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ARRL Board of Directors Re-Elects President Rick Roderick, K5UR


Meeting January 17 – 18 in Windsor, Connecticut, the ARRL Board of Directors re-elected ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, to a third 2-year term. Roderick outpolled the only other nominee, Pacific Division Director Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, 8 – 7. New England Division Vice Director Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF, was elected First Vice President, succeeding Greg Widin, K0GW, who did not seek another term. Raisbeck was the sole nominee. A successor will be appointed to fill the Vice Director seat that Raisbeck has vacated. Bob Vallio, W6RGG, was re-elected as Second Vice President as the only nominee.

On a 9 – 6 vote, the Board voted not to re-elect Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as Chief Executive Officer. Michel was in the post for 15 months. Former ARRL Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY, has come out of retirement to serve as interim ARRL CEO. He also was elected as Secretary. Shelley was ARRL’s CFO for 28 years and served as CEO during 2018 before his retirement, following the departure of former CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. The ARRL Board has appointed a committee to spearhead the search for a new CEO. That panel will screen suitable CEO candidates, presenting three to the Board for consideration. 

Former ARRL President and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, was elected International Affairs Vice President, succeeding Jay Bellows, K0QB, who did not seek another term. Also re-elected by the Board were Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM, and Chief Financial Officer Diane Middleton, W2DLM.

Elected as members of the Executive Committee were Atlantic Division Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; Central Division Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA; Roanoke Division Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU; New England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, and Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. The Executive Committee addresses and makes decisions regarding ARRL business that may arise between scheduled Board meetings.

Hudson Division Director Ria Jairam, N2RJ, was elected as a member of the ARRL Foundation Board for a 3-year term. Tim Duffy, K3LR, and Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, were elected to the Foundation Board for 3-year terms as non-ARRL Board members.

Relief from Private Land-Use Restrictions

The Ad Hoc Legislative Advocacy Committee provided the Board with drafts outlining three legislative approaches to address relief for radio amateurs facing private land-use restrictions impacting outdoor antennas. The Board signed off on the draft legislative approaches “as presented and possibly modified” and directed the committee “to proceed to obtain congressional sponsorship, employing any of these three approaches and using its best judgment on any alterations or modifications that our advisors or sponsors may require or suggest.”

HF Band Planning

Outgoing chair of the HF Band Planning Committee Greg Widin, K0GW, presented the panel’s report and entertained questions. Board members noted that staff turnover and funding limitations at the FCC might impact ARRL’s efforts to tweak the bands. The Board agreed that ARRL would post the report and solicit comments from members on it.

Contests and Operating Awards

The Board approved raising the maximum number of contacts a Field Day GOTA station can make to 1,000. It amended the ARRL RTTY Roundup rules to add Multi-Two and Multi-Multi categories and to permit multioperator stations to operate for the entire contest period, and it divided entry categories into RTTY only, Digital only (i.e., no RTTY), and Mixed (both RTTY and digital).

Matt Holden, K0BBC, presented the DX Advisory Committee report, telling the Board that the panel engaged in extensive discussion on a proposal to change the 5-Band DXCC award from the current required bands to offer credit for any five bands. The committee unanimously rejected the proposal.

ARRL Elections

The Board revised rules governing ARRL Division and Section Manager elections to clarify some terminology, to extend the campaign period from the call for nominations to the deadline for ballots received, and to make other miscellaneous changes. Revisions will become effective by February 15, 2020.

In the interest of “openness and fairness,” the Board also approved a measure that would offers candidates and members an opportunity to be present during the counting of ballots. Candidates also may designate one ARRL member to attend as a surrogate if they’re unable to observe ballot counting, or to accompany them at the count. The Board further approved an amendment to permit ARRL members, upon petition, to travel at their own expense to witness the counting of ballots from their Division.

The Board charged the Programs and Services Committee to consider changes to the ARRL By-Laws that would give members, upon petition, the opportunity to attend the public portion of the Annual Meeting in January. The number of members permitted to attend would be subject to available space and fire code regulations.

Public Service Enhancement Working Group Chair, Roanoke Division Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU, reported that with field adoption of the 2019 ARES Plan now under way, the group is putting increased focus on the National Traffic System, including plans for dialog with representatives of Radio Relay International.

Reduced Dues for Younger Applicants

The Board approved an amendment giving the CEO discretion to raise the eligibility age for reduced full ARRL membership dues from 22 to 26, provided the rate not be less than one-half of the established rate. In addition, the Board approved the establishment of a reduced-rate, revenue-neutral Life Membership for individuals age 70 or older, with cumulative annual membership of 25 years or more, at an initial rate of $750. Headquarters staff will work out the administrative details of the program, subject to approval of the Administration and Finance Committee.

The Board also agreed to allow for a “digital-only” access membership, at the discretion of the CEO, discounted no more than 10% from the established dues rate.

Other Business

In other business, the Board: 

  • approved a grant of $500 to the Youth on the Air (YOTA) in the Americas program, which is sponsoring a camp in June for young radio amateurs. Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, a former ARRL Youth Coordinator, is heading the initiative, which is funded through the non-profit Electronic Applications Radio Service Inc. 
  • authorized creation of an Emergency Management Director Selection Committee, with its chair and members to be named by the president. 

The minutes of the January Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors are posted on the ARRL website.



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