2011 Snoman Congress
Dan Guimond Vice-President Strategy & Innovation; and Chief Information Officer (left) accepting the Appreciation award from Ernie Smelski (right)
On October 28th and 29th Snoman held its first annual Snowmobile Congress and Awards Presentation and Banquet. The event was held at the Canad Inn Destination Hotel on Regent Ave in Winnipeg. The Congress was very well attended by all five Regions with 80% of Manitoba's Clubs in attendance.
The Congress started with Snoman holding their AGM, which was very well attended with representation from most clubs. Year end reports and the auditor's report for 2011 -2012 were presented followed by the appointment of 2012 -2013 auditors. President since 2009, Mr Ernie Smelski decided not to let his name stand for president for another term. As a result elections were conducted for the following positions: President - Alan Butler, Vice President - Paul Burch, Treasurer - Albert Wyborn, Secretary - Tom Schindel.
On Saturday, Oct 29th the congress opened with a Grooming Workshop and a Club Presidents forum. The Grooming course was presented by Kim Rapp - a well known, international speaker. The course was very well attended with 121 club members as well as personnel from Manitoba Conservation Dept. Mr Rapp started by giving an overview of grooming basics followed by trail grooming with a drag, and types of grooming equipment with emphases on ensuring you are using the correct equipment for the job. Also, the correct method on how to groom a trail and the safe operation of a groomer was also covered. Immediately following the grooming course The Shop Industrial presented by Mike Heino Jr. an in depth workshop on correct methods of preventative maintenance for Mogul Master drags. It was at the conclusion of the grooming course that Snoman rolled out and presented groomer operators with the new Solara live tracking system.
The new system will be introduced into service in all Snoman club groomers at the start of this season. The Solara system has many features that assist groomer operators, one of the most important is a safety feature that enables the operator to contact club contacts in areas of non cellular service as well as an emergency feature that allows the operator to send out an emergency alert if required. Mike Scott of Solara gave the operators a brief overview of the equipment, its operation and the company. The clubs were then provided an opportunity to ask Mr. Scott about the units.
Also on Saturday, a club presidents workshop was held with 63 members and 80 percent of the 51 Snoman Clubs participating . A presentation was given on the new Snoman membership benefit program. Clubs were informed of the new program and how it may help clubs attract new members. Members were provided information on the benefits club members could realize by participating in the new program. Clubs were also informed that there is no cost to the club member or to the club and the only requirement of the clubs was to send in the membership list to the Snoman office. Following the membership presentation, there was a review on the Snoman Strategic Plan, and why we have a strategic plan and the process in developing it.
Participants were walked through the 2009-2010 strategic plan and the status of each objective were reviewed. One aspect of the plan was to determine if clubs wanted to see a rate increase of the Snopass. Information was provided on club operating costs for the past three years and compared with revenues for the same period of time. Clubs were also advised that any rate increase would not be able to be implemented until the spring of 2013 due to the process required.
Saturday evening, 280 club members and guests attended the first annual Snoman awards presentation and banquet. Master of ceremonies was Mr Hal Anderson who provided humour and was an excellent MC. A delicious meal was enjoyed by all. Immediately following supper Honorable Christine Melnik brought greetings from the Provincial Government. Chris Funk, a local entertainer surprised and wowed the crowd and enjoyable evening was had by all.
Following the entertainment the Snoman Excellence awards were presented for 2010 and 2011 awards winners were as follows:
2010 Outstanding Snowmobile Dealership - Enns Brothers
2010 Outstanding Groomer Operator - Mr Glen Ell, Springfield Pathfinders
2010 Outstanding Snowmobile Club - Border Explorers Snowmobile Club
2010 Outstanding Support By a Non -Snowmobile Related Business - Emercor Ltd
2011 Outstanding Snowmobiler - Mr. Jim Mikula, Inwood Snowmobile Club
2011 Outstanding Groomer Operator - Mr. Ted Thomas, North Star Hillclimbers
2011 Outstanding Snowmobile Family - Jeff and Brenda Tanach, Springhill Trailblazers
2011 Outstanding Support by a Non-Snowmobile Related Business -Twin Valley Coop Ltd
2011 Outstanding Snowmobile Club - Dauphin Snowmobile Club
Past Presidents Awards
(L to R) Blair Woods [2000-2002], Ken Horn [2002-2005], Darrel Mozil [2005-2008], Ernie Smelski [2009-2011], Albert Wyborn [2008-2009] and current President Alan Butler
Past Regional Directors
(L to R) Harold Kihn [Eastern Region], Perry Snedden [Western Region] and Allen Cuthbert [Central Region] and Ernie Smelski presenting the awards
Christine Melnyk, MLA
The crowd enjoying the Congress
Following the awards presentations the results of the silent auction were announced with many people winning some very nice prizes. The Snowmobile Congress was a great success thanks to all those that attended and participated. In reviewing the post event comments the best comment had to be and I quote "it made me feel proud to be a part of the Snoman Organization." Plans are under way for next year's 2nd annual Snowmobile Congress.