The Beast of the East was held February 19-21, 1999. The year's annual conference was a huge success with approximately 130 people from the New England states in attendance. The United Bikers of Maine hosted the event for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and did a superb job of management and organization.
The Mayor of South Portland welcomed everyone to the conference. After reports on MRF status and financials were given, attendees were provided with a legislative update from Steve Zimmer, MRF Vice President of Government Relations. Following this a variety of timely topics were covered during this three day event. Several of these workshops contained an "interactive" portion, which allowed the attendees to actually participate and practice concepts they were learning.
Global issues remain a popular topic. "Think Globally and Act Locally: Motorcyclists Grassroots Response to Globalization" was presented by Rick and Gail Gray and ideas for responding to this emerging area of concern were shared and discussed. Tom Pauley, MRF treasurer, and Mark Buckner, MRF president, conducted a workshop on "Strategic Planning and Budgeting for Your SMRO". During the workshop attendees practiced strategic plan development in small groups. In the workshop "Freedom of Information Act", Donna Cirell from ABATE of New York provided attendees with regulatory information and processes needed to obtain access to government records. Participants were encouraged to practice writing a request letter. All of the other workshops were equally as informative. Talk with someone you know that attended to get further information of just what you missed!
Special guests included Maine State Senators William O'Gara and Peggy Pendleton. Both conveyed their immense appreciation for all that the United Bikers of Maine have done for their campaigns and for Maine. Following these speakers, Rosemary Curtin, MRF Director of Conferences honored all of the UBM volunteers and presented awards to Joe Savoy, president of UBM and his wife, Karen for organizing and hosting the Beast. Kathy Garber-Mahon was also recognized with a special award from the MRF for her work in hosting the Beast and obtaining the guest speakers. UBM honored the MRF with two special plaques to the MRF. Rosemary Curtin received a plaque for her efforts in coordinating her first MRF conference since assuming the role as MRF director of conferences. Mark Buckner accepted a plaque on behalf of the MRF in recognition of ongoing accomplishments in motorcyclists' rights.
Rosemary Curtin wrapped up the weekend and encouraged attendees
not to miss two other special MRF events. The BEST of the West
is coming up in Reno, Nevada from April 9-11, 1999 at the Ascuaga
Nugget Hotel. The theme for this conference is "Gamble on
Learning New Strategies". The 1999 Meeting of the Minds will
be held September 23-26,1999 in Denver, Colorado. Registration
and information for both of these events can be located on the
MRF website at http://www.mrf.org.
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