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2018 Slate for Board Election

PCA NER 2018 Board of Directors Slate

We are pleased to announce the volunteers nominated to be on the slate for the 2018 board of directors for our club. Below is some information about them.

Additional nominees for any office may be proposed by the members at any time, up to October 27, 2017. Nominations must include a signed statement from the nominee that he/she will perform the duties of the office if elected. Please submit the nomination and statement via email to president@porschenet.com and to past_president@porschenet.com.

Treasurer: Robert Jacobsen

Robert Jacobsen

Robert became a PCA member in 2012 shortly after purchasing his current 993 while living in the greater Washington D.C. area. The future ownership of an air-cooled Porsche was destined to be after riding in a 964 Turbo owned by a family member at the young age of 5. Fast forward to 2012 and a deal was struck to buy a Guards Red 993 the same day Robert planned on proposing to his girlfriend and now wife, Susanna. However, the purchase took much longer than anticipated and resulted in Susanna waiting to be picked up at Reagan National Airport for four and a half hours, dinner reservations cancelled and the plans for the entire evening thrown into disarray. In the end, miraculously she still said “Yes”. After purchasing the 993, Robert heard about PCA from a fellow member (Founders’ Region) while attending a Cars and Coffee event in Great Falls, VA. While living in the DC area for about three years, Robert attended numerous PCA social events as well as autocrossing and rallies. Originally from central Massachusetts, Robert and his wife moved back to Massachusetts in 2014 changing regions to NER.

Beyond any Porsche-related activities, Robert volunteers on Ranger Patrol at Wachusett Mountain, trains year-round for Ironman and half Ironman distance triathlons, and is the Finance Director for Hope for Worcester a 501(c)3 organization in Worcester, MA.

After starting his career with State Street Corporation in Boston, Robert accepted a position with Cambridge Associates in Arlington, VA and upon moving back to Massachusetts now co-runs an independent registered investment advisory firm, Assabet Advisors, LLC.

Robert has been serving as Treasurer for our region since January 2017.

Secretary: Nick Durham

Nick Durham

I am honored to be considered for the role of the board secretary. My Porsche ownership began in college with an early 924. Even though the little four cylinder lacked any resemblance of acceleration, it was sturdy enough to try out one of these autocross events that I had heard about. So I became a PCA member in 2000 and promptly drove the 924 to occupy the last-place position at a few AX events. In 2004, I moved from the “Happy Valley” of western MA to Somerville with a very modified 924 turbo in tow, providing great entertainment for a few years. The 931 gave way to my current 964 cabriolet which I bought as a birthday gift to myself. With the 964 I began attending autocross events more regularly and slowly made my way out of last place. It only took 17 years, but now drivers actually ask me for tips on navigating the cones. While the competition is always great fun, the fantastic friendships that I’ve been lucky to make within that group are really what keep me coming back. This past year my wife, Natalie, has been joining for more seat time in the 964. We also run our Mini Cooper S (convertible, of course) with the BMW club, which drives almost 100% differently than the Porsche.

2017 was my first year volunteering for the club in an official capacity. I have been curating the autocross webpages (though Sterling is responsible for the dramatic website overhaul!) and helping out the autocross committee members where I can. In addition to having summer weekends occupied with AX, my wife and I spend our time chasing after our 70-pound sheepdog puppy, traveling and visiting family in Ohio and California, visiting friends all over the world, eating dessert before dinner, and generally searching for adventures. During the day you can find me at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics where I work within a team dedicated to keeping the Chandra Space Telescope at the forefront of X-ray science discovery. Because it’s hard to get enough wind in your face with two convertible sports cars, you’ll find me commuting to the office year-round on a 45-year-old motorcycle.

VP, Administration: Glenn Champagne

Glenn Champagne

Glenn is a longtime NER member having been active in autocross and many social functions over the years.  He returns as VP of Administration and looks forward to what should be an exciting 2018!  Joining the club was a great way to learn more about all things Porsche, but quickly realized the great sense of community. His unique zenith blue 996 is the only Porsche he has ever owned, but continues to notice pretty sweet looking Carrera S’s out there.

Glenn is a business angel investor focused on early stage high technology companies here in the Boston area, but also enjoys equities and options trading.  His software career focused on database management and business intelligence as a techie, sales guy, executive, and always loved the excitement of the start-up.

For seven years, he entertained and hopefully comforted children battling various cancers at Boston Children's Hospital. Played about a thousand video & board games losing consistently. Told stories. Endlessly discussed and debated topics of great import like cars and professional wrestling.

Glenn and Betty (Mosley) live with their two cats Jabba the Hutt, and George of the Jungle. Although an aging skier, he and Betty look forward to spending more time skiing and snowshoeing in Stowe VT, eating more oysters on Martha's Vineyard, and auto crossing.  One of these years, they might, just might return with the 996 to Le Circuit, and maybe just maybe, experience The Glen.

VP, Activities (VP, Driving Events for 2018): Adam Schwarz

Adam Schwartz

I’ve been a Porsche enthusiast since I was a little kid. I remember the day; I was walking to school and this loud and beautiful car zoomed past me. The rear of the car was emblazoned with the name that I would soon become obsessed with.  PORSCHE. I’ve been stricken with the disease ever since that day. I was already a “car guy” with an interest in American Muscle but Porsche changed my ideas. I have owned about 10 different Porsches over the years. I’ve had air cooled, and water-cooled but these days I am focused on the mid engine chassis on the 986/987 cars. Their balance makes for such a fun experience on the track. I also enjoy working on them, but my mechanic would probably say I need to learn a thing or two.

Since 2011 DE has become my passion. Over the last few years, I find my way to as many track days as I can possibly fit into my schedule. That leads me to how I started helping out and later ended up on the track committee. This is a club. And I strongly feel that it will only be as strong as its members are. Some may not be interested, or have time to volunteer. That's absolutely fine, but I feel that its getting involved in the operations of the club that can help us all have as good a time as possible. I started helping out a few years ago and have been working on the track committee for the last 2 seasons helping to organize the events, specifically helping with track operations. And now, I am looking forward to helping the club more with a position on the board.

Outside of the track I am a techno-geek. I work for Oracle Corporation as a solutions architect, but have been managing technology of different flavors for 25 years.  I am looking forward to being more involved with club operations.

Membership: Anker Berg-Sonne

Anker Berg-Sonne

I and my wife, Kirsten, joined the PCA and the North East Region when we bought our 2004 Boxster S, FUNTOY,  in 2016. We have had two earlier false starts in becoming members of the Porsche owner family. In 1978 we emigrated to the USA from Denmark and decided to check out a Porsche 924 as our primary vehicle. Unfortunately we weren’t able to fit all four members of our family into the car in spite of our children’s young age, so we bought a Ford LTD Country Squire instead. The second false attempt was when my younger brother tragically passed away in a diving accident 12 years ago. He lived in Sweden and owned a 944 Turbo S Cabriolet that I tried to import to the US after his passing. Unfortunately we learned that it would be very difficult and expensive, so we abandoned that idea.

Both my wife and I are retired and found that FUNTOY is a wonderful shared passion, both for driving on country roads with the top down, a vacation trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and meeting other Porsche owners at Porsches and Coffee and organized drives.

I have enjoyed participating in both the social activities and the more “hard core” performance oriented activities HPDE and AX. I have particularly enjoyed getting to know the membership of the NER and the surrounding regions. My current passion is AX and this year I have participated in as many autocrosses as I have been able to fit into my schedule. I would love to get my wife involved in AX and will encourage her to go to AX School if it is held next year.

Back in my youth I maintained my cars out of pure financial necessity. I vividly remember replacing a Fiat 600 rear axle in the parking lot outside our apartment in the middle of a snow storm, and also replacing the engine in the same car twice the same day. The second time because there was a part left over when I completed the initial one. I do as much maintenance as I can on FUNTOY and relish the feeling of accomplishment after successfully replacing trailing arms, O2 sensors, and also smaller tasks like marker lights and sun shades.

I am a computer scientist by education and was privileged to have my hobby as my vocation for my entire working life. Initially working for Digital Equipment Corporation and after 19 years there as the CTO for a number of startup companies in healthcare and building automation.

Other than Porsches I also enjoy flying radio controlled model gliders, golf, photography,  and international travel.

On a volunteer basis I have been a member of the board of directors for a number of organizations, including the Boston Sea Rovers, the oldest SCUBA diving club in the nation, and our local water company.

I have always been interested in making new friends and acquaintances and applying my experience and skills to any organization I am a member of and look forward to doing this in the PCA North East region over the years to come.

VP, Communications 

This position oversees member communications including emails to membership and monthly newsletter production (online for 2018). 

President: Bill Seymour

pca Bill Seymour

I am running for Region President against Sterling very reluctantly because I know he would make a great NER President and, one way or another, certainly will one day. However, I believe NER will be better off with both of us in active roles in the Club in 2018. In Sterling’s bio on this slate, he suggests writing me in as VP, Communications. While I appreciate his confidence in me, if I were in that position (with my 1970’s IBM 370 programming skills) Sterling would wind up doing that job as well as being President and Webmaster. And one of my reasons for choosing to run is concern about having one person in too many roles and asking too much of Sterling.

My other main reason for running is that I am concerned about the pace of change within PCA both locally and nationally. Here in NER we are updating the way we communicate with our membership – this will continue to evolve and require an approach that balances tradition with newer technology. From National there is a push to grow membership with some emphasis on including “four door” Porsches (which comprise 74% of year to date sales in the U.S.). I am concerned that we not sacrifice our heritage as a “Porsche sports car club” to become a “Porsche brand” club. We need to be open to new types of members but we need to first serve the needs of our current members.

I have been active in NER since 1994 and on the NER Board for a total of 6 years, serving as VP Activities (Driving Events) and VP Admin (Social/Tech Sessions). I was the Autocross Chair for 6 years and am an instructor in the DE program. For the past few years my wife Rosemary (formerly Lunch Lady at Autocross) and I have been the greeters at the Annual Dinner. I grew up in a Porsche household and still have my Dad’s 1960 356B. I also have a Cayman and share ownership in a 914-6 track car. If elected I would champion the following…

• Repeat the membership survey (previously done in 2011 and 2015) to better understand what our membership wants.

• Hold a Board “retreat” to draft what the club goals should be and then communicate these to membership for comment/approval.

• Improve board-to-membership communications and transparency.

• Improve club management: create a repository for club documents, produce better definitions of board positions, establish procedures to train/transition new board members, preserve institutional knowledge, etc.

• Have our region sponsor a Street Survival teen driver training event (check out www.streetsurvival.org)

There is more going on with the NER Board and Bylaw changes this year than ever before. I encourage you to vote and respectfully ask that you vote for me for President.

President: Sterling Vernon

Sterling Vernon

Hello! I’m Sterling, the one on the left of the picture, and I’m excited to be considered for the role of President for our region. This past year being on the board as the Membership Chair has been a huge amount of fun and learning for me. At this time last year, I was barely sure of what I would be doing to try to help out but I was eager to try to pay all of you back for the camaraderie and enjoyment I’ve received from the club in recent years. My very able membership predecessors, Steven and Laurie, taught me the ropes and I tried to run with it. I’ve learned so much more about our club - you! - than I imagined I would. 

I’ve learned that we are an incredibly diverse group of people. While we are largely centered around Boston, we have members all over New England. And well beyond too. We have members in Florida, Arizona, California, Oregon, even Canada! I’ve learned quite a bit about the history of our region, too. We were founded in 1959 and we currently have active members that are 80 years old and older - some of whom, like Roger Slocum, are still creating events for us such as our SoBo meet-ups! Our region will celebrate its 59th year in 2018. And a big milestone the year after that, of course.

We are chock full of intelligent, hard-working, accomplished individuals who, despite the demands of work and life, are enormously generous in so many ways. I can’t even begin to describe how blown away I am each day by how much you, our club, are as willing to share your knowledge and resources with each other. A comment on Facebook by Lee Carpentier, a professional racer and driving coach that teaches many of us at NER events, about our DE finale event this year at Palmer summed it up for me - “this is what it means to be a club.”

Being on the board has given me insight into the volunteers and real human beings who do everything in our club. No one gets a salary and yet we all work together to make amazing events and very special experiences happen for each other. The autocross committee, the DE committee, the social committees, the nominating committee, the non-driving events committees - and, far from least, our newsletter editor who has been dutifully on the job for seven years! I had an inkling of the fact that we had great people making all this happen and, at this point, I can absolutely confirm that it is true. It is easy to take it all for granted, but these are people with real lives just like us. In fact, I’d like to invite all of you to help out by volunteering for something in any way you can. Many hands make light work for us all. In addition to the membership responsibilities, I also inherited the porschenet.com website and the monthly email communications. It has been a wonderful lens for viewing what is happening in our club and hopefully you haven't grown tired of hearing my contributions to the stories told on the site. I hope you will consider sharing your own stories with the club so that we can all be both informed and entertained.

I’m excited to work with the nominees for the other roles on the board. I’ve had the privilege of working with many of them this year. I’m sad to not be working with some of the folks who are rolling off the board - Alan, Adrianne, Kristin - your time and help this year (and well before that) have been tremendous! And we can hopefully keep Bill, either as a phenomenal president of our region or please write him in for VP Communications if you are inclined to vote for me. His historical perspective is very valuable for our region and he's done so much for us all over the years. For my other current co-board-members, I’m so glad I’ll still see everyone at the track, AX, and at our other events. And I’m sure I’ll be emailing looking for advice well before that...

For those who have not met me yet, I have been a member of the PCA since 2005. The pesky work thing (marketing technology consulting) slowed my early years. When I finally had a couple of nickels to rub together and my children were at least out of diapers (they are now 10 and 7), I jumped into events as much as I could get away with. I now own five Porsches. Call it an addiction. I love the concours events and car shows, even if my cars are never that clean or nice. I really love the thrill of autocross and the driving skills it helps develop with minimal risk to life and sheet metal. And I adore DE for the thrills and intense experience it provides. But most of all, I really love meeting the people in our club and hearing more about what they enjoy doing. 

This past year has been a busy one. As membership person, I've developed a new mobile-first email template which you get each month, experimenting with content and layouts constantly to try to get the best info into your hands in the best way we can. I inherited our WordPress website, porschenet.com, back in January as well, so I redesigned both how it looks and how it works. I integrated Google Analytics into both of these items so we can track how we're doing - something that was not done prior. I can now happily report, in less than a year, our web traffic has nearly doubled for the most recent month. This tells me that the content is resonating. Speaking of content, I've posted and have often personally authored an average of 8 posts per month on the website to keep the site fresh and interesting. You're probably tired of reading my words. But I love nothing more than posting the stories and pictures from other people, so keep them coming. Moving forward, I'd like to see the club continue a long march toward modernity. Because it not only works better for you, it's easier on all of us as volunteers as well. In order to make it easier, I have created an online repository for the webmaster role, for membership, and for the board as a whole, documenting the processes and artifacts as we create them with the goal of being able to seamlessly hand off these roles to the next recipient. I agree with Bill that it makes no sense for new board members to have to figure out what to do each year. Anker is the first recipient of the legacy I've created for the membership role. And I'm counting on his technical help to help manage the website and to produce the monthly activities emails. So many people have graciously offered their help that I'm very confident the coming year will be amazing.

We've got big plans for the coming year - putting more 'education' back into driver education - creating a series of tech sessions and events centered around building up a regular-person-affordable Porsche into an AX and DE car, while we all watch! and test it! - increasing the number and locations for our newcomers meetings, as other regions already do - and finding the best balance between online and print-based communications that we can figure out. And many other things. This coming year is our 59th year as a club and the number 59 has a certain Brumos ring to it...

I was humbled to be asked to stand for the role of President and I would like to continue to make improvements as we work hard to have fun together. I hope you'll consider me for this role.