an authorized BMW dealer. I hope you or someone you know will take advantage of this new program.

The BMW CCA has announced a major update to the Membership Reward Rebate Program. Individuals who purchase a club membership of three or more years will now immediately qualify for the Membership Reward Rebate Program and may be eligible to receive a rebate of up to $1,500. Yes, that means you can now skip the old waiting period of 365 days and immediately apply for a rebate with this new option! It’s important to note the membership must be purchased within 15 days of the purchase/lease date of the vehicle or any time prior to. Also, the member must apply for the rebate within 60 days of purchase using the form found at bmwcca.org/vehicle_rebate.

President’s Article March 2018

President’s Article March 2018

With the changing dynamics of BMW vehicle purchases, more and more sport activity vehicles are being sold by all major car companies with a decline in traditional sedans and sports cars, what is the future of our car club, or any car club with the focus on “car culture” and belonging to an organization especially designed for people who love cars.

As widely reported, many timeless organizations with a rich history of membership have lost membership over the last decade or so. It appears many organizations with a tradition of people belonging to that organization because of the mutual beliefs of the members, have all seen a decline in attracting new and younger members to replace older members when they leave the club or organization. As the national BMW CCA grapples with how to adapt to a new generation of car enthusiasts who may share many of the same values as the current membership, how to we get those younger people involved with the current club.

What does our club need to do to attract and retain members who may not feel the same attraction to joining organizations because of a mutual interest? As our local club is not growing at a pace we would expect to be healthy, we must change in order to bring in new members who have many of the same interests as current members. The question then arises, what new and different activities should we offer, or how do we need to change our structure to ensure the longevity of the organization we care so deeply about. All current Board members are open to discussion involving this topic. Please contact a Board member with your opinions.

President’s Column September 2017

President’s Column September 2017

Do you like the events and activities which are planned and hosted by our club?  Do you have an idea for a new event or one which occurred years ago?

Now is your chance to voice your opinion! For the past several years, our chapter has held a “club members annual planning session” to discuss and plan the activity calendar for the following year.

The Board of Directors feel this annual planning session is very important in giving members a voice in the activities we plan for the club, and to put together a comprehensive yearly plan which tie our activities together. We will once again be soliciting information and ideas for new and different activities which might be interesting to our members. We will discuss which club events were successful and would like to sponsor again and which those that should drift into our memories.

All ideas brought to the meeting will be discussed on their merit, interest to club members and feasibility. We hope to have a large group with new and interesting ideas brought to the table.

You are all invited to attend our yearly “annual planning meeting” in November to discuss new and old activities.  Please bring your ideas for us to discuss and help plan next year’s calendar for your club.  This meeting will feature free lunch and conversation beginning at noon. Stay tuned for location and date.  Hope to see you there!

President’s Column

President’s Column

Recently, I was notified by the BMW CCA Foundation office that the Iowa Chapter has won the recent Brick Fundraising Chapter Challenge. We won our division based on membership of clubs with under 400 members. The Brick Fundraiser supports the BMW Foundation Museum in Greer, South Carolina.

Fundraising with engraved bricks for the BMW CCA Foundation Museum makes sense for several reasons. First, it allows donors to visibly attest to their support of the BMW CCA Foundation and the history of our club. People love finding their names displayed in a place that has great significance to them. Secondly, with the customizable colors and designs, engraved bricks can be easily integrated into the existing look of the BMW CCA Foundation museum.

Museums serve many important functions in society, from educating the public to generating tourism for communities. The American Alliance of Museums estimates that more than 850 million museum visits occur in the U.S. each year. Yet despite that staggering

number, most museums remain very dependent on donations to fund their programs. In order to protect and preserve the history of BMW CCA in America, this fundraising campaign supporting the Foundation Museum will serve our members for generations to come.

There is still time to donate to the Foundation and purchase a brick if you have not done so yet. Please visit http://www.fundraisingbrick.com/bmwccafoundation to purchase your brick and put your name for visitors to observe for many years to come.

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