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Board Discusses Inappropriate Use of Amateur Radio, Strategic Planning, Other Issues at Second 2009 Meeting


The ARRL Board of Directors held its Second Meeting of 2009 July 17-18 in Windsor, Connecticut, under the chairmanship of President Joel Harrison, W5ZN. On Friday, the Board considered and acted on a number of recommendations from committees as well as motions by Directors. Saturday was devoted to reviewing and revising the ARRL Strategic Plan that was adopted in October 2006.

Inappropriate Use of Amateur Radio: The Board authorized the President to appoint an ad hoc committee to prepare guidelines for use by the amateur community and others to identify inappropriate uses of Amateur Radio, while preserving our role of providing communications during times of disasters and for public service events. The Board asked the committee to present its findings to the Executive Committee within 30 days.

Emergency Communications Advisory Committee: The Board considered, but ultimately declined to adopt a motion to establish an Emergency Communications Advisory Committee.

Amateur Auxiliary/Official Observer Program: Programs and Services Committee Chairman Bruce Frahm, K0BJ, announced the creation of an ad hoc subcommittee to study the Amateur Auxiliary/Official Observer program and recommend any desirable changes to the Board.

Emergency Liaison Station: The Board established a national-level appointment of Emergency Liaison Station to tie ARRL Headquarters to affected areas during disasters via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to HF or VHF linking.

Narrowband Channel Spacing: The Board directed the President to appoint a study committee for the purpose of research and to consider developing a plan to move the US amateur community to narrowband channel spacing in the VHF/UHF bands.

Volunteer Consulting Engineer Program: The Board extended the Volunteer Consulting Engineer program to registered professional engineers in addition to structural, civil and mechanical engineers.

Annual Audit: Acting on the recommendation of the Administration and Finance Committee as presented by Chairman Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, the Board formally accepted the financial statements, including the auditors' opinion letter, for the year ending December 31, 2008.

ARRLWeb Redesign: A group from Fathom, a contractor based in Hartford, presented an update of the redesign of the ARRL's Web site.

IARU: The Board voted to appoint Rod Stafford, W6ROD, as IARU Secretary effective October 1, 2009. Stafford is retiring from full-time employment as of that date and will be available to serve as a volunteer in this capacity. The Board also directed the ARRL Secretary to cast a vote in favor of IARU Proposal No 245, concerning the admission of Union des Radioamateurs du Congo (URAC) to IARU membership.

Strategic Planning

The Board devoted a full day to reviewing and updating the three year old ARRL Strategic Plan. Last year, the Board invited ARRL members to comment on the League's future direction. These comments were read and considered by the Board. Before turning the comments over to the Executive Committee, they added some thoughts of their own. The Executive Committee started drafting ideas for the new Strategic Plan at its March 2009 meeting.

The review process at the 2009 Second Meeting included breakout sessions to develop possible strategies to address each of six goals that will guide the ARRL for the next three to five years; the results of the breakout sessions were then reported back to the full Board. The complete output of the planning session will be reported back to the participants for e-mail discussion and then considered by the Executive Committee at its next meeting in October. The Executive Committee will refine the document.


The Board established the George Hart Distinguished Service Award to be given to an ARRL member whose service to the League's Field Organization is of the most exemplary nature. Selection criteria for this award may include an operating record with the National Traffic System (NTS), participation in ARES® or station appointments and/or leadership positions held in the Field Organization. Nominations may be made by anyone, and the nominees should have a minimum of 15 years of service. Nominations will be considered by the Board at its Annual Meetings in January.

The Board made some changes to the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award, establishing separate categories for audio formats, visual formats and print/text formats and redirecting the cash awards from the winners to an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of the recipient's choice.

Hiram Percy Maxim Award: The Board selected Jason Hatfield, KD8FDD, of Grafton, West Virginia, as the recipient of the 2008 Hiram Percy Maxim Award.

Technical Excellence Award: For the second year in a row the Board chose John Stanley, K4ERO, Georgia, as the recipient of the 2008 Doug DeMaw, W1FB Technical Excellence Award.

Technical Service Award: The 2009 ARRL Technical Service Award went to Geoffrey Haines, N1GY, of Bradenton, Florida for his prolific and clear writing.

Technical Innovation Award: Dan Smith, KK7DS, of Hillsboro, Oregon received the 2009 ARRL Technical Innovation Award for his programming contributions to digital communications.

Instructor of the Year Award: The Board selected Brian Short, KC0BS, of Olathe, Kansas, as the recipient of the 2009 Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award.

McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award: The Board selected Nate Brightman, K6OSC, of Long Beach, California, as the winner of the 2009 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award for excellence in public relations.

Joe Knight Distinguished Service Award: The Board conferred ARRL Joe Knight Distinguished Service Awards on two long-time volunteers this year: former Western New York Section Manager Bill Thompson, W2MTA, of Newark Valley, New York, and Georgia Section Manager Susan Swiderski, AF4FO, of Norcross, Georgia.


International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) Vice President International Affairs Daniel Lamoureux, VE2KA, were guests of the Board.

The complete Minutes of the 2009 Second Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available soon on the ARRLWeb.

The next meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors is scheduled for January 15-16, 2010.



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