PRESIDENT’S REPORT - DECEMBER / JANAURY 2013-14
Chris Phillips, President
At our retreat two weekends ago, we welcomed our five new Board members (John M. Dahlen, Sven Lincke, Rob Stapleton, Rob Stone and Hank Swan) and reaffirmed our strategic direction and objectives, both of which have not changed. We also elected our officers for the coming year. It was a great honor to be elected President and I will strive to do as good a job as Rex Gray and those who came before him. Josh Overturf was elected as VP, Sven Lincke as Treasurer and Wolfgang Junge volunteered to remain Secretary.
A little about me. British by birth and still have a funny accent. I come from an aviation background. My dad flew Sunderland flying boats in WWII in Coastal Command and flew the Berlin Airlift – all before I was born. I learned to fly at 14 in an RAF Chipmunk, but only got my license in the early 80s after I came to Alaska. I am now the proud owner of three planes, a souped up 180 on floats, a Flight Design CTSW and a Cirrus SR20. The CTSW is “on the chopping block”.
My role is to provide leadership to the organization. That starts with my team of officers, but it really involves the whole Board, each one of whom is a valuable link in furthering our agenda. 2014 is going to be a pivotal year and I believe that laser like focus on achieving our goals is needed. In the background is what we do well – liaison with government and the public. This effort is led so very ably by Adam White, a past President.
I have my own goals that I believe will make us stronger this year, and they are limited to three:-
•The new building – no cost overruns, on time and ready for occupancy by the end of next year. Sven, our new Treasurer, is committed to make this happen. This building will become a Lake Hood and Anchorage icon. It is also the biggest project the Airmen’s has ever undertaken. We have raised $430,000 towards the building and it has been supplemented by a very generous donation from the Rasmusson Foundation in the amount of $300,000. Our plan is to sell and move the existing headquarters this winter and drive piles while the ground is frozen. Building construction will start in Spring next year. This is also the appropriate point at which to thank our membership for their donations both monetarily and in services for our new HQ.
•Membership is a key to our influence and survival. We always need to remember that our members supplement the efforts of the Board – and we have a lot of them to draw on – 2300 at this point. But it is up to every one of us to encourage others to join. We have 9000+ pilots in state, so there stands a goal. Fully a quarter of our membership is from Outside where there is an even larger pool of potential members.
•Youth – attracting the next generation. Besides advocacy for the present, promoting safety and protecting our rights as pilots to fly, this must be a huge goal. This is about ensuring that our vision lives on and there are young pilots to replace us in future.
By way of closing, I would like to thank Dee and Greg in Anchorage and Harry in Fairbanks for their service. They are the glue that holds this organization together. While they may implement many, if not all, our programs it is our membership who are the eyes and ears for the Association. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.