August 2011 President's Perspective
AMA Executive Vide President Mark Smith
Summer is here and I sure hope you are getting to the field to enjoy some super flying! I’ve been trying my best to make it out to the field at least once a week, but somehow “honey dos,” work, and AMA issues seem to crop up at the last minute.
So far, I’m pretty pleased with my flying—that’s code for “I haven’t broken anything yet!”
This past month I have been busy helping plan for AMA’s 75th Anniversary celebrations. As I write this column it is early June, but I am confident all who join us for our celebration will have an outstanding experience.
I want to express my appreciation to the staff members who are putting a ton of time and energy into the celebration so that AMA members can enjoy the event. It has been gratifying to see how Bill Pritchett, Chris Brooks, Jeff Nance, and their teams worked together along with others on the staff to coordinate our 75th anniversary celebration. Of course, this is all under the leadership of our new executive director, Dave Mathewson.
Assuming the responsibilities of AMA president has given me a new appreciation for the talent and dedication of our staff. I anticipate that we have seen just the beginnings of what Dave and our staff can do for us. I have been in close contact with Dave to ensure his transition into his new position is as easy as possible.
My wife, Ruth, and I have made several moves throughout the years to various places in the US, but Dave hasn’t. He confided to me that he has had a tendency to hoard things for the past 30 or so years, and thus packing was a bit burdensome. I will continue to work closely with Dave and his wife, Ginger, to get them settled into their new home in Muncie, Indiana.
I hope you are regularly checking out information on our Government Relations website as we had a flurry of activity over the last couple of weeks. What, you don’t know where to find it?
It’s really simple—just go to our home page located at www.modelaircraft.org and look for the official-looking government capital building and move your cursor over it and you will notice that it is a hot link. Simply click on the building and there you go!
I was duly impressed as to how fast our Director of Public Relation and Development, Chris Brooks, and Rich Hanson, our Government and Regulatory Affairs man, responded to the article in the Smithsonian publication Air and Space magazine. Chris, Rich, and Dave worked tirelessly to craft a letter for my signature to the editor which put forth our concerns about unsafe flying.
You can appreciate that this a critical time for model aviation with the impending FAA regulations. I assure you that the AMA staff and Executive Council members are vigilant in doing everything possible to ensure we will continue to enjoy our beloved hobby for another 75 years.
I am to have the honor of making two very important presentations. My local club, the Hot Springs R/C Flying Club, has worked hard to achieve the Gold Leader Club status. As many of you probably know, only a small percentage of our clubs achieve this level and I urge you all to join them!
Additionally, this club won a Flying Site Assistance grant to further enhance its site. I urge you to take every opportunity to elevate your club’s presence with the community stakeholders. The Hot Springs club plans to accomplish this by inviting several local dignitaries to the awards ceremony and present them with the awards so that the plaques will be proudly displayed to the public.
My second presentation will be awarded to Ron Hubbard, a teacher at Bryant Middle School in Bryant, Arkansas, who has done an outstanding job teaching his students graphics and science using model aviation. The ceiling of his classroom is covered with beautiful models of all sizes and shapes.
AMA’s Education Director Bill Pritchett has more on this remarkable man in his column on page 145.
It goes without saying, getting our youth interested and involved in aviation is critical to our next 75 years and Ron is a prime example for us all!
Enjoy the summer and I look forward to flying with you! MA