VFR-CLC logo Cadillac & LaSalle Club
Valley Forge Region


Dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of all Cadillac
and LaSalle automobiles and to fellowship among members - for over forty years!

 
 
President's Message - January 2018
 

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year! I started writing my first President's Message before being bombarded with last minute Holiday shopping, invaded by distant relatives at my home, and depleted of mental and physical energy by the inevitable overindulgence of turkey, carbs and wine. Plus, I had a deadline to meet. As I finish my final edits, I am recovering from at least two of these holiday assailants. What a way to start the New Year!

My Story

As I am relatively new to the CLC, and the car hobby, you may be asking, "Who is this guy"” More to the point, "How did this guy become our President?" Well, I have been a member of CLC for just over a year. I have been riding in and driving Cadillacs since I was 2; my father owned Cadillacs from 1967 until he bought his last car in 2008. I am fortunate to have three in my collection: a 1968 DeVille Convertible, a 1976 Fleetwood Brougham (nearly identical to my "first" car), and my daily driver, a 2008 DTS, which I bought from my father when he had to give up driving in 2012.

"OK, so he’s got some hardware; what about experience? Credentials!?" Since joining the CLC, I completed a CLC judge's workshop in 2016 and judged at the Grand National in Tyson's Corner last August. I am also a member of AACA, and judged at Hershey in October 2016. Family commitments kept me from Hershey in 2017.

Professionally, I worked in global product marketing, brand management, communications, new product commercialization and project management in software, building materials, industrial equipment and consumer healthcare for 25 years. I have an MBA from Drexel University and a Bachelor's degree from Villanova University. Marty Watkins and I worked together briefly at Yale Industrial Equipment back when I was younger, more ambitious and better organized (before I had kids); I’m sure he'll remember my professional accomplishments from 20 years ago. Currently, I am researching some small business ideas which I hope will align with my car hobby. How did I become your President? I raised my hand... when no one else did... for a variety of reasons.

I consider the members of CLC, AACA, CCCA and HCCP "brain trusts" for their respective areas of automotive expertise; databases of knowledge and experience that we can tap into as we build, refine, restore and enjoy our collections and our hobby. As I build my own knowledge and gain experience, it is my hope that I can give back to the Club through volunteering my time and what little talent I have. God willing, I hope someday to be able to pass along the knowledge and experience I gain in the coming years to the next "generation" of hobbyists. Plus, you all are a fun group to spend time with; I enjoy sharing our passion and fellowship together. After all, this is what the classic car hobby (and our membership in CLC) is all about – bringing family, friends, even strangers together to share a common passion.

Overwhelmed and Tired

No one else at the Board meeting on December 7th, volunteered to be President for very valid reasons with which I deeply empathize, including poor health, age, and simply being tired after having served multiple terms as officers, committee chairs or Board members at large - longer than any one board member should be expected. Despite the fact that many board members are serving their second or third term, and are contending with confounding and, in some cases, overwhelming personal circumstances, I have received multiple offers of help and support from individual board members as I transition into the role of President. My heartfelt thanks to each of them for their generous outreach; rest assured, I will be taking you up on your offers.

With Great Fun Comes Some Responsibility

"What does he want?" I want what we all want from our club – more fun! For everyone! More events/ shows, more social gatherings, etc. However, perhaps the most urgent issue facing the Board right now is a shortage of volunteers from among our membership. The fact that we had only nine nominees for nine Board positions in the last election (many of whom are serving their second or third term) is a good example of this issue. At least one dealer show may be in jeopardy due to a lack of needed volunteers last year. Members must realize that the Board and I cannot do it all by ourselves. Without volunteers to chair committees and pitch in at shows & events, some of the activities that everyone looks forward to may be at risk.

I ask that as you renew your membership (if you haven’t already done so), please consider a committee or event that you can help the region with in the coming years. A list of events and details on how you can help are in the pages that follow.

Michael

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