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Zone Rep Report April 2009

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

Things are getting busy all over in Zone 9 and my activity has picked up as well. The very next week after the Zone 9 Meeting in Albuquerque, Sandra and I ventured to New Orleans for the PCA National Meetings and Zone Rep College. I was in meetings all day while Sandra had the opportunity to get out and see some of the city sites with a group of the “significant others.” The first day of meetings, for me, was taken up by the Zone Rep college.

The college was led by PCA VP Manny Alban with the guest list being a literal who’s who of PCA national officers and chairs. It was said many times during the day that “though you think you might have been very active in your own region, when you get to the national level it’s mind-boggling to see how much activity it takes to make PCA run efficiently and smoothly.” I can attest to the truth of that statement. I can also attest to the capabilities of the people working at the National level. It’s humbling to be in their presence, let alone to be considered a peer.

Much of Zone Rep college covered procedures, financial information, insurance and liability issues, changes to policy, what to expect as a Zone Rep, and myths and urban legends about PCA (did you know that there is no National policy about whether windows should be open or closed during DE and Autocross?)

While I was in college, Sandra was in cooking school. Angie Gibson arranged the activity (self-paid, NOT an expense item) for the family members to learn about some of the famous New Orleans cuisine. From all accounts it was fun and delicious. In the evening, the PCAers descended en masse on the famous Drago’s restaurant for some of their famous char-broiled oysters. YUM! Then it was off to Mardi Gras. The Mardi Gras Region (you know they have to enjoy themselves!) had a big evening planned for us as each year they rent a balcony above Bourbon Street to enjoy the opening night of celebrations. It was really a blast to get out and see all the crazy people having so much fun. New Orleans certainly has a flavor all its own.

The first half of the second day was taken up with the actual Zone Rep meeting. No more tutoring, this was the time to take up the real issues on the Zone Rep list of to-dos. Again, it was great to meet, see and work with such a talented and dedicated group of people, and to get to know everyone on a more personal basis. On the discussion list were items such as Parade (this year and future years), Escape, DE rules, and PCA Car Corrals (nee Porscheplatzes).  After a brief lunch – during which I sat between PCA Insurance Chair Ken Laborde and PCNA representative Steve Krysil  – we went on to the Board of Directors’ meeting. Once again it was humbling to hear of all the activity going on with Club Racing, Parade, PCA Car Corrals, Regionfocus, and on and on and on. While we were in meeting, Sandra took the opportunity to tour the city with Roxanne Alban and see some of the sites, including the Mardi Gras museum. After a long and productive day, it was time for a little rest and then on to more activities with the Mardi Gras Region.

For Saturday night they arranged for us to be on the bleachers of a couple of the parades. It was really amazing to see all the floats and bands. Every band had their own version of a step! And we caught so MANY beads! I had so many that I was giving them away to the nice older lady behind me who wanted them for her family reunion. To give you an idea of how many beads there were, I practically got knocked out by an entire package of beads that came from somewhere in the sky! Even giving them away, we still ended up bringing a lot home. I have to say that the time in New Orleans was incredibly productive, but also loads of fun. It was hard to believe that we packed in so much of each in only a two and a half day period.

After New Orleans I flew to upstate NY for my annual “good-son duty.” My parents are 89 and 93 and I go back each year to help relieve my brother and sisters from their regular care schedules. It was a pretty good couple of weeks with my parents doing as well as can be expected for those venerable ages. But I was also able to get in a little car-stuff when I was there. My sister lives in Saratoga Springs, NY which now has a very nice automotive museum. Though their current main exhibit is centered around much older cars, their sports and racing collection features a 1935 Maserati  V8RI, a 1956 Ferrari Indy-car, and a 1950 Allard J2. Sure, no Porsches, but these were real pieces of art. Besides, I would get a good dose of Porsche the next day when I drove down to Danbury, Connecticut to the Zone 1 Tech Tactics.

Zone 1 has the tech session of all tech sessions, with the list of speakers coming right out of the back page of your Panorama. Talks were given by Tech Committee Chair Peter Smith,  PCNA rep Paul Gagliardi ,  and a host of others with the featured speaker of the day being none other than the legendary Norbert Singer. The session was held at the Farnbacher-Loles  shop which just happens to be in the same building and right next door to the Highcroft Racing shop What a great day it was. With Zone 1 being the entire Northeast of the USA and Eastern Canada there were many PCA luminaries on hand, including past-president Prescott Kelly, DE Chair Pete Tremper, Executive Director Vu Nguyen, VPManny Alban, (PCA General Council) David and (Safety Guidelines Chair)Arlene Novack and so on. So it was a good day to learn about Porsches, but also to get to know many of our national staff people a little bit better.

The next day it was a long and tight flight back to New Mexico and reality. Being a Zone Rep can be a lot of fun at times, but it’s really about staying on top of the paperwork and keeping track of the Regions and serving you, the members.  Parade registration got my attention early and many of the regions are starting to thaw out from the winter and get your regular activities going again. Though the economy is hurting all over, Porsche fans are a dedicated and enthusiastic bunch with a never-say-never attitude. Hence, I look forward to a busy and productive year as I start scheduling my visits to the Regions.

I look forward to meeting each of you.

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