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Zone Rep Report January 2009

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

Some of you have heard that I’ve been appointed the Zone 9 PCA rep for the next two years and have issued congratulations, usually followed by the question: so what is a Zone Rep? That’s a good question and one that I’ll be answering myself in the coming months and years. After I attend the Zone Rep College in New Orleans in February, I’ll be better able to answer that question, but for now, I’ll take the easy way out and talk about PCA structure and draw upon some answers given to me by previous Zone Reps Kathy Fricke, Howard Burr, Dale Thero, and Larry Pittsley.

As you know, the Porsche Club of America is the largest single-marque car club in the world with almost 58,000 primary members and 100,000 members including family members and significant others. To keep an organization running well– especially one that offers so many activities  to its members – requires a strong infrastructure. Hence, the PCA has an executive committee that includes a President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, and Executive Director (the guy who keeps everything running from day to day). The Executive Director and his small staff are the only paid employees. All the rest are volunteers. Take a look in the back of your Panorama Magazine sometime to see how many people it takes to make it go at the National Level, then multiply that by all the great people who keep the Regions going. It’s pretty impressive.

The next level of participation and oversight is at the Zone Rep level. Because PCA takes in all of the USA and Canada and there are 139 Regions, it would be a little much to just have the Executive Board try to keep track of everything that goes on. Hence, PCA is divided into 13 Zones, each of which is comprised of several regions. Our Zone 9 is comprised of 7 Regions: Llano Estacado, West Texas, Carrera, Roadrunner, Alpine Mountain, Rocky Mountain, and Intermountain. Our Region stretches from all the way down near Big Bend country, through New Mexico, Colorado, and into Utah and Wyoming! That’s a huge geographic area for a Zone. But there are other large geographic Zones, so we’re not alone. Take a look at the Region Directory at PCA.org sometime to get an idea of scale. One Zone Rep has the job of representing Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. I’m guessing s/he doesn’t drive the Porsche on those trips….

The Zone Rep acts as a member of the PCA Board. As Kathy Fricke noted in a piece she wrote for me a few years ago, “Zone Representatives work long hours and spend many weekends traveling the highways and byways going to and from regional and national events. Because the Zone Representative is in the best position to know their Regions, we may be called upon by National council members or committee chairmen to assist in various special situations.  We also serve as regional Safety Observers if we are present at an event.  What the description does not address is the fact that for many members we are the only PCA National representative they may have convenient access to.  In most regional disputes the Zone Rep will act as the catalyst, the arbitrator, and at times the person in the middle between the member regions and the Executive Council.”

Zone Reps are responsible for assisting the Regions in any way they can, and try to help ensure the general welfare of each of the Regions in their Zone. We try to meet with each Region President a minimum of once a year, but usually more often. We solicit written Regional proxies for all national Board of Directors meetings, after giving explanations of known issues prior to the National Board meetings. We have monthly conference calls with the other twelve Zone Reps and this year’s new PCA President, Kurt Gibson. Many hours are spent at the computer answering email and writing Quarterly reports.

I’m really looking forward to the new challenge of being Zone 9 Rep, since its duties will put me in touch with an ever larger group of great people in our corner of the PCA world. I haven’t had much opportunity to spend time in Texas, so I’m sure I’ll be learning much, much more about that part of our country. Obviously, I’ve been neck-deep in the Roadrunner Region for the past several years and I look forward to serving our Region in a new and different role. Both Sandra and I lived in Colorado for a good part of our lives, so we’re both eager to spend more time up there visiting, touring, and meeting people. And though I haven’t spent a lot of time in Utah, some of my best memories are skiing at Alta and Snowbird and racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Hopefully this will answer some of your questions. Next month I’ll let you in on more as I learn and grow into the position.

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