of the MTM Address
was asked to write a column that would represent sort of a “State of”
MTM. Many members, and non-members, aren’t quite sure where we’re
going with the organization. Last October a general meeting was called and
a few of us showed up to map out a plan.
things have changed in the way we “do business” over the past 10 years
and it was time to either put together some new direction or call it
First a quick history lesson on what we were. In the late 1960s the
three racing regions in Michigan, Detroit, Saginaw Valley, and Western
Michigan, could never come up with enough workers and equipment to safely
operate their Flagging and Communication programs. So, it was decided to
create an organization for the F&C workers that would organize the
equipment and workers to help insure each region was covered when they
hosted a race. The
organization grew quickly. First the majority of the member came from the
West Side of the state. Then the Detroit Grand Prix came along and the
East Side membership grew and surpassed the West Side. Then SCCA required
F&C workers to be members at a time that the largest share of MTM
members were not SCCA. The requirement of SCCA membership saw some members
doing that, but many dropped out because of the costs. The number of
active MTM members fell of in the 80’s and early 90’s. In the last few
years the interest in F & C and MTM has begun to grow again. It is
time for MTM to change to help cultivate that growth.
At the meeting in October things were put into action that would
help MTM encourage that growth.
begin with, Debbie Martens volunteered to be our recruitment chairperson.
This is an area that we really fell behind on in the 80’s and 90’s.
Debbie has some great ideas on getting and keeping new members. With
Debbie in the lead everyone should do their part to bring more people into
world of F & C. If you have some ideas contact Debbie and let her know
or just call her and ask how you can help her with recruitment.
Growth is good, but one item that has been missing over the last
few years has been formal training. We used to have an early spring
training school. It would begin with a general membership meeting and
follow with instructions for new members and updates for current members.
Once and awhile we were able to even have a fire school as part of the
training. We changed our
training to be part of the early drivers' school. This was good for new F
& C workers, but those of us returning never got to refresh our minds
or be updated on changes. We are working on a plan to change that. Vern
Wandell has volunteered to coordinate a training program for MTM members.
He will work with our local SCCA regions and help set up locations and
cost sharing. The GCR requires formal training and fire schools so it’s
in the works to make these schools happen. We can’t guarantee that
you’ll see a school this spring, it takes a lot of coordination to get
them done, but hopefully before the year is over we’ll have one and get
on track to have one ready for early spring of 2002. The hope for MTM is
that any school will be a good place for new and current members to learn
and refresh and give us an opportunity to meet and maybe have a party.
Please contact Verne if you ideas on training or can him put it together.
When you join MTM your life time membership includes several
“Trash & Trinket” items. I didn’t realize until our October
meeting that several new members have never received these items. Tom
Allen and Scott Whitehead have volunteered to correct that problem. The
coordination of their efforts has been slow at getting going, but my hope
is that this will be a problem of the past. Tom and Scott will also be the
contacts for all member to update those decals, patches, T-shirts, etc.
Tom said he’d like to add additional items to our current list of
“Trash & Trinket”. If MTM is going to continue to grow we can all
help by wearing our “colors” wherever we go. A lot of us have been
looking to purchase more items, but like many things over the past few
years, we didn’t really know whom to contact. I hope that Tom and Scott
can expand their program and have “Trash & Trinket” items
available for purchase through our newsletter and web site. By the way,
Tom has also volunteered to be our Social Coordinator. So, if you have
some good party ideas contact Tom.
We also made changes in how the future leadership of MTM will be
structured. I have just
completed rewriting our bylaws to except those changes and I’m waiting
for our Executive Committee to approve them. Two groups, the Executive
Committee and the Board of Directors will govern MTM. The Executive
Committee will be made up of the officers of MTM and an F & C
representative from Detroit Region, Waterford Hills, and WMR. The
Executive Committee will vote on and execute all policies of MTM. The
Board of Directors will include the Executive Committee members plus a
person appointed to the board by each racing organization that uses
MTM’s services. The Board of Directors will advise the Executive
Committee on the affairs of MTM and recommend policy and changes.
On the Executive Board there are four officers, President, Vice
President, Treasurer, and Secretary. For 2001 this office were filled with
the members who have been holding them for a long time. These members
agreed to continue for this year, but want to be replaced for the future.
MTM will need to elect new officers this year. The new bylaws have made it
so the election must be concluded by October 1st so that the
new officers can start their 2-year term on November 1. Our hope is that
they’re a several of you out there that would like to move into one of
these positions or have someone you could nominate. We will produce a ballot in the newsletter by August or
September, so anyone interested please contact a member of the Board of
All these changes will help Michigan Turn Marshals to continue to
into the future promoting and improving the specialty of Flagging and
Communications at motorsport events through out Michigan. Remember this is
your organization and it takes everyone to make MTM a useful organization
for all of us. Let’s all pitch in and help out by working with the
members who have volunteered to head up our different departments. When
you make your decision on what events to work this year look at MTM events
first. When you travel show off those MTM “Colors”. When you need
information or have questions on F & C, or racing in general, look to
the members and resources of MTM. Think about running for one of the
Executive Committee office this Fall. Just get yourself and others
involved in this sport we all enjoy so much.
all have a safe and fun racing season.
You at the Races!
Gordy “President” Ensing
Please E-mail your comments or suggestions to email@example.com
© 1999 Michigan Turn Marshals - This page was last updated on 01/01/10 17:41