Joe Smolinski Steps Down from State Co-Chair
I want to advise you that I have resigned as MichiganAPF Co-chair. I will continue to support and assist the APF/WPC in any way I am allowed. I am not abandoning MichiganAPF Co-chair Ezra Salmon and I will continue to assist his activities now as I have the past year. I will remain as a judge in the MichiganAPF, but will not be taking an active role as a meet director.
We have made significant progress in Michigan and I am committed to making sure that continues. APF/WPC is still my primary federation, but due to the new requirements imposed on state chairs, I felt that I must resign effective immediately. The only thing that will change is that I will no longer be identified as a state chair—I will continue to support and promote APF/WPC as my primary and preferred federation. Had these requirements been in place when I was considering the Michigan Co-chair, I would not have accepted the position. I do not want to dishonor the APF, my fellow state chairs, and you, the lifters in MichiganAPF meets, by waiting to get caught in violation of their new guidelines for state chairmen.
The changes as written are not consistent with my personal view of a state chair. I believe different states/regions have different needs. While I am 100% behind the requirement that a state chair should not promote another fed in their state (which includes being a meet director for another federation), I truly do not see the need for the other requirements. I believe what is most important is for state chairs to be ambassadors of the APF and represent well, which includes getting out in front of as many people as possible. Networking at other meets is just part of that. With that said, I accept their direction as I was just a volunteer. I understand that the current directive may be in the process of being reviewed, and that they may revise the implied list of limitations on state chairmen, but this is only speculation on my part because I have not heard back from them.
When Ezra and I became Michigan Co-chairs, we wanted to get back to the sense of unity in Michigan that used to exist. When I first started lifting in APF in 1997, I was amazed with how APF State Chair Dan Defelice got along with USAPL State Chair Mike Lawrence. They did not promote the other federations’ meets, but they helped each other with warm-up room equipment, and spotting and loading, etc. I did meets in both federations, but I gravitated toward the APF.
My first national meet was a USAPL Master Nationals; after that I did an AWPC meet. Frankly, I preferred the feel of the APF and have been primarily APF since. I lift in the APF/WPC (and will continue to do so), not because I have to, but because I want to. I also support APF and help with APF/WPC meets (and will continue to do so) for the same reason.
As far as upcoming meets are concerned—unless a crisis comes up—I will be helping Meet Director and State Chair Ezra Salmon at the October 11th meet in Grand Rapids. I will also be assisting Meet Director Dan Dalenberg with his January 10th Push/Pull in January 2015. Of course, the 4th CanAm BenchPress Championships will remain in Michigan.