A busy business day, plus auto news from the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum
By Paul Borden 

After hosting two product-related luncheons in April -- one sponsored by Ford, the other by Toyota -- SAMA's May event at the Rusty Pelican featured a presentation from representatives of the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum regarding an automotive exhibit coming in the fall, and also offered members the opportunity to talk over the future of the organization in an open-forum business session. 

Marianne Lamonaca, the Wolfsonian’s chief curator, said the exhibit “Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design, 1908-1948” will open on Oct. 16 and run through March 14, with the early fall dates coinciding with the annual South Florida International Auto Show at the nearby Miami Beach Auditorium.

On view will be “skillfully and elegantly” rendered art works for concept and production cars, sculpted vehicle models, drawings for auto showrooms, filling stations, bridges and roadways, and illustrations for automobile advertisements. These original artworks, along with advertising brochures, industry periodicals, and other printed materials will give attendees the opportunity “to explore how designers and manufacturers of automobiles influenced consumer perceptions” in the period that included the Roaring 20s, the Depression, and World War II.

Thus, the exhibit will touch on a number of auto-related issues and items that certainly will be of interest to SAMA members and other automotive fans. SAMA officers also are exploring the possibility of having one of our luncheons at the museum, which is at the corner of Washington Avenue and Tenth Street in Miami Beach. 

David Skipp, the deputy director of the museum, also was a special guest at the luncheon.

In announcements of note, SAMA member Alex Vitale said the new Chevy Camaro will be the featured vehicle for the June luncheon sponsored by GM. An expert from the design department will be on hand to talk about “what makes a Chevy a Chevy,” and there also will be the opportunity for short ride-and-drive sessions after the lunch! More details will be forthcoming, but the luncheon is scheduled for June 25, also at the Rusty Pelican, which is becoming a popular “home” for our events.

Marcello Serrato updated the status of Emilio Lezcano, who recently underwent a multiple bypass operation. 
“He is doing well and sends his regards,” Marcello said. “He hopes to be at the next meeting.” 

We fully expected to make an exciting announcement concerning a potential sponsor for our annual SAMA Auto Show Breakfast, this year in October. But some final details were still be wrapped up, and we had to delay the announcement.

“It’s still going to be good news,” said Marcello, who is working with the manufacturer on this.
Speaking of the breakfast, President Ron Beasley asked members to please give their support to our sponsor for this year’s event, and to OnStar, our sponsor from last year. OnStar is a very valuable service offered on GM products that could be the subject of an interesting feature story. 
Juan Robbin introduced our newest member, Javier Lozada, who works in media and with Juan on his website, www.motoringstyle.com 

After a break for a meal featuring steak and chicken, President Beasley opened the floor for a wide range of topics. He told the 39 attendees that work is progressing on the new Terry Jackson Memorial Award to be presented at the annual auto show breakfast to a member for outstanding contributions to SAMA and the South Florida automotive community.

Ron reaffirmed that new officers will be nominated at a meeting in October -- yes, even though the auto show breakfast is that month, we plan on having another meeting to take care of this -- and ballots then will be sent to members. The election will be in November, and the new officers will assume office at the January meeting.
Among other related topics was the issue of having a second vice president, as well the need for a board of directors. Ron explained that the “unofficial” board evolved over the last couple of years when various members volunteered to take over various functions -- Teresa Bravo has run the breakfast, Juan Robbin is arranging our Green Car event, and Giorgio Cerboncini set up a procedure for auto show judging, for example -- and they met with the elected officers to talk over business on a monthly basis.
Having the directors appointed or elected (and determining how many are needed), whether we want a two vice presidents, and membership qualifications are among the issues that will be discussed as we continue work on our by-laws.

Secretary Jaime Flores noted that the plan now is to have a proposed constitution and by-laws drafted by the middle of June and both posted on the SAMA website for review and emailed to all members, who then would have 30 days to study the documents and send back comments and suggestions.

We then would have a final draft that the members would vote on at a future meeting, most likely in August or September.

Again, we want to keep our focus in this organization on the promotion of the auto industry and for exchange of information in the South Florida automotive community and not get so involved in the details of the running of the organization. But having a written set of regulations and policies will help make things easier and keep things simple in the future, and the new officers will have a set of guidelines to work with when they take office in January.
Other items at the May meeting of particular note:
*Philippe Daix said he would like to have a group of those members who are working with online sites to meet for a brainstorming session to come up with ideas to help SAMA become an even more effective organization. If you are working in the online community and are interested, contact him at phil@topspeed.com 

*Pepe Delfino, our tireless website administrator, noted the importance of adding content to our website. If you have a travel piece, a vehicle review, a picture of SAMA members on a trip to a car event, even video, please e-mail it to him at pepedelfino@yahoo.com . A calendar of events page also may be added to the website.

*Bill Adam said Homestead-Miami Speedway had offered two dates for the highly successful Rides-n-Smiles Event -- one in October and one in November -- and it was decided the Nov. 28 date was preferred. In addition to providing the kids with rides in the morning, it was also decided that SAMA would offer rides-around-the-track for a price in the afternoon to hospital officials, nurses, doctors, lawyers, even Indian chiefs to raise money for Baptist Children’s Hospital.

As you can see, for the 37 members (and two guests) who attended, the luncheon proved to be a very busy event. 
Please watch your mailbox for the draft of the proposed constitution and by-laws and for the official invitation to the next event to be sponsored by GM on June 25 at the Rusty Pelican. 


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