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Zone Rep Report March 2009

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

I can finally say that I’ve started my Zone 9 Rep duties. On February 7 I convened my first Zone meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We had representation from all of the Regions in the Zone. The Friday night before the meeting, Roadrunner Region President Steven Stacy was generous to host those dignitaries who came in from out of the area to his house for a night of great food and conversation. Of course there were plenty of “toys” to look at too. We even fired up the Carrera GT just to get ours appetites going. There’s nothing like the sound of a 6 liter V-10 to make the mouth water.

The next day, things got going in earnest. We discussed many of the usual safety, liability, and financial issues that come up in every Zone meeting. We also looked over the schedules of each of the Regions to hear about what events would be coming up. Of course Parade is on everyone’s mind, being that it’s in our Zone and is hosted by the RMR and AMR Regions and Chaired by former Zone Rep Cathy Fricke. Keystone is going to be a wonderful locale for a Parade and everyone is eager to make the trip. The Roadrunner Region is scaling down its Fiesta del Porsche in order to encourage more people to make the trip to Colorado.

We also took some time to discuss this past year’s PCA Escape and the upcoming Escape in Ohio. The first PCA Escape was in California Wine Country in 2005. Since then there have been Escapes in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York, the historic region around Washington, D.C. and the Escape hosted by the Roadrunner Region this past year. Because Parade has been THE PCA event for so long, Escape has stood in its shadow. But it’s starting to gain prominence, especially when Parade is distant from one end of the coast or the other. Also, Escape is designed to be a non-competitive event, hence less stressful. Of course, Parade is close by for all of us in Zone 9 this year. But in future years Escape will be closer when Parade is far away, so think about supporting it wherever it may be.

At noon the group broke for a walk down to the Old Town Plaza and a great lunch where the main topic was – you guessed it – Porsches. Of course, it was less formal and everyone was curious about what would be going on the world of Porsche racing, the current articles in Excellence and Panorama. Then a nice walk back to get back to business for the afternoon.

Traditionally, the afternoon sessions of the Zone meetings are all about Newsletters. But this year we divided up the time for discussions about newsletters and websites. I went on long enough about websites in last month’s piece, so I’ll just say that it was good to get some of the Regional Webmasters together to share problems, solutions and ideals. I’m looking forward to more communication amongst our dignitaries this year so that hopefully everyone will learn a bit and we’ll raise our game accordingly.

For the newsletter segment of the discussion, the conversation took a similar course. Our Zone is comprised of very large and very, very small regions. So the needs and expectations are entirely different. RMR has over 1000 members and Llano Estacado is likely the smallest Region in the PCA with 18 members scattered out over a huge geographic area. West Texas and Carrera Regions are also small regions, so the problems associated with producing a newsletter that serves the respective Regions are quite different. Sometimes just having a newsletter is a large achievement!

In open discussion, other issues came up, such as finding a way to simplify the wording of the Parade Competition Rules so that mortals can undertand them. It was also suggested that now that we have a Zone 9 logo that we should also have pins, patches, and badges available. AMR President Chris Lennon suggested that we could use whatever proceeds to fund a Zone 9 get-together during Parade. I suggested later on that perhaps we could also have a Zone 9 Challenge trophy for a Zone member who participates in events in the most Regions (rule are being worked out). The Zone 9 Challenge Trophy could be handed out at the Zone get-together. Finally, we called it a day.

That evening, the Roadrunner Region put on its traditional Zone 9 dinner and had a great turn-out of Region members to welcome all the various dignitaries from out of state. From the noise in the room, a good time was had by all.

From my perspective, it was good to finally get things going as the Zone Rep. The meeting seemed to go well, with lots of communication, new friendships forged, ideas suggested and maybe even some problems on their way to being solved. By the time you read this piece, I will have been to New Orleans for my first PCA Executive Council meeting and will have gone through Zone Rep “college.” I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and learning even more about the process. I’ve been asked to lead discussions on two topics: websites for the Regions and Escape.

Then, I’ll be heading back to Upstate New York on family business for 10 days. But it’s my luck Zone 1 will be hosting their annual tech session at Farnbacher/Loles in Danbury, Connecticut while I’m there. It’s only two hours from my family’s home, so I’ll drop down for the day. Norbert Singer will be the featured speaker at the night-time dinner. During the day there will be many tech-topics discussed.

So the next time you hear from me, I’ll have lots more to say about how life is going as Zone Rep.

See you at an event,
Sean

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