Eric Williams
Schenectady, New York

My name is Eric Williams and I'm running for the office of AMA President. I've served as the AMA District 2 VP for the past 5 years and was previously an AVP for Gary Fitch. In 2008, I worked with current AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson, assisting AMA in strategic planning. My priorities for AMA are strengthening governmental relationships, improving communication, developing permanent flying sites, enhancing education, and vigorously promoting and protecting our hobby.

Model aviation has experienced its greatest challenges in just the last few years. While the way we fly has not significantly changed, governmental oversight and rampant technical growth has. AMA must protect our traditional categories of flight while ensuring our hobby's future. The Special Rule for Model Aviation is paramount for our members, and remains a key objective for AMA.

I have met with every level of government to represent model aviation. In January of 2016, I traveled to Washington DC with other AMA officers calling on Congress. Regionally, my district has an enviable record of defeating local laws that would have impacted club flying sites. In my meetings with law enforcement and elected officials, the distinction between responsible AMA members and careless UAV operators is always made abundantly clear. We've created exceptionally positive relationships in District 2. AMA must build on this success to ensure strong government relationships throughout the country.

Since its founding in 1936, AMA has always kept a special focus on youth, education, and the preservation of our hobby for future generations. AMA's Education Department has developed advanced programs, such as in STEM, to introduce model aviation to youth. However, AMA must also create educational tools and programs our members can use to promote their clubs. These programs would help our members introduce model aviation to the public, with a visibly positive presence in the community.

Camp AMA is the fruition of an Aviation Camp that I proposed in 2009. Camp AMA has encouraged many youth modelers, with several pursuing aviation careers. Most importantly, AMA “campers” establish life-long friendships with others that enjoy model aviation. These young people will recall their Camp experiences and go on to be model aviation ambassadors for their lifetimes.

Communication is critical to any organization. Keeping members informed on a timely basis is essential. So too is listening to your ideas, concerns and questions. Admittedly, AMA can do more to be clearer and more responsive to our members! As your president, I will work to significantly improve and increase communication at all levels.

Among my accomplishments have been improved Flying Site Disaster benefits, free trial memberships for charitable events, lifesaving AED grants, and an upcoming free nonsanctioned event calender for clubs. I will always have the best interests of our hobby, our clubs, and our members in mind.

AMA's Take off and Grow grants have helped hundreds of clubs. My EC motion this year provided additional grant funds to clubs across the country. While this progress is encouraging, AMA must also work to establish permanent, regional flying sites, owned and operated by local clubs. AMA can enable this through flying site acquisition grants, legal assistance, zoning guidance, community and local government expertise, and other means.

Organizations like AMA rely on effective leadership, a shared vision, clear communication, and meeting the needs of its members. I believe I have these qualities and ask for your vote to lead AMA. Visit www.amaelection.com