January 2009 Meeting

 

Keep SAMA moving -- Volunteer!
By Paul Borden

Perhaps borrowing from a certain U.S. presidential candidate’s campaign comment that he wanted to help Americans “share the wealth,” SAMA President Ron Beasley has a slightly different take for SAMA members as the Southern Automotive Media Association looks to begin its third year -- Share the work.

Ron expressed the stated goal of getting more folks involved in the association’s projects at the first meeting of the New Year. About 35 members attended the luncheon held Jan. 29 at the Rusty Pelican on Virginia Key. Marcello Serrato graciously volunteered Prestige Auto to host the affair, which included a lunch of steak and chicken and cocktails and wine. 

Ron listed several duties he has taken on himself for nearly the last two years and asked for volunteers to step up and take over those responsibilities. And he got results!  Jaime Florez, who serves as SAMA secretary, will handle the duties of membership chairman, insuring that those who have paid their dues have received membership cards, and those who haven’t are hounded until they do pay up! 

The duties of the vice president (yours truly, Paul Borden) now will include the coordination of the luncheons, including working with the sponsor on a site, sending out invitations and keeping a record of responders. Board member Marcello Serrato already helps in that regard by keeping track of name tags and following up on RSVPs. 

Teresa Bravo, who already has done an outstanding job with the monumental task of arranging the annual auto show breakfast, couldn’t have responded any faster if she had been poked with a stick when Ron asked for a volunteer to arrange the site for the annual holiday party. Teresa will continue to produce the annual auto show breakfast and also take on the additional responsibility of producing the December holiday party.

Ron also asked that all members take a more active part in contributing to the SAMA website. Pepe Delfino has created a really attractive site (you can visit it at www.samaonline.org) that he believes with expanded content could be one of the best automotive sites in the country. “The SAMA website could be a leader in cyberspace,” Pepe told the lunch crowd. Pictures of members at various car events, car reviews, travel stories and other automotive-related news items are just a few of the things that can be sent to Pepe for inclusion on the site (pepedelfino@yahoo.com).
Many other topics were covered at the January luncheon in what has become the annual business session for the 
organization.

*New officers: Ron asked members to consider whether they want to continue with the present slate of officers (besides Ron as president, Paul Borden serves as vice president, Jaime Florez as secretary and Bill Adam as treasurer, while Teresa Bravo, Giorgio Cerboncini, Gigi Delgado, Jorge Koechlin, Juan Robbin, and Marcello Serrato serve as board members) or decide if they want to nominate another candidate for one of the officer and 
board positions. Nominations and voting will take place at the February meeting. 

*New award: The year started off sadly when Terry Jackson, an icon on the South Florida automotive scene, died after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. It was decided at the board meeting that a new award will be named in memory of Terry and presented to a member who has made outstanding contributions for the benefit of SAMA in the previous year. Those at the luncheon approved the idea of awarding the winner an individual plaque recognizing his or her achievements. More details on selection procedures will be forthcoming.

*Treasurer’s report: Bill Adam reported that he has received checks from 31 individuals and 21 corporate memberships. With some smaller expenses still to be paid, our balance is $7,300. “So we’re going just fine,” he said.

*Rides-n-Smiles: Bill Adam reported that he already is beginning to plan for what became our signature event of 
2008, Rides-n-Smiles at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Plans for 2009 include a widening of activities to include rides from championship motorcycle racer courtesy of Yamaha and perhaps even water activities, taking advantage of the lake in the speedway’s infield.

*Green Car Event: We have talked since the beginning of SAMA about sponsoring an event featuring certain vehicles and last year decided that it should feature new technology and/or environmentally friendly vehicles. The economic situation put those plans on hold briefly, but we are now cranking up again. Juan Robbin has been appointed chairman of an event organizing committee, but he needs help! Interested members are asked to contact him (juan@skymartsales.com) about volunteering to work on the committee. This is a great opportunity for members to take part in something that could become a really big event.

The year’s first meeting ended about 2 p.m. with several of us hanging around just to enjoy the spectacular view over the bay and the city skyline from the Rusty Pelican’s meeting room. The next meeting will be Feb. 19 at Smith & Wollensky’s with Mazda as the sponsor. More details will be e-mailed to members later.

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