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Old July 17th, 2001, 09:43 AM   #1
Lorne in DC
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PCA Boxster Advocate -- what have I got myself into??

Folks:
After a series of discussions with PCA national officials, and much consideration on my part, I have agreed to take on the role of Boxster Advocate in the Porsche Club of America. I guess I opened my mount [via keyboard] one too many times to avoid taking responsibility for what I was saying. Some of my earlier thoughts that triggered this response are on Pete's Page -- see the link below

The advocate role for other models was originally intended to act as a point of contact for geographically diverse owners of cars which had very small production runs. This created a stronger voice to protect the interests of the owners than would be possible in small numbers, to say nothing of getting people with similar interests in contact. There is a list of special interest groups / advocates in the back of each month’s Panorama.

With the high volume production of Boxsters, and the phenomenon of internet discussion board connections & community, we are faced with a different situation. The community of Boxster owners has used the internet in ways unforeseen by PCA, and in doing so has presented a challenge to PCA around how to ensure Boxster owners join, and stay in, the club. I see the challenge as twofold: [1] working with PCA, at the national and regional level, to encourage Boxster owner participation and integration into the activities of the club; and [2] encouraging Boxster owners to join and get involved with their local club.

I do not have a clear sense of how to proceed. Some of my ideas are pretty simple – establishing a list of current formal or informal Boxster groups and contact points [such as Babblers’ Atlanta Boxster Club; Boston area group; DC’s Hecks Angels; and many others, I am sure]; getting input from Boxster owners about their interests and the extent to which those interests are being met by their local PCA region; contacting the PCA regional clubs and trying to get an understanding of their level of Boxster owner involvement and participation in events, and offering suggestions on how they can increase that; perhaps starting the process of creating a registry of Boxster owners [anyone got a website called 986registry.org available?]; etc. It goes without saying that all this must be done in collaboration with this, and similar websites -- the idea of duplicating what already works would be a disaster!

I am sure there are many things that can, and should, be done. I would appreciate your suggestions on the priorities, from your point of view. What steps should I take? Where should I focus my efforts? I need your help on this, to make it a useful role that serves all your interests.

Please feel free to offer suggestions and guidance here, or by email. I will put this same message up on the other Boxster discussion boards, including Porsche Pete’s, Boxster Racing Board, and the PCA Board[s].
Many thanks,
Lorne




Be careful what you say!!
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Old July 17th, 2001, 12:02 PM   #2
Magic Mtn Dan
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Congratulations, I think, Lorne! Some feedback...

I think I almost was in your shoes - I was talking to a PCA national executive about this and for a number of reasons decided it wasn't for me.

We started the BABBLERS because PCA didn't meet our needs. They provide tangible value but due to their broad swath, they are unable to deliver a focused product that is tailored to any one vehicle type (like the Boxster).

While I will continue to be a PCA member, I think there's a place for Boxster-specific clubs, groups, events and activities. Sure, some of those things are provided by PCA but Boxster-specific opportunities are limited.

I think your involvement will help PCA integrate Boxster owners into their club and ultimately make them (us) feel more welcome. My personal feeling is that PCA has to serve many "masters" and will probably hinder their ability to deliver Boxster-specific benefits that a worldwide or regional Boxster clubs can.

I will continue to keep an open mind and support PCA. And you can count on me to work with you to help you achieve your Boxster-friendly goals.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 12:02 PM   #3
Mark in Boise
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Re: PCA Boxster Advocate -- what have I got myself into??

I won't rant here like I did on PPBB, but wish you luck, especially with this group. There were 50 Boxsters and Ss in the Milwaukee Parade autocross and Boxsters are becoming the largest class of cars in the PCA, so things are working. The competition was much more intense than the Boxster and S classes at the Sacramento Parade. This surprised me, since I figured we'd have all the good Boxster drivers at the Parade in California. If you are successful with this group we should have 100 or so Boxsters registered for the Boise Parade next year, since it is only a day's drive from the Bay area. I suspect, however, that we will have much fewer.
A couple of ideas for PCA regions. Have a "see your engine" tech session for Boxster owners and others. I enjoyed watching the concour owners in Milwaukee show there engines to the judges. Most of us couldn't do that. Plastic window cleaning and rear speaker installations for Boxsters would also make good tech sessions. The Babblers and TBHLs have had a lot of great ideas for tech sessions that PCA regions could use to induce participation by Boxster owners.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 01:54 PM   #4
Lorne in DC
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Re: Congratulations, I think, Lorne! Some feedback...

Dan -- thanks ... I am glad you will be there as a supporter (and hopefully a resource). My primary focus is going to be on issues of group membership, new member integration, and getting the two sides to see value from what the other has to offer. To that end I am about to get into discussions with teh PCA membership chair on how local clubs can reach out more effectively.

I do not think this role is about downplaying or replacing the various regional Boxster groups ... it is clear that the 914 and 928 folks [among others, I am sure] have their own clubs. The question I grapple with is how to integrate and include ... how to get beyond the eltisim that some report experiencing.

Look forward to our paths crossing, frequently!!

Lorne
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Old July 17th, 2001, 01:59 PM   #5
Lorne in DC
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Re: PCA Boxster Advocate -- what have I got myself into??

Mark -- agreed ...

the Potomac region broke through the perception of Boxster-phobia when they held a meeting called "Boxsters uncovered" ... had a couple of Boxsters [2.7 and 3.2] up on lifts with simultaneous tech sessions; Boxster trivia quiz, discussion on rollbars and DE participation, and so on. It was the highest turnout they had ever had for a meeting, and made the point that there was a lot of interest in the cars.

The issue, I think, is how to get the local clubs to take those active steps. I need to reach out to each of them and see how best to help with that. Any ideas on how to do that?

Lorne

PS -- let's talk more about Parade in Boise, and how you folks can make it a Boxster showcase event. Judy and I are going to try to make it ... we used to live north of you in Calgary, so it would be a return to old stomping grounds.

Lorne
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Old July 17th, 2001, 02:43 PM   #6
Mark in Boise
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Re: PCA Boxster Advocate -- what have I got myself into??

I would be glad to help, but I can't shirk my main duty as banquet co-chair or my wife would kill me. We need to showcase, without separating, like having a separate section for Boxsters in the parade. I'm talking about our plan to reinstitute the original concept of the Porsche Parade with a parade down Capitol Blvd. I will talk to our parade chairs about organizing it by class of car. We could easily have some Boxster-specific tech sessions.
Some of us are trying to showcase Bogus Basin, the site of the only PCA hillclimb. We probably cannot incorporate a driving event because of logistics, lack of workers and risk, but we might have an informal Bogus Basin Boxster Bash where we could meet at the hill (only 16 miles from downtown) check it out and discuss the finer points of hillclimbing or mountain road racing. There is a lot of hillclimbing history with Porsche.
Let's keep talking. I'd love to have ideas for using the Boise Parade as a vehicle for getting the Boxster owners involved in PCA.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 07:24 PM   #7
Tool Pants
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I think the Babblers is the largest group

of Boxster owners, 193 last time I counted, as far as I know. (I excluded Geoff since he now has a 996TT). This is the number of people who have bothered to sign up. There are others who come to our events but have never signed up, just as there are others who have signed up but never come to our events.

Here in San Jose, Santa Clara County, I should be with the Golden Gate Region, but Santa Clara County is closer to the Loma Prieta Region. There is talk about changing Santa Clara County to the Loma Prieta Region.

Some years ago I checked out both regions. I did not see anything that interested me. We had an informal group of local Boxster owners back then, so that is what I went for. Then Dan and Tom started the Babblers and that was the end of my interest in PCA. The Babblers has grown way, way more than I ever expected.

The people at Golden Gate and Loma Prieta are great people, but only the Boxster car interests me, and their total number of Boxsters owners does not come close to the Babblers.

Jeff Lopez, San Jose
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