For those of you that may not know me, I have been a model railroader in the modern sense since 1978 when I picked up a copy of Model Railroader magazine. I was hooked. (Like many of us as a kid I had Lionel and American Flyer trainsets.) Before moving to western NC in 2003, I lived for 23 years in North Dakota, where like here, my occupation was a university professor (I currently teach at Western Carolina University).
I had a friend in North Dakota who was a model railroader who was interested in modules. This was back in 1985. Several of us got together and formed a modular club. Eventually we moved to a permanent location and set up a permanent layout. I quickly became involved with the Thousand Lakes Region of the NMRA and served as the Division Superintendent for the North Dakota Division and was on the Board of Directors of the TLR for a number of years as well. Although I started out as an N-Scaler, I think it is safe to say that HO is my primary scale. I like just about everything in model railroading but have to admit that scenicing and detailing are my favorites.
I joined the WNCRR and LOS Division in late 2006 and am still learning names and faces and the history of the club and division. We have a great group of guys and gals here and that was one of the reasons I accepted the nomination to be your new superintendent. I will try not to step on toes so please excuse me in advance if I do so (Fred has been great in helping me get a sense of the history of the WNCRR). We are already a great group but we can surely be even better.
As a supporter of the NMRA, I want to continue what Fred has started and increase further division membership. I see the achievement programs as one way of increasing interest in this aspect of model railroading. I will have more to say about this next month. I also want us to see ourselves as ambassadors for the hobby, especially when we take our modules on the road. The more people we get interested in the hobby the better it is for all of us. Just think of how the hobby as changed in just the last five years. Manufacturers and vendors need us and we need them. With more model railroaders, everyone wins.
Last and by no means least, I wish to extend a big round of thanks to our outgoing superintendent. Under his leadership, membership has increased in the division. He also provided the leadership the brought us a successful SER Convention back in May. Fred has done a wonderful job and his hard work has made it easy for me to step in as your new superintendent.