January 23-24, 1998 ... The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) held its January board meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the site of the 1998 Meeting of the Minds (September 24-27, 1998). The first order of business was to welcome new board members Rodney Roberts of Arkansas as Director Corporate Liaison, Dave Hissong of Illinois as MRF Vice President, and Gail Gray of Pennsylvania, who had recently been elected as the Member-at-Large Representative to the board. Mrs. Gray, who was elected by the MRF's general membership, won by one vote over Marc Falsetti of Indiana. Mr. Falsetti later accepted nomination to stay on the board as an Ex-officio member.
MRF President Mark Buckner then addressed the organization's 1998 prioritized objectives of membership growth, strategic planning, and corporate relations. Membership recruitment was addressed as part of the restructuring of the MRF State Reps program, which is now under the direction of Ed Burns of West Virginia. Membership Director Scott Hamman will focus on seeking MRF Membership Recruiters in each state to serve in a supporting role to the State Reps Program. Vice President Dave Hissong was assigned the task of updating the MRF Strategic Plan for 1998, and Rodney Roberts outlined his plan to address motorcycling industry issues. MRF Treasurer Tom Pauley reported that all MRF taxes and IRS filings are current. He then presented the proposed budget for final approval which indicated that MRF's financial goals will continue to be met. Mr. Pauley was then assigned the task of reorganizing the MRFPAC fund administration. The board approved a routine salary increase plus a merit increase for Office Manager Beverly Waters. An interim employee review of Steve Zimmer, MRF's senior staff person, will be conducted in June, 1998. Mr. Pauley recognized Products Director Lynn Oldenburg of Maryland for her continuing success in marketing MRF products.
Reports were given by the Directors of Communications, Products, and Events and Conferences, by the MRF Secretary, and by the SMRO Representatives to the board. MRF committee updates were then addressed and new committee assignments made. Steve Zimmer was appointed Vice President of Government Relations following the official resignation from this position by Wayne T. Curtin. Mr. Zimmer gave an office activities report followed by a report on MRF's legislative agenda. Mr. Zimmer reported that House action will involve combining NHTSA lobby restriction bills with BESTEA (HR.2400) and retaining MRF's legislative goals as included in current language. Senate action on ISTEA-II (S.1173) will focus in adding motorcycle accident prevention over injury prevention in priority to NHTSA purpose, prevention of motorcycle bans on federally funded roads, and NHTSA lobby restrictions as well as retention of current language including motorcycles contained in the ITS initiative.
After reminding the board of action items assigned, MRF President Mark Buckner adjourned the meeting Saturday evening and complimented the board members on their efforts and accomplishments in the performance of their duties.
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