Executive Council Meeting

July 16, 2006
Muncie IN

Official

In Attendance
President's Report
Executive Vice President's Report
Executive Director's Report
Committee Reports
New Business
Old Business

OPENING BUSINESS

IN ATTENDANCE
President Dave Brown, Hamilton, OH; Executive Vice President Doug Holland, Raleigh, NC; District Vice Presidents: I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI; II-Dave Mathewson, Baldwinsville, NY; III-Bob Brown, Bradford, PA; IV-Bliss Teague, Hickory, NC; VI-Charlie Bauer, Norridge, IL; VII-Bill Oberdieck, Southgate, MI; VIII-Sandy Frank, Weatherford, TX, IX-Mark T. Smith, Shawnee, KS; X-Rich Hanson, Scottsdale, AZ; XI-Bruce Nelson, Spokane, WA; NAA Rep (sitting in for David Ivey)-Kris Maynard; Acting Executive Director Joyce Hager and Legal Counsel Felix Gora.

Also in attendance were: Jay Mealy, AMA HQ; Rob Kurek, AMA HQ; Tom Schwyn, AMA HQ; Travis McGinnis, Scholarship Committee; Bob Underwood, Safety/Scholarship Committees; Paul Bretsen, Harry Koch, Co.; Lance Zellers; Ginger Mathewson and Shirley Teague.

Additions to the Agenda: The EVP withdrew item 3a. from the agenda. The President indicated that there will be a few additional items to discuss in Executive Session in addition to sensitivity training.

Approval of April 2006 Minutes
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the Minutes of the April 29-30, 2006 Executive Council meeting.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • The President informed Council of a call he received from the MAAC President. The situation involved an individual who had his MAAC membership removed and was now trying to participate in MAAC events using his AMA license; this violates the reciprocal agreement between AMA and MAAC.
  • Council had a strategic planning session July 14-15; the President thanked them for their hard work and great ideas presented and reiterated that without action by Council the dreams will never become reality. Council must focus on creating and implementing plans that will take them in the directions expressed during the strategic planning session.
  • The President will not be making the trip to Kazakhstan for the Spacemodeling World Championships.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT'S REPORT

  • The EVP met with the investment bankers on Friday. AMA was not receiving reports from them in an adequate time frame so that V. Barkdull could make the financial statements; discussed that with the bankers and they have implemented a mechanism to correct that.

  • AMA has a report to fill out on a regular basis in order to maintain the ratios required to keep the bond issue current; AMA is well above the requirements.

  • Investment portfolio is in good shape; switching portfolio to more solid, secured stock and less of the volatile kind.
     

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

  • Headquarters is very involved with the Nationals right now. We are only about 70 behind the number of contestants compared to last year; and HQ expects to get many late entries for the Free Flight portion of the Nationals. Hager reported that the individual responsible for the Nats internally left in November 2005; the three employees who worked out at Nats HQ jumped in and handled the administrative part and B. Brown is helping with the maintenance portion. B. Brown commended J. Hager for having an excellent maintenance staff; they are doing an exceptional job. J. Hager stated the position Estep held is more a 6-month position as opposed to a 12-month position. A procedures book is being put together for the Nationals.
  • Hager received a letter from J. Worth who wants HQ to revisit his RC Micro World proposition. The overall consensus is that this publication has limited appeal to the membership. Hager will respond that Council is not interested in the venture.
  • Hager requested the approval of additional insurance coverage for a dated event. The President noted this is an instance where a public entity with a flying site being used for a sanctioned event is demanding a larger level of insurance. This is being requested more frequently as of late. AMA needs to create a mechanism that will allow them to provide this where necessary, with pricing commensurate with what it costs AMA to provide it. The President saw no reason not to allow this. The ED was given the authority to issue this. The Insurance Committee was charged with developing a more finite program on addressing these kinds of requests.

NAA REPORT

  • The NAA membership continues to grow both through the acquisition of new members and through retention of current members.
  • There has been much improvement in Aero Magazine; the Collier edition was exceptional. Over 1,300 people attended the 2 Collier dinners for Eclipse Aviation.
  • The Web site activity has been increasing substantially; this year have had a high of 18k hits in one month (a 50% increase over last year). The first stages of the record database are being placed on the Web site.

Executive Session/BreakAt this time the President indicated the Nominating Committee report needed to be added to the agenda and would be the first committee report presented.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

  • Nominating (APPENDIX I)
    The chairman reported the committee met at 8:15 a.m. this morning and followed protocol. Positions to be considered for the upcoming election include Vice Presidents in District II, IV, VI, VIII and X.

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the report of the Nominating Committee. The 2006 ballot will include the following candidates: District II – Dave Mathewson (incumbent); District IV – Bliss Teague (incumbent); District VI – Charlie Bauer (incumbent); District VIII – Guy Barber, Lawrence Harville, James Rice; District X – Rich Hanson (incumbent).
 

  • Marketing (APPENDIX II)M. Smith met with Eric Myers and Don Anderson June 14-15; the focus was on the Ambassador Program (sign 3 get one free.) Concentration was on the qualifications; another idea was to recognize those members who bring new members into the organization. (With something similar to the All Season Flyer patch.) This idea is still in the preliminary stages.

    They also discussed the Corporate Membership meeting which is to be held in October. They are hoping to get a feel for if the industry would support a program where hobby shops would give discounts to AMA members and in return the hobby shops would receive some kind of magazine advertising.

    T. Schwyn reported on a potential partner for a non-dues revenue program. The partners name is Harris Publishing and the project would be a type of directory. They would gather information where it is provided by the member (only adult AMA members, no youth) and tabulate it in the form of a directory. Schwyn then explained their method of communication (snail mail, then email, and lastly a phone call) and how often the member would be contacted. If a member at any time declined to participate, they would not be contacted a second time. Harris’ list of AMA members could only be used for this contractual piece under the parameters that have been set unless AMA enters into another contract with them. Schwyn made it clear however, that these directories are typically updated every three years or so, and if a member subscribed to the directory they would be solicited again with an update version. Members who would be solicited include those whose information appears in the directory and those who purchased the directory. Cost of the directory is $69.95 (printed version) and $59.95 (CD version). The EC had some concerns over the information that would be contained in the directory and instructed Schwyn to go back to Harris for some type of guarantee that would prevent other entities from using our member’s information.
    The President suggested that once the additional information is gathered from Harris, any Council member may request a mail/email vote of Council. He then recommended that this be done via conference call (which would not require a 2/3 majority).

    The President suggested Council keep in mind a modification to the bylaws that addresses voting by Council at times other than during a Council meeting; he will get together with legal counsel for direction.
     
  • Scholarship (APPENDIX III)
    The chairman noted that T. McGinnis replaced C. Telford (who passed away last year) on the committee. The total budgeted amount available for awarding ($41,524) was based on $.30 per open paid member the year before. Of that amount $40,000 will be distributed to this year’s recipients upon Council’s approval. The Weak Signals Award ($3,500) will be split among the top two Grant winners as there was a tie. The Sig Award of $2,200 was also recommended. The total number of applicants was 23; this is down from previous years.

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the report and make the awards as specified in the Scholarship Committee Report.

R. Kurek will work with staff to promote the Scholarship Award program in Model Aviation (In The Air section). C. Bauer has been researching past winners (contacted about 30% so far) and about 10% of those are still members; he indicated that some of those winners are airport personnel and some others work at Boeing.

There is one other action item the committee would like Council to consider. At the present time there has been $3,375 contributed in the form of memorials to Cliff and the committee and others would like to establish a Cliff Telford Scholarship (a $5,000 yearly award). The basic criteria of this award are presented in the committee report but more details are needed; a separate application form will need to be developed. The committee requests Council permission to formulate this award and begin advertising for next years awards. The Presidents concern is that it is hard to bind a future Executive Council from changing any action by previous Councils. It is recommended that the Scholarship Committee present a final application form for Council approval; this should include the caveat that the competition aspect of the criteria must be kept in; in the event it is every taken out the award will be nullified. It is also recommended that in respect to the entire Telford family, the award should be called the Telford Scholarship.
 

  • Safety
    The Safety Committee met via conference call and several items were discussed. Underwood reported there was no action, no changes to propose to the Safety Code for 2007. Another item discussed was regarding an individual who has taken exception for considerable length of time with the turbine waiver regulations; discussed at length and the Safety Committee will request the Turbine Advisory Committee be reactivated to smooth out and simplify the paperwork involved. The size of the Safety Committee is expected to increase.

Lunch 12:40 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

  • Executive Director Job SearchThe Committee is well through the process at this time. Had initial field of 59 candidates; the first cut brought it down to 39 and then to 12. Now there is a semi-final list of 7 candidates. The last stage of the process for the committee will be for the 7 candidates to come to Muncie for face-to-face interview, tour the property and to meet with the senior staff of AMA; this is expected to happen in late August. The culmination of that will bring it down to the three finalists who will come to the EC meeting in October to make a personal presentation to Council and for Council selection/job offer.
     
  • E-Field Development (APPENDIX IV)
    J. Mealy presented the report submitted by T. Stillman. Stillman expressed concern over the committee’s assignment; he believed it was the attempt to establish e-fields or park flyer fields, with the emphasis on providing money to accomplish this. Although not a member of the committee, through his discussions with T. Stillman, Mealy is of the opinion that AMA clubs are one of the most beneficial sources of getting new members. The first proposal (AMA Chartered Club New Member Acquisition Program) mirrors the partnership that AMA has with NRHSA and it has been proven to work. The NRHSA partnership has resulted in generating 1200 new AMA members every six months. Mealy feels this program could be modified to apply to chartered clubs. The second suggestion is an AMA Chartered Club Recognition Program (RCHTA at one time funded a similar program to this and Mealy contacted Pat Kozial for permission to use the idea). This program would reward clubs for publicity (through TV broadcast, radio coverage and magazine/newspaper coverage).

    D. Mathewson stated that, in talking with Stillman prior to the meeting, Stillman was uncomfortable with the original concept the committee was tasked with which was to fund a program to $20,000 to compensate clubs for going out and creating new e-fields in urban areas. Stillman’s concern was that this would have a limited impact based on the amount of money the program was funded with, possibly limiting the potential to $1,000 a club. There was also concern regarding clubs who have already created e-fields and (were) are not included in the incentive program.

    Thought was given to funding these programs without jeopardizing AMA’s bottom line. HQ has been able to track the benefits of its programs and determine which programs give them the best return; AMA has a fiduciary responsibility to its members and it may be time to sunset some programs. This could generate enough capital within the budget without asking for additional monies to implement one or possibly both of the mentioned programs. If Council is comfortable with the concepts they could be done in stages; there will be some marketing involvement to get the word out appropriately. Mealy thinks everything could be in place by the time of the convention.

    T. Stillman was looking for consensus that this is the direction Council wants to go; and if so give the committee the latitude to move with the program to a certain level. The President is concerned that these programs don’t address the problem of e-fields and the lack of a program to develop e-fields is contributing to the inability to get new members (e-fliers).

    M. Smith and the Membership Development committee were charged with moving as rapidly as possible with the program to develop the e-field booklet and 5-minute DVD. Any information that would be included in the charter renewal package would need to be completed by the October council meeting. M. Smith is unable to give an exact time frame however the storyboard is pretty much laid out.

    It was Council's consensus that T. Stillman proceed with the programs presented by J. Mealy.
     

OLD BUSINESS

  • Revised Introductory Pilot Program Update
    The program was launched on May 1; things going well with on-line registration. There was a news release in Model Aviation in the "In the Air" section; an article in the AMA Insider as well as a notice posted on the AMA Web site; a banner ad has been running on RC Groups which links you to the AMA Web site where it explains the program; and an ad is running in Backyard Flier. The intent is to attract the non-member new modeler and point them in the direction of the program and eventually to the clubs that participate in those programs. In the next few weeks a push e-mail will be done to clubs to publicize what is being done and encourage them to participate in the program. Patches were created by the S & S staff and they have been sent to current pilot instructors and those students where the club requested. The suggestion was made to have a small patch to put underneath the original patch denoting the individual as ‘graduate’ or ‘pilot’.

    An update was given on the DVD concept that was brought up at the last meeting. Mathewson stated that some of this will tie into the DVD that the Membership Development Committee is creating. The DVD concept as of the last meeting was to create one DVD that was an introductory guide to model aviation. Schwyn suggest doing two DVDs; one relatively short (targeting the younger audience) that would tie into what the Membership Development Committee wants to do and the second being an introductory guide to model aviation using the B. Aberle guide as a reference to the DVD. Cost for the first (5-10 min. DVD) about 10-15k and once in production looking at a 4-8 week time frame; the second piece (20-30 min. DVD) about 30-40k. Mathewson and Schwyn agree that AMA should move on the first, shorter DVD since that is the major target audience and monitor the returns and then decide whether to proceed with the second DVD.

    It was cautioned not to duplicate the DVD used in the Membership Dev. Comm. with the DVD used in the Intro. Pilot Program; since Schwyn is common to both committees duplication should not occur.
     

NEW BUSINESS

  • Create committee to deal with the loss of membership (APPENDIX V)
    The agenda item was withdrawn and the following presented in its stead.

    Mathewson presented a concept that B. Brown, S. Frank, D. Holland and himself had been working on, and Brown would like to move ahead with it; they are ideas to promote the Academy and model aviation. The list is a compilation of brainstorming and some of the ideas are thought to be extremely viable. The intent is not to circumvent or replace any working program already in place; it is just food for thought on potential programs that might address the problems AMA currently has. It is requested that Council mark each item whether it is viable and rank them. The lists (with comments) should be returned to Mathewson so input can be included in potential programs. It is noted that some of the items are time critical. If after review of the list it is decided to move ahead on any of the items, the President will be asked to create a committee to address the issues. Mathewson gave an overview of each of the items listed.

MOTION I: Moved by R. Hanson (X) and seconded by D. Mathewson (II) that the President create a committee to deal with the loss of membership. This committee will receive funding of $15,000.
MOTION passed unanimously.

The President appointed D. Mathewson chairman of a Membership Growth Committee to deal with the loss of membership. Other members will be determined by Mathewson and appointment by the President. Council will individually prioritize the list of those items (top 5) which are time critical as guidance for the committee.

  • Clubs “Take Off and Grow” programThis is another concept of the membership outreach program and came about as a result of an idea that Maroney had with input from Mealy; and is a different approach to the Grand Event. The name of the event is "Take Off and Grow" and is a program for AMA clubs. What will be presented today is a preliminary concept and if approved by Council it will be refined.

    The idea is to solicit clubs to host a hands-on flight activity event promoting any discipline of aero modeling in their local area. This would be a one day event and interested participants would be enrolled in the revised Introductory Pilot Program; this will allow AMA to collect data on the members of the public that are participating in the program. Participants will go through an enhanced ground school, get time on a flight simulator and eventually will be sent to a flight line for a flight with an Intro Pilot instructor.

    AMA will create a guide to running this event to help make sure the clubs have some type of uniformity in the event they are putting on. It is the intent to solicit the help of the hobby suppliers in order to purchase a trainer type aircraft. The annual budget for the current Grand Event is $30,000; if we allocate just $500 to each club for each “Take Off and Grow” event we could fund 60 events annually.

    All activities would be provided free of charge, would be family oriented, the public would be exposed to model aviation, and it would generate positive publicity for the community. If the okay was given to proceed with the concept, it is anticipated we would be prepared to promote and launch this program in 2007. It is noted, however, that there is a club in California who may be willing to host the Grand Event in 2007. If the club pulls out of hosting the Grand Event in 2007 we are prepared to move with the new program. D. Holland agreed to some level of funding for this new program to get it off the ground if Council approves. The intent is to allocate a specified amount to each club and that is what they have to work with.

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation that AMA sunset the event known as Grand Event and replace it with the Take Off and Grow program, with the stipulation that if the club in California wishes to run the Grand Event in 2007 they will have the opportunity to do so.

D. Mathewson will work with the Finance Committee on budgeting funds for this new program.

In a question raised relative to the mailing of bills and ballots this year, Council was in favor of sending them separately as was done last year.

  • Review Strategic Planning (APPENDIX VI)Council developed a list of items during the strategic planning session that were listed by importance and urgency. Council was asked to individually rank them for the top five priorities.
    On the basis of votes cast, following is a list of those items to be addressed.

Improve Perception of AMA – was assigned to the Membership Growth Committee (created today) chaired by D. Mathewson.

Updating the Bylaws/EVP hired or appointed – was assigned to the Bylaws Committee. (F. Gora noted he has a preliminary revision of the document and will share that with A. Argenio; funding by AMA in the amount of 1 or 2k could also be available to assist in developing an action plan.)

Increase Membership – was assigned to the Membership Development Committee with input shared by the Membership Growth Committee.

Improvements of Web site/forums and Better Communication – was assigned to the Membership Growth Committee.

Asset protection/transfer – the EVP will continue to work on this.

Lobbying Program – the President will personally do some basic investigational work on what it would cost AMA to get a lobbying presence in Washington, D.C.

Each committee or individual tasked with the above assignments will be responsible for figuring out how AMA is going to accomplish the tasks and the timeline it may take to achieve the expected outcome. A preliminary progress report on each of the above action items should be emailed to the Executive Council members by September 1, 2006, with a more finite action plan and request for funding if necessary presented at the October Council meeting.

  • Cash awards for competition events (not dues)
    This item was tabled until the October meeting.

AWARDS
Awards were moved, seconded and approved by acclamation.

The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

NEXT MEETING
Finance Committee Meeting – September 29, 2006
Executive Council Meeting – October 14/15, 2006
 

Action items from the July 16, 2006 Executive Council meeting

  1. J. Hager will respond to John Worth inquiry re RC Micro World proposition. Ref: ED Report
  2. The Insurance Committee will develop a more finite program to address requests for a larger level of insurance coverage. Ref: ED Report
  3. Schwyn will approach Harris Publishing with Council concerns with directory and send an email to Council with the potential number of AMA members who would want to be listed in said directory. Ref: ED Report
  4. R. Kurek will work with staff to promote the Scholarship Programs in Model Aviation. Ref: Scholarship Committee Report
  5. Scholarship Committee to submit a final application form for the Telford Scholarship (including the caveat suggested) for Council approval. Ref: Scholarship Committee Report
  6. Membership Development Committee was charged with moving as rapidly as possible with the program to develop the e-field booklet and 5-minute DVD. Ref: E-Field Development Committee Report
  7. T. Stillman (and Committee) should proceed with the programs presented in his report. Ref: E-Field Development Committee Report
  8. The President created a Membership Growth Committee (chaired by D. Mathewson with members to be determined) to deal with the loss of membership. Council members will report their individually ranked top five priorities to Mathewson.
  9. D. Mathewson to work with the Finance Committee on budgeting funds for the “Take Off and Grow” Program.