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If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Old 07-12-2010, 06:21 AM
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aeajr
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Default If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...



Whether you have a real good understanding of the Academy of Aeronautics or not, you are welcome to post your thoughts.



Let's assume that you had the power to change the AMA to make it a better organization. How would you change it so that more people would wish to be members?



Or think of this as the opportunity to create the perfect model aviation association,one that you would want to join. What would it look like? What would its mission be?



The only rules for this discussion is that we treat each other respectfully. All ideas are valid, as long as they are on topic,and all points of view are welcome. This is not about throwing rocks, it is about creating something better or something new. This is a fantasy game. So let's play, and, of course, let's try tostay somewhat on topic.



Let's see what positive ideas come out of this.



============================================
AS A REFERENCE I POST THIS FROM THE AMA WEB SITE
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T REALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS



What is the AMA?



•AMA is the Academy of Model Aeronautics.



•AMA is the world's largest model aviation association, representing a membership of more than 150,000 from every walk of life, income level and age group.



•AMA is a self-supporting, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity.



•AMA is an organization open to anyone interested in model aviation.



•AMA is the official national body for model aviation in the United States. AMA sanctions more than a thousand model competitions throughout the country each year, and certifies official model flying records on a national and international level.



•AMA is the organizer of the annual National Aeromodeling Championships, the world's largest model airplane competition.



•AMA is the chartering organization for more than 2,500 model airplane clubs across the country. AMA offers its chartered clubs official contest sanction, insurance, and assistance in getting and keeping flying sites.



•AMA is the voice of its membership, providing liaison with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, and other government agencies through our national headquarters in Muncie, Indiana. AMA also works with local governments, zoning boards, and parks departments to promote the interests of local chartered clubs.



•AMA is an associate member of the National Aeronautic Association. Through NAA, AMA is recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body of all aviation activity, as the only organization which may direct U.S. participation in international aeromodeling activities.
For more detailed information, contact the Academy of Model Aeronautics, Marketing Department, 5161 E. Memorial Drive, Muncie, Indiana, 47302 or telephone 1-765-287-1256.




AMA Vision



We, the members of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, are the pathway to the future of modeling and are committed to making modeling the foremost sport/hobby in the world.
This vision is accomplished through:



•Affiliation with its valued associates, the modeling industry and governments.



•A process of continuous improvement.



•A commitment to leadership, quality, education and scientific/technical development.



•A safe, secure, enjoyable modeling environment.




AMA Mission



The Academy of Model Aeronautics is a world-class association of modelers organized for the purpose of promotion, development, education, advancement, and safeguarding of modeling activities.



The Academy provides leadership, organization, competition, communication, protection, representation, recognition, education, and scientific/technical development to modelers



The above was copied from this link on the AMA site:
http://www.modelaircraft.org/aboutama/whatisama.aspx

Old 07-12-2010, 09:19 AM
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littlecrankshaf
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

If I could effect a change it would be to start an initiative to find and acquire more flying sites that do not necessarily need AMA to exist on an ongoing basis.
Old 07-12-2010, 10:07 AM
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aeajr
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...



Thanks!

Old 07-12-2010, 10:37 AM
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Lifer
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Term limits for council members and the executive council would be my first request.
Old 07-12-2010, 10:59 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: Lifer

Term limits for council members and the executive council would be my first request.
Sounds fine.

Any particular term limits or any particular EC positions?

If you would care to expand on the goal or the reason you would feel this would be helpful, that would be fine. I am not familiar with the EC structure or their term and othes who read this may also not be familiar with it.

Just a request, not required.

Old 07-12-2010, 11:27 AM
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combatpigg
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

There is nothing you can do short of paying people to join that will make a significant impact on membership. There is more and more competition for people's free time and disposable income today than there ever has been.

So, it's time to face the facts that this hobby sits squarely where it is going to sit in the eyes and wallets of the general population and that throwing money at programs to boost membership is not going to accomplish anything except drain our bank account.

Once our national economy makes a full recovery, membership will increase due to the laws of economics. Of course by then, the AMA will boast that any increase in membership should be attributed to all the excellent recruitment programs put in place by their tireless staff.
Old 07-12-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: combatpigg

There is nothing you can do short of paying people to join that will make a significant impact on membership. There is more and more competition for people's free time and disposable income today than there ever has been.

So, it's time to face the facts that this hobby sits squarely where it is going to sit in the eyes and wallets of the general population and that throwing money at programs to boost membership is not going to accomplish anything except drain our bank account.

Once our national economy makes a full recovery, membership will increase due to the laws of economics. Of course by then, the AMA will boast that any increase in membership should be attributed to all the excellent recruitment programs put in place by their tireless staff.

I take it from your note that you are fine with the AMAjust the way it is. Would that be correct?
Old 07-12-2010, 01:22 PM
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combatpigg
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

They could probably find ways to cut back on overhead and still be fully functional. I like Hoss's ideas about how to restructure themselves as a business entity as well as how the magazine should be run.
Old 07-12-2010, 01:32 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: aeajr
Let's assume that you had the power to change the AMA to make it a better organization. How would you change it so that more people would wish to be members?
I would urge the AMA marketeers to address the right question. LCS already answered as he has countless times before in different words. The right question requires more than lip service to AMA's mission is as stated. Accordingly, I would rephrase the question slightly and ask the leaders of AMA to act like they believe in it:

How would you change it so that more people would wish to be modelers?

Old 07-12-2010, 01:40 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: cj_rumley


ORIGINAL: aeajr
Let's assume that you had the power to change the AMA to make it a better organization. How would you change it so that more people would wish to be members?
I would urge the AMA marketeers to address the right question. LCS already answered as he has countless times before in different words. The right question requires more than lip service to AMA's mission is as stated. Accordingly, I would rephrase the question slightly and ask the leaders of AMA to act like they believe in it:

How would you change it so that more people would wish to be modelers?

Just to make sure I understand, this is AMA's mission statement.



AMA Mission



The Academy of Model Aeronautics is a world-class association of modelers organized for the purpose of promotion, development, education, advancement, and safeguarding of modeling activities.



The Academy provides leadership, organization, competition, communication, protection, representation, recognition, education, and scientific/technical development to modelers


I am a little unclear on exactly what you would change, so I am going to try and restate it. Let me know if I get it right.

What you are saying is that you feel the current leadership is not committed to this mission statement.And you feel that the way to better live up to this mission statement is well stated byLCSa few posts back. Hopefully I got that right.

OK, thanks.



Let the ideas continue!
Old 07-12-2010, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: Lifer

Term limits for council members and the executive council would be my first request.
It seems there are term limits in place today. Here is the section on term limits. How would you change it? And,ifthat change were made, how would it help AMAto be a better organization that would do a better job to serve the membership and the sport/hobby as a whole?

Just trying to better understand your idea.


Term limits from AMA bylaws.

"Article X Section 3
Section 3. Any elected officer of the association is limited to
serving in the same position to three consecutive full terms. After
this third term the officer may not run again for the same elected
position without standing down for at least one election cycle.
After one cycle an individual may run again for a previously held
position and be eligible to serve for another three consecutive full
terms.

In any election, if there is no qualified candidate* of record (as
determined by the chair of the Nominating Committee) 30 days
before the nomination process ends**, an incumbent officer who
has served the maximum number of complete terms may then be
considered for an additional term by being nominated, per normal
procedures, for the position currently held. If elected, this officer
must stand down after this one term unless there is no qualified
nominee, as determined above, in a subsequent cycle.
Those current elected officers at the date of adoption of these
term limitations, who have served three or more consecutive full
terms in the same position are granted eligibility to run for their
current position for one additional consecutive full term after
completion of their current term, after which they must stand
down and/or be subject to the provisions of these term limitations."
Old 07-12-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

If I were king, I would have put the national site some place better. Vegas or Daytona or someplace the rest of the family might enjoy, maybe near Orlando. Sticking it in Muncie was an aweful mistake. OR, there should be no national site. We could go back to the days when the NATS location moved around. The AMA could have kept the officein DC.


As far as the fluff in the AMA's mission statement, that is required boilerplate for the non-profit status. The AMA clearly doesn't live up to the statement. Oh, they meet the legal requirement. But, 2 or 3 partial scholarships ? Really ? IF the AMA was really going to be involved in education, don't you think this organization might have done a little more than that ? Listen, I'm not knocking them. They must claim what they must claim and I understand that.But lets not try to kid ourselves, ie, don't drink your ownCoolAid.

Mission statements are where the rubber meets the sky. Give mereal tangible evidence that this organizations' goal is education. Or for that matter, how has theAMA been promoting the hobby? By meeting with the FAA and saying all the wrong things ? We wouldhave been better off without representation. Amatuers WILLnegotiate forthe shortend of the stick every time. A savvy representative would have understood exactly what to say to avoid any mention of model airplanes inany further regulation. You guys stay below 400 feet don't you ? Why no, wefly much higher than that,.etc,etc,etc. Dumb and dumber wouldn't have said that. For decades these typesof meetings havegone off without a hitch. You guys don't fly above 400 feet do you, (wink) ? Why, no wegenerally stay well below that, (wink). Great, then I can see no conflict or need for regulation.THISTIME OURGUYSARGUEDFORREGULATION!!!!!! I realize there is an overlyliterate contingent that won't understand what I'm saying here.But,if I were king, the AMA would not ask to be regulated by the FAA.
Old 07-12-2010, 03:00 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

i wish the AMA had more people in the field to help with organizing new clubs a or to just help boost interest in our sport. the AMA does an outstanding job in my opinion and im a proud member, but i think if we could spread the word in the rural areas where there is not much to do anyways might spark a huge wave of new interest. mark inmon
Old 07-12-2010, 03:18 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: aeajr


Just to make sure I understand, this is AMA's mission statement.

<snipped for brevity> "Academy provides leadership, organization, competition, communication, protection, representation, recognition, education, and scientific/technical development to modelers."

I am a little unclear on exactly what you would change, so I am going to try and restate it. Let me know if I get it right.

What you are saying is that you feel the current leadership is not committed to this mission statement. And you feel that the way to better live up to this mission statement is well stated by LCS a few posts back. Hopefully I got that right.
Yes, I think you got the gist of it. Just to be sure, the word I highlighted in the phrase from the Mission Statement was "its members" in a prior version. The wording changed I presume to appear in conformance with intent of IRS 501 (c) (3) that exemption from taxes is granted to a non-profit organization that acts substantively in the public interest. And yes, I feel the current leadership is not committed to that public good aspect in particular, hence my use of the phrase 'lip service." I also agree with LCS (correct me if have misunderstood your position on this LCS), that the exclusionary "members only" approach that permeates AMA policy has proven beyond reasonable doubt not to work for either modeling or AMA. Modeling outside of AMA (as in park flying) is growing as AMA shrinks. More is needed than excuses like "its the bad economy, tomorrow is another day" if that trend is to change.
Old 07-12-2010, 04:01 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

i wish the AMA had more people in the field to help with organizing new clubs a or to just help boost interest in our sport.
i think if we could spread the word in the rural areas where there is not much to do anyways might spark a huge wave of new interest. mark inmon
This is probably very difficult to do but I would wager it would produce the best results. I am 56 and have known many people and I am shocked that there is so very little known about RC flying. Most people have little to no clue about it at all. It is kept like some secret club or something and I often am perplexed as to why that is so. Awareness (promote, promote, promote...did I state promote?) is huge in most sport circles and I think it would mega increase the RC hobby! [8D]
Old 07-12-2010, 04:13 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Thanks guys.  Good stuff.

As long as we keep things somewhat positive and focus on what could be done rather than what may or may not have been done in the past this could be a real interesting and possibly valuable discussion.  Specifics are alwas best.

I get the message about doing more for the hobby rather than just for members.  I am not really sure how one does that without members to support the effort, but I do get the general message. 

Any thoughts on how to implement something that does not require members?  How would you fund it?  How would you staff it?

I am not knocking the idea.  Just trying to draw out more details.


And, please, more new people with new ideas. 
Old 07-12-2010, 04:30 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

i really think it has to start at the top, if i were a AMA offical i would look at the areas where we had little or no activity. i would then go to the nearest AMA backed club and get some members willing to do a road trip to some of the areas, maybe do a mall show? put up a AMA tent outside? we really need to get back to basics to get the word out and yes the cost to do this is a issue but im sure if involved any club member or volunteer would be glad to help in that area as well, i know i would!!
Old 07-12-2010, 04:41 PM
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Jim Thomerson
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

My major complaint with the AMA for many years has been the AMA's aversion to promoting model aviation to the general public at the national level. What promotion there is is the work of clubs and individuals at the local level. We run World Championships, unknown even to inhabitants of Muncie, while the National Jumprope Association has their National Championships on ESPN and the Disney Channel. And there are also exciting tumbler stacking contests on TV. I've been told repeatedly that you can't publicize model aviation to the general public. To which I say, "Can't never could!"
Old 07-12-2010, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: Jim Thomerson

My major complaint with the AMA for many years has been the AMA's aversion to promoting model aviation to the general public at the national level. What promotion there is is the work of clubs and individuals at the local level. We run World Championships, unknown even to inhabitants of Muncie, while the National Jumprope Association has their National Championships on ESPN and the Disney Channel. And there are also exciting tumbler stacking contests on TV. I've been told repeatedly that you can't publicize model aviation to the general public. To which I say, "Can't never could!"
Some VERYinteresting points! Thanks!
Old 07-12-2010, 05:05 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I would work with local clubs to try to set up some flying sites along the lines of the AMA national
site at least four of such sites nation wide. next I would make the insurance coverage primary
or at least offer the option.
Old 07-12-2010, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Respectfully??? I would have the AMA go back to its original long range plans from many years ago and hold the nats at regional locations..More than that I would invest in properties in various areas to help save clubs where property is needed to start or save a club.Lest we forget the single biggest obstacle we face as a hobby is permamnet safe flying fields. had we been doing this the last 25 years I believe we could have grown the hobby better.

When was the last time you went to munice??and moving things around certainly would have given us more pubic exposure.

I pay my dues and will continue but you asked and that is what is on my mind.
Old 07-12-2010, 06:38 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: aeajr

Thanks guys. Good stuff.

As long as we keep things somewhat positive and focus on what could be done rather than what may or may not have been done in the past this could be a real interesting and possibly valuable discussion. Specifics are alwas best.

I get the message about doing more for the hobby rather than just for members. I am not really sure how one does that without members to support the effort, but I do get the general message.

Any thoughts on how to implement something that does not require members? How would you fund it? How would you staff it?

I am not knocking the idea. Just trying to draw out more details.


And, please, more new people with new ideas.
How much are promo materials, banners, posters, emails, snail mail, articles, some new paint? You clean up when company comes, right? How much effort does it take to get the local clubs more involved? How many clubs are there to get promo materials to? Can the district folks get things moving at the ground level by a strong push/initiative from the AMA? The whole attitude has to change from demote to promote and build up. In order to make it the best sport for everyone you have to make it the best sport for everyone! If you want people involved, you involve people!

Our club has 67 or so members and we hardly have any events - a couple of night flys, a new years day fly, a combined fun fly with another club, and one October Fun Fly...sheeesh...talk about lacking...I am depressing myself now! [:@] [:@] The bad thing is I think there are only about 25 members that are active and of those only about 5-10 real active. I am not even retired and I think I fly as much or more than most the guys there.

One spark starts a fire and if properly fueled it can become an enormous fire!
Old 07-12-2010, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I do a lot of flying.

People stop around, ask about the planes, ask about flying....
Some ask about joining the club to fly at the field.

Everything goes well... until I talk about the $58 for the AMA.

At that point the light goes out.

The "academy" should make the paper rag optional,
or at least electronically optional.
It would save them "all those mailing costs", but more important
the "secondary insurance" should cost $22.

To echo combatpigg, its about the $$.

I don't get paid to instruct,
maybe the ama will help with that..........
Old 07-12-2010, 07:28 PM
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aeajr
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Thanks guys!

Keep it coming.

Old 07-12-2010, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: Jim Thomerson

My major complaint with the AMA for many years has been the AMA's aversion to promoting model aviation to the general public at the national level. What promotion there is is the work of clubs and individuals at the local level. We run World Championships, unknown even to inhabitants of Muncie, while the National Jumprope Association has their National Championships on ESPN and the Disney Channel. And there are also exciting tumbler stacking contests on TV. I've been told repeatedly that you can't publicize model aviation to the general public. To which I say, ''Can't never could!''
To add to Jim's very good points. Just the other night Discovery channel had a 1 hour program on LDRS (Large and Dangerous Rocket Shoot) the premier launch of the Tripoli Rocketry Association. The name is tounge in cheek, it is a very well run program that has now been held 29 times. Why is someone from the AMA not on the phone asking for coverage of Joe Nall, SEFF, Top Gun or one of the other large fly in/contests. If you want to reach out to a broader group you have to hit them where they live, in front of the TV of course.

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