Past Presidents… Legacy and Foundation!
Being a member of a club is about enjoying your shared enthusiasm, experience and passion with a group of likeminded people. We all love what we love, but it’s much more fun when common interest is celebrated within a community. That said, there are usually a few within that group who are creatively and socially minded, enjoy organizing and are especially enthusiastic about bringing people together. Further still, there are a precious few who recognize the need to gently unify, organize and guide the direction of interest based on an understanding of a common vision.
Keeping all the people happy all the time… that’s not what leadership is about (and it’s impossible). Leadership is the ability to take into account the interests, desires and passions of a group, distilling as much as possible, the commonality and variability of those interests and gently guiding them; while ensuring they align with the vision and direction of the group. The especially tricky part, is encouraging each member to share their thoughts and inspirations while leaving few or none voiceless in the process; and then, distilling those interests into a common objective.
There’s also the age old Pareto principle (or the 80/20 rule)… a handful of the people do a boatload of the work to ensure the community thrives. It’s not a judgment, it’s just the way it is! Some folks simply want to be a part of the fun and others truly enjoy organizing and creating an environment in which to share the fun.
Leadership though, is about service! It’s steeped a desire to serve the wants and interests of a community (often setting your own passions aside) to ensure the vast array of interests are served. Not an easy task at all. Sometimes, it involves managing disappointment. How well achievements are celebrated and disappointments are kindly lamented is a telling mark of leadership. It’s a balance! Having witnessed much of this as a minor volunteer, but mostly as a participant, and being intensely relational, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside those in our club’s leadership since joining some 5 years ago. The personality types in our club are as varied as the models and colours of our cars!
While I celebrate all the hard work and achievements of every past-president-to-date, and that of their executive leadership members, my mind is on the service Jeff & Matt have provided during their tenure, as they transition into new roles in the next chapter of our club. Both assumed the mantle of President & Vice-President at a time when things were relatively socially normal or stable. We enjoyed the social aspects of our club during our various event types; all the while keeping a focus on our philanthropic aims and serving the needs and interests of our club’s membership.
Our two leaders started their journey together by making a trip to represent CWR at the PCA Presidents conference in Montreal, working to ensure we were on the radar of and in line with, upcoming PCA and regional initiatives and events. And wouldn’t you know it… they got stuck in an airport during a massive storm for their trouble. Such is the burden of leadership… but I think that storm was nothing compared to the storm they faced while navigating our club through COVID.
What incredibly difficult decisions they (and their executive) had to face. Being our club’s webmaster and intermittent tour lead, I was often privy to decisions surrounding upcoming events. I remember the litany of opinions and recommendations being hurled at Jeff & Matt when facing what to do with events that had already been planned (and paid for). No one (at the time) really knew what COVID was or what we were facing… we were however, beseeched by practitioners in the medical community to “brace for an unprecedented onslaught on our health care system”. What a thing to have to reckon and navigate! Balancing the unknown, strong opinions and recommendations from many sources against the desires/commitments/interests of the club was NOT what anyone anticipated or signed up for… yet, Jeff and Matt faced this new time of uncertainty with grace and accountability. Not an easy task!
Many hard decisions had to be made during COVID… and many of those decisions resulted in significant disappointment. Rather than recounting the many trials during their time of leadership, I’ll focus on outcomes we celebrate as a club as we prepare to ring in 2023 and a new chapter under Matt & Brad’s leadership as President and Vice-President.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating!”
Being a tour and drive leader, I get to meet a lot of folks… and not all are from OUR club! During late 2021 and into 2022, Jeff & Matt explored an opportunity to organize a very long drive through super scenic areas of Utah. Knowing I'd been wanting to lead a long distance tour, they approached me to follow up and investigate the opportunity with the club in Utah; and so, I had a chance to talk with the president of the Northern Utah PCA club about meeting up for a joint tour. What stands out from those discussions was his outright astonishment that we ran 59 events in 2021… he told me, in their club, and other clubs in the region, that number would more likely represent ALL the events of their entire region combined… let alone that of a single club! Doing a quick tally this morning… I found we ran roughly ~110 events, drives, tech days and Tours in 2022! That’s a minimum of TWO events per week!
On any given weekend, there’s usually a drive or some event for us to participate in... that, and we’ve grown by some 200+ members since 2020… and we continue to grow!
So, as we close this chapter and Jeff moves into his new role as our Past President, I recall one very common thread… Jeff simply loves sharing his passion for Porsche with the rest of us… JCC might be better named “Community and Curves” because community is what Jeff sews and revels in! He had no idea what would happen during his time serving as our president! It was a journey to be sure! But throughout his time as our President, Jeff served with grace, transparency, authenticity and humility! Together, Jeff and Matt struggled to make right decisions out of tough choices, and yet… we thrived as a club and community of friends! That’s quite a testimony of accomplishment, legacy and foundation for what is to come!
“The Oracle”… a term that seems to make Jeff a bit uncomfortable. I personally think it challenges his humility, but still, I think it’s a very appropriate term when applied to him; and not just because he knows all the best roads for us to explore… but because of the obvious wisdom he used while navigating his term as our president. Fun choices and hard choices alike, he always worked to set his own biases aside and endeavoured to choose wisely on our behalf! I don’t think we could have hoped for more!
On a personal note, among all of my favourite memories of spending time with Jeff, I’m most grateful for his friendship. I have many fond and fun memories of time shared with him, but one in particular stands out. The night before I moved from Chilliwack to Vancouver, I got a call from Jeff asking if I needed help moving any last-minute items. What makes this offer particularly notable is that he was on his way home to South Surrey, having travelled from the Okanagan. He was happy and more than willing to drive back to Chilliwack the next morning, help me finish my move to Granville Island, and then carry on with his day… as if it was no big deal! I was astonished, and while initially said I’d be ok, he pushed me a little and I finally accepted his generous offer of assistance. Long story short, he arrived by 7:30am and we proceeded to fill my Boxster and his SUV full of my remaining odds and sods. When we were finished, we both took a final look around at the end to that chapter of my life, shook hands, jumped in our vehicles and proceeded out of my complex…. Just as I was driving out for the last time, my phone rang… It was Jeff! As we were pulling out of the driveway he said “Want to see something ironic… look at your clock…”
It was “9:11”
Porsche and Pals.. that’s Jeff! Thanks Jeff!