Letter From the Board – July 2019

[Published in the July-August issue of On The Level]

It’s been a busy season for the Board as we’ve worked to fill vacant board positions while at the same time getting critical projects and tasks done. Here is a brief review of our activity:

Board Update

Following the unexpected passing of Karen Jacobs and the departure of Matt DeWald, we had two board positions to fill. Additionally, board member Moshe Levy resigned due to increased work obligations. A subcommittee was formed to identify and interview potential candidates, and we are happy to announce that the existing board members have voted to add Randy Boris, Al Olme, and Ethan Powsner to the board, bringing the board back to full strength. All three have been strong supporters and volunteers of the club (Randy as a Regional Director, Al with the National Rally, and Ethan as the OTL Copy Editor) and we look forward to their further contributions as board members. Look for profiles of each of them elsewhere in this issue and as always, feel free to reach out to any board members if you have any questions or concerns about the club. We continue to strive to be open, accessible, and accountable to our membership.


The big news – registration is now open for the “Set My Soul Free” National Rally, to be held September 5-8 in Woodstock, Virginia! Visit www.bmwra.org/events/the-bmw-ra-national-rally to get your tickets, order t-shirts, and reserve RV spots. Beach’s and Motolombia are once again generously offering their tours as grand prize drawings. In early May, Rally Chair Matt Smith, along with Al Olme, Jeff Dunkle, and John Flores visited the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds to further discuss details of the rally. Look for a map of the fairgrounds and a note from Matt Smith in this issue.


We continue to tweak and enhance the new website. There have been some technical issues which has resulted in some members having trouble logging in, renewing memberships, and performing other administrative tasks. We apologize for anyone that’s had problems but we continue to work on them. One of the reasons why we redesigned the website was to make it easier to update and maintain. Despite the glitches, we believe that we have achieved that. The events section is filled with great rallies to attend and we are starting to add content more regularly to the site. In the transition from the old website and to enhance security, we’ve reset user names and passwords for all members. If you have not already logged in, please visit www.bmwra.org/my-account/lost-password to create a new password. All you need is your email address.


Over the last several years, we have made significant changes to how we present ourselves to the BMW riding community, upgrading OTL to full color and repeatedly tweaking its design and content, redesigning and rebuilding the website so that it looks fresh, is easier to maintain, and works better on phones, and improving our marketing and communications materials. Strategically-speaking, we need to appeal to the next generation of BMW riders in order to not only survive but to thrive. All of these changes have been done with this in mind. It’s taken a lot of vigorous discussion and a lot of hard work from a small legion of volunteers and contributors. Along with all of these pieces, the Board agreed that it was time to rethink the logo. In use since (at least) the early 1990s and evoking an even earlier era, the logo felt increasingly out of place and no longer represented the aspirations of the club. The bird, so to speak, was cooked. So, for the past year, the Board tasked Chris Parker (designer of OTL) with creating a new club logo. Chris produced a score of different designs that we picked apart and debated, and Chris went back to the drawing board over and over again to tweak the designs that caught our eye. After months and months of discussion, hard work, and some real soul searching about what the BMW Riders Association means to current and future members, we are happy to announce the new logo. Look for Chris’ detailed breakdown of the logo here.

We hope to see you at the rally. It’s gonna be righteous!

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