Executive Council Meeting 
November 13-14, 2010
Muncie IN


President's Report
Executive Vice President's Report

Chief Financial Officer's Report
Executive Director's Report
NAA Report

Committee Reports

Old Business

New Business

The President called the meeting to order at 8:02 a.m.
1. Opening Business


President Dave Mathewson, Baldwinsville, NY; EVP Mark Smith, Hot Springs Village, AR; CFO Doug Holland, Raleigh, NC; District Vice Presidents: I-Andy Argenio, Smithfield, RI; II-Gary Fitch, Franklinville, NY; III-Bob Brown, Bradford, PA; IV-Bliss Teague, Hickory, NC; V-Jose Soto, Apopka, FL; VI-Charlie Bauer, Norridge, IL; VII-Bill Oberdieck, Southgate, MI; VIII-Jim Rice, Universal City, TX; IX-Jim Wallen, Arvada, CO; X-Mike Brown, Redding, CA; XI-Bruce Nelson, Spokane, WA; NAA Rep-Jonathan Gaffney; AMA Legal Counsel Felix Gora and Interim Executive Director Joyce Hager.

HQ Staff: Rob Kurek, John Hawley, Michael Smith, Shawn Grubbs, Greg Minch, Jeff Nance, Chris Brooks, Craig Schroeder, Bill Pritchett, Greg Hahn and Ilona Maine.

Others in attendance: Randy Adams, Dist III AVP; Bob Underwood, Dist VI AVP, Education Committee; Gordon Schimmel, Education and Scholarship Committee; Dennis Baack, Dist VI AVP; Tom Sanders, Education Committee; Paul Bretson, Harry A Koch; Travis McGinnis, Education Committee; Russ Miller, Finance Committee; Dennis Crooks; Vince Mankowski; Rae Underwood and Shirley Teague.

Additions to agenda: Insurance Committee Report (COMMITTEES); Strategic Task Force Update (OLD BUSINESS)

Final Flight Recognition: Larry Fulwider, Willis Swindell, Dale McDonald, Kerry Townsend, Ernie Harwood, Gilbert Reedy, H. Donald Brown and Leland Schroeder.

2. Consent Agenda: 

It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to accept the Minutes of the 
August 14-15, 2010 Executive Council meeting.

The President deviated from the published agenda to allow for the presentation of the budget by the Finance Committee.


The chairman reported the committee reviewed the budget extensively; some decisions will need to be made by Council today. He cautioned Council that the district VP carryover money should not exceed one-year’s budget.

Discussion of budget included: no programs cut from previous years; dues projected to be down 1% from previous year; there was opposition expressed to holding the Jan. EC meeting in Ontario and the additional hire for the Marketing Dept.; in a question relative to revenue from the Indoor Nats the ED explained that HQ keeps the basic entry fee and the SIG keeps the event fee but it does very little to offset the total cost of the Indoor Nats; budgeted for 15% increase in employee health insurance cost but HQ continues to look at different carriers (the Audit/Investment Committee will review possible employee contribution to this cost); Nance explained the cooperative program (marketing/education) associated with the TAG/AST funding (line 14, page 14, 7086-003) would be one way to assure follow up on AST leads; it was noted that TAG funding (line 13, page 14, 7085-003) was increased as a result of Council directive; and concern with Council not being informed ahead of time, of programs associated with budget increases.

MOTION I: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by B. Brown (III) to remove the $3,500 from line item 14, page 14 (7086-003 TAG/Air Shows) and place it in line item 13, page 14 (7085-003 TAG).
MOTION passed unanimously 

Discussion of the AST program included: It was reported that around 50% of shows where the show teams perform were booked at the ICAS; that convention is used to generate new leads for shows and contacting promoters they’ve worked with in the past to re-establish relationships in an effort to ensure they get that show for the next year; the additional funding is a reflection of the Marketing Dept. belief that the AST program is a valuable and integral component of the marketing plan and their efforts to try and grow that program; and there is support of the AST program but it does not appear to be delivering the desired results. Council is supportive of an air show team program and the current program has done good work, but the real opportunity lies in the mid-level events that draw thousands to see model aviation specifically. It is hoped that a revised air show team program will be proposed for the next EC meeting.

MOTION II: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to remove the $15,840 in line item 11, page 16 (6560-004 Air Show Teams) from the budget.
MOTION passed: 8-Y; 4-N (I, VIII, X and NAA); 1-Abstain (IV)

Council’s questions were answered relative to the IHobby Expo and the AMA/EAA partnership. There was a brief discussion on the 15k removed from the budget for an Expo manager contract. Nance explained the Marketing Dept. position relative to the Expo manager, noting he included money in his budget to hire an individual in house that would be responsible for this as well as other projects (see POW). This would allow other Marketing staff to devote more time and effort to revenue generating programs. Council was inclined to keep the Expo Manager funding in the budget in case it is needed. The ED is of the opinion that the position should be contracted as the event should be the individuals’ prime focus if Council expects the Expo to grow. For clarification, the 15k will not be applied to a new employee to run the expo in house. If the contracted individual is asked to do things in addition to the Expo, the contract would need to be renegotiated.

MOTION III: Moved by J. Wallen (IX) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to return the $15,000 previously cut from the proposed budget, to fund the position of AMA Expo Manager if necessary.
MOTION passed unanimously

The Finance Committee chairman reported the budget assumes the January EC meeting would be held in Ontario during the Expo as Council would already be in attendance; this would save approximately $15k. If the January meeting is held in Muncie additional funding would need to be added. In an effort to keep from revisiting the budget after it is approved, an amendment to the motion was requested to remove the additional funding if the January meeting is not held in Muncie; the proposer agreed.

MOTION IV: Moved by C. Bauer (VI) and seconded by B. Nelson (XI) to increase line item 20, page 7 (6740-000 Exec Council Mtgs) by $15,000 to hold the January Council meeting in Muncie, IN; if the meeting is not held in Muncie, the added $15,000 will be removed.
MOTION passed unanimously

When asked, the Finance Committee chairman confirmed that 35k is included in the Marketing budget for an additional employee; the majority of the work assigned to the new hire will be to make up for the person that was previously moved from that department. It was made clear that by including this 35k in the budget Council is not approving a hire, only approving funding to provide the capability for the department to hire an individual if the department head feels it necessary. The decision to hire should be at the discretion of the ED in consultation with the department head.

MOTION V: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by J. Wallen (IX) to approve the proposed budget as amended.
MOTION passed unanimously

MOTION VI: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to approve the Capital Budget as presented.
MOTION passed unanimously

Explanation and approval of the Program of Work (POW) with the adjustments made in the budget will be presented at the January 2011 Executive Council meeting. 

3. President’s Report 

a. 2011 Council meeting dates Following a brief discussion the following was proposed:

MOTION VII: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by M. Brown (X) to hold the January Executive Council meeting Sunday January 9, 2011 in Ontario CA during the AMA Expo.
MOTION passed: 10-Y; 3-N (II, IV and VI)

It was moved, seconded and approved by consensus that the 2011 Executive Council meetings will be held: January 9 (Ontario, CA); April 9-10 (Muncie, IN); July 16-17 (Muncie, IN) and October 29-30 (Muncie, IN). The Finance Committee meeting will be held October 7 (Muncie, IN).

It was moved, seconded and approved by consensus that the AMA General Membership meeting will be held Thursday May 12, 2011 during the Joe Nall event. (Funding for Council attendance will be taken from “Other Officers Expenses’, not the district budgets.) An additional membership meeting will be held during the AMA 75th Anniversary celebration in Muncie; date TBD.

The President awarded Jim Rice the Distinguished Service award in recognition of his years of service as a member of the Executive Council. He then welcomed Jose Soto, VP District V to Council.

4. EVP Report

• The EVP reported that he has been working closely with C. Brooks, R. Hanson and the President on developing action plans in dealing with the FAA issues
• Brooks has been appointed the staff point person working with Mitch Rose
• Work continues on the dedication during the Joe Nall (Int’l Aeromodeling Site Recognition) and the AMA day in Washington, D.C. (work continues on building the database in HQ to aid in the FAA effort)
• The President and EVP spent time with executives from Hobbico and Horizon re FAA issues; both extended their support.

5. CFO Report

In Executive Session

6. Executive Director’s Report

• The ED thanked staff for their support
• Continues to work to break down walls within HQ explaining how important it is that departments work together
• Flying Site Assistance Coordinators report and Flash reports in agenda packet
• Working toward the issues revealed in the survey monkey
• When Council members have discussion with staff the ED should be copied so she is aware of what has been asked; she’s in a position to allocate resources and redistribute if necessary
• Needs support from Council as well as from staff

NAA Report:

• Gaffney reported the new FAI President is Dr. John Grubstrom
• An air sport group was convened to meet with the FAA regarding TFR’s; continue to work to get a meeting with the DHS to discuss other issues and is working with R. Hanson to that end

7. Committee Reports

a. Marketing Nance reported on the accomplishments since the last EC meeting. These included web site design, EAA AMA student membership soft launch, co-marketing with manufacturers, Indiana Warbird Campaign, Zeus Battery media launch and Expo 2011 planning. In the fourth quarter will do a full launch of the membership program, seek future EAA joint opportunities and continue planning for the 75th Anniversary. The social media aspect of getting AMA name out is working well and continues to pick up momentum; the hobby shop program to bring in members was up $1,000 over 2009 and continues to grow; renewals are up for PPP and they saw a good bump in new PPP members as well.

Discussion included:

    • 75th Anniversary – July 14-17, 2011; working with various departments to bring in displays, guests and speakers, flying (B. Pritchett is working with SIG’s), demonstrations, entertainment, etc. It was recommended that Nance consider a “Gathering of Eagles” type get-together. Any other suggestions from Council should be forwarded to Nance. J. Smith is working on a 75th Anniversary supplement in the magazine and J. Rice suggested making available one page of this that can be used for a collection of ‘one-line’ memories by modelers (offered for a price) and the magazine would become a keepsake souvenir
    • AMA/EAA Youth membership program update – AMA’s soft launch was in last weeks AMA Today; last month EAA did a soft announcement at the National Business Aircraft Owners Association meeting in Atlanta where they showcased Embry Riddle as the underwriter for the program. Nance reported the program will be announced in detail in next month’s AMA Today, in the next available issue of Model Aviation, on the AMA web site and in the club charter kit. The discussion moved to how the program will impact AMA insurance: P. Bretson noted Westchester has always been accommodating and willing to watch growth to see if exposure materializes; no impact on insurance premiums is expected the first year of the program. AMA is not providing insurance coverage for youth participating in full scale activities. Other concerns expressed included how to show the junior and senior designations relative to competition (will be shown on AMA E-Card) and the impact on the AMA Scholarship program 
    • Web site advertising – Nance is working with R. Kurek and AMA’s ad rep on advertising opportunities in AMA Today, the web site, and social media sites. The Publications Committee chairman noted ongoing discussion relative to this as well as package advertising. Kurek noted that media kit includes a specific piece to promote electronic advertising now available. Who is responsible for AMA electronic advertising is a personnel issue for the Executive Director to decide in consult with executive staff; she is currently waiting on additional information from the advertising rep and contract renegotiation may be necessary depending on their ability. The ED will work with staff and interface with Argenio to develop a program on how AMA will embrace electronic advertising; report to be given at January meeting.

b. Nats Bauer reported the committee met in September and all the SIG’s were represented. The 2011 Nats schedule was distributed to Council. A number of the Nats venues will be flying 2.4 only. The question was asked whether HQ was advertising the Nats and/or F3A world championships; the ED noted that C. Brooks (collaboratively with J. Nance) is to submit an outline to her relative to advertising the world championships. The President reported that during the Nats meeting a commitment was made to the Nats people that HQ would invest in marketing the Nats this year and it will be done.

Mathewson reported there was a consistent theme among the SIG’s that they were very pleased with the flying site and the support of the maintenance staff; the ED should pass this along.

It was moved, seconded and approved by consensus to assign 5A status to the 2011 Nationals; dates are Indoor May 25-29 in Johnson City, TN and Outdoor June 25-August 7 in Muncie, IN.

The ED reported that the walkie-talkies being used on site at the Nationals and numerous events, no longer meet FCC requirements and asked that they be replaced.
It was moved, seconded and approved by consensus to authorize the Executive Director to spend up to $6,000 for the purchase of walkie-talkies and base stations.

c. Investment/Audit The updated Travel and Entertainment Policy was previously sent to Council for their review. As soon as the government mileage rate is established, C. Schroeder will forward this information to Council.

MOTION VIII: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to adopt the Travel and Entertainment Policy as presented by the Investment/Audit Committee November 13, 2010.
MOTION passed unanimously

The chairman will forward a copy of the new policy to Council and the Executive Director on Monday.

d. Education (Appendices) T. McGinnis reported that since the last Council meeting the committee has been working on a variety of educational projects. At the November 12 meeting the committee reviewed the 2011 SLRP and Program of Work as it pertains to the education department. The chairman would like to expand the committee; each VP should offer the name of an individual in their district who may be willing to serve on the Education Committee.

  • Gordon Schimmel – working on outreach projects. A review of the last quarter included: successful roundtable in NJ in conjunction with the science and engineering festival; continue talks with Bauer and Wallen re roundtables in their districts; NASA children’s museum project is ramping up; press release announcing the ReSTEP project (program with NASA Goddard); working on a MOA with education arm of the FAA which could be helpful to R. Hanson, B. Pritchett and others in dealing with the FAA; and conducted teacher workshop in D.C.
  • Bill Pritchett – Proposed AMA School Model Aviation Clubs (AMA SMAC) discussion included: the teacher/advisor of the club should be a school employee; what is minimum number of students required in the club for the advisor to receive the ‘earned’ membership; the charter application requires a school administrators signature; Council is cautioned not to put too many restrictions on the program, let the school do this; if the school requires, AMA must issue a certificate of insurance however it is believed that most school districts are self-insured; and Pritchett expects this program to be included in the charter club packages sent in January. Info on the program should also be emailed to Leader Members. This school club will not be required to pay charter fees.

The discussion then turned to eliminating the $1 fee associated with youth no magazine memberships: S. Grubbs explained his concept of youths receiving an E-card which would explain their designation as Junior or Senior for competition purposes; there was concern with offering AMA scholarships to members who receive free membership; and concern with the legal implications of electronic signatures. Eliminating the $1 member fee would reduce the processing and mailing costs around 40k.

MOTION IX: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to eliminate the $1 fee associated with the Youth Membership that does not receive the magazine option; effective for the 2011 membership year.
MOTION passed unanimously (EVP was out of the room)

During lunch the President spoke with AMA’s legal counsel regarding the electronic application signature. F. Gora assuaged the legal concerns relative to electronic signatures for youth; electronic signature will be a box where youth type their name and parent/guardian types their name.

MOTION X: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by M. Brown (X) to accept the recommendation of the Education Committee to adopt the AMA SMAC (School Model Aviation Club) Program submitted November 13, 2010.
MOTION passed unanimously

MOTION XI: Moved by C. Bauer (VI) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to approve the AMA EAA Youth Membership Program presented November 13, 2010.
MOTION passed unanimously

At this point the ED noted the 2011 budget contains funding for the Learning Management System (LMS), however, to assist B. Pritchett with his program she would like authorization to purchase it in 2010.

By consensus, the expenditure for the Learning Management System (in budget for 2011) will be taken from the 2010 budget.

e. Scholarship (Appendix) G. Schimmel informed Council that there is over $60,000 in the AMA Scholarship Endowment Fund. He reviewed the four main funds that make up the scholarship funds: C. H. Grant Fund; Telford Fund, Weak Signals Fund and Sherrow Fund (will probably award the Sherrow Scholarship in 2011). The committee will put in place a process of acknowledging scholarship donations and inquiring if the donation could be placed in the endowment fund. Donations to the endowment fund would be acknowledged in a prominent display in HQ.

f. Museum Steering (Appendix) The minutes of the meeting are included in the agenda. The committee proposes the Museum be added to the SLRP; the new mission statement and plan were distributed to Council. Discussion included: taking a piece of the museum on the road, possibly to the AMA Expo (this will be given further consideration once the consultant is in place); the idea of different levels of virtual museum access is being looked at as a way to increase member value - basic level access for non-members, a step up for members and a higher level of access for museum patrons; the museum consultant will aid in the development of the master plan to determine how best to utilize the museum collection; the committee expects the consultant to begin the first of the year and will work towards presenting a master plan by end of summer of 2011.

It was moved, seconded and approved by consensus to accept the recommendation of the Museum Steering Committee to add the Museum Objectives/Goals and Mission Statement, to the AMA Strategic Long Range Plan.

Note – stickers will be placed on the already printed SLRP indicating there may be updates and individuals should check the web site for the most up-to-date information on the SLRP. 

g. Publications (Appendix) The committee is looking to integrate significant changes in 2011. Goals of the committee include building a sense of community within the existing membership; and increasing non-dues revenue through advertising opportunities and packaging opportunities. The chairman reviewed what the committee will work to accomplish in 2011. This included a re-design of Model Aviation; create a digital magazine option; expand the content of Park Pilot; increase updates/new material posted in Sport Aviator; graphic changes to NATS News; re-design of AMA Insider and update the MA archives bringing them current in the next 2-3 years. The committees’ goal is to improve upon the value proposition and give members a reason to want the magazine.

There was a brief discussion on the budget deficit for publications (escalating costs for postage and paper are a huge contributor to this); Kurek noted that most association magazines are experiencing the same thing, unless you apply the ‘dollar per member’ allocation to the deficit. (In AMA’s case it is $18/member.) He stated they continue to investigate ways to reduce costs and increase income.

h. Insurance It was reported that Westchester was agreeable to the increased weight limit in the Large Model Aircraft program. Bretson spoke to an issue that came about during the AMA/EAA partnership discussion which involved insurance coverage for joint events. It was proposed that AMA purchase a Non-Owned Aircraft Liability policy at the cost of $2500/annually; there are funds in the budget for this.

It was approved by consensus to authorize I. Maine to purchase the Non-Owned Aircraft Liability Policy; cost is $2,500 annually.

Clarification on MOTION V of the August 14-15, 2010 Executive Council meeting:
AMA has not increased the weight to 125 lbs. effective January 1, 2011. Once the program document (Large Model Aircraft Program) has been rewritten, presented to Council and approved by Council, it will go into effect. 

Old Business

a. Strategic Task Force update (Appendix) The focus of the group includes non-dues revenue and increasing membership. The documents gathered by the group have been uploaded and are contained in folders (which Council can view) on Huddle; Argenio offered empty workspace offices and web space storage to other committees as he felt it would be beneficial. He’s of the opinion that some of the learning that is being done here can transcend to AMA’s committees and Council at a future date. The group developed an easy-to-use guide on using Huddle. Work since August includes: a member of the group has done a history of AMA membership to try and determine if something occurred internally that caused the membership decline. The conclusion was that much of the decline was due to external sources including demographics, time span members could spend in the hobby, etc. Work continues on the electronic research project (similar to the Axiom survey done ten years ago) looking at member interest and attitude. Survey results are used to analyze things, make decisions and support programs and initiatives. Survey results will be forwarded to Council.

9. New Business

a. RC clubs on airport property M. Brown reported that a number of full scale airports in CA allowing model aviation on the site are being asked by regional managers of Caltrans (California Transportation) to remove the activity or risk losing federal funding for non-compliance to the agreement. R. Hanson stated this is not a new issue; Caltrans is one of the more pro-active state organizations in inspecting airfields for safety compliances and compliance to the regulations. Advisories have been published explaining the compliance agreement and some of the criteria contained in the regulations. Areas in the agreement (as interpreted) that potentially impact model aviation - the activity cannot close the airport to full scale activity; there must be safe operations/an operating agreement that proves or sets up procedures to assure safe operations between full scale and models, and there must be monetary remuneration for fair market value use of the property. There are inconsistencies in the way the policy is administered throughout the country. Hanson will continue to work the issue; he will put together a guidance document that defines the standard policy and operating agreement for clubs flying on full scale airports, including the club could be subject to paying fair market value for use of the airport property.


All awards were approved by consensus.

Council adjourned for the evening and will meet at 8:30 a.m. Sunday for discussion of the FAA sUAS regulatory process, a presentation by Vince Mankowski and executive session.

Sunday November 14, 2010 The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.

FAA sUAS Regulatory Process Council discussed strategy relative to the FAA sUAS regulatory process.

Hanson reported on a new rule that was published in August and became effective October 25, 2010. It states that any unmanned aircraft accident that causes death or substantial injury, or any unmanned aircraft weighing greater than 300 lbs sustaining substantial damage must be reported to the NTSB.

OTHER BUSINESS Vince Mankowski addressed Council at this time; he has held the positions of District VP, District AVP and AMA Executive Director. He has insight into the organization and led the AMA through a fairly successful time in its membership growth era.

Executive Session

Meeting adjourned at 12: 35 p.m.

NEXT MEETING January 9, 2011 – Ontario, CA