This change in leadership represents one of the largest changes in our region in over 20 years. That's right! Former USPA Central Regional Director Bill Hayes worked on your behalf for over 20 years, sometimes visibly, but more often, "behind the scenes", and with little recognition from the skydivers in his area.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Glenn Owsiany from Stanford, Illinois for also running for the office of Central Regional Director. When you see Glenn at various drop zones in the future, please take the time to thank him for giving you a choice in the election. (Many USPA Regional Directors run for their office unopposed.)
Although I can only send this report to a small percentage of skydivers in our region (which currently numbers around 2400), my intention is to make it available to as many people as I can. I plan to do this by sending it to drop zones, S&TA's, and other skydivers in our region who are in contact with many skydivers or who visit several drop zones. If you want your own copy of a future report, send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I will send you the next available report after I prepare it. Keep sending them and I will keep sending reports.
If you have any questions about our organization or the issues in this report, a good place to start is with the person or organization whose name appears on the mailing address of this report. It is likely that they will have years of experience and familiarity with USPA matters.
There were 8 new board members (Directors) out of 22 at this meeting, one of the largest changes in a long time, and I think you will soon begin seeing the effects of this change.
USPA's BOD is broken down into committees to do the majority of the work and decision making. When a new Board is elected the following things happen at the first Board meeting: The new Board elects the officers, the President selects committee chairs, and those chairs select/solicit committee members. The full Board often favors the recommendations of the committees, since the committees often do a great deal of work and research between Board meetings.
I was asked to be on the Membership Services committee chaired by Al Goswitz and the Sport Development committee chaired by Bob Rhynearson. The results of the work that we do between now and the BOD meeting in July is what may be acted on at that meeting. If you have questions about the committees on which I serve or the work I am doing you may most definitely contact me.
For more information on the January BOD meeting and USPA's committee's see the article in the March 1997 Parachutist.
One of the most important things you can do when providing input to USPA concerning its programs is to write a letter to the committee responsible for the program and to send a copy to your Regional Director, (and to National Directors as well). Verbal communication with your Regional Director is good, but letters are much better.
Let's say your Regional Director is at a Board of Director's meeting discussing an issue of importance to you. Which statement would you rather have them say?
A. A lot of people in my region think this is a good/bad idea. Why? Well, I think because...
B. It's obvious that this is a good/bad idea because here are copies of letters from 5 drop zones and 12 individuals in my region. Listen to what they have to say...
You need to write these letters particularly if you from are a small drop zone because the large drop zones do, and USPA will take the direction of those from whom they hear.
Your Regional Director went to the January 1997 BOD meeting without a single letter from a drop zone or individual member concerning the new Enhanced Group Member Program, even though this program has caused more negative responses to USPA than any other program or change that he can remember!
For notices and information you may have missed on the new Group Member Program refer to the articles in the March 1997 Parachutist and the Winter 1996-97 issue of The Professional.
For notices and information you may have missed on the Basic Instructor Course (BIC) refer to the articles in the May 1996 Parachutist and the Summer 1996 issue of The Professional.
Get that Rating! With skydiving becoming more visible all the time and with more people skydiving each year, our sport is suffering from a shortage of qualified Jumpmasters, Instructors, and Parachute Riggers in many areas. Now is the time for you to get qualified to participate in this sport not just a skydiver, but as a professional, (whether you make your living in the skydiving industry or not). If you have any questions about how to get started on this endeavor, contact your local S&TA. It is never too early to start working on a rating.
HQ = USPA Headquarters: (703) 836-3495 RD = Your Regional Director SIM = Skydivers Information Manual S&TA = Your drop zone's Safety and Training Adviser PARA = Parachutist magazine CD = Jumpmaster/Instructor certication Course Director PROF = The Professional DZ = Drop zone management For Member Services: - Copies of the Skydivers Information Manual (SIM) DZ, HQ (USPA Store) - Requirements for licenses, ratings, and awards SIM - Skydiving license applications S&TA - Award applications (wings, freefall time, RW & CRW, etc. S&TA - Instructional Rating pre-certification course material HQ - Upcoming instructional certification courses PARA - Information about USPA programs and changes PARA, PROF - 10, 15, 20, etc. year USPA membership certificates: Issued by HQ automatically, if overdue by more than 2 months, contact them. To Register Complaints: - Parachutist magazine delivery problems HQ - Membership card delivery problems or accuracy HQ - Ratings cards post-course delivery problems or accuracy CD, HQ - Safety concerns at USPA group member drop zones DZ, then S&TA, then RD When You Have Large Problems: - Airport access issues HQ, RD - Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues HQ, RD Making Your Suggestions Heard: - Concerning USPA programs and policies S&TA, RD (in writing), HQ (in writing), BOD committee (in writing).