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SSA Executive Committee Meeting - April 1, Minutes

Draft 04.17.03


Present: Messrs. Short (Chairman), Northcraft, Mockler, Garner and Carswell

In the Chair: Short

Attending: Alan Gleason, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

The meeting was called to order at 2013 CST and, a quorum being present, proceeded to business. It was joined by Northcraft at 2040 CST.

Accounting Investigation. The Chairman referred to the Accounting Investigation Proposal dated March 24, 2003 sent by the Excomm to the Board of Directors for comment, and reported that feedback received from individual Directors clearly indicated a desire for the Directors to receive the team report on the results of Stage 1, the internal investigation; and a small minority of the Directors had also indicated a concern about the independence of the investigating Directors. After discussion it was unanimously agreed that the investigating team would comprise Chip Garner, Director and Vice Chair, and Chip Fitzpatrick, Director, and also, if available, Scratch Lee, an SSA member involved in the banking business in Littlefield TX, to carry out the Stage 1 task set out in the Proposal. It was emphasized that time was of the essence in conducting the investigation. The remit to the investigating team would include making a draft report to the Excomm to permit review, comment and clarification, if necessary. The definitive report would be made to the Excomm, with a copy being provided to each of the Directors. As the work would involve going to Hobbs and was beyond the normal duties expected of Directors, the members of the investigating team would be entitled to receive reimbursement of their reasonable travel expenses in accordance with the SSA's Expenses and Travel Policy.

Executive Director Search. The Chairman next referred to the search for a new executive director and referred to the details contained in the SSA webpage, in particular those touching on the responsibility of the executive director for the operational management of the SSA, and serving as the primary liaison between the Board and the staff. It was noted that if any material change was needed to be made to the responsibilities of the executive director, there should be consultation with the Directors before making such change. After discussion, it was reaffirmed that the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and Member Services Director (MSD) would report to the executive director, but that all decisions in respect of changes to compensation, hiring and firing would be subject to the approval of the Excomm.

Excomm Summer Meeting. It was unanimously agreed that the summer meeting of the Excomm would be held in Chicago on Sunday June 8, 2003.

Financial Report. Gleason reported briefly on the financial position of the SSA, focusing on the period January - March, 2003. He indicated that revenue had come in over budget, and, with the exception of payments for contract labor, expenses under budget. That notwithstanding, cash flow remained very tight, exacerbated by slow payment of dues by clubs and chapters. Office morale was good.

Salary Increase. The Excomm recorded their satisfaction with Gleason rising to the challenge of being temporary acting chief executive. Despite his change in title to Chief Financial and Administrative Officer in February 2003, he had not received any increase in compensation. It was unanimously agreed that his base salary be increased by 10%, effective April 1, 2003.

Hobbs Staffing. The Excomm reviewed workload and staffing of the office in Hobbs, and identified a likely critical shortfall in the August - October, 2003 period if the new MSD had not started work by August. Some programs would require to be deferred to let the existing staff focus on the priority issues including the necessary preparatory work for the 2004 Atlanta Convention. It was recognized than the ideal was for the new executive director to be involved in the selection process of the MSD, however, if the executive director selection was to be delayed much beyond mid-year, it would be necessary to go forward with the MSD hiring process without the involvement of the executive director. The Excomm agreed to review the situation at its June '03 meeting.

P 40 Negotiations. The Chairman then referred to the out-of-hand rejection by the Department of Defense (DoD) of the proposal approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Secret Service to permit limited gliding operations within the expanded P40 (Camp David) airspace. Absent very prompt reassurance from the FAA that DoD's position could be expected to quickly change, it was agreed that the SSA's position regarding protection of rights to fly sailplanes in the Camp David area be made clear in public, and that individual members be strongly encouraged to make appropriate representations to their political representatives. The SSA would make resources available to assist such representations, to the extent not legally prevented from doing so.

The Meeting was adjourned by unanimous agreement at 2131 CST.


Posted: 4/25/2003