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2003 Saab Owners Convention Chairman's Update

Chairman's Update: April 2003
2003 SAAB Owners Convention
By Marc A. Fails, President
Central Penn SAAB Club

April was a very productive month for the SOC Committees, with plenty of
results to report. We were successful in our beta test of the software we
will use to tabulate the People's Choice votes. The software was designed by
Dan Borisko and Ron Nichipor, who implemented it perfectly in a live test at
SAABs @ Carlisle, with more than 175 people and 131 cars in attendance. They
will be making the necessary revisions for the convention and the additional
categories at our event. Congratulations to both Dan and Ron for a job well
done. The SAABs @ Carlisle event proved to be a great training ground for
many of our volunteers who will be on hand helping at the convention this
year. We made note of many things that looked good on paper, but can be
improved upon for the convention. Special thanks to the clubs who were on
hand for the event including WASSAAB, New England SAAB Association, New
Jersey SAAB Owners Club, New York SAAB Owners Club, New England Sonett Club,
Swedish Underground and SAAB Club of North America and their members who will
be helping with the convention.

The Concour Committee, chaired by Larry West; has voted on the proposed
changes to the Concour event this year. The new rule changes and categories
will be posted on the website shortly for everyone to review. The Committee
put forth a great effort and I think the event will be even better than in
years past. I extend my thanks to the Committee for their valuable effort
this year.

The convention planning committees will convene at The Hershey Lodge at the
end of May, (May 31st and June 1st) where we will perform our on-site visit
and bring many of the volunteers and some of our sponsors together for
planning sessions, and review the plans for the convention.

We continued to work on sponsorships in April, and have finalized The
People's Choice sponsorship, thanks to Bill Jacobson and Sports Car Service,
Inc. in Wilmington, DE. The Long Distance Award will be sponsored by Brewer's
SAAB, Maugansville, MD, who will also be a Patron Level sponsor.
Additionally, we received a commitment from Motorsport Service, Jamestown, NY
for Patron Level sponsorship, and in so doing, helped us reach 100% of the
2002 convention results, but there is still much work needed to reach our
goals for 2003. These fine sponsors join our other convention sponsors
including: Eisenhauer SAAB, Wernersville, PA (Platinum Level); Roberti
Motorcars, Kingston, NY (Bronze Level); Swedish Connection, Bergenfield, NJ
(Double Patron Level); Swedish Motors, Marietta, PA (Patron Level); and Don
Fatzinger Automotive, Robesonia, PA (Patron Level); Lehman Motors SAAB,
Harrisburg, PA (hole-in-one giveaway car), SAAB Cars USA, Mile Hi Body Shop,
Denver, CO; The SAAB Network, Menlo Park, CA and Lititz Auto Service,
Manheim, PA in support of SOC2003.  We continue to work on our list of
additional sponsors and look forward to reporting more commitments and
sponsorships in May.

The official convention posters continue to circulate and are proving quite
popular. The sponsorship team continues to distribute them. If your favorite
mechanic or dealer doesn't have one yet, pass along the contact information,
and we'll get one out to them, provided they agree to display them. Posters
are also available for sale, at $10 each, plus postage.

The Hershey Lodge reports that we have sold  25% of the rooms in our group
block, As we point out on the website, when calling 800-HERSHEY to reserve
your room, please indicate that you are calling to reserve your room for the
2003 SAAB Owners Convention. This will ensure that we fill our room block per
our contract with Hershey, and you get the group rate of $129 per night, plus

In April we added contact info on the website for the Autocross and 21 &
Under committees. Chris Moberg still has quite a backlog of material that
needs to be posted and he is working through it. On-line registration went
LIVE on April 16th, and within a matter of minutes, Kimberly and Mark Gates
were the first on-line registrations received. Thanks to Kimberly and Mark,
as well as more than 40 others who have registered electronically thus far.
We have also secured our featured speaker for the Saturday evening awards
banquet. This author will be familiar to many, unknown to others, but
humorous and entertaining for everyone, and we will announce his name once we
have received a complete bio and topic information. There will also be a book
signing session after dinner Saturday evening. We are also considering a
featured speaker for Friday evening as well, and Dan Orzano continues to work
on this possibility.

Tom Nelson and team are assembling for The Club Participation Award. Tom is
adding some folks to his team and reviewing changes and simplification to
last year's rules. Once he has compiled some of the needed info, he can begin
his process. If you have any suggestions for the contest, you can reach Tom,
as well as the other committee leaders from the contacts tab on the website.
We currently have 12 contacts and will be posting the 21 & Under committee
and Autocross Committee contacts soon.

Jim and Megan Hutchings have added their GT850 to the list of Vintage
ride-along cars, joining Bruce Turk and Gary Stottle who have volunteered for
this new activity. I introduced this in Nines #262. If anyone else would like
to participate, please let me know. Thanks to Gary and Bruce, Jim and Megan
for their support.

And to close this month's report, the planning committee has spent some time
reviewing the give-away car for 2003. We have been unsuccessful in finding a
suitable car to-date, given our strict criteria, but that's why we developed
the criteria in the first place. Discussions amongst committee members, as
well as conferring with legal counsel, point to the fact that we really do
not need the added liability. We have also received input from many attendees
who would like us to provide more prizes and chance to win throughout the
weekend, than have only one item that one person wins. I couldn't agree more
and we are working on a suitable solution. Thus far, we haven't made a final
decision, so if you have an opinion, now is the time to share it by
contacting me at:

Again, I thank everyone for their continued suggestions, cooperative spirit
and support over the past months. Please keep those ideas and suggestions

Until next time...

Marc Fails, Chairman
2003 SAAB Owners Convention  

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