James Gebhardt, #79025

My motorcycling history runs the gamut from Spanish and Japanese two-strokes in the 1960s–70s to a BSA and two Meridan Triumphs in the 1980s. I discovered BMWs in the mid-1990s, beginning with a 1976 R 90 S, then a 1988 K 75 S, and a 2002 K 1200 GT, all pre-owned. My first new BMW was an F 800 ST in 2012, and I added a 2007 R 1200 RT with a new Hannigan Bandito sidecar in 2013. My average annual mileage as a BMW owner was in the 8,000-mile range, mostly across the Northern Plains and the Pacific Northwest, until March 2014, when I was diagnosed with leukemia. I am in remission now, have a good prognosis and am riding again. I have been a member of the MOA since 1997.

On the professional side, I am a retired U.S. Army officer, having served 20-plus years in both enlisted and commissioned officer ranks. My 12-month Vietnam tour in 1967–68 was as a combat infantryman. I received my BA and MA degrees at the University of Idaho in 1974 and University of Washington in 1976, respectively. I graduated from the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, in 1984, and the U.S. Army Russian Institute, Garmisch, in 1986. After retirement from active duty in early 1992, I worked as a government contractor for the Army and the State Department for 13 years total, followed by an eight-year stint as an Army civilian. Since 1985, I have authored, translated from Russian, and edited a large number of works, from article to book length, on a wide range of military subjects, for the Army and for commercial, academic, and Internet publication.

From February 2011–July 2014, I was the paid copy editor of Owners News and worked in succession for Vince Winkel, Mary Baker, Rebecca Clark, and Bill Wiegand. Since September 2007, I have also been a paid copy editor for another nationally distributed monthly publication. In all, I have 30 years of writing and editing experience in the government, commercial, and nonprofit publishing sectors.

I seek a position on the Board of Directors with one principal goal—in cooperation with the current managing editor and his staff, to help improve the quality of the writing in ON. Much good work has been accomplished recently to refresh the layout, bring in new columnists, and broaden the scope of ON content. During this same period, however, the quality of the text itself has suffered. Consistent copy editing seems no longer to be a priority. Most of our Owners News content is not written by professional staff—it comes primarily from members. Therefore, professional copy editing, based on a single, authoritative style guide, is necessary for the Owners News to truly become “a premier motorcycle publication.”

While this goal should be easily attainable in a single term, I will serve at the members’ will and work always to move the MOA forward, whatever my assigned committees and tasks. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Visit Jim and ask questions in the Candidate and Election thread in the MOA Forum.
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