2019 Presidents Message                                                              

December 17, 2019                                                                                       

To all our Seacoast Division Members:

The year 2019 has been a very successful year for the Seacoast Division.  We have maintained our membership levels, supported as many modeling events as we could reasonably do, and provided clinics and fellowship that you have all enjoyed.  However this year has been difficult due to the recent passing of our past President and Secretary, Chip Faulter.  Chip was a very special member of the Division.  There were so many things that he did for us throughout the year at Events and shows and other meetings.  However mostly, he was a great friend to all of us and his presence will be sorely missed.

I have taken some time to speak directly about the issues and areas below.  It is meant to be a summary of what we have accomplished as a Division during 2019.  If some of my writing looks similar to what I wrote last year, you are correct, it is.  In many cases I just changed the dates or the names to fit each particular section.

Division Leadership:

Again, similar to last year, I am the only candidate for President for the coming year.  Glenn Mitchell has also agreed to run again, for Vice President.  Unless there are some last minute candidates, the Board of Directors will be electing us to these positions.  At the Annual Meeting, 3 positions on the Board of Directors will be up for election.  As of this writing, we only have 2 candidates to fill the 3 open positions and they are Tom Oxnard and Bob Kotsonis.

Additionally, we will have to fill the vacancy on the Board of Directors created by the passing of Chip Faulter.  Chip had 1 year left on his BOD term.  Seacoast Division member Jack Lutz has graciously volunteered to take Chip’s place and finish out his term on the BOD.  The Board of Directors will be voting on this at the BOD meeting prior to the Winter Event.

Over the years, the Seacoast Division has been blessed with excellent directors.  Two more of our directors will be stepping down from the Board, effective January 5, 2019.  Those directors would be Erich Whitney and Paul Lessard.  These two gentlemen have been solid supporters of the Division for many years and we will certainly miss their presence. 

I have contacted all of our Division Officers and they will all be returning for another year of service, pending approval from the Board of Directors.  The following is a list of the members filling those positions.

Tage Erickson             President (pending approval of the BOD)

Glenn Mitchell             Vice President (pending approval of the BOD)

VACANT                     Division Secretary

Dave Kotsonis             Division Treasurer

Lou Champagne         Membership Chairman

Larry Cannon MMR    AP Coordinator - Maine

Tom Oxnard MMR      AP Coordinator - New Hampshire

Geoff Anthony            Switch Tower Editor

Steve Russo               Web Master

Bruce Robinson          Derry Fun Night Coordinator

Glenn Mitchell             Activities Coordinator - New Hampshire

VACANT                     Activities Coordinator - Maine

VACANT                     Nominating Committee Chairman

Owen Buck                 Finance Audit Chairman

Peter McKenney         Chip Faulter Fund Chairman

Larry Cannon              Registered Agent for the State of Maine

It would be really nice if somebody out there would step up and volunteer to be our Division Secretary.  Plain and simple,     WE NEED YOUR HELP!!  If there is someone who feels they are interested in doing this, please read the position description in the Division By-Laws and then contact me as soon as possible.

Quarterly Events:

Our Quarterly Events continue to be very well run and reasonably well attended.  They are the most important events that this Division runs.  Glenn Mitchell has done another brilliant job this year.  In 2019, we continued to have great clinics and terrific presentations.  The reason for this is due to your participation at these Events.  Most of our presenters come from our Division members.  For 2019, we owe a debt of gratitude to Chuck Hastings of the Southern Maine Model Railroad Club, Dave Delorey and James van Bokkelen, of the Hub Division, Jack Lutz, Tom Oxnard, Tom Nelson, Mike Pedersen, Bob Bennett, Rich Breton, Victor Hand, Scott Lindquist, Mike Grahame, and Larry Cannon for their willingness to present clinics to us.

Also, we are indebted to those members who graciously agreed to open their homes for layout  tours following each event.  Those individuals are Rob Selberg, Lou Champagne, John Newick, Dick Fralick, Larry Cannon, The Great Falls Model Railroad Club, Dave Kotsonis and James van Bokkelen.  Thanks to all the layout owners for allowing us into your homes to admire your modeling.

As you can see, it is our members who make each event very special.  Once again, I would like to challenge each of you to considered giving a clinic or a short presentation at one of our upcoming events.  We need your help to succeed and grow our Division.

 

 

 

Derry Fun Night (DFN):

As in previous years, the Derry Fun Night continued to be a success in 2019.  I am grateful for the support that Bruce receives from the members of our Division.  Thank you Bruce, for devoting the time and effort to put together all the clinics and presentations that make this event a success.  Bruce is a very skilled modeler and it is very special for him to coordinate this activity.  I have personally attended 2 of these Derry Fun Nights this year and came away with some knowledge that can be used to make my layout better.  Thanks Bruce!

The Switch Tower:

Geoff Anthony has done another terrific job this year, as editor of the “Switch Tower.”  It is read by most members of our Division and by many in the NMRA outside our Division.  I want to thank Geoff for his outstanding efforts and I would like to encourage all members to send Geoff any articles you may write or anything of note that you think our members would be interested in.  We need your articles!  Rail fanning, layout tours and operating sessions all make for good photos and articles that Geoff can include in the Switch Tower.

Webmaster:

Steve Russo, our Division Webmaster, continues to do a terrific job maintaining our Division website.  Steve has recently added a new menu item to the web site, entitled “Fallen Flags.” This area is a place where any of our members can write stories about former members that have passed away.  Each year, the Division loses one or two members, and in most cases, no one except maybe a few members know who the deceased member is.  This is a place where someone with knowledge of the deceased member can share that knowledge with the rest of us.  Every member has their own life story that is worth telling about and worth hearing about.  Keep up the good work, Steve!

Membership:

Our membership chairman, Lou Champagne, will be giving a separate full report to the members at our Winter Event on January 4, 2020.  I encourage each of you to attend the event and listen to Lou’s report.  He is doing an excellent job as the Membership Chairman and we are fortunate to have him back for 2020.  Thanks, Lou!

Treasurer:

We are fortunate to have Dave Kotsonis as our Division Treasurer.  Dave will be back next year and will be giving a separate Treasurers report at the Winter Event.  Thanks, Dave!

Achievement Program (AP)

The Achievement Program is an opportunity for all members to increase their knowledge and skills in our great hobby.  For 2019, the following members are to be congratulated for their efforts in completing the requirements for the certificates listed below.

Tom Oxnard                Motive Power

John McHugh             Chief Dispatcher

Paul Lessard               Chief Dispatcher

Erich Whitney              Author

Chip Faulter Fund

The Seacoast Division has established the Chip Faulter Fund in honor of our recently deceased former President and Division Secretary.  The purpose of the Fund will be to help attract and keep young people involved in our great hobby, who would otherwise not be able to do so because of personal funding constraints.  Chip was an advocate for attracting younger people into the hobby and his family has requested that this fund be established in his name.

There will be a separate report about the Fund that I will deliver in person at the Annual Meeting on January 4, 2020.  I hope that many of you will be there for that.

NER Convention Planning:

As mentioned in last year’s report, sooner or later, it will be our turn to host a NER convention.  At this time, our Division Convention committee has nothing to report for this past year.  I am disappointed with the lack of progress, and I need to spend more time on this issue.  Currently, the NER is scheduled to have future conventions sponsored by the Hub Division for 2020 and the Nutmeg and Metro North Divisions are in discussion for potentially supporting a convention in 2021.  Beyond that, there is nothing.

I still will not commit our Division to anything until I can get a good sense of support from the Board of Directors and our members.  These NER conventions are a great place to learn more about this hobby and interface with the best modelers in our region.  Every year, those that attend have a wonderful time.  It does not cost that much to attend one of these conventions, and it is a lot of fun to be there. I hope to be able to report to you some progress on this issue as the year progresses.  Thanks for your patience with this.

NER News

Similar to last year, there are several proposals on the table to change the way the NER treasury uses its money and conduct its business.  An NER Finance committee has been established to study these recommendations.  As soon as I get any details on this, I will report on it.  The NER logo has been changed and was unveiled at this year’s NER Convention in Syracuse, NY.  You will all begin to see this new logo in new issues of the NER Coupler and on NER correspondence.

Closing Statement:

I am very proud and honored to be your president and be a part of this Division.  We are almost 200 members strong.  Within the NER, we are the 3rd largest division in membership, and the 2nd largest in physical area.  Among us, are some really talented modelers.  The depth of the knowledge of our members is staggering.  I continue to believe that it is important for each member take away from each event, additional knowledge that can be used to help further your enjoyment of our great hobby.  Your time is valuable.  I respect that.  We had a great year in 2019, so as we move on, I expect to have a better 2020.

In order to help the Division grow stronger, please consider giving some of your free time to our Division.  We have so many talented members out there.  Your knowledge could be invaluable to other members who share the passion of this hobby.  We need clinicians for our Events and help for the various committees that we have.  We still need several positions on the Division Leadership Board to be filled.  WE REALLY NEED A SECRETARY!  Have I mentioned that before?  We need the other positions filled, also.  Please consider this.

Our Division also provides support to many local train shows throughout Maine and New Hampshire.  We will be publishing a list of these shows and we hope that some of you will consider helping us support these shows by manning our Seacoast Division table and chatting with the patrons of these shows.  It is a great way to share your knowledge and experiences with people that are interested in getting into our great hobby.

Please have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I hope to see as many of you as possible at our Winter Event on January 4, 2020 in Westbrook, Maine.

Respectfully submitted,

Tage Erickson