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Re: Open questions for the Board of Directors candidates

> Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 09:32:06 -0500
> From: "Stefan Wagener" <stefan_wagener@hotmail.com>
> Subject: [amsat-bb] Open questions for the  Board of Directors candidates
> I would like to take the opportunity to thank the board candidates for being 
> willing to serve our organization and to invest their time and energy in 
> advancing AMSAT.

There are many members who invest their time and energy in our 
organization -- not just candidates for the Board.  They all deserve our 
thanks (including you, Stefan, even though you witdrew your name from 
the ballot!)

> I have been reading the candidacy statements with great interest and have 
> the following questions for the candidates.
> 1.	How are you planning to advance AMSAT as a professional organization in 
> terms of management, membership service and transparency?

	Management: my 31 years running a successful small business, and my 12 
years as Executive Director of The SETI League, Inc., should speak for 
	Membership service: AMSAT is blessed with an excellent Membership 
Services organization.  It is not the role of the Board of Directors to 
second-guess or micromanage our dedicated volunteers.
	Transparency: All Board meetings are open to the membership as a whole, 
agenda are released in advance, and minutes are published in the 
Journal.  Thankfully, the days of unannounced meetings behind closed 
doors, with major decisions made in secret, are behind us!

> 2.	How are you planning on keeping members informed about your own personal 
> accomplishments as BOD member during your term?

Since being appointed Director of Education I have committed to a 
regular column in the Journal (two are already published, and two more 
are currently in queue), so the membership can be informed of my 
activities.  This column will continue for as long as (a) I serve, and 
(b) the Journal Editor sees fit to include it.

> 3.	How are you planning on advancing the knowledge of our organization, 
> particular our members as it relates to education, training.

In addition to the column mentioned above, I have re-activated amsat-edu 
as an educator's discussion list.  I will be conducting Educator's 
Workshops around the country, as my time and AMSAT's budget permit, to 
develop standardized curricula for using satellites in the classroom.

> 4.	How often have you been using our existing satellites (e.g. AO-51) in the 
> last year.

Sadly, only once in the last year.  My educational activities leave 
little time for on-the-air operations.  (This past Field Day, for 
example, I made only three contacts.)  Which is not to say that I am 
entirely unfamiliar with satellite operations, having been VERY active 
on OSCARs 6, 7, 8, and 10 in years past.  At some point, when accepting 
the mantle of leadership, one finds he or she must give up the 
operational activities that first drew us to this hobby.

> 5.	What do you consider as the greatest asset AMSAT has?

Our membership!  We have a tremendously talented pool from which to 
draw, and a great deal of enthusiasm for our mission, into which we can 
tap to get things done.

> 6.	What do you consider as our greatest weakness and how will you address 
> it?

Our biggest problem is factionalism.  Those who design and build 
satellites often work in isolation from those who operate them, or those 
who use them as educational tools.  As radio amateurs (that is, 
communicators), we do a rather poor job in communicating among 
ourselves!  But no sub-group can operate successfully in a vacuum.  In 
my personal talks to ham clubs, and at conferences and symposia, I will 
continue to encourage dialog between AMSAT's designers, builders, users, 
and teachers.

> I hope these questions will find some open ears and will help in defining 
> your position. I also would encourage all AMSAT members to post their own 
> questions before you vote!

I'll go one step further.  Questions to your leadership team (or to 
those who, out of innocence, naiveté, or weakness of character, aspire 
to it) should NOT be restricted to election season!  Ask early and 
often, and then vote once.

> Thanks, Stefan VE4NSA

Thanks for raising these questions, Stefan.  This is the sort of 
material that we would be well off to discuss in candidate's ballot 
statements, were it not for the logistically imposed 1/3 page limit on 
printed statements!

73,  Paul

Dr. H. Paul Shuch, N6TX
AMSAT Director of Education
n6tx@amsat.org    www.qsl.net/n6tx
Grid Square  FN11lh
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