May 29, 2024 | Club News, Rally/Events

President’s Corner – June 2024

 

Topics for this issue:

  • Our journey this year so far, enjoying our Club members
  • Indy500 Courtesy Parking
  • NEW: WBCCI/ACI Historical Center Update
  • The Club Business Side
  • NEW: Mona Watts, Past International President, joins the Executive Council
  • Current Club Strategic Priorities
  • Upcoming International Rallies

Our friends often ask us: “Where have you gone on your Airstream journey, and what have you done…?” Well, this last year for LaVerne and me has been filled with visiting Club members across the country. We’ve had the opportunity to spend roughly four months getting to know many of you, joining you at events/rallies and along the road – it’s a great time.

In Texas, everything is bigger! Mega-Pizza at the Region 9 (TX/OK) Rally

Joining the Region 9 and Amateur Radio Club Ham Radio Rally in Hillsboro, Texas 

Roughly 10,000 miles (and four months) of fun this Spring


Indy500 Courtesy Parking

Courtesy Parking is one of the most underused (and unknown) tangible benefits of your membership in Airstream Club International. Our Courtesy Parking benefit has existed for many years, but the 400 or so members who offer their properties for overnight stays routinely say they are often not contacted. What’s so great about it? An example: LaVerne and I joined several Greater Los Angeles Airstream Club members and Region 5 members at Tammy and Tom Price’s home (BRN# 24795) for a unique Indy500 Courtesy Parking experience. They offered their front and back yards to roughly 10 Airstreams as a “basecamp” for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 motor race.

Indy500 Courtesy Parking at the Prices (BRN# 24795

Sure, this is not the typical one-night ACI Courtesy Parking stay. Still, it’s the same idea of leveraging your ACI membership benefits through overnighting at a Club member property rather than an RV Park. Check it out under our website’s “Member Resources” tab (login required). Later this summer, a significant update to our Courtesy Parking will be launched in partnership with Harvest Hosts.


The Club Business Side

We have our “Fun” side and the “Business” side in our Club. Here’s a couple of updates on the “Business” side:

  • Our Club membership continues to thrive, measured by new members (160 new memberships per month) and current member retention (roughly 85%).
  • Our 2024 International Rally in Sedalia will be the second consecutive event with more than 1,000 attendees and will likely be our largest rally in 20 years, eclipsing the record set last year by our Rally2023 in Rock Springs, Wyoming (1,200 Airstreams).
  • Led by our new interim International Treasurer and Finance Committee, our International Board of Trustees just approved a new policy outlining a three-faceted (general, infrastructure and software) financial reserve policy. This is a great (and long overdue) step forward, consistent with our IBT strategy of “Financial Literacy and Sustainability for International Board of Trustee members). Past IBT meetings and full financial documents are available to any member on our Club YouTube channel, and our website.
  • Transparency: Our quarterly Membership Campfire Chats continued to be popular as a way to have informal Q&A with our Club leadership — last month, we covered general information, Q&A on the upcoming constitutional vote to establish a volunteer “Finance Director” position, and an update and Q&A on our popular Caravans.

NEW: WBCCI/ACI Historical Center Update

For roughly one year, our Club and IBT have been discussing how to address deferred maintenance and space issues in our Jackson Center HQ building, plus determine what, if any, opportunities exist to create a member-clubhouse, historical display center, and potentially RV Parking at our 803 E. Pike property.

  • View the May 23 IBT discussion and resolution HERE, “Meeting Book,” Item 10.2. Member login required.
  • Also, check out the renovation progress on the adjacent building purchased last year, which will become the future home of our HQ staff this fall. Refer HERE, “Executive Director Update, “707 Building Remodel”, Item 4.3. The IBT approved the purchase of 707 E. Pike in the spring of last year. Refer to the agendas for prior IBT meetings for details.

NEW: Mona Watts, Past International President, joins the Executive Council

I’m pleased to announce that Mona Watts has been selected by the Past International President Council to fill the Executive Council vacancy created by the resignation of the prior Executive Council Past International President.

The International Board of Trustees is composed of two membership components. First is the Executive Council: ten (10) members elected at large by the membership. Second, the twelve (12) Region Presidents of WBCCI. One of the critical roles on the Executive Council is the seat held by one of our Past International Presidents, who, among other things, should bring a strong ACI/WBCCI leadership perspective and experience to our Club and provide guidance and mentorship to the full IBT.

Mona Watts (Heath at the time) was our International President from 2019-2020. I was fortunate to serve under her as one of our VPs and am overjoyed to have Mona returning to a senior leadership position in our Club!


Current Club Strategic Priorities

  • Internal Communications
  • External Communications
  • Welcome and Retain Members
  • Infrastructure (buildings and software)
  • Training at all Levels
  • Financial Literacy and Sustainability for IBT Members

Upcoming International Rallies

  • As of mid-May, we have roughly 1,300 Airstreams registered for our Rally2024 in Sedalia, Missouri. We expect to sell out with just over 1,400 Airstreams.
  • Rally2025: York, PA (August 2025)
  • Rally2026: Tentatively Minot, ND (August 2026)
  • Rally2027: Due to popular demand, “Back to Rock Springs,” WY (June 2027)
  • Rally2028: Tentatively east of the Mississippi

That’s it for now!

Looking forward to seeing you all down the road, and let me know if you have ideas for our Club.

  Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry

International President / BRN 153 // Amateur Radio callsign AA6EM

emchenry@airstreamclub.org

<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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