Message from the President
Update Following the AGM – 8 March 2018
The purpose of this circular is to give you a considered view of events at the AGM and some insight into the next moves under consideration.
I am honoured to be your new President and believe that I can use the experience gained during my career and in a variety of roles within the VMCC to make a real difference. My agenda is simple and it is to improve the benefits for the members of this great Club and for all of us to have as much fun and enjoyment along the way. I joined the Club when I was thirty three years of age. It was the thing to do back then if you had an old motorcycle. I cannot begin to describe how much pleasure being part of this Club has given me and how many great friendships I have made over the years.
The recent membership survey gives us a glimpse of what we might want to become. Please read the report given on pages 18-20 of the March 2018 Journal. The findings indicated that you had substantially different future priorities to those of the Directors. Over the last weeks of February I tried to put information into your hands about the choices you faced so that you could make informed decisions at the AGM. I want to record to my appreciation to the Area Reps. the Section Secretaries and Chairmen, individual members and the staff at Allen House for getting the information out to the members.
Instead of dividing the membership, the resultant discussion has invigorated the members and many who were dis-engaged have re-entered the debate. I have been closely involved with your Area Reps. and they have been excellent in working for the benefit of the Club. In all of this, their role has just increased in importance by a significant margin. In advance of the AGM, we had agreed that there was a need to form ourselves into a Group to support the Directors so expect more of this new development later.
The AGM and the voting process changed the scene dramatically. The Directors leading the current strategy were not successful in being re-appointed and the only other candidate Justin Harvey-James was elected with a healthy majority. Justin has been very clear in his support of the new direction. We thank Rob Reaney and Brian Southam for their significant contributions to the Club. Anyone who volunteers for a position in the VMCC deserves our respect. Brian has been a Director for fifteen years and that is over half a generation of service. Rob has served for two years and been the Chairman for one of them. Rob was very clear in the direction he felt the Club should go and I admired his resolve and determination. I just want to pay tribute, on your behalf, to both Rob and Brian and wish them well for the future.
The Post-AGM Directors meeting’s sole purpose was to appoint a Chairman as is standard practice. I invited Peter Miller to attend to provide advice on the Articles and Bye-laws. We needed three Directors in post following the AGM. Any less number and we would have been inquorate. The net result of the meeting is that Justin Harvey-James is the Chairman, and the other Directors are Jim Lee, David Sellars and John Donaldson. John offered to stay on for a period to provide continuity and I am indebted to him. I was pleased to see the Directors working for the benefit of the Club so that we could continue to operate without becoming inquorate and having to go through the process of another AGM.
There now appears to be a sense of unity of purpose among the membership which we need to build on going forward. We now have an opportunity to create an environment where the Club can flourish and I am confident that those members who have the skills we seek will now feel comfortable in coming forward to help us.
Our new Board of Directors is somewhat diminished in number but can continue to operate as per normal. I am consulting with the Directors and the Area Representatives about how we can support the Directors at this time. My ingoing negotiating position is that the Directors could benefit from a respected senior member of the Club who has the necessary skills, experience and gravitas to be co-opted as a Director to strengthen the Board. As per usual, I have been taking advice from key members and have a candidate in mind. Once we get through that consultative process my belief is that between the Directors and the Area Reps. we will have the skills we need to keep going with normal activity and the capability to plan for the future.
There is no doubt that we need to bring in new Directors as that is what the members voted for at the AGM. However, there is no immediate imperative to fill vacancies. A number of members have already volunteered to get involved or have expressed interest in helping the Club and in the new environment more will surely follow. The Club needs members with a successful track record and bringing with them skills in subjects like business planning, strategic development, finance, marketing , legislation, human resources and other skills. We want to afford the membership and the Sections the chance to consider the issues and encourage volunteers to put their names forward. Then the Management Committee will be able, in consultation with the members, to identify those individuals who are best suited to help us as Directors and in many other ways as we seek to reinvigorate the Club.
The planning for all these developments started well in advance of the AGM. You can rest assured that the Directors and your Area Representatives are working together to make the transition to the new team as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Dr. Alastair Alexander, President, 8 March 2018.
Message from the President