Letter 7/2009

Greetings to Northwestern Division Members, I want to report to the members of the Northwestern Division regarding the meeting of the Board of Directors of the ARRL held July 16-19, 2009 and other local activities. The ARRL Members' pages currently have an outline of Board activities and will have a comprehensive write-up of the meeting in a few weeks. I currently serve as the Chairperson of the ARRL Administration and Finance (A&F) Committee. In addition, serve on the Scouting Committee and the Pension sub-committee and am a member of the ARRL Foundation Board. The A&F Committee is charged with overseeing the financial affairs of the League. I can report that the committee and full board received the auditor's report for 2008 and this was an unqualified audit ( the best a firm can receive). The economic downturn we are experiencing since mid-2008 caused our pension funds to be a bit underfunded and we will build these back to their pre-recessionary levels. Revenues and expenses are as planned for the year-to-date. During my last ten years on the Board (6 as Vice Director and 4 as Director) I find that the most work is done at the Committee level and major decisions are made with coalitions formed between Directors. Yep, it is a very political process! One learns to "count votes" quickly. I have been honored by President Joel Harrison, W5ZN by being asked to serve as chair of the A&F Committee for the past two years. Considering that there are only two standing committees and the average tenure of a Board member is around five years, there are few opportunities to serve as a committee chair. This, plus the important work of the other committees and travels around the division, keeps me quite busy and not on the air much -- darn. Thanks to my XYL Shirley, W7SAF, for allowing me to serve the Northwestern Division members in this manner. Yep, this is a new call for Shirley as she passed her General exam in the spring! The budget for 2009 is in relatively good shape and we will create a simplified reporting mechanism this fall. The development department is always looking at ways to fund operating programs in general and special programs in particular. Please contact me or the ARRL Foundations for ideas on a structured giving program. We always search for other sources of revenue in order to maintain the cost of League membership. Congratulations to KK7DS for being awarded the 2009 ARRL Technical Merit Award. This award was granted based on his work with integrating the D-Star technology with Emcomm programs. Congratulations again, Dan. Speaking of Emcomm, the Board charged the Programs and Services Department with focusing on the roles and responsibilities of the Emcomm department as well as clarifying the relationship with the field organization and 71 Section Managers. These interrelationships are ready to be formalized with a semi-matrized reporting structure. Other than the normal business of the Board (receiving reports and hearing from the Officers, standing committee chairs, and other committees), the Board spent an entire day working on a Strategic Plan and resultant set of goals for each plan element. I'll share these with you when they are sufficiently word-smithed and clarified. This was an exciting time and I am confident that the plans will take the ARRL and Amateur Radio into the next generations of hams. Membership in the ARRL remains strong and the Northwestern Division is at the top of percentage growth statistics. The ARRL has over 155,600 members of which over 11,000 are in the Northwestern Division. Our average growth in the Division since June 2008 is 3.8%. Congratulations to members and local clubs for facilitating this strong membership growth. Keep up the good work. Remember that the Washington Salmon Run (the Washington State QSO Party is coming up on September 18 and 19. This is your chance to put all the 39 Washington Counties on the air as well to work them. In addition, look for an announcement of the Hiram Percy Maxim's (ARRL Founder) 140th Birthday operating event to take place in September. This is always a fun event is a good way to work and thank the ARRL volunteers for their service. Also, the Northwest DX convention will be held in Spokane, WA on August 7-9. See the Spokane DX Association's Web Site at www.sdxa.org . We have some ideas regarding use of the Internet for Division conferences and meetings. We plan to begin this use of new technology with the Section Managers soon. Finally, the new ARRL Web Site will be released early next year. It should be a great improvement over with current pages and will have enhanced search and editorial content. Announcements will be made in the November -- December time frame. Thanks again for your support of the ARRL and its many programs. We strive to make this the best membership organization in the USA and your feedback as to how we can improve is important. Thanks also for the support of Vice-Director Bill Sawders, K7ZM, for his support for the members in the Northwestern Division. 73, Jim Fenstermaker K9JF ARRL Northwestern Division Director Seattle, WA July 21, 2009 (206) 930-9372 TO: Northwestern Division ARRL Members.

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