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USPA Summer Board Meeting Minutes Highlights

The minutes of USPA’s summer board meeting are up – download here .

First, a brief guide to reading meeting minutes: the board of directors follows the parliamentary procedures of Robert’s Rules of Order. According to Robert’s Rules, any time you want to get something done, a member brings it up as a motion. Any motion has to be seconded—that is, at least one other person on the board has to be interested in talking about or voting on whatever it is the first person wants to talk about. The person who seconds may or may not agree with the motion.

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So, in USPA’s meeting minutes, each motion’s informal title is first listed in bold. A short explanation for the motion is on the second line. The third line, in bold, lists the results of voting as x/y/z where x=votes for, y=votes against and z=abstained (no vote). The person who brought the motion to vote is in parentheses. Voters can opt to have their vote specifically listed at the end of this line, but this is not required or common. The fourth line, in italics and quotations, is USPA’s official action if the vote passes.

A. Resignation of Pacific Regional Director.
Mr. Chris Quaintance submitted his resignation as the Pacific Regional Director. The following motion results:
….. Motion 10:     Passed, 17/2/0          (Mr. Stokes) Farrington opposed
“Move to accept the resignation of Chris Quaintance as the Pacific Regional Director.”

So this bit means that the board accepted Chris’ resignation, after a vote of 17 for, 2 against, including Jessie Farrington against.

So, now for the highlights (Blue Skies Mag’s comments/synopses are in blue):

Item Page
1. Call To Order 3
2. Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting 3
3. Adoption of the Agenda 3
4. President’s Report 3
5. Interim Actions (Mr. Stokes) 3
6. Treasurer’s Report (Dr. Schlichtemeier) 4
7. Executive Director’s Report (Mr. Scott) 5

“Mid-year member activity indicators are up in every category, and are ahead of numbers for the same period last year, and for the last several years. Financial information is complete through the end of May, indicating that USPA is in a much-improved financial condition compared to the same period last year. Fatalities are way down for this period.

“USPA has contracted with Unitrin/Kemper insurance to offer discounted home and auto insurance policies to our members. Rigs are specifically covered in the agreement, and new policies will result in royalties to USPA.

“Finally, USPA is near agreement to offer an affinity credit card to our members. There would be no annual fee for the rewards card and a competitive interest rate. Members will be able to select from a variety of skydiving photos to go on the card, or even upload their own photo. Again, royalties can be earned by USPA.”

8. IPC Delegate Report 6

“The Full BOD gave the IPC Delegate direction to support future World Air Games and World Games but not in the same year.”

“The Completion [sic] Committee has formed an ad hoc committee to gather information and explore ways to voice our strong objection to the out of competition testing portion of World Anti Doping Association. ” [Ed.: likely the Competition Committee]

Marylou Laughlin, as the U.S. delegate to the IPC, will put an item on the 2010 IPC agenda to include Wingsuit Largest Formation as a new performance world record category.

9. Old Business
A. Resignation of Pacific Regional Director 7
B. Selection of Pacific Regional Director 7

Chris Quaintance resigned; Craig Stapleton was elected by secret ballot to replace. (Any USPA vote having to do with a specific individual is usually done by secret ballot.) J.P. Furnari and Krisanne Combs were also nominated to replace Q.

10. New Business
A. Dates And Location of The Summer 2010 USPA BOD Meeting 7

Boston, MA, on July 16-18, 2010

B. Site Selection of 2011 USPA National Championships 7

Skydive Arizona was awarded 2011 Nationals over Skydive Spaceland (host of 2009 Nationals) by secret ballot vote.

C. Site Selection of 2010 USPA National Canopy Piloting Championships 7

“Move to award the 2010 USPA National Canopy Piloting Championships to Skydive Spaceland [the sole bidder] with the addition that jump costs are based on a fuel cost of less than $3 per gallon. In the event that fuel rises above that, we reserve the right to raise jump costs in proportion. Each one dollar in extra fuel costs adds about $1.50 to the jump price.”

D. Site Selection of 2011 USPA National Canopy Piloting Championships 8

Same as 2010 CP Nationals.

11. Meeting Of The U.S. Parachute Team, Inc. 8
12. Committee Reports
A. Competition Committee 8

With help of Taya Weiss, a new record category for largest wingsuit formation was created. 2011 Collegiate Nationals awarded to Skydive Arizona. “Discussed writing into the Nationals contract between USPA and Host DZ policy for handling future sponsorship money raised by the host DZ or USPA.”

B. Constitution and By-Laws 10
C. Executive Committee 11

Cindy Gibson’s individual membership and ratings were revoked, as well as her drop zone’s USPA Group Membership, based on the Executive Committee’s (EC’s) investigation. Ms. Gibson did not appeal. Thomas Lieberman, USPA #228870, had his licenses revoked and USPA individual membership suspended for one year from May 14, 2009.

“The Mid-Atlantic Regional Director discussed further action in a 1-6* regarding a tandem incident in his region. In an agreement with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, the member elected to no longer exercise the privileges of his tandem rating and has waived the one year statute of
limitations for disciplinary action.

“The Northeastern Regional Director discussed a possible 1-6 action for an instructor in her region. After much discussion, all agreed that the instructor would be given the option for continued training with a current AFF I/E. After options were discussed with Mr. Stokes per phone call, the instructor has decided he will not renew the ratings.

“In an interim, the Executive Committee acted to revoke Mr. Mark Schlatter’s USPA individual membership and ratings based on the findings of a 1-6 investigation. Mr. Schlatter did file a timely appeal so the action so was brought to the full board for final determination. Mr. Schlatter did not appear in person before the board. Mr. Schlatter’s letter of appeal was read to the full board and discussed. The following motion resulted as a final determination.

Motion 18:     Passed, 19/0/0     (Mr. Stokes)

“Move to uphold the EC decision to revoke the USPA membership, licenses and ratings of Mark Schlatter.”

* Governance Manual Section 1-6 deals with disciplinary actions.

“USPA member Jan Meyer made a request that the following motion be added to the Executive Committee agenda: ‘Move to allow Jan Meyer to receive a written copy of the settlement agreement between 1800Skyride et al and USPA.’ After discussion no action was taken in the Executive Committee. Mr. Peek put the following motion forward to the full board:

Motion 19: Fails, 5/10/4     (Mr. Peek)     Mr. Peek for, Mr. Gozwitz against.

“Move to release to Jan Meyer the Skyride Settlement Agreement.”

Sports Promotion Task Force discussed using USPA’s existing social media outlets to recruit new jumpers, sponsors for Nationals, J. Walcher Associates’ results (they are the PR firm contracted by USPA), the possibility of hiring a USPA staff member to take the place of J. Walcher Associates and more.

D. Finance and Budget 13
E. Group Member Committee 13

“Headquarters has expressed concerns about the practical ability of the Director of Safety & Training to investigate allegations of Group Member [Pledge] violations…Mr. Hill objected to any loosening of standards for foreign drop zones as related to the Group Member Pledge. Discussion ensued that resulted in consideration of a change to the pledge that would allow modification of the commitments to permit ‘foreign equivalent’ provisions for FAA and USPA rules.”

“The second item considered was changes to the Group Member Pledge in response to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Special Investigation Report on the Safety of Parachute Jump Operations, which was published in October 2008 and has been a focus of significant activity by the headquarters Director of Government Relations Randy Ottinger.” More info here: USPA News, USPA Blog.

Motion 21: Passed, 20/0/0 (Mr. Allison)

Move to authorize the Group Membership Committee to amend the Group Member Pledge to include the following:
Each Group Member will ensure that all pilots employed or utilized for the purpose of parachute operations in association with the Group Member hold a current Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Second Class Medical certificate.

Each Group Member will ensure that all aircraft utilized by the Group Member for the purpose of parachute operations comply with commercial maintenance requirements described in FAR parts 91.409 (b) – (f) as applicable.

Additionally, each Group Member will submit to USPA Headquarters, on an annual basis in conjunction with Group Member Renewal, a completed Aircraft Status Sheet for each aircraft utilized at the Group Member drop zone.”

“It is the USPA Headquarters and the committees intention to publish and disseminate to the membership a jump pilot training syllabus based on work accomplished by Chris Schindler, although this work is incomplete at this time and is expected to be finalized prior to the Winter 2010 meeting.”

Motion 22:     Passed, 17/3/0 (Mr. Allison)    Mr. Peek & Mr. Smith against.

“Move to authorize the USPA Executive Director to negotiate with Initia a proposal to develop an electronic commerce-based marketing system for Group Member drop zones, including a proposal for a pilot program. Any interim actions are to be reviewed with the Executive Committee and require approval the full board prior to implementation.”

F. Membership Services 15

Foreign lifetime membership cost was raised to $2,500 to cover lifetime postage. Auto-renewals and/or multi-year memberships were suggested by HQ; the committee will continue discussion at the next BOD meeting.

G. Nominations and Elections 16

Photocopied ballots will continue to be accepted.

An online voting system is ready to be presented and tested, but USPA by-laws require an original signature for every vote. Also according to the by-laws, any change to the board election procedure must be approved by the full membership. Because it’s unlikely that enough of the ~31,000 members will vote, the board will attempt a proxy drive. Keep an eye out for an official notice from USPA with more details about this proxy.

“For years many have complained that petitions were too difficult, discouraged members from running for regional director and should be eliminated. While it is not within our power to do that today, we should do what we can to make them easier. What we decided was that we can allow a candidate to turn in petition signatures early, be told how many valid signatures he/she has and then be allowed to get more.”

H. Regional Directors 19

“Disciplinary actions were discussed. This is an unpleasant duty of regional directors. While maintaining safety and integrity within the sport is foremost, sometimes taking disciplinary action is complicated. The idea of an agreement between an instructional rating holder and the regional directors was discussed as an alternative option. In the event of an accident or incident, the regional director may be willing to accept an agreement with the rating holder in lieu of a disciplinary action. The agreement could include the rating holder agreeing to not exercise the privileges of his rating and waiving the statute of limitations for a disciplinary action in the future. The regional directors agreed that there may be cases where this type of agreement may be in the best interest of the sport and should be pursued. A proposal will be drafted in the interim for further discussion as the next board meeting.”

I. Safety And Training 20

The committee discussed a lot; some of which no action was taken on. See the full meeting minutes for all discussion topics. Actions taken included:

“Considering a minimum time requirement to hold a USPA Coach rating prior to obtaining a higher rating. This will be an agenda item at the next board meeting.”

The tandem instructor/examiner (I/E) requirement for tandem evaluation jumps was lowered from 50 to ten, by unanimous approval.

“A proposed syllabus was presented for USPA to create a USPA wingsuit instructor rating.” The committee approved the syllabus as a first jump syllabus to be included in the SIM after a public review and comment period. The proposed syllabus is posted at: www.uspa.org/USPAMembers/Safety/WingsuitSyllabusDraft.aspx.

A motion was proposed that would have both eliminated the requirement for tandem students to wear altimeters and extended the hard helmet requirement to them. It failed by a vote of 2-18.

11. Adjournment 23
12. Attachments 24
A. Executive Director’s Report Power Point 24

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