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TALK IT UP TUESDAY: ROAR Presidential Candidates - Chuck Kleinhagen and Garland Smith

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Main Photo: TALK IT UP TUESDAY: ROAR Presidential Candidates - Chuck Kleinhagen and Garland Smith

By Mike Garrison 

Welcome to LiveRC's weekly column, "Talk-It-Up Tuesday!" Here we spend a little time talking with industry icons including racers, manufacturers, team managers, developers, promoters, and everyone in between! Sit back, relax, and go behind the scenes as we interview them all!

For this week's Talk It Up Tuesday we sit down with the two ROAR Presidential Candidates (Chuck Kleinhagen and Garland Smith) to discuss their views of the hobby, changes that need to be made within ROAR, the structure of the Nationals, their goals if elected President, and more. Read each candidates responses, and vote today!

LiveRC: Welcome gentlemen to this week’s Talk It Up Tuesday! You both are running for President of ROAR, and we are anxious to learn more about you both, your views, the changes you would like to see, and more. Let’s start by introducing you both. When and how did you first get involved in R/C car racing?

Chuck: I got a rather late start compared to many. I became involved in 2002 when my adult son and I were looking for something we could do together. We are both gearheads and RC racing was less expensive and much less dangerous than full scale racing, although we’ve both done some of that as well. Our passion for the sport / hobby grew quickly so that as I neared the end of a reasonably successful career in engineering and business in 2008; I opened Fastlane Raceway after the track we had been racing at closed due to bankruptcy.

Garland: I started in the hobby as an enthusiast and grew into racing.  At an early age, around 6 years old I developed an interest in RC.  My earliest exposure was non-hobby grade RC like those found at RadioShack and Toys R Us.  Eventually I found the wonderful world of hobbyshops.  The hobbyshops were far and few between, but I looked forward to every trip, as I would save my money to acquire more and better gear.  I worked for my hobby, cutting grass, collecting aluminum cans and washing cars.  I remember the first race I ever attended in Glen Burnie MD at the Hobbytown USA.  The bug caught on and soon it was a full-blown disorder.  Around this time Radio Control Car Action magazine began to show on the shelves of the local magazine shop and inevitably I became a subscriber.  It was around this age when my neighborhood friends Darren, Jamie, my folks and I took on the task of clearing an abandoned lot behind our homes in Baltimore Maryland.  Once cleared from trash, weeds and other filth, we built a single lane (2 feet wide lanes) off-road course for our vehicles.  RC has been in my blood ever since.

LiveRC: What are your current roles within the industry outside of ROAR?

Chuck: I tend to get rather passionate and deeply involved in things. As I noted above, I opened Fastlane Raceway in 2008 so there’d be a place for RC racing in our area. It originally had a single indoor carpet track and now we have indoor and outdoor offroad tracks along with an outdoor dirt oval and the original carpet track. We operated an outdoor asphalt track for some time until we used the space for the outdoor offroad track. So I’m exposed to pretty much all the current forms of RC racing. I am also the promoter / director of the Brushless Racing League series of carpet oval racing. This is another case where my son and I had participated in and enjoyed the series and then ended up taking it over nearly 10 years ago so it would continue when the series founder decided to end his involvement. 

Garland: I develop race tracks, implement race programs, promote events, assist youth racers and inexperienced racers with repairs, and attempt to build our race community.

LiveRC: What are your current and previous roles you have held within ROAR?

Chuck: I was briefly the Electric Section Chairman before being asked to take on the job of Secretary. I’ve been Secretary for about 4 years now.  As a member of the Executive Committee I’ve seen firsthand those areas where ROAR functions well and those where we do much less well. Although I’m part of the current administration I have no illusions that we do everything well. There are a number of areas where improvement is needed. But the root causes of our issues are the result of our structure and processes, not a result of people who aren’t doing their best to try to develop the organization.

Garland: Initially I was an untitled volunteer.  My region (Region 2 / Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, DC and New Jersey) was somewhat dormant with our director being inactive.  ROAR President Steve Mruk (former Region 2 director) took charge of the role as the elected director was not active.  I saw Steve doing double duty and offered my assistance.  I strongly feel that we all need to step up in life to make improvements, instead of criticizing those that are trying to move in a positive direction.  This led to my nomination and election for Region 2 Director for 2018-2019 season.  I have offered my help at any capacity since the beginning. Steve Mruk and the ROAR Race Management Team took me up on that offer in 2017 for the 1/10 Scale Electric Off-Road Nationals held at The Track in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Starting in 2018 I have been a recurring helper at all the ROAR National events. 

LiveRC: Being the President of ROAR is not an easy task, and often requires more work than there is reward. Many do not realize that this an unpaid volunteer position. Knowing that, what made you decide to run for ROAR President?

Chuck: You mean it’s a lot like running an RC track; lots of work, lots of complaints and little reward. Been there, done that, have the T shirt. On the plus side there is also tremendous personal satisfaction in seeing people enjoy something you’ve worked on.

Seriously, from my comments on taking over Fastlane and the BRL it should be pretty apparent that I’m a “fixer”. When I’m involved in something I tend to try to make it better rather than simply complain (not that I don’t complain as well). I’d rather make a positive difference in the things I’m involved in rather than just participate for myself. 

Although I’ve been on the Executive Committee for 4 years, I’ve been much more deeply involved in the administrative side of ROAR in recent months due to illness of our Administrator. That involvement plus my business background (which at times involved buying and re-organizing companies) has convinced me that the complaints members have about ROAR go beyond the people “running” ROAR and won’t be fixed just by changing people. The complaints about ROAR have been pretty much the same for the 16 years I’ve been in the hobby even though that time period has seen 4 different Presidents and probably a dozen or more different people on the Executive Committee. Everyone I’ve been involved with has tried to do their best for ROAR and cared about the organization. I’ve never seen a situation where a single decision seemed to be influenced for the personal benefit of a member of the EXCOM. 

The complaints including lack of communication, lack of consistency, slow response, etc are symptoms of our real problems. The real problems we need to address are the result of an outdated organization structure and ways of doing things (processes) which are also outdated.

Garland: I found out over the summer that the current ROAR President, Steve Mruk was no longer pursuing the President position.  This led to my inquiry about possible replacements.  Through conversations with many racers, officials, and perusing web content I saw there was a possible void that needed to be filled, and I did not want the position filled by an individual that would have a self-serving agenda.  The position requires an impartial individual that has the organizations best interests at heart.  Some of the local racers in this region asked if I was up for the task, if nominated, and I confirmed my dedication to our organization.  I don’t do any of this for recognition.  I find it fulfilling to aid the non-profit organization and grow the r/c community as I feel we have been overlooked for way too long.  From what I have been told Chuck has similar views and if he is elected, I wish him great success and I offer my continued help at any capacity.

LiveRC: What is your primary goal if elected President?

Chuck: I’d like to lead an effort to revamp the structure and processes of the organization in order to provide greater communication with members, improved member services and greater support of the Regional Directors. The Regional Directors are the key to growth, but they have to be better supported by the “home office”. We also need to update our rules and bylaws to reflect how we actually operate today. Finally, our approval processes need improvement.  I’d hope to accomplish this in a single 2 year term and then hopefully have someone else take over as President moving forward. 

Garland: If elected I want to evaluate the current status of the organization as I only know it through my current status.  I want to develop a better communication base.  Through communication I believe we can bring racers and manufacturers back to ROAR.  In my current role I hear so much negativity directed toward “ROAR”, as if were an evil creature from the woods that comes out in the middle of the night to steal livestock.  I feel as members, we all need to take ownership of the organization to improve upon our flaws.  I say time and again, “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem”.  

LiveRC: What are some of the key things you are hoping to change and/or improve within the operation of ROAR if elected President?

Chuck: In the business world when you have a situation where you’ve tried a number of different, competent, motivated people at a task and still can’t get the desired results it’s usually an indication that the problem is with the actual organization structure and process (how you expect them to do the task, the tools available to complete the task) or the definition of the task itself. I’ve personally reached the conclusion that we are trying to operate ROAR with a structure that might have worked okay in the 1990’s when everything was done by snail mail but which is totally inadequate for today’s world. 

I want to get to work on the following areas:

1) Complete a transition to new membership management software in order to be able to increase our responsiveness on membership questions and issues. This is key to providing better support to our Regional Directors and better communication with our members.

Our administrative functions (membership processing, event registrations, etc) are full of redundant, manual steps and lack any meaningful level of automation. Officially all of those administrative functions are performed by a single individual (the Administrator) who we contract to perform the services. There is no back up for that individual and we’ve experienced situations twice in the last 3 years when the Administrator has been unable to perform their duties for an extended period of time. Expecting volunteer members of the EXCOM to fill in during those periods is setting ourselves up for failure; especially with the current approach to processing and maintaining memberships.

Improved systems are also the key to better supporting our Regional Directors. One of the most important roles of the President, EXCOM and Administrator is support of these Regional Directors. Our Regional Directors are in some ways like our front-line sales force. We depend on them to make contact with tracks, members in their regions and to set up regional events. But our current “office systems” don’t provide our RD’s with the support and information they need to be able to better salesmen or ambassadors for ROAR. 

1) Work with LiveRC to achieve a broadcast agreement. I think having LiveRC broadcast our National events benefits us both. I want to preserve the ability for members to stream from their own events but I think ROAR can provide LiveRC with compensation to cover any loss of advertising revenue which results from members streaming their events.

2) Obtain a legal opinion on the optimum non-profit structure for how we operate today and into the immediate future. We’re incorporated as a non-profit social club which places restrictions on our revenue sources and includes a host of requirements relating to member activities which we may not even be meeting. Right now we have to be very careful about any revenue source other than memberships and event fees. Even accepting sponsorships is questionable. There is a non-profit category for amateur sports sanctioning bodies which seems to much better fit our current activities and would give us more flexibility. We need to thoroughly explore whether a change in our incorporation is needed.

3) Re-evaluate the current structure of 12 regions which are very different in size (population). The current regional structure creates greatly imbalanced regions. As an example, Region 7 consists of the states of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota (population 7 million). Region 2 consists of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC and New Jersey (population 40 million). Having so many regions of such very different sizes complicates things like any thought of using regionals to qualify for Nationals. And there is no way to expect to create the same opportunities for members across so many regions of such vastly different sizes. It has also proven to be a challenge to find enough motivated individuals to serve as active Regional Directors over the years.

4) Publish an updated Rule Book that is re-structured to allow easier and more frequent updates. The current online rule book is the result of multiple cut and paste efforts and is difficult to modify. It also isn’t easily searchable. Past and current changes need to be archived to make it easier to see what changes and why.

5) Revamp the approval process to increase speed and clarify the consequences of product non-conformance after approval is granted. My comments on your questions about rules and approvals will provide more information on what I think is needed.

Garland: Communication is key.  We are a non-profit organization that is based on rules and we need to have them clearly stated and implemented in a fair and consistent manner.  The rule book needs to be updated so everyone doesn’t have to search through posts to find updates. Tim Caporal and I offered to update the rule book, and hopefully we can make this happen regardless of the election.

LiveRC: What are some ways you have in mind to boost ROAR memberships and continue to grow the organization?

Chuck: With few exceptions people join ROAR because they have to in order to participate in ROAR events. So the key to growing memberships is having attractive events and more of them. And the key to having more events is having more active Regional Directors. I think the primary job of the “home office” (President, EXCOM and Administrator) is to provide a “membership experience” that is attractive to potential members and provide support for the Regional Directors in their efforts. When I say “membership experience” I primarily mean things like a consistently applied rules package, well run events, etc. I believe we should be able to put together membership incentives with our “affiliate” members which provide discount opportunities to offset the cost of membership. We initiated some of these a couple of years ago but because of our outdated internal systems we were not able to keep those companies offering the incentive discounts supplied with up to date information on who was a member eligible for the incentives.

Garland: Exposure… I have attended events like Motorama, and I solicit members and make racers aware of events going on in my region.  I think we need to make a push to make rc more mainstream.  We need exposure not only to enthusiasts that are aware of the industry, but we need exposure outside of our small community.  Imagine our hobby / industry if we had 5% of the US population as racers or even enthusiasts.   Store, Tracks, Manufacturers, and all affiliates would thrive.  There are approximately 327 million people in the United States, and of July 16th of this year we have less than 2,500 members of our organization.  I see “drone racing” on outlets like ESPN2 and they go the exposure that we need.  ROAR has been around for over 50 years and it is in a stalling pattern.  It is time for a revival.

LiveRC: It doesn’t seem as though there are as many ROAR affiliated tracks across the nation as there once was. What ideas do you have towards increasing the number of ROAR affiliated tracks as President?

Chuck: One thing that has changed over the years is the increase in the number of commercial tracks compared to clubs. The ROAR insurance package was very attractive to clubs to provide them with liability coverage, but most commercial operations already have insurance which they need for other business reasons. So, our insurance offering has less value in many cases today compared to the past. I think tracks sign up today for the same reason as racers, because they have to in order to hold a ROAR event. If we can increase the regional racing activity we’ll see increased interest from tracks. I personally like the idea of regional series in order to get more tracks interested. Region 2 has been doing this with success. On the other hand, having regional series makes it tougher to consider an approach to Nationals using regional qualifiers as you would have to either use prior year series champions or complete all regional series before opening entries for Nationals.

Garland: I want to see more active Regional Directors.  Marvet Brown and Tom Erickson are other great examples of current Regional Directors that put their best feet forward.  We need to seek out facilities and organize events (series, regional championships, etc.).  Many people don’t know what ROAR is about.  The insurance coverage is beneficial to ROAR Track that host ROAR events.  In many cases the ROAR insurance lowers the liability coverage for the facility.  I would like to see several additions to the track registry, and in my opinion from the beginning is that a ranking system would drive people back to ROAR.  This would bring focus back to our events and possibly cause other promoters/ organizers to seek sanctioning for large events.  Many other motorized sports have these systems in place, and with some research, planning, adaptation and dedicated individuals engaging in development and implementation it can be successful.

LiveRC: Multiple regions have no one on the ballot running for regional director. Why do you believe no one is interested in these roles, and is this something you believe you can change as President?

Chuck: The situation this year isn’t really that much different than past years. In past years there was a tendency to just plug in the name of the current RD on the ballot whether they had been nominated or not so long as they didn’t object. This year we left the ballot blank and now members could see for themselves where there was no interest or no nomination. When we would plug in a name; people who might have been interested tended to think that it was already being handled by someone. With no one listed in several regions, we’ve already had at least one case where a person has come forward and indicated they’d be interested in taking on the job. Having said that, the RD job is like all the other positions in ROAR. There is no financial compensation, lots of work if done correctly and the only reward is the satisfaction of helping the hobby grow. It’s a tough sell.

Garland: Mike as you stated earlier regarding the presidency, it is not a paid position, it requires a lot of work, and it is the same for the regional director position.  With regions having dormancy many may not be aware of what is going on, or even what we can do.  Despite some gains in economic development, our industry still struggles.  I am willing to assist anyone with the willingness to step up and deliver for our organization.  It is not easy but through communication we can gain support and grow.  As I mentioned earlier, Steve Mruk essentially appointed me as interim Assistant Director for my region under a dormant director, and I wish to follow his lead on that.  I would love to see anyone that is not up for the task within the organization ask for help, or if they don’t want to perform their duties to step aside so we can find someone that will.  I don’t have all the answers, and I am sure everything will not be fixed by me alone.  We need to all work together for a common goal and leave our egos and personal issues outside…act as professionals, and maintain firm, fair and consistent operations.

LiveRC: Consistency and enforcement of rules at ROAR events has been a question in the past. Do you feel this has been an issue, and if so, how will you work to improve that?

Chuck: It’s pretty hard to imagine someone saying they are against consistent enforcement of the rules. So obviously I want to see rules consistently enforced by ROAR. But we have to be careful to distinguish between actual rules and things that are guidelines, policies or precedents. 

On technical specifications and event rules covered by our rule book we badly need a complete updated rule book. We’ve published notices of individual rule changes and updates but that is no substitutue in the long run for an updated rule book. We need to add clear statements regarding what happens when rules are violated. We also need to clearly state that product approvals can be rescinded if product is found in use which differs from that which was approved, and which don’t meet specifications. Our Bylaws and approval forms must make it clear that those submitting products for approval agree that the inspectors designated by ROAR have the final say and that any decision by them is not subject to litigation.

In addition to the Rule Book we have guidelines for Nationals and templates for event bids. In several cases these documents are outdated (radio impound requirements anyone) and have conflicting requirements (there are at least 3 different places where we describe how to bid on a National event and they don’t all agree).  And then there are questions like do we do bump ups at 10th scale offroad events or not which aren’t covered in any document at all. I think most complaints about “following the rules” actually come in areas covered by these kinds of guidelines and by past precedents rather than things specifically covered in the rule book. These documents clearly need to be updated and we need to make certain that our documents don’t conflict with one another. 

Garland: I am not a walking encyclopedia of ROAR rules and regulations, but they are in place for a reason.   There has been warrant for concern in the past. At a National event a racer brought up a rule that they felt was not enforced and after review, an amendment was found in the news column of our site.  Therefore, we need to rule book updated as soon as possible.  Jeff Parker is the ROAR Promotions Director, IFMAR President and he presides over the National Competitions.  Jeff is very qualified, and competent in his position and I stand behind his judgments.  He confers with the executive committee and long time Race Management Team Leaders such as Steve McLaughlin and arrives at his informed decisions. 

LiveRC: Some manufacturers and racers are pushing to have a nationwide National Championship Series, rather than a single National Championship event to crown a National champion. What is your stance and/or plans for the future of ROAR National events as President?

Chuck: This question and the following one pretty much represent approaches to Nationals which are not easily compatible with one another. And I don’t think it matters much which approach I favor. What matters is what does our membership want? But I think there is a role for the President and EXCOM in identifying the pros and cons of the different approaches and then hopefully getting the sense of the membership on what they’d like to see.

One of the attractive things about a National Series is that a 4 or 5 race series would bring the top racers in the country to more different venues each year. It also means more events which means additional exposure (and likely income) for ROAR. The individual events would have to be shorter in length than current Nationals which is probably a positive. On the negative side, because it is unlikely a non-sponsored driver could attend every race in the series, it pretty much eliminates the chances of a privateer winning a National Championship or finishing very high in the standings. If we did a series for more than one or two different types of Nationals it would likely create support issues for the Race Management Team.

Garland: I must admit is sounds appealing. My main concern with this is the cost effectiveness.  As I mentioned earlier ROAR is a non-profit organization, that needs to maintain an impartial approach, as we don’t want to be preferential to any manufacturer, platform, venue, etc...  Historically the 1/8 fuel off-road National is the most sought after (300 entries approximately) event of our competitions.    We need to maintain the same support for the lesser sought after (less than 100 entries) events.  Successful Series require a minimum of 3 races, and this would mean a minimum of 18 races in which we need representation to cover.  Travel and hotel expenses alone would make this incredibly difficult.  As I mentioned earlier, I am on the outside looking in now and it is possible that the executive committee is entertaining this idea.  I believe there are no right and wrong answers, because we can not please everyone.  We can only do our best and hope it drives others to aid in our growth.

LiveRC: Some manufacturers and racers are also pushing towards eliminating “open entry” to the ROAR Nationals by requiring racers to qualify through local and/or regional events first. What is your stance on this?

Chuck: With today’s regional structure this would be difficult to implement. We’d have regions where only a small percentage of racers could qualify and regions where almost everyone qualified. We’d need some way of weighting the results of regionals based on number and caliber of competitors which is possible, but which would likely lead to much debate about fairness. And we currently have the problem of what to do with racers in regions that don’t run a regional. With 12 regions and at least 8 classes in 10th scale offroad; we could end up with 480 “invited” racers if we invited just the top 5 in each region in each class; well over our maximum. 

If we were to implement a different approach to Nationals I think it would likely apply only to 8th scale Nitro offroad and 10th scale electric offroad since they are the only Nationals that fill up on a regular basis. For the other 4 Nationals we typically welcome all the entries we can get.

Garland: As I mentioned earlier about the ranking system, this would aid in the following of ROAR events.  Open entry is good in a manner of speaking because we need to try to fill the event for cost effectiveness.  I would like to see open entry used after a period for qualified racers have been permitted.  I know it creates more involved registry, but it is possible.  I would like a ranking system to be in place with tier selection.  This would take some time and effort to implement as we would need our regions to be more active, we would need a tracking method for racers to be in place for management, and we would need the manufacturers to push their racers to events.  I can say that this will be easier said than done.  As a regional director I reach out to manufacturers in December the year before the series is to take place for sponsorship opportunities.  Some companies step up big time for every event, some do their best, some offer sponsorship but never follow through, and some flat out say not this year.  I understand things are tough all around, but when I see events sponsored by those that declined ROAR events, and “Charlies Backyard Bonanza” (made up race name) get sponsored, I wonder what I could have done wrong.  Every company has an agenda to make money, grow their customer base, and produce quality products.  ROAR can not align themselves exclusively to companies, in the spirit of fairness. 

LiveRC: The ROAR Nationals can sell out very quickly depending on the event. Some of the drivers who consistently attend and finish within the top 10-20 have expressed interest in a system that automatically reserves them a spot based on their previous year finish - regardless if they sign up before the event is full. What are your thoughts on this?

Chuck: As noted above, this is currently an issue only for Fuel Offroad and 10th scale Offroad Nationals. Other events historically don’t sell out. 

A little-known aspect of the current National Guidelines for RMT Events is that they contain a provision permitting those who made the A Main of the prior year’s National to complete an early registration up to 1 week prior to registration opening to all members. ROAR hasn’t always publicized this provision for administrative reasons, but I think providing this early entry opportunity is a very reasonable solution. The alternative of allowing racers to signup after an event is already full is administratively much more complex and creates uncertainty for all the other racers who sign up. We wouldn’t know in advance how many spots to save for late signups so could easily end up with too few or too many entries.  If we do pre-registration for last year’s A main participants; we would know how many spaces remain for the rest of our members at the time we open regular registration. So following the pre-registration approach which is already in our Guidelines provides a preference for prior year A main participants without creating confusion as to how many spots are available for everyone else.

Garland: There are many variables in this question to consider.  Going back to the ranking system / or qualifying system would this be in effect?  The Fuel 1/8 Off-Road is the National that sells out quickly.  In this case what I would like to see is early registry for the Top (X) to reserve a spot for the following year through a non-refundable means at the completion of that years National.  Logistically it may be a nightmare, but if we develop a ranking system the same concept will be in play.  Keep in mind these are my views and may not align with others.  I feel we need to place value on all racers and warrant opportunities for all, while still being competition minded.

LiveRC: Do you plan to be in attendance and more involved with the race management team at ROAR events than the existing President?

Chuck: I do plan to attend several National events but I want to stress that we contract with the Race Management Team to provide consistent, professional race management of our National Events. By design, the President and Executive Committee delegate the authority to operate these events to the RMT. I don’t think the President should be a member of the RMT and I think we have to be careful of the confusion we could create giving the appearance that there are two bosses at any given event, the President and the head of the RMT. The President’s role at a National should be mostly communicating with members. 

Garland: I attended every ROAR National in 2018 and hope to be at every National in the future.  I enjoy helping and interacting with the racers.  At any capacity I want to be involved regardless of the outcome of the election.  I have done racer profiles, interviews, tech inspection, video, photography, and general assistance.  If I am elected to the Presidency, and the rest of the committee deems it possible for my assistance with RMT, or any other aspect of the program I will be there for that reason, not to undermine the authority of the Race Director. 

LiveRC: As President will you be involved in the ROAR approval process for motors, batteries, esc’s, etc.?

Chuck: The current process for approvals is another area that needs to be thoroughly evaluated and re-structured. At present, ROAR designates an independent laboratory to conduct the approval inspections for products requiring approval. The manufacturer submitting the product contracts with the designated laboratories to have an inspection completed and the lab then sends a report to the Executive Committee for an approval vote. Often times a product has completed the inspection process and meets all the relevant criteria but there is a significant delay in completing the actual approval vote by the EXCOM. The Executive Committee including the President may actually be too involved.  It makes little sense to delay approval on a product that meets all specifications while waiting for a rubber stamp vote by the EXCOM. The President and EXCOM should only be involved where there is a question regarding compliance or uncertainty regarding the specifications. We clearly don’t want a system where the President or any member of the Executive Committee has undue influence over whether a product is approved or not. We also don’t need a system where the Executive Committee or President could play favorites on who gets product inspected and approved first.

Garland: Howard Cano, Jason Mackanick, and RHI Services go through the appropriate measures for approval of these devices and based on their independent findings the executive committee finalizes the approval process or so this is what I have been told is the process for approval. 

LiveRC: What area of R/C (not limited to just ROAR) do feel needs the most improvement, and why?

Chuck: When I look at the promotional dollars being spent by manufacturers, they are mostly directed at those already active in the industry. In order to get new people interested in our hobby / sport there has to be promotion to those outside the R/C community. Traxxas does a pretty good job of that but few others in the industry seem to bother. They are all competing for a bigger share of the existing market rather than acting to expand the market. Only a large distributor like Horizon and the manufacturers have the financial resources to promote the hobby to those not already converted. 

Garland: Exposure.  As I mentioned earlier the US has over 327 million residents and growing, with less than 2,500 ROAR members.  Let’s say ROAR members make up 1% of the RC enthusiasts (example not precise) in the country, that would mean that 250,000 of the 327 million people are into rc.  That is pitiful statistically.  We are a small community and it is our time to grow.  RC is good clean family fun.  RCt get’s us out from behind a screen (phone, tablet, computer, gaming console) and out with real live human interaction and a chance for physical exertion (turn marshal).




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