Photo for JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015, VOL 40/NO 3

The Ride of a Lifetime

As I pen my final article while Chairman, I find this month’s cover photo rather fitting, since I am about to drive off into the sunset of NAMGAR management. It has been a great ride, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But as much as I love writing these articles, the time has come to step aside and make room for someone new to lead our club.

At the January Board meeting I will officially hand the NAMGAR keys over to Carol Shamonsky. Carol has done an amazing job as Vice Chairman, and I’m sure she will excel as Chairman too. She and her new team will undoubtedly carry on in the great tradition of those who served before us, while keeping an eye towards a bright and innovative future.

We are fortunate to have a strong incoming replacement for Carol’s old job as well. Please welcome Jeff Becker of Long Beach, California as our next Vice Chairman! Jeff is a longtime member of NAMGAR, and has attended many GTs. His knowledge of business and love of MGs will be a winning combination for coordinating upcoming Regional and National Get-Togethers.

Jeff will have a new Chapter to work with too. NAMGAR welcomes the Kansas City MG Car Club as our newest Chapter. Under the leadership of Robin Camblin, I’m sure we’ll be seeing future MGA events in KC!

NAMGAR Historian, Bill Marshall, appears to be taking the same retirement package as I, so one of my last duties as Chairman was to find a replacement. Thankfully, Dan Suter volunteered to jump right in. Starting next issue, Dan will begin Looking Back with new stories. If you have any interesting photos or anecdotes from NAMGAR’s past, be sure to send them to namgarhistorian@namgar.com.

In looking back myself, I realize that my own experience with MGs began even before I was born. My mom was still carrying me when she drove her 1956 MGA on a daily basis. (And that car is still in the family!)

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of riding in MGs. Growing up, there was always an MG or two in the family. So it was only natural that I continued that tradition in my adult life. And while I always enjoyed the MG, it wasn’t until I became involved in the North American MGA Register that I learned it was really the people that made the cars so enjoyable.

Since my first GT in 1990, I’ve attended all but one GT, hosted two GTs, several Regionals, the Rallye to Reno, and served as Regalia Chair, Vice Chair, and most recently, this office. In each role, I found two things to be true. The people of NAMGAR are an amazing group of people who care about each other; and the Board and staff are second to none in their willingness to support the membership and its goals.

And as I took on each role, I had two wonderful mentors in former Chairmen Tim Coyne and George Merryweather. Whenever I had a question or needed some guidance, they were always there. So were the members of the Board over the years. And I thank each of you for allowing me to be a part of each team. Another big salute has to go out to Stephen and Diane Mazurek for all they’ve done in building bridges to get NAMGAR where it is today!

There is, of course, one other person who made this journey so special ... my wife, Carol. Thank you Carol for supporting me, and being the greatest MGA travel partner … plus you don’t snore as loud as my old traveling buddy, Dennis Urick!

I’ve really had a great journey and I hope I’ve done a good job. I tried to have fun, while taking each job seriously. I’ve made so many great friends along the way, which made it all worthwhile. And to anyone I may have offended, I do apologize. My goal was always to look at the big picture and make decisions based on what I thought was best for NAMGAR and the membership.

Looking over the horizon, I’m going to take some time to focus on a few projects that were on hold for a while. But I’ll see you around, and I’ll be there if any of you need anything. Meanwhile, the road ahead is all set for new adventures under the direction of Carol Shamonsky and her team, and I look forward to seeing where the journey takes us. Wherever it goes, I know it will be the ride of a lifetime.

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Last updated on February 2, 2015.