American Motorcyclist Association leadership addresses AMA Congress, future of amateur competition
PICKERINGTON, OHIO — Leaders of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) addressed the 2008 AMA Congress at the rulemaking body’s annual meeting Friday, October 10. Delegates learned that the AMA is committed to growing amateur motorcycle competition, is better positioned to protect and promote the motorcycle lifestyle, and that threats to motorcycling demand a concerted effort by the AMA down to the grassroots level.
Speeches by AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman, and AMA Board of Directors Chairman Stan Simpson covered these topics and more. Also addressing the gathering was special guest Roger Edmondson, principal of the Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), which recently purchased certain AMA Pro Racing properties.
Video of all three speeches is available online at www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com/congress/.
Speaking directly to the concerns of the delegates, most of whom represent clubs and promoters, Dingman asserted that the AMA’s future involvement in amateur racing is unwavering.
“I want to unequivocally affirm that we will maintain and enhance our involvement in amateur racing,” he said. “We will be in amateur racing in perpetuity. Amateur racing is a significant part of our heritage. Congress is a significant part of our heritage. And we’re going to be involved with both for a long time to come.”
Also in his remarks to Congress delegates, Dingman addressed unsubstantiated expense reimbursement reports filed by former board chairman Dal Smilie, and how the sale of certain AMA Pro Racing assets to DMG allows the AMA to return to its core mission to protect and promote the motorcycle lifestyle.
“This enables us to realign our resources in a very real way so that we can provide benefits to our members that we’ve been unable to provide before. We will, once and for all, be able to properly resource our government relations department,” said Dingman, who also noted that the volunteer efforts of AMA members at state capitals have been the backbone of the organization’s legislative effort, and that AMA staff will continue to augment these grassroots initiatives.
In his remarks, AMA Board Chairman Stan Simpson welcomed the delegates and reminded them of their crucial role at AMA Congress.
“You are the leaders of the membership from the various districts and are here to help mold the future of your AMA,” he said.
Simpson also made it clear to the delegation that the AMA Board of Directors, which is elected by AMA membership and sets broad policy for the Association, backs the new direction of the AMA wholeheartedly.
“The AMA Board of Directors is fully supportive of the changes taking place at your Association,” Simpson said. “A lot of them have already happened, there’s more to come. The Board has had input on every major change that has occurred. When changes appear — when you see them — we have approved them at the Board first.”
In his address, Edmondson talked about the challenges of moving professional motorcycle racing forward and developing a fairer rules package that will result in greater safety, better parity and more efficient cost containment for everyone involved.
AMA Congress is the rulemaking body for amateur and Pro-Am motorcycle competition sanctioned by the AMA. AMA Congress also sets the rules, procedures and policies that govern recreational motorcycle activities sanctioned by the AMA. In all, the 2008 AMA Congress considered 83 rule proposals at the 2008 annual meeting, 47 of which were passed or amended for possible ratification by the AMA Board of Directors.
“I am absolutely confident in our plan,” Dingman said in his address. “I am extremely confident about the future of motorcycling in this country, and I am extremely confident about the future of the AMA.”
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has promoted and protected the motorcycling lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life and they navigate many different roads on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycle organization with nearly 300,000 members, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition events than any other organization in the world. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, visit www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com.