2019 SER Board of Directors Election

The SER 2019 Board of Directors elections will be held beginning in April 2019 and closing May 18, 2019.  For voting requirements and candidate statements:
On the ballot are:
President, Larry Burkholder
Treasurer, Mark McAllister
Director, Tom Cusker, Roy Masterson, Kenneth Mattern, Paul V. Voelker, Randall Watson
Members with an email address on file may vote electronically.  All members may vote using the paper ballot included in the Spring 2019 SouthErneR.  
Voting Requirements
You must be a voting member of the NMRA in good standing to vote in elections.  Voting members are Regular Members, Associate Members, Life Members, Student Members, and Sustaining Members.  RailPass and Family members are not eligible to vote.
Candidate Statements
Larry Burkholder
Age 77
Married (Marge), two daughters, and six grandchildren.
Residence: Loudon (Tellico Village), TN
Involved in model railroading since high school, but only seriously since I finally moved into a house with room for a layout and I retired and stopped almost continuous business travel in 1998. Was Superintendent of the Smoky Mountain Division (Div. 12) for about ten years. Chairman of the 2012 SER annual convention in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. SER region director and Education Chairman since 2017. Also currently President of the Knoxville Area Model Railroaders club. Working on the NMRA Achievement Program, with five certificates so far.
Former President of the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge Board of Directors. Was VP and General Manager of Pfizer's Oil Field Products Group in Houston for ten years prior to retirement from there in 1996. After that I spent two years in China starting up a pilot plant and sales office for Coultor, a Finnish specialty food additives company. Retired to Tellico Village, Tennessee in 1998.
I believe my model railroad level of interest, service and relationships within the SER, and my general business managerial experience provide the necessary background to perform well as SER President and to continue the regional leadership the SER brings to the NMRA.
Larry Burkholder
Mark McAllister
Hello, my name is Mark McAllister. Many of you have known me for a number of years. I am seeking a term as Treasurer for our region, SER-NMRA. I became very active as a model railroader when I was twelve but it was a ride aboard an Louisville & Nashville switch engine with my uncle, at age 5 in 1968, that solidified my love of trains. Once I became active in our hobby, I joined the local club where I learned about modeling. I later served at vice-president and president of that same club.
My first involvement with the NMRA/SER was in the early 1980s when I attended my first convention in Washington, D.C. I spent many years learning all I could from so many all around our region. I later served as HQ Division Superintendent in the late 1990s. In more recent years, I’ve worked as one of the founding members of a modular club that started with 4-5 and now number almost fifty members, attained 501-c-3 non-profit status and is currently building out an expansion to our clubhouse so that we may host educational classes, module work session and public outreach activities. I have served as president of Chattanooga Modular Modelers for the past four years and deputy superintendent of the SER-Cherokee Division for the past two years and convention staff for the 2019 SER Convention.  My modeling interests are Southern Rwy., Central of Georgia and Louisville & Nashville. I live in East Ridge, Tennessee (Chattanooga).
I believe that education is key to our hobby… teaching those interested about railroads, their operations, layout construction techniques, technology, modeling skills and history. All these bring our hobby to life create interest for us as hobbyists. I love the aspect of helping others get the most out of our hobby. In fact, I do it every day as I now work in the model railroad industry for a major model manufacturer. It is my desire to bring my passion for the hobby and my experience to the leadership team for the Southeast Region. I humbly ask for your vote.
Director at Large
Tom Cusker
Thomas Cusker - I would like to place my name in nomination for Director of the SER.  I have been a member of the NMRA for over 25 years and am a Life Member.   I am 70 years old, retired, married and reside in Helena, Alabama.   I have previously served as SER secretary, SER Director and SER Convention Chairman.  I have served as the Steel City Division Secretary, President and as the co-chairman of the 2004 SER Convention and chairman of the 2010 Convention.  I am currently a member of the Wrecking Crew Model Railroad club in Birmingham.   I have been involved in model railroading since 1960 and I am in the process of building my 4th layout based on the B&O and a member of the B&O Historical Society. I also have a large collection of B&O memorabilia.  I took a break for the last few years from being involved in the SER board to let others step in but now feel it is time to get back involved since I am now retired.   I believe my previous experience on the board will help serve the SER membership.  I would appreciate your support in the upcoming election. 
Director at Large
Roy Masterson
Like most model railroaders I caught the bug early.  My cousin had a Lionel Santa Fe streamlined passenger train and a freight train pulled by a Santa Fe steamer on a two level layout his family set up every Christmas.  As a 6 year old I was hooked!  The next year Santa brought me my own American Flyer train set.  And I still remember the Model Railroader magazine my cousin gave me.  That was a long time ago and I can say I’ve been a model railroader most of my life.
I am a member of the Operations Special Interest Group and enjoy running trains every chance I get.  Through OPSIG I have met a lot of great modelers in our hobby and have been fortunate to operate on a lot of outstanding layouts.  My own HO scale Louisville Southern double-deck layout was built for operations.  My 230’ mainline layout is set in the late 1960’s and with Southern, L&N and Tennessee Central motive power.  
I’m also a member of the Chattanooga Modular Modular Modelers, Chattanooga Area Model Railroad Club and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.  My wife, Kay, and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In September of 2016 I was asked if I would take over as Superintendent of the Southern District of the Headquarters Division.  Our District had been inactive for many years and with the help of our newly elected Board we have become an active organization again.  So much so that the SER and President Mole thought we should host the 2019 SER Annual Convention in Chattanooga.  I became the Convention Chairman and assembled a great team of talented Convention Committee members who have worked hard on this year’s convention.  We have also hosted several Boy Scout Railroad Merit Badge Programs at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. In 2018 our members voted to rename the Headquarters Division to the Cherokee Division.
At the 2018 SER Annual Convention I was honored to receive the President’s Award for the progress our Division has achieved in promoting our hobby in the Southeastern Region.  If I am elected as a Director of the SER I will continue to work with the many outstanding modelers in our region as we share our love of trains and model railroading with the future leaders in our great hobby.
Director at Large
Kenneth Mattern
My name is Kenneth Mattern and I live in Huntsville, Al. I’m a retired DoD contractor who specialized in software development and big data mining for many years. I am also a retired licensed minister in the United Church of Christ and in the past have served elected office in my church conference in Pennsylvania. I’m active in my local church, love to cook and read. I’ve been a model railroader in some form or another for longer than I would like to think or remember. I’m currently working on my fourth N-Scale layout. It is a freelanced interchange with the PRR in Lewistown, Pa. I rode the Pennsylvanian, still an Amtrak train, back in the 1960's.
I’ve been an NMRA member for about ten years. I have been active in the Mid-South Division since its reboot a few years back. I’m the webmaster and a director for the division. I have participated in regional conventions and have attended national conventions as well. Though I know how to build models, lay track, run trains and spend too much money at hobby shops I believe that as a director of the SER I will broaden both my friendships and relationships but will also greatly enhance my knowledge of this wonderful hobby. In return I believe, through my experiences working with business and government, as well as the church, I can provide a level of knowledge that will support the region and those in it in a businesslike manner.
Director at Large
Paul Voelker
Hi, my name is Paul V. Voelker and I’d like to serve the SER for a second term as
a Director of the Southeastern Region.
Some history about me, I’ve been an NMRA member for over 50 years and I’ve
been an SER member for over 30 years. I served on two national convention
committees, two region convention committees and I was editor of this region’s
The SouthErneR newsletter for fifteen years finally retiring in March of 2016. I
had served on the Piedmont Division’s BOD as a Director for nineteen out of
twenty years, four years concurrently as an SER Director. Speaking of which, I
had served previously as an SER Director for two four-year terms and not planning
to run again. However after two years, I was then talked into running again
for an additional term which is now just concluding this year. I believe I am eligible
to run for one last term as a Director which is now a two-year position after
the Board of Directors rules change of last year.
I hold numerous service awards—two NMRA President’s Awards, Fellow of the
NMRA Award, Dave Muller and Vern Yarbrough Awards for service to our region,
and a number of Piedmont Division Awards. I am active in the Achievement Program
holding certificates for Dispatcher, Official, Volunteer, and Author.
Currently I am the editor of the NMRA Turntable, the online monthly newsletter
offering suggestions for model and prototype railroading videos that may be of
interest to watch, along with other online resources. For the past twenty-nine
years I’ve served on the NMRA’s contest staff, first as photo contest assistant (9
years), then later as both the current National Photo Contest Chairman (20 years),
and Pass Contest Chairman (22 years). I also created and authored the onlineonly
NMRA Model Contest PhotoBook series covering all of the entries in national
contests from 2004-2010 and 2016. Also over the past three years I have
been making trips to the United Kingdom to attend the British Region conventions
and also touring various railroad-related venues with an eye to help promote
their future 2022 NMRA National Convention in Birmingham, England.
My primary interests in wanting to serve the SER as a Director for two more
years is to keep the region on a steady course and solvent, to help out the various
divisions where we can, and to promote the hobby of model railroading. I would
appreciate your vote to let me serve for another two years!
Paul V. Voelker
NMRA Life Member
Director at Large
Randall Watson
My name is Randall Watson, I’m running for the position of Director of the Southeastern Region (SER) Board.  I’m acquainted with a lot of the region membership however, for those of you I have not had the pleasure of meeting, I’d like to share some information about myself.  I joined the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) as a regular member in 1970 becoming a Life Member of the NMRA in 1994.  Briefly, I have served in my home division in the positions of Treasurer, Director and various committees such as the division annual train show for 15 years. I volunteered for the Cross Roads Atlanta National Convention as a layout tour guide and as a member of the host committee for the Peachtree Express National convention. I was Chairman of the ticket sales booth and worked in the sales booth the entire convention.  
Under the region leadership of President Roy Tritt, I served as Assistant Treasurer for two years before being elected to fill the position of Treasurer for two years also under President Tritt and an additional two years under President Bob Beaty. After completing my role as treasurer, I ran for and was elected to fill a four year term in the position of Region Director.  Under President Beaty’s  leadership, I was also appointed region car sales chairman in addition to my director position.  I have served in the position of Region Assistant AP Manager under George Gilbert.  When George left the AP Manager position, I was appointed by President Alan Mole to fill the Region AP Manager position in which I still serve in addition to chairing the on-going region car sales project. 
My personal accomplishments include receiving the SER Region Dave Muller Award in 2001 for division volunteerism. In 2018, I was honored and humbled to be presented the Vern Yarbrough Award for outstanding service in the Southeastern Region as this region has many other qualified recipients other than myself.  
Although it’s been years since I’ve served in a voting position of the SER Board, I feel my knowledge, experience and involvement at both the division and region level will be an asset in reaching out to fellow modelers, both members and non-members, to encourage participation and insure the continuation of a strong region. I feel the position of Director has two major responsibilities, the first being to our great region. The second responsibility is to the members of the region.  As your Director, I have the responsibility to bring all suggestions or concerns to the attention of the board for their consideration.  I appreciate your consideration and support by voting for me to continue my service to the region by filling one of the two open director positions.
My appreciation and thanks to all current board members for their hard work and dedication to the SER.