2020 Election Candidate Statements

Election Chair Chuck Hoesch is pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2020 Piedmont Division Board of Directors election.

Voting opens October 21 and closes November 3. Additional voting information


Perry Lamb

Perry first became associated with the NMRA while living in Boise, Idaho in the early 1990’s but didn’t join until 1998 after moving to Kennesaw, a suburb of Atlanta.  However, Perry’s first experience with trains came at the very early age of 6 months, when he received his first Lionel HO Scale train set for Christmas.

Perry is a Board Member of the Piedmont Division of the NMRA, a Merit Badge Counselor for the Railroading Merit Badge program, a supporter and participant of the Achievement Program and currently coordinates the Division’s Train ‘N Camp clinic program.  Perry was a co-chair of the NMRA 2013 National Convention.

Perry models the current landscape of prototype railroading in the Western United States, building a freelanced Class 1 railroad, the Utah, Colorado and Western Railroad.  This railroad also owns all of Amtrak’s equipment, except that in California and the NW Corridor and has completed the purchase of Norfolk Southern and is in the process of repainting all those black locomotives a pleasing shade of gray.  If not here, Perry would be on a range.


Jim Datka

I got back into model railroading at Christmas 2011. My daughter was with us for an extended stay and insisted we get a live tree. I said only if I could get a train to go around it. And so, the great Christmas Compromise was reached and my hobby quickly became a serious affliction.

I model in N-gauge and set up my evolving rail empire principally on our dining room table. A layout is still a few years out.
,br>I focus on the Milwaukee Road in the pre-WWII early transition era. I plan a passenger terminal shared with the CB&Q and the Illinois Central, and freight interchange with the PRR.

I joined the NMRA in March of 2014 and attended my first Piedmont Division meeting in March of 2016. I started volunteering for events and committees later that year, and became the Timetable editor starting with the second quarter of 2017. I took this role primarily as a way to better learn the hobby. I view the Director of Administration as a next step in this process.

I feel I have found a home with the Piedmont Division that inspires me to design a dream layout and provides the knowledge and skills to achieve it. The abilities, talents and commitment of the members are outstanding, as are the friendships I have made.


Gary Fish

My name is Gary Fish and I've been your refreshment guy for the last 4 years.  For the 2 years before, I assisted George Masak our previous refreshment guru. He taught me how he handled our group and I've taken it to the next level.

Since I joined the NMRA, 

  • I've volunteered at all of our train shows, 

  • Participated in the membership booths of all the local shows that Piedmont division has had a booth.

  • Volunteered to assist at multiple homes in our yearly Piedmont Pilgrimage

  • Been a representative of the NMRA at the Trains, Trains, Trains event at the Kennesaw rail museum

The next appropriate step for me as a professional volunteer is to be the membership volunteer position.  I look forward to helping grow our group.

 A little about Me:

  • I am a family chiropractor currently practicing in Roswell GA with my wife of 30 years Dr. Carolyn

  • I have been practicing in Georgia since 1983

  • have two daughters 23 and 19.

  • I have been a train fan and have been working on HO trains since I was a pre-teen.

  • I have been working on my current layout, The BigFish and Chattahoochee for 3 years.  You can see it on the Piedmont division of the NMRA website


Jim Hobbs

Currently an active Piedmont Division board member and most recently the registrar of the Piedmont team implementing the 2020 SER convention/show plan until we had to cancel the event.

Avid collector of HO brass "name trains" and their related memorabilia such as dining car china, timetables etc. Twelve yearm member of the NMRA/Piedmont Division and generally recognized during monthly meetings as “that brass guy”! Appreciate both the unique opportunity and honor to be a part of the leadership team that keeps the Piedmont Division among the most well respected divisions in the entire NMRA.

Retired from BellSouth Corporation as a Vice President and was a Captain in the Army Medical Service Corps during the VietNam era. Raised in Florida and have lived in Atlanta since 1971.

Hank Primas

I have been a rail fan since early childhood in Pittsburgh, PA where my grandmother lived a block from the Pennsylvania Railroad four track mainline and my treat for being good was to be taken to watch the trains fly pass. I lived near the Pennsy mainline until moving to Tennessee in 1985. That is when I actually went from just watching to modeling. Life, or more accurately three children, occupied much of my time for many years. Work took up the rest of my time. I was finally able to start modeling after my retirement from the National Institutes of Health in 2014. I have been a member of NMRA since 1996. However, the first meeting I was able to attend was not until 2015. I have attended regularly since then. When I moved to Decatur in 2018, I was pleased to find such an active NMRA division. Now, I have volunteered to run The Train Show for 2021.

I wish to serve on the Board as part of my service to the Piedmont Division, the SER and the NMRA. I bring business and professional knowledge that will prove valuable.

Peter Thomas

As a teenager in my home country of England, I was introduced to model railroading through community programs and had my own OO scale layout. Like many, I put the hobby on hold during my early adult years as I started a career first with Her Majesty's Royal Navy and then in the computer industry.

Fast forward: I worked a stint with IBM, met my future-wife Lori, moved to Dawsonville, retired from full-time work, and have taken up model railroading once again.

I joined the NMRA because they offered the best information, from how to create bench-work to wiring DCC, and much more. I have attended several Train N Camps and most Piedmont Division monthly meetings.

I am building an HO scale modular layout based on the town of Dawsonville in the mid-1920's. I am working with the NMRA Education Department to develop guidance papers for beginners on layout planning and operations. I work part-time with Train Installations, helping with building layouts and designing layouts on CAD.

I am a retired Chartered Information Technology Professional Member of the British Computer Society.

If elected as a Piedmont Division Director, I should like to be “the voice of the beginner” and use my skills and experience to shape ideas and lead working groups focused on serving beginning model railroaders as well as long-time hobbyists.