July 2009 EC meeting minutes
Executive Council Meeting
July 25-26, 2009
The Nominating Committee met 8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.
The Executive Council meeting was called to order at 8:25 a.m. by the President
1. Opening Business
Introductions: President Dave Mathewson, Baldwinsville, NY; EVP Mark T. Smith, Shawnee, KS; 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-Tony Stillman, Brunswick, GA; VI-Charlie Bauer, Norridge, IL; VII-Bill Oberdieck, Southgate, MI; VIII-Jim Rice, Universal City, TX; IX-Jim Wallen, Arvada, CO; X-Jim Giffin, Redding, CA (via teleconference); XI-Bruce Nelson, Spokane, WA; Executive Director Jim Cherry; NAA Representative Art Greenfield and AMA Legal Counsel Felix Gora.
AMA Headquarters staff in attendance was Joyce Hager, Lisa Johnson, Shawn Grubbs, Jack Frost, John Hawley, Ilona Maine, Chris Brooks, Jeff Nance, Michael Smith, Greg Minch, Rob Kurek, Craig Schroeder and Greg Hahn.
Others in attendance were Mark S. Johnston, District VIII AVP; Bob Underwood, District VI AVP; Greg Clemensen, District X AVP; Dale Chiavene, District VI Contest Coordinator; Gordon Schimmel, Education Committee Chairman; Rich Hanson, AMA GRA; Sandy Frank, member and Shirley Teague.
The President welcomed the newly hired Public Relations Manager Chris Brooks. Mathewson also informed Council that District X VP J. Giffin provided his written votes for the published agenda.
Additions to the Agenda: None
Recognition of those who have taken the final flight: a moment of silence was observed for Kirby McKinney, Harold Carstens, Benjamin Edward Shereshaw, Adam Sattler, Larry Conover and George Xenakis.
2. Consent Agenda:
It was moved, seconded and approved by acclamation to approve the minutes of the April 25-26, 2009 Executive Council meeting.
a. 2009 Model Aviation Hall of Fame Recipients
Council received list of recipients; nothing will be put into print until recipients are notified.
b. Hall of Fame Chairman
The current chair of the committee expressed his desire to retire. The President requested recommendations from the Council; it is preferred that the chairman be a HOF member.
c. AMA/MAAC Reciprocal Agreement
The issue discussed at the April meeting has been resolved; the issue was with MAAC’s insurance carrier, not AMA’s.
d. 2010 Membership Cards
AMA incurs a significant cost in replacement cards sent to members who have lost theirs. Grubbs is investigating options to improve the quality of the membership card and reduce the cost of sending replacement cards. It was suggested to use a ‘credit card’ type card; however if headquarters went to that type card, they would lose the ability to print them in-house. He will investigate expanding the white portion of the card to accommodate more ‘member categories,’ members' address, place the year of membership card on the card (especially for Life members), and consider changes to metallic AMA decal.
For 2010 the cards will remain the same; Grubbs to consider modifications suggested today and between now and next July, do research on other beneficial modifications. Council will receive copy of redesign and should provide comments to Grubbs.
e. High Profile events (Appendix I)
Mathewson spoke briefly about holding high profile events at the IAC as a way to promote AMA, various modeling disciplines and maximize the facility.
The Henry County Wright Flyers have held their Indiana Warbird event at the IAC for the last several years; Nance met with the group to consider possible partnership in hosting the Indiana Warbird Campaign event. Responsibilities of both parties would be outlined and a contract drawn up if necessary. Both would work on growth strategies. Funds generated from the event would benefit the National Model Aviation Museum and the Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum.
Concern was expressed relative to staff expending time and funds on projects that would benefit all of the districts, not just the IAC.
It was the general consensus of Council to have Nance move ahead with the concept presented in the outline, to work with the IWC and to build events that would make maximum use of the IAC while growing model aviation and becoming a benefit to local charities.
AMA received a $1,100 check from Indoor Free Flight to help offset the cost of running the Indoor Nats in Tennessee.
At this point the President wanted to address the OLD BUSINESS item relative to Absentee Voting.
Council members have expressed interest in having a policy in place that would allow them to be in attendance and cast votes during an Executive Council meeting they were physically unable to attend.
Argenio presented the current bylaws and the proposed changes relative to absentee voting. Discussion included:
- What methods could/would be available for absentee voting
- If teleconferencing/webinar attendance are allowed, there are various multi-media presentations that could be in use during a meeting; it would be necessary to make this available to the person not physically present
- What secure participant identification procedures would be in place
- Who would authorize, and on what basis would absentee voting be allowed
- Many corporations that have a BOD similar to AMA require the use of teleconferencing for a certain percentage of board meetings.
- It was the opinion of some that this proposal would not require a bylaw change
- Legal Counsel pointed out that the AMA Bylaws specifically state that a quorum is required at a Council meeting (quorum is defined as 50% of the current Executive Council members at a Council meeting). The bylaws also specifically state there shall be no proxy voting, and an AVP may represent his district to Council but he cannot vote.
MOTION I: Moved by J. Giffin (X) and seconded by M. Smith (EVP) that VP’s would be allowed to attend Executive Council meetings by means of a live teleconference call or webinar in case of visual material (one that the Executive Council could confirm by phone number and voice as belonging to the VP). A maximum of 3 Executive Council members would be allowed to use this method.
MOTION failed: 4-Y; 8-N (II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, XI and NAA); 1-Abstain (I)
a. Investment Management and Audit Oversight Committee
The committee met July 6-8, 2009; much time was spent putting together the draft investment policy; the official investment policy will be made after the selection of the management firm.
MOTION II: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to approve the Drafted Investment Policy.
MOTION passed unanimously
The chairman reviewed the four highly qualified management firms they interviewed. The firm selected by the committee had a targeted rate of return of 8-9% and a management fee of .99% annually. AMA’s CFO requested the contract contain a 90-day release.
MOTION III: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by C. Bauer (VI) to hire Merrill Lynch to manage AMA’s investments.
MOTION passed unanimously
b. Audit Oversight
The committee reviewed the April 2009 audit report (management letter). There is much work to be done but at this time there is nothing to present to the Council for action. The committee action plan includes completing the audit report review by November 1; review the charter of the committee and bring any changes to the President for his approval; prior to the next meeting complete the Audit Committee self-evaluation forms and will seek approval of the EC on a new expense report policy by the October EC meeting. The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for October 30, 2009.
There is nothing further to report at this time.
a. Reading of mail/conference call votes into the minutes
Conference call vote of 5/26/2009:
Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by B. Brown (III) to uphold the Scholarship Committee’s decision relative to declining a waiver.
MOTION passed: 7-Y; 3-N (I, IX and X) (VP for Dist. XI, the NAA representative and the EVP were not present)
E-mail vote of 5/30/2009:
Moved by B. Teague (IV) and seconded by B. Brown (III) that the Council approve an additional 15k expenditure to the amount originally approved for construction of the Claude McCullough Educational Facility to facilitate the additional suggestions proposed by staff.
MOTION passed unanimously
b. Flying Site Reports
In agenda folders
c. Business plan for Custom Products/Merchandising
C. Schroeder presented the business plan; at the end of the presentation Council should provide direction to staff on how they wish to proceed. He reviewed the options available; key points to consider in deliberation; the history of the museum store and custom products; and current employees/job descriptions. Visitors to the store are down; the foot traffic has never materialized in order to justify the amount of inventory carried; and the number of visitors is down this year but is expected to change when signage is in place. The Custom Products department was created with the intent of generating substantial sales and profits and to compete with other businesses that provide like services. Inventory in the Museum Store has been cut by approximately 50% over the past couple of years.
One concern with the departments (Museum Store, S&S, and Custom Products), is that the employee costs (including benefits) outweigh the gross revenues. Providing services to the Districts, various departments, employees, Nats, etc. has been a benefit but at the cost of outside sales.
Council sees a value in Merchandising, S&S and Custom Products; but the losses are unacceptable. They also see a value in being able to make a phone call to HQ and receive something in an expedited manner versus waiting 4-6 weeks. Council is willing to absorb some of the costs and accepts that the department may not be profitable, but the degree of losses needs to be cut. Some balance needs to be reached between immediate order requests vs. possible outsourcing.
Schroeder was tasked with developing a plan to cut costs; this will be presented at the October meeting. The President noted there may be a conference call between now and October.
- Members who phone in to HQ will be sent an e-mail question immediately following the call, asking how they liked the service they received. The data from this survey will be separated by department and will be included in the Flash Reports.
- AMA has purchased webinar service and staff will receive training in its use; committees should consider using this format when scheduling their meetings.
- At the six month point, NAA is on target with their budget; keeping a close eye on expenses.
- Max Bishop, FAI Secretary General, is retiring at the end of the year (after 16+ years) and they are in search of a replacement.
- FAI has eliminated the record classification F8 (autonomously flown aeromodels); all record attempts in this class previously administered by AMA will go directly to NAA. When asked how the previous records set for autonomous flight are categorized, Greenfield explained they are listed on the FAI Web site as retired.
a. Scholarship (Appendix II)
- The amount available this year was $39,300 and six individuals will receive scholarships. The top finisher in the Grant Scholarship also receives the Weak Signal Award ($1,500). The Telford Award went to Kyle Jones as he was the only individual who participated in AMA and FAI competition, as is required.
- Council approved the endowment fund as the AMA Scholarship Endowment Fund; somewhere in the process, the line item became the Charles H. Grant Endowment Fund. The original name of the fund must be kept to keep it separate from the Grant Scholarship.
MOTION IV: Moved by C. Bauer (VI) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to accept the report and recommendations of the Scholarship Committee as presented.
MOTION passed unanimously
- Once the candidates have been informed of the committees’ decision, there will be a media/press release in the recipients home town; Council members will receive a copy of this release. Recommendations on who else should receive the press release should be forwarded to J. Frost immediately. The application for 2010 will contain a place where the applicant sign’s off on allowing AMA to issue a press release.
- The committee discussed the eligibility requirement on the application relative to being a member for 36 consecutive months; the committee does not recommend lowering the requirement or any other changes at this time. The chairman noted that there are other membership classifications that have like requirements (CD and Leader) and Council may wish to review those to bring them to a higher or at least a uniform level.
- B. Underwood has been on the Scholarship Committee for 36 years and chairman for 33 years. He noted that any committee thrives through the introduction of new leadership. To that end and with the concurrence of President Dave Mathewson, Gordon Schimmel will now serve at the chairman. The President notes that Bob is a tremendous resource of information and thanked him for his service; he then welcomed Gordon as the new chairman.
b. Museum Steering
- The addition is scheduled to be completed by September 5 however there is some leeway; the committee has a very good relationship with the contractor. There is money in the Museum Patron fund that can be used to cover the difference between the donated amount and the full cost, without affecting the operating costs. Council agreed that there should still be a fundraising drive; J. Nance and C. Brooks will assist the committee to that end.
- A grand opening will be held on the Friday prior to the next Council meeting; invitees should include persons from the McCullough family, including Mike Gretz; local classrooms of children; and school superintendents and launch the opening in a very public way.
c. Education (Appendix III)
- The committee had a meeting with J. Nance, C. Brooks and M. Benson and anticipates many opportunities for working with them in the future.
- Summarized the activities to date which included Children’s Museum of Indianapolis-NASA grant application; AMA/Discovery of Flight/Udvar-Hazy beta test; 4-H/AMA development of “junior programs;” education programs for the Massachusetts Air and Space Museum; and flying site outreach fieldtrip with Joe Beshar.
- Club Leadership Reward Program draft - designed to create an educational opportunity for selected AMA club members to visit HQ to learn about and experience first-hand the services/support offered through membership in the AMA. Frost indicated that the numbers listed under ‘Funding’ are guesstimates and suggests the funding could be shared by AMA and the selected club. Since funding will involve the districts and will need to be factored into the budget, it may be necessary to have a conference call prior to the October Council meeting. Any program comments should be forwarded to Frost by August 15, 2009; conference call expected the last week of August.
- The President congratulated G. Schimmel on his selection as the 2009 recipient of the Aerospace Education Leadership award presented by the National Coalition for Aviation Education.
- On behalf of the Education Committee the President awarded Charlie Bauer the 2009 Award of Appreciation for 14 years of service on AMA’s Education Committee
d. Safety (Appendix IV)
- Set-Back Distance for Sport Pylon Racing - Due to the discontinuation of a 40 size engine and the difficulty in obtaining one for this sport pylon racing, changes were requested to the engine size requirement. Following discussion of the proposed changes the following motion was presented:
MOTION V: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to accept the changes to the Set-Back Distance for Sport Pylon Racing document as amended July 25, 2009.
Amendment: Under item 1 Club 40 Racing, the paragraph on Engines now reads: Engines: NO purpose designed racing engines (Jett, Nelson, etc.) will be allowed in this class.
MOTION passed unanimously
- 2010 Safety Code – As a result of AMA (via R. Hanson) being involved in the ARC recommendations to the FAA, AMA will need to provide numerous documents to the FAA; one of which will be the safety code. The committee cleaned up the code to be more palatable to the FAA and presented their changes to Council for approval. Following discussion of the proposed changes the following motion was presented:
MOTION VI: Moved by J. Rice (VIII) and seconded by G. Fitch (II) to accept the DRAFT of the Safety Code as amended July 25, 2009.
Amendments: GENERAL item 7 now reads – I will not operate model aircraft with metal-blade propellers. GENERAL item 10 was deleted. RADIO CONTROL item 8 now reads – Radio-controlled night flying requires a lighting system that provides the pilot with a clear view of the model’s attitude and orientation at all times. PDF for SEE AND AVOID GUIDANCE – add sentence under Spotter’s: Before a flight, the pilot must brief the spotter on his/her duties and expectations.
MOTION passed unanimously
(District X VP Giffin noted that had he been allowed to vote on this motion he would have voted in favor)
e. Nominating (Appendix V)
MOTION VII: Moved by M. Smith (EVP) and seconded by B. Teague (IV) to approve the minutes of the Nominating Committee.
Names to appear on ballot:
District II: Gary Fitch, incumbent
District IV: Bliss Teague, incumbent
District VI: Charlie Bauer, incumbent
District VIII: Jim Rice, incumbent
District X: Jim Giffin, incumbent
MOTION passed unanimously
- Nance reviewed action since April which included hiring Chris Brooks as PR Manager.
- Groundbreaking – media release; AMA realized an Opinion Editorial by the editors of the Muncie Star Press noting AMA is “an interesting operations”, “key to the area” and a “best kept secret.”
- Web site/Social Media – AMA is on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; comments are being monitored.
- Team AMA (air show team) – redesigned the lead sheet; leads are segregated (interested/non interested) and sent to particular club in the area. There is a huge opportunity to get AMA’s name in front of people at air shows; people who attend these shows are typically interested in anything aviation.
- AMA Expo strategy – new objective is to expand the expo offering beyond model aviation to include aviation related exhibits, products, topics, guest speakers, etc. to increase attendance.
- Who is AMA – compiling information into a DVD to be used as a primary communication tool, describing Who is AMA. It will feature interviews with members about their interest, attraction and participation in model flying, especially those who have gone on to careers in aerospace and aviation. The recorded video messages can be edited for various needs use.
- Review of the AMA 75th anniversary celebration in July 2011.
- “Got the Bug” and “Wiggle the Sticks” conceptual ideas and drawings.
- Mark Smith indicated Mark Cleveland (Pres/CEO Hobby Lobby) has joined the committee.
- The committee defined the follow up procedures for when a member requests a Park Pilot manual.
- 75th Anniversary History Book – will move forward with the book but on a pre-paid basis.
- Gathering data from those members who went from an Open membership to a PP Membership; why did they do this?
- The committee recommends to suspend the spending on the PP program, until 100 PP fields are in place.
- Have over 2,000 existing PP members; must maintain service and magazine to those; will cut back on the number of PP magazines printed and given out at no cost.
- The committee recommends a trial program whereby 5-6 metropolitan areas are selected based upon pre-defined criteria (e.g., number of hobby shops, number of AMA members, etc) and from that list, select two for the trial. The trial would entail a dedicated salesperson who has a quota to obtain at least 6 PP flying sites in one year. If successful, the trial would be expanded to include other metropolitan areas as previously defined.
- There will be funding requests associated with co-sponsorship of M. Chapman’s plane; the 75th anniversary celebration; air show teams and the AOPA show.
- Kurek noted there is a real desire within our membership for a publication dedicated to this type of aircraft (Park Pilot).
More discussion is needed as to the direction Council wants the Marketing Committee to go with the PPP, the discussion will continue Sunday morning.
8. Old Business
a. AVP Appreciation
- Oberdieck informed Council that the Education Dept. club reward program parallels his program; although this is directed towards the AVP’s as they are the first line of contact and general liaison between the Council and district members. Oberdieck will email his report to Council and requests input by mid-August.
a. E-mail EC agenda items to Leader Members
In discussion with some of his district Leader Members, Fitch reported that they would like to receive a copy of the EC agenda, via e-mail, two weeks prior to each Council meeting so they can provide input. Supporting documents for agenda items can be requested through headquarters however, documents containing “confidential” or “EC Only” material will not be available.
MOTION VIII: Moved by G. Fitch (II) and seconded by J. Rice (VIII) to provide by e-mail to all AMA Leader Members, the Executive Council agenda two weeks prior to each Executive Council meeting.
MOTION passed: 12-Y; 1-N (X)
J. Rice will draft a medium to aid in re-energizing the Leader Member program.
b. AOPA Summit
R. Hanson explained how the cooperative effort between AMA and AOPA evolved; the summit will be held in Tampa Florida. There is the potential to build a relationship with the AOPA as well as market model aviation to an aviation-oriented public.
c. FAA Update
The workgroup is still in place; have set-up their timeline to have an initial draft of the word product completed by the end of August. September will be used to vet the issues through the special interest groups and other interested modeling organizations. The final form will be in place the end of September and sent to Council for review prior to the October Executive Council meeting.
Discussion revealed the need for some type of reporting procedures for incidents by non-members but viewed by individual members or club members; this could be tied in to the on-line reporting procedures currently in place.
AWARDS: No awards were requested at this meeting.
October 30-31, 2009
ADJOURNMENT The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.
The Council will reconvene on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. where they will continue discussion on the direction for the Park Pilot Program.
The SLRP [strategic long-range plan] will immediately follow this discussion; focus will be on the educational aspect of the plan.
Sunday July 26, 2009
The President called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. District VI VP C. Bauer and NAA Representative A. Greenfield were not in attendance; District X VP J. Giffin attended via teleconference.
Park Pilot Program discussion (continued)
Ideas expressed included:
- Must develop a strategy to educate potential members and hobby shops over and over again with information about the program; this could be done via e-mail and in the case of clubs, in their (re)charter packet.
- Develop a tool (possibly a video) for the prospective member that answers some of the basic questions about building, aerodynamics, propulsion, control, etc. More times than not, they don’t have the back-up experience of flying gas planes.
- Put more emphasis on training the AVPs and encouraging them to recruit new members and identify potential park pilot sites; it was discouraging to see that only two AVP’s responded to the mailing re obtaining park pilot sites.
- Take the direct marketing approach: put an offer (of a current issue of the magazine) in kit/plane boxes; drive people to the PP website and provide information about the association, how-to’s, benefits of membership; then make the offer if they provide their name and address, AMA will send you a current issue of Park Pilot. This would allow AMA to cultivate those who have expressed an interest in model aviation; it would then be AMA’s obligation to follow up with additional information to them.
- Education people put more focus on getting into the middle/high schools and developing relationships through the Aerolab participants that could eventually lead to use of their school fields as PP flying site
- Results of the push email sent out (at J. Beshar’s request) to Leader Members soliciting information on flying sites/potential PP flying sites in their area revealed many clubs did not want to be involved with the PP fliers and many had “unofficial” PP sites and had no interest in becoming formalized. Flying sites are out there but the pilots see no value in the PPP. Staff to analyze the data.
- Need to keep from being banned at flying sites.
- HQ should analyze the data on the number of Open members who went to PP, totally new members that joined as PP, and those who were out for a couple of years and then (re)joined as PP and provide hard numbers to the committee. This information is vital in developing a strategy.
- Integrate into the Leader Club requirements the acquisition of PP members and/or PP sites.
- HQ should do a push e-mail to generate PP subscriptions from the Open members; will drive people to the website and offer the PP magazine.
- Should pull back on expenditures until it is determined whether this produces members.
- Nance/Smith will take the ideas expressed and develop the direction to proceed; the committee will send an email to Council informing them of the direction and solicit input. If results are not realized in a specified time frame, must have a Plan B approach in place to generate revenue
It was the consensus of Council to prioritize the top three issues as follows:
1- Push e-mail; AVP e-newsletter to PP and Open (Nance-ok to have AVP e-mail address)
2- Product package offer (go to PP Web site/sign up; receive free publication; database to follow up)
3- Expand Web site use
Listed below are those topics that received the fewest votes:
4- AVP-tell Nance where current PP site exist
5- Park Pilot magazine-marketing/discuss with J. Troy
6- Parachute People in-send people in to define areas to generate “x” number of PP sites within a year with incentives for doing so
The Marketing Committee chairman thanked Council for their input. It was agreed that AMA must keep the program going for the 2300 current PP members. To push the program to prospective members the committee should use manpower, not money power.
The Executive Council meeting adjourned at 8:50 a.m.
July 26, 2009
Education Mission: To promote model aviation as an educational tool in formal classrooms and non formal after school settings.
The three strategies in the 2009 Education POW:
- Establish a well trained national modeling teacher/mentor infrastructure to assist with workshops, conventions, conferences and tradeshows with club education outreach programs.
- Establish a larger education committee consisting of educators, modelers in geographic regions or AMA districts.
- Create/develop additional educational aero modeling products for teacher use in the classroom.
- Council was asked to identify the most important issues they feel the education direction should take then define their priority issues and goals/objectives for each.
Priority issues/goals and objectives:
1. Provide tools for club officers for community outreach
- Outline of how each program is managed
- Presentation to make to community/civic groups on support material
- How to develop dialogue (how to get foot in the door)
2. Community relations
- Define a list of those in the community that we should be reaching out to
3. Aviation careers and paths
- Identify careers available in aviation that have the command, breadth and financial ability to sustain a good quality of life and good job; how to build a career path to attaining those jobs (This fits in with what the Marketing Dept. is currently doing)
- Educate members of AMA value
- Update the “What is AMA” list and make it more appealing (Marketing Dept. to pull together with Publications, Education and Insurance Dept.)
5. Senior citizen programs
- Reach youth through the senior citizens; create ‘grandparent projects’ that the seniors can do with their grandchildren. Something similar to Aerolab but without the science. Expand the program so it can be used in Parents without Partners, Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- Attend AARP convention (Nance will network heavily with them at the convention); possible article in AARP magazine (Schimmel)
- These objectives will be a combined effort between Education and Marketing
6. Internal education/information for AVPs and club officers
- Monthly or quarterly webinars/seminars (topics could include how to pick a good club president, once it is determined what a club wants to achieve; the biggest threats to clubs)
- Forums on education (start with material in AVP training manual, elaborate on those topics in webinar)
7. Develop educational programs for schools (external)
- Some of what was discussed in the other priorities apply to this item
- Develop programs to interface with what teachers can and will use; design programs to particular needs
Topics for AVP E-newsletter
- AVP training topic
- What is going on at AMA
- Educational topic
- Best practices (show example of what AVP did in local area)
- AMA value (value AMA brings to membership)
- Where to find information on AMA Web site
- AVP job description
- Guest district VP or AVP to include something in newsletter
The President indicated that we are still developing the strategic long range plan; but that does not mean we don’t begin implementing our ideas until the plan is done. Time-frame for the E-newsletter is mid-October; Council members will be sent copy of all newsletters. Since Headquarters now has webinar capability they should start developing content for seminars/webinars.
At the October EC meeting, Schimmel will share an overview of the committee’s budgetary issues; the committee should address availing their programs to all schools, including those in very rural areas.