New England Antique Racers Elects 1st Female President For 2023

The New England Antique Racers (NEAR) held it’s annual membership meeting returning to the place just shy one week of 42 years ago where the very first public meeting was held at the Dante Club in West Springfield Ma. It felt good to “be home” with a strong attendance on hand despite mother nature trying to put a damper on the event.
New England Antique Racers was formed and incorporated in January 1981. Over the past forty plus years the following superstars have led this extraordinary club Buddy Krebs, Charlie Stebbins, John Georgiades, Al Fini, Pete Newsham, Doug Farrow, Bob Seller, Val LeSieur, Paul Masse, and Rich Goucher, making it one of a few clubs of this kind that has outlived its life expectancy, and shows no signs, of slowing down.
The purpose of the corporation is to encourage the restoration of antique race cars, display same at racetracks & sporting events, honor outstanding people in the field of automobile racing and develop & foster knowledge of the history of automobile racing in New England among interested individuals and groups as well as the general public.  Club functions have included exhibitions at race tracks and auto shows, and the annual Hall of Fame ceremonies where over the past 25 over 200 people of racing significance have been inducted.
2023 sees some new names on the leadership team, and the Board of Directors and club are very enthusiastic about what lies ahead with this team at the helm. The slate of officers was voted in by show of hands and each vote a “landslide”.
Serving for her first term will be Janeen Wernecke as Treasurer. Janeen is a Pharmacist of over 20 years, and is an active member of NEAR, attending the car events at tracks in the area with her partner Jeremy Huntoon who drives one of the Butch Elms and Sting Vintage Race Cars, and she has been instrumental in assisting with the Hall of Fame ceremonies for the past 2 years.
Serving for her second term will be Diane Ingerson as Secretary Diane is an Inventory Control Specialist of over 25 years. She is an active member of NEAR, and heavily involved in antique race car restoration with her husband Scotti Ingerson, Sting Vintage Race Cars. She has also been instrumental in assisting with the Hall of Fame ceremonies for the past 2 years.
Serving for his first term will be Rich Goucher as Vice President, with Vice President Skip Matczak’s request to step down from an officer role of the club President Rich Goucher said he would like to step back to serve in that role. Rich has been a Fourslide Setup/Tool Repair at Century Spring for over 20 years. As President Rich Goucher has brought the club through some tough times, having kept it alive through the pandemic, picking up the pieces and ensuring we would still be here when the dust settled! Without his leadership we would not be here today!
Serving for her first term will be April May Preston-Elms as President, the first female President of NEAR.
April May has been serving as the Treasurer of NEAR since 2019. She is retired from the Federal Government having worked for 30 years as the Chief of Administration and Business Services, managing 5 National Park units in 4 different states. She is a former Vice President of David’s House a nonprofit in NH and President of a local Toast Masters Chapter in NH. She is co-owner/promoter of Bear Ridge Speedway with her husband CV Butch Elms. In 2020 she received the Northeast DIRTcar Outstanding Woman in Racing award. April May is an active member of NEAR, attending the car events at tracks in area with her husband Butch Elms and Sting Vintage Race Cars, racing vintage race cars. She has been heavily involved with the Hall of Fame ceremonies for the past two years.
During her acceptance speech April May conveyed “I am very humbled and honored to be given this opportunity to take on the lead of this great organization and look forward to working closely with the other officers, board members, committee chairs, and members as we keep this great club relevant and vibrant for decades to come.”
Don’t forget nominations are now being accepted for the 26th Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held this year at the Log Cabin Delaney House in Holyoke Ma on Sunday November 5th.  We are currently accepting nominations for this prestigious honor and look forward to another exemplary pool of applications for consideration to become one of the six individuals honored and added to the prestigious NEAR HoF roster along with two Veterans. Nominations can be mailed to NEAR, HoF Nominations P.O. Box 492 Bradford VT 05033.
The 2023 live events schedule has been set and will be posted on our social media.

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