“ . . . it’s the people”: Fran Ussery – “Driving Friendships” By Linda Bambina, Region PR Chair Author’s note: As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, Fran came up with the perfect tag line, “Maverick Region: Driving Friendships for 50 years.” Maverick Region is a remarkably strong and active region. Throughout our 53 years, there have been some really devoted members who have made a huge difference in a variety of aspects of running our club. I’ll start with one of our most remarkable members: Fran Ussery. Fran joined Maverick Region in 1980 along with husband Carl and their killer ’73 914 (Ayisha). Avid Autocrossers, Fran and Carl quickly joined the Board as Autocross Chairs. The Ussery family: Adam, By 1982 Erin, Fran, and Carl the couple had received the coveted Selcer Award. She would win this award again in 1987 while juggling her third year as Slipstream Editor, as well as being DFW Parade Goodie Store Chair extraordinaire. But her real contribution to our region began when she was enthusiastically elected President in 1984. Fran brought a strong sense of organization to the Board and Region while she set her sights on getting more women involved in all aspects and activities of the club which was an unusual idea at the time. Fran organized “Ladies Only” Autocross School events where not even 8 March the instructors or observers were men. We had Big Hat Luncheons, and other social gatherings. At our monthly Dinner Program Meetings, we women focused on the wives of our members to find out how they felt about driving their husband’s Porsche. Our goal was to help the women get past their fears about driving such special sports cars. It worked. After visiting with other regions in Texas and at Parade, we discovered how really unusual and versatile our club was becoming with so many women on the Board. In 1987 we hosted the Parade with a woman (another true-to-life maverick, Teri Davis) as Parade Chair. Fran went over the top as Goodie Store Chair with four separate hotel meeting rooms stocked with all things Texan or Porsche: clothing (the likes of which has never been surpassed), car parts, books, memorabilia, glassware, art, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, and more. When she was Hospitality Chair at the San Antonio Parade in ’97, she offered so much more than snacks and tables for visiting. She found sponsors for funky food and beverage tastings, she had space and activities for kids; video games for bigger kids, visits from the Michelin Man, and the Orca from Sea World. She had music, she had slide shows, she had vendors, and she had notebooks full of things to do in San Antonio! At the Fort Worth Parade in 2004, Fran did even more as Hospitality Chair since she had an even bigger room! Fran went on to join the National PCR (Parade Competition Rules) Committee for 11 years. She remained the only woman on that prestigious committee the whole time. She has also won many Photos courtesy of Fran Ussery Parade driving trophies in Ayisha as well as their 2000 yellow Boxster S, “Jezabell”. Fran has always been an original Lead Foot Leader with Ed Mayo, Bryan Henderson and Les Moncus as her instructors. Son Adam has obviously inherited his mother’s Lead Foot talents. Fran and Carl (Ussery Printing) have printed Slipstream since soon after they joined. To reduce costs for the club, Fran organized Slipstream “parties” where we members collated, stapled, trimmed, labeled, sorted, counted and mailed the “newsletter” to the DFW area. It made for some terrific memories and cemented some great friendships. She remains our #1 touchstone with getting Slipstream printed and mailed and she is still one of my best friends. Lisa Steele congratulating Fran as a Parade award winner Maverick Region has had three people win the highest individual National Award at Parade, known as the “Enthusiast of the Year.” In 1985, that honor went to Fran Ussery. Lanean Hughes (deceased ‘06) got it in 2000, and Wendy Shoffit in 2005. Wendy will be my next Wonderful Woman of this feature “. . . it’s the people.” I would also like to invite others to contribute to this monthly column with your favorite Maverick member.
Sponsored By: D.E. Registration Begins February 7 th at 8am Register at: register.pca.org April 11-12 Motorsport Ranch 3.1 May 8-10 COTA – Yellow/White Only May 23-24 Motorsport Ranch 3.1 Sept. 26-27 Motorsport Ranch 3.1 Oct. 24-25 Eagles Canyon Nov. 14-15 Motorsport Ranch 1.7 Mark your calendars 30 days in advance! 9