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| Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President | Latest News

Update from the president - November 17, 2022

Hello all!  I hope you are enjoying yourselves and have had a great time wheeling out in your favorite playground or have been getting caught up on projects around the home.  Personally, I have been running, for what feels like non-stop for the past month and have finally had a little bit of time to sit down and relax this past weekend at Panamint Valley Days which I’ll get to in a just a few.

Since my last update, I have attended the North, Central and South district meetings, well, I attended the Central and South District meetings in person and attended the North District meeting virtually. The Central District meeting was awesome and hosted by the Bakersfield Trailblazers. I left early in the morning to get to the meeting location a little early for breakfast, but typical traffic and accidents got me there just about the start of the meeting which was fine since most of the participants ate and did meeting stuff at the same time. Nominations were opened up for Central District Vice President as Mark Cave will be stepping down and taking some time for himself – Mark, thank you very much for your time on the BOD this past year.  It has been my sincere pleasure to work with you these past few years and I look forward to working with you as you move into a non-BOD position.  Davey Rocha II was nominated and Davey accepted the nomination – Congratulations Davey!

At the South district meeting, nominations were also opened up for South District Vice President and Don Rybarczyk, Shawn Bell (current Corporate Sponsor chairman) and Terry Dean (former SD Membership chair) were nominated, all of which accepted the nominations. I wasn’t in the room at this time, as, I was in my Jeep in the parking lot trying to get on the North District Meeting where aside from some technical issues, I was able to present my report to the membership and learned that when the nominations were opened up for the North District Vice President position, Chris Silveira was nominated and he accepted the nomination – Congratulations Chris.  I want to also mention that sadly, Jim Bramham, your current North District Vice President will not be seeking re-election and I want to publically thank Jim for all that you have done and all that you continue to do. I have enjoyed learning from you and working with you over these past few years and I will sorely miss you at the BOD meetings but know you will always be there for support for Cal4Wheel and the future NDVP, whomever that may be as nominations will open back up in January where we will vote in a new Vice President for the North and Central district and a potential new SDVP if Don doesn’t win and since I’m talking about Don Rybarczyk, Don, thank you for stepping up and taking over my seat when I was elected President of this incredible organization. It has been a real pleasure working with you.

Before and since the District meetings, I have been working with a committee I formed with Robert Reed, Don Spuhler and Dave Douglas to clean up a slew of loose ends around the association. This has turned from what seemed like a pretty simple idea to what is almost a full time job. I’ll get into greater detail later once we have compiled our lists and have had time to go over it with each other in greater detail but the premise is to plan for the future of Cal4Wheel and simplify how we do business and the overall organization of this association.  We, as an Association are very lucky to have three great past presidents to have the ability to work with and I want to publicly thank these three guys for helping me tackle this.

I recently got back from SEMA which was very nice. I had every intention of attending the Off Road Hall Of Fame dinner Sunday evening before the show and had left early from a previous camping trip for my club where I packed my bags for Vegas and jumped into the new 392 Jeep and headed up the 15 where I found every bit of traffic, severe accidents and the like and put me in Vegas way too late to attend but was able to get some sleep and get up early for the NAMRC meeting hosted by the infamous Todd Ockert Monday morning.

This was my first year in attendance of the NAMRC meeting and even though I have heard of it I was unsure what to expect or how to prepare. So I did my best, got there entirely way too early and saw the empty halls of SEMA which was crazy to think that these halls would be littered with thousands of people in 24 hours. Once I finally made it to the meeting room and sat down and had an incredible experience conversing with land use advocates/organizations from all over the United States and it was a great meeting with incredible points of interest and over all, I learned a lot and found that all of our small efforts are working as in working together as one which is the whole point of this.  We were able to discuss items of concern from all over and get different perspectives. Special thanks to Todd for hosting this and thank you to all that attended!

I was able to put faces to names from emails and social media and had a great time talking about land use and Cal4Wheel.  Unfortunately, I had some issues come up at work and had to leave early.  Overall, the Win-A-Jeep was well received and had a slew of people stop by and was able to educate them on land use and Cal4Wheel. This was my first year since they added the ‘West Hall’ and was surprised how many more vehicles there were over all and the attendance was way up.

Panamint Valley Days 2022 is officially in the books!  I had a spectacular time this year and was able to attend a Historic run on Friday where we explored the local area and had a great time learning about the rich history.  I’m a little bit of a history buff and just soaked as much up as I possibly could.  Saturday we did more of the same and did the Golier Canyon run where we explored canyons and even the infamous Barker Ranch.  We were able to get back in time for dinner and get ready for the raffle, by the way, was spectacular!  Thank you Dirk Starksen for the hard work putting that together. The weather was awesome the entire weekend till the wind decided to come in Sunday as we were all leaving. I want to send a special thanks to Bonnie Ferguson and Jeff Godde who chaired this year's event and to the countless volunteers who went above and beyond to show everyone a great time on the trails and in camp.  I say it all the time and I’ll say it again here – without volunteers, we couldn’t do any of this. I don’t mention names because I don’t want to leave anyone out by mistake (and I’m horrible with names) you know who you are and you have my greatest gratitude I can give, thank you.

As I write this update, I’m preparing for the November Board Of Directors meeting this weekend in Sacramento at the Office.  I’m honestly, looking forward to seeing all the board members and getting to work.  We have a lot to accomplish this weekend but luckily, we have been working together between the board meetings as to be as productive as possible.  If I don’t talk to you before hand, I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving and please, be safe out there no matter what you are doing.

‘Til the next update…


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