1011 EC Minutes
Executive Council Meeting
October 29, 2011
Note: District XI VP Bruce Nelson was not in attendance
The regular meeting of the Executive Council was called to order by Mark T. Smith, Interim President/EVP.
1. Opening Business
Final Flight: Attendees observed a moment of silence.
It was moved, seconded and approved by unanimous acclamation to approve the Consent Agenda. Consent Agenda items:
Approval of July 16, 2011 Executive Council meeting minutes
Approval of July 25, 2011 Leader Member Fee mail vote
Approval of August 19, 2011 Conference Call minutes
Approval of September 8, 2011 Conference Call minutes
2012 Executive Council meeting dates
Different dates from what the ED proposed were presented for consideration; a straw vote showed the majority were not in favor of those dates. Following discussion, the dates were approved individually by a show of hands.
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to approve the dates for the 2012 Executive Council meetings. Dates are: January 8, 2012 (Sunday in Ontario, CA); April 21, 2012 Muncie, IN; July 21, 2012 Muncie, IN, and October 20, 2012 Muncie, IN. The Annual Membership Meeting will be held Thursday May 17, 2012 during the Joe Nall.
Flying Site Grant Committee
The Interim President reported that the new chairman requested input from Council members relative to district representation on this committee; the approval process remains the same.
Goldberg Vital People Award winners (Appendix)
The ranking sheet for the 2011 award was distributed to Council; there are 5 recipients for 2011. The Executive Director will forward contact information for the recipients to the respective vice presidents who should make contact with the winners; letters will not be sent from HQ staff.
It was moved, seconded and approved by unanimous acclamation to approve the 2011 Goldberg Vital People Award winners.
The Interim President stated the FAI Executive Committee would present their report prior to voting on the 2012 budget.
FAI Executive Committee (Appendix)
The committee was assigned the tasks of finding ways to reduce the cost of FAI to AMA (increase revenue, reduce financial support to number of participants/support staff, etc.) and determine if there is a way to salvage the program (target a breakeven cost to AMA in a two year window and if this is not feasible, build an exit strategy.) The chairman reported that to continue the program the committee cannot uncover a way to break even; they can however considerably reduce expenses.
AMA’s relationship with the NAA is much more than just FAI and completely severing ties with the NAA could be detrimental to AMA when trying to generate partnerships and grants with other organizations. The FAI program accounts for approximately ½ of the cost of NAA participation; the NAA participation fee will increase in 2012 (to approximately 56k).
The committee feels there is the need for better accounting of the FAI program and recommends coding be scrutinized for accuracy.
The committee presented three options for Council’s consideration:
Option 1-Maintain the programs as they are in terms of direct support for the teams, but reduce the number of attendees at CIAM meeting to two, funded people. Estimated yearly cost for entire FAI program-117k.
Option 2-Major cutback, no more funding for Team Managers, Asst. Team Managers or helpers. No further hosting of WC in the USA. Reduce total allowance for each competitor for Entry fee/Hotel/Food/Travel to $1,000 (average now is $1,700); plus the above reduction for meetings. Estimated yearly cost-72k.
Option 3-Exit the entire program. This would be a two year process, continuing current funding (with reductions as reasonable) for 2012 and 2013, ending NAA affiliation after 2013, and no longer offering the opportunity to compete on a USA team to an AMA member. Estimated cost per year after 2013-$0.
Discussion and concerns included:
• AMA could still affiliate with NAA as a corporate sponsor
• Members could still represent the USA at WC directly through NAA; however NAA does not have the mechanism/structure for running team selection programs
• Gaffney stated the committee must make the best decision for the AMA and NAA will live with whatever that may be. If AMA were to reduce or end funding to NAA, it would have a profound affect on AMA, NAA and FAI. He further stated that other ASO’s (Air Sport Organizations) do not provide funding for their team members
• The President of CIAM (Bob Skinner) reported to M. Smith during the F3A WC that competition is down world-wide
• The FAI program is out of balance and a huge expense in terms of dollars; the committee was to present changes that would bring the issues of participation and cost more in line
• Even-year WC cycles are more expensive than odd-year cycles, almost 2 to 1
• Wallen feels the reductions the committee presented are not significant or relevant enough to address the problems being discussed. D. Brown pointed out that the funds in the 2012 budget are already reduced from the previous year and the committee has recommended additional cuts in their proposals
• D. Brown stated the committee did not address the FAI budget for 2012 as those commitments have already been made to the teams for 2012 world championships (programs in place and teams selected)
• If AMA does not pay NAA dues for 2012 it will affect the teams that have already been selected
• The FAI Executive Committee does not support exiting totally from the FAI program
• Some expressed difficulty supporting the 2012 budget until it is determined how FAI program costs can be reduced
• It is not being suggested that funding not be included in the 2012 budget, just that further discussion/clarification is needed on what that amount should be for 2012; and what is AMA willing to guarantee for 2013 and 2014
• B. Brown reiterated that contracts were made in 2011 that provided funding for teams to attend world championships in 2012 and feels AMA is obligated to honor those contracts. When concern was expressed relative to possibly not paying NAA/FAI dues for 2012 to allow US teams to participate in world championships, the Interim President stated the issue should be taken up by Council and the new leadership team come January 1
MOTION I: Moved by J. Wallen (IX) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to defer FAI funding for the 2012 budget until the FAI Executive Committee addresses and resolves Councils concerns.
MOTION failed: 4-Y; 7-N (I, II, III, V, VI, VIII, X); 1-Abstain (NAA)
Further discussion included:
• The committee should make a single recommendation to Council (most plausibly Option 2) prior to the January meeting
• The committee feels very strongly that funding for the 2012 WC teams is cast in stone. The reductions spelled out in Option 1 (reduce attendance at CIAM meetings) can be done for 2012; expect to present Option 2 be applicable in either 2013 or 2014 (committee to investigate further). The committee should present their proposal prior to the end of this year for inclusion in the January EC meeting
Other FAI Executive Committee items
Each country is only allowed to recommend one individual per year for this scholarship. AMA has not created a process to facilitate a recommendation; however, D. Brown reported that only one application was received for 2012. Therefore, that application will be submitted for consideration. The FAI Executive Committee will work with the AMA Scholarship Committee to come up with a process to select an applicant for submittal
Free Flight Team Selection Finals
The process says the team selection finals must alternate between the east coast and west coast; however, they have been held in Lost Hills, CA for the last 6 or 7 cycles. (It has been reported that they were unable to find a suitable east coast site.) The FAI Executive Committee is exercising their right, stating the team selection finals will not be held in Lost Hills; they must find another site.
It was reported that Dr. Laird Jackson has received the FAI Gold Medal; B. Brown is of the opinion that Council should recognize his contributions in some way as well.
R. Miller reported that the committee used gotomeetings.com and it worked well for them. The committee is contemplating recommending to the new Finance Committee that they consider looking at a 2-year budget proposal. He reported that C. Schroeder is doing an effective job as comptroller; he worked very closely with the ED and Finance Committee chairman. The committee worked hard on numerous issues and discussed at great length the predictions for 2012.
MOTION II: Moved by B. Brown (III) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to approve the 2012 Budget as submitted, excluding those items pertaining to the FAI program.
MOTION passed unanimously
Schroeder was heavily involved and led the effort to develop the budget and Program of Work. The process for developing the budget was changed from years past and produced a better result.
In the effort to continue to build working relationships with other aviation organizations, since the last Council meeting HQ has signed an MOU with the FAA, the Commemorative Air Force and the Youth Aviation Adventure (rep’s from the YAA will be here for a ceremonial signing of the MOU).
The ED thanked J. Gaffney for AMA being presented the Brewer Award this year.
The online newsletter continues to grow; have about a 40% open rate. Over 4,800 donors over the last 5 years have been entered in the Tapestry program (fundraising software) purchased in 2010. The ED reported that AMA generates about 50k/year in donations through the renewal box-checking option; thank you letters signed by the ED are sent to every donor. Another 150k/year is generated through unsolicited gifts and bequests similar to the C. McCollough donations. Work continues on a response plan to the NPRM; the release date has been pushed back to Feb. 2012. This department has been working closely with R. Kennedy and the LM program. C. Brooks headed the effort internally which included a large percentage of staff that reacted quickly to the terror incident last month. In the process of creating a development committee to help with the fundraising and long term grant acquisition strategies; J. Wallen is chair of that committee.
Staff is in process of installing the hardware that Council approved last month; also improving the internet system in building which should be resolved by the end of the year.
The marketing event lead position has been filled; it is the intent that much of the work on the Expo and events on site will be shifted to her. The ED commended her for her work on AMA’s participation in the AOPA Summit in CT and the Commemorative Air Force air show in TX.
Flying Site Assistance
Currently there are 82 flying site issues open and being addressed. Volunteers are being utilized to man booths at various events across the US. Stillman is putting the finishing touches on the Flying Site Assistance website; he will be doing seminars at the Expo again in 2012. The Getting and Keeping Flying Sites booklet is being updated for 2012. Stillman is also trying to re-establish the volunteer flying site assistance coordinator program established by J. Beshar.
G. Hahn working on a Sound document similar to one created by H. Crispin, to assist members with noise issues. Any suggestions should be forwarded to G. Hahn.
Processing bills and ballots is in full swing; HQ is counting the ballots, which reduced costs by $8,700 this year. S. Grubbs created a procedure guide that was sent to all candidates that explains how the process is being managed in-house.
The ED reported that the deficit is a result of 3 or 4 anomalies in the budget this year which included a loss on investments and less than expected advertising revenue. It’s expected that the advertising revenue will recover some over the last quarter due to advertisers focusing on the holiday season. Magazine printing costs up significantly this year due in part to the 75th Anniversary supplement and the fact that paper costs were up more than anticipated. HQ will change printers the first of the year; R. Kurek negotiated a 2-year contract and was able to lock in paper costs for 2012 for the first six months. If paper costs go down, HQ will realize that reduction in costs.
Executive Staff Retreat
The intent was to focus on where AMA is now and where to go in the future; will hear more over the next year. Things that can be done immediately to improve the member experience from an operational standpoint include improving the procedure for youth to join online; make more prominent the opportunity for youth to subscribe to Model Aviation and Park Pilot magazines.
The Executive Director is soliciting guidance from Council relative to a way to offer a pro-rated discount to new members when they initially join, instead of tacking it on in their second year of membership. Council was in agreement that HQ should conceptually create a system to allow for pro-rating of dues for new members on the front end as opposed to the back end. HQ will have something to Council before the end of the year.
7. NAA Report
No report at this time.
B. Teague introduced Mr. Mac West who presented an update of the survey Informal Learning Experience has been conducting for the museum. Most of the work so far has been in the discovery stage, learning about the facility (which was not originally constructed to be a museum); the operation and the collections as well as the current audience and attendance. Surveys and interviews were conducted with visitors over the summer. An analysis of the discoveries as well as opportunities was presented to Council. It is expected that a draft of a master plan will be developed before the end of the year. Any observations or thoughts about the museum and development of the master plan should be relayed to Michael Smith or M. West.
Discussion included: no mold or mildew has been observed on the artifacts however the fluctuation in heat and humidity is a huge problem; Michael Smith reported there are different thoughts on the expansion of the facility; the collecting policy within the museum has evolved considerably since first putting pieces in the collection in 1978; the surveys and interviews revealed there is a strong desire for part of the museum program to be part of the national STEM initiatives; and when asked if the committee discussed moving the museum location to a more populated area, M. West responded he feels the museum is a vital part of the AMA and should remain with the center of activities at the national flying site, and is where it can get the most exposure. The committee was asked to investigate the pros/cons of moving the museum to a different location.
he Youth Aviation Adventure, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is comprised of 17 squadrons; the squadrons are day long activities that attract over 300 children to a highly motivated aviation day. One of the 10 stations used at the YAA was the FPG9; this was a natural conversation starter between AMA and the YAA. B. Pritchett introduced Steve Wathen, YAA Chairman and Dan Kiser, YAA Executive Director. An MOU was created between the two organizations and at this time the MOU was ceremoniously signed by Mark Smith and Steve Wathen. Currently the program is being held in 18 cities and their goal is to expand to 50 major markets in the next 5 years. In conjunction with other organizations like the AMA, they are eager to expose more people to aviation; the website is youthaviationadventure.org.
B. Pritchett reported AMA’s efforts with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum will be vast, aggressive and a lot of fun; the show open Feb. 24 to the museum membership and Feb. 25 to the public. R. Croslin from the museum was introduced and reported to Council the curricular project for grades 3-5 that compliments AMA’s Aerolab; it is being tested with teachers from across the country and it should be ready in a couple of months. He has worked closely with AMA to make sure that modeling and modelers are a big part of it. They have been filming for an hour-long special, and a large portion of time was spent at AMA filming helicopters, soaring competition, the museum, etc. A very robust curricular package has been put together that will be available online at no cost as a result of the grant.
Education Committee chairman T. McGinnis reported on other things the committee will be doing: will participate in the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) in Indianapolis; the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the NSTA are working collaboratively on booths/displays with the AMA; having discussion on the Commemorative Air Force and FAA MOU’s as well as the YAA MOU signed earlier; G. Schimmel is working on an Aerolab2 project (an online version); noted that the CAP MOU represents 16,000 potential AMA members; the committee is pursuing a second Alcoa Grant for funding an educational project; Schimmel is also working on a funding initiative for a Green STEM aviation project; and the Education Committee and Education Department continue to make strides to fulfill the POW and SLRP. Travis thanked Council for supporting the Education efforts and developing programs that were accepted as a nomination for the Brewer Award. At this time B. Pritchett presented an Education Outreach Award to R. Croslin.
ouncil received a spreadsheet showing the history of the entries/contestants per discipline for the Nats over the past 10 years; they also received the schedule for the 2012 Nats. The Nats committee would like to have the schedule ready to mail by the first of the year.
2011 Nats was successful (no major problems); more events going to 2.4 each year; with the advent of 2.4 and having three sites from which to fly RC, the committee is investigating whether it’s possible to combine certain events during the same time period to shorten the length of the Nats (possibly for 2013); tentative schedules have been set for 2013 and 2014; looking at events that are down in enrollment to possibly sunset; and the committee recommends that no world championship be held during the Nats as it costs extra money. The Nats was charged to be a break-even event and over the last three years they have broken even or made money.
The Nats begins after the July 4th holiday in 2012; members of the helicopter SIG recently expressed concern that this would push the dates for their event further into August. It was reported that a member of the SIG was present at the Nats meeting and expressed no objection. The SIG was offered any time in June (2012) to hold their event, or have it after the Nats. They canvassed their membership and a letter was sent to HQ articulating their concerns at having the jamboree so late in August. Condensing the Nats can be done; the logistics need to be worked out and Council must mandate the change if they so desire.
MOTION III: Moved by C. Bauer (VI) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to assign 5A status to the 2012 Nationals. Indoor-Johnson City, TN May 23-27, 2012; Outdoor-Muncie, IN July 9-August 15, 2012.
MOTION passed unanimously
It was moved, seconded and approved by unanimous acclamation that IRCHA be given any timeframe in August 2013 to hold their Jamboree. Those dates must be received by the AMA Executive Director by January 7, 2012.
The chairman reported a new 2-year printing contract (for Model Aviation, Park Pilot) has been signed with Quad Graphics; primary benefits will be lowered costs and increased service. Model Aviation is going through a redesign. Touch Three is the design consultant and the March 2012 will be the first issue showing those changes. The revamped magazine website was launched in July 2011 and as a result of promotional efforts (including social media) page views jumped from 200/month to more than 23,700; the site is updated several times a week. The committee continues to look at efforts to promote Park Pilot as a membership recruitment tool and a value-add for existing membership base. The deadline for having Model Aviation archives on-line is on track with an expected completion date of May 2012. The committee is investigating a way to recognize John Worth’s efforts in the archiving process.
10. New Business
At this time the committee consists of J. Wallen, chair; D. Mathewson, C. Brooks and C. Schroeder and they have laid the groundwork about how they envision proceeding. It’s expected that 2-3 additional people will be added to the committee. Brooks has leased software (called Tapestry at a cost of $1,500/year) to assist in the efforts; he gave an overview of the vision and the efforts moving forward. The committee will rely heavily on the Marketing and Publications departments as well as S. Grubbs in Membership, C. Schroeder in Accounting and the IT department; it is an interdepartmental effort.
The plan is to look at the 2012 POW, develop a mission statement and provide recommendations to the Council for approval before moving forward. Brooks reported money will be raised for such things as youth programs and initiatives, segmenting various foundations, corporations and high net worth individuals to help support the programs; flying sites also need attention as AMA gives out around 15k to disaster programs and this should be aggressively brought to the attention of our members and outsiders. Estate planning will be highlighted in the December 2011 issue of the magazine, the next month charitable trusts, and so on over the coming months. Consideration will be given to creating a separate 501 (c) 3 foundation which will require having a separate BOD.
West Coast Flying Site
L. Tougas identified the desire for a regional flying site for the western United States. He would like to send out feelers to see what level of fundraising could be done for the project and would like to have a dedicated fund in AMA’s accounting system. This would show the donations are going specifically to the planning, construction and operation of a western flying site. AMA will not incur any costs in this effort. Tougas is also recommending a sunset provision so if it is proven there are not sufficient interest/donations for the project; the account would be taken off the books. Donors would have the option of donating any of their remaining funds to another purpose or have it returned to them. Discussion and concerns included:
• Tougas’ intent is to determine the feasibility to fund such a project; he reported the funds would be raised on behalf of AMA
• Would the site be purchased or leased? Tougas responded it’s dependant on the budget they have to work with and the fundraising will give them an idea of what that budget may be. Purchasing the site outright would be the preference. Would like it to be an all-weather site; in an area near transportation hub and would have other things to do in the vicinity
• Tougas expects the site would be multi-use for CL, RC and some aspects of FF depending on the size and would be open to all AMA members
• Concern was expressed relative to who has authority to spend the money raised in the fundraising process; Tougas reported that use of the money raised would require Council approval
• Would be soliciting cash donations as well as pledges
• A motion was made ‘to raise funds for planning, construction and operation of a western US flying site project and assign a dedicated account for those funds. The account will sunset Dec. 31, 2016 and funds not spent will be returned to the donors’
• Tougas stated that his motion is asking for nothing more than a place to put donations. Some of the funds Tougas stated will be used for feasibility and if it turns out the project isn’t possible, any funds not spent will be returned to the donors. It was noted that it is possible donors will not receive 100% of their donation back because the motion states ‘funds not spent will be returned to the donors’. There will be legitimate expenses that will be expended from this fund
• The point was made that Council should require a set pre-determined amount be reached, prior to spending any of the funds; Tougas thought this suggestion makes it too complicated; he feels Council is speculating what potential issues could be and feels the more wordy the motion the harder it will be to get people to donate up front
• Legal Counsel feels that Council approving this motion does not imply they approve building the site. Someone else however felt there is a great possibility that the implication in perception and misperception is that AMA, by virtue of approval of a discovery phase, is still implying that this is very much on their (AMA) radar
• Tougas hopes the project is a success and can be used as an example for other portions of the United States
• Contributions will be accepted from people in any of the districts, not only District X
• Numerous Council members expressed concern again that twenty years down the road if the site is built and there is no money left to maintain it, what happens then? Who is going to be responsible?
• The Interim President reiterated he feels it is quite feasible they would have enough money to procure and maintain the site; at this time Tougas is asking for approval to go out and seek donors. He won’t have answers to any questions until he determines how many are willing to donate
• The ED offered the following for consideration – ‘Authorize Lawrence Tougas to investigate the feasibility of establishing a west coast flying site to be funded completely by donations and to create a restricted account to temporarily hold donations collected in support of the concept.’ He explained this does not say AMA is going to go ahead with it, we are establishing the feasibility. All we are talking about is a business plan that Tougas must come back and present to Council. This would allow Tougas the opportunity to determine if practical to go any further and at the same time the motion says will collect donations that are temporarily held and the site will be funded completely through donations. The ED explained it gives him the authority to go out and do everything he wanted to do, but does not imply that Council has made the determination to move forward; that decision would be made after he came back with some data
• L. Tougas felt that using his original motion and including the words ‘for the goal of’ is a more positive way to convey his desires; however, a straw poll of Council was not favorable to Tougas’ motion as it read. The words western flying site were changed to District X flying site
• Some on Council felt it was important to include wording in the motion that defines who is authorized to spend from the fund; the original proposer was not in favor of including such wording
• It was requested that the District X planning committee that eventually leads this effort provide Council with an annual update of the progress and a business plan by mid 2013.
MOTION IV: Moved by L. Tougas (X) and seconded by J. Wallen (IX) to raise funds for the goal of planning, construction and operation of a District X flying site project and assign a dedicated account for those funds. If the goal is not reached the account will sunset December 31, 2016. Any remaining funds, not spent pursuant on an AMA authorized expense, will be returned to the donors.
MOTION passed: 11-Y; 1-Abstain (IV)
• Council made it clear that no funds will be spent from this account without Executive Council approval
9. Old Business
Membership Incentive Pricing
L. Tougas stated that when at a trade show AMA should mirror what many of the vendors do and offer an incentive. The proposal is to offer a $10 discount for new Open members (new being defined as someone who has not been a member for the past 5 years). Tougas reported that eligibility will be confirmed when the application is forwarded to AMA HQ; if there is a problem with the application, the membership department will follow up directly with the individual. The membership applications used to offer this discount will be coded which will allow them to be tracked.
MOTION V: Moved by L. Tougas (X) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to offer a $10 discount for new Open members at events where AMA is conducting a membership drive; effective immediately.
MOTION passed unanimously
The regular meeting of Executive Council adjourned at 2:20 p.m. Following a ten-minute break, Council went into Executive Session.
January 8, 2012 – Ontario, CA during the AMA Expo