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Spring President's Message 2022

Greetings Seacoast Members,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a month since I was elected by the Board of Directors to the office of President. It’s an honor to serve the members of the Seacoast Division. I hope I can perform up to your expectations. It’s time for me to reach out and speak to you, the Seacoast Membership. I’ll talk a little about myself and then discuss where we’re going as a division.

But first, I want to thank Tage Erickson and Mike Pedersen who have completed their 3 year terms as Directors and have chosen to step down. Tage served as a Director for 5 years and as the Seacoast President for 3½ years. Mike served 3 years as Director. We all greatly appreciate all of the good work and support to the division that Tage and Mike have given. We also know that they will both continue to support the Seacoast Division in the future. Tage has already stepped up to manage the Chip Faulter Fund. Mike has volunteered to organize and run the silent auction at the Seacoast Division Spring Event.

A Brief Introduction

While I know many of you from the Events over the past years, I also know there are many more of you that I have not met. I look forward to the opportunity to meet with all -of you in the future. I have been an NMRA member since 2008 and a Director for 5 years. I have served as Vice President and Event coordinator for 3½ years prior to becoming President.

My interest in model railroading began at an early age when my parents gave me an American Flyer S gauge trainset. Soon after that, I was at the throttle on my uncle Russ’s amazing HO layout which had hand laid track and many NMRA contest winning scratch built structures. It was my inspiration to model HO gauge.

I grew up in the small western suburb of Chicago named Berkeley. Berkeley’s northern border abutted the massive Chicago and North Western Proviso yard (the largest yard in the country until the mid-1950’s). The Chicago Great Western Railroad bisected the town. I remember counting the cars on the typical 100+ car CGW trains when I should have been paying attention in grade school. Needless to say, these two railroads would play a part of my future plans.

After college and starting a family, we moved to New Hampshire in 1981. I joined the Bedford Boomers Club in 1985 and spent many years building two modules which were part of the club show layouts for almost 30 years. Having moved several times since 1981, I never got that home layout built even though I started a couple of times.

Around 2008 after joining the NMRA, I got my first taste of serious operating and I have been hooked since. Besides operating regularly on several friends’ home layouts in southern New Hampshire, I have attended several NER conventions and have always signed up for as many op sessions as I possible could.

After working for a major defense contractor for 34+ years, I retired in 2015. My fiancée and I both sold our houses and we bought one together in Concord, NH. One of the criteria was it had to have a useable basement. (I was going to say “large basement” but it will never be large enough).

The ambitious home layout that I am currently building models the C&NW in 1975. The Elgin & Joliet Eastern Railroad is modeled as well and interchanges traffic with the C&NW. The EJ&E gives me a connection to the steel mills in Gary, IN that will be modeled. The layout design is a two level around-the-room bookshelf style layout that is being designed for operations. I am designing it in XtrakCad, a free model railroad CAD tool available from JMRI.org. It will include a PanelPro computer based CTC panel, Block detection, and signals on the C&NW main line. (remember – I said it was AMBITIOUS!) So far, I am still working on the first phase of the layout and have a couple hundred feet of track and about 50 turn-outs installed. Stand by for updates and possibly a clinic as construction proceeds.

The Seacoast Division Going Forward

The major goal of the Seacoast Division is to serve the membership and promote the hobby. The quarterly Events have been our primary way of accomplishing this. We work to make the events educational as well as entertaining. They also provide a venue to meet and socialize with other members. We continue to look to the Seacoast membership for clinic and presentation ideas as well as for volunteers to give the clinics and presentations. We need your help. I have been the Seacoast Activities Coordinator for the past for 3½ years. I cannot continue in that position and be president. Besides, it is time for a new coordinator to bring in new ideas for the division events. One option that has been discussed is to have a member organize and run a single event. If anyone wants to give it a try, but is not sure how to do it, don’t worry, you will be supported. If you’re interested, please contact me.

An Election Update

Every year, 3 of the 9 Director positions are up for re-election. The voting is conducted prior to and the results are announced at the Annual Meeting held at the Winter Event held in January. This year we had 4 candidates for 3 Director positions. After the election was over it was discovered that one of the winners was not eligible to run for or hold the position of Director because that individual was not an active member in the NMRA. Article VI para. 1 of the Seacoast Division Bylaws states that a Director must be a member of the NMRA.

A Special BOD meeting was held via Zoom on Feb 11, 2022. The seven BOD members present unanimously certified that the remaining three eligible candidates Dave Kotsonis, Geoff Anthony, and Jim Seroskie won the three Director positions. Please join me in congratulating them.

An Election Update

I would like introduce the new Seacoast Division Leadership Team:

    Jay Ehlen     Director and Vice President
    Dave Kotsonis     Director and Treasurer
    Nelsen LeMay     Secretary
    Geoff Anthony     Director and The Switch Tower Editor
    Dave Delorey     Webmaster
    Tom Oxnard, MMR     Director and NH AP Chair
    Larry Cannon, MMR     ME AP Chair and ME Registered Agent
    Bob Kotsonis     Director
    Ralph Brown     Director
    Jack Lutz     Director & Clinic Historian
    Jim Seroskie     Director and NER Webmaster
    Bruce Campbell     Membership Chairman
    Tage Erickson     Faulter Fund Chairman
    Steve Russo     The Switch Tower Assistant Editor

As I stated earlier, the Activities Coordinator position is open. Please consider stepping up and taking on this role.

Spring Event April 23, 2022

As the number of covid cases in New Hampshire and Maine diminishes, the prospect for a live Spring 2022 Event is improving. At this time we are planning on the Spring event being live with Zoom at the Newington Old Town Hall on April 23, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 pm. We need 3 more clinics to round out the agenda. Again, I ask for your help to make the Spring Event a success. We will also be holding a silent auction as a fundraiser for the Seacoast Division. We are asking members to donate their un-needed model railroad items. Details will be announced soon. I hope to see many of you at the Spring Event in person or on Zoom.

Best regards,

Glenn Mitchell
Seacoast Division NMRA Director and President