With the snow quickly on the wane, if not fully gone, the 2021 riding season is upon us and it’s no surprise there’s already people out taking advantage of the fantastic weather. We’re also coming up on the ATVMB Annual General Meeting which will be held in April. Due to ongoing uncertainty with public health orders, this year’s meeting will be held virtually as it was last year. Although it cannot replace the social energy of an in-person meeting, it allows people more flexibility with their attendance not having to travel to a destination. I approach this year’s AGM with both melancholy and optimism.
Sadly, my time serving ATVMB has come to an end. It is common for organizations to apply term limits to its board of directors, for good reason. All organizations are vulnerable to stagnation when the players don’t change, therefore it’s vitally important to allow that change to happen in order to bring new people and perspectives to the table. I have had the honor of serving on the ATVMB board of directors for six years, the past nearly four and a half serving as president. During that time we’ve made strides getting our sustainable funding plan moving forward with the government and have started participating as a voice for ATV enthusiasts regarding the government’s future vision for recreational trails in Manitoba. With life slowly returning to normal as people are vaccinated against COVID we are optimistic that these plans will come to fruition.
More than that, I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to meet, associate and talk to many people during various rides and events. Whether it be the Iron Man run on the Interlake Pioneer Trail, attending the Outdoor Show, cruising through the Sandilands forest in the southeast or just heading out with a couple of people, it’s been a pleasure to engage with so many people from various backgrounds all joined in a common interest.
Even with COVID inhibiting many organizations from realizing their full potential, some very good things have come from it. When ATVMB realized we would not be able to meet in person due to public health orders, we subscribed to the Zoom service in order to conduct board meetings virtually. Although when able we will return to periodic in-person meetings, the current plan is to use Zoom almost exclusively as we found that it provides a significant amount of flexibility in allowing people to serve on the board. Especially for those living in the rural areas where travel can be prohibitive. It only behooves us to be able to have an option that provides a respectable balance between serving ATVMB and people’s personal time.
With this in mind, I leave you with one simple request: take part. I recognize that the past few years have sometimes been frustrating, especially with the slowdown as a result of COVID. That’s why prior to my departure I will be sending a letter to the government that will emphasize the time and effort our members put in to their trails and the immediate need for funding in order to allow you all to succeed and prevent all the good work you’ve done from going to waste.
With a sustainable funding model on the horizon, it is important that ATVMB have strong members and leadership not only to guide the process to completion, but also to ensure that as funding starts coming in there is a solid framework in place. This framework will be critical not only to trail management, but also to respect and incentivize the ongoing, tireless work that so many people dedicate their time to every year.
So I say to you again: take part. ATVMB can’t exist without member clubs and it especially can’t exist without people willing to serve on the board of directors. This year is a year of challenge for the board; continuity is vital to all organizations like ours, and it’s up to us to ensure success. Please consider stepping into a leadership role and serving on the ATVMB board. If you have interest in doing so, you can contact myself, ATVMB Vice President Gary Hora (email@example.com) or Executive Director Kim Wozniak (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When I bought my ATV in 2009 I never knew or imagined the community that I would be getting involved in just a few short years later. Nor did I imagine where that purchase would take me over the course of the last decade. I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has contributed to making the last decade of my life so enjoyable and I hope to see you again on the trails some day soon.