<VV> convention report

John Cole colejohn at wildblue.net
Sat Jul 20 07:08:04 EDT 2013

Being a member of the host chapter means that the convention can be very intense.  It can be stressful.  It is most definitely tiring.  Members of our committee were busy every day.  Some put in a lot of hours.  Volunteers from other clubs stepped up.  It’s hard to remember all who took part and helped and trying to say thank you means that some will inevitably be missed.  This is not to say that the efforts were not appreciated, it’s just that when you can’t remember to eat or drink for an entire day, it’s hard to remember  every person you had interacted with.

But there are definitely some who deserve recognition for what went on in Kalamazoo over the last couple days:

David Dykwell—convention chair, he knew who to put in what positions, then gave them freedom to do what they knew how to do.  Then he made sure tours were planned and manned.  Then he checked off the progress of everything and when it looked like something was slipping, remained calm and dealt with the situation.  He proved a capable leader and manager.

Ryan Counterman---WMCC president, he kept Dave on track through the process.  He ran interference during the planning.  He showed off his firetruck.  He chaired the autocross and concours.  

Dan Konkle—Rally master and econo run guru, provided that dry sense of humor to lighten the mood just when needed through planning.  He gave attendees a good tour of what the area had to offer.

Barb Adams—If anybody came into the hospitality room for anything and walked out feeling better when they came in, it was because of Barb.  Most would not be able to put a face with that name because Barb started a new job this week and was unable to be there during the day.  However, she came in every evening and made sure things went the way they were supposed to and staged for the next day.  Her planning and preparation made it easy on those who worked the room.

Paul Adams—He, with some very capable help from Keith Martin, were the guys who kept that table at the entrance moving.  I’ve been to more than one convention and know that registration gets a lot of questions and complaints.  To walk out at the end of the convention having taken care of every attendee is quite an accomplishment.  Not to mention all the work that he and Barb did putting the registration packets together leading up to the convention.

Dave Ziebarth—if you got a t-shirt  from the convention, thank Dave.  If you read about the convention online prior to the convention, thank Dave.  

Bill Brenner—If you saw a guy sitting at the hotel driveway making sure that people parked their towing rigs in the right place and that nothing got out of hand then you saw Bill.  

Doug Lectka—He’s the guy who controlled the purse strings.  Somehow he managed to get the money to the appropriate people as needed throughout our planning. 

John Koning—Having a guy like John around is very good.  Mostly because he brings his wife, Cathy, with him.  She is a capable take-charge kind of person who when needed would step up to any task.  John kept the water cold in the hospitality room, helped with set up and tear down, always provided a smile and a friendly word.  Just the kind of guy who was needed to keep everyone on an even keel.

Verne Metcalf—while not a member of the convention committee he affected many of the attendees.  All who took home a trophy will have a visible reminder of their time in Michigan because of Verne.  He made all the trophies in his shop behind his house.  And from what I have heard he made the trip to Shipshewana very enjoyable.

Tom May—for what we will be doing today at Gilmore, he will be an integral part of that (along with John Koning and Dave Dykwell).  Our hope is that the car show is a fitting end to the convention and a low-key event where we can all say our farewells while enjoying one of the top-ranked auto museums in the country.  

Steve Ridderman—worked a little magic with the Pepsi distributor and got all the drinks in the hospitality room supplied.  With the heat this week the water literally was a lifesaver.  But another thing he did was brought a goofy little motorcycle and provided several of us a little enjoyment by allowing us to ride the thing around the site to see things.  I know it made my day one day.

Also to a couple clubs that stepped up and filled some huge gaps.  Detroit Area Corvair Club brought their valve cover track and ran the races.  They completely removed that responsibility from us and made what has become a large part of the welcome celebration memorable.

Chicagoland Corvair Enthusiasts offered to help work turns at the autocross.  That was before they found out the track was nearly a mile in length.  Fortunately the track was well planned and cone resetting was at a minimum (unless I was on the track).

The Furrin Group is the local “sports car” club that did the technical stuff at the autocross.  They ran the timing equipment (which they supplied) and kept the event moving (pun intended).  They were in their element and showed why we chose to partner with them.

I could continue to go on, but there are so many others I could mention like the hotel staff at the Four Points who were the most helpful, friendly staff I have ever seen.  Or the Kalamazoo Air Zoo host to the concours and banquet what a wonderful venue for those events.  Or the Gilmore Museum allowing us to come in for our final event and put on an all ‘60s show.  We hope all will agree that it is a beautiful complex.

The people who deserve the most thanks are all the attendees who came to see what Michigan had to offer.  To see what our little corner of the world looked like.  The hope is that when you think of the 2013 convention that you will have pleasant memories.  That you will remember your time with us with a fondness and a longing to come back for a visit.


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