Executive Council Meeting

October 28, 2017
  Muncie IN

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

Meeting began at 8:00 a.m.
Not present: Tim Jesky, District VII; Gary Principato, NAA.

1. Opening Business 

a. In attendance: AMA President Rich Hanson, Scottsdale AZ, Fishers IN; EVP Gary Fitch, Delevin NY; CFO Keith Sessions, Burlington KY; District I Andy Argenio, Smithfield RI; District II, Eric Williams, 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 IL; District VIII Lawrence Harville, Hurst TX; District IX Jim Tiller, Custer SD; District X Lawrence Tougas, Fairfield CA; District XI Chuck Bower, Langley WA; AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson, Muncie IN; Felix Gora, attorney.

Others in attendance: Staff: Vicki Barkdull, Rob Kurek, Mandee Mikulski, Shawn Grubbs, Tony Stillman, Ilona Maine, Brent Sullivan, Jeff Nance, and Chad Budreau.

b. Additions to agenda:
Education Committee report

Additions to final flight: Gary Somerton, Alan Smiley, and Genie Stillman. A moment of silence was observed.

2. Consent Agenda 

Motion to accept consent agenda: passed unanimously
Motion to accept EC Minutes of July 15-16, 2017

3. President’s Report (R. Hanson)

Chad Budreau, AMA’s Public Relations & Government Affairs director, spoke about current status of dealings with the FAA. The Department of Transportation and cities will partner to test drone technology. In March 2018, FAA registration will likely resume, effectively setting aside the Taylor case. AMA is part of the Drone Advisory Committee.

Cornerstones: States must allow for public input in the vetting process if they choose to legislate drones. FAA will still have ultimate authority. FAA doesn’t have the funding to oversee the process. There will likely be a registration fee—essentially pay for play. On the local scene, many communities are expected to enact legislation before the holidays and into January. Chad discussed individual cases including ones in West Lafayette IN, and Newton MA. Local lawmakers cannot control the airspace. That is the job of the FAA. AMA is seeing a positive trend in local lawmaking. Andy Argenio (District I) mentioned that the biggest successes are the ones that don’t end up in court.

AMA President Rich Hanson spoke of the Virginia Aviation effort that included AUVSI, AOPA, FAA, local clubs, aviation schools regarding integrating UAS. Jay Marsh (District IV) also attended. The convention brought the aviation community together.

AMA reappointed Keith Sessions to the CFO position for another term.

Motion I: Motion by Gary Fitch (EVP) to reappoint Keith Sessions to another term as CFO. Motion seconded by Eric Williams (District II).
Motion passed unanimously.

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

Gary Fitch’s final report spoke of his concerns with the state of the hobby. He praised Chad Budreau, Tyler Dobbs, and Angie Martin and their hard work.
Gary attended a memorial service for Al Kanser and the Bliss Teague memorial event.
Gary discussed the AMA Budget Committee and feels that the AMA budget for 2018 is good. He attended Marketing Committee meeting and Leader Member Committee meeting. He also attended a number of events and actually got to fly!
Eric Williams (District II) praised the service of Al Kanser on the district and national level.
AMA President Rich Hanson praised Gary and thanked him for his service. He also praised Chuck Bower (District XI). Both are retiring from the EC.

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

AMA is a discretionary income industry. We have had 8 to 10 years of growth. He addressed rumors of pending market crash and stated that all looks good and AMA should continue to do well and continue to grow.

Budget: Keith thanked Dave Mathewson (executive director), Vicki Burkdull (AMA comptroller), and the AMA management team for their work on the budget.

Motion II: Motion by Gary Fitch (EVP) to accept the 2018 budget as presented. Motion seconded by Lawrence Harville (District VIII).
Motion passed unanimously.

There was discussion about the budget for committee activities. Committees are no longer funded, although there are contingency funds available for necessary needs.

Proposed indoor flying facility: Keith suggested that the funding be in place before starting construction. The objective is to fund it through donations and grants, using no membership (dues) funds. He discussed the challenges of facility requirements. Special construction needs include smooth ceilings for Indoor Free Flight activities, special HVAC, and multi-use flooring. AMA will rent out the facility so there is a need for restroom/shower rooms, parking, additional equipment (tables, chairs, etc.).
There are currently verbal pledges of $115,000. Other possible income sources include a potential note from the county, naming rights, and fundraising campaign.
Primary usage of the facility would be for the Indoor FF Nats, world competitions, indoor RC, and rental. Potential customers include local bands, ROTC, student groups, and youth athletics.
AMA would need to carry additional insurance and there are concerns with alcohol on the premises.
Ongoing operational expenses include depreciation, HVAC replacement, lights, roof, and ongoing heating and cooling.

Conclusions: Money needs to be raised first, not only for construction but anticipated ongoing expenses. The project would likely break even at best. Eric Williams (District II) mentioned a facility in Ohio that is similar to what is being proposed, but it wasn’t truly successful, and is essentially unfinished. He suggested we seek government/federal funding and proposed a crawl/walk/run approach to the project—put the entire concept on paper first.
Mandee Mikulski (AMA Foundation director) stated that AMA needs a mission statement/concept before going out in search of funding.
AMA President Rich Hanson commented on the expanding costs of proposed facility. He questioned if it would be considered a member benefit by members across the country.
AMA Executive Director Dave Mathewson spoke of Pat Hartness’ Triple Tree Aerodrome facility in South Carolina. He feels AMA should be doing something like that. The money will likely come from corporate donors. We need to present the complete concept.
Rich Hanson tabled the issue.

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

Dave Mathewson presented the NAA report (see appendix).

AMS system is on track. The new vendor is much better to work with.

AMA’s proposed grant writer concept will be discussed at a later date.

Budget: Dave Mathewson promised to never present a deficit budget to the EC. He is pleased with the work the AMA staff did.
There was a discussion concerning Senior membership/Life membership. The issue died for lack of a motion. Bob Brogdon (District V) suggested a low-cost/no cost membership so members can retain their number even after they have “retired” from active modeling, comparable to an honorary membership. Shawn Grubbs (Membership director) will look into it.

Military discount (as discussed at previous EC meeting): The government forbids copying military ID that AMA would need to verify active military personnel level E5 and below. Randy Cameron (District VI) will research the issue.

EAA meeting: It was a good meeting. EAA is interested in helping with UAS4STEM. EAA has also offered to assist in modifying the Senate version of the FAA reauthorization bill to better align it with the House version of the bill.

CLS, AMA’s public relations firm, along with the AMA internal team and Generations of Flight, was awarded the PR news Platten award for website marketing.

7. Committee Reports

Motion III: Motion by Lawrence Tougas to fund a second AMA West show. Seconded by Randy Cameron.
Motion passed unanimously.

There was discussion about the future of AMA Expo East as well, including possible change of time and venue, and vendor interest.

Gary Fitch (EVP) updated the Executive Council with the marketing plan for providing commercial drone insurance package. The marketing plan is together and will soon be forthcoming.

Museum Acquisition Committee (Mark Radcliff District III)
All committee meetings have taken place through Basecamp, providing significant cost savings. He provided a list of recent acquisitions that are significant to the history of aeromodeling (see appendix). The committee has accepted 20 aircraft and declined 15. Mark foresees needing more museum space in the future.

Education Committee (Jim Tiller District IX/Gordon Schimmel AMA Education Outreach Specialist; see appendix)
Gordon gave a brief overview of his background with the Education Committee. The AMA Alpha ($7.95) has launched. The program will include a Postal Contest for youth less than age 18. Gordon introduced the “Next Step” concept that was initiated by Chuck Bower (District XI). Chuck described how he uses model aircraft at the college level. (Chuck has agreed to remain on the Education Committee, although he is stepping down from the EC.) AMA Alpha will be available through AMA as well as some retail outlets.
Jim Tiller (District IX) discussed TAG program updates, publicizing the TAG program, new ranking systems for applicants that will give first-time applicants additional credit/points. All applications will be pre-ranked so the district vice presidents can better determine awards.
Gary Fitch (EVP) noted that Gordon Schimmel has been working for AMA Education endeavors for 22 years.

Property Acquisition and Development (PADCOM) Committee (Randy Cameron District VI)
AMA is currently working on drainage problems at Site 3. PADCOM has received requests from the CL community for smoother pads for the CL circles.

Safety Committee (Chuck Bower District XI)
Committee got together at the Joe Nall event. Chuck Bower thanked Ilona Maine (Safety and Member Benefits director) for her hard work in arranging the face-to-face meeting and complimented the committee for its positive attitude. A number of things have been discussed including SIG control over individual sites and noise issues. The individual issues are ongoing and need to be considered. Chuck stressed that the committee was looking at “how to make things happen, not how to prevent things.”
The AMA Safety Code handbook is still in progress. Eleven LMA inspectors were approved. One was rejected.
The Large Model Airplane (LMA) program has been revised (see appendix). Turbine program is being revised as is the Safety Program.

Motion IV: Moved by Chuck Bower (District XI) to approve revisions to the AMA Radio Control Large Model Airplane Program. Motion seconded by Lawrence Harville (District VIII).
Motion passed by acclamation.

Rich Hanson asked that the Safety Committee be more specific in its directives of how its criteria will be presented to participants (referring to the Speed Trap event AMA Foundation Jet Rally). AMA’s rules need to be more descriptive.

Working lunch
Presentation by Capt. Houston Mills of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.
Executive Session

Nats Committee (Mark Radcliff District III)
Nats 2018 schedule presented (see appendix). There is one change the presented schedule. CL Speed and CL Racing will be moved to July 29–August 3 to accommodate CL World Championships attendance.

Motion V: Moved by Randy Cameron (District VI) to approve Nats schedule with Control Line revisions as presented. Motion seconded by Jim Tiller (District IX).
Motion approved by acclamation.

Bylaws Committee (Andy Argenio District I))
Bylaws changes have been a three-year process. Andy presented the card that will go to Leader Members to ratify bylaws changes. All changes to the bylaws were presented [see appendix].

 8. New Business

Election Candidate Guidelines (Gary Fitch)
Gary proposed that anyone running for an elected AMA office be sent the description of the duties/requirements of the office from the AMA Membership Manual, and ask the potential candidate sign an affidavit stating that he/she has read and understands the requirements, and accepts the nomination. Will be a matter of procedure, not an addition to the standing rules.
Discussion included mentoring potential new EC members

Motion VI: Motioned by Gary Fitch (EVP) and seconded by Andy Argenio (District I) to require potential candidates to sign an affidavit stating that he/she has read and understands the requirements of the position he/she has been nominated for and accepts the nomination.
Motion passed unanimously.

Jim Tiller (District IX) asked that the indoor flying site issue be reopened. He feels that the “Academy” in Academy of Model Aeronautics and be served by this proposed facility. Rather than considering it simply as an indoor flying site, it should be thought of as a long-term improvement to the AMA facility, to include museum expansion, an educational facility, and more. This would be maybe a 10-15 year project, but a start is needed. Jim asked that the AMA staff be tasked with creating a long-range, strategic vision for the facility, including how to fundraise. He acknowledged that by the time much of the funding has been acquired, that the “vision” might be outdated, but it would be a start.

Motion VII: Motioned by Jim Tiller (District IX) and seconded by Chuck Bower (District XI) to create an ad hoc committee to bring a vision to fundraising for long-range site improvement using non-dues revenue including a vision for the International Aeromodeling Center, an Education Facility, and the Museum.
Motion passed unanimously.

EC Council Meeting Dates/Annual Membership Meeting (Rich Hanson)
Rich opened the floor to suggestions for other locations for the annual membership meeting. Joe Nall has been the venue for the last few years and is well attended. Will have one at Joe Nall, one at AMA Expo West, and one at AMA Expo East in 2018. Joe Nall will be the “official” one on Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Rich proposed that the January 2018 EC meeting be held in Muncie, Indiana, instead of at the AMA Expo West. He feels that more can be accomplished at AMA Headquarters. Discussion ensued concerning traveling to Muncie, Indiana in January, weather concerns, and that most EC members would already be in attendance at AMA Expo West in Ontario, California.

Motion VIII: Motion by Lawrence Harville (District VIII) to hold January 2018 EC meeting on Monday, January 8, at AMA Expo West in Ontario CA. Motion seconded by Mark Radcliff (District III).
Motion passed unanimously.

2018 EC meetings will be:
January 8, 2018 Ontario CA
April 21, 2018 Muncie IN
July 14, 2018 Muncie IN
October 20, 2018 Muncie IN


Distinguished Service Award award approved by acclamation.

Meeting adjourned at 2:30.