Executive Council Meeting

October 14-15, 2006
Muncie IN

Official

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

OPENING BUSINESS

The meeting came to order at 8:07 a.m. District XI VP Bruce Nelson was not in attendance. Saturday’s meeting will be dedicated to the Executive Director Candidate interviews and review of the budget. Sunday’s meeting will address the remainder of the agenda.

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; V-Tony Stillman, Pensacola, FL; 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; Acting Executive Director Joyce Hager and General Counsel Joseph W. Gelwicks.
Attending from HQ staff were Vicki Barkdull; Carl Maroney; Tom Schwyn; Jay Mealy; Rob Kurek; Greg Minch; and Scott Tuttle. Others in attendance were Joe Vislay, District III AVP; Travis McGinnis, Finance Committee/District IX AVP; Frank Roales, District VI AVP; Mike Harrington, ADCOM; 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.

Interview Executive Director Candidates
The chairman of the search committee explained the process used to narrow the field of candidates. Today the Executive Council will hear from the four candidates and have the opportunity to ask questions; they will then deliberate in Executive Session.

Executive Session

Budget Review
The budget was presented to Council; MOTION I: to accept the budget as presented was made and seconded. Voting on MOTION I will take place following discussion/amendments. Discussion on the budget followed. The parameters used in developing the budget were noted.

Points for discussion included: the numbers do not show a decline in membership as has been the trend; it is expected that the new programs will have an impact on membership resulting in approximately the same number of members for 2007. M. Smith spoke to the life cycle in any new programs; it will most likely be 2008 before we see a real impact on the membership numbers. Headquarters will implement changes to improve the forecasting process for next year. The reason for the increase in maintenance and repair is the need to re-gravel the parking lots, and repair to control line site for netting and poles. The lack of funding for the Air Show Teams was questioned. Hanson explained that when Council expressed concern over the stagnation of the program, a strategic planning session was held and a revamped program was implemented in April 2006. (Council should have received the program via E-mail and hard copy through the mail.) Mealy stated that in the budget process, they looked critically at the way they were spending money and the return they realized on their investment. The 25k (previously for show teams) was used to resurrect a proven program from the old RCHTA organization; clubs as well as show teams can benefit from this program. A motion was made to reinstate the ADCOM funding as it was in 2006. After friendly amendments the following motion was made.

MOTION II: Moved by S. Frank (VIII), seconded by B. Teague (IV) to restore $15,000 to the Air Show Team budget with the recommendation to the acting ED that the program be reassigned to the Marketing Department.
MOTION failed: 7 No (I, II, III, V, IX, NAA, President); 6 Yes (IV, VI, VII, VIII, X, EVP)

A brief discussion ensued on district budgets. In an effort to allow the VPs to service their membership in an equitable fashion and on an equal basis, the following motion was made.

MOTION III: Moved by T. Stillman (V), seconded by D. Ivey (NAA) to increase the budget for Officer Expense Allowances a total of $39,000 spread over line items 6750-6880; this is a permanent change.
MOTION passed: 10 Yes (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, EVP, NAA); 2 Abstain (VII, X)

Further discussion indicated that line item 6620-004 is in the wrong location within the budget; V. Barkdull will move that item to the appropriate place within the budget. This item is the Club Assistance Program; the budget is based on a specific formula (‘X’ amount per AMA member). This program has received much positive feedback from the clubs; Council may want to consider increasing the fund for this program in the future.

There will be a Scale World Championships in Poland in 2008 in which a junior event has been added. Team selection would take place in 2007 and the FAI Executive Committee in accordance with the ‘Blue Book’ has decided not to fund a junior team for that world championships. However, an unfunded junior team may attend if the team selection committee decides to hold a junior team selection.
There is now funding in the budget for an F1E (Free Flight) team.

MOTION I: Moved by C. Bauer (VI), seconded by D. Ivey (NAA) to accept the Operating and Capital Budgets as amended.
MOTION passed unanimously.

The Executive Council will reconvene Sunday at 8:00 a.m.

Sunday October 15, 2006

The regular meeting of the Executive Council came to order at 8:05 a.m. District XI VP Bruce Nelson and NAA Representative David Ivey were not in attendance.

It was moved by C. Bauer (VI), seconded by B. Teague (IV) and approved by acclamation to negotiate a contract with the ED candidate selected; the voting confirmation will be done by an E-mail vote.

A question was asked regarding expenditures from the Capital Budget. The EVP explained that any requests for expenditures over $2,000 are sent to himself and T. McGinnis. B. Brown requested that before the mower (in the budget for 2007) is purchased he be consulted; the EVP and President agreed.

OPENING BUSINESS

ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:
Discussion of site use; Discussion of CL Scale proposal; there will be no Insurance Committee report.

APPROVAL OF JULY 2006 MINUTES:

It was moved by C. Bauer (VI), seconded by B. Teague (IV) and approved by acclamation to accept the minutes of the July 16, 2006 Executive Council meeting.

There was a brief discussion on the listing of individual vote tallies for motions on the web site. It is agreed that the web site will include who made the motion, who seconded it and how each VP voted. Hager will make sure this is done.

A moment of silence was observed for Betty Stream, Christy Stillman and John Stare.
 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

  • The President was invited to speak at a UAV conference in Las Vegas and was unable to attend; Jay Mealy went in his stead. Only two civilian organizations were invited to attend and speak; the AMA and the AOPA. Made good contacts and the trip was worthwhile in working toward protecting our access to the airspace.
  • The President and J. Hager attended the Air Sports Council meeting in Washington, D.C. This meeting included all of the executives from all of the air sports in NAA. An individual from ASAE spoke on the various techniques they use to grow membership. Most of the associations have the same difficulty, an aging and shrinking membership.
  • The FAI CIAM Bureau meeting will be held at AMA Headquarters on December 1-2, 2006. The meeting will include Bureau members and representatives of world and/or continental championship events.

2007 EC MEETING DATES

MOTION IV: Moved by R. Hanson (X), seconded by M. Smith (IX) to hold the January Executive Council meeting in Ontario, CA following the AMA Convention; the meeting will be Monday January 15, 2007.
MOTION passed: 10 Yes (I, II, III, IV, V, VII, VIII, IX, X, EVP); 1 No (VI).

Mealy was asked to come up with creative ways to get AMA VP exposure; ideas included panel discussions; Q & As; VPs working the AMA booth, etc. It should be advertised that all of the District VPs will be attending the Annual Membership Meeting. The VPs should inform J. Hager of their arrival and departure dates.

January 15 (Monday), Ontario, CA. Annual membership meeting Saturday Jan. 13th at 9:00 a.m.; Sunday Jan. 14th (afternoon)-orientation with new Executive Director.
April 28-29, Muncie, IN
August 12-13, Muncie, IN (Nominating Committee meeting the morning of August 12)
October 27-28, Muncie, IN
October 5 - Finance Committee meeting
 

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT'S REPORT

  • Much was covered in the review of the budgets. The investments are up $358,000 for year-to-date. We have been negotiating a Letter of Credit with the bank; AMA had the opportunity to lock in a fixed rate on the letter for either three or five years. To maintain flexibility and save money over the next two years, the three year rate was chosen.

The Marketing/New Member Committee report was presented next to accommodate staff members.

Marketing/New Member Committee
At the last meeting Council was given a bullet list of ideas; a committee was created to address those issues. The objective of the committee is to promote model aviation as a worthwhile recreational activity; grow the AMA membership and improve our current members’ perception of the organization.

As identified by Council at the July meeting, the item they would like addressed first is a total and complete revision of the AMA web site; this process has begun. Council was sent a list of features to be included on the site, incorporated in this list were ideas that Council members offered. Results of the push E-mail are being reviewed; to date, there are 10,400 responses and many good suggestions. Headquarters is set with the hardware requirements and has implemented new software. So far, the expense for everything done (hardware and software) is around $200. At this point are moving ahead with the Web redesign, starting the creative work (that will be done in-house) and the goal is to have a draft format on what the site will look like and the type of features it will include by the next meeting.

Council also wanted to create a true marketing program. We are moving ahead with many of the programs launched a year ago by the Marketing Committee as well as working on new programs. A status report on the current programs was given. This included the distribution of the Introduction to Aeromodeling DVD, development of the guidebook to acquiring E-Sites; Buddy Box program, a new hobby shop initiative and a marketing advertising program.

The DVD will be in a 5-10 minute format; hope to have a draft before the end of this year and to have the piece done early in the first quarter of 2007. Schwyn is working with W. Byers on the guidebook to establishing E-sites; looking at having a draft done by the end of this year. Schwyn will be meeting with him during the JR event in Columbus in November. The first promotional piece to the buddy box program was launched; partners in this include JR and Airtronics at the present time. Additional partners are being solicited. This program is aimed toward new adult members (paying $58 or $48). For the hobby shop initiative, will stay with the theme of ‘Bringing Modelers Together’. Will be redoing the point of purchase display that hobby shops use to hold membership forms and getting decals for the shops front door showing they are a supporting facility of the AMA. Schwyn notes that as far as the marketing advertising campaign, they are working to get a consistent look and focus on all promotional pieces.

The Scouting program on site this weekend went very well. There were between 2,200-2,500 scouts involved; Schwyn will report on this later.

A team was created to look into different programs to introduce model aviation to the general public. Current programs being worked on include the Intro Pilot program, Take Off and Grow, hobby shop initiative, the Ambassador program, and the PR incentive program for clubs. Maroney reported on the Take Off and Grow program. A recommended flight training syllabus will be included in the package. Maroney insured Hanson that the club in CA (that was interested in running the Grand Event) and a club in Albuquerque will have first preferential treatment in running one of the first schools in 2007. There will be no HQ personnel attending these flight school operations but it is recommended that district representatives attend. It is expected to have a completed application for Council review in around 2-3 weeks.

Mealy noted that programs were scrutinized and programs that did not produce results were sunset. He reported that as a result of this effort, the new programs presented and a more forward looking AMA, support from major manufacturers and distributors is being realized. The combination of recognition and reward has provided the most success for AMA programs; the NRHSA program is a prime example of this. Mealy will attend a meeting on October 30 with the NRHSA principles to expand the partnership and hopefully penetrate the market to a more meaningful level. Announcement of this program will most likely be made around the first of the year.

The program that will be supported with the modification of the Air Show Team funding is the old RCHTA program. Modifications are still being made to the program and announcement of this program will be made following the IHobby Expo.

Mathewson reported another project being worked on is partnerships; this involves relationships with NRHSA, and HMA (Hobby Manufacturers Assoc.).

Additional projects include the creation of an AMA guide to member services (first draft date of March 2007, expect to have ready for 2008 renewal); an introductory guide to aeromodeling; and a more in depth publication, an introduction to aeromodeling and your organization.

The committee is also working on improving AMA’s visibility at various modeling venues. An AMA banner was displayed at the Neat Fair, and there will be one at the JR Indoor event. New Model Aviation and Sport Aviator banners have also been made.

In a brief discussion on partnering with community organizations, D. Holland was asked to follow up with AARP, and make contact with the National Exchange Club and the group Parents without Partners.

Mathewson noted that everything being done is a task of some member of the staff; they have shown enthusiasm about the projects, have the desire to see AMA succeed and are anxious to move forward. Their effort is truly appreciated.

S. Frank is working on hosting an electric event in Muncie; this includes all disciplines of electric.

Another item on the list from July was to bring a major modeling event to Muncie. There has been some preliminary discussion on holding the XFC event at Muncie. This is a major high profile, invitational aerobatic modeling event involving several of the top fliers in the country; and it lends itself to spectator viewing. Discussion included: there was concern with the concept of ‘paying’ someone to host an event here; the financial obligation on AMA’s part is an investment in AMA’s future; work is being done to offset the cost; there is the possibility of corporate sponsorship and television exposure; a spectator fee will be charged; the investment by AMA will be used for bringing in key personnel, judges and operational costs; there is concern that AMA’s sponsorship will not be showcased well enough; and there was much debate over the possibility of sponsorship by an alcohol-associated corporation. It was argued that allowing this type of sponsorship takes away from AMA being a family oriented organization.

MOTION V: Moved by D. Mathewson (II), seconded by T. Stillman (V) to enter into an agreement with the XFC Committee to host the XFC event June 15-17, 2007 on the Muncie site; funding will be from the New Member and Marketing Committees.
MOTION passed unanimously.

Working Lunch

ADCOM Committee (Appendix I)
Harrington reported that in October 2005 the Executive Council approved the revised guidelines; those guidelines were implemented in April 2006.

An important part of the planning outcome was to develop a Program Identity; included in this was the development of a web site; creating a promotional DVD (Council will receive a copy), implement FAST-TRAC pilot certification and increase professionalism. In a review of some of the program outputs he explained the show teams’ involvement with ICAS. They have been informing ICAS about the use of model aviation in full-scale air shows. There has been some discussion about the ADCOM possibly putting on a special seminar as part of the ICAS training for show organizers; this may develop for next year if able to attend. Program impacts include new clubs being formed; club contacts; interest leads/new members and new people in the hobby. In communication Harrington had with the teams last night, it was realized that their biggest breakdown was failure of the teams to have connection with the District Vice Presidents.

Questions Harrington asked of Council included is the program an official AMA program and does it still exist in light of yesterday's action; and if it does exists, in what context. The program needs AMA endorsement/approval to be credible and successful with what they are trying to do on behalf of the Academy. Harrington is committed to refining the air show team model. He believes ADCOM should refine the model, decide what that model is and determine which teams will continue in that new model. They will also actively seek national sponsorship. Having the AMA recognition, the charter and being part of a sanctioned program is an important benefit for the teams.

Comments included: the AST program is considered an official AMA program; even though funding was removed the program still exists; they may want to consider having fewer teams that travel longer distances; ADCOM cannot have continuity without some type of funding; and natural evolution will eliminate the less productive teams. It is suggested that some support from AMA be given to the show teams that will allow them the opportunity to resuscitate themselves, however they must work at becoming self-sufficient.

MOTION VI: Moved by A. Argenio (I), seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to continue to support the Air Show Team Web page, insurance certificate, administering the charter and processing of sponsorship orders for the year 2007.
MOTION passed unanimously.

ADCOM is encouraged to look at their 2006 budget and pre-pay the ICAS fees for 2007.
 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

  • Hager reported that a motion needs to be made to proceed with the Harris Affinity Program. The three program modifications requested by Council at the July 2006 meeting were made and the partners still guarantee $40,000; roughly $100,000 annualized. These modifications were: if a member comes back after the first mailing via US Postal service or E-mail and indicate they have no interest, there will be no follow-up contact; there will be absolutely no telemarketing; and members on AMA’s non-solicit list will not be contacted.

MOTION VII: Moved by B. Brown (III), seconded by B. Teague (IV) to proceed with the Harris Affinity Program as presented by T. Schwyn at the previous meeting.
MOTION passed unanimously.

  • Hager recommends that the committee that handles Special Interest Groups needs to look at how the program is set up, paying special attention to if a SIG does not renew what is their role in the Nats, with the Contest Board, and what is the penalty if they don't renew? The entire program needs to be reviewed.
  • Hager has defined a ‘new’ member as follows: You are considered a new member if you [are in the system but] have not renewed in the last five (5) years. This will be the basis for any programs.
  • A letter has been sent to Brandt Construction about the leaks in the building; they have not responded. It is expected that AMA will be taking legal action against them.
  • A membership meeting will be held at Joe Nall; the meeting is funded to $1,000.00. The “Official” membership meeting is being held at the AMA Convention.
  • R. Morgan expressed sadness when the Nats were over, he hated to leave; many were apprehensive when the Maintenance Dept. was terminated but all worked out well. Thanks to B. Brown for his work at the Nats this year; the maintenance guys and volunteers did a great job. Additionally, NSRCA thanked everyone for their work. It was a learning experience for the women from Headquarters that worked the Nats; things were better coordinated than in the past.
  • In response to a question relative to the contest calendar issue; sanction fees will not be increased for 2007, there will not be a charge for listing of sanctioned events in the contest calendar, however there will be an increase for listing classified advertisements.
  • Hager expressed her pleasure in working with Council over the years.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Nats
C. Bauer talked with many contestants and they indicate that the site gets better every year; maintenance does a great job. The Nats meeting went very well; there was much give and take by all. The 2007 Nationals will be a little longer due to the running of the Pylon World Championships. Discussion during the Nats meeting included the increasing cost of trophies; there will be a single application form for the Nats; everyone who participates in the Nats will be required to register at Nats HQ, including those in unofficial events. Hager reported that several upgrades on the site were done following the Nats. It was recommended that someone from Headquarters be appointed to be responsible for the Nats. Attendance was only down 100 from last year; the price of gas and the CL World Championships were considered to have an affect on the numbers. A Nats manual is being produced and it is expected to be completed in 2007. It is recommended that all paid Nats personnel receive an honorary first place Nats trophy.  Consideration must be given to lines of succession for the Nats management team. In order for the grass at the 600 x 600 site to be acceptable for the Nats, it must be maintained to a reasonable level throughout the season.

It was moved, seconded, and approved by acclamation to approve 5A status for the 2007 Nationals. The dates are Indoor May 29-June 3, 2007 in Johnson City, TN; Outdoor June 30-August 6, 2007 in Muncie, IN.

There was a brief discussion on the Indoor Nats and related costs; 63 people were registered and more were registered in unofficial events than official ones. The cost of the site is $4,500. Council is of the opinion to give the Indoor participants one more year to devise a way to offset the costs; this could require including Indoor RC. An agenda item should be included in the near future for the review of and possible cancellation/retirement of the Indoor Nats; representatives for the Indoor Nats should attend the April 2007 meeting for discussion.  It is expected that AMA will realize a loss of approximately $25k for the Nats this year; Indoor is $6k of this total.  

Scholarship (Appendix II)
The application for the Telford Scholarship was distributed; this is directed toward individuals who participate in high level competitions (e.g. FAI Team Selection contests, Nats, Continental Championships, etc.) Applicants for this scholarship must also complete the general application for scholarship consideration.

NEW BUSINESS

EAA Partnership

Negotiations are ongoing regarding a cooperative partnership with the EAA to generate memberships. A presentation by the parties involved may be made at a later date.

Site Use
There was discussion relative to spread-spectrum use on site during the Nationals or other events. The Nats management is requesting direction from Council. There is also concern over the lack of ‘policing’ of the site. Possible resolutions include the creation of a program utilizing volunteers. Hager will work with Michael Smith, B. Brown and S. Frank to develop a volunteer recruitment and recognition program for over site of the facility.

Discussion turned to traditional event dates of the Muncie site; at this time there are no traditional dates for the Muncie site. Hager noted a group would like to reserve the site more than one year in advance; can this be done? It’s understood that larger groups will be making this type of request more and more in the future.

It was moved by B. Brown (III), seconded by T. Stillman (V), and approved by acclamation that Muncie site use reservations for events expected to involve more than 250 members or more than 1,500 spectators may be scheduled more than one year in advance, subject to Site Committee approval.

CL Scale Proposal
There was a rule change proposal that passed, that effectively changes the pull test requirement for some Control Line models in Scale. The safety implications of this have been brought into question. The President informed Council it is being reviewed by S. Kaluf, the CB Chairman, and himself; they are actively seeking a solution to making this work and ensure safe operation.

The President was unaware that at the Nats, the rule on pull tests has not been enforced. This concerns him immensely.

AWARDS
J. Hager recommends doing away with the current Hall of Fame plaque; she has received numerous complaints and feels it should be upgraded. It is understood that the award is not an AMA award however AMA does endorse it and support it administratively. At the April meeting she will present options for Council consideration. The President recommends the Hall of Fame awards be presented at the Official Membership Meeting.

Awards were moved, seconded and approved by acclamation.

OTHER BUSINESS
It was the consensus of Council to eliminate first-class mailing of the Model Aviation unless it is paid for. Hager will investigate whether an electronic form of MA could be put in a password protected area on the Web site for Council access.

NEXT MEETING
January 15, 2007 Ontario, CA

The meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.

Action items from the July 16, 2006 Executive Council meeting

  • AMA Web site will list who made and seconded the motion and the individual tallies (how each VP voted). Ref: OPENING BUSINESS.
  • D. Holland to contact AARP, National Exchange Club, and Parents Without Partners relative to AMA partnering with community organizations. Ref: Marketing/New Member Committee.
  • SIG Committee to review program paying special attention to what penalties are assessed when a SIG does not renew. (What is their role in the Nationals, with Contest Boards, etc.) Ref: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT.
  • Indoor Nats representative(s) to attend April 2007 Executive Council meeting for discussion on offsetting cost of running Indoor at Johnson City, TN. Ref: Nats Committee report.
  • J. Hager, Michael Smith, B. Brown, and S. Frank to develop a volunteer recruitment and recognition program for over site of the Muncie facility. Ref: Site Use.
  • Eliminate first-class mailing of magazine unless they pay for it. J. Hager to investigate whether an electronic form of MA could be put in a password-protected area on the Web site for Council access. Ref: OTHER BUSINESS.
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