The Motorcycle Riders Foundation's 13th Annual Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) has again demonstrated the MRF's ability to pool the vast talent available within the motorcyclists' rights movement to present a world class educational conference. Hosted by ABATE of Wisconsin, 367 attendees from 38 states and 3 nations converged on the city of Madison on the last weekend of September to celebrate the past year's victories and set the goals for the future.
MRF Director of Communications, Charlie Williams stated, "Education of politically active motorcyclists is the primary purpose of all such seminars. This year's MOTM continued the drive to excellence motorcyclists have come to expect at MRF conferences." Nineteen different workshops were offered to educate attendees regarding various political opportunities such as running for public office, campaign activity, and working within the political system. A large variety of organization management subjects, communication tools, and leadership responsibility issues were offered as well. Other presentations included the obvious and not-so-obvious advantages of rider education program involvement, and the good and bad news about new government programs. Two separate panel discussions on the insurance industry activities affecting motorcyclists and the current direction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the basis on which action plans will be developed.
The MOTM is also the primary annual fund-raising event for the organization.
MRF Treasurer Tom Pauley was pleased with the conference's record financial
success, citing a steady growth pattern in donations over past years. Mr.
Pauley commented, "The generosity of members and organizations from
around the country indicates broad support for the MRF strategic plan."
As part of the conference, Mr. Pauley made a presentation which gave a clear
picture of income patterns and specific expense categories providing a financial
road map for MRF's future. Pauley continued, "When the assembly was
shown that the cost of operating the MRF for each business day was $872,
some small groups of supporters were prompted to donate the cost of a 'day's
work' as their choice of contribution method."
Mr. Wayne Curtin, MRF Vice President of Government Relations, discussed current progress in the Congressional legislative arena. Curtin stated, "The ambitious legislative agenda presented by the MRF for inclusion in the new transportation program re-authorization bill has been accepted in House committees with virtually no exception and has been well received on the Senate side as well."
Of special importance was the presentation by representatives of the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM) on the changing world of motorcycling from a global perspective. Attendees were encouraged to watch for news on the next big step forward in the form of an information exchange program that is being developed by MRF and FEM. The two organizations are working together to develop effective methods of presenting the global aspect of issues affecting motorcyclists worldwide.
The 1998 Meeting of the Minds will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, on September 25, 26, & 27, 1998.
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