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January / February 2018

Convention hotel reservations to open in January
Can you believe that it's 2018 already?  That also means that in just a few short months you'll all be headed to Kansas City for the 2018 NMRA Convention!
Many of you have been asking about the hotel accommodations and how soon will we start allowing reservations to be made.  As has been the case in conventions past, our contract with the convention hotel says they will open up reservations in late January.  We will have the link directly placed on the www.kc2018.org website so stay tuned.
Our convention hotel is the Westin Crown Center, which is located in the heart of KC.  It's conveniently located right off of Interstate 35 and right across from historic Union Station.  If you are flying in to Kansas City International Airport (MCI) you are about a 25-30 minute drive to the hotel.  If you are taking Amtrak in, you will arrive at Union Station and have about a half-block walk to the southeast, or you can use the covered walkway system to get to the hotel.
The Westin Crown Center hotel is located right next to Crown Center, which has several restaurants and shops located in it.  To see a list of shops and restaurants check out www.crowncenter.com  The convention hotel is also located about halfway between the business district of downtown KC and the Country Club Plaza.  The Plaza is a beautiful location to spend an evening with many fine dining options and stores.  Check them out at www.countryclubplaza.com  
At Union Station you can use the new KC Streetcar to travel to downtown KC, Power and Light District, and the River Market where there are even more dining and bar options available.  The best thing about the KC Streetcar, is it is FREE.  Union Station even has a few restaurants located in it and is well worth a visit to check out the excellent renovation of the station.  Their website is www.unionstation.org 
Get your caboose to Kansas City!

Attention all North American NMRA Divisions!
North America Director-At-Large

Your NMRA Leadership Team announces a new program available to all active North American NMRA Divisions. Called the NMRA Division Retention Event Matching Fund Program, the NMRA is offering a matching fund in the amount of $50 USD once annually to any active Division that holds a Division event qualifying as promoting member retention (i.e. hands-on clinic material purchase or similar event). 

The NMRA will reimburse up to $50 USD to the Division when the required steps have been approved and completed. Logging in to the NMRA website, you'll find the downloadable "Application For NMRA Division Retention Event Matching Funds" form formatted as a Word DOC by first logging into the website as a member, then clicking on "Regions." Click on "Regions and Divisions." There you'll find a "Division Matching Fund" tab. Click on it for an explanation and a hot link to the DOC form. Once the event is completed, the Division will forward copies of the approved form and the required receipts to NMRA HQ (nmrahq@nmra.org or by mail). 

NMRA HQ will then send a check to the Division's Treasurer for half the event cost or $50 USD, whichever is less. Reimbursement will be made by NMRA HQ  once all requirements are met. It's that easy! 

Divisions are encouraged to take advantage of this new Matching Fund program as a way to increase member participation, education and retention. 

Available as of January 1, this is a one year pilot program. Continuation thereafter is contingent on its usage.  

New Partners added to the NMRA Partnership Program 
Here's a listing of all the partners in our Partnership Program.  The listings in red are new since the last NMRA eBulletin.   For the discount amounts they're offering NMRA members, see the Partnership Page.

CatzPaw Innovations
Green Frog Productions
Hot Wire Foam Factory
Jason's Brass Poles
LARC Products
Logic Rail Technologies
MinuteMan Scale Models
Model Railroad Benchwork
Modelers Decals and Paint
Monster Modelworks
Motrak Models
MRC (Model Rectifier Corporation)
OK Engines/Streamliners
Rusty Stumps
Scale Model Plans
Scalecoat Paint
Scenery Solutions/Fusion Fiber
Showcase Miniatures
Team Track Models
The Train Show, Inc.
Train Installations, LLC
Trainmasters TV/Model RR Hobbyist
Unreal Details (Magic Water)
USA Airbrush Supply/Badger Airbrush

If you're a manufacturer or know of one who'd like to join our Partnership Program, please contact Peter Youngblood, At-Large North American Director, at alnadir@nmra.org.

Last chance to enter the drawing for a free 1-year NMRA membership (or merchandise)!

Model Railroad Directory Moderator

January 15th is your last chance to win one of two NMRA memberships or $75 worth of NMRA Company Store merchandise!  To enter, just list your qualifying layout with the NMRA's Model Railroad Directory.

Note: The Model Railroad Directory is not the Pike Registry, where you can register the name of your railroad.  The Model RR Directory allows other NMRA members to contact you for a layout visit.

Listing is easy.  Go to www.nmra.org, log in, and click on Model RR Directory in the maroon menu bar.  Then use the "Add My Layout" button.  Don't be shy!  We have listings for modest, under-construction layouts as well as famous, completed empires.

If you need help, email me at layouts@nmra.org.

Last run:  Joe Gelmini, MMR
Eastern District Director

At-Large North American Director

The NMRA recently lost a key member of its national Board of Directors.  Eastern District Director Joe Gelmini, MMR, died on December 20 after battling a heart condition and cancer.

A retired professional railroader, Joe's love of railroads was evident not only as a talented N-scale model railroader, but also as a devoted NMRA member, which he gladly served for many years in numerous leadership capacities in the Southeastern Region, its Piedmont Division and the NMRA's National Board of Directors.  Joe always volunteered whenever and wherever help was needed.  His genuine interest in others and quick sense of humor made him instantly llkable at first introductions.

Our condolences to his wife Kathy and to his immediate and extended family.  We mourn the loss of a very proactive NMRA member and to those of us lucky to have known Joe, the loss of a very special person and friend.

[Joe was a great guy and a wonderful leader of the NMRA.  I always called him "the voice of reason" because his no-nonsense, down-to-earth demeanor was truly a welcome addition to the Leadership Team.  I'll miss his humor and his friendship.  -Gerry]

Remember: your email address has to be registered on the website (not just with Headquarters) to get to the Members Only section of our website!

Gerry Leone, MMR, HLM, and Chuck Diljak
The NMRA eBulletin is an official bi-monthly production of the National Model Railroad Association, Inc. Publishing Department (Don Phillips, Manager). Its purpose is to keep every NMRA member informed about organization news and events.  If you know of an NMRA member who is not receiving this mailing, please direct them to here to update their email address.  If you no longer wish to receive these mailings, please don't mark them as SPAM.  Instead, click the Safe Unsubscribe link at the bottom of this page. ©2017 National Model Railroad Association, Inc., P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy TN 37384. .

A few words from the President

Merry Kringle and a Snappy Hoosier!
I know - what kind of weird salutation is this you ask? Well for years, I have wished folks a "Merry Kringle" instead of "Merry Christmas" just to see their reaction.  And my family was originally from Fort Wayne Indiana, so a "Snappy Hoosier" instead of "Happy New Year" makes some kind of sense, at least to me.  And if there ever was a snappy Hoosier, it has to be Tony Koester, one classy dude and one superb model railroader. 
Indeed, at this holiday season so associated with model railroading, it's hard not to be giddy about this wonderful hobby of ours!  Of my 69 Christmases to date, I recall Christmas 1961 distinctly, for it was then, as recently reported, that my time as a scale model railroader began.  Fifty-six years later, I cherish every minute.  I will bet you have your own special Christmas model railroading story to tell.  

Let's face it, in the mind of the public our hobby, for better or worse, is indisputably intertwined with Lionel and toy trains racing around the Christmas tree.  And you know, that positive, innocent image does not bother me a bit.  For whether we're "serious" modelers, operators, or just having a hoot with trains, this hobby keeps us young at heart and looking forward to each and every day.

So a big Merry Kringle and thanks for being a member!  As we close out 2017, it has been a momentous year with the launch of the Partnership (or Discount) Program, introduction of the NMRA Timetable monthly internet guide, and unveiling of our Model Railroad Layout Directory.  We've substantially reduced our expenses and fully replenished our Life Member fund thanks to the sale of the Headquarters building in 2014, a step almost universally applauded when it happened.

All of these actions and new member benefits cost you nothing but have proven immensely popular already and hold the potential for being real game changers.  The Partnership Program alone is worth the price of admission and as it expands over the years, holds promise of paying for your dues in savings.

All of these programs and so many more on the horizon were the idea of a dedicated volunteer and administered by volunteers.  In this season of reflections, big thanks to the legion of volunteers who make the NMRA work and serve our members.  And a huge thanks to our dedicated professional staff at headquarters who seamlessly keep the membership records and operations flowing.  They are the best, as are our CFO, VP's, Secretary, Legal Counsel, Department Heads and Board of Directors members!  So are the Region and Division personnel who do a million things each year so you can enjoy all the NMRA has to offer.  It's good to remember and celebrate what each of these wonderful volunteers brings to the NMRA.  Without them nothing happens.

And in what a wonderful place the new year 2018 finds the NMRA.  Our potential is unlimited and I ask you to become an NMRA ambassador spreading the word about what we offer the hobby and hobbyists.  Want us to continue, flourish and grow?  We can with your assistance.  Just tell the truth about what we do and stand for.  And if you hear some false claims from the "Never NMRA" crowd, gently but firmly challenge them.  I find a gentle, honest rebuke goes far in negating the sometimes outrageous comments out there.

But I am happy to report that other than the usual suspects, the amount of grousing has diminished remarkably over the years.  Grousing used to be an NMRA tradition and, like the "vesties" (those wonderful striped vests laden with sewn railroad heralds), are becoming an endangered species.

We value your membership and your feedback.  Whether you agree or disagree with me, we always welcome your thoughts, insights and comments.  As I always say.....those are my thoughts.....what are yours?
Winter Board Meeting to be held in Atlanta

The Winter Board of Directors meeting will once again be held in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 10, and 11 at the Drury Inn & Suites. The Budget and Operations meeting will begin at 3:00 PM on Friday, February 9, and the Board will be in caucus that evening. Both of those meetings are only open to invited guests.
The regular, open session of the BOD meeting begins at 9:00 AM on Saturday, February 10. Because the agenda is not yet finalized, there's no way to tell if the meeting will continue on Sunday. All members are invited to attend the open sessions. Watch www.nmra.org for details.  

The following is the proposed agenda for the meeting.  If you have any questions or comments about particular items, please contact your District Director.  Contact information can be found in NMRA Magazine or at https://www.nmra.org/about/national-organization
Introductions - Directors, Officers, Department Managers, Observers
Suspend Robert's Rules
Call for proxies
Call to order
Roll call
Executive Session
Consent agenda for Director, Officer, Department and Committee reports
Corrections/additions to all reports
Budget & Finance Report
               Approve Budget
Old business
                    Gallery Exhibit Update (Getz/Pollock)
Member Discount Program/Scenic Railroads/Museums (Bob Weinheimer)
Model Railroad Registry Program (Getz)
Membership Retention/Recruitment Program (Youngblood)
Magazine Index (Getz)
LCC (Priest)
EduTrain Trademark (Getz)
Promotional email in return for videos (Leone)
Website survey(Ganzer)
               DCC issues(Getz/Voss)
Motions.  May not include all, nor be taken in order
New Business
               Website update(Leone)
Other business

2018 Election Slate of Candidates and Nominations by Petition

Assistant NMRA Secretary

The following are the candidates for NMRA offices in the 2018 election:

Pete Magoun
Vice President-Special Projects:
Gerry Leone
Vice President-Administration:
John Stevens
At-large Director North America:
Jim Gore
Mike Mackey
Eastern District Director:
Bob Hamm
Walton Liles
Pacific District Director:
Peter Burrows
Dion Koch
Robert Peterson
 2018 Election Nominations By Petition
There were no nominations by petition received by the Assistant Secretary or the Headquarters office.

Some details about the 2018 election process

NMRA Secretary

In February of this year, we will be holding our 2018 Board of Directors Elections.  The following positions are up for election:
  • All members worldwide will vote for President, Vice President Administration, and Vice President-Special Projects. 
  • Some members will vote for the Director for their district.   
  • All members worldwide will vote on a Board of Directors proposed by-law revision.
Ballot packages are being designed specifically for your district.  Your ballot package will include candidate statements, information on the proposed by-law revision and the complete proposed revision.  The revision will update the organizing documents for the NMRA to be more consistent with Ohio law and the United States Internal Revenue Service tax requirements for a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The revision also includes provisions for increased procedural flexibility, streamlined operations, and improved definitions of officers responsibilities. We also worked to make some of the language easier to understand.
The BOD recommends you approve these By-Laws. A majority affirmative vote is required for acceptance.
This year we will be conducting a hybrid election in that not all members will receive their ballot the same way. This year's ballot will not be published in the magazine.  Using the magazine to distribute the ballot is one of the highest organizational costs.  Last year's elections were successfully performed using a combination of electronic voting and ballots distributed through the mail.  Eligible U.S. members with a valid email address on file with NMRA Headquarters will be invited to vote electronically through Electionbuddy, a secure online voting system.  Eligible non-U.S. members with an email address on file will receive their ballot through email. All eligible members who do not have an email address on file will receive their ballot via postal mail.
You should start seeing either an email about the election or a ballot in the mail sometime after January 15, 2018.  Please take the time to vote, and thank you for being a member of the NMRA.

Mike Arnold named new Atlantic District Director
At the Orlando convention Atlantic District Director Kathy Millatt informed the BOD that she felt that she could give no more and tendered her resignation.  Because she had another 18 months left to serve, president Charlie Getz  asked both the British and European Region Presidents suggest members who could fill the vacancy.  After due consideration, Mike Arnold has been appointed to serve as the Atlantic District Director for the remainder of the term, which ends in 2019.

The Atlantic District covers the British and European Regions plus Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa.  There will be a normal nomination and balloting process in 2018 to elect the next Atlantic District Director for a three-year term.

TrainMasters TV adds 153 minutes of video to the
NMRA Video Library
TrainMasters TV, a division of Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine, donated over 2-1/2 hours of videos to the NMRA Video Library.  The NMRA has a partnership with TrainMasters TV in which they donate videos to our library in exchange for our sending out four promotional emailings per year to our members.
These videos, along with those donated by Model Railroad Academy and Model Railroader Video Plus, bring the total of donations to over 10 hours of professional videos in the last two years.

To see the videos donated this year, log in to www.nmra.org as a member, then go to https://www.nmra.org/members/videos.   Use the "Posted Date" search bar on the page just below where it says "NMRA Video Library" and type in "October 1, 2017".

Updated NMRA By-Laws to be presented to the membership for approval

Chief Financial Officer

The NMRA is a 501c3 non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Ohio and subject to the rules of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Board of Directors believes that it would be wise to update the organizing documents (usually called the "By-Laws" and formerly known as the "Regulations") for the NMRA to be more consistent with Ohio law and the IRS requirements for a 501c3 non-profit corporation. 
The biggest change to the By-Laws is that we added language in Article I that was suggested by our experience with the IRS.  There are other changes that simplify the document and yet still meet the Ohio and IRS requirements. We also included provisions in some areas for increasing procedural flexibility, streamlining operations, and allowing electronic voting. In addition, we simplified the sections that deal with officers and their responsibilities, to provide future flexibility as our needs change. We also worked to make some of the language easier to understand.
The BOD recommends you approve these By-Laws. A majority affirmative votes is required for acceptance. The updated By-Laws will be a part of the upcoming world-wide ballot.

Region and National Conventions 
(Only those Regional conventions occurring in the next three months are listed)
Newest Master Model Railroaders

604:  Mark Malmkar 

In an upcoming issue of NMRA Magazine

  • A Tool for Car End-Work
  • LCC: Tying it all together
  • Love those Loads! 
  • Railfanning and eating in Kansas City

National Model Railroad Association, P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy, TN 37384-1328
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