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Zone Rep Report April 2010

Sean CridlandIn the Zone by Sean Cridland

I've been kind of busy with PCA stuff this winter. Right after the Zone 9 meeting in February I flew out  to San Jose, California for the PCA National winter meeting. Although it just sounds like it's fun to travel around and see Porsche people, there is actually a lot of business that's done at these meetings each year. From the perspective of a regular member, it often appears that all of PCA can be encapsulated by what goes on in one's Region. But when you consider all the kinds of activities, programs, benefits, and publications that PCA generates things begin to grow almost exponentially as you go from the Regional to the Zone to the National staff and the kinds of policies, decisions, and responsibility involved.

From a personal perspective, it's always great to see my fellow Zone Reps in person. It's kind of a strange feeling because we talk on the phone monthly in a conference call and we often e-mail one another on various PCA matters, so we are well familiar with one another. But we really only see each other as a group twice a year: once at the winter meeting and once at the Parade meeting. So the meeting is both familiar and strange at the same time.

It's also good to be able to converse in person with the various PCA committee chairs; those whose names you see on the last pages of Panorama. Believe it or not, all those people are busy updating various policy changes and event protocols, etc, etc, etc. Each one makes a report during the National board meeting. This year the RPM (Region Procedures Manual) made some significant changes and the PCR (Parade Competition Rules) did too. Parade is undergoing a major change this year as it moves from a National event hosted by a Region to a National event organized and run by the PCA Parade Committee, but with assistance from the Regions. San Diego Region member Tom Brown has taken on this monumental task and is looking forward to a successful Parade in St. Charles, Illinois this year.

Some of my favorite people to talk to at the National meetings are Leonard and Betty Jo Turner, editors of Panorama magazine, the finest car club magazine in the world. They're some of the hardest working people in the Club, having worked in that position for 40 years or so without having missed even one issue during that time.

Website and Newsletter Chair Jill Beck in always on my list too, as I'm curious about the state of communications within PCA at all the various levels. Newsletters are in major flux right now as printing costs escalate and volunteer editors are becoming harder and harder to find. When I discussed this issue with Jill, she noted that more and more, many of the Regions will be shifting away from printed newsletters to an e-newsletter format, very similar to the E-Brake newsletter you receive from National every other week now.
If fact, for those of  you with iPhones, PCA now has an app which will direct you to any Porsche-related information in any of the Regions, nation-wide as you travel. That means Regional websites, authorized Porsche dealers, independent Porsche repair shops, race-tracks,  and any number of other Porsche related goods and services.  Yes, things are changing THAT fast.

To use a point of historical comparison, I can remember taking a summer course on "The Soviet Union Today" during the summer of 1989 and the question came up "How long before the Soviet Union breaks up?" It was unimaginable as anything other than a discussion topic that summer. But it was only a couple of years later that the USSR was a thing of the past. That's the point we're at with communications technology. Even the larger, richer Regions are looking at doing away with their printed newsletters and moving to the e-model and iPhone apps. Stay tuned, literally, on this issue.

By the time you read this, I will have started making my rounds in the Zone with a visit to Alpine Mountain Region for their anniversary party and to Llano Estacado for one of their monthly breakfast meetings. The Roadrunner Region is back in business with their traditional Memorial Day celebration: Fiesta del Porsche and ... Parade is not far behind.

Sean

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