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Re: Open questions for the Board of Directors candidates

Thank you for posting your questions Stefen.  The space available for
the candidate bios is somewhat limited and naturally you can never
address everyone's specific concerns.  It also helps me as a candidate
to know more about what the concerns of our members are.

> 1.	How are you planning to advance AMSAT as a professional organization in 
> terms of management, membership service and transparency?
AMSAT is of course an all volunteer organization.  As such I think one
of the key points is that while we may manage some things, such as
materials and budgets, the real essential quality is leadership.  My
experience chairing another local volunteer group taught me that
communicating clear goals, establishing a path so that everyone can see
how they will be accomplished and then setting a personal example in
working toward those goals is how things get accomplished.

Memberhsip services has many aspects so let me address one where I see
an opportunity for us as an organization to make a significant
improvement.  I think you already touched on by asking about
transparency.  It was exactly this lack of informational flow that
caused me to get involved with AMSAT first as an editor for the AMSAT
News Service (ANS) and since has been one reason for running for the
Board.  The results of Board meetings should be published quickly,
preferably in the next Journal following the meeting.  This would be a
summary, issues discussed or resolved and any votes cast.  A more
thoroughly detailed account should then follow either in a later Journal
or posted to the member's section of the web site once it is available.
This would obviously take more time but should not take the 5-8 months
that it has in the past.  

> 2.	How are you planning on keeping members informed about your own personal 
> accomplishments as BOD member during your term?
Some of that would of course be covered by the summary and detailed
reports I mentioned above.  On those occasions when I, as a Board
member, represent AMSAT at some event I would report back to the
membership through ANS and the Journal as I have done in the past as
Executive Vice President or Director of Industry relations.

As stated in my bio I also follow the discussion here on AMSAT-BB.  If
any member has a question about something I've done they are welcome to
ask publicly here or privately in direct email.  I am also a regular
check-in and sometimes Net Control to the Florida AMSAT Net on Thursday
evenings at 1930E.  Once the bulletin and other official traffic is done
I'd happy to take questions there as well.

> 3.	How are you planning on advancing the knowledge of our organization, 
> particular our members as it relates to education, training.
One of the most effective ways to educate and train our members is by
sharing information as it is developed.  That is one of many reasons
that the open design process of Eagle is critical.  In addition to the
value of having many eyes review designs, it also allows our members to
see how the designs evolved over time, the trades-offs that had to be
addressed and understand how the final decisions where reached.

We also have a fair number of members working with various Universities
as mentorson  satellite projects.  However I find that many are working
in a near vacuum, cut-off from others who may be struggling with similar
problems.  I'd like to see more articles in the Journal or even short
one paragraph news bites for ANS about these projects, their trials,
tribulations and triumphs.  The Mentors would learn who else is doing
what and I believe that it would help many of our members understand the
significance of some of the experiments as well as the unique challenges
that they face.

> 4.	How often have you been using our existing satellites (e.g. AO-51) in the 
> last year.
Not as often as I'd like unfortunately.  I do typically listen several
times a week while in the shack doing other AMSAT related work.  I do
operate each year during Field Day as well as during my local Club's
annual "Satellites & Spaghetti" special event.  I also attempt to find
someone to work with for Kid's Day as well as operate a satellite
station  so that the local Scout Troop can make some satellite contacts
during Jamboree On The Air as well as talks and demos during the local
Scout summer day camp.

> 5.	What do you consider as the greatest asset AMSAT has?
Without a doubt it is our members and volunteers.  Many of these peole
expend many long hours on AMSAT's behalf.  While Officers and members of
the Board may be the most visible, without all the Area Coordinators,
University Mentors, ANS Editors, Journal Editors and Authors, Office
Volunteers, Command Stations Ops, Hardware and Software Designers and
volunteers on numourous committees, AMSAT would simply grind to a halt.

> 6.	What do you consider as our greatest weakness and how will you address 
> it?
AMSAT's greatest weakness as I see it is that despite the good work done
by our volunteers, we don't do enough to seek out new volunteers and
distribute the work.  This results in over-loaded volunteers, poor
performance which potentially impacts our members, and eventually
burn-out.  It can also be very confusing to the members when key
individuals hold multiple jobs as it is sometimes unclear whether
something is being done in someone's capacity as a member, Officer or
Board Member.

It will take a determined effort to avoid the habit of turning again to
people who have already volunteered.  However, as we identify jobs that
need to be done, those tasks should be posted through all of our
available channels.  This is part of establishing a path toward a goal
so that everyone can clearly see how it will be accomplished that I
mentioned earlier.  We have a volunteer survey on the web site which is
very helpful.  However, I find that it is much more likely that
volunteers will respond to specific appeals for help.  This might slow
things down slightly on occasion but the division of the workload and
infusion of new blood and fresh ideas would be well worth the time and

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to these specific questions. If
my answers have raised more questions, please ask.  After all
communicating effectively is one of the key aspects of amateur radio.

Lee McLamb - KU4OS
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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