2020 EMRA Club President Candidate. Vote for me, here's why.

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by fast316, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. fast316

    fast316 EMRA Executive Member

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    I always find it weird writing about myself, but here it goes. A brief history of me and my involvement with this club. As well as some information on the work I do for the club and some plans for the future.

    -I grew up drag racing with my family at Medicine Hat, Race City, and Capitol City (aka Castrol Raceway).

    -I come from a long line of dirt oval racers, hot rodders, and muscle car enthusiasts.

    -As a kid I always wanted a motorcycle. I turned 18, saved my money, moved out of my mom’s house, and bought my first bike. GSXR750 SRAD…. I know, Suzuki… what was I thinking?

    -After a week of owning the bike I asked ‘how does this thing do a wheelie?’

    -Out of high school I became an Automotive Mechanic and put those skills to use fixing all the motorcycle stuff I smashed.

    -I got into stunting with a friend, we figured we were pretty fast riders too and we went and volunteered for my first EMRA race weekend in 2003. I waived flags in turn 8.

    -I was hooked. I bought a used 1-piece suit from the local take-off tire sales man and began putting it to good use, the wrong way. First placed I ever dragged knee was the bottom of Groat Road.

    -One spring day in March a wheelie went bad and I ended up with a broken Tib/Fib and hand. Lucky for me, then photographer and former club Prez Dave Kendal was right there to drive me to the hospital in a make shift Subaru Ambulance.

    -I took this as a bit of a wake up call. You need two good hands to hold on when Dave is driving.

    -I continued to be involved with the street riding community and met Justin Knapik. He picked me absolute dead last for the very first ‘Race Organizing Committee’ a group of volunteers that handled the key race weekend tasks.

    -I went to every race weekend. Worked every corner, and every volunteer position. Some of which don’t even exist any more; Manual scoring and starting flag waver guy to name a couple of them.

    -I worked my way all the way up to Race Director.

    -I saved all my volunteer vouchers and bribed Justin to let me take his very first OTP race school.

    -I totally forgot which day it was, did an oil change on my brand new CBR600RR instead of going to the class. He called me, reminded me, and I was only a half hour late for the class.

    -Amazing because I lived at least 45 minutes away from the track.

    -2007 I got my race license and did all my novice races in one weekend, while also working as Race Director. My fellow street/stunt riding buddy Scott Rogliani covered for me in tower while I raced. I think only Ian noticed.

    -Ian didn’t seem to mind, he suggested I run for Exec about a month later. Then I won the Spirit award at the banquet, #1 Race Director/Racer!

    -I wouldn’t say that was the smoothest path, but I made it work for the good of everyone involved.

    -2008 I was elected to the Executive as a general director in charge of volunteer organization. I haven’t missed an EMRA race weekend since.

    -I continued to ride on the track and the street and dabbled in stunting. At the stunt lot I met this skinny kid on an orange 600rr. We had the same bike. That weekend I saw him at Stratotech, I went over and chatted, ‘did we just become best friends?’.

    -That skinny, good looking kid turned out to be faster than me and currently holds the track record for the fastest 600cc lap time at Castrol. If you can’t tell already that skinny kid is club VP Brian Worsdall.

    -The years piled on as they do when you are having fun. My love for motorsports, motorcycles, and motorcycle racing continued to grow. I went out everywhere I could to get more experience. I raced with the WMRC, UtahSBA, CSBK, WMRRA, AFM and CVMA.

    -I have ridden at over 14 different tracks in Canada and the United States. Laguna Seca, Chuckwalla, Buttonwillow, Thunderhill, Area 27, Mission, The Ridge, UMC (all four tracks), and Sonoma, to name a few.

    -2015 I was elected VP. I took on that roll big time. Began growing and expanding every part of the EMRA I could think of. Diversified the club’s income, expanded its involvement in the community. Which I continue to do to this day.

    -2015 Award Banquet, the Execs got together and bought me a custom license plate for my truck out of their own pocket. 'BIKEDWN'. It was a surprise for both of us. Surprise for me because it was pretty cool and very thoughtful of them. It was a surprise for them because I had an unpaid speeding ticket they had to take care of to register the plate.

    -2018 The club President and former make shift ambulance driver Dave Kendal resigned and I took over as President.

    -2020 was a crazy year. I quit my job of 17 years. I pushed and pushed and got a race season to happen in a pandemic. I built relationships at Castrol Raceway and Stratotech Park and am now rental manager for Stratotech. It’s a lot of work but I am happy to do it… Except the part where I had to tip back over 4 porta pottys the right way… that part I didn’t sign up for.


    I can’t take all the credit. By no means do I take credit for all the club has accomplished over the years. But the clubs recent growth and prosperity in community and financially is something I have been a big part of and take pride in. I love going back to my roots and visiting volunteers in the corner stations. I love going for a street ride and coffee, I always pack an EMRA poster or two in the bike to hand out at Tims. I love traveling to other tracks, seeing what makes them work and what other clubs are doing put on great racing. Then I bring back what I learned and share it with the EMRA.


    My worst times with the club have been seeing my friends get hurt or worse. There was a time I knew nurses and my way around the trauma ward at the Royal Alex. I’ve spent my fair share of time there as a patient too. I was the very first person to break a bone on the road course at Castrol Raceway. I’ve had to send condolences to too many families. So I have for years made it a mission of mine to make racing safer for everyone. Raising money for safety equipment, buying and wearing the best safety gear myself, reviewing rules, helping design air fence, creating safety procedures, being part of safety training, whatever it takes to make things safer is what I strived to do first and foremost.


    I have also worked to bring race fees down. There’s no two ways about it. Racing is expensive. I’m not a millionaire, just a trades man, I’m cheap AF. Over the years I have taken a long hard look at the way the club brings in funds and the way it spends them. Creating a wisely targeted class structure that adapts to the ever-changing racer demographic. Creating and diversifying fundraising events. Creating new sponsorship opportunities. Wisely negotiating contracts. All these things I have done and will continue to do to bring in and save tens of thousands of dollars for the club.


    After that I have focused on bringing the club more exposure, anyway I can using my strong ties to the motorsports community or spamming the hell out of Facebook: Social media, conventional media like TV and radio, car shows, bike shows, trade shows, BBQs, fundraisers, anything to get the message out about the EMRA.


    I also spruced up the image of the club. I broke my collarbone and ribs on the last lap, of the last session, of the last track day of the year once. With the time off from that I taught myself Photoshop and put that to good use for the club. I do 99% of the graphic design for the EMRA. Some other tasks I handle are:


    -Organize the bike booth in the Calgary and Edmonton shows

    -Organize the EMRA display in the Edmonton Auto show

    -Instruct, organize, update and create new material for the EMRA race schools

    -Handle EMRA social media Facebook account

    -Graphic design for things like social media posts, round posters, award posters, banners, podium number plates, t-shirts etc.

    -Write the Road Racing World articles

    -Hold riders meetings

    -Oversee race days alongside the Race Director

    -Get video for promotions

    -Edit video for promotions

    -Create Airfence fundraiser events

    -Finish track cleanup

    -Handle public relations for the EMRA, news, radio, Castrol Raceway, other clubs, Ambulance crew and event organizers

    -Plan future season schedule

    -Contract negotiations with Castrol Raceway and the Dees

    -Print and Assemble picture plaques

    -Answer EMRA general inbox emails

    -Organize the year-end banquet, everything from floor plans, drink menus, to MC’ing the event.

    -Arrange and organize the AGM

    -I also got a local brewery to make us a year’s supply of hand sanitizer, back when you couldn’t just got to Costco and buy some.


    I’m sure there’s more, but basically I do everything I can to promote and put on the best racing possible. Hundreds of hours, and days, many days off work and away from home. I have been at every race round, one way or another, since 2008. If I wasn’t racing it was because I broke a bone or two and had to sit out. In that case I would come to the track in a sling and volunteer. This one time I got married and had to miss a race round, I still volunteered the race weekend. I worked the tower on Saturday and did commentary on Sunday since Stu wasn’t there. The next weekend at my wedding I brought my bike. I even had a special table for my biker pals, right next to the open bar. I’d like to continue to do all the things I currently do and more with the club and Exec, and everyone involved.

    I have seen things change and learned a lot from the exec this year. The need for more procedures and code of conduct, but at the same time team building, improved communication and time for fun in the Exec. I have some awesome plans for the immediate future, racing at two tracks, plans like live streaming broadcasts, lightweight super series and return of an EMRA Endurance race. I’ve got hopes and dreams for the distant future as well. So give me your support and your vote and we can make it happen.
     
    marmstro, Mantis, SetUpSixRR and 8 others like this.
  2. Cbr600rider2

    Cbr600rider2 Member

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    honda rider
    Good luck Jon ! you sir have stepped up big time and have always done what is best for us ! your a great leader and a great president.
     
  3. blam

    blam Administrator

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    Creme Bullee for president!!

    I feel this role is well understated and a lot of people do not see the effort put in by our President and VP, current and past. You and Worsdall have worked your asses off for the club. #HondaPower.
     
    2quickrides, blitzgt3 and marmstro like this.
  4. SetUpSixRR

    SetUpSixRR EMRA Executive Member

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    Damn thanks pal, you’re pretty awesome too.
     
    marmstro likes this.

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