Executive Council Meeting
April 25-26, 2009
Muncie IN


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

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m.

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; IV-Bliss Teague, Hickory, NC; 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.

AMA Headquarters staff in attendance was: Joyce Hager, Shawn Grubbs, Lisa Johnson, John Hawley, Sheila Tweedy, Rob Kurek, Craig Schroeder, Jeff Nance, Greg Minch, Greg Hahn, Ilona Maine, Jack Frost and Michael Smith.

Others in attendance were Eric Williams, AVP District II; Rich Hanson, AMA GRA; Bob Underwood AVP District VI; Sandy Frank, member; Gordon Schimmel, Education Committee Chairman; Bob Reynolds, Brady Ware; Frank Roales, AVP District VI; Bill Hamby, IMAA President; Paul Bretson, Harry A. Koch Co. and Shirley Teague.

Additions to the Agenda: Membership discussion; Museum Committee report

Recognition of those who have taken the final flight: a moment of silence was observed for Christopher Chianelli, Claude McCullough, Fred Jameson, Harvey Thomasian, John Gorham, Maxey Hester, Rex Davis, Scott Christensen and Jeannie Howard.

2. Consent Agenda:

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the minutes of the January 11, 2009 Executive Council meeting.

3. President’s Report

a. Nominations Committee Chairman The President appointed Mark T. Smith as the Chairman of the Nominating Committee for 2009.

b. Electronic Information

  • HQ was asked to check on who has the ability to access the EC Only portion of the web site.
  • HQ will use a zip file when placing Executive Council meeting supporting documents in the EC Only portion of the web site; also to have documents in pdf format and Word documents. 
  • The ED will send a form to Council for them to indicate whether they want the supporting documentation for Council meetings in paper form or electronically; and if they want to pull it from the web site or sent to them in an email.

c. AMA Officer Budget Policy The President stated the policy is that each officer is responsible for his/her own budget and will manage it as they see fit to represent the members in the district.

d. Audit Committee As a result of the recent audit process that was just completed a suggestion was made that an audit committee be created to help with the audit process and help inform Council on actions as a result of the audit. The President incorporated this function into the Investment Management and Oversight Committee; this committee now consists of D. Holland, M. Smith, C. Schroeder and two additional members.

e. Claude McCullough Bequest

  • The President met with Mike Gretz (executor of C. McCullough estate) during the Toledo Weak Signals Exposition; Mr. Gretz presented AMA with a check for $152,461.27.
  • This presentation was announced in a press conference on Friday during the show; the AMA President extended AMA’s sincere appreciation to Mr. Gretz.
  • The one stipulation that came with the bequest was that the money be used to advance the facility in Muncie. As was discussed, Council felt the best use of these funds was to create the Claude McCullough Educational Facility.

f. TN Marketing Contract

  • AMA is on a two-year renewal contract with TN Marketing; they automatically renew the contract unless AMA informs them they do not wish to renew.
  • A member expressed concern re an offer extended to him even though he is on the AMA’s do not solicit list. Further investigation discovered that a letter was being sent, over an AMA employee’s signature, to names on a list purchased by TN Marketing. AMA members, whose names appeared on this list received this letter even though they are marked do not solicit in the AMA database. TN has offered to send a letter of apology to those members.
  • If Council decides to continue with the program, it must be renegotiated to be more equitable for the AMA.

MOTION I: Moved by C. Bauer (VI) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to terminate the contract with TN Marketing effective July 26, 2009.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • The President reported that those members who have opted in to the program will continue to receive the product; however, AMA will no longer be involved.

g. JWalcher Contract

  • The JWalcher contract runs through the end of this month.
  • AMA has developed a good marketing department with J. Nance, M. Benson (electronic media) and B. Flesher. If the contract is not renewed, HQ would like to create the new position of Public Relations Manager. This individual will need to have creative ideas and experience in public relations and communications. Someone that has radio control modeling experience or a background in aviation and aerospace is preferred.

MOTION II: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) that AMA not renew the JWalcher contract.
MOTION passed unanimously.

MOTION III: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by T. Stillman (V) to create the position of Public Relations Manager.
MOTION passed unanimously.

The anticipated cost for this position will be between 2/3 and 3/4 of the JWalcher expense (salary and benefits included) and can be easily absorbed into the budget (approximately $40k). Preliminary research shows this is the pay scale for this position in the area.

h. Awards

Tony Stillman – Exemplary Service Award
Andy Argenio – Exemplary Service Award
Mark T. Smith – Exemplary Service Award
Mark T. Smith – Meritorious Service Award
Doug Holland – Meritorious Service Award
Bliss Teague – Distinguished Service Award
Rich Hanson – Meritorious Service Award
Fellow – Bruce Nelson
Fellow – Bill Oberdieck

4. EVP Report

a. Investment Management and Audit Oversight Committee (Appendix I)

  • The committee’s Mission Statement was presented for review.
  • The committee will develop a recommended investment policy and qualifications for an investment advisor. Over the next month they will interview 3-4 investment companies. Will make presentation for Council approval at the July EC meeting.
  • The committee is in the process of reviewing AMA’s banking relationship.

b. Permanent Flying Field Opportunity (Appendix II)

  • Smith explained his concept of employing the Habitat for Humanity template to make flying fields available for clubs to own.
  • It is expected to take a year to bring about the program.
  • Council gave their consensus for Smith to gather more information to develop a program for Council’s approval.

4. CFO Report

a. Audit Report
  • B. Reynolds reviewed the audit report; thanked J. Cherry and C. Schroeder for their cooperation.
  • Reiterated the need to create additional revenue outside of membership; recommended HQ be diligent in follow up collection calls on accounts receivable.
  • Suggested the development of an accounting manual, so analytical methodology (monthly financial reporting process, journals, audit trails, etc.) is on paper.
  • On behalf of Brady Ware, Reynolds offered 8 hours of pro bono work to the AMA in 2009; the President thanked him for the offer. On behalf of the Council, the President thanked C. Schroeder for his time and effort in the audit process.
MOTION IV: Moved by D. Holland (CFO) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to accept the auditor’s report as presented.
MOTION passed unanimously.

5. Executive Director’s Report

a. HQ Building Repair Executive session

b. Reading of conference call minutes and mail votes into the minutes

a. January 22, 2009: Bylaw Term Limit Wording Revision/Clarification
MOTION passed unanimously.

• February 9, 2009: Membership Drive, Insurance Request
MOTION passed: Y-10; N-1 (VII).

• March 20, 2009: Appeal Hearing Procedures
MOTION passed unanimously.

• March 28, 2009: McCullough Bequest
MOTION passed unanimously

c. Project Planning

  • Staff has been training for professional project planning. They have been taking courses and trying to institute Microsoft Projects software to uniformly present projects to Council.

d. Flying Site Reports-in binder

e. Flash Reports-in binder

f. 2008 Program of Work/Financial Report

  • The report illustrates income/expense/non-dues revenue for each department.
  • Graphs depicting the membership trends reveal that the senior citizen and life member categories are the only ones that show increase over the past ten years.
  • Credit card charges have doubled in the last three years.
  • Retail inventory has been cut in half (from the same time last year).
  • Council agrees there is value in the custom products/retail departments, however there is something intrinsically wrong with the way they are being operated. The ED was charged with creating a business plan for custom products/merchandising and report to Council at the July meeting.

g. Miscellaneous

  • Mailed a CD containing most of the programs offered by AMA with the club charter renewals.
  • Turned the AVP Training Manual into a Resource Guide on a CD.
  • Within the Total Resource Campaign addressing non-dues revenue, Michael Smith is working on a sponsorship program for the museum; as well as a philanthropic program.
  • HQ will be doing a series of mailings to the membership; HQ will give a heads-up to Council prior to each mailing.
  • A draft emergency response program was developed; Cherry solicited Councils’ input for this program.
  • Cherry requested permission to renew the contract with Lora Knowlton for 2010, to stage the AMA Expo in Ontario, CA; by unanimous consensus Council approved.
  • League of Cities conventions – Cherry would like to do one state per district, per year. HQ would supply a booth and one staff person and provide a 30 minute orientation program; the district would need to supply an AVP or other volunteer to staff the booth.

6. NAA Report 

  • NAA Annual Report was distributed to Council.
  • Been in close contact with Air Sport Organizations and all are doing okay.
  • Collier Trophy was awarded to the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. 

7. Committee Reports

a. Museum

  • The committee has been considering the McCullough bequest and met with Michael Tschuor (contractor under consideration). The cost for the addition to the museum is approximately $194k-$195k and includes architect and design fees, subs, permits, sidewalks, pavement and grass. No dues money will be used to build this facility.
  • Plans now are to sit with J. Hunton and M. Tschuor to consider possible revisions.
  • During a phone conference, Council approved naming the facility The Claude McCullough Educational Facility.
  • Modifications will be made to the sewage system to accommodate the additional restroom facilities as well as improving the existing ones. (increase water pressure)
  • This facility is expected to have a number of uses.
  • There will be a location through the museum's Web site that will allow people to follow the construction of the project.

MOTION V: Moved by B. Teague (IV) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) on behalf of the Museum Committee, that Council allows the Museum Committee to start construction of The Claude McCullough Educational Facility; maximum expenditure shall be no more than $200k.
MOTION passed unanimously.

P. Bretson will review the AIA contract prior to it being signed by the Executive Director.

b. Bylaws

  • Argenio reported that the Bylaw changes were ratified by Leader Member vote and now need to be adopted by Council with an implementation date.
  • A few concerns were expressed regarding the Leader Member vote. As a result, future ballots will include a cover letter stating ‘Please find ballot enclosed.'

MOTION VI: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by T. Stillman (V) to adopt and implement as of January 1, 2011 the Bylaw Amendment (MOTION II) dealing with the election of Contest Board Chairpersons that was passed by the Executive Council January 11, 2009 and ratified by Leader Member vote on April 17, 2009.
MOTION passed unanimously.

MOTION VII: Moved by A. Argenio (I) and seconded by J. Giffin (X) to adopt and implement as of April 25, 2009 the Bylaw Amendment (MOTION VII) dealing with Term Limitation for AMA elected officers that was passed by the Executive Council at the January 11, 2009 meeting, amended by the Executive Council on January 22, 2009 by conference call, and ratified by Leader Member vote on April 17, 2009.
MOTION passed: Y-10; N-3 (III, IV and VII).

c. Marketing

  • Accomplishments through April 2009 include hiring the Media Web Designer Mark Benson; the Spin Master program/agreement has been finalized; launched the Park Pilot web site on April 1; worked on the Claude McCullough donation and revitalized the hobby shop program.
  • Reviewed work done relative to the Membership Drive.
  • The development of the AMA web site is a work in progress.
  • HQ will create a template for District Vice Presidents’ home pages; uniformity will be beneficial.
  • Developed a You Tube strategy – AMA now has a You Tube site (youtube.com/modelaircraft). There are currently 50 AMA related videos there; formalizing this process is underway.
  • Sport Aviator is selling advertising space on their site; when someone clicks on ‘ads by Google’, AMA receives non-membership revenue.
  • Advertising in Parks and Recreation Magazine.
  • Looking at AMA’s 75th anniversary (2 years out) and developing a week long celebration.
  • Continue to work with Air Show Teams on lead strategy.
  • Nance will create a solid link for the PP web site, as there is for Sport Aviator.

d. Publications-History Ad hoc Committee

  • The committee reviewed the history programs at the Toledo Expo.
  • Dan Kane was added to the committee; he brings an abundance of knowledge relative to the hobby, old time modelers and manufacturers in the Midwest.
  • AMA history from 1936-1967 is currently on CD and will be made available shortly.
  • Working on Model Aviation segments contained in American Modeler. This is for the years 1968-1975.
  • Continue to work with R. Kurek on integrating 1975-2000 into the program.
  • N. Rosenstock resigned as ad hoc chairman; John Worth agreed to replace Rosenstock. On behalf of Council and the Publications Committee, Oberdieck thanked Rosenstock for all of the time and effort he has spent on this program.

e. AMA Flying Site Grant (Appendix III)

  • T. Stillman is the new chairman of this committee; he thanked C. Bauer for all of his help.

MOTION VIII: Moved by T. Stillman (V) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to increase the total amount available for the 2009 Flying Site Grant Program to $33,533.36 and approve the grant recommendations.
MOTION passed unanimously

  • District VPs will decide how the announcements are made to their relative clubs and will have the option of presenting the grant checks if they desire; those clubs not receiving grants will receive a letter from HQ informing them. It was suggested that HQ create a press release naming the recipients.

f. PADCOM – withdrawn

g. Safety (Appendices IV and V)

  • Chairman J. Rice thanked Bob Underwood for his years of service as the Safety Committee Chairman.
  • AMA EXPERIMENTAL RADIO CONTROL AIRCRAFT PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND INSPECTOR INFORMATION – There was an outcry from the members who employed the changes Council approved in 2008; as a result, an ad hoc subcommittee was assigned to review the input from those members. The changes were presented for Council approval.

MOTION IX: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by J. Giffin (X) to accept the AMA EXPERIMENTAL RADIO CONTROL AIRCRAFT PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND INSPECTOR INFORMATION changes as presented April 25, 2009. (Effective date April 25, 2009)
MOTION passed unanimously

Those aircraft that have previously passed inspection and are flying will be grandfathered; those aircraft that have been damaged and rebuilt must pass inspection again.

  • SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT POWERED BY GAS TURBINES – with the advent of a micro turbine being successfully flown in Europe with multiplex Styrofoam airplanes, the committee considered changes to the document that would allow the flying of this type airplane within these safety regulations. Concern was expressed relative to the hand launching of this type of airplane. The changes were presented for Council approval.

MOTION X: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by B. Brown (III) to accept the SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT POWERED BY GAS TURBINES as presented April 25, 2009. (Effective date April 25, 2009)
MOTION passed: Y-10; N-3 (I, IX and X)

  • There was a joint meeting with the Insurance and Safety Committees; this will continue as it is beneficial to both parties. One item under review is flying site inspections.
  • Bob Underwood thanked the President for allowing him to step down from the chair of this committee after 20+ years of service. Underwood also thanked I. Maine for all the help she has provided to him.

h. Education (Appendix VI)

  • G. Schimmel gave a brief overview of what the committee has learned in the process of extending their reach in terms of education, especially with respect to foundations and grant giving organizations.
  • He reviewed the common rules of thumb for foundation requests; noting proposals are enhanced by partnerships. Strength as an organization is achieved if we can demonstrate annual fundraising where members and Council participate. Schimmel noted the percentage of those participating counts as much as the amount pledged.
  • Reviewed recent partnerships and newly acquired partnerships. AMA has been invited to partner with a future NASA application at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. There also may be the possibility of a partnership with Ken Hyde.
  • Mathewson noted that the AMA is always looking for ways to inform the membership about what AMA does on their behalf. J. Frost explained his concept to reward some members of clubs for their activities. A program and budget will be developed and presented to Council for their approval.

i. FAI Executive (Appendix VII) 

  • Council received notes from the FAI SLRP; the FAI is looking to expand beyond just competition. 
  • The U.S. was awarded the F5 World Championship in 2010 as well as the F3A World Championship in 2011. 
  • A rule was passed in the General Section of CL that requires wrist straps be worn in all CL events. The U.S. expressed concern that this could be unsafe in F2C Team Race. 
  • B. Brown is no longer the F3D Subcommittee Chairman; he was thanked for his years of service. He continues to be the U.S. Alternate Delegate to the FAI and will continue to attend the Plenary sessions in March each year. 
  • The FAI Executive Committee and AMA President should be more involved in the world championship jury selection process as far as putting forth recommended individuals.

j. Insurance

  • P. Bretson reported they were able to negotiate a flat premium renewal with Westchester. The policy was restructured with only minor language touch-ups.
  • For the benefit of new Council members he reviewed the policy structure.
  • If an insurance presentation is put out for clubs to use, must include an asterisk by Club Officers noting they are not afforded D&O insurance.
  • A change was put in the policy this year for coverage for unintentional errors/omissions in providing information to Westchester.
  • Reviewed foreign coverage; this coverage is provided for FAI Championship events and other designated events outside the U.S. and Canada; AMA clubs chartered outside of the U.S. and Canada and AMA members flying on U.S. military bases outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • The Insurance Committee was tasked to look at the process for issuing certificates/what was required for limits over 2.5mil. The committee recommends continuing the program including the $250 certificate charges however, allowing the Insurance/Safety Coordinator in consult with respective VP to authorize the request, instead of requiring EC approval.

MOTION XI: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to accept the Insurance Committee recommendation to allow the AMA Insurance/Safety Coordinator to issue the additional insurance certificates for a charge of $250 without Executive Council approval.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • The committee was asked to look into providing insurance coverage for individual members flying models overseas on a casual flying basis. The underwriters were not amenable to offering this coverage; and the committee ascertained this coverage would cost AMA between $5,000-$10,000/year. The Insurance Committee recommends not moving forward on this item.
  • AMA member Dan Luchaco brought to AMA’s attention the fact that MAAC member insurance only applies to MAAC events and MAAC sanctioned fields. At this time, it is uncertain whether MAAC insurance applies in the U.S. This brought about a discussion on the AMA/MAAC reciprocal agreement. It should be understood that AMA members are covered by AMA insurance while flying in Canada.

MOTION XII: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by J. Giffin (X) that AMA not renew the reciprocal agreement with MAAC until the issue of Canadian insurance coverage in the United States is resolved.
MOTION passed unanimously.

8. Old Business

a. Absentee Voting

  • A proposal was presented to make changes to the bylaws (Article XI, Section 4) that would allow for proxy voting by a designated AVP at Council meetings; and allow a VP to attend a Council meeting via teleconference/webinar with the same voting rights and privileges as a VP who is physically present at the meeting.
  • Discussion included that there should be a limit as to the number of times a VP is allowed to be either represented by proxy or attend via teleconference; must address permitting written VP voting (when not able to attend) to ensure the vote is for the published agenda motion, if during discussion the motion was changed in any way, the vote would not be accepted; must specifically define what is permissible in teleconference attendance by a VP; and it was suggested that a change could be made to the standing rules that would allow VP attendance by teleconference (electronic means).
  • A motion was made, seconded and subsequently withdrawn.
  • These issues were sent to the Bylaws Committee for review and consideration.

b. Flying Site Development/Grant Monies

  • The application for 2010 was modified in an effort to solicit more comprehensive information that would improve the ranking process.
  • Changes noted during this meeting to the 2010 application include: the third paragraph should request only one signed copy be sent to the VP; the project report required to be filed should include photos before and after the project is complete; under certain circumstances, the committee reserves the right to request grant monies be returned to AMA; and the committee needs to incorporate the changes that were made at the January 2009 Council meeting (MOTION III of the January 11, 2009 EC meeting) and consider the ideas expressed in NEW BUSINESS item c. from the January 11, 2009 EC meeting.

MOTION XIII: Moved by T. Stillman (V) and seconded by A. Argenio (I) to adopt the recommended changes to the Flying Site Grant application as modified April 25, 2009.
MOTION passed unanimously.

c. Class C Protection Advertising (Appendix VIII)

  • The ad hoc committee was charged with reviewing and making recommendations to update, revitalize and improve the AMA Event Sanctioning Process.
  • The committee is not making any recommendations at this meeting, just reporting what they see as problems, issues and items for consideration.
  • The committee will present their findings and recommendations at the July 2009 meeting.

d. Election Process – withdrawn

e. AMA Emergency Travel Policy

  • At the January 2009 meeting emergency travel assistance for staff and EC members was eliminated, however coverage is still extended to certain individuals involved in world championships and CIAM delegates.
  • Bullet item one: amend last sentence to read: Team alternates will not be covered unless they are going on behalf of the team.
  • Bullet item two: was amended to read: All members of the official AMA delegation to the CIAM and/or FAI meeting.

MOTION XIV: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to accept the Emergency Travel Assistance Program as modified April 25, 2009.
MOTION passed unanimously.

9. New Business

a. AVP Report – withdrawn, will report in July
b. Membership - informational

C. Bauer noted that in reviewing the membership reports Council receives on a regular basis, the group of members that are most steadfast in renewing their membership is the Senior Citizens (always in the 90 percentile). The percentage of AMA member population that is 55 years of age and older is 23.4 % (this was in 2007); this age group increases roughly one half to one percent per year. To Bauer this indicates AMA should be marketing to this group; they stay members for the longest time, have the highest renewal rate of anyone and the proportion is getting greater all the time.
The President felt this is important information and noted that the Education Department is looking at this demographic.

AWARDS The award was approved by acclamation.

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.