Thanks for everything!

Dear membership,

I’d like to begin my message with an excerpt from an email dated 6/3/2013:

“Mr Narby,

My uncle Eric Gil mentioned to me that you might participate in autocross events or may belong to a car club. He told me to contact you because I was looking into getting into autocross. If there was any information that you may be able to share with me about the local clubs or events I’d greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Johnathan”

That email led to a conversation that spanned almost 30 responses before my first Autocross event. For anyone who’s emailed or messaged Doug or me you know we don’t keep our responses short. I asked A LOT of questions and Doug was amazing!

A month later I emailed him again:

“Hey Doug,

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you yesterday but I had spoken to Jim on the phone over the weekend and he met up with me at the event and showed me the ropes. I had a blast yesterday! So thanks for all the info and advice that you’ve been able to provide that has led me into this sport, I am very grateful.

Your fellow club members were amazing people and I couldn’t have expected a more well run event. Everyone there was helpful and friendly and I really felt welcomed.

Without a doubt I’m hooked and plan on returning for more.

Thanks again,

John”

That’s right, I also talked to Jim and this wasn’t a quick call. Jim spent at least an hour on the phone with me as I asked every question I could think of and every question Doug already answered. To say these men were patient was an understatement! When I talk to people today and they feel embarrassed that maybe they asked too many questions or that they’re being annoying all I can think is “well, you’re not as bad as me”!

When I said I was hooked I meant it, five months later I was voted in as SoWeLa Regions Membership and Publicity Chairman. While I had sales and customer service experience I really didn’t have a clue as to what I needed to do. The first few months of 2014 were rough and I was very lost. But after a lot of experimenting and just talking to people and I mean everyone, I finally got into a groove. I was figuring stuff out and we started to see a rise in attendance.

As a gift from the Autocross gods we also had many new members step up and get more involved in the region. Between them, the existing regular volunteers, and the board we pulled SoWeLa Region out of its slump. The first Autocross event I attended we barely had enough attendees to properly man all the working stations and it was a TLAC event. Today SoWeLa has over one hundred active members, two more Region of the year awards, and we saw the first Louisiana event in many years with over one hundred drivers.  I personally was able to finish 2014 in the top ten and 2015 in the top five for national recruitment.

As a club grows many would expect members to become more distant as new faces are added to the mix. Luckily this hasn’t been the case for SoWeLa. We actually grew from a club into a family! It’s been so amazing seeing so many of you being so involved with each other, both at and in between events. So many friendships and even relationships have spawned from this. I’m especially grateful for all of you who’ve become such a big part of my life.

For those of you who attended SoWeLa’s most recent Autocross event you’ve already heard the news. I got a job! Honestly, a dream job for me. Next week I start off a new chapter in my involvement with the SCCA as their Membership Communications Manager. My duties amongst many others will include the creation and development of new content to reach out and engage current and potential SCCA members. Being a direct contact between current and future members, hearing what they have to say, and using that information to improve the clubs marketing and outreach campaigns. One duty that I’m really excited about is working directly with Regions to develop their own membership and communications tools.

I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to work with so many people. The SCCA is a big club and I can’t wait to try and talk to every last person! Unfortunately, this job requires me to work at the SCCA national office in Topeka Kansas. While I’ll continue to assist from afar as my duties are taken over by others, from this day forward I am resigning from my position as SoWeLa regions Membership and Publicity chairman.

Explaining how much you all mean to me is beyond my ability to convey in written word. The friendship, love, and support you’ve all provided has been so amazing. I didn’t know I could call such a large group of people my family but without a doubt you are. I learned so many lessons and so many of you have provided me with amazing guidance and advice. That love and support has fueled my dedication to the club and you. For maybe the last two years I’ve averaged about 15 hours a week, sometimes A LOT more to my duties as your Membership and Publicity Chairman and I’d do it all again. The rewards you’ve provided have been more than worth it!

With that said, this is a bitter sweet moment in my life. I’m moving on to an amazing opportunity doing what I truly love. But leaving what we have created is truly hard to do. It’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. I owe everything to all of you and I’m forever in SoWeLa’s debt.

From your friend, your brother, your biggest fan, and the bottom of my heart, thank you!

Johnathan Burchardt

Event #4 at Cajun Field registration is now open!

Don’t miss out on the one Lafayette Autocross event of the year! Preregistration and walk on registration are both capped so don’t wait too long.

Preregistration is being done through DLB Racing.
*If you’re a SoWeLa member with a reserved number and you’ve never used DLB before, contact us after you sign up so we can release your number to you. We’ve got them locked until you do.

REGISTER HERE!!!

South West Louisiana Autocross and Road Racing