President’s Article July 2014

Most clubs, which membership is based on mutual appreciation for a common theme, have seen a decline in membership in recent years. The BMW Car Club of America has seen steady or slight growth in membership recently following a brief period of decline.

Recently, a meeting of chapter leaders was held at the National Office, to address our club’s future and the changes that may need to occur in order to keep our car club viable.  As the demographic of the BMW driver changes, the future of the club may need to change to reflect the changing interests of the new BMW driver. In order for the club to remain relevant, we must reflect the activities our members wish to participate. I believe, the Iowa BMW CCA has been on the cutting edge of this philosophical shift, as we have lead most other chapters with our annual planning meeting, and attempting to create events in which members help plan, organize and participate. We have made a concerted effort to be inclusive of members’ spouses and children, creating events in which they can attend, as well as keeping our core members interest in driving and technical events at a high level.

We are continually looking for new or current members wishing to become more involved in planning and organizing events. If you have a great idea for an event, or would like to become more involved with the future of our club, please contact one of our Board members for more information.

President’s Article January 2014

The by-laws of the BMW Car Club of America Foundation states the Foundation is “organized exclusively for charitable, literary and educational purposes as set forth in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The Iowa Chapter has always had a charitable and benevolent purpose in which we have donated funds to several very deserving entities or charities. Most notable and of late, has been the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. Charity laps at driving school and raffle proceeds from the BimmerWorld race car door are the most recent.

Once again, our Club will be donating proceeds from several items to two different charities, which you will soon be able to bid on during a silent auction and a raffle. The club has been the recipient of several notable items recently, including two partial front bumper covers from damaged Turner Motorsport race cars, autographed by Bill Auberlin and Will Turner, a 8 x 10 framed poster autographed by four Turner Motorsport drivers and a Prevette’s master detailing kit.

The first bumper cover will be raffled at our annual picnic next summer. Tickets will be on sale at all of our events between now and then with the proceeds being donated to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. The other three items will be on display and auctioned with a silent auction during our Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet in Cedar Rapids on February 22.

The proceeds of our silent auction will be donated to the BMW CCA Foundation. The Foundation is currently in the process of a capital campaign drive to help secure the future of events such as Street Survival, archiving the history and library of the BMW CCA and expanding the museum in South Carolina.

The BMW CCA Foundation has received a matching funds challenge grant of $250,000 which will expire December 31, 2013. Although the matching funds grant will have expired, the Capital Campaign is still in progress and all members are encouraged to give in order to preserve and protect the history and programs of the BMW CCA.

BMW Performance Driving Center

The BMW Performance Driving Center was created near the BMW factory in South Carolina to promote performance driving techniques with late model BMW automobiles that could not be replicated anywhere else. There are a variety of performance driving programs designed and available for drivers of all skills, from one-day novice schools, two-day schools and advanced M schools. The schools designed and implemented at the BMW Performance Center are based on real world driving situations, much different than what most of us think of when we hear the words “driving school.” I had the opportunity to attend a one day school in October that was sponsored by the National Chapter, BMW CCA.

When Becky and I arrived at the Greenville airport on Friday morning, we were picked up and transported to our home base during the trip to the Greenville Marriott in a new 35X5d. The Greenville Marriott is located near the airport, BMW factory and museum, BMW Performance Driving Center and Michelin headquarters. In agreement with BMW NA, the hotel has new BMW’s on hand to transport their guests in first class style. As part of the agreement, the hotel will also transport guests of BMW activities to various locations in the city during their stay. Shortly after we checked in at the hotel, we asked the concierge for a ride to the BMW Museum. After a nice visit to the museum and gift shop, the driver from the hotel was summoned to return us to the hotel. The driver really wanted to impress us with the X5’s abilities, so he took the back roads to the hotel. Later in the evening, we were transported to downtown Greenville. While downtown, we were able to join the rest of the driving school attendees for dinner and enjoy the night life in a fabulous reinvigorated downtown Greenville. We enjoyed the ride to downtown and back in a new 750Li.

The driving school began early on Saturday morning with an introduction of our instructors, whom are all former or current race car drivers, and explanation of the exercises for the morning session. As with all driving schools, we began the day with classroom instruction. Following an hour of instruction, we were split into four groups of eight each. Each of us was paired with a partner in which to share a car. Four current model BMW’s are used in the exercises, M3’s M5’s, M6’s and 135is’s. Moving outside from the classroom, and after group instructions, the four instructor’s cars led the student’s cars to the appropriate place on the vast track to begin the designed exercises.

Four exercises were practiced during the morning session and four in the afternoon session, each lasting 45 minutes each. The morning session included a wet figure-8 skid pad, wet round skid pad, advanced corner entry on the long track and autocross practice on one of the short tracks. Each car contained a hand held radio attached in the door pocket. In this manner, the instructors would watch the students on the track and give instructions and encouragement to the students while standing near the track. After each 45 minute session, the students followed the instructor car back to the staging area and the students would move to a different car and follow a different instructor to a new exercise. After all students had practiced each of the four exercises, lunch was served.

Following a brief classroom session, the afternoon session began. The afternoon sessions consisted of high speed passing/follow the leader, wet skid pad pursuit races, timed autocross and high speed lapping on one of the short tracks. The last exercise of the day was a student ride on the track with the instructors as they performed flawless drifting on the skid pad followed by a 360 degree spin while leaving the skid pad and returning to the staging area.

If you have attended many high performance driving schools and would like to experience something new, or not attended any, a visit to the Performance Driving Center might be a great weekend getaway. I don’t know of many people that would not enjoy driving the latest M cars on a track without any worries.

President’s Article November 2013

What does it take for the Iowa BMW CCA to be #1?

Recently the National Board of Directors of the BMW CCA, in an effort to understand its members better and to provide a complete car club experience, determined the time was appropriate to survey the 75,000 members of the BMW CCA. The survey was designed to determine what current things members liked about their local chapters and what things they found frustrating.

In May, a survey was emailed to all 75,000 members of the BMW CCA to solicit opinions from local chapter members across the country and their satisfaction with their local BMW CCA club.

There were several categories of questions in which each member rated their local club including on-line presence, satisfaction with activities provided, and satisfaction with the local Board of Directors. When the results of the survey were tabulated at the National office and sent out to local chapter officials, our club was given the #1 ranking in the North Central Region, which includes 14 local BMW CCA chapters.

When asked what sets the Iowa Chapter apart from other chapters in our region, Regional Vice-President Mike Lingenfelter responded with, “the diversity of local chapter events and your distinction of having the second-highest member satisfaction among all 66 chapters in the country.” Lingenfelter went on to say that “being in the top quartile of chapters nationwide in May’s membership satisfaction survey, having a complete online presence by early summer and documenting a chapter strategic plan.”

Mike did not mention that our club has a very high member retention rate on the national level, usually finishing in the top five and being the number one club a couple of years ago.

In an effort to provide our members with a diverse and interesting program of events throughout the year, we have an annual planning meeting in November each year to give members a voice in which events they enjoy and which ones should be eliminated. This year’s planning meeting will be held on November 17 in the Des Moines area. Please plan to attend and help plan the calendar of events for 2014 to help us continue to be the top-rated BMW CCA club in the region.

President’s Article September 2013

As our Club attempts to attract new participants to our quality schedule of events, several organizers have tried different formats to create an experience that everyone will enjoy and remember. Most recently, Mike Lingenfelter, our Regional Vice-President from Indiana, has organized and hosted a Fall Colors Drive that originates and occurs around the Great Lakes Region and upper Midwest. One of the features Mike has used during his fall driving tour has been a “come and go” touring method. Participants can drive the entire tour, or join and leave the tour to fit into their personal schedule. During this event, the route is established; events and overnight stops are published. With this style of touring, each participant makes their own reservations at the hotel of their choice. By creating an “ala carte” lodging experience, all participants can pick hotels that fit their budget and style.

The Iowa Chapter will attempt to adapt this style of lodging choice to its Fall Colors Tour this year. This year’s tour will begin at BMW of Des Moines and wind its way through Iowa with a luncheon stop at Zimmerman BMW in Cedar Rapids. We will then meet, at a yet undetermined point, the North Star Chapter from Minneapolis. The entire group will then continue on to our destination of Dubuque and enjoy a 3½ hour dinner cruise aboard the Dubuque Riverboat down the Mississippi. Participants are encouraged to make their own reservations in a hotel or B&B that fits their budget and lifestyle. The list of hotels and B&B’s has been published via our email contacts list and will be sent out several more times before the event begins. Hope to see you there.

Fall Colors Tour and Dinner Cruise

The 2013 version of our Fall Colors Tour has been planned for October 19-20. The drive will begin in Des Moines and end in Dubuque with a dinner cruise on the Riverboat on Saturday night. The cost of the dinner cruise is $49 at this time. If a major sponsor is secured, the cost may be reduced. A new trend around the BMW CCA is the ala carte option for lodging during the drive. If you wish to stay overnight in Dubuque and continue with the drive on Sunday morning, you will get to make your own lodging reservations depending on your preferences. Here is a list of the top rated hotels and B&B’s in Dubuque.



Hampton Inn-855-271-3622
Hotel Julien Dubuque-563-556-4200
Best Western Plus-800-568-8520
Hilton Garden Inn-855-277-5057
Holiday Inn Express-877-859-5059


The Richards House-563-577-1492 – Website
The Mandolin Inn-800-524-7996
Redstone Inn-563-582-1894
Hancock House-563-8989

Registration Information

Please fill out the registration form below. Once you submit this form, you will be directed to a payment page where you can select number of tickets and pay using your credit card or paypal account.

If you prefer to mail us a check, please add your a note below in message field and mail your payment to us.

Make check payble to – BMW Car Club Iowa Chapter

Mailing Address

PO Box 42113
Urbandale, IA 50323

Ticket Price – $49

Registration Deadline – October 12th, 2013

<a href="">Click Here To Load This Form</a>

President’s Article July 2013

As in most volunteer organizations, the leadership of the club is always changing. One of the challenges to the current leadership is to find good folks who wish to dedicate time and energy to help that organization operate going forward. Since the inception of our club, there have been many capable and willing people who have helped craft our club into one of the premier clubs in the country. During the past two or three years, our Board of Directors has remained very stable and capable, but the time has come for some of our members to move on to other endeavors. Therefore, we are now in the process of looking to replace two very vital members of the Board. In the next few months, we will be looking to fill the Newswerks editor position and the treasurer position. The Newswerks editor position is an appointed position, but the treasurer position is elected by the general membership.

By accepting a position on the Board, you will be able to help steer and plan for the future of our club. One of the responsibilities of a Board member is to attend monthly meetings and to help with the functioning of the club through thoughtful insight. We hope that some of our talented and gifted members will step forward and indicate their interest in becoming a member of our Board. By doing so, you will insure the bright future of our club and help prepare new members for an exciting club membership. Board members may also be calling you on the phone to ask if you would like to serve in a position of leadership. If you are interested in either of our positions for the upcoming year, please contact me at

President’s Article May 2013

For many of us, the world is changing so fast we can hardly keep up with all of the new technological advances that have occurred in the past five years. As society changes, so does the demographics of our Iowa BMW Car Club. So in an attempt to stay current with modern trends, our club has spent a considerable amount of time in an attempt to maximize our “electronic footprint.” We have a wonderful website manager, Manoj Tomar, who has created one of the most admired BMW CCA websites in the country. Our social media manager, Nicole Smith, has spent many hours creating our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn pages.

For many of you, those things may not seem relevant to your lifestyle, but as a club, we must continue to grow and attract new members. In order to be visible to a younger generation, we must communicate in their language.

Many of you already know about Facebook and have a Facebook page. I will try to explain briefly what the other methods the club is using to communicate electronically. Twitter is a method of communicating small pieces of information quickly via a cell phone or computer. We will use Twitter to communicate our upcoming events. Pinerest is a photo sharing website and ours will have photos of our events posted. YouTube is a video website in which members can upload and view videos. We will use ours to post videos of our events, especially our action events such as driving school and car rallies. LinkedIn is a business website used to “network” with others and to communicate ones skills. Our club will use LinkedIn such as any business would to promote our club values and events.

I hope most of you will visit all of our electronic forms of communication soon. You can find a link to each of those directly from our website. Just click on the icon on the home page and you will be redirected to club website of each of those electronic methods of communication.

President’s Article March 2013

Most people join the BMW CCA “because of the cars and stay because of the people.” That is a common phrase heard at meetings and it is really true. But what most people don’t realize, there are many reasons to become a member of our club. There are a high percentage of members who don’t utilize all of the privileges of being a BMW CCA member. It is quite obvious that we have the best car magazine on the market, and the membership fee is well-worth receiving the Roundel in the mail every month.

But what are some other “member benefits” that are not quite so obvious? Most BMW dealers and many BMW independent shops offer discounts on parts and labor to club members. Members can apply to receive a rebate when purchasing a new or certified pre-owned BMW and we have an ombudsman who can help with disputes related to the manufacturer, dealer, repair shop, parts supplier and others. We have technical service advisors who can diagnose problems with your car when you cannot find an answer in other places.

Frank Patek, Executive Director of the BMW CCA has worked diligently to create agreements with many national companies to offer discounts for BMW CCA members. A partial list of these companies are; Sprint cellular, Worlds of Discovery attractions, Crowne Plaza hotels, Hertz and Avis rentals, Brooks Brothers clothing, Liberty Mutual insurance, Michelin tires, HPDE insurance and VISA rewards cards. Most recently Office Max has become a discount partner and is offering discount cards to be used on purchases at their stores. Attendees of this year’s Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet will be rewarded with one of these new cards. So next time when you are thinking, “is my annual membership fee worth the cost?” I would say that you cannot afford to be without it if you own a BMW.

2013 North Central Regional Caucus

Annually, representatives from local chapters of the BMW CCA meet as a national caucus or as a regional caucus to discuss club issues, and 2013 was the year for the smaller regional meeting. This year the North Central Regional Caucus met in Detroit from January 18-20. The president of each local chapter, along with three other members of the Board of Directors, attend to discuss topics that are relevant to each local club as well as topics that are important to the BMW CCA. Topics that were discussed this year dealt with “customer satisfaction,” communication with our members, and what actions should be taken to provide a quality “member experience.”

A benefit of meeting in Detroit this year, attendees of the caucus, including the Iowa Chapter Board of Directors members David Brighton, Chris Kjellmark, Alison Bell and Nicole Smith, were able to attend the Detroit International Auto Show on Saturday evening. Since the host hotel was on the campus of Ford Motors, the group also had time to visit the Henry Ford Museum on Sunday afternoon before the late flight home.

Here is a photo of the board members with North Central Regional Vice President Michael Lingenfelter.

Next Page »

Club Sponsors