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The SSA Three Year Strategic Plan 2009-2011

The purpose of the Soaring Society of America is to foster and promote the sport of soaring in the United States.
The SSA will promote and support the sport of soaring by providing services and benefits to the SSA membership in the United States in the following areas:
  1. Marketing and promotion of the sport both to the flying community and to the public at large.
  2. Representing the soaring movement to local, national and international governments, air sporting organizations and aviation groups.
  3. Support the financial stability of the sport by providing an insurance program for SSA members.
  4. Organizing, supporting and rewarding both individual and group competitive soaring activities.
  5. Providing channels for effective communication between all individual and organizational elements of the sport.
  6. Sponsoring and supporting safety and training programs intended to enhance the sport.
  7. Support the Mission by conducting operations in a financially responsible manner and by building endowment funds to support the Mission into the future.
  8. Provide other services and benefits, not expressly enumerated herein, that are consistent with the Purpose of the SSA and that are within the capabilities and resources of the SSA.
It is a guiding principle of the Soaring Society of America that, in accomplishing its stated Missions, SSA staff, leadership and volunteers will conduct all activities in a professional and ethical manner and will exercise all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities in a manner consistent with best business practices.
The following objectives, and their accompanying strategies, are to be treated as the highest priorities for action by the Soaring Society of America leadership, staff and volunteers, for accomplishment during this planning period.
  A. Objectives and Goals
    a. Reverse the decline in SSA membership by achieving a real growth in SSA membership during calendar year 2009.
    b. Increase SSA membership to 12,100 total members by the end of calendar year 2011 (an increase of approximately 300 members over membership level at end of 2008.)
  B. Strategies
    a. The SSA Chairman will appoint a Marketing Task Force to develop effective marketing tools and to assist in implementing them.
    b. Develop a marketing plan for national publicity and exposure for the sport.
    c. Develop a marketing plan that targets Soaring pilots who are not currently SSA members.
    d. Develop a marketing plan that targets licensed pilots who are not currently soaring pilots.
    e. Develop marketing methods and strategies for local marketing of soaring to the general public in conjunction with SSA Clubs, Chapters, and Business and Commercial Operator members.
    f. Support third-party efforts to publicize the sport, such as soaring videos.
  A. Objectives and Goals
    a. Insure that the SSA's voice is heard by the appropriate representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), other United States regulatory agencies and U.S. state and local agencies whose authority may impact the soaring community.
    b. Insure that SSA has an effective national voice within the National Aeronautic Association.
    c. Insure that SSA has an effective voice within the international gliding community, including within the FAI and the IGC.
    d. Insure that SSA has an effective liaison with U.S. based commercial and non-profit aviation-related groups such as AOPA, EAA and other sport aviation organizations.
  B. Strategies
    a. The Board of Directors will appoint volunteers who are effective advocates for SSA at the FAA, NAA, FAI, IGC, OSTIV and RTCA.
    b. The Board of Directors will reach out to other sport aviation groups and will seek ways to cooperate with such groups in publicizing and expanding sport aviation, including soaring.
    c. SSA will consider participation in aviation related expositions/airshows as funds and volunteer resources permit and where an appropriate benefit to SSA can be realized from such participation.
  A. Objectives and Goals
    a. Protect and continue SSA's group insurance program, available to SSA members as a membership benefit.
    b. Educate and inform SSA members of the value and benefits of SSA's insurance group program.
  B. Strategies
    a. The Board of Directors shall appoint an SSA member, who is experienced in insurance matters, to serve as the Board's representative with the provider of SSA's group insurance program.
    b. With the assistance of SSA's insurance representative, at least once every two years, the Board of Directors shall formally evaluate the competiveness and effectiveness of the insurance program.  The first such formal evaluation shall take place no later than the fall 2009 BOD meeting.
  A. Objectives and Goals
    a. Continue to support formal soaring competitions in the United States.
    b. Continue to support formal soaring competitions internationally.
    c. Continue to support participation in FAI badge and record cross-country flying.
    d.      Support and promote non-traditional competition among soaring pilots through the On Line Contest (OLC) and other vehicles for competition.
  B.     Strategies
    a. Through the SSA Contest Committee, provide organizational support to all phases of soaring competition.
    b. Foster cross-country soaring by promoting the SSA FAI badge and records programs and by providing organizational support for those programs.
    c. Increase SSA member participation in the OLC by promoting the OLC in Soaring magazine and on the SSA website, and by developing on-line information and instructional materials.
  A. Objectives and Goals
    a. Maintain and improve the quality and value of SSA's flagship printed publication, SOARING magazine.
    b. Explore ways to make publication of SOARING magazine more profitable.
    c. Improve the usefulness of the SSA website to both SSA members and to the public at large.
    d. Maintain an outreach to SSA members through electronic communications, such as E-News.
  B.     Strategies
    a. Improve SOARING magazine by:
      i. Establish an effective Editorial Review Board for the purposes of (1) assisting the editor in obtaining quality content for the magazine, (2) reviewing all articles for technical and scientific accuracy, and (3) otherwise assisting the editor to improve the overall content of the magazine.
      ii. Insuring that all articles are carefully proofread.
    b.      Improve the SSA website by:
      i. Complete the existing project to scan back issues of SOARING magazine and make them available on the SSA website.
      ii. Complete the existing project to put sailplane directory on line.
      iii. Continue to look for initiatives to make website more useful to the membership.
    c. Use E-News to advise SSA members of time-sensitive information regarding soaring events and activities, such as monthly reports to the membership on finances and on soaring accomplishments.
  A.     Objectives and goals
    a. Promote safety in soaring through pilot education, program development, information dissemination, and publication of accident statistics.
    b. Development and maintain the ABC & Bronze Badge training program and appoint SSA instructors.
    c. Review training manuals, develop procedures, and disseminate information related to training glider/motorglider pilots and flight instructors.
    d. Attend and participate in, OSTIV TSP & SDP meetings, including presenting papers at OSTIV Congresses.
    e. Communicating and coordinating with, other countries, their regulatory agencies and other entities such as ICAO Panels, FAI, IGC, EGU, SAE, RTCA, EUROCAE, regarding matters relevant to safety and training activity.
  B. Strategies
    a. Insure that the Trustees appointed to the Soaring Safety Foundation are diligent individuals who are dedicated to improving the safety record of soaring in the United States.
    b. Generate and disseminate via mailings, SOARING magazine, video, and the web site safety-oriented material for publication and use by chapters, clubs, glider instructors, SSA members, and other individuals.
    c. Conduct and provide instructor revalidation clinics, seminars on safety, and site surveys at conventions and elsewhere.
    d. Collect and evaluate accident data from NTSB, FAA and insurers.
    e. In conjunction with the SSA Government Liaison subcommittee and other SSA subcommittees deemed appropriate.
      i. Communicate with US Government aircraft and pilot certification officials and US Government aviation and safety agencies on safety and training matters to formulate and interpret regulatory material.
      ii. Develop and propose recommendations for changes in aviation and safety regulations, including installation, utilization, and training criteria for transponders and other technological developments such as heads-up displays, cockpit display of traffic information, and automatic dependent surveillance broadcast systems.
      iii. Identify technical and other changes which might be useful to improving the safety of soaring and develop the means of implementation and training thereof.
    f. Consider ways to harmonize worldwide issues relating to training and safety.
  A. Objectives and goals
    a. Maintain the books and records of the SSA, including all subsidiary groups of the SSA, in accordance with proper accounting rules and procedures.
    b. Insure proper budgeting and cash management of the SSA's financial affairs.
    c. Preserve the financial integrity of SSA's financial activities by insuring that proper accounting controls are in place.
    d. Provide membership with timely and meaningful information about SSA finances.
    e. Preserve and increase the financial resources available to support SSA and its Mission through fund raising activities.
  B. Strategies
    a. Engage a reputable public accounting firm to perform an audit of SSA's books and records annually, as required by SSA's bylaws.
    b. Provide quarterly financial reports (income statements and balance sheets) of SSA financial operations to the membership not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal quarter.
    c. Conduct yearly fund raising activities within the SSA membership through annual Eagle Fund campaign.
    d. Complete and implement a comprehensive manual of accounting and financial practices to insure uniformity of procedures and to avoid loss of institutional knowledge when key personnel leave the organization.
    e. Revitalize fundraising mission and efforts by SSA Foundation.
    f. Be open to opportunities to raise funds by providing naming opportunities for endowment and unrestricted gifts.


Phillip C. Umphres

Al Tyler, Cindy Brickner, John P. Dezzutti, David Pixton
  Vice Chairs

Denise Layton
  Chief Administrative Officer

Posted: 1/30/2009