President’s Corner – Fall 2018


By Neil Gambony

Welcome to the Fall edition of the New Jersey Bulletin, the quarterly newsletter of the NJ BMW CCA. Are you reading this through our new format of it being transmitted to you by e-mail or are you still drudging to your mailbox to get it? Now there is nothing wrong with going to your mailbox, after all that is still the way the Roundel, the monthly magazine of the BMW CCA, is sent to you along with your usual sale flyers, bills, coupon envelopes, and lately the multitude of political candidate mailers. Yes, I’m writing this in November.

There are several advantages of receiving the Bulletin through an e- mail. You can enjoy reading it wherever and whenever you want on your personal electronic device. The full edition is in color should there be pictures or ads in the middle, we have only been ordering the printing with just the first 2 and last 2 pages in color to save on the cost of the NL. You may also receive it sooner since we bulk rate the mailing, depending on the zone you are in it may take longer to reach you when sent through the US mail. You also won’t have to discard or recycle (hopefully that what’s you do with it) it when you are done unless you are like me and file them away in boxes in your attic.

Would you like to receive the Bulletin by e-mail? It can be easily done by simply going to the website of the BMW CCA at, logging in and opening your profile, then check off the box for e-mail Newsletter delivery. It’s not hard to do; many members have done so already.

In reviewing my previous columns from this past year, I have discovered that I was thanking someone for their contribution to the Chapter; this column will be no different. This time I will be thanking many people, including the members who have served on the Board of Directors of the Chapter who have made my job easy and a pleasure to do. Here are the members who I need to recognize: Paul Ngai – Vice President, Ron Gemeinhardt – Treasurer, David Allaway – Secretary, Driving Events Chairman – Jeff White, Social Chairman – Vic Lucariello Jr., Jerry Faber – Newsletter Editor, and Colin Vozeh – Webmaster.

Also on the Board are four Members at Large – Bob Isbitski, Jeff Caldwell, Jamie Kavalieros, who serve as our Driving School Chairman, and Ross Karlin, who by default is our Club Racing Committee Chairman. I need to thank Elihu Savad and his Autocross Committee for the work they do in putting together our Autocross events. It takes a lot of persistence to get the job done and they have prevailed. Thanks also go to former Club President Larry Engel, who has taken charge of the Street Survival school program, even being recognized nationally for his efforts.

Many thanks go to some behind the scenes people, Vic Lucariello Sr who has been writing his Philes’ Forum, our technical column in the Bulletin, long before I joined the club in 1995 and JT Burkard who is the author of Initial Ramblings. I had asked JT to write about his experience on one of our rallies back during my previous administration (2006-8) and he has been contributing ever since. I’ve certainly have enjoyed hearing about his adventures or misadventures as they may have been through the years.

Another group of people who deserve thanks are the Driver School Committee. I’ve already mentioned Jamie Kavalieros, the Driver School Chairman. There is also Mark Mallory our registrar, Warren Brown who handles our technical inspections and Barry Stevens who has been our Chief Instructor. I say been for a reason, more on that later.

The last 2 members I need to thank are Kevin Sheehy and Matt Baratz. Matt is our business manager and handles our website and newsletter advertising. Matt is not as physically close to us as he would like to be but is certainly as close to us as he can be in spirit. Kevin has taken on the important role of membership chairman and will be handling our members’ needs.

I would also like to take a moment and thank all of our members. You joined the Club for a reason and I hope you are taking advantage of the benefits of being a member, whether participating in our driving events such as Autocross, the Driver School program, Club Racing, Rallies or just attending a Club meeting. Maybe you joined to take advantage of the rebate program offered through BMW NA, it’s a good enough reason for me.

Now getting back to Barry Stevens, Barry is stepping down after serving as our Driver School Chief Instructor for the past 10 seasons. Barry will still be with us for driver schools, he wanted to focus on helping individual students again. This presents me with the perfect opportunity to introduce our new Chief Instructor Bill Van Ocker to you. Bill was a student when I started to attend the driver schools and has been an Instructor since 2005, taken the Instructor Training program at Watkins Glen. Bill has instructed at Summit Point, Watkins Glen, Pocono and NJMP as well. When I met Bill he was driving an E30; he has since moved on to the E36 M3 model.

It’s not just any E36 M3, since I happen to be a vintage race car enthusiast, it’s the car that Club members Dave McIntyre and Ross Karlin used to compete in the Targa Newfoundland in the 2000’s and placed 1st in class in 2008. Bill purchased the car a few years ago when Dave decided to sell the car.

Something to look forward to in 2019 is the Spring Social. For 2019, we have moved the date of it a few weeks later to Saturday March 30th. It will once again be at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit NJ. It is a more casual event than we used to do with the Banquet; you can arrive any time and leave whenever you want. More information about the event will be out in the winter months.

I am happy to announce that our immediate past President Jeff Caldwell has announced that he will be running for the position of the North Atlantic Regional Vice- President. The position involves being the liaison between the Chapters in our area, of which there are 14, and the BMW CCA’s National board members. Jeff has served us well in the five years he held the top spot on our board. There will be candidate statements coming out in the January issue of the Roundel, please be sure to give Jeff your support.

Now that Fall is upon us and we are going into winter when the amount of daylight is much shorter, I would like to offer a small driving tip. I know you are aware of the law to have your lights on when you are using your windshield wipers; it also would be a good idea to have your lights on when the weather is foggy or overcast yet not at the point of rain.

There are many car colors now that blend into the road background such as black, silver, dark blue, and gray to name a few. Cars are more monochromatic now than the days of big chrome bumpers and trim that certainly made cars more visible, not to mention the fact that cars are smaller now than they used to be. Please be sure to turn them off when you arrive at your destination.

Since the Holiday Season is now approaching, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday whether you are celebrating at home or away and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year.


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