Dear Fellow Members and Friends,
Last year at this time, I wrote in my President’s letter that we were at a critical juncture for the Club. We were finding it increasingly difficult to recruit event directors for our major rides. The Board subsequently hired an event director for Tour de Forts ClassicSM. For the Endless Summer Watermelon Rideon, we engaged Jade Stanley. Earlier this fall, we decided to hire her on an annual basis. We are now planning for the Tour de Forts Classic and are hoping that we continue our streak of putting on even more successful rides, despite the setback to the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride due to Hurricane Irma. While we will need many volunteers from the Club as we get closer to April, Jade is already at work recruiting volunteers from other organizations as well.
It took several months for the Nominating Committee, under the chair of Jodi Hohlstein, to recruit a slate of Directors who have all now been elected to the Board. There has been a significant infusion of new talent: Tom Rock, Recording Secretary, Scott Russell, Membership Director, and Danny Hayes, Webmaster. Brian Reyes has rejoined the Board as Vice President, having served a few years ago as Recording Secretary, and Paul Slader as Newsletter Editor. Paul has served he Club in many capacities over the years including President, General Director, and Newsletter Editor. Most recently he employed his marketing talents to promote the 2017 Endless Summer Watermelon Ride.
To perpetuate the flow of new ideas and perspectives in managing the Club, the Board of Directors adopted a Bylaws amendment at its last meeting limiting the terms of Directors to three consecutive years, except that a Board member who assumes the presidency after joining the board could potentially serve a total of six years. The term-limit clock would be reset after at least a year’s absence from the board. In addition to assuring board turnover, we hope that it will encourage members to consider board service knowing that they have not signed up for a “lifetime” commitment.
At the same time as we celebrate the new talent on the Board, it is with sadness that we note the retirement of Jodi Hohlstein who has served as Vice President and Membership Director and Jeff Hohlstein who has served as Webmaster and President. During my tenure on the Board since 2013, it has been Jodi and Jeff who have stepped up repeatedly to take on many responsibilities to keep our Club afloat. In recognition of their service, the Board voted to make them both Lifetime Members of the Club.
The Bikes for Needy Children Fund has again supported the Jacksonville Children’s Christmas Party, St. Johns County Firefighters for Families, NCSO Shop with Cops, and the JP Hall Charities in Clay County. To date we have collected just enough to meet our commitments. However, in the coming months we hope to support an inner city middle school trying to form an urban bike team. There is still time to donate for this year.
Pedaling for Safety has contracted for five billboards in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Clay County. We are also finishing a 6-month run of a board in Nassau County on SR-17. We have been distributing the Smart Cycling Quick Guides, which we co-branded with the League of American Bicyclists, to area bike shops. They have been very well received. Our Ride Bright at Night Campaign is underway, and we have recently produced new Same Roads-Same Rights-Same Rules bumper stickers with the Pedaling for Safety logo which we hope you will display on your cars.
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With best wishes to all in this Holiday season and a Happy New Year of Biking!