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J. John Thomason, WB5SYT, Appointed West Gulf Division Vice Director


With the approval of the ARRL Ethics and Elections Committee, ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, has appointed Oklahoma Section Manager J. John Thomason, WB5SYT, as Vice Director in the West Gulf Division. Thomason replaces Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, who moved up to Director with the retirement of Division Director Coy Day, N5OK, last week.

An Extra class licensee, Thomason has been an ARRL member for more than 20 years and has served as Oklahoma Section Manager since 2003. While Section Manager, he supported and prompted passage of Oklahoma Senate Bill 426. This bill allows "for the erection of an Amateur Radio antenna or an Amateur Radio antenna support structure at a height and dimension sufficient to accommodate Amateur Radio Service communications." Thomason also represented the League in 2004 at the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster's (VOAD) national conference. Based on an article in the November 2007 issue of QST, Thomason, with assistance from University of Oklahoma personnel, developed frequency coordination protocol that is now used at that school's home football games.

"The opportunity and honor to serve the West Gulf Division as Vice Director is exciting," Thomason said. "It is my desire to diligently work with Director Woolweaver to ensure Division members are informed, to provide input and feedback on policies and procedures pertinent to the League's missions and to accomplish what is necessary to have the interest and the availability to inform through developed relationships with Division members and League headquarters staff."

"I have known John for several years," Woolweaver said. "He has been very successful as a Section Manager, especially in the areas of Emergency Preparedness and legislative action. His unmistakable talents in those areas will be very useful in his new role as Vice Director."

Thomason said continuing "the excellent League service provided by my predecessor Dr David Woolweaver, K5RAV, is humbling and enabling. His skill set and presence at so many League functions in the Oklahoma Section and beyond is truly a high standard to obtain. He has shown a highly informed outreach and capacity to listen and communicate while making the Amateur Radio Service visible through the League. He will grow in these efforts as Director while following in the richness of professionalism of Director Coy Day, N5OK.

"It is my hope to sustain and flourish the wonderful relationship developed via my role as Oklahoma Section Manager. The relationships and fondness for our fellow Amateur Radio operators and capacity therein to enhance our public service with League strength is very important to me in my role as Vice Director. This has developed by being active at League events, club meetings, Nets and served agency functions. We make a difference in Amateur Radio operators' lives by listening, caring and expressing this passion to them. A birthday card or a handwritten note of encouragement during family challenges clearly communicates that the League cares for and about them as people and their contributions to Amateur Radio. It has been stated that we meet people based on what in common, but grow on the basis of how we are different. I feel this is our opportunity to strengthen our collective League mission during difficult times, be they economic or frequency threats."

Thomason is a member of the Edmond Amateur Radio Society (EARS). He has earned DXCC and Worked All States (WAS) on CW, PSK and SSB. Thomason is a vocational evaluator with the State of Oklahoma's Department of Rehabilitation Services. He holds a BA in psychology and an MS in rehabilitation counseling.



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