Apr 24, 2023 | Club News

Presidents Corner – April 2023

Fellow Members,

I hope all is well with you!   This month, I decided to take a bit of an “inward” look at our Club.  Partially for general information but also because we need your help.  This month (May 2023), your International Board of Trustees (IBT) and I begin working on our first multi-year Club strategic plan, and we need your input.

But first, a bit of explanation on the photo of my wife LaVerne and me.  Most of you know LaVerne also has a highly active leadership role in our Club, currently serving as the Region 12 (California and Nevada) president.  So, when ordering replacement name badges, we both got red badges that identify Region officers (LaVerne) and their spouse (me), plus blue badges for international officers and their spouse.  So, my “Red” badge says, “Region 12 First Mate”.  I Love It; it takes a team, continually reinforced through our ~45 years together.

Speaking of replacement name badges, we also needed a replacement BRN due to storm-related trailer damage. Order direct from our Club Store on airstreamclub.org.  Thanks Amanda and Amber!

Strategic Planning Meeting (May, Jackson Center, OH)

I’m incredibly excited to lead our first IBT strategic planning meeting, being graciously hosted by Airstream Inc in their new corporate board room overlooking the Airstream factory floor.   This IBT gathering in Jackson Center replaces the traditional “Mid-Winter IBT Rally,” replacing a mixed-focus rally with three solid days of strategic planning with just the IBT.   Goals will include:

  • Leveraging the feedback from our membership survey to understand better what our members want (and expect) from our Club.
  • Identifying partnerships, benefits, and new program opportunities.
  • Developing and prioritizing our three-year Club initiatives, followed by identifying the revenue and expenses and how (if) they fit into our next budget. This includes operational expenses, evaluating capital needs, and infrastructure costs (physical, software, deferred maintenance on our Jackson Center HQ office, etc.)
  • Determining where we need help or can provide leadership, etc. Especially to help our 100+ Local Clubs and 12 Regions.

How can you help?   I’d love to hear any specific ideas you have about new opportunities, ways to improve your experience in the Club, thoughts on what our priorities should be, etc.   Send them to me directly (email below), and I’ll get them to the IBT.

Club Structure (a background)

First, you know we have about 19,000 members, spread across roughly 104 “Local Clubs”, but also with more than 800 “Members at Large” who are members but not directly associated with a Local Club. We also have ten or so “Intra-Clubs” structured along common interests (boondocking, vintage units, solo travelers, etc.). Members can be part of a Local Club or Member at Large but still participate in as many events and Intra-Club groups as they like. It works out well, and I encourage getting “out there” in any way possible.

General Locations of “Local Clubs” (airstreamclub.org/explore/clubs)

Club Leadership

Each of our Local and Intra-Clubs has a slate of officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, etc.). All are elected and generally serve one-to-two-year terms. Then we have twelve geographic “Regions” responsible for coordinating the Local Clubs within their geographic boundaries. A Region President leads these Regions, also with a slate of officers. In addition to working with the Local Clubs, these Regions usually put on one to two “Region” events per year. Please check out their events; they are great opportunities to meet more people, often outside of your Local Club (and they’re FUN events, usually with around 100 Airstreams attending). If you are interested in helping out, you are welcome and needed!

International Board of Trustees (IBT)

The IBT is the governing body of our Club, comprised of each of the Region Presidents (elected from within their Regions) plus the “Executive Council” (elected by the membership). As International President, I am part of the Executive Council, which is part of the International Board of Trustees. Our IBT meets quarterly, sets the strategic direction of our Club, oversees the budget, etc. As mentioned earlier, we are meeting this upcoming May for a three-day Strategic Planning Session where we’ll be looking at membership trends, results of the recent member survey, identifying key priorities, working on key partnerships, opportunities, and issues within our Club, developing our Clubs’ operational and capital budgets, etc. Kind of like any other non-profit Board of Directors.

I hope that helps, and as always, I look forward to any feedback, ideas or questions,

Eric McHenry
Eric McHenry
International President / BRN 153 // Amateur Radio callsign AA6EM

(scan with camera for my digital contact card)

<h4><a href="https://blog.airstreamclub.org/author/ericmchenry/" target="_self">Eric McHenry</a></h4>

Eric McHenry

International President Eric McHenry (BRN #153) and wife LaVerne (BRN #253) are owners of a 30' FB Classic, "Kawika" and reside in Northern California wine country. Both are avid and long-term campers, from the early days of backpacking, tent camping, kayak camping, and now Airstreams.

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