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AMA, finances, and "agility"

Old 02-23-2021, 09:28 AM
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franklin_m
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Default AMA, finances, and "agility"

As most will know, I've spent a lot of time detailing the poor decision making, lack of accountability for internal processes, and financial decisions made by AMA, the EC, and the ED.

Had AMA built a culture of accountability at HQ, for example simple things like having EC minutes out in 30 days w/o exception, they'd have been working on the internal accountability culture that would position them well to meet administrative requirements of the new testing system. But they didn't.

Had AMA actually slashed costs and put a fork in the magazine, the money they saved would be sitting there ready to go out and purchase a LMS to administer the FAA test. But they didn't.

But the EC continued losing money on the magazine and paying staff to do so. The EC continued paying a staff that's remained nearly constant in size despite significant drop in the number of paying members they serve. Among others.

The net result is inability to be agile and respond to the curve that FAA threw them yesterday. Time for the EC to resign.
Old 02-23-2021, 09:46 AM
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Comment withdrawn. I don’t wish to be part of this trolling effort.

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Old 02-23-2021, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
As most will know, I've spent a lot of time detailing the poor decision making, lack of accountability for internal processes, and financial decisions made by AMA, the EC, and the ED.

Had AMA built a culture of accountability at HQ, for example simple things like having EC minutes out in 30 days w/o exception, they'd have been working on the internal accountability culture that would position them well to meet administrative requirements of the new testing system. But they didn't.

Had AMA actually slashed costs and put a fork in the magazine, the money they saved would be sitting there ready to go out and purchase a LMS to administer the FAA test. But they didn't.

But the EC continued losing money on the magazine and paying staff to do so. The EC continued paying a staff that's remained nearly constant in size despite significant drop in the number of paying members they serve. Among others.

The net result is inability to be agile and respond to the curve that FAA threw them yesterday. Time for the EC to resign.
And we all know why they didn't AND why they won't resign. They didn't because none of them are business men. It's kind of like comparing Joe Biden to Donald Trump. Biden made his money through politics and his son, Trump made his through real estate and Wall Street. Had they been people that understood business, they probably would have seen the writing on the wall and acted upon it, but they didn't see or do either.
Why they won't resign would apply to the career politicians, like Nancy Pelosi. They have had a taste of power, as well as uncontested control and don't want to give it up. As long as they can dictate what's going on and who else can run against them, things will never change in Muncie.
Old 02-23-2021, 11:00 AM
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So you know the full background of everyone on the EC?
Old 02-23-2021, 11:09 AM
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Nope, never said I did. I was comparing people I do know that have been in similar positions as the ED and EC to politicians and why they acted the way they did. Some of those I knew personally had to be forced out of office by the adoption of term limits, something that they fought hard to prevent but lost due to the rest of the people involved being fed up with being told what to do, where to do it and when to be done.
Old 02-23-2021, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
So you know the full background of everyone on the EC?
Given the financial trends, I wouldn't be bragging about the EC's business prowess.

For how many years in a row have the magazines lost money?
For how many years has EC continued to pay staff for a product (magazines) that's losing money?
For how many years has EC permitted staff to remain the same size while paid membership decreased?
For how many years has EC bonused the ED despite constant decline in paid membership revenue?
Etc. Etc.
Old 02-24-2021, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Given the financial trends, I wouldn't be bragging about the EC's business prowess.

For how many years in a row have the magazines lost money?
For how many years has EC continued to pay staff for a product (magazines) that's losing money?
For how many years has EC permitted staff to remain the same size while paid membership decreased?
For how many years has EC bonused the ED despite constant decline in paid membership revenue?
Etc. Etc.
You know, this continues to indicate a business that's circling the drain. Only a matter of time.
I would say that as a group the EC doesn't give a damn. And by the time enough of the membership wakes up to that fact, it will probably be all over. But maybe some enterprising individual will file a class action law suit on behalf of the membership against the EC? Stranger things have happened!
Old 02-25-2021, 03:00 AM
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Will there be a golden parachute for the ED?
Old 02-25-2021, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
Will there be a golden parachute for the ED?
I hope not. The last two CEOs of Boeing both got huge buy outs for almost ruining the company. If the ED gets one, we'll know that the AMA is only in business to get certain people rich.
Old 03-01-2021, 07:05 AM
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I was a pastor until about 12 years ago and saw a similar thing in the local Baptist association. We got a new ED who was boorish and out of touch with the churches. He put together plans that just wouldn't fly, and frankly let it be known passively that, in general, he didn't think highly of the churches that supported him. His overall strategy was to try and get churches to pay for new church plants in the city that he expected would then pull members from those existing churches and have pastors that were loyal to him for helping them get started. Predictably, the association's budget dropped as one church after another chose to withdraw. We're talking going from about $1.5 million a year to under $800k. Yet they didn't cut a single staff member or reduce a single salary. There was a push to fire the ED which failed, then contributions dropped to under $400k. Personnel became by far the biggest budget item. So churches that had stayed started saying that the only reason the association exists is to fundraise to pay the salaries of its employees. They did do more than that, but not a whole lot due to lack of funds. Eventually, the ED resigned, and the association has continued to barely exist and keep paying its personnel. The have kept the few churches who still contribute by touting their personnel as the service that they provide.
The AMA will probably follow a similar path. Programs will go away first, then services like the magazine, then maybe the flying site, and full-time personnel last. The branding will change as the AMA presents its paid staff as the benefit to membership. "We're working to preserve the hobby" will be the tagline with news items about government advocacy and organizing multi-club events and efforts.
Old 03-01-2021, 09:42 AM
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AMA will continue to obfuscate their true status.

What matters is membership revenue. But you won't see them discuss that in open session, because the trends are awful. So how do they paper over that problem and create a positive "spin?" They use different words, first it was "total membership." They did that for a while until members figured out that one could easily juice the "total membership" category by just giving away free memberships.

So now, in the latest EC minutes, I see a different phrase with respect to membership. No trends mind you, just a single data point that sounds good only because there's zero context or trend over time presented. Simple example. If I make $0.01 profit in my company one year, and then make $0.02 the next, I can say "I've increased profits by 100%." That sounds good only because it's just one cent. Especially when it's on a $1,000,000 a year revenue. Now that sounds a whole lot less impressive doesn't it.

That's why anything growing by single digit percents, without context, is meaningless. Another thing to note about ED reports to the EC ... notice how he never uses a consistent set of metrics one meeting to the next? Much easier to create positive "spin" if you keep changing what you measure.
Old 03-01-2021, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
I was a pastor until about 12 years ago and saw a similar thing in the local Baptist association. We got a new ED who was boorish and out of touch with the churches. He put together plans that just wouldn't fly, and frankly let it be known passively that, in general, he didn't think highly of the churches that supported him. His overall strategy was to try and get churches to pay for new church plants in the city that he expected would then pull members from those existing churches and have pastors that were loyal to him for helping them get started. Predictably, the association's budget dropped as one church after another chose to withdraw. We're talking going from about $1.5 million a year to under $800k. Yet they didn't cut a single staff member or reduce a single salary. There was a push to fire the ED which failed, then contributions dropped to under $400k. Personnel became by far the biggest budget item. So churches that had stayed started saying that the only reason the association exists is to fundraise to pay the salaries of its employees. They did do more than that, but not a whole lot due to lack of funds. Eventually, the ED resigned, and the association has continued to barely exist and keep paying its personnel. The have kept the few churches who still contribute by touting their personnel as the service that they provide.
The AMA will probably follow a similar path. Programs will go away first, then services like the magazine, then maybe the flying site, and full-time personnel last. The branding will change as the AMA presents its paid staff as the benefit to membership. "We're working to preserve the hobby" will be the tagline with news items about government advocacy and organizing multi-club events and efforts.
A good explanation of how one person can bring down an organization. At AMA it's Pres. Rich Hanson, architect of AMA policy since 2008.
Hanson very early on decided drones were the future of AMA and he was behind the forced membership scheme, AMA's 2 most costly blunders.

The forced membership scheme didn't come into being until 2013, a year after 336 was passed. AMA wrote the CBO language in 336 assuming
a natural monopoly, not appreciating that drones don't need flying fields. Hence, the push for the law to require membership for RC. I never understood
how anyone could think forcing people to join AMA was a good idea, but some AMA diehards were actually on board with it.
Old 03-01-2021, 12:40 PM
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It looked good on paper.
Old 03-01-2021, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fliers1 View Post
It looked good on paper.
And it worked for a while, going by Franklin's 2013-2014 graph on his FAA Test thread with AMA membership going straight up.
It started falling apart when AMA sued the FAA. I should have added that as No. 3 in AMA's biggest blunders. It was a publicity stunt
that went nowhere and only soured things with the FAA. Membership has been going downhill since.
Old 03-02-2021, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ECHO24 View Post
And it worked for a while, going by Franklin's 2013-2014 graph on his FAA Test thread with AMA membership going straight up.
It started falling apart when AMA sued the FAA. I should have added that as No. 3 in AMA's biggest blunders. It was a publicity stunt
that went nowhere and only soured things with the FAA. Membership has been going downhill since.
Here's a graph showing the timing of 336 and it's "... AND within the programming of ..." language as it relates to membership revenue decline. Also shown is the only way AMA seems able to increase revenue, and that's by raising dues. But note. After last dues increase in approx 2002, it took 10 years for it to decline by about 1/4. After the most recent dues increase, it took just 3 years for it to decline that much.

AMA is dying under the leadership of Hanson, Budreau, and the current EC. They keep obfuscating the true status by not talking about membership revenue, choosing instead "total membership" (until we get wise to them juicing that with "free" memberships), now they're using yet another metric in the EC discussions. See minutes from January EC meeting, last sentence of first paragraph of ED's report to EC. Note that he uses "Membership ________" but without trends, context, or total numbers as a way of spinning something positive. No context of how how many full cost members gained vs. lost, senior members gained vs. lost, youth members converted to paying, etc. etc. Wonder if he was up for an annual bonus or something recently... hummmm.




Old 03-02-2021, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by franklin_m View Post
Wonder if he was up for an annual bonus or something recently... hummmm.
His annual bonus was unanimously approved at the last EC meeting....

Astro
Old 03-02-2021, 12:13 PM
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The forced membership bit would have been genius if it had worked. For all we know, someone may have promised the AMA that it would and then pulled the old switcheroo when it was time to actually do it.
Old 03-02-2021, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jester_s1 View Post
The forced membership bit would have been genius if it had worked. For all we know, someone may have promised the AMA that it would and then pulled the old switcheroo when it was time to actually do it.
How so? For money? Nowhere in its mission statement does it mention building wealth as one of its purposes.
A whole bunch of compelled memberships wouldn’t have done a damn thing to serve the current members. In fact, it would have divided the membership all that much more, but I’m sure the Executives’ bonuses would have been amazing!
Old 03-02-2021, 12:45 PM
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It was an attempt to get the clowns to at least have exposure to some safety programming and common sense.

Misguided or not? Who knows, but that was the intent, not bonuses or a money grab.
Old 03-02-2021, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It was an attempt to get the clowns to at least have exposure to some safety programming and common sense.
Clowns? who are the, "clowns"?

Astro
Old 03-02-2021, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by astrohog View Post
Clowns? who are the, "clowns"?

Astro
Pretty sure you can figure that out
Old 03-02-2021, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
Pretty sure you can figure that out
I see what you did there
Old 03-02-2021, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It was an attempt to get the clowns to at least have exposure to some safety programming and common sense. Misguided or not? Who knows, but that was the intent, not bonuses or a money grab.
You can declare that was not the intent all you like, but if we're to believe you then we would have to ignore:

1. The timing (after a decade of declining revenue), multiple statements, and
2. Hanson's declaration in the magazine that FAA's answer to me wrong (saying they did not interpret 336 as requiring membership).

For if indeed the intent of the language was NOT to require membership, then there would no reason for him to write that FAA's interpretation to that effect was wrong. But you see, he did declare that FAA's was wrong, thus proving that the intent all along was for that language to require membership.
Old 03-02-2021, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
It was an attempt to get the clowns to at least have exposure to some safety programming and common sense.

Misguided or not? Who knows, but that was the intent, not bonuses or a money grab.
One of my chief complaints has been AMA touting their safety program when all it is is a check box on the application. There is no follow up by AMA whether that
new member even bothered to read the application much less the rules. It's another example of AMA wanting to take credit for something without the responsibility,
which AMA tried to scale up claiming the same thing in going after the drone crowd, when AMA well knew they were wholesale violators of any and all rules.

Old 03-03-2021, 05:41 AM
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BarracudaHockey, I sent you a pm

Last edited by fliers1; 03-03-2021 at 05:43 AM.

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