ARRL Board Names Award Winners, Okays LoTW Initiatives
At its second meeting of the year, July 19 and 20 in Windsor, Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors confronted a broad agenda that included the naming of ARRL award winners, the efforts of the Ad Hoc LoTW (Logbook of The World) and Symbol Rate Rule Modernization committees, creation of a new field appointment for youth, and the procedure for eventual ARRL CEO succession.
ARRL Dakota Division Director Greg Widin, KØGW, reported on the work of the Ad Hoc LoTW Committee. The committee will continue its work to improve the performance of LoTW.
The Board resolved, on Widin’s motion, to authorize $75,000 in order to procure outside professional services with the goal of improving LoTW’s database implementation. The Board also okayed the hiring of a full-time Headquarters staff member with “strong IT development and architectural skills” to address LoTW improvements.
Symbol Rate Rule Modernization
On the motion of ARRL West Gulf Division Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, on behalf of the Ad Hoc Symbol Rate Rule Modernization Committee, the Board directed ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, to prepare a Petition for Rule Making with the FCC seeking to modify §97.307(f) to delete all references to symbol rate. The Petition would ask the FCC “to apply to all amateur data emissions below 29.7 MHz the existing bandwidth limit, per §97.303(h), of 2.8 kHz.”
The committee determined that the current symbol rate restrictions in §97.307(f) “no longer reflect the state of the art of digital telecommunications technology,” and that the proposed rule change would “encourage both flexibility and efficiency in the employment of digital emissions by amateur stations.” The Ad Hoc Symbol Rate Rule Modernization Committee was dissolved with the thanks of the Board. (In his September 2013 QST “It Seems to Us” editorial, ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, explains the Board’s action on symbol rate regulation.)
New Section Level Youth Field Appointment
ARRL Rocky Mountain Division Vice Director Dwayne Allen, WY7FD, acting on behalf of Director Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT, who was unable to attend, presented the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Youth in the Second Century. A highlight of the report was the proposed creation of a Section Youth Coordinator as a section level appointment in the ARRL Field Organization.
The Board subsequently resolved on Allen’s motion to adopt the committee’s recommendation to establish the Section Youth Coordinator (SYC) position, to replace the current Assistant SM for Youth. The Board further resolved to have the Program and Services Committee and ARRL staff define the roles and responsibilities of the SYC, considering the recommendations in the Ad Hoc Committee on Youth in the Second Century’s report to the Board.
The Board devoted considerable time and discussion throughout the meeting to the issue of CEO (chief executive officer) succession. While current CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, has no immediate plans to retire he is approaching his normal retirement age. That prompted the Board to put in place a procedure for naming a new CEO when the time comes. The Board agreed to establish a CEO Candidate Screening Committee consisting of five directors. Elected to serve as the initial committee were Roanoke Division Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF; Atlantic Division Director Bill Edgar, N3LLR; Central Division Director Dick Isely, W9GIG; Great Lakes Division Director Jim Weaver, K8JE, and West Gulf Division Director Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV. Among its first responsibilities, the new committee will establish CEO search criteria. The committee may employ an independent management consultant and is to recommend at least three CEO candidates to the Board for consideration at the appropriate time.
The Board named the winners of two prestigious awards. Dr Robert S. Dixon, W8ERD, of Delaware, Ohio, was awarded the 2013 ARRL Technical Service Award. He was recognized “for numerous technical contributions” to Amateur Radio and for sharing “his abilities and enthusiasm” for Amateur Radio. A QST author, Dixon designed and created one of the first tactical communications bridge systems for his local ARES team.
Well-known microwave experimenter Brian D. Justin, WA1ZMS, of Forest, Virginia, is the winner of the ARRL Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award. The Board recognized Justin for his “distinguished lifelong Amateur Radio career,” which has included expeditions that garnered Justin the first VUCC Award on 47, 76, 122, 145 and 241 GHz. Justin was further commended for developing and building several millimeter-wave stations and for operating several repeaters, from 146 to 1200 MHz.
In other actions, the Board
· adopted new 5 and 3 centimeter band plans, as proposed by the UHF/Microwave Band Plan Committee, which was dissolved with the Board’s thanks
· expressed its desire for the issuance by the FCC of the special call sign W100AW for use by the Maxim Memorial Station and by others as the W1AW trustee designates, in recognition of the League’s centennial in 2014
· directed Headquarters staff to investigate the feasibility, benefits and costs of preparing license training materials designed for shorter course sessions
· asked that the DX Advisory Committee (DXAC) study and, if warranted, recommend changes to the DXCC rules
· thanked the VHF-UHF Advisory Committee for its service since 2005. The VUAC sunset July 31.