Executive Council Meeting

April 1, 2017
  Muncie IN

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

1. Opening Business 

a. Introductions: President Rich Hanson, Phoenix, AZ; Executive Vice President Gary Fitch, Delevin, NY; Chief Financial Officer Keith Sessions, Burlington, KY; District Vice Presidents: I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI; II-Eric Williams, Schenectady, NY; III-Mark Radcliff, St. Marys, WV; IV-Jay Marsh, High Point, NC; V-Bob Brogdon, Powder Springs, GA; VI-Randy Cameron, Springfield, MO; VII-Tim Jesky, Monroe, MI; VIII-Lawrence Harville, Hurst, TX; IX-Jim Tiller, Custer, SD; X-Lawrence Tougas, Fairfield, CA; XI-Chuck Bower, Langley, WA; NAA President-Greg Principato; Executive Director Dave Mathewson; AMA Legal Counsel Felix, Gora, Rendigs Fry Kiely & Dennis. Others in attendance were Paul Brestsen-Harry A. Koch; John Hochheimer-National Association of Rocketry; -Shawn Grubbs-Membership Director; Jeff Swift-IT Support; Ilona Maine-Safety/Members Benefits.

b. Additions to agenda: Bylaws, FAI committee report.

2. Consent Agenda

a. Approval of January 9, 2017 Executive Council minutes.
Conference call/mail votes relative to National Model Aviation Day.
c. Mail vote: March 13, 2017, regarding hosting the Free Flight World Championships in 2019.

It was moved,
and seconded to accept the consent agenda.

3. President’s Report

• Warbirds West meeting in San Diego
• Sun Valley Flyers flying site
• Arizona Jet Rally in Tucson, AZ
• Gun Smoke Scale Qualifier in Mesa, AZ
• Will attending the Hobbico Indoor Flying in Pontiac, MI
• Went to Capitol Hill with Todd Bertoson (lobbyist), attended visits to both sides on Congress including a visit to the House Aviation Subcommittee. Meeting with Congress committee regarding Reauthorization Bill.

Taylor Case
Mr. Taylor filled a petition against the FAA’s registration regulation. Arguments were heard in April and a decision by the court is expected sometime in July. In talking to our government affairs attorney, he believes that Mr. Taylor may win the case on the factor that the regulation violates the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act).

AMA Foundation
Great work going on with the AMA Foundation, regarding National Model Aviation Day. In the coming year, the Foundation will consider reviewing its strategic vision to fund future charitable organizations and other programs. Two board members have retired from the board, Chairman Laird Jackson and Ron Petcock, due to other obligations and time constraints.

Motion I:
It was moved by M. Radcliff (III) and seconded by T. Jesky (VII) to affirm AMA Foundation Slate of Officers for 2017. Dan Bott-chairman, John Langford-treasurer, Mandee Mikulski-secretary.
Motion passed

Robert's Rules of Order
Rich is working on a procedures guide based on Robert’s Rules of Order as a guide for Council meetings. Jay Marsh asked if this would apply for conference calls and electronic voting as well. Rich replied that this was the intent. D. Mathewson raised the concern that proposed suggestions relative to conference calls and electronic voting may need to be addressed by the Bylaws Committee.

4. Executive Vice President's Report

There are 24 committees, of which 23 have been activated. Between January 11 and January 14, data from all of the Vice Presidents' committee assignments was put together in an Excel spreadsheet and was reviewed by D. Mathewson, R. Hanson, and G. Fitch.

Described some potential affinity programs.

L. Harville and G. Fitch had a conference call to sponsor some children for Camp AMA from District VIII.
Worked the AMA Booth at Expo East. Considered this a huge success with probably twice the number of attendees compared with the previous year.

Much work and many hours were put in by D. Mathewson, R. Hanson, and myself for the position of chairman for the various committees.

Much discussion regarding the PR survey that will contact pillars of the hobby industry to get a feel for state of the hobby.
Participated on the Investment and Audit conference call with K. Sessions and R. Hanson (report by Keith).
Participated with L. Tougas on the Insurance Committee conference call.

Attended the NE Electric Fun Fly with M. Radcliff/D. Mathewson, speaking with many old and new members regarding the AMA.

Much work has gone into the committees over the last three months and I would like to thank all for their contributions.

5. Chief Financial Officer's Report

Investment review conference call was held in early April. Our portfolio is doing well and continues to outperform the market.

Thanked everyone who participated in the conference call regarding the proposed document is in Basecamp.

Regarding the proposed Travel and Expense Policy, minor changes to the document should be made: page 1, paragraph 1 the word possible should come out; page 2, paragraph 4 should have been removed (other expense). Keith to correct.

Andy discussed changes to last paragraph of document. Consensus was only changes relative to grammar, etc., should be done.

MOTION II: It was moved by A. Argenio (I) and seconded by G. Fitch for changes to the T & E document as presented, remove item 4, clean up grammatical changes.
move back to Old Business, passed unanimously.

6. Executive Director’s Report

TAG Program
Dave noted that TAG application policies were not being followed. For 2016, 44 applications were received. Of those, 6 were late, which is not fair to clubs that submit timely applications. There were 19 club applications submitted without budget, and 3 or 4 clubs that used the same application from a previous year, just changing the dates. Rich and Dave both agreed that an ad hoc committee should be established to review the current program and policies. Jim Tiller volunteered to chair the committee and per Rich Jim will pick his committee members. Jim to report back at the July meeting with recommendations for 2018.

Life Membership Fees
Life membership is currently $1,500 for any member.

Adult members under the age of 65, it breaks down to 20 years of membership (1,500/75).

Staff proposed we offer Life membership for senior citizens at $1,300 (1,300/65) 20 years.

There is a current payment plan on Life membership; $375 per year for 4 years; with senior discount , it would be $325.

(Tabled, see below) Accept recommendation of HQ staff to reduce cost of senior’s Life membership to $1,300.
Discussions regarding if someone is currently paying the current rates and then changes are made, how are these issues going to be handled. More clarification is needed regarding this. G. Fitch questioned how many seniors became Life Members within the last 5 years. Shawn stated around 46. Rich polled Council if this proposal is mature enough for a vote or further study. Majority felt to postpone current proposal until July Executive Council meeting.

It was moved by E. Williams (II) and seconded by R. Cameron (VI) to postpone the motion until July 2017 EC meeting.
passed with one abstention.

Youth Leadership Award
Awarded to one Youth member who reaches out and introduces model aviation in his or her community. This year the selected applicant was Casey Buggeln from California. It was suggested if at all possible to have all awards in one spot on the AMA website to enable individuals, Council included, to know the time schedule and deadlines for all awards. Staff action item.

Scholarship Awards
2017 scholarship awards this year amounted to $49,000 in grants (see packet for names). No additional discussions or concerns regarding the committee's recommendations:

MOTION V: It was moved by T. Jesky (VII) and seconded by L. Harville (VIII) to approve the recommendations for the 2017 scholarship awards as presented by the committee.
passed unanimously.

CD/EM Online Process
Dave updated the Council on the event manager/contest director's online application system. When EC members now receive a request to approve an application, they will be advised of the applicant's AMA number and test score. In addition, the system will now indicate whether the applicant is applying for an event director or contest director position. Staff is also trying to work out adding a line indicating how long an applicant has been a member. Dave wants email of all concerns with system.

Best Buy Program

Dave announced that the program continues to generate revenue.


Has received the gold award from Association TRENDS. Staff was congratulated for a job well done.

7. NAA Report

Greg thanked everyone for welcoming him to his new position.

Financial dues: There has not been a dues’ change for any group. Greg made a point that no member association dues go directly to NAA. All dues revenue is passed through to the FAI.

In June/July NAA will hold a luncheon featuring Rich Hanson to talk about AMA issues regarding FAA Reauthorization.

Collier Trophy winner was announced, the winner being Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin.

Greg encouraged Council to submit applicants for NAA awards. Governance review coming up soon, including NAA board nominations; award committee to also be discussed since a meeting has not been held in a few years.

June 22 reception/event noting most memorable records of 2016, one being a modeling record.

8. Committee Reports

Museum Acquisition
Mark announced the members of the Museum Acquisition committee: Jim Tiller, Michael Smith, Alan Goff, Bill Mohrbacher, chairman of the Model Engine Collectors Association Special Interest Group, Bob Underwood, Jeffrey Murphy.

This week, committee members are voting on 16 items.

IMAC Scale Aerobatics just found the first winning plane from the 70s, which was donated to the museum. Kurt Koelling’s plane which he won the 2016 World Championships with will be donated.

Investment & Audit
Revisited the request for additional funds in District VII for travel.

It was moved by G. Fitch and seconded by L. Tougas (X) to approve the request of District VII to increase its budget by $1,500.
MOTION passed unanimously.

Explore the possibility of a 2018 transfer of responsibility of the flight simulator trailer to the Marketing department, coordinating efforts between Marketing and Education.

Discussed adding modular features to the trailer, which would allow it to change its functionality to match event requirement.

Marketing/Membership committee will develop a mission statement for the trailer and a mission breakdown for 2018.

Marketing department will look at potential advertising marketing/brand imaging opportunities.

Marketing department to look at the feasibility of establish an online flight simulator system that anyone can use, when they log in with their name, address and email to access.

During the October 2015 EC meeting, Council approved to provide hobby retailers with a coupon code to offer non-AMA customers a two- or three-month free trial to the digital version of Model Aviation. Further discussion led to combining this with a three-month free trial membership. Jeff and Shawn will look at the potential positives and negatives and report back to the committee.

We have a mobile-friendly app, which allows a dealer or individual to join AMA using their smartphone. We need to look at ways to promote this so it becomes a more effective membership enhancement tool.

We discussed the feasibility of a new member being assigned their AMA number when using the mobile app.

Our Marketing and Membership departments are working on a survey to determining which clubs are multirotor and/or FPV friendly.

AMA Expo West venue contract expires in 2018. Jeff Nance was invited to look at holding the Expo at the Auto Club Speedway where last week’s NASCAR event was held, a stone’s throw from the convention center in Ontario, CA. This is an exciting possibility. This venue will allow outdoor flying for all types of aircraft, unlimited vendor space, FPV racing, and a full-scale NASCAR experience on the 2-mile oval, go-cart racing, RC car racing, and symposia. This has the potential to be the best show in the world.

We discussed changing how both Expo East and West were laid out, pertaining to the AMA Village. Let’s bring all of AMA together, including the flight simulator trailer. Education and Publications departments around the circumference of the village rather than having them in different locations. Bring AMA together provides a better experience.

AMA and the Drone Squad are looking at developing a MOU. This partnership with the community of FPV racers will give AMA exposure to this group. The Drone Squad will want to know where our drone-friendly clubs are located for its community. International Drone Day is first weekend in May.

The Membership department estimated that our membership numbers at this time of year are in the same range as last year. It is difficult to provide an accurate number because of the change from calendar to fiscal year renewals. By the end of the year we will know where we stand versus last year.

The committee met on March 31 to discuss the editions, builds, multirotors, and pits. AMA is looking for more people to submit different articles for all of our publications.

Publications is ahead in technology. The staff is working on a relaunch of the design for Model Aviation magazine. Most magazines are redesigned every 3 to 5 years.

Art and graphic designers are going to a conference this fall for redesign next year The new trend for magazines is now less text, more graphic imagery. Looking at what other magazines are doing.

Committee members are Jim Rice-chairman, Rick Grim, Keith Sievers, Brandon Koch; helicopter representative TBD.
Committee meeting will be held at the Joe Nall event on Friday, May 19 to review various safety-related documents, including the Safety Code, turbine regulations, etc.

Large Model Aircraft program, working on a rewrite/reorganization of the documents. Tentative plans to finalize at committee meeting and present to the EC for July approval.

Have approved three inspector applications so far this year.

Working on letter to all SIGs informing them that the committee will reach out to them for their area of expertise when questions arise. Also, extending offer for them to reach out to the committee regarding safety concerns.

Education Committee
Jim spoke about the recipient of the scholarships who are named in the meeting agenda packets. He thanked those who worked on determining the winners.

Jim will meet with Bill Pritchett regarding committee once Bill returns from the National Science Teachers Convention.

One of the things worthy of work are the Model Aviation Student Clubs. Julia is the coordinator.

Youth members are sent an e-newsletter every month. The concern is that many are not being opened. One concern is making educational offerings K-12 project to work on.

Camp AMA scholarship program is going well.

Please spread the word about the Camp AMA program. A lot of positive feedback regarding this program.
Spread the word about Camp AMA West. This camp is for adults with the same instructors as the Youth Camp; it will be held in Las Vegas this year.

Multirotor Membership
Eric Williams is developing the committee. Current members: Chuck Bower, Jim Tiller, Randy Cameron, and Andy Argenio.

Relative to the multirotor community, if we want to reach out to this community we might look at other organizations best practices for benchmarks—what is the market telling us, what is defined by the market. Looking at surveys past and present, see what attitudes are.

Direction of Council was to keep separate categories. Dave believes that our enrollment options are currently convoluted and believes that a melded set of benefits for both traditional modelers and this new community is a good approach. We currently have six membership types, making it difficult for new members to manage the enrollment form. We can launch this program quickly if we meld benefits.

AMA is working with AirMap. The company has offered to create a mapping app with AMA branding.
We are currently working on a flight log for 107 operators who want to keep track of hours. We have drone safety guidelines.

Our new safety course for first responders and law enforcement is receiving many positive comments.

We will soon be launching a monthly newsletter reaching out to the multirotor community. We are in the process of accepting résumés for the multirotor editor, whose duties will include focusing on video, digital, and print outreach to the new multirotor, FPV community.

Rich stated what he is hearing is we need to tailor benefits to specific segment that best fits their interests. We have the elements and can launch quicker then we think. We also need to create a strategic marketing initiative to reach all segments of the modeling community. The bottom line is to address individual needs, and provide the best package for each.

Rich would like to see this go through the committee so we have good collaboration between the Council and the staff.

Flying Site Grant
Thanks to Erin Dobbs for all the hard work put into the project.

Grants have to be submitted online by officer of club; R. Cameron believes it should be by any club member appointed by the club. G. Fitch stated that this is done because the point of contact would be the club officer.

L. Tougas questioned the ranking on the list of grants in packet. D. Mathewson explained the clubs are ranked by average, but will send chairman R. Cameron the rankings of the individual recipients via Basecamp.

Motion VII: It was moved by T. Jesky (VII) and seconded by L. Harville (VIII) to approve recommended Flying Sites Assistance Grants.
Motion passed unanimously.

It was brought up that the Council has drifted away from policies of 1979 and how committee were to be set up. G. Fitch researched and the Bylaws Committee is to be made up of the following: Three vice presidents, nominated by members of the Council/Executive Director, President, and a Headquarters staff member. The three vice president members are to be one newly elected; one who has served less than two terms; and one who has served more than two terms. Committee to elect a chairman.

New member to the committee: Bob Brogdon; L. Tougas was selected to fill the two-year term member; and A. Argenio was selected to serve the more than two years and also as the Chairman.

Committee consist of B. Brogdon, L. Tougas, A. Argenio-chairman, R. Hanson, D. Mathewson, and HQ member-TBD

G. Fitch discussed the amount of time and effort that is required for this committee.

FAI Committee

In the short term, T. Jesky (VII) will serve as co-chair with R. Hanson. Other members of the committee are Jay Marsh, Gary Vogel, Mark Atwood, Nick Maxwell, and Colleen Pierce-staff liaison.

Rich and Tim will attend the annual FAI CIAM meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the end of the month.
One item on the committee’s agenda is the bid for the FAI Free Flight World Championships proposed for Lost Hills, CA in 2019.

Future business regarding funding allocations. Currently R. Hanson is serving as the AMA delegate to the CIAM but for future meetings T. Jesky will be the delegate.

Rich thanked everyone for their efforts with setting up committees and moving forward.

Rich introduced John Hochheimer from NAR (National Association of Rocketry). Rich would like to begin a new direction by having working lunches with various guest speakers going forward.

9. Old Business

Rich stated that three motions needed to be voted on from prior business discussed in Executive Session.

MOTION VIII: It was moved by C. Bower (XI) and seconded by R. Cameron (VI) to proceed with current legal action negotiated as agreed in Executive Session.
Motion passed unanimously.

MOTION IX: It was moved by L. Harville (VIII) and seconded by J. Marsh (IV) to accept the recommendation of the grievance committee to not invoke disciplinary action on a recent member complaint.
Motion passed unanimously.

MOTION X: It was moved by L. Tougas and seconded by M. Radcliff (III) to accept the recommendation of the ED review committee to begin contract renewal negotiations with the Executive Director immediately.
Motion passed unanimously.

Rich stated previously that the T & E policy change motion had previously been postponed due to the changes which were discussed. K. Session made the changes and put it in Basecamp for review.

It was moved by L. Tougas (X) and seconded by G. Fitch to accept the AMA Travel and Expense Policy as amended and proposed by the T&E ad hoc committee.
Motion passed, 12 for, 1 against. 

10. New Business

FAI Stamp
The cost of an FAI Aero Sporting License, to represent the AMA and subsequently the USA in world competition has doubled since 2014. The increase for an FAI license does nothing to increase participation in this activity.

The NAA offers the FAI sporting license free to NAA members and indicates $45 for “license only” although the application indicates membership in either the NAA and/or an affiliate organization is required.

After an increase in fee by the NAA in 2014 and subsequent increase by the AMA the following year, FAI license is currently $100 to AMA members. FAI license plus AMA membership currently cost a total of $175 for adult members.

The income from these licenses is seen by some as inconsequential to either the budget of NAA or AMA, but is a deterrent to increase participation from new interested participants.

J. Marsh (IV) stated the impact to the NAA and AMA’s budget is less than $2,000. With a reduction in cost he is hoping it will increase participation in the FAI hobby.

FAI is a small part of the flying community and overall the hobby is beginning to decline. We should consider what can be done to bring it back and this could be a start.

J. Marsh (IV) requested a motion to eliminate the last increase for a sporting license which would bring the cost to $75.

NAA stated that they can come to them for the license, but they still need to be an AMA member. This would only save a few dollars.

Dave explained that AMA is the only organization that administers its own program for keeping records, running the team trial program, and is responsible for all actions and activities that represent the model aviation world competitive community.

G. Fitch is a supporter of the proposal, but questioned why does NAA issue the licenses. The NAA does not run any activities, but it is an FAI representative.

How others do sector fund their activities, i.e. Soaring, etc? NAA stated that organizations are not supported; they derive income from various sources.

The different cost structures were discussed for obtaining an FAI stamp from AMA versus NAA. E. Williams (II) In addition, by friendly amendment, FAI sporting license will be offered to AMA Junior and Senior members at cost.

It was moved by J. Marsh (IV) and seconded by T. Jesky (VII) to rescind the 2016 price increase for FAI sporting license and revert to $75 for Open/Adult members. In addition, by friendly amendment moved by Eric Williams, the FAI sporting license will be offered to AMA Junior/Senior (Youth) members at cost.
Motion passed, 12 yes; 1 abstained.

AMA needs to make a concerted effort to revitalize competition. To do this, we need to look at cost and see how to spread more interest and involvement. Suggestion would be to encourage the FAI team members to mentor new members.

Three Distinguished Service awards were presented and voted on. Names were withheld until presentations can be made. MOTION passed unanimously.

Rich closed with, “It was a very productive day. Thanks to all for patience and cooperation in the spirit in which business was conducted. Part of the AMA staff will be joining he Strategic Planning Seminar. Bob Evans is catering breakfast. The meeting will start promptly at 8 a.m..
The meeting adjourned at 5:30.