2016 Board of Directors Election Bios
  • The following is a link to the Bios of the 13 APBA members running for one of four sports available to serve on the APBA Board of Director's for 2017-2018.  We invite both the candidates and members to comment on how the candidates will best serve the APBA membership as a Board member.  Thank you and good luck to those members running for the Board.
    2016 Board of Director Bios for Website.pdf

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  • My name is John Runne. I've been a member of APBA since 1966. I am a member of the SORC and I'd like to take this opportunity to persuade you to support my run for the APBA Board of Directors.

    Last year I composed a letter addressed to the APBA BoD and APBA Council members about my concerns for the future of APBA and all of boat racing. The feedback I received from both groups was minimal to say the least. Those that had responded were very positive and supportive of my objective. However most just didn't bother to respond at all.

    This was my letter. 

    I approached some of you in Detroit about my concerns for the future of APBA. As it stands right now, the future of APBA is not very promising. Participation levels are down and dwindling every year. This has been going on for about the past twenty five years, at least. There are fewer events across all categories, nationwide than at any time in our history. Any growth recently has been sporadic at best and only occurring in two or three areas of the country. The economy has not been friendly to a group that does as much traveling as we do. Local racing in many regions are few and far between.

           We come together at our races, club meetings and most importantly our APBA Annual Meeting to renew our friendships, celebrate our victories, honor the best performers of the year and discuss some of the problems we are facing, year after year after year. Yet somehow, even with all of the worldly knowledge and experience we accumulatively have, we never seem to come to an agreement on a solution for our decline.

         I am of the mindset that we need to have a serious debate on this topic, and only this topic, until we have that solution.


         I’d like to offer a brief synopsis of some of the discussions we’ve had recently among some members of the SORC. What I’m going to present has the unanimous support of the SORC.


          Of all of the issues we face, year after year, regardless of category, we share a few common threads that we have not been able to overcome. They can all be summed up with one word, growth. Introducing new people to the sport, putting new people in boats, getting interested people the information they need to get involved, and making them aware of all the things APBA, and only APBA can offer. We don’t do that.

          I believe APBA would benefit greatly by updating our philosophy and adding to the purpose of our organization a greater effort of centralized promotion for all categories. If this requires changes in our by-laws or mission statement or just the focus of our attention, whatever we have to do to turn this decline around, we need to do and do it soon.

           I firmly believe we need the focus of APBA to grow the sport of boat racing from the grass roots up.

          Stock Outboard is the affordable entry level category. All other categories depend on Stock Outboard to cultivate boat racers for their own growth. Think about this. When thousands of people line the shores of an Unlimited race, Tunnel boat races, Inboard races or even Pro races. There will be some people that are interested in getting into the sport, but there are obstacles. Where do they start? Are they capable? Do they have the resources? Are the people that drive these boats just regular people like me? Who do I ask?  Where do I begin?

    Somebody has to be there to provide those answers, and more. Are they going to plop down $50,000-$100,000 for an Inboard rig? Or $40,000 for a Tunnel boat rig? Are they willing to throw $15,000 into a decent Pro outfit? NO, NO and NO. The proof is in our numbers.

    There is not enough local racing to justify spending that kind of money. 

                                 Get these people to a Stock Outboard race!

           Offer them a start where they can affordably try the sport out. As it is, they don't even know Stock Outboard exists. They don't know that there is an affordable category of boat racing that they can use as a stepping stone to their ultimate goal. We already know that if we can get them in a boat, they'll get hooked. We have a good product but these people don't know about all of the options available in APBA. They only know what is in front of them. And only APBA can offer what they want.
            We need APBA to be present at every race in ALL categories with a booth able to professionally display our brand with information, membership applications, apparel, brochures, schedules, local contacts and more. The clubs don't have the resources. Even if they did, it would be foolish to spend those resources on multiple versions of the same thing when the parent organization could do it nationwide with three or four. And do it better!

           We need a Marketing team to advertise and promote every race we put on in the country (newspaper, magazine TV, radio coverage etc.). A professional advertising/marketing group focused on growing membership, enticing sponsorship for all categories and raising public awareness of our presence. Our clubs cannot do it effectively, we are too busy putting on the events. We have neither the expertise nor manpower to do it right as well as professionally. What we're doing, is not working. Stock Outboard should have a presence at as many events in other categories as possible. Either on the water, as a demo or just an area in the pits to talk to people that may be interested. The only way we will succeed in growing our sport is working together, cooperation between categories. UNITED WE STAND.

            Think of all of the companies and the products that we all use in this sport. From our boat building supplies to our trailers, tools, even our tow vehicles and the gas & oil they burn. The opportunities are endless. A good sports marketing group should be able to put us on the map.” Category Sponsors” could have their decals on every boat in the category or on the trailers that we pull over hundreds of thousands of miles of highways every year all over the country.

    What we’re doing, the status quo, is not working. I’ve been told that we’ve tried this before. It didn’t work!  Do we just give up? Is that who we are? No, we are competitors, we don’t quit because winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win. We try harder. We try something different. We think outside the box. We innovate. We do what it takes to win. And many of us have been doing this our whole lives and want to continue to pass it on from generation to generation.

         As I said in the beginning, right now, we are losing. Will that be our legacy?


    Our job (the SORC) is to improve the product. APBA's job should be selling it.

    I am currently working on a power point presentation about Stock Outboard reflecting on our unique sport through our history, family atmosphere and yet intense level of competition and committment. I expect this will be a useful tool for whoever we bring in to help APBA succeed.

     I look forward to your responses.

     Thank you, John Runne SORC Region 4

    So, that was a year ago. To my knowledge, nothing.

    Since then I have contacted many motorsports marketing firms about this opportunity and I found one that was very interested. The man I spoke to promotes car & motorcycle racing in northern S.C. but grew up in Dayton Ohio in the 1970's and was very familiar with APBA and all of the categories that raced there.  He always loved the boat races and would like to work with us. We have our foot in the door.

    There are many issues we face in our organization and I want to help. Please post your comments and questions and I'll inform you of my positions.

    Thank you, John Runne


      APBA Member #: 1863
      Boat #: 2-Z
      Classes: BSH,CSH,20SSH,25XSH
      Region 4
    • Bravo John.Need to add to the list how to get USTS back. Ralph Donald & I have a start to a new model.

      Boat #: No
      Classes: No
    • I'll also say this about the people running for the BOD. I think I'm pretty connected and when I read this and have no clue who many of these people are...I can't vote for them. I have no clue where they stand on any issue.

      We need to get all running to hit one of the web sites, either this one or APBA. I would suggest APBA's but if it's this one so be it. Get on here and tell us what they want to do and how they plan on implementing such change.

      My vote and the rest of our family's vote that I may or may not have an influence on that get mailed to the same address want to hear from everyone. So if you know any of the 13, tell them to go to one of the web sites and start their campaign. I'm tired of just electing people base on their racing accomplishments and I hope many of you are also.

      I will also say that I feel our category's have a responsibility to help grow and run this organization as do everyone of it's members. If APBA does not have the funds or resources something needs to change, we have to promote and the best way to do that in my opinion is driving schools. If you told every member we were bumping their membership $50.00 to help fund driving schools how many would complain? But then they would complain because they only have 2 other boats to race against or they showed up at a race and didn't have enough entries to race against.

      I want this sport to be around when our kids have kids racing and at this rate I don't think it will.

      APBA Member #: 10673
      Boat #: Owner of 11
      Classes: Raced many stock classes when I was racing
      Region 7
    • imageimage
      APBA 2016 Jan Resume.docx

      APBA Member #: 50525
      Boat #: r777
      Region 10
    • From Gary Miller

      I believe that power boat racing will thrive by promoting driving schools and making competitive equipment readily available to new members.  Acting on this belief, I have helped put together the rigs used in the Indiana Outboard Association's driving school.  One of these rigs was sold to a driving school graduate following the IOA's driving school this year.

      I believe that APBA must grow membership and participation by:

      1)  lowering membership fees, especially for driving school graduates and other first-time members
      2)  providing more support to APBA's clubs
      3)  lowering regatta insurance costs
      4)  controlling APBA's operating costs
      5)  supporting APBA's categories to ensure that each category has entry-level equipment readily available
      6)  promoting the APBA brand
      7)  providing more value to APBA members

      Boat #: No
      Classes: No
    • As those who have posted have stated APBA has many issues ahead of themselves we have touched upon theses issues of the organization and have a good direction to head in.  There are others issues that need attention as well.

      - Retaining members is huge, we have member clubs that have chosen to leave APBA, why?  What needs to be done to get them back?

      - Categories, many categories have internal issues going on, Capsules in the Inboard FlatBottoms is huge right now, several solutions were put in place last year that are just not working, this needs to be fixed quickly or those members will also be lost.  The Commissions and BoD need solid data and input to help make these decisions.  I will say I do not run or fully understand the Inboard problem, I have run capsule classes so I do know the potential safety and risks involved there.  If we can come to a common ground for these classes that promotes safety and keeps the drivers happy that needs to be done

      - Inboard is not alone, we have rules in our book that need revision on category levels as well as the General levels, some need to be deleted, some need to be added 

      - We have costs in APBA that need attention again many need reduction, some probably need to be increased.  Where do we start?  If we can maintain a program to reduce costs in certain areas then costs in others can be reduced as well which in turn all benefits the members.

      Keep in mind the BoD has about 12 members, they represent the entire country and all the categories.  We do not always have the answer but most of us do try to undertsand them and find the answer that best promotes the entire organization.  Are we always right, no way, when this happens we know about it pretty quickly and I feel as though we do an ok job of fixing that, not always but we do try.

      I said this in another site, 4 positions are open, this does not mean that you need to vote for 4 people.  But please vote.  Don't just vote for your friend because you feel you need to, don't vote for the people that stand up and yell about this or that, vote for those that can make a difference or try to see the problem for what it is without creating new ones.

      APBA Member #: 113
      Boat #: 4-F, 4
      Classes: CSR
      Region 5
    • Just my personal opinion, but when the ballots are mailed out they contain the candidate's BIOs. That's all well and good and it's awesome some folks have been involved in the sport for so many years, but...

      Along with the BIOs, I'd like to see each candidate spell out the issues they perceive and what their plans are going forward to improve the organization.  I would suggest anyone seriously running for an office to get on social media, such as this forum, or Hydroracer.net to get the word out and to have meaningful discourse with the members.  The fact is, we're spread across the entire country and it's not likely many of us will meet face-to-face to discuss matters.  The internet and forums are your best friend for this and a couple of candidates have made efforts to use them.

      I'll be frank, if the only information I have about a candidate is their BIO and racing history, they're not going to get a vote from me.  I need to know where you stand on issues and your vision for the future.  If you don't have the time, or can't be bothered to discuss your plans on a forum, then I question if you'll have the time or put in the effort to represent my interests.

      Dane Lance


      Boat #: No
      Classes: No
    • Vote Up0Vote Down csh2z September 2016

      Good comment and thank you for your willingness to put it out there. Nice to meet you at Lock Haven, I wish we could have talked more. The perspective of the newer racers is often overlooked by those of us that have been around for many years. Often we don't see the barriers a new racer has to overcome to be a part of this sport. I have had many conversations with new drivers over the years and often hear the same issues time and time again. With the use of these forums, we can help guide new people to success and fulfillment in this outstanding family organization. I will contact in the future to pick your brain for ideas and options in the complicated I.T. field. I think your experience will be helpful as we move forward.

      On another note. I'd like to thank all of you that have supported me with your votes to the APBA Board of Directors. I just received a call from Pres. Mark Wheeler congratulating me on my election to the BoD. I will work hard to accomplish my goals and look forward to working with all of you to help grow this great sport. Keep the ideas coming. I will not disappoint.

      John Runne

      APBA Member #: 1863
      Boat #: 2-Z
      Classes: BSH,CSH,20SSH,25XSH
      Region 4