The 38th Annual AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual General Meeting in-person event scheduled to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota has been canceled. The event will be shifted to a virtual, online platform. This comes after a decision made between AMSAT’s Senior Leadership and Board of Directors in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While AMSAT recognizes the national challenges related to recent events in Minneapolis, they have no bearing on the Symposium decision whatsoever. We anticipate holding 2021’s Annual Space Symposium at the previously announced 2020 venue.
The in-person event was scheduled to occur Friday, October 16th – Sunday, October 18th. As the 2020 virtual event plans are developed, they will be announced via the usual AMSAT channels.
[ANS thanks the AMSAT Office for the above information]
Due to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s order closing all non-essential businesses in the State of Maryland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice, effective today at 5:00pm EDT.
While the office is closed, AMSAT will continue to accept new and renewal memberships. However, membership packets will not be mailed until the office reopens. T-shirts, hats, and other items stocked in the office will also not be available until the office reopens. Digital downloadable content, including SatPC32 and MacDoppler will remain available from the AMSAT store. Antenna, name badge, and awards orders will be forwarded for processing.
The March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal will be produced on time. However, it may only be possible to publish it in digital format. Stay tuned for further updates.
Any questions about memberships, orders, or office operations can be sent to email@example.com. Please note that no mail or phone service will be available until the office reopens. Vendors billing AMSAT for goods or services may email the above address to arrange payment.
AMSAT President Clayton Coleman, W5PFG, has announced the appointment of Sean Kutzko, KX9X, as Volunteer Coordinator.
First licensed in 1982 as KA9NGH, Kutzko served as both ARRL Contest Branch Manager (2007-2013) and ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager (2013-2017). He was the creator and co-administrator of the ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program in 2016. An active HF and VHF contester, DXer and backpack QRP enthusiast, Kutzko started working satellites in 2011 and has transmitted from over fifty different grid squares. He has written instructional materials on satellite operating for the AMSAT website, QST, and blogs regularly on satellite topics for the DX Engineering blog “On All Bands.”
“It’s an honor to be able to volunteer for AMSAT,” Kutzko said. “When [new AMSAT president] Clayton [Coleman, W5PFG] asked if I would help coordinate a team of volunteers, I jumped at the opportunity. AMSAT is a great organization and helping find good volunteers who are willing to help all areas of AMSAT’s growth and development is the least I could do for the organization that has given me a lot of enjoyment and technical skill.”
Outside of Amateur Radio, Kutzko is a freelance PR/communications consultant and voiceover artist, as well as a baker of artisan breads, pizza and pastries. He also plays drums in a classic rock/country band, Silverweed. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.
Now that I’ve had a few months to settle into my new position as AMSAT Treasurer and spend a little time digging through the numbers, I thought it was time to share what I have found and set the record straight about some of the misinformation that is being spread about AMSAT’s financial position.
Despite rumors and misquotes of AMSAT being on an unsustainable path, let’s look at where we really are and how we are doing.
Over the past ten years (2010-2019), AMSAT has averaged a $34,357 increase in net assets (what most people refer to as profits) per year.
Our combined revenues over expenditures (profits) for the past 5 years (2015-2019) were $110,962, which includes launching 4 amateur satellites into space, readying RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) and the ARISS InterOperable Radio System for flight, and getting started on GOLF and Lunar Gateway projects.
In 2019, AMSAT generated $756,256 in revenues with $617,425 in expenditures.
Note: Year to year fluctuations are generally a result of timing differences between project fundraising efforts and when AMSAT needs to spend money. In addition, AMSAT maintains its reserves in investment accounts, which are subject to market price fluctuations and must be included in our financial statements.
2018 is a perfect example:
AMSAT authorized a $62,055 payment to NASA, which was not reimbursed until 2019.
AMSAT spent $62,397 on the initial hardware development for GOLF.
AMSAT launched two satellites in 2018, Fox-1D (AO-92) and Fox-1Cliff (AO-95).
AMSAT had to report a $77,128 fair market value loss in investments (which was fully recovered in 2019).
Don’t get me wrong – there is certainly room for improvement. I have already identified and started to implement cost-saving and budgetary control measures that can and will make us more efficient. As AMSAT Treasurer, it is my job to safeguard AMSAT’s resources from both fraud and waste, and I intend to do exactly that. I look forward to what more we can achieve.
Membership revenues continue to rise and have increased 65.68% in just that past 5 years, all without any increase in dues rates for our members.
New memberships, renewals, life memberships, and AMSAT Store purchases for the first three months of 2020 are on track to exceed the same revenue sources for 2019.
AMSAT is fully committed to financial transparency. Our financial statements and regulatory informational reports (Form 990s) are and have always been publicly available (www.amsat.org/audit-and-other-financial-reports/). Furthermore, to add confidence, an independent certified public accounting firm reviews our financial statements and includes their report with our financials.
AMSAT is on a solid financial footing and headed in the right direction. We started this year with over $134,000 in cash and over $591,000 in investments. The level of our reserves, ability to generate more revenues than expenses, and ability to continue to grow our members has AMSAT fiscally positioned to accept whatever challenges and opportunities tomorrow brings.
AMSAT does not expect to fully fund itself with membership dues. Member dues are meant to cover member services and benefits. Funding for everything else must come from other sources.
In 2019, member dues accounted for only $134,570 of AMSAT’s total revenues. The remaining $621,686 came from the kind hearts of our donors and the incredible work of our volunteers – seeking out new revenue streams and securing grants to further support our mission.
We, at AMSAT, are keeping our promise to Keep Amateur Radio in Space and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. To say otherwise is either a uniformed opinion or intentional misinformation – The Numbers Don’t Lie.
Robert Bankston (KE4AL), CPA Treasurer Radio Amateur Satellite Communication (AMSAT)
In addition to being a licensed amateur radio operator, Robert is a certified public accountant (CPA), business consultant, and principal with Bevis, Eberhart, Browning, Walker & Stewart, P.C., a public accounting firm in the Southeast United States. Robert serves in the lead corporate finance and accounting division, coordinating with area controllers, account managers, senior-level executives, investors, and lenders to provide business consulting, financial audit and review, and tax compliance services for midsize and multimillion-dollar companies and organizations.