Executive Council Meeting

July 15, 2017
  Muncie IN

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

8:00 a.m. Nominations Committee meeting
Meeting began at 8:20

1. Opening Business 

a. In attendance: President Rich Hanson, Scottsdale AZ, Fishers IN; EVP Gary Fitch, Delevin NY; CFO Keith Sessions, Burlington KY; District I Andy Argenio, (teleconference) Smithfield RI; District II, Eric Williams (teleconference), Schenectady NY; District III Mark Radcliff, St. Marys WV; District IV Jay Marsh, High Point NC; District V Bob Brogdon, Powder Springs GA; District VI Randy Cameron, Springfield MO; District VII Tim Jesky, Monroe MI; District VIII Lawrence Harville, Hurst TX; District IX Jim Tiller, Custer SD; District X Lawrence Tougas, Fairfield CA; District XI Chuck Bower, Langley WA; Executive Director Dave Mathewson; NAA Greg Principato; Legal Counsel Felix Gora, Rendigs Fry Kiely and Dennis.

Others present: Staff: Vicki Barkdull, Eric Bachmann, Bill Pritchett, Rob Kurek, Mandee Mikulski, Shawn Grubbs, Tony Stillman, and Chad Budreau. Others: Bob Reynolds, Brady Ware; Dan Bott, AMA Foundation.

b. Additions to agenda:
L. Tougas (X): Bylaws and safety code changes (new business).
G. Fitch (EVP): Nominations (new business).

Additions to final flight: George Mathis
There was a moment of silence.

2. Consent Agenda 

• To select a vendor to develop AMA’s new association management system. Motion passed.
• Motion to seek a second opinion re: AMA’s petition against FAA’s Interpretive rule. Motion failed: 6 yes; 7 no.
• Waive 30-day requirement to submit documentation for an LMA permit. Motion passed unanimously.
• Approval of April 1-2, 2017, minutes. Correction: G. Fitch (EVP) now lives in Delevin NY. Motion passed by acclamation with correction.

3. President’s Report

R. Hanson discussed meetings in Washington D.C. ARC timeframe is expected to be completed by September 30, 2017. There is a strong push to require an ID on all UAS and employ overreaching legislation. Rich’s preference is to address only minimal fixes and address other issues as needed.

District IX VP J. Tiller was awarded Exemplary Service award upon reaching three years of service on the AMA Executive Council. Chief Financial Officer K. Sessions awarded Exemplary Service award upon reaching three years’ service.

4. Executive Vice President's Report (G. Fitch)

Committee work: discussions with MultiGP and others.
Discussed accounting review. Kudos to Vicki Burkdull and accounting staff.

5. Chief Financial Officer's Report (K. Sessions)

Reported that the accounting staff did a great job. Reported on the investment review. AMA’s accounts and investments are doing well and he is happy with their performance.
Attended Joe Nall.

Bob Reynolds of Brady Ware spoke. He offered his thanks to D. Mathewson and V. Barkdull for their work. Audit process went well. He has few recommendations and reported that he values his relationship with AMA. He saw what he expected to see based on previous recommendations. The numbers are accurate and the organization was given clean bill of health.
The cash position down because of membership increases and incentives offered to pay early for membership at a lower rate in 2016. Investments are up roughly $700,000, mostly in reinvested earnings. Wall Street responded favorably to the national elections and AMA was well invested.
There was an unexpected increase in the number of Life memberships. Magazine revenue was down, but the deficit was less than expected and AMA actually earned enough through investments to break even.
The auditor had no new recommendations.

Motion I: Moved by G. Fitch, seconded by R. Cameron (VI), to accept auditor’s report. .
passed unanimously.

6. Executive Director’s Report (D. Mathewson)

Best Buy:
Continuing to generate money from the program at roughly $908,000-plus so far. Bill Pritchett to try to contact Best Buy.

AMS Update.
Preparing to have Abila staff to AMA to begin initial training with new system.

Utah Drone Festival.
Tulinda Larsen made significant promises, but failed to maintain contact. D. Mathewson listed promises and offers that haven’t been kept. The event was shortened from three to two days. Cost of entry to general public is $50 per day. He feels the event is more commercial than recreational. D. Mathewson’s recommendation is to carefully word a message that AMA is withdrawing from the sponsorship based upon changes made to the program.

Motion II:
Moved by T. Jesky (VII), seconded by J. Tiller (IX), to make a partial withdrawal from participation in the Utah Drone Festival.
Motion passed unanimously.
Hall of Fame report:
Names to be announced.

Motion III: Moved by A. Argenio (I), seconded by L. Tougas (X), to accept AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame report.
Motion passed by acclamation.

Indoor Flying Site report:
T. Stillman and M. Mikulski have reached out to local community for funding. One anonymous donor has already committed $100,000 to the indoor facility. D. Mathewson believes renting the facility to various local groups is a possibility for funding. Use of facility by educational groups is an opportunity for AMA. He feels that the building can be built without having to rely on member dues money.

T. Stillman invited to speak: This project is a result of the 2001 Strategic Long Range Plan, where need for indoor facility on-site was determined. It will be a Category III site: 200 x 300 feet with 100-foot ceiling. It will be built specifically for the Indoor FF community, but will have additional aeromodeling uses, including RC and CL Indoor flying. It is planned that it will be a steel prefabricated building with insulation, bathrooms, meeting rooms, and roll-up doors. Educational components will be included. It will be a multiuse facility. Concept hopes to tie all three buildings together, give better access to museum and new building. Plan includes modifications to the current museum to allow indoor flight.
Funding: No funds from dues to be used for project. T. Stillman will work with AMA Foundation to obtain funding. M. Mikulski presented plans to approach the community for funding. Another possible source of funding would be companies that provide grants for utilizing green technology.

T. Stillman and D. Mathewson introduced Scott Black of the Charles C. Brant contractor, who is a longtime modeler, and Tom Strayer, the architect from Quantum.
D. Mathewson: This is Phase 1 of Indoor facility. Previous ideas have not been followed through. This is a long-term plan but we need to get funding in place before beginning. He feels that this plan has the potential to be a great educational opportunity/education center without tapping into member dues. Educational component/use will support AMA’s 501(c)(3) status.

T. Stillman: Reiterated that no contracts have been signed. This is conceptual only. The size of the facility would fit a niche locally because of its size as a rental area, and offer year-round activity on-site.

Discussion ensued concerning priorities and other site needs (Sites 3, 4, camping areas) before this project is undertaken. Council requested a report of Indoor participation and Indoor income generated over last 10 years as well as projected income to be generated by new facility. Council asked for a pro forma statement concerning revenue generation.

Motion IV: By J. Tiller (IX), seconded by L. Tougas (X) to move forward with projected Indoor Flying Site facility pro forma report that will be presented at the fall EC meeting.
Motion passed unanimously.

President R. Hanson spoke of FAA Reauthorization Bill. Thanked Chad Budreau for his work with government advocacy and the FAA. FAA wants testing to ensure safe flying. FAA seems willing to allow a community-based organization (CBO) to administer the testing. He discussed current House and Senate provisions and AMA’s responses or planned responses to said provisions. He discussed definition of national CBO. Feels current potential legislation is doable overall. There seems to be a significant push against FPVs with regards to possible security issues. Legislators seem to feel that FPVs should be addressed under Part 107. He has no thoughts on what might happen concerning the replacement of current FAA Administrator Michael Huerta at the end of year.

7. Committee Reports

Marketing (G. Fitch)
• Membership numbers currently at 183,927 which is on par with 2016 numbers; there are 59,000 Youth members.
• New AMS system will allow reports that show year-to-year comparisons and trends.
• Reported on AMA branding discussion: He wants to see the same branding standard for all departments. He wants one person currently on staff to oversee company branding throughout each department. D. Mathewson reported that this concept is already in the works.
• Flight simulator trailer: It is to be transferred from the Education department to the Marketing department, which will change the introductory material. He hopes this will increase branding opportunities and provide better use of tools.
• Survey: This was sent to all clubs nationwide and 606 responses were received. 90% of clubs allow multirotor or drone use at their fields. 296 clubs have allowed drone racing. There seems to be greater acceptance of drones/multirotors by clubs.

J. Nance: Presented a concept for a new member benefit, commercial drone insurance. The estimated cost is 60% of other insurance. This will reinforce membership value and offers an opportunity to increase AMA membership. He discussed an ad campaign for drone insurance coverage: “Fly for Fun. Fly for Business. AMA Has You Covered.” and “We Can Save You Up to 40% on Commercial Drone Insurance.” He compared the commercial insurance to an affinity program. There is no liability to AMA. Relationship is between operator and insurance company. Potential is AMA membership.
AMA’s focus with this program is to engage current recreational users who may have an interest in pursuing flying under Part 107 of the SUAS rule. Jeff will engage CLS to implement PR effort with UAS media including print, online, forums, newsletters, and UAV websites. He presented potential advertising budget.
Discussion ensued on value of commercial insurance to current members, potential members, member retention, and intangible benefits for insuring commercial fliers: AMA is being proactive. Discussed cost of advertising, cost of servicing members, amount requested for program, revenue potential, charging a premium membership for a commercial membership, potential AMA liability, potential involvement in commercial activity, using club sites for commercial UAS training.
Marketing program plans launch in a few weeks.

Motion V: Moved by J. Tiller, seconded by R. Cameron, to proceed with the proposed marketing strategy, including the affinity insurance program, using existing marketing funds. The program will be reevaluated at the end of 2017.
Motion passed. 9 yes, 3 no.

FAI Committee Report (T. Jesky)
• Traveled with R. Hanson to Lausanne Switzerland for the CIAM meeting.
• T. Jesky and R. Hanson will co-chair AMA’s FAI committee; T. Jesky will represent US at meetings in the future.
• USA selected to host 2018 FAI Outdoor FF World Championships at Lost Hills CA.
• Bob Brown was awarded FAI CIAM Aeromodelling Gold Medal.
• Taron Malkhasyan was awarded the CIAM Aeromodelling Scholarship (2,000 Euros).
• R. Hanson tasked by CIAM to chair a committee to develop a comprehensive FAI safety code.
• FAI interested in quad racing and having a provisional drone racing championship.
• G. Principato to attend World Games in Poland. Three air sports are to be contested.
• G. Principato feels NAA works for the organizations it represents; FAI should also work for its member air sport groups.

Working lunch
Presentation by Dan Bott, AMA Foundation president.

AMA MultiGP Affiliate Proposal (Todd Wahl)
The organization was founded in spring 2015 by Chris Thomas. MultiGP, an AMA Special Interest Group, does a lot of engagement at social media level, but feels participation is a key component in its success. FAI participation is not a good fit for MultiGP because of cost.

Competition is MultiGP’s ultimate goal. The technology is improving and becoming less expensive. Few barriers to who can participate; open to all. Demographics: 99% male; 72% ages 21-49; 44% making $50,000 per year; 82% have some college; 44% completed college.

The organization averages 160 contests per month. MultiGP is involved in STEM education in several states. The organization is interested the AMA’s Model Aviation School Club (MASC) program.

The lure is the “Star Wars” effect. Flying multirotors is the fastest-growing sport in the world, but has traditional elements incorporated. Incorporates gaming elements as well as RC hobby elements.

Proposed MultiGP/AMA (co-branded) membership, $10 per month, or $100 per year. Includes full AMA Adult membership with the exception of Model Aviation hard copy. MultiGP manages the memberships, cards, billing, etc. AMA would pay MultiGP $50 per year or $5 per month “subscription-style” membership. There would be joint participation in promotion and advertising. MultiGP would release all demographics to AMA quarterly.

Another component would be the joint collegiate, STEM-based competition that would encourage younger people to participate and become AMA/MultiGP members.
Going forward, MultiGP would require AMA membership at all sanctioned competition. Currently this is roughly 80% of all competitions.

MultiGP willing to provide material for Model Aviation. MultiGP a number of professional media people who could contribute to blogs, AMA Air, and other media.

Discussion ensued. Roughly 20% of 160 weekly contests take place at AMA flying sites.
What if prospective MultiGP member is already an AMA member?
Verified that going forward, MultiGP will require AMA membership of all (regional/national) sanctioned competition—roughly 80% of competition.
MultiGP was asked if it would be willing to sign a non-compete clause, promising not to compete as a CBO, and not sell liability insurance. Todd responded, “Absolutely.”
AMA has concerns with verifying/validating AMA/MultiGP memberships at events.

President Hanson thanked T. Wahl for his participation.

Executive Session
NAA Report (G. Principato)
• Discussed organizational meetings he recently attended along with President Hanson. Mentioned memorable records awards event recognized including one to Dave Brown.
• There was a meeting of all air sports groups. R. Hanson was a leader among the attendees concerning membership retention and attraction. AMA is the only one of the NAA member organizations that can issue FAI licenses.
• NAA recently completed its first audit in 10 years.

Education Committee (Jim Tiller)
• The new Education Committee wants to emphasize “Academy” in Academy of Model Aeronautics.
• J. Tiller met with the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The college has a UMASC club and 88% of students (3,000) graduate with engineering degrees; in 2017, 96% had jobs before graduation and average starting salary was $62,000.
• Jim demonstrated the new AMA Alpha aircraft. It was developed for Science Olympiad, STEM-based curricula, and other educational uses. It will be marketed through AMA and the museum store for $5 and commercially through Cracker Barrel (roughly $10) and other commercial venues. The committee is creating a duration Postal event for the Alpha in Science Olympiad and wants to create a teacher training workshop.
• USA for STEM Collegiate program is in progress with the University Aviation Association.
• The committee feels that AMA needs a professional grant writer.
• Jim suggested creating a vetted group of volunteers to staff AMA booths at shows and events. Wants these people properly trained.
• Jim discussed of a long-term goal to create an educational center that would include a wind tunnel and other equipment. It could be utilized by grade school through high school, as well as aviation-oriented post K-12 schools. He would like it to be a family-oriented venue.

Safety Committee (Chuck Bower)

• T. Jesky presented Keith Sievers with AMA Fellowship Award at Joe Nall Week event.
• Thanked Jim Rice for staffing the committee and listed the members.
• Chuck discussed updating the Turbine program, now named the AMA Gas Turbine Program. He discussed including turboprops as an independent category within the turbine program and changing the buddy-box requirement for turbine waiver.

Motion VI: Moved by C. Bower (XI), seconded by G. Fitch (EVP), to accept Safety Committee changes to Gas Turbine Waiver Program.
Motion passed by acclamation.

• The Large Model Airplane (LMA) program was updated. K. Sievers chaired an ad hoc committee composed of large model inspectors and streamlined the process to eliminate redundancies in LMA and LTMA programs. Major changes include: an LMA1 owner can now sign off on his/her aircraft; changing the registration from a 1-year permit to a 3-year permit unless the aircraft is crashed; and the LMA inspector program has new criteria to have better-qualified inspectors. In the LTMA-2 category, the speed limit has been raised from 140 mph to 170 mph. The forms have been simplified. Current inspectors are to be notified of changes via email. There was discussion on weight requirements and the committee is to verify the exact weight for LMA1 and LMA2.

Motion VII: Moved by C. Bower (XI), and seconded by T. Jesky (VII), to accept the changes to the Large Model Airplane program as amended.
Motion passed by acclamation.

• AMA Safety Code: Safety Code was revised and a safety handbook will be compiled to provide better information by the end of the year. The committee compiled a list in order to let members know what to do rather than what they could not do. The Safety Code as presented would be the core document with the handbook containing the supporting documents. Council will consider the changes to Safety Code when the handbook is complete.
• AMA Gas Turbine Program: Committee wants direction from EC concerning 200 mph speed limit. EC discussed setting up speed runs at upcoming AMA Foundation Iowa Jet Rally on August 24-27.

Motion VIII: Moved by R. Cameron (VI), seconded by L. Harville (VIII), to task the Safety Committee with creating a waiver for speed runs at Iowa turbine event [AMA Foundation Iowa Jet Rally].
Motion passed by acclamation.

Safety Code (L. Tougas)
FAA registration possibly coming, but AMA feels that its members should be excluded from registration. If the FAA were to accept that an AMA membership would be an alternative means of compliance to the registration requirement, then AMA would have to provide the FAA with membership information or allow access to AMA system. Currently the Safety Code requires that aircraft must be identified with name and address and/or AMA number.

If the AMA Safety Code were to require name and address, but make AMA number optional, then it would make identification timelier than it currently is, and the FAA would not need access to our systems. We could require going forward that all outdoor models have the owner’s name and address affixed somewhere inside or on the outside of the model and could assure Congress that our members follow the AMA Safety Code.

The President discussed the anticipated House and Senate bills.

AMA could apply for an alternate means of compliance. This is a phrase used by the FAA referring to an “equivalent level of safety.”
This was referred to Safety Committee for review.

TAG Program Review Committee (J. Tiller)

• Committee feels the Take off And Grow (TAG) program is still relevant.
• Selection process: committee feels that the application needs to be based on “weighted” criteria—something to justify the selection. Two things were suggested: first-time applicants and clubs that correctly followed the rules the first time. Committee recommends charging the Education department with writing a set of criteria for the application including those two things, and perhaps others such as Leader Club status.
• The committee would also like the application in electronic format with check boxes. The application would remain “active,” and could be coded and referred to the following year. Any advertising, publicity, etc. would also be identified with same code to be used as criteria for following years. When application has been received, an email will be generated.
• Education department will rank remaining applications and any remaining TAG funds will be given out throughout the US, not by district.
—Details need to be in place by October/November to meet current February application deadline.

There was discussion concerning current deadline and funding practices. Discussion was moved to Basecamp for further consideration.

Bylaws (A. Argenio)
A. Argenio reviewed changes since 2014. He discussed all proposed changes/revisions, which include:
Article V, change mail to sent and mailed to email or electronically;
Article VI, phrase deleted, include and have AMA insurance coverage after the 30-day grace period;
Article VIII, delete part about sending individual meeting announcements, change to announced in official publication, print, and electronic media;
Article X, first proposed change was postponed;
Article X, deletion of a section that applied to sitting EC members when term limits were first enacted and insert the requirement that Leader Member status to be confirmed by Membership department on the date of nomination;
Article X, insert clause stating that associated vice presidents are required to hold Leader Member classification;
Article XIII, insert printed or electronic to publication concerning vehicles of communication to membership;
Article IX, Nominations and Elections Section 1 reworded for clarity and to eliminate redundancy;
Article IX, Nominations and Elections Section 5 reworded for clarity and to eliminate redundancy;
Article III, Section 1, insert discriminatory clause regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability to membership qualifications.

Motion IX:
Moved by A. Argenio (I), seconded by L. Tougas (X), to approve bylaws changes as amended, excluding changes to Article X, Section I.
Motion passed unanimously.

PADCOM (R. Cameron)
Site 3 runway upgrades: improvements/repairs to Site Three have been budgeted for. Discussion concerned taking out the cross runway, resurfacing the east-west runway using fiber-reinforced concrete instead of asphalt. Other suggestions included taking out the north-south runway, adding a parallel grass runway (700 x 60 feet), and extending the east-west runway 1,000 feet. Drainage work will also be required. Current site is degrading.
R. Cameron reported speaking with Mike Barbee about using concrete that contains fiber, eliminating need for rebar. He discussed proposed changes with several Special Interest Groups. Council also discussed using geotextile.
There will be county involvement with drainage issues.

Motion X: Moved by J. Tiller (IX), seconded by J. Marsh (IV), to instruct AMA staff to take PADCOM’s recommendations for Site 3 and get bids for fiber concrete and asphalt.
Motion passed by acclamation.

Legal Defense Fund for AMA Chartered Clubs (J. Tiller)
Committee will include three members. One is to be the vice president of the affected district, the other two from districts appointed by the President. The limit that a single club can receive is 80% of the yearly fund. It will be administered under the Flying Site Assistance Program. Any budgeted, but unused, funds will be rolled over to the next year. There was discussion concerning the importance of having the district VP from the affected district on the three-member committee.

Motion XI: Moved by J. Tiller (IX), seconded by C. Bower (XI), to pass the Legal Defense Fund as recommended. One of the members shall be the VP of the affected district, and the other two from other districts as appointed by the president.
Motion passed by acclamation.

8. New Business

Nominating Committee (G. Fitch)
Eric Williams is committee chair in absentia. Thanks to J. Tiller for taking notes.
Moved by
T. Jesky (VII), seconded by C. Bower (XI) to make Gary Fitch meeting chairman.
Passed by acclamation.

Candidates will be:
District III: Mark Radcliff
District VII: Tim Jesky
District XI: Brian Wood
EVP: Randy Cameron; Lawrence Tougas

All nominees met the requirements for nomination. All of the documents for all of the candidates were entered on time. G. Fitch made a motion to put all candidates on the ballot. Randy Cameron seconded.

Motion XII: Moved by R. Cameron (VI), seconded by E Williams (II) to accept the report of the Nominating Committee.
Motion passed by acclamation.

Potential Member Donation (R. Cameron)
To be referred to PADCOM committee and mentioned the need to include M. Mikulski in discussion.

Proposed Discount for Military Members (M. Radcliff)
M. Radcliff received a series of emails from a member in Pennsylvania concerning dues for active duty military members. Final email read, “Pursuant to Article XI, Section 6 of the AMA Bylaws, as a bona fide member I formally request Executive Council action on the following petition: Establish a discounted membership category for active duty US military members in paygrades E5 and below, equal to that afforded to Senior members. Proof of grade to be established by letter on Department of Defense letterhead or a copy of their DOD ID card, with proof of grade required at each renewal.”
Senior rate is $10 off. Discussion ensued on cost of servicing each membership, number of current active duty AMA members, whether or not this opens the door for other group discounts. An E5 makes at best $34,000 per year. A private makes $19,000 per year. VPs can award up to three free memberships per year.

Motion XIII: Refer following motion to ad hoc committee as appointed by President.
Motion failed: 6 yes; 7 no.

Motion XIV: Moved by Mark Radcliff (III), seconded by E. Williams (II), to establish a membership classification for active US military members in paygrades E-5 and below.
Motion passed: 12 yes; 1 abstention.
Awards approved by acclamation.

Meeting adjourned at 6:10 p.m.

Next meeting October 28-29, 2017, Muncie IN