As our clubs’ delegate, I had the opportunity to represent all of you at the AHCA national delegates meeting on November 11th and 12th this year in Indianapolis Indiana. Below is a brief recap of my meeting notes.
All the clubs gave a club report with their most successful club event and any struggles that they have encountered over the past year. Most also revealed their bank balances and there are a few clubs out there with some big money.
VP of Safety, Jeff Porada gave his report. He stressed the value of participating in gymkhanas as a way of safely exploring your cars’ weaknesses in a controlled environment. There was also some discussion about the pros and cons of shoulder safety belts.
VP of Conclave, Neil Anderson reported that a proposal has been made to host the 2025 Conclave in Branson, Missouri in May of ’25. This event is still in the very early planning stages and has yet to have a host club come forward. It’s possible that Conclave ’25 might be hosted by a group made up of various nearby clubs. More to come on this event as things unfold.
The new VP of Club Support, Steve Bell had only been in his position for a few days as he has taken over for the previous VP that had to relinquish his position. Steve has made it a priority to work with the hundreds of local only members to try and convert them into a full membership. These folks are only members of the local club and not the national AHCA. The Wisconsin Chapter doesn’t have any of these members.
Mike Schnieder, VP of Membership, announced that the AHCA currently stands at approximately 2450 members. There is a program in place that allows everyone to receive a membership nametag. This program has been placed on hold as the company that furnished the tags has had trouble properly staffing their business after Covid. This problem is finally being resolved and nametags for all those that have requested them should be coming in the not-so-distant future. Mike also explained that the issues that many of the club membership directors have been experiencing are due to the fact that Club Express is not accustomed to working with a club that has 45 affiliate clubs like AHCA. This has led to several issues that had to be addressed by Club Express. Many of the problems that have occurred in the past have been ironed out.
VP of Promotions and Regalia, Pete Sturtevant had much to cover during his presentation. Something called a Microsite is available through Club Express. This is a bare bones website that is available for clubs at no expense. The Oklahoma club has such a site, and we are encouraged to check it out. Also, new members are being courted by way of new member cards that can be handed out, giving a prospective new member a code to redeem a free year’s membership to AHCA. I came home with a few of those cards to pass out to anyone that identifies a prospective new member. There is new AHCA regalia available through Lands End. It is ordered through the AHCA website. You should have already received an email from Pete explaining this new program. The interesting part is that any local club can furnish their logo and for a one-time fee of approximately $25, we can get our logo put on Lands End apparel. Lands End keeps all the proceeds so regalia sales would not be a fund raiser for clubs.
Treasurer, Bev Sealand covered the financials for the current 2023 calendar year, and we are projected to end the year in the black. She also went over the proposed budget for 2024 so that the club stays in a good financial position. One major bright spot with concerning the budget for next year is the provision for a $10,000 Conclave start up loan to the host club to help get the ball rolling in regard to Conclave planning. The previous loan amount was $2000. This increase will surely help in recruiting local clubs to step up and host future Conclaves.
Club Insurance is headed by Gary Feldman and Bill Borja. Gary explained that insurance that covers car clubs is getting harder to find as few companies are providing it. We are, however, covered for all our events and we are encouraged to reach out if any need for certificates of insurance arises.
Healey Marque editor Reid Trummel reported that the change from 12 issues to 8 has been well received and he encouraged everyone to check out the Austin Healey Quarterly which is available on-line.
DMH Memorial Fund director Bonnie Ayer reported that the club awarded two $3000 scholarships to McPherson College as we have in the past. McPherson is the only college in the country to give out a degree in automotive restoration. This past year the students were awarded a 2nd place award at the Pebble Beach Concourse for their restoration of a vintage Mercedes.
Roger Hamel reported that the Formula 1 pilots parade tickets that are offered by the Quebec club have been sold for the 2024 race season. This is a ticket that is auctioned off for the opportunity to include a club member and their Healey to take part in the prerace parade of drivers around the Canadian Grand Prix race circuit. He also announced that this opportunity will also be offered to Conclave ’24 – Elkhart Lake for the 2025 edition of the race. The proceeds will be split 50/50 between the Quebec club and our Conclave.
I was given the opportunity to promote our Conclave that is taking place next September. The delegates that were in the room, as well as those that appeared on Zoom were all very impressed with the direction that we are taking our event. A lot of excitement was created resulting in several on the spot Conclave registrations. The room was buzzing with excitement for a truly “bucket list” Healey event.
There is also a proposal for a 75th Anniversary Healey event that will take place in Lake Tahoe in late spring or early summer of 2027. This event is still in the early planning stages so stay tuned as things develop.
A registry for Sprites is being created by Howard Collins so that better records of surviving cars can be recorded. This will be published once it is made live.
The St. Johns, Gateway, Low Country, and Bonneville clubs have been put on suspension from the AHCA due to inactivity and failure to submit the required reports.
Two members have taken seats on the Delegate Nominating Committee. Brad Swiggart from Nebraska will serve a three-year term and Eileen Wetzel from Minnesota will serve a one-year term.
The auction that was held on Saturday evening after the meeting raised $1175 that will be used to help reduce the costs associated with the meeting.
The 2024 Delegates Meeting will be held November 16th-17th in Indianapolis Indiana.
Wisconsin Chapter Delegate