Stephen Nicholson - Secretary/PR
#1
Who are you?
Hey everyone! I'm Stephen Nicholson otherwise known as the "Multilingual Eggplant Specialist" in the Alum GroupMe (Thank you, Taylor, for that name). I am currently a Sophmore Justice Studies and Arabic major along with a Pre-Law track. I've been doing 18-21 credit hour semesters since my first semester here at JMU while working for a flooring company based out of Richmond. I'm also the president of the Newly Initiated Brothers of the JMU chapter of Phi Alpha Delta (the Pre-Law fraternity). For the next four semesters, I will only be doing 12-14 credit hour semesters here at JMU and I will still be working with the flooring company. That being said I will I have much more free time over the next two years and I'd like to fill that time with MM related tasks and activities.
My Freshman year I had no idea that MM existed until I saw the car show. Since then I made it one my goals to find out more about the club and to eventually join. I started by searching through social media for MM related things and that made me want to join even more. Fast forward to MAAP's first institute where I had the opportunity to completely rebuild a Porsche 356 engine with none other than Jackson, Brandon, Joseph and Erik. During that time at the institute, I expressed my interest in MM to Jackson and Brandon and they explained to me what exactly MM was about from that moment on I was hooked. sidenote* I think it'd be really cool to be an officer with the three people that introduced me to the club Smile

Do you even like cars? 
Yes, of course, I do! My relationship with cars started in the hood of Baltimore where I spent the first 8 years of my life. As an effort to get me out of that setting my cousins would take me to car shows outside of the city which sparked my interest in cars. My father has always had crazy lifted trucks and motorcycles and when we moved to a farm he had a legit monster truck! He would always let me help when something broke which I am very grateful for as a lot of people did not have the opportunity to do things like that when they were younger. Later on, when I started making some decent money I bought myself a 2009 Toyota Tacoma single cab (basically a work truck) that I would go on to bag and put some nice Enkei's on (miss that truck). During that time I was also gifted a 1992 Foxbody Mustang roller from my grandfather. This is one of my favorite cars as I got to put an engine, trans, etc in it with my father and his friends. Unfortunately, during a heavy downpour on my way back from school I rolled it over a large hill (basically a cliff) I was okay thanks to the cage and harness but the car was completely totaled (I cried for two days, man tears of course). After that I found a 1998 300zx twin turbo for an insane price that I couldn't pass up, I upgraded the turbos, lowered it and drove the piss out of that car. When I started to make some real money with the flooring company I decided to trade the 09' Tacoma in for a 2014 TRD Tacoma (my first new vehicle). After some time I got bored of the 300zx and sold it to my friend for one hell of a profit. Then one-day driving threw Newport News I stumbled upon a 2015 Saleen Mustang with about 10,000 miles on it that I fell in love with and the next day it was mine. At this time I had no intentions of going to college and I was very okay with that. After my parents talked to me about college and what it would mean for me to be the first in my family to attend and the example I would be setting for my younger family members I decided that going to college was the right thing to do even if my parents wouldn't help me out financially (they've grown a little more considerate over the last year w/ financial help). So I sold the Saleen and the Tacoma (I only lost 3k on both which is was spectacular IMO) and bought the EcoBoost which makes for plenty of fun, gas mileage, insurance cost, etc. 

Stephen, why do you want to be the Secretary of Madison Motorsports? 
Well, one of the reasons I would like to be the Secretary is to improve the quality of our social media and Alumni outreach. Looking through the current state of the MM Facebook and Instagram it's kind of disappointing to me. MM's social media might be the first thing that someone sees in relation to the club so there has to be some sort of quality control there. There's also the lack of a Youtube presence, which I would like to change by doing videos like "Member Spotlights".I'd also like to do social media collaborations with local businesses (this could eventually make the club some money) as I have made some friends in the local community that are small business owners. These would be videos that would basically be an interview with an individual member asking them why they joined MM, what drives their automotive passion, etc. I have a pretty good understanding of what MM is really about and I'd like to show the rest of the world what it means to be a member of Madison Motorsports. I'd also like to improve Alumni outreach by simply improving the quality of emails sent out to you all. From what I understood via the GroupMe, this was something you all expressed concern about. I send semi-professional and professional emails nearly every day and it's a skill that I take a lot of pride in having. 

What traits do you possess relative to the secretary position? 
For starters, I am EXTREMELY organized with note taking, calendars, etc. I am also a detail orientated person when it comes to event planning and emailing. I am also a very personable and open person, so if anybody were to have a concern with the club, other members, social media or anything else MM related I am confident that they would feel comfortable coming to me for advice or to address some of their concerns. I'm also open to suggestion on how to improve anything related to the club but I'm also not a pushover so I will gladly let someone know if they are overstepping their boundaries.
Current:
 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Past:
2009 Slammed Single Cab Tacoma
2014 Crew Cab Tacoma 
1992 Foxbody Mustang 5.0
1998 300zx TT
2015 Saleen Mustang GT - White Label
#2
Wow, Stephen, great write up and backstory, I've never heard most of these things before like the monster truck, Saleen, or first in the family to go to college, my utmost respect to you for making that decision.

I'm glad you have experience with professional emails from your job experience, although I just want to make sure the "English" you use in the GroupMe will be used sparingly in these emails aside from of course the necessary eggplant emoji's here and there. I also like the idea of member spotlights and a youtube presence as I know my first entry into the love of cars came about watching hours of youtube videos on them, would you handle the video taking, editing, and uploading as I know that snow video kind of got lost in the pile Wink

Finally, you mentioned you want to improve our social media appearance which I agree needs an update and I have been trying to do this year. What are your ideas for giving out an "updated" image on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Website, etc?

Current:
13' E92 M3 Comp | 05' Yahama R6 | 95' E36 M3

Past:
14' BMW 335xi GT | 06' Porsche Boxster S | 15' Jeep Grand Cherokee | 84' BMW 733i | 85' Honda Shadow VT700 | 06' Acura TL
#3
Thanks, Brandon, I appreciate your interest in my post!

GroupMe is by far the most relaxed part of MM and I intentionally write in a sort of broken English because it's fun to me. I will obviously not be using that type of language in professional emails. As for the snow video, if you can recall I was working out all of the kinks with the new camera and the stabilizer so most of the shots were not up to my standard (trust me it triggers me too). That being said for future videos I will let anyone help but I and other officers will have the final say on what is actually posted.

Social Media
Facebook: Posting once a month is not okay, frequency tends to be key on Facebook. This will also serve as a place to promote our other social media platforms.
Instagram: I'm not happy with the quality of the posts (sorry Brandi). Excessive filters, poorly cropped, etc. I will make sure that higher quality posts are made.
Twitter: It's pretty much dead as far as I can maybe a couple favs here and there. IMO Twitter is not the best outlet for MM but I'd work to share more posts and connect with other clubs here.
Website: IMO it looks amazing and I wouldn't change anything unless someone has an idea
Current:
 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Past:
2009 Slammed Single Cab Tacoma
2014 Crew Cab Tacoma 
1992 Foxbody Mustang 5.0
1998 300zx TT
2015 Saleen Mustang GT - White Label
#4
Stephen, sweet post. Sounds like you have a great idea as to what you'd like to do and how to handle it. 

Also, please take cute pics of my car so I can post them like a basic white girl on spring break?
#5
(03-29-2018, 01:57 PM)rydercp Wrote: Stephen, sweet post. Sounds like you have a great idea as to what you'd like to do and how to handle it. 

Also, please take cute pics of my car so I can post them like a basic white girl on spring break?
Thanks Chris! I'd love to photograph your car!

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Current:
 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Past:
2009 Slammed Single Cab Tacoma
2014 Crew Cab Tacoma 
1992 Foxbody Mustang 5.0
1998 300zx TT
2015 Saleen Mustang GT - White Label
#6
(03-29-2018, 01:33 PM)Eco_Boi_Stephen Wrote: Thanks, Brandon, I appreciate your interest in my post!

GroupMe is by far the most relaxed part of MM and I intentionally write in a sort of broken English because it's fun to me. I will obviously not be using that type of language in professional emails. As for the snow video, if you can recall I was working out all of the kinks with the new camera and the stabilizer so most of the shots were not up to my standard (trust me it triggers me too). That being said for future videos I will let anyone help but I and other officers will have the final say on what is actually posted.

Social Media
Facebook: Posting once a month is not okay, frequency tends to be key on Facebook. This will also serve as a place to promote our other social media platforms.
Instagram: I'm not happy with the quality of the posts (sorry Brandi). Excessive filters, poorly cropped, etc. I will make sure that higher quality posts are made.
Twitter: It's pretty much dead as far as I can maybe a couple favs here and there. IMO Twitter is not the best outlet for MM but I'd work to share more posts and connect with other clubs here.
Website: IMO it looks amazing and I wouldn't change anything unless someone has an idea

Yup, just wanted to make sure these videos were going to be quality and not just pumped out, and I'm glad to hear you have such an eye for detail that you won't let sub-par work go published, no more power-point images on our Instagram   Confused

Consistency is key and having someone who is devoted to this upcomming year's social presence will be great for the club in my opinion. I don't use Twitter, never have and never will, so I'm fine with not using it but it might be something just to throw up updates every month or two weeks. The website I just want info to be updated constantly, Jake made it so the pics are always revolving and updating from our Instagram I believe? But keeping upcomming and past events, as well as maybe having those member-spotlight videos on the homepage would be awesome. I just want the website to be something that draws people in if they stumble upon it, not just a landing page for people who already know what the club is. As for Instagram, you have now lost my vote, my filters are fire and you know it.

Current:
13' E92 M3 Comp | 05' Yahama R6 | 95' E36 M3

Past:
14' BMW 335xi GT | 06' Porsche Boxster S | 15' Jeep Grand Cherokee | 84' BMW 733i | 85' Honda Shadow VT700 | 06' Acura TL
#7
(03-29-2018, 12:42 PM)Eco_Boi_Stephen Wrote: Stephen, why do you want to be the Secretary of Madison Motorsports? 
There's also the lack of a Youtube presence, which I would like to change by doing videos like "Member Spotlights".I'd also like to do social media collaborations with local businesses (this could eventually make the club some money) as I have made some friends in the local community that are small business owners. These would be videos that would basically be an interview with an individual member asking them why they joined MM, what drives their automotive passion, etc. I have a pretty good understanding of what MM is really about and I'd like to show the rest of the world what it means to be a member of Madison Motorsports. I'd also like to improve Alumni outreach by simply improving the quality of emails sent out to you all. From what I understood via the GroupMe, this was something you all expressed concern about. I send semi-professional and professional emails nearly every day and it's a skill that I take a lot of pride in having. 

Interesting ideas here. I'm very curious to know more and i'd like to know just exactly what and how you plan to showcase Madison Motorsports and what its about. Also what businesses you plan to try and collaborate with. 

Also you didn't make any mention of autocrosses, trackcrosses, vir, summit, nasa or scca, tell me more on your thoughts about that as well.
2013 Honda Fit, 1991 Mazda Miata, Princess Blanca, Mystery, 1993 Volvo 940 - sold, 2003 Mazda Protoge5 - carmax'd, 1996 BMW 328is - sold, 1996 Honda Accord - sold
#8
Nice post and I like the ideas - I think the club has been at its strongest in the past when we had someone who was very media-focused. Being able to create and cultivate a high-quality, consistent "brand" for MM would go a long way. I like the video idea - Goodspeed was the last one who really did a lot of video work and that would be killer to help promote the club!

Glad you think the website looks good (*takes bow*) but what would your plan be to ensure more content was constantly being updated/posted? I think it's important to use the homepage/site as our main "face" and then have all the social channels as offshoots of that. Twitter has never really made sense to me for this club - we could always sunset it or keep using it with an actual plan going forward. Curious on your thoughts for those two channels...
Now:
'16 Ram 1500 | '97 BMW M3 | Some Press Loan

Then:
87 BMW 325e | 91 BMW 535i | 96 BMW 328i | 95 BMW 325i | 95 Mazda Miata | 13 Focus ST | 09 BMW 128i | 00 Pontiac Firebird | 05 Yukon Denali | 96 BMW 328iC | 11 Ford F-150 | 06 BMW M3 | 10 Range Rover SC | '03 Ford Ranger | '18 Ford F-150 | '01 BMW X5 | '98 Volvo S70 T5M
#9
Ditto on what Jake said, except that I think Twitter is a useful platform. Not to build a brand, but for an easily read list of official communications from the club. When I ran the twitter for the least 2 years, every event was tweeted with a link to more information.

Want the latest in MM news? Just check the Twitter. I'd REALLY like to see the social media be 1) More active and 2) Be professional and consistent. A key to a good social media presence is being consistent with your style and timing.

I like the ideas of more branding and social media presence BUT, I think that's easy to say you want to do because it's fun and flashy. However, will you do the regular stuff that isn't so glamorous? List from Protoshea's thread.

1. Running Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
2. Writing PROFESSIONAL emails, regularly and filling them with useful information. The emails this year were very underwhelming and way too informal. An email should be sent at least once a month to everyone on the list with information about what has happened in MM recently and upcoming events with details and links to their information threads
3. Creating event threads with useful information - Every event should have a thread, from the car show, to big cruises, to bowling nights and cookouts. Make a thread so that when someone wants information, just link the thread. Check out the event forum for examples
4. Help plan and run meetings - Create agendas for meetings (work with Jackson) so that everyone knows what you'll be talking about and can shape discussion, take notes during the meetings and post the notes here on the forum for people who missed the meeting
5. Spread the word of the club (not to everyone. Keep the hooligans and randoms away)
6. Reach out to other groups and clubs. Stay close to CCVT and other car clubs, keep a relationship with MAAP
7. Assist the other officers. Just because it's not your "job" doesn't mean you shouldn't help or do it if someone else can't.

Not grilling you at all. You're a cool dude. Just asking some questions.
Current:
2011 F150 Platinum | 1995 BMW 325i | 2015 Fiesta ST 1983 BMW 320i  The MMoped 
Past:
1996 Toyota Tacoma: | 1992 Mazda Miata | 2002 BMW 325i |
2003 Toyota Tacoma | 1995 Miata M Edition | 1997 Subaru Outback |
1992 Mazda Miata | 1990 BMW 325i  | 2007 Toyota 4Runner | 
1995 Ford Windstar 1987 BMW 325i | 1987 BMW 325 | 1990 BMW 325i Vert |
2018 VW GTI | 1990 Mazda Miata | 
1989 BMW 325i Vert 
#10
*insertusernamehere*

As mentioned in my original post I would really like to do member profiles for MM (including Alum), I truly believe that the best way to know what a club, organization, business, etc. is really about is by getting to know the team/members behind it. For example, a social fraternity can SAY they're all about philanthropy but then you take the time to talk to the members and that is the last thing on their mind. If you talk to current members about MM (no matter the level of rice) track time will most likely be mentioned. Another aspect of MM that I would like to highlight is the comradery within the club. This will be highlighted via social media posts.
On top of making the member profiles, I would also like to create videos about MM group experiences (stuff like C&C) track experiences at VIR, autocross, East Side, etc.. These could be something as simple as a 20-30 second Instagram/Facebook video with text or a more in-depth detail orientated video OR both.

I'd like to collaborate with City Motors and Mr. Tire Auto Service Center. The owner was one of the first people that I met in the Harrisonburg car community and was a former student at JMU (a long time ago). He has expressed interest to me in holding events at like C&C (at later times) when the weather is warm at both of his businesses. He also has close ties with the owners of Mr. J's which have also expressed the same interest to him. I'm also good friends with another local that works with CJ Pony Parts that may be open to doing a tour around the CJ headquarters or something along those lines. I'd also like to do some sort of detailing or vinyl wrap lesson with Max Shumeyko.

Hopefully, this answered your questions! Let me know if you'd like more details on anything mentioned or if I forgot something.

(03-30-2018, 08:32 AM)Jake Wrote: Nice post and I like the ideas - I think the club has been at its strongest in the past when we had someone who was very media-focused. Being able to create and cultivate a high-quality, consistent "brand" for MM would go a long way. I like the video idea - Goodspeed was the last one who really did a lot of video work and that would be killer to help promote the club!

Glad you think the website looks good (*takes bow*) but what would your plan be to ensure more content was constantly being updated/posted? I think it's important to use the homepage/site as our main "face" and then have all the social channels as offshoots of that. Twitter has never really made sense to me for this club - we could always sunset it or keep using it with an actual plan going forward. Curious on your thoughts for those two channels...

Well, Jake, I think I'd have to talk to you a little bit more about keeping the website up to date as far as actually changing/updating things on there consists of as in do I actually go in and add stuff (I ask this because the "latest news" section is not the latest news haha). That being I said, I think you hit the nail on the head as far as keeping the website as our "main face" and using it to funnel people towards our social media.
I see Twitter for us being used primarily for tracking our events and like Taylor said, linking to more information.

Taylor, ask all the questions! I don't mind haha

I think Twitter would be a great platform for a kind of informal calendar. I say this because if I'm an officer we WILL have a badass calendar that is readily accessible to all members, uggghhh I'm getting all excited just thinking about it.

I didn't touch on the following because I thought of all of it as a sort "well duh" type of thing.

3 Is actually the first thing I ever did on the forums after my introduction
4-7 I would do naturally in all honesty

3. Creating event threads with useful information
4. Help plan and run meetings - Create agendas for meetings (work with Jackson) so that everyone knows what you'll be talking about and can shape the discussion, take notes during the meetings and post the notes here on the forum for people who missed the meeting
5. Spread the word about the club (not to everyone. Keep the hooligans and randoms away)
6. Reach out to other groups and clubs. Stay close to CCVT and other car clubs, keep a relationship with MAAP
7. Assist the other officers. Just because it's not your "job" doesn't mean you shouldn't help or do it if someone else can't
Current:
 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Past:
2009 Slammed Single Cab Tacoma
2014 Crew Cab Tacoma 
1992 Foxbody Mustang 5.0
1998 300zx TT
2015 Saleen Mustang GT - White Label
#11
Thanks for the response! Have you been to the current C&C at Mr. J's?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Current:
2011 F150 Platinum | 1995 BMW 325i | 2015 Fiesta ST 1983 BMW 320i  The MMoped 
Past:
1996 Toyota Tacoma: | 1992 Mazda Miata | 2002 BMW 325i |
2003 Toyota Tacoma | 1995 Miata M Edition | 1997 Subaru Outback |
1992 Mazda Miata | 1990 BMW 325i  | 2007 Toyota 4Runner | 
1995 Ford Windstar 1987 BMW 325i | 1987 BMW 325 | 1990 BMW 325i Vert |
2018 VW GTI | 1990 Mazda Miata | 
1989 BMW 325i Vert 
#12
(03-30-2018, 12:34 PM)Senor_Taylor Wrote: Thanks for the response! Have you been to the current C&C at Mr. J's?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

No problem. Harrisonburg C&C has actually been moved to MAAP for the time being though from what I've heard they will be switching back forth. I actually went to a bunch at Mr. J's last year, I'm almost sure I saw you there one time! This was before I knew what MM was.
Current:
 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Past:
2009 Slammed Single Cab Tacoma
2014 Crew Cab Tacoma 
1992 Foxbody Mustang 5.0
1998 300zx TT
2015 Saleen Mustang GT - White Label


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