Grant Hopper, KB7WSD, Appointed Northwestern Division Vice Director
ARRL President, Kay Craigie, N3KN, has appointed Grant Hopper, KB7WSD, of Everett, Washington, as the new Northwestern Division Vice Director. The position became vacant when no one submitted the necessary election materials needed to run for the Vice Director position. Hopper is an attorney and serves as an ARRL Volunteer Counsel (VC).
"I'm excited to serve the Northwest Division," Hopper said. "We have a phenomenal number of talented, innovative, committed, and generous hams here in the Northwestern Division. I look forward to not only doing what I can to support their efforts and the activities within the division, but also representing their interests up at the national level. From my community and volunteer activities -- as well as my law practice -- I tend to think of myself as a 'behind the scenes' sort of person, bringing people together, examining issues and solving problems. I think those skills will serve me well as a Vice Director and I'm glad I can share them for the benefit of Amateur Radio."
Hopper's was first introduced to Amateur Radio when he moved to Washington State at the age of 8: "The dad of my new best friend -- they lived next door -- had, what seemed to an 8 year old kid, a huge and fascinating station. This was the 1970s and I still remember how the tubes glowed. After that, Amateur Radio remained in the back of my mind until high school when the family of an area Silent Key donated his station and electronics library to the school. We had no Amateur Radio program, but the instructor knew I was interested so he gave me an ARRL Handbook to read. Unfortunately, there wasn't an easy way to translate the handbook into successful studies for my amateur license."
While attending Washington State University -- where he studied electrical engineering -- Hopper again discovered Amateur Radio when Craig Johnson, NG7N, a fellow student, showed him packet radio. "This ultimately resulted in getting my Tech license in 1994 -- together with my father Gary, KB7WSI. We attended the local license class put on by the Boeing Employees Amateur Radio Operators North Society (BEARONS), W7FLY."
After becoming licensed, Hopper immediately started volunteering with the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, and still remains involved with the organization today. At the end of an eight year stint with the DEM, and after taking a CERT class from the City of Everett Fire Department, he was asked by the city's Director of Emergency Management to form an auxiliary communications program based around Amateur Radio, intended to support CERT activities in a disaster. "With law enforcement, fire services and EmComm experience in my background, as well as business and legal skills, I've enjoyed a certain amount of success getting a program off the ground with very few problems."
ARRL Northwestern Division Director Jim Fenstermaker, K9JF, said he is glad to have on board as the new Vice Director in the Northwestern Division. "Grant will bring a wealth of experience in the EmComm and support areas, and he has the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the League and Amateur Radio during the next three years," he said. "Both Grant and I look forward to attending meetings, hamfests, and conventions during 2010 and meeting our members. We are both in our respective positions to serve Amateur Radio and our ARRL members."
Prior to his current career as an attorney, Hopper spent a rewarding 10 years in law enforcement working in both Eastern and Western Washington State as an offer and deputy, respectively. During that period, he spent time investigating computer crime and electronic fraud in addition to "working the road'. He is in his 10th year of law practice and now focuses primarily on business and real property related matters.
Hopper's other interests include many outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, hiking and snowshoeing, as well as the more sedate hobbies of photography and fishing. He is also involved in several local community and civic activities, including serving on the board of his neighborhood association, as well as a city board focused on neighborhood involvement with city government. He donates time to local pro bono programs, as well as participating in the ARRL Volunteer Council program.
Grant is the Immediate Past President of the Snohomish County Hams Club and serves as the Education Program Coordinator and as one of the chief instructors for the license classes (Technician and General class licenses) and the 'new skills' classes. "Most of my 'ham career' has been spent at the local and operational level of Amateur Radio: EmComm, license classes, ARRL Field Day and the public service aspects of the hobby. I'm very much looking forward to serving the Amateur Radio community at a more global, policy level. I believe my broad base of experience will serve the amateur community well."