Riley Hollingsworth to Retire July 3: The End of an Era
On Thursday, July 3, Special Counsel for the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH -- the man who has come to embody Amateur Radio Enforcement - will say goodbye to the FCC as he retires and begins his life as a private citizen. In May, Hollingsworth announced he would definitely retire; he had contemplated retiring in January 2008, but cited "several issues on the table that I want[ed] to continue to work through with the amateur community." While his successor has not yet been named, he was quick to point out that the FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement program will continue.
Hollingsworth said that he has "loved" working for the FCC and has "always had great jobs, but this one involving the Amateur Radio Service has been the most fun and I have enjoyed every day of it. I've worked with the best group of licensees on earth, enjoyed your support and tremendous FCC support and looked forward every day to coming to work. The Amateur Radio Enforcement program will continue without missing a beat, and after retirement I look forward to being involved with Amateur Radio every way I can. I thank all of you for being so dedicated and conscientious, and for the encouragement you give us every day."
Saying it has been a "privilege to work with and for the Amateur Radio licensees and the land mobile frequency coordinators," Hollingsworth said that he is "extremely fortunate to work for two wonderful groups of people: Those at headquarters in the Enforcement Bureau, and for the Amateur Radio operators."
Before joining the FCC, Hollingsworth, a South Carolina native, graduated from the University of South Carolina and Wake Forest University School of Law. While in high school, He worked as a disc jockey for WRHI, an AM station in Rock Hill, South Carolina. "It's a funny thing," Hollingsworth said. "They once held a beauty pageant in Rock Hill and nobody won!" In the mid-1970s, he was a "Nader's Raider" and worked on brown lung disease in the North and South Carolina textile mills.
"Basically I'm just an ordinary guy caught in the cross-hairs of radio history," Hollingsworth said. "But I am proud of the fact that the digital clock on my VCR has been blinking for 4 years."
Hollingsworth told the ARRL he was "so very impressed" with the young people who are involved with Amateur Radio: "To the very young Amateur Radio operators I have met who have dreams of being scientists and astronauts and communications engineers, we will be pulling for you; I have a strong feeling we won't be disappointed."
Calling the Amateur Radio Service a part of the American heritage, Hollingsworth explained that he is "going to stay as actively involved in it as I possibly can. Thank you all for working tirelessly to provide the only fail safe communications system on Earth and for helping this country keep its lead in science and technology. What an incredible gift it has been to work with you every day, and how fortunate we are to love the magic of radio! Every gift of lasting value comes with responsibility. We must never forget what we owe for our spectrum privileges. I will continue working with you in every way I can to ensure that Amateur Radio lasts a thousand years."