November 2017\

Many of us are just getting back from MSA’s Annual Convention. This year it was held at Shanty Creek Resort in beautiful Bellaire. Shanty Creek has four golf courses and of course is also known for downhill skiing. The view from the lodge overlooking Lake Bellaire and the fall foliage was spectacular — wish you were there!

As per MSA’s bylaws, elections were held with the following results:

MSA President- Jeff Goss

MSA Vice President- Jim Kelts

MSA Past President- Ron Corbett

MSA Secretary- Karen Hautamaki

MSA Treasurer- Mark Pankner

I would like to congratulate all of the above officers. We all look forward to serving our membership for another year. Mark Pankner is replacing treasurer John Houk who has termed out after eight long years of service. I know that all of us appreciate John and his wife Kaye Houk for their longstanding service to MSA — thank you!

Our new treasurer Mark Pankner has the expertise and experience to help MSA with our current challenges. I am looking forward to working with Mark and others, as we rebuild our budget. I was impressed early on with Mark’s vision for sponsorships, fund-raising ideas, and a real desire to serve the MSA membership. His experience with non-profit organizations in accounting and budgeting will make him a good fit within our organization. Thank you nominating committee and to Mark for accepting this very important position.

Support Those Who Support Us

One of the first things you’ll notice when you attend a convention or other MSA organized  events are the sponsorship banners. We wouldn’t be able to hold these events without their support. The companies and individuals who faithfully support MSA truly “get it.” They know that we need them for support, and that they also rely on MSA to keep our snowmobile trails open and maintained for their customers who buy their products.

As you receive each issue of Michigan Snowmobile News, I hope that you support our good friends who advertise with us! In fact, when you buy a product, stay at a lodge, or have your sled serviced by one of our supporters, PLEASE tell them that you saw them in the MSN magazine and thank them for their support.

As I meet new people every day either in person or over the phone, I can’t help but recognize that our sport is full of generous and caring people. The time that so many are willing to invest in MSA, local clubs, charities and our snowmobile councils is really incredible to me.

Some examples:

  • 24/7 Grooming volunteers throughout the state
  • Brushing and signing
  • Safety classes
  • Fundraisers and charitable events
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Committees
  • Research
  • And many others …

The above short list is just a few of the many ways that our volunteers serve our MSA membership. One of the highlights each year at the convention is the awards ceremony. This is a special time where we recognize individuals for going above and beyond.

One of the personality traits that you will notice in all of these individuals is humility. Every one of our award winners is just grateful for the opportunity to serve their snowmobile community. They do not expect anything in return and are often surprised that they have won an award for doing what they love doing. I don’t know about you, but these are the people who I want to surround myself with, to learn from them, and to get encouragement from them!

Definition of Generous

The word “GENEROSITY” comes to my mind these days, and I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts on this wonderful trait:

Definition of GENEROUS

a: characterized by a noble or kindly spirit

b: liberal in giving

c: willing to share freely

d: unselfish

I think that most of us can come up with several people in our lives who we would consider truly generous. Maybe you are one of those people. I think that when someone volunteers for something that is needed is a great example of being generous.

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”

Kahlil Gibran

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

John Bunyan

“The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.”

Carol Ryrie Brink

“That’s what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”

Simone de Beauvoir

So as we rapidly approach our Dec 1 official trail opening, I want to thank you in advance for your generosity toward MSA, both financially and by your volunteering in so many ways. I also want to thank your families because I know that when you sacrifice your time, you are also asking them to sacrifice their time.

Let’s have a great season this year, make an extra effort to reach out to someone who needs encouragement, and to thank those who support the sport that we all have so much passion for — snowmobiling!