Richard Yourga (#4045)
Dick Yourga was born in Hartford Connecticut in 1945. He and his wife Joyce of over forty years, make their home in Amherst Massachusetts. Dick discovered plates as a child in his great grandfather's barn in Maine. He stumbled on the ALPCA tent at the Hershey car shows of the 1970s but it took until 1983 for Jim Fox and Gary Kincade to rope him into the club ranks. He has hosted the tent for over a decade now.
Once on board, Dick did it all. He authored the coming events column in the newsletter, hosted Colonial meets in Amherst for over a dozen years (they became two day events with attendance numbers over 100 consistently and members from all over North America and even some from Europe), served as regional meet chairman for five years and was elected club President in 1997 serving until 2000. He has been a volunteer and photographer at every convention since 1989. He wrote the 100th anniversary article on Maine plates in 1995. He produced and showed a two hour ALPCA history video for the Salt Lake convention in 2008. This video is a must see for any serious plate collector. He has written the convention article for the magazine for over a dozen years and contributed extensively to the Notes from the States column.
During Dick's tenure the club assessed work loads, operating systems and policies of the club, many of which had been unchanged for forty years. The offices of Treasurer and Secretary were separated into distinct jobs, a new modern accounting system was put in place and work was started to revise the by-laws. He led the club successfully through a full scale IRS audit including having $25,000 - $75,000 in interest and penalties waived and reduced to zero. The club's website also saw the light of day during Dick's presidency and the archives was brought to the internet. He introduced riverboat dinner cruises, family bus tours and even a fashion show to the conventions to make them more family friendly. He introduced the convention souvenir motorcycle plate program to raise funds without raising dues. He introduced programs like a senior dues rate and lower fees for the first table at the convention which were later rescinded by subsequent boards. He promoted the concept of convention seminars, called the motorcycle draw for many years and introduced color into every issue of the club magazine. He presented the first California convention site contract but the following board opted for Arizona instead. It would take nine more years before ALPCA held a national convention in California.
From 1990 to 2000 Dick and his son, Jonathan hosted and produced two radio programs CAR CARE CORNER and MOTOR MINUTES on WHMP AM in Amherst answering car questions. Dick worked both in automotive trade and police fields for over 35 years. Through pre-recording and careful management Dick has been able to devote considerable time to his true passion which is researching and trading license plates. His primary interests have been porcelain tags, New England tags, Alaska tags, low numbers and license plate history.
For tireless devotion to the hobby, we welcome Dick Yourga to the ALPCA Hall of Fame.