This column is to honor the State Directors whose drive and personality improves the quality of life of their state MSTA members.
This month STAReview Magazine features Richard Giddish, East Tennessee State Director.
Richard: My first motorcycle was a leftover 1971 Yamaha JT1 60cc Mini Enduro that I bought when I was 11 in 1972 after saving up the money by cutting lawns. I did not own it a year before my dad was already ‘hoping it up’ by milling the head, boring the carb, cutting back the rotary valve, replacing the air filter and modifying the exhaust to get me more horsepower. I currently ride a 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere to Road based MSTA events and a 2008 Suzuki DR650SE to Dual Sport based MSTA events.
SRM: How long were you a member before you became a State Director and what prompted you to volunteer for the position?
Richard: I was a member about 5 years when Geoffrey Greene approached me and asked me if I would like to take over the position of East Tennessee State Director. Geoffrey was very persuasive (just kidding). I became a State Director to give something back to the MSTA. Joining the HSTA/MSTA was the best thing I have done in my motorcycling history.
SRM: What were your goals for your state once you became a State Director?
Richard: I wanted to hold some weekend events in the East Tennessee area to encourage other MSTA people to enjoy the great riding areas we have to offer here in East Tennessee. To that extent we have had road riding events in Erwin Tennessee, Dual Sport based events in Etowah, Tennessee and STAR 2011 in Johnson City, Tennessee.
SRM: What does it take to be a State Director in respect to time and effort?
Richard: With everyone’s free time becoming more restricted due to work, etc., my suggestion would be just to do what you can to help the MSTA with the time you have available. Any time and effort you donate to the MSTA is greatly appreciated by the members and other officers and is returned in long lasting friendships.
SRM: What do you find to be the best way the members can help the State Director?
Richard: Stay in contact with them, and offer to help out if they hold events or rides. Oh, and attend MSTA events when they can. It is always nice to see familiar faces each year at the events that were held in Tennessee.
SRM: What is one of your best memories as a State Director?
Richard: Doing the Nolichucky Valley Rally in Erwin each year. People came from all over just to stay in that out of the way hotel in that little town and ride the local roads.
SRM: What one recommendation can you make to MSTA members who are thinking of becoming a State Director, Assistant Director or Co-Director?
Richard: Don’t ever hesitate to volunteer. Had I not become the East Tennessee State Director and held those weekend events, I would not have met and became friends with nearly as many people in the MSTA today.
All of us at STAReview Magazine and MSTA would like to thank East Tennessee State Director Richard Giddish and his fellow Tennessee MSTA member staff for all their efforts at making Tennessee a great place to ride.