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JRoberts
10-05-2014, 09:28 PM
By too big I am talking about physical size and distance, not people. I think about this when I look at the distance to Zone Meets within my zone -- the Southeast Zone. From my front door to Nashville is a 9 hour drive without stopping, which of course is not possible for me at any rate. To next year's Zone Meet in Mobile the drive will be 10 hours without stopping. The distances can be much further as the Southeast Zone goes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the southern Virginia border to Key West. That is a lot of territory. Frankly, most Zone Meets are almost as far, if not farther, away as many International Meets.

I wonder how many other folks are in this same boat. Has the SDC ever given some thought about making SDC zones physically smaller? I have always been under the impression the purpose of Zone Meets was to have smaller meets to prepare folks for the International Meet experience. The way things are now our zone meets may not be a week long, but the still require a couple of days on the road two and from the zone meets plus the two or three nights at the zone meet itself. For me, and I assume others as well, attending most zone meets and the International Meet in the same year is out of the question.

If this has not been considered by powers to be I certainly wish they would take a look at this situations. I am sure that this is not a problem just in the Southeast Zone.

sals54
10-06-2014, 02:36 AM
Hey Joe, I'll jump into this fire with you. I agree wholeheartedly. I can't go to most of the Zone Meets due to the distance. I work 6 days a week and Sundays are busy with church and family.

Bob Andrews
10-06-2014, 05:51 AM
I've never been to a zone meet; don't even know what my zone is. I don't get to attend as many Studebaker meets as I'd like already. I shoot for York and Reedsville, both five hours away. They're hard enough with everything else in life, family, racing, work, other interests, other car clubs. It's hard for me to even get away for IMs. I don't see how I could fit in a zone meet a couple hours away, let alone nine or 10 hours!

That said, how would you make smaller zones? Doesn't each zone require people to staff positions and manage it? It seems awfully hard to find enough people that can and want to take on management positions as it is.

If you went with smaller zones, who would run them?

JRoberts
10-06-2014, 06:55 AM
I've never been to a zone meet; don't even know what my zone is. I don't get to attend as many Studebaker meets as I'd like already. I shoot for York and Reedsville, both five hours away. They're hard enough with everything else in life, family, racing, work, other interests, other car clubs. It's hard for me to even get away for IMs. I don't see how I could fit in a zone meet a couple hours away, let alone nine or 10 hours!

That said, how would you make smaller zones? Doesn't each zone require people to staff positions and manage it? It seems awfully hard to find enough people that can and want to take on management positions as it is.

If you went with smaller zones, who would run them?

I believe that each zone has a Zone Director, Zone Coordinator and there are regional managers for each region/state in the zone. There would be no need for addtional regional managers, only Zone Directors and Coordinators.

JoeHall
10-06-2014, 07:28 AM
I've never been to a zone meet; don't even know what my zone is. I don't get to attend as many Studebaker meets as I'd like already. I shoot for York and Reedsville, both five hours away. They're hard enough with everything else in life, family, racing, work, other interests, other car clubs. It's hard for me to even get away for IMs. I don't see how I could fit in a zone meet a couple hours away, let alone nine or 10 hours!

That said, how would you make smaller zones? Doesn't each zone require people to staff positions and manage it? It seems awfully hard to find enough people that can and want to take on management positions as it is.

If you went with smaller zones, who would run them?
Hi Bob,
You are really in luck ! The SDC opened a new chapter in Syracuse recently. Did you not read all about it in last month's Turning Wheels? Peter H., over in Rochester wrote the article. I am surprised you are not a founding member of the Syracuse chapter :)
Joe H

Bob Andrews
10-06-2014, 07:38 AM
Hi Bob,
You are really in luck ! The SDC opened a new chapter in Syracuse recently. Did you not read all about it in last month's Turning Wheels? Peter H., over in Rochester wrote the article. I am surprised you are not a founding member of the Syracuse chapter :)
Joe H

Hi Joe – I haven't had a chance to even look at my turning wheels for the last couple months. They're sitting on my desk with a few other magazines I haven't opened. But I do know Pete very well, and he did a great job of notifying and informing everybody about the new chapter. As I said above, I do not have the time to add on yet more activities when I can't be as involved as I want to in the ones I currently have. Me and Pete discussed this when he came up with the original idea, and he absolutely did invite me. I have a lot of energy for 53 years of age, but it's all being used up in other areas. For an example, reread my thread about asking for a click:)

Skip Lackie
10-06-2014, 09:32 AM
I will attempt to answer part of the original question, which was: has the board ever considered this matter? The answer is yes, though not recently. The zone boundaries were revised about 20 years ago, but I don't believe that there has been any discussion of the matter since then. The zone sizes and boundaries are inextricably bound up with the size of the board. The SDC charter allows a board of directors of as many as 25 people, but the board has resisted increasing the size of the body beyond the current 15 (9 North American Zone, 1 Intl Zone, 4 officers, and 1 past president) as being unnecessary without membership growth. The current nine-zone system was developed in response to the rapid growth that SDC experienced in the 1970s and early 80s.

The criteria for zones are not specified in the bylaws, but are understood to be: (1) contiguous states and provinces, (2) approximately equal in member population, and (3) follow state/provincial boundaries wherever possible. International Meets are supposed to be held around the continent to allow members to attend one every few years without having to drive too far, with Zone Meets providing closer alternatives in most years. But there's no intent that anyone in a given zone should be able to attend a truly "local" Zone Meet every year -- that's why there are also chapter and multi-chapter meets.

I certainly understand why people would want to attend as many of these meets as possible, but unless some means could be found to address the zone size - board size connection, I think it's unlikely that the zones will be reduced in size. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a given zone couldn't schedule several zone meets each year -- the problem (as always) is finding enough chapters and worker bees to pull it off. The national club plays almost no role in scheduling zone meets, so the Southeast Zone could probably do almost whatever it wants.

jclary
10-06-2014, 10:04 AM
I will attempt to answer part of the original question, which was: has the board ever considered this matter? The answer is yes, though not recently. The zone boundaries were revised about 20 years ago, but I don't believe that there has been any discussion of the matter since then. The zone sizes and boundaries are inextricably bound up with the size of the board. The SDC charter allows a board of directors of as many as 25 people, but the board has resisted increasing the size of the body beyond the current 15 (9 North American Zone, 1 Intl Zone, 4 officers, and 1 past president) as being unnecessary without membership growth. The current nine-zone system was developed in response to the rapid growth that SDC experienced in the 1970s and early 80s.

The criteria for zones are not specified in the bylaws, but are understood to be: (1) contiguous states and provinces, (2) approximately equal in member population, and (3) follow state/provincial boundaries wherever possible. International Meets are supposed to be held around the continent to allow members to attend one every few years without having to drive too far, with Zone Meets providing closer alternatives in most years. But there's no intent that anyone in a given zone should be able to attend a truly "local" Zone Meet every year -- that's why there are also chapter and multi-chapter meets.

I certainly understand why people would want to attend as many of these meets as possible, but unless some means could be found to address the zone size - board size connection, I think it's unlikely that the zones will be reduced in size. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a given zone couldn't schedule several zone meets each year -- the problem (as always) is finding enough chapters and worker bees:!: to pull it off. The national club plays almost no role in scheduling zone meets, so the Southeast Zone could probably do almost whatever it wants.

Most important two words for any club activities. Also, I find that events must be convenient to the "reach" of those worker bees.:) If the worker bees have to expend all their energy "getting there," the event planning suffers. I learned, early on, that event planning is not one of my talents. Therefore, I try to respect those who do, and support their efforts. I've seen folks come to events and complain about registration fees, room rates, show classes, etc.:( As if all the gatherings happen by magic, and everything should be free???:rolleyes: The best way to gain a proper perspective, is to jump in and help out.:)

I have cut back on my participation in meets, and distance traveled. My age, family obligations, energy, and priorities have evolved. When I do attend an event, I try to make sure to have enough "FUN" in my "Fun Tank," to see me through the event and back home.:)

8E45E
10-06-2014, 02:32 PM
I can't go to most of the Zone Meets due to the distance.

Zone meets are supposed to be rotational within the zone. But, if one lives close to the border of an adjacent zone, there is no rule stating he or she cannot attend a meet which is not in their zone. I have attended several in the Pacific Can-Am Zone where I reside, and also a few in the North Central Zone which is close to me. (The term 'close' = 1-day drive to the meet)

Craig

studegary
10-06-2014, 02:39 PM
I will attempt to answer part of the original question, which was: has the board ever considered this matter? The answer is yes, though not recently. The zone boundaries were revised about 20 years ago, but I don't believe that there has been any discussion of the matter since then. The zone sizes and boundaries are inextricably bound up with the size of the board. The SDC charter allows a board of directors of as many as 25 people, but the board has resisted increasing the size of the body beyond the current 15 (9 North American Zone, 1 Intl Zone, 4 officers, and 1 past president) as being unnecessary without membership growth. The current nine-zone system was developed in response to the rapid growth that SDC experienced in the 1970s and early 80s.

The criteria for zones are not specified in the bylaws, but are understood to be: (1) contiguous states and provinces, (2) approximately equal in member population, and (3) follow state/provincial boundaries wherever possible. International Meets are supposed to be held around the continent to allow members to attend one every few years without having to drive too far, with Zone Meets providing closer alternatives in most years. But there's no intent that anyone in a given zone should be able to attend a truly "local" Zone Meet every year -- that's why there are also chapter and multi-chapter meets.

I certainly understand why people would want to attend as many of these meets as possible, but unless some means could be found to address the zone size - board size connection, I think it's unlikely that the zones will be reduced in size. On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a given zone couldn't schedule several zone meets each year -- the problem (as always) is finding enough chapters and worker bees to pull it off. The national club plays almost no role in scheduling zone meets, so the Southeast Zone could probably do almost whatever it wants.

As usual, I agree with most of what Skip says.

When I was on the SDC Board, I made extensive studies on Zone alignments, etc. After a lot of time and effort, I was completely shot down by those on the Board of the mind set: "If it ain't broke,don't fix it." (I don't know how many times that I heard this when I was on the Board.). I always replied that there is another saying: "There is always room for improvement."

Even at thiat time, SDC was FAR from "...approximately equal in member population..." That was one of my drivers. California, alone, had more SDC members than any other Zone. I attempted to gain more of a balance.

I also tried re-naming Zones. I was successful in changing Northeast Atlantic to Northeast. When I tried to change Southwest Pacific to Southwest you would have thought that I was trying to start a revolution. My thinking was that each of these Zones had states that do not border Atlantic/Pacific.

Time flies, Skip. That major Zone realignment was in 1976.

8E45E
10-06-2014, 02:51 PM
That major Zone realignment was in 1976.

There was also a very brief zone started in 1984 what was the Midwest Canadian Zone which comprised of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and I believe the western part of Ontario (Kenora area). I do know Gene Searcy in Saskatoon was behind this move. After a few years, the boundaries reverted back to where it was previously and the new zone was disbanded.

Craig

Skip Lackie
10-06-2014, 03:27 PM
Time flies, Skip. That major Zone realignment was in 1976.

Whoops! Seems like only yesterday . . . .

That said, I was thinking about the creation and later undoing of the one that Craig described above. My recollection is that the issue was less about the international border and more about the fact that Ontarions (is that a word?) who resided west of Lake Superior had more in common with (and were closer to) the members in Saskatchewan and Manitoba than they were to those in the much more populous eastern part of Ontario. Anyway, that was the justification.

studegary
10-06-2014, 03:28 PM
There was also a very brief zone started in 1984 what was the Midwest Canadian Zone which comprised of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and I believe the western part of Ontario (Kenora area). I do know Gene Searcy in Saskatoon was behind this move. After a few years, the boundaries reverted back to where it was previously and the new zone was disbanded.

Craig

There weren't separate Directors, but the Canadian Zone was broken into East and West portions with their own Zone Coordinators. Gene Searcy was the Canadian Zone West ZC from 1983 to 1984 (Wrexford Nix from 1984 to 1987.

Greenstude
10-06-2014, 03:43 PM
Sometimes geography is the problem. The Atlantic Canada Chapter SDC has as its charter area the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island. The only logical zone for us to be in is the Northeast Zone. Our member in Stickey NB is more than 800 km (500 miles) west of our members in Sydney NS and Birch Grove NS. Our member in St. John's NL is 900 km (550 miles) plus a 5 to 6 hour ferry trip further east. We have a total of 61 members, of whom 10 live outside our charter area, and 7 of those are outside our zone. The 2015 Northeast Zone meet is being held in Portland, Maine, and we are sincerely grateful that it is being held only 420 km (260 miles) from the nearest member of our Chapter --- it has never been held that far east before. My trip to Portland ME from Moncton NB will be 640 km (400 miles) in each direction.

JRoberts
10-06-2014, 03:54 PM
So, because the Board does not want to add more board members many of us find it difficult to attend Zone Meets, or even other events within our own zones. Somehow that just doesn't very good. :mad:

studegary
10-06-2014, 04:02 PM
So, because the Board does not want to add more board members many of us find it difficult to attend Zone Meets, or even other events within our own zones. Somehow that just doesn't very good. :mad:

I think that is too much of a simplification.
All of these events take a lot of time and effort to put on.
Have you ever volunteered to run as an SDC Director? Have you run a Zone Meet or offered to (that would get it close to you)? Have you clearly inputted your thoughts on this subject to your Director?
I used to regularly attend two or three Zone Meets per year. Many others attend more than one Zone Meet. That is why there is supposed to be coordination between Zone Coordinators to prevent a conflict in dates between adjoining Zones.

Colgate Studebaker
10-06-2014, 05:40 PM
I agree that the worker bees are a major issue for any meet, and organizing one is a huge undertaking, whether a local, zone or IM. My observation of most the meets put on is that they are geared for retired members, as most members are in their senior years. I've heard several comments from the public regarding inaccessibility to view the cars etc. due to the days of the meets. The working generations (younger generations) don't have weekday, or even Saturday, ability to get out to see the car show, which leaves Sunday as their only time available, and usually after church. By that time the meet is long over and the cars are gone. So, getting to the original question, are the zones too big? It is difficult to get to many of the meets put on by the various levels of our club, and it would be more convenient if the zones were smaller. The trick to attaining that is increased membership, and more willingness to get involved. That's my 2 cents worth, thanks. Bill

Skip Lackie
10-06-2014, 07:30 PM
So, because the Board does not want to add more board members many of us find it difficult to attend Zone Meets, or even other events within our own zones. Somehow that just doesn't very good. :mad:
Sorry, but I don't think that's entirely fair. Yes, the board has seen no compelling reason to reduce the size of the zones and/or increase the size of the board beyond the current 15 members. (Certainly, board of director meetings have a tendency to get both longer and less efficient with more board members.) But even if they thought that that was a good idea, I don't think the zone meet issue that you have raised would be a major contributor. As stated above, if enough sponsoring chapters and worker bees could be found, there would be no reason that a given zone couldn't hold two zone meets each year -- say one in the spring and one in the fall. I think the ZC might want to let the board know as a courtesy, but I don't see it as a major issue. (But as an aside, I think it's worth noting that it's not uncommon for zones to hold NO zone meets for several years -- no chapter wants to [or can] sponsor one.)

And BTW, my postings above are just my recollections (seriously flawed, as Gary has noted) of a couple of dozen board meetings -- I speak with no authority. I agree that discussing the issue here is a good idea, but action on the proposal will require further action on your part. Suggest you might want to discuss it with your board member and ZC.

jts359
10-06-2014, 07:54 PM
And when we sponsor Zone and chapter meets attendance is poor , Ed

Jeff_H
10-06-2014, 08:21 PM
I don't know if they are too big, but I do know that I should be in the North Central Zone but only have attended 1 zone meet (2008) in that zone and about 3-4 of the Upper Mississippi Zone meets when they were in MN or WI. North Central meets tend to be either in the Rapid City, SD area, or CO or WY and with me being in the Fargo area, are quite a long haul. Rapid City is about 8hrs on a no-stop trip. I was at the Upper MS meet in Menominee, WI last week and that was about 5-6hrs but close enough to not get too much road fatigue.

I can appreciate that the zone meets may want to be near the "center" of the zone but a person on the border area could actually be closer to the center of the neighbor zone.

sals54
10-06-2014, 11:26 PM
Holy Cow….. the excuses are so numerous and all lame… this looks like the beginning of the end of the SDC to me. Too many old farts, too set in their ways to change anything that might upset the OLD apple cart. And I mean OLD. Way too much gray hair ruling the roost.

8E45E
10-07-2014, 07:48 AM
Holy Cow….. the excuses are so numerous and all lame… this looks like the beginning of the end of the SDC to me. Too many old farts, too set in their ways to change anything that might upset the OLD apple cart. And I mean OLD. Way too much gray hair ruling the roost.

I think it still proves many will still do the long drives to attend a zone meet, be it within the zone they live, or not.

Craig

JRoberts
10-07-2014, 07:54 AM
I do not know many of the Directors but some I do know that there are some that are really interested doing a good job. I do not want to lump everybody in one basket. I just wish they would take a very close look at this problem. It is obvious that I am not the only one with concerns about this. I also did not mean to make this an age discussion. I know folks that are both younger and older than myself who baulk at the distance to Zone Meets. There also folks younger and older that do not think it is a problem. And let's face it older folks are going to be on most boards of directors. They have the time available the experience to do the job. I know that shrinking the size of some zones would result in an increase in the number of zones and thus increasing the number of directors, but do not see why that is a problem.

All of that said, it is obvious that some areas are just going to have to have zones inconveniently large due to the low population density of the region that may well be the situation for Jeff H. But where possible why not make the change?

8E45E
10-07-2014, 08:09 AM
All of that said, it is obvious that some areas are just going to have to have zones inconveniently large due to the low population density of the region that may well be the situation for Jeff H.

There is one chapter that covers all of North Dakota, and I believe there is only one chapter in South Dakota as well. Saskatchewan has one chapter, as does Manitoba. I don't know if Wyoming has a chapter, but this is a phenomenally large area to be covered by only four chapters. Even if the zone was divided into two, that would leave only 2-3 chapters for each zone, and there probably would not be enough directors for the zone positions in addition to the local chapter positions.

Craig

Jeff_H
10-07-2014, 11:00 AM
There is one chapter that covers all of North Dakota, and I believe there is only one chapter in South Dakota as well....

Exactly the problem really. There is barely enough membership to even make that work as it is. I used to be a member of the Rough Rider (North Dakota) chapter for a few years after I moved to the Fargo area from S-central MN, but dropped out since most of the meetings (and membership) tended to be 3-6hrs drive on the other side of the state, and in the winter as well. I usually was not up to attending due to bad weather. The RR chapter does not have regular meetings in the summer except for a small show. I think SD has more members so their situation may be better. The population of ND and SD together is about 1.6 million, Wyoming less than 600k. For ND alone, about 20% of the population lives in the Fargo area, or about 115k. Gives you a idea how spread out folks are west of here.

Commander Eddie
10-07-2014, 11:14 AM
Holy Cow….. the excuses are so numerous and all lame… this looks like the beginning of the end of the SDC to me. Too many old farts, too set in their ways to change anything that might upset the OLD apple cart. And I mean OLD. Way too much gray hair ruling the roost.

And on that note, it is quite time for the younger members to step up and start taking over. Just don't forget to keep some of us "old farts" around to retain the institutional memory and help out now and then. Seriously, some fresh, younger perspective and creativity is what all organizations need from time to time. So, got any ideas?

Stu Chapman
10-07-2014, 11:49 AM
Holy Cow….. the excuses are so numerous and all lame… this looks like the beginning of the end of the SDC to me. Too many old farts, too set in their ways to change anything that might upset the OLD apple cart. And I mean OLD. Way too much gray hair ruling the roost.

Well, I certainly fall into the category of "old farts" but I can assure you I'm one of a number of SDC veterans quite enthusiastic about listening to new and younger blood. A perfect example of this is the effort a number of us made following the fiasco at the 2012 National Board meeting, by reviewing and recommending amendments to both the By-laws and the Policy and Procedures Manual in order to put a stop to what you refer to as "way too much gray hair ruling the roost". Our efforts were successful and these documents were amended.

Although my hair is nearly white, and I have been a Studebaker guy since 1963, I will continue to do what I can to ensure that SDC will live on and appeal to the younger crowd. I strongly support what the Marketing Committee is doing to promote our marque as an example. I will acknowledge however that times change and hopefully the new Directors on the National Board will take a good look at re-assessing the Zones matter that Joe Roberts suggested.

Skip Lackie and Gary Lindstrom have gone to great lengths on this thread to provide the history of zone boundaries, at the same time acknowledging it has been many years since they've been looked at. This year I acted as Elections Coordinator, assisting Vice President Mimi Halgren. In this regard, the deadline for nominations is November 1st. How many of you know that not one single office is bring contested? So we continue with the status quo. Maybe with the concerns registered here, some of you just might think it's time to run for office and help bring about constructive change, and that includes a review of boundaries. You have another 24 days to take up the challenge!

Stu Chapman

Skip Lackie
10-07-2014, 01:10 PM
Well, I certainly fall into the category of "old farts" but I can assure you I'm one of a number of SDC veterans quite enthusiastic about listening to new and younger blood. A perfect example of this is the effort a number of us made following the fiasco at the 2012 National Board meeting, by reviewing and recommending amendments to both the By-laws and the Policy and Procedures Manual in order to put a stop to what you refer to as "way too much gray hair ruling the roost". Our efforts were successful and these documents were amended.

Although my hair is nearly white, and I have been a Studebaker guy since 1963, I will continue to do what I can to ensure that SDC will live on and appeal to the younger crowd. I strongly support what the Marketing Committee is doing to promote our marque as an example. I will acknowledge however that times change and hopefully the new Directors on the National Board will take a good look at re-assessing the Zones matter that Joe Roberts suggested.

Skip Lackie and Gary Lindstrom have gone to great lengths on this thread to provide the history of zone boundaries, at the same time acknowledging it has been many years since they've been looked at. This year I acted as Elections Coordinator, assisting Vice President Mimi Halgren. In this regard, the deadline for nominations is November 1st. How many of you know that not one single office is bring contested? So we continue with the status quo. Maybe with the concerns registered here, some of you just might think it's time to run for office and help bring about constructive change, and that includes a review of boundaries. You have another 24 days to take up the challenge!

Stu Chapman

Thank you Stu. In my postings I did not intend to imply that Joe's original posting was frivolous -- rather that I did not think that the size of the zones should be an excuse to increase the size of the board of directors (especially since there's nothing that prevents us from having more than one zone meet a year in any given zone). If the club would be better served by a larger, more representative board, then let's consider it -- but let's do it for the right reasons. And if, as Gary has described, the zones have gotten way out of whack population-wise, then let's look at the zone boundaries again. That said, it isn't gonna bring Jeff_H any closer to the other members in his zone. The regional nature of the board is really just intended to increase the chances that a board member will get to interact with as many of "his/her" constituent members as possible -- I don't detect much of the kind of regional red/blue dichotomy that exists in national politics.

And in response to Sals comment above: I'm afraid I don't think that the lack of anyone willing to sponsor a meet should be called a lame excuse for not having more meets. It's a reason, not an excuse. If more members wanted more meets and more chapters were willing to take on the job of sponsoring meets, then we'd have more meets -- just like if more people would write articles for TW, then we'd have more pages in TW. We are a club with a diverse membership -- some members go to as many meets as possible, while others don't enjoy them much. Some drive their Studes many thousands of miles a year, while others bring their cream puffs to shows in trailers. Some check this forum many times a day, while others have never looked at it. Some get actively involved in national and/or local club business, while others have never bothered to find out how the club is governed. Just because a person is a fanatic for one aspect of the hobby doesn't mean that every other member is.

I was not aware (and am distressed to learn) that no SDC position is being contested. This is another manifestation of the problem originally brought up by Joe in his first post -- someone has to do the work for the rest of us to get full benefit from membership.