Executive Council Meeting
January 11, 2009
Ontario CA


President's Report
Chief Financial Officer's Report
Executive Director's Report
NAA Report
Committee Reports
New Business

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. by the President. District IV VP B. Teague was not in attendance.

1. Opening Business


Introductions: President Dave Mathewson, Baldwinsville, NY; EVP Mark T. Smith, Shawnee, KS; CFO Doug Holland, Raleigh, NC; District Vice Presidents: I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI; II-Gary Fitch, Franklinville, NY; III-Bob Brown, Bradford, PA; V-Tony Stillman, Brunswick, GA; VI-Charlie Bauer, Norridge, IL; VII-Bill Oberdieck, Southgate, MI; VIII-Jim Rice, Universal City, TX; IX-Jim Wallen, Arvada, CO; X-Jim Giffin, Redding, CA; XI-Bruce Nelson, Spokane, WA; Executive Director Jim Cherry, NAA Representative Jonathan Gaffney and AMA Legal Counsel Felix Gora and Joe Gelwicks.

AMA Headquarters staff in attendance was: Ilona Maine, Lisa Johnson, Jeff Nance, and Ben Flesher. Others in attendance were Rich Hanson, AMA GRA; Wes DeCou, AMA Western Region FSA; Jerry Neuberger, District X AVP, HOF Committee Chairman; Larry Johnson, Koch Insurance; Edward Sweeney, UAV ops, RC Electric CB member; Ginger Mathewson and Linda Rice.

Additions to the agenda: Discussion on Sport Aviator

2. Consent Agenda:

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the minutes of the October 25, 2008 Executive Council meeting.

3. President’s Report

a. 2008 Recap 

  • Election Process: B. Nelson was appointed chair of a task force to investigate the problems with the election process. The number of members who voted in the 2008 election was up 40% over last year; the number of AMA members eligible to vote, who voted, rose from 8.5% to 12.5%. Nelson to make a report at the April meeting. 
  • Park Pilot Program: Adjustments made in the marketing approach; magazine is being well received, as is the flying site assistance package. 
  • Membership Dynamic: 160 replies to dynamic resulting in numerous members being added to current committees. 
  • SLRP: Will continue with SLRP at the April 2009 EC meeting to work towards the goals established at the beginning of the process. 
  • JWalcher partnership: Continue to promote model aviation; Nick Maxwell, AMA All Star had a 5 minute segment on television Friday morning with Fox channel 11 during the AMA Expo. Another television station had a live feed from the Expo all Friday morning. 
  • Gov’t Regulatory relationship: Hanson’s primary focus so far has been the ARC process and FAA. There will be a presentation later this morning from Bruce Tarbert from the FAA. 
  • FPV: In October revised the safety code to allow FPV under strict and limited circumstances; by accepting this AMA has the ability to guide its’ future in how it is going to be developed and under what conditions it can be flown by AMA members.
  • FAI: F3C Championships in Muncie this summer; bids in for F5 in 2010 and F3A in 2011.

b. Code of Conduct/Ethics Policy
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to adopt the Code of Conduct/Ethics Policy as presented January 11, 2009.

c. Whistleblower Policy

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to adopt the Whistleblower Policy as presented January 11, 2009.

d. District IX interim VP

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept Mark Smith’s recommendation and approve Jim Wallen as interim District IX VP.

e. AMA/MAAC Relationship

The President has had much interaction the past year with Richard Barlow, MAAC President on issues that are common to both organizations. MAAC is a step ahead of AMA in the UAS realm with Transport Canada and AMA is looking to them for some guidance. The President has been invited to attend the MAAC general meeting in March; he has invited Barlow and his VP to attend the April EC meeting in Muncie. B. Nelson has been working with MAAC’s western Canada representative over the past several years and will continue the relationship.

f. Committee Assignments

  • B. Underwood asked to be relieved as chair of the Safety Committee; Jim Rice will replace him and will structure the committee.
  • There will be a change to the chairmanship of the Scholarship Committee; if anyone is interested they should contact Mathewson.
  • Creating a committee (no committee title yet) as talked about in the conference call. Committee members are Mark Smith, Doug Holland, Craig Schroeder and one more individual to be named. Charged with developing an investment policy for AMA so everyone knows and is in concurrence with how the AMA makes its’ investments. This committee is also charged with developing a process and soliciting members interested in becoming CFO; this individual will be appointed a member of this committee and be groomed for the CFO position.

g. VP Replacements

Each year at this meeting the VP must name replacements in the event he/she is unable to serve.
Dist I – same; Dist II – same; Dist III – Mark Radcliff, Randy Adams; Dist V – same; Dist VI – same; Dist VII – same; Dist VIII – John Matlock, Mark Johnston; Dist IX – Jim Tiller; Dist X – Mike Brown, Jerry Neuberger; Dist XI – same

4. CFO’s Report

  • As the responsibilities for the CFO are developed more detailed information will be provided to Council. 
  • The numbers Holland provided are from AMA’s books at year end; not audited numbers. 
  • Depreciation exceeded income on AMA’s rental properties; Holland along with B. Brown will investigate whether AMA wants to continue with these properties. Brown will present a recommendation at the April meeting. 
  • Capital expenditures for 2008 were not out of line; those included land improvements, rental home improvements, computers, office equipment, museum contents, and contest and Nats equipment.

5. Executive Director’s Report

a. EC Photos
At the last meeting it was suggested that official photos of Council be taken and displayed in the Headquarters building. Council was requested to bring a dark coat and tie for April meeting so a photo can be taken.

b. Reading of mail votes/conference call votes into the minutes
The following were officially read into the minutes:

  • 10/29/08 Mail vote re submitting formal bid to host 2010 Electric WC in Muncie-passed
  • 11/04/08 Mail vote re change Oct. EC meeting to Oct. 31/Nov. 1-passed
  • 11/09/08 Mail vote re priority issues in the Total Resource Program-passed
  • 11/16/08 Mail vote re Yes Grant-passed
  • 12/18/08 EC Conference Call minutes-passed

c. Regional FSA activity reports
In agenda folders

d. Flash report
In agenda folders


In an effort to keep the SLRP moving forward, a group of staff has been charged with continually reviewing the plan and developing the relevant proposals to present to Council for approval. They will report quarterly at each Council meeting. This group consists of I. Maine, R. Kurek, Michael Smith and J. Nance. The reports will include timelines, benchmarks, inter-relationships and costs.

f. Insurance

  • Asked to clarify who is covered under the insurance program for those travelling overseas, it was explained the following individuals would be covered: jury members, judges, CIAM delegates, world championship team members, no alternates unless they are actually going as a replacement for a team member, team managers and reigning world champions when applicable. Coverage begin and end date will vary depending on travel time, but AMA will allow up to 5 days prior to official event start and up to 3 days after official end date.
  • Many of the items included in the emergency assistance coverage for travel within the United States were already covered under other insurance plans. As this program is duplicate coverage it is recommended to eliminate it. It should be understood that this does not affect the coverage for those going overseas. The recommendation is to adopt an AMA emergency assistance policy that provides the same amount of coverage that we currently have with the Travel Assistance International; there are no gaps in the coverage. We will in essence be self insuring, saving 10k and there will be a seamless transition. This would apply to staff and Executive Council members.

MOTION I: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to accept the AMA Emergency Assistance Program as outline by I. Maine at the January 11, 2009 Executive Council meeting.
MOTION passed unanimously

g. Air Show Team (Appendix I) 

As requested by Council at the October 25, 2008 Executive Council meeting, a schedule of where the Air Show Teams will be performing in 2009 is in the agenda folder.

h. Miscellaneous

  • Headquarters received a memo from a District VIII AVP regarding the Texas League of Cities presentation he attended; he offered many good suggestions and provided a report for Council to review. 
  • W. DeCou gave a brief presentation on his activity as the Western Region Flying Site Assistance representative. A program put together to obtain electric flying sites in urban areas has been successful. Negotiations with Waste Management and Republic continue in an effort to get capped/closed waste sites; working with instate people now to develop those closed sites into flying sites.

At this time the President welcomed back Joe Gelwicks. He and Felix Gora are with Rendigs, Fry, Kiely and Dennis and have been AMA’s legal counsel for 20 years.

An issue arose at the last meeting regarding allowing a VP who is not physically present to vote on items during the meeting. Legal counsel reviewed the Bylaws and was of the opinion that an Executive Council member must be present to cast a vote. Subsequent investigation revealed a report from AMA Legal Counsel and Council’s consensus on that motion, dated January 14, 1980 dealing with the legality of allowing the VP to cast a written vote when absent from a Council meeting.

Prior to this meeting the President spoke with Dist. IV VP B. Teague, who if allowed, wanted to cast a verbal vote, through the President, on two items from this agenda. Legal Counsel’s position has not changed with regard to verbal voting; Council did not feel strongly enough to offer a motion to the contrary therefore, the Dist. IV VP’s votes were not allowed. J. Giffin will create a recommended policy to address these voting issues that takes into account today’s technology. A report will be presented at the April meeting. 

6. NAA Report 

  • NAA closed the books in the black for the first time in many years. 
  • Held an air sport conference in November (D. Brown and Mark Smith attended) dedicated solely to membership and marketing; almost all of the organizations are facing the same issues. 
  • Gaffney explained where AMA’s dues were allocated within the FAI; for every dollar that is sent to NAA, 31 cents goes to the modeling commission. The President is concerned with the amount of money AMA invests in the FAI program and a larger concern that out of that money such a small percentage gets to the modeling community. B. Brown indicated that the FAI Bureau will meet an extra day in March 2009 for a SLRP session to come up with a futuristic plan not solely focused on competition.

7. Committee Reports


a. Publications (Appendix II)

  • The committee was charged with developing a policy for Model Aviation column content for the new positions of CFO and EVP. The committee agrees that the policy developed in 1995 for all officers’ columns will apply to the new CFO and EVP columns as well.
  • The position descriptions for CFO and EVP are in the Standing Rules; their column content should be in accordance with these descriptions.

MOTION IV: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by J. Giffin (X) that content material for Model Aviation columns for the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and EVP (Executive Vice President) will be in accordance with the job descriptions put forth in the Standing Rules.
MOTION passed unanimously

AMA member Ed Sweeney addressed Council; he is involved with a national civilian UAV test and development center in Oklahoma which is owned by Global Rescue. Mr. Sweeney offered any service he could provide through Global Rescue relative to the FAA/UAV issues the Academy if facing.

As a result of Executive Session the following motion was made:

MOTION V: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by A. Argenio (I) that Council approves the recommendation of the Executive Director Evaluation Committee.
MOTION passed unanimously (VP’s for District IV, VI, VII and X were not present)

b. Hall of Fame

  • J. Neuberger introduced Charlie Mackey who has been involved with the HOF for a considerable period of time and is well versed in the process.
  • J. Neuberger presented a revised Hall of Fame application/process.
  • The committee recommends a goal of 10 recipients a year but there will be no upper limit.
  • Applications will no longer be carried to the following years.
  • It is recommended that the AMA administer the Hall of Fame via the HOF Committee and the Programs Department.
  • AMA will own the HOF process and is responsible for changes to its policies/procedures.
  • It is recommended that the AMA President appoint the HOF Committee chairman.
  • The revised program recommends that at the end of the process, all voting material be returned to AMA Headquarters for audit by the Programs Dept.; they will verify the correct procedure was followed.
  • It is recommended that the HOF chairman coordinate the award presentation and that a picture of the presentation is required to be turned in to AMA for inclusion in Model Aviation and the History Program. It was suggested that these awards be presented at a ‘highly visible’ event.
  • A Council member requested the name of the award be changed to include AMA.

MOTION VI: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) that with the addition of the name change to AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame Award, Council accepts the recommendation of the Hall of Fame Committee.
MOTION passed unanimously (VP’s for District IV, VI and VII were not present)

c. Bylaws

  • A proposal was submitted by an AMA member, requesting the Bylaws Committee and Executive Council consider establishing Term Limits for Executive Council members. The proposal included the required number of signatures per the Bylaws.
  • It was pointed out that the meaning of ‘meeting the qualifications’ and ‘being qualified’ (relative to a nominee) vary from person to person.
  • It was noted that depending on how the cycle would work, there could be up to five officers that would need to stand down in a particular year.
  • There was much discussion on when this Term Limit procedure should become effective.

MOTION VII: Moved by A. Argenio (I) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to add to Bylaws Article X a new Section 3 as follows:
Any elected officer of the association is limited to serving in the same position to three consecutive full terms. After this third term the officer may not run again for the same elected position without standing down for at least one election cycle. After one cycle an individual may run again for a previously held position and be eligible to serve for another three consecutive full terms.
In any election, if there is no qualified candidate* of record (as determined by the chair of the Nominating Committee) 30 days before the nomination process ends**, an incumbent officer who has served the maximum number of complete terms may then be considered for an additional term by being nominated, per normal procedures, for the position currently held. If elected, this officer must stand down after this one term unless there is no qualified nominee, as determined above, in a subsequent cycle.
This term limitation is effective taking into consideration current elected officers’ service. Any current elected officer has the option of serving an additional consecutive full term after adoption of these term limitations, if they have already served three consecutive full terms as of the date of the adoption of these term limitations.

*A qualified candidate is defined as someone who meets all the qualifications necessary to hold the office he or she is seeking including, but not limited to, Leader Member status.

**The end of the nomination process is defined as the last day when nominations will be accepted at AMA Headquarters for the current year elections.

Renumber all sections following the new Section 3.

MOTION passed: 8-Yes; 1-No (III). VP’s for Districts IV, VI, VII and XI were not present.

A. Argenio will draft the necessary wording for a vote to go to Leader Members for ratification.

Argenio to work on the Standing Rules, Officers section, to bring it into accordance with these new term limits should they be ratified.

d. Marketing (Appendix III)

  • The PPP in 2008 did not meet expectations. For 2009 will introduce an incentive program to sign up PP sites/clubs; and develop a site acquisition program for launch in first quarter of 2009.
  • Committee discussed an overall Youth Marketing Strategy which would incorporate a new youth membership structure/program.
  • Hobby Shop/NRHSA program will continue but will do away with the incentive drawing (quarterly cash give-away).
  • Working with JWalcher on the AMA Brand Policy.
  • J. Nance reviewed the marketing strategy; he expects to hire a new media web designer.
  • Still courting military branches for possible sponsorship.
  • Working on a membership drive program to be done by district and club.
  • Park Pilot renewals contained a letter from the AMA President in an effort to get more personal with the membership.
  • Council is asked to consider offering a membership discount to military personnel.

9. New Business


a. Amend AMA Bylaws Article XII Competition Jurisdiction, Section 1, Sentence 6

  • A letter was received suggesting a new procedure for appointing Contest Board Chairpersons 
  • It is important that the boards work well together and one way to assure this is to have the board members elect their chairperson
  • This new procedure still allows for AMA oversight

MOTION II: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by B. Nelson (XI) to amend AMA’s Bylaws Article XII Competition Jurisdiction, Section 1, sentence 6 which reads: “One member of each Contest Board shall be appointed Chairperson of that Board by the President”, to now read: “Each Contest Board Chairperson shall be elected by majority vote of the Contest Board Members, to serve a two year term. The elected Chairperson fills and serves at this position at the approval of the AMA President.”
MOTION passed unanimously

Argenio, with assistance from G. Fitch, will draft the necessary wording for a vote to go to the Leader Members for ratification.

b. AMA Flying Site Development/Improvement Grant – wording change to “Project costs”

  • At this time, monies that have already been spent by a club can not be included in their request.
  • Concern was expressed over a club suffering a catastrophic issue after the cutoff date for the grant, and having to expend significant finances without the opportunity to recoup some of those costs.
  • AMA should be pro-active in helping clubs fix and keep their flying fields.

MOTION III: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by B. Nelson (XI) to amend AMA Flying Site Development/Improvement Grant application page 6, Project Costs, to read: Project costs can only include monies spent since the previous year’s application cutoff date or projected work for the new year. If application includes work already completed, documentation must be provided to show that work and supplies were completed and paid for between the previous and current year cutoff date. The club must also provide justification for not submitting the application within the time requirements. In no case will clubs be allowed to request monies for expenditures more than one cycle back.
MOTION passed: 9-Yes; 3-No (VI, VII, and X)

The chairman of this committee resigned; the President thanked him for his services.

c. Review requirements and time limits for use of funds received by a club in the AMA Flying Site Development/Improvement Grant program

  • It was brought to Council’s attention that a club received funds through this program but to date has not used the funds they received. This club has submitted two reports (each six months) and there has been no report since.
  • Possibly institute a policy where the club is required to report their accomplishments within a specified time limit, or justify why the funds have not been expended.
  • HQ staff should follow up with those clubs that have not submitted a report.
  • T. Stillman, G. Fitch and J. Neuberger will develop a policy addressing AMA’s expectations, including a timeline, in return for the grant. This committee should also review the entire program. Report to be given at the April meeting.

d. Sanctioned Events Protected Area

  • It is suggested that the ‘area protection’ information for Class C events be listed in with contest information, sanction information and in the membership manual so all contest directors are aware of the protection afforded Class C events.
  • Need to make sure the policy for Class C events is the same in the membership manual and the competition department documents.
  • The President created a committee (A. Argenio, J. Wallen and G. Fitch) to address the issue of Class C event protection area and advertising (in what documents the information should be located). The committee will report at the April meeting.

e. Sport Aviator

  • Concern was expressed that the Marketing Report/plan did not mention use of Sport Aviator. Mark Smith indicated they are trying to resolve some issues at this time relative to Sport Aviator, but that Council should expect to see something within six months. 

10. Awards

Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Next meeting April 25/26, 2009 Muncie IN