SCNA Board Election 2023 – Candidate Statements

For more information, see the main election post.

Shelly Baxter (for President): Shelly was brought home in her parent’s 1976 Saab 99 GLE, affectionately named “Sally Saab”. As a child she was brought to work every day at her parent’s Saab shop, where she learned to ask a lot of questions. She also spent a lot of time going to the racetrack with her Dad.  At age 12, she “borrowed” her Mom’s Saab (a 1980 900T that had a FEW modifications) and taught herself to drive a manual. Shelly grew up attending Saab events, both those hosted by her local club and SOC’s all over the country. The quirkiness of the Saab community led to meeting highly unique individuals who have become a part of her extended Saab family. While in college and working full-time at the shop, she founded the Saab Club of Atlanta, further extending her Saab family. She is a second-generation Saab shop owner working to keep her favorite brand and drivers “still finding their own road.” Shelly has served on the SCNA Board since 2018, working with Sponsors and many of her contacts in the Saab community.

Mark Welker (for Vice President): Mark fell for SAABs when his brother bought a brand-new 1983 900 Turbo (White with red cloth interior) and drove from L.A. to Phoenix and back (very fast!!). Alas, it wasn’t until 2008 that he bought his own Saab, a 1999 9-3 SE (HOT). This led to much research on the Saab community and joining the Saab Club of Atlanta, where he is the past President. Mark joined the SCNA Board in 2016 and was elected as Secretary in 2020. He has a great passion for these fine cars, their enthusiastic and proud owners, and the joint mission of SCNA and the community to preserve them.

Greg Abbott (for Director): Greg bought his first Saab, a ’75 99 hatch in Emerald Green, in the summer of 1989, as an emergency replacement for a wrecked Chevy Impala.  The handling, steering feedback, and utility of the car were eye-opening.  Despite the wonderful “AUTOMATIC” badge on the rear of his first Saab, Greg quickly concluded Saab virtues were best expressed in manual form. After a decade, Greg was thunderstruck to discover that there were local and national Saab clubs, and even (gasp!) an annual Saab Owners Convention. Locally, he has served as President of the Minnesota Saab Club, and his first SOC was 2005 in Stratton Mountain, VT. Since 2006 Greg has been the official photographer for SOC (excluding 2017, when the total solar eclipse could not be rescheduled to accommodate the Convention dates!). Greg joined the SCNA Board of Directors in 2015, and in 2021 became the Editor of 9s, overseeing the revamp of our venerable Club magazine, a position he currently holds.

Michele Gorenflo (for Director): Michele has always been a car girl. At 16, her first car was a restored ‘66 Chevelle; she spent most of her graduation money on new wheels and tires! 16 years later her best friend told her about a guy she should meet–he had a lot of Saabs. Being a muscle car girl, she said: ”What’s a Saab?” Only one drive and she was hooked! 3 Saabs later, she married Jeff (the guy with all the Saabs)! She attended her first SOC in 2015 and was pleasantly surprised by the community and hasn’t missed one since. Michele says the Saab community is more like a family and SOC a family reunion. Michele feels she can add a fresh perspective to the Board and would be happy to help keep our Saab community thriving.

Jamie Anderson (for Director): Jamie’s “Adventure Car” (a 1992 Black 3DR T16) was bought as a daily commuter, but “retired” as daily about 17 years ago. It got its moniker because the Andersons have used this car to travel far and wide in the United States, especially during the pandemic. The 900 has been to State Parks and National Parks (and a lot of ice-cream shops) across the Midwest. The car was also nicknamed because it occasionally will be as stubborn as its Swedish makers and decides to be difficult without warning or explanation. Jamie has been adventuring in this 900 for over 30 years now. Despite professional advertising stints with Porsche, Audi and Harley-Davidson, no other vehicle or marque has successfully tempted him away. A driven advertiser, designer and amateur photographer Jamie is an avid member of the SAAB community, a community he feels is unlike any other car group out there and one that he enjoys nurturing, serving, and growing. Daughter Audrey Violet Anderson swears she will drive the Adventure Car as soon as she is 16 (she is currently 9)—Jamie is not too sure.

Greg Andresen (for Director): Greg is a retired CPA with professional training in the fields of accounting and management of large business organizations. He has worked in Chicago for both national and regional public accounting firms in the field of taxation. Greg and his wife Beth live in Mokena, IL, and love to drive (Saabs) for pleasure. Beth started the Saab fever with their first Saab, a ‘96 NG900 S, which suffered a major front-end accident in 2000–but Beth was uninjured. She and Greg were sold on the safety of Saab cars as a result. Greg was interested in Model 96’s for a while, eventually selling a 1973 Yellow 96 to Jerry Danner for his fleet. After attending their first SOC in 2007 (Troy, MI), the Andresens have attended almost every SOC since, along with most Saabs@Carlisle shows as well!

Brighton Back (for Director): Brighton caught the Saab fever 7 years ago when he was gifted his first Saab (and first car) from his brother. It was far past a project car, but he resurrected it! Since then, Brighton has owned multiple generations of Saabs and learned quite a lot about working on them. He’s been able to go to a lot of semi-local Saab meets (3 hours if local if you own a Saab!), meeting a lot of current friends from the Saab community. Brighton feels he can help continue to grow the community further as well.

Ian Cudny (for Director): Since he was a little kid, Ian has always had a fascination for cars. But, he never knew Saabs existed until coming back from golf practice in high school in 2008. Flying the other direction was an unidentified gray object that he’s never seen before. He makes a u-turn and proceeds to go after it. Thankfully, that car pulled into a gas station. While pretending to fill gas, Ian kept looking over at the other vehicle and finally walked up and asked what it was. The owner proceeded to say it’s a 1988 Saab 900 SPG. From that point on, he researched and took in as much knowledge of Saab as he could to learn about the brand because it sparked something that he’s never felt before. Flash forward to 2014, and that very same SPG became his first Saab. Ian currently is the president of the Saab Club of Chicago and Greater Illinois and has recently made this club more active than in previous years. Since 2020, Ian has also been the Service Writer at Petersen Automotive, which is known primarily to specialize in Saabs, but also services other European makes. If you didn’t already know this, Ian speaks fluently in his native language, which is Polish. He also plays the saxophone for genres like jazz and the blues throughout the city of Chicago.

Adam Friedstein (for Director): Adam grew up just north of Boston (in “Saab Country”), where he saw 99s and 900s all around him, and he just plain fell in love with the distinctive styling and proportions. Adam has been driving Saabs ever since he received his license—first an ‘86 9000T, then 2 more 9000s and 3 C900s. When he couldn’t find a local mechanic, he bought a Bentley Manual and some basic tools and endeavored to accomplish projects himself, along with his son, Benjamin, who aptly named their ‘85 sedan “Turbo Ben”. Both enjoy tinkering on the car, attending Carlisle and SOC, and being active in various groups full of passionate owners. These informal gatherings reinforce what Adam finds most rewarding about Saab ownership—the relationships built, and knowledge shared amongst owners and friends.

Julie Gardner (for Director): Julie is the VP (and prior President) of Central Penn Saab Club, one of the oldest Saab clubs in existence. She is very involved in organizing “Saabs@Carlisle” every May. Her interest in Saabs began in 1989, while working at a Saab dealership, and she is the proud owner of 2 Saabs—currently restoring one of them, a 1967 95. Julie brings extensive experience in, and knowledge of, Marketing to her nomination.

Saunders Lee (for Director): Saunders’ love affair for the Saab brand began in late 70’s when noticing a few of them at his Air Force Base. He was raised in Oklahoma, which was predominantly Ford, GM, and Chrysler, so the Saabs really stood out.  After seeing his first 99 Turbo, Saunders was smitten, and upon entering the Air Force in 1982, age 17, he drove a fellow Airman’s ‘78 99 EMS. A month later he drove a 900 Turb–a week later bought a lease- return ‘82 Turbo with the funky TRX wheels! It may sound corny, but Saunders always liked what wasn’t the most popular, and since that first Saab he has bought/fixed/sold over 100 Saabs. Saunders currently owns 14 (paring down a bit though) and has always had at least one. He has made it a priority to be around Saab “peeps” and has worked actively to promote/prolong the brand that has brought him so much joy!  

Donald Northam (for Director): Don lives in Richmond, VA with his better half, Aimee, and has been a dedicated Saab owner since 2006. He currently has three in the stable: a 2000 5dr Viggen, a 2000 9-5 Wagon, and a 2007 9-3 Aero Convertible. Do is also the long-time page admin for “Virginia Saabs” on Facebook, organizing area cruises, gatherings and track visits (lots of laps driven for charities). In addition, Don has been an eBay Reseller for over 10 years, providing new homes for any and all things (including the occasional Saab part).

Brian Stauss (for Director): Brian is a lifelong car guy, always wanting to drive something you don’t see everywhere.  He learned to drive on a 1964 MG sedan and progressed through 30+ cars (from Chevy through Maserati) until he became interested in Saabs in 2005 while buying his oldest daughter her first car. The only car she could fit her petite frame in was a 1999 Saab 9-3. So began “Saab fever”, leading to ownership of several 9-5’s. Brian bought them for next to nothing, learned how to do a top end rebuild in two weekends, drove them for a while, sold and bought another, until he found the keeper, a rust-free Southern 9-5 Aero 5-speed. Then he got the itch for a “different” Saab and bought a 1965 Saab 96 that had been sitting in the Oregon mountains for 30 years. It is currently in pieces in his shop as he works through getting this relatively rust free “stroker” back on the road. Brian was a founding member of the Saab Owners of Alabama Club, and after moving to New Orleans in 2019, is working to get the Saab Owners of Greater New Orleans Club off the ground – not an easy task with the few Saab cars in the area.  In his “spare time”, Brian is an avid woodworker, building furniture and turning interesting things on his lathe.

Jake Tilton (for Director): Jake Tilton remembers the first day he saw a 900 amble up the driveway at age 5; the first time he played with the mesmerizing and chunky buttons, knobs, and switches in a ratty beater 900 (belonging to his sister’s ex); his first-ever Saab show at age 12; and dragging his Mom to the New York Auto Show and to the local Saab dealer to check out the 2010 9-5. In 2017, he made numerous spreadsheets and presentations to convince his parents to buy a 2011 9-3X (he failed), so on a whim Jake flew to Virginia to buy an ’07 9-5 SportCombi. He has never looked back. During the pandemic he acquired an ’84 900 Turbo (which he drove to the Sturgis show from CT) and knows he’s doomed to buy many, many more Saabs in the near future. Jake has been active in SCNA since the Albany SOC, writing articles for 9s Magazine and proudly displaying his SCNA stickers on both of his cars since joining. When not scavenging for Saab parts/accessories/memorabilia, detailing his cars, or wondering why the universe cursed him with another expensive repair bill, he’s a market researcher and consultant in the Boston area.