The 2012 MARCO Annual Membership Meeting took place in Dayton, Ohio in conjunction with Hamvention, from May 17 to May 20, 2012.
Our headquarters shifted to the Airport Holiday Inn. This proved to be a very convenient location, although the ongoing landscaping project provided everyone with unexpected olfactory stimulation. Yep, that was genuine fertilizer, alright. On Thursday evening, those of us on site in time gathered for drinks and dinner at the hotel. It was good to greet old friends.
On Friday Morning, Linda KE5BQK conducted the annual business meeting. The minutes of this meeting are included below. We adjourned late in the morning and headed to HARA Arena. The weather was so good that many of us thought we had come to the wrong place. We were treated to sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s to low 80s.
There were some interesting new toys to view at Hara Arena. The show-stopper was Flex Radio’s new Flex 6000 series. All of the required computing power has been moved within the case of this rig, so one needs to run only a simple interface program on the external computer. This allows simple remote operation of the radio. The top of the line model is powerful to be shared by several operators at once. Slick!
The new Kenwood flagship radio was on display under glass. It was hefty, looked beautiful all lit up, and had more controls than the space shuttle. Yaesu also introduced a new model HF transceiver.
Ten Tec is coming out soon with a nice QRP update of the Argonaut.
The BIG BUY of the weekend was by KD5QHV/KE5BQK, who will soon own a new SteppIR beam. K6JW, KD5QHV and AA4FL made heavy purchases – they each will lug home a Vibroplex Cube, the new paddle affixed to a 6 pound base. N5RTF picked up a new Wouxun handheld. He needs to learn to speak Chinese so that he can use it.
Dinner on Friday night was an odyssey. KE5BQK and KD5QHV peeled off and returned to Bob Evans, as this franchise has no restaurants in El Paso and Linda was sampling their fare every chance she could get. The rest of us piled into the hotel’s van, and after a long drive over back roads arrived at a familiar strip of chain restaurants just off I-75. All of which had a 1 hour wait for seating. So… we piled back onto the van and returned to the area of the hotel. Eventually we dined at Tumble Weed Grill. The food was generic, the service was excellent, and we all had a good time.
On Saturday temperatures were hot. Those who walked the flea market soon became drenched in sweat. It is a rare Hamvention at which one gets to complain about the good weather!
The action continued at MARCO’s booth. Members old and new stopped by to chat, and we recruited close to 15 new members.
The banquet, held at the Airport Holiday Inn featured a buffet and a rollicking 80th birthday party in the adjoining room. Lou Wiederhold, WA1HGE led us in a remembrance of departed members Ted Hatfield, KQ4IC and Alfred Greenwald, WA2CBA.
The President’s gavel was passed to Mary Favaro, AE4BX, who already had plans in place for next year’s meeting, to be held in Myrtle Beach, SC. The tentative date is April 5th to 7th, 2013.
Chip Keister, N5RTF presented a thought-provoking talk, detailing his thoughts about concrete and abstract thinking.
With bodies, spirits and minds all well-nourished, we said our good-byes until next year.
The meeting was called to order by Linda, KE5BQK at 8:04 EDT. She thanked those members who have assisted her during her presidency.
Minutes of the 2011 meeting were read and approved.
Secretary’s Report (W4DAN). Membership is 206, including 55 who are not currently paid-up. Some members have not received their copies of Aether. This appears to be due to damage by the post office.
Treasurer’s report (WA1HGE). Our balance is holding steady. We have $12697.73 and $6441 in a CD.
Webmaster report (KM2L). The email list has approximately 90 members. The web site has remained secure over the past year with no incidents of hacking. Skype continues on Sunday mornings during grand rounds with W1BEW, N4TSC and sometimes N6DMV checking in.
Newsletter report (KD4GUA). Contributions are always welcome. There have been no complaints about about the jokes! There is sentiment to archive back copies of the newsletter on the website. These could be scanned and posted as .pdf files.
Internet Audio report (N5RTF). Chip continues to try to stream audio for those who have no radio or are traveling. The quality is limited by his antenna situation and local noise. He would like to stream Warren’s audio directly. Chip can process, stream and record the audio and archive it to the website.
Medishare report (WB6OJB). We have $6524.11 in funds, but no project currently. Arnold has take on a project personally. W4DAN was contacted by a prisoner in Louisiana who requested a licensing Q&A book. Arnold obtained one for him, and he and Danny have sent him copies of QST and CQ. Arnold requested information on when and with whom our Zambian project took place. AE4BX has a contact who is a nurse in Zambia, and wil look into what her needs are.
Discussion of Medishare projects. There is nothing that restricts us to projects in the third world. Sometimes members have outdated or surplus equipment, but it is not clear what to do with it. In the past, these were funneled to DRI or International Aid. Suggested that surplus equipment be listed in the Aether. Anyone with ideas for projects can email them to the President or Medishare Chair.
Change in dues schedule (W4DAN). Currently everyone has different dues renewal dates. It would be simpler to make payments due for everyone at the same time. W8CRK moved that this be adopted. Second by K6JW. WA1HGE spoke in support as the treasury runs on a calendar year. Motion carried – payments will be due on January 1 each year.
Google Adwords proposal (KT8E). Dave had suggested an online advertising campaign to boost membership. He gave a powerpoint presentation explaining the Google ad words campaign. This is a Google pay-per-click advertising program (the top and right side of a Google search page). This is targeted advertising and thus generates a high percentage of interested viewers. You pay for each user who clicks on the ad. That drives the user to our web site – then we need to capture their information and interest. There are 450,000 monthly searches on “amateur radio.” There is low competition. This means our add would appear on page 1. You can set a daily budget or the price you pay per click. It is a competitive situation, so if you are too cheap your ad drops down the page. The price drops as your campaign’s quality score increases – this is based on longevity and activity of the add and the relevance of content on your landing page. It is a good idea to include a relevant keyword in your url. The Adsense campaign is a separate program that places Google ads on your page. If a visitor clicks on the ad, we receive revenue. Suggestions for the website: We need to give people a reason to join – access to newsletters, (audio stream archives), and a members-only area with exclusive content. W8CRK moved that we authorize K8TE to establish a campaign, to include designing a landing page, authenticated membership area and online dues payment for the web site. The changes will be reviewed and approved by the Internet Committee prior to publication. Second by K6JW. Motion carried. WA3ZZU moved that the budget for this project for the next year by not more than $1000. Second by K6JW. Motion carried.
Discussion of Dayton meeting schedule (WA3ZZU). Chuck would prefer to have the meeting on Saturday and the go to the ham fest on Friday. Motion seconded by W8CRK. Motion carried.
Orlando Hamcation (KD4GUA). Warren and W4DAN visited last year and had a wonderful time. It is held in mid-February, and would be fun for other members to attend and hold a mini-meeting.
WA1HGE moved that we adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 10:12 EDT.
Election of officers was tabled until the evening of May 19, prior to the banquet. At that time, with no nominations from the floor, the following slate was elected:
President-Elect: Jeff Wolf, K6JW Secretary: Danny Centers, W4DAN Treasurer: Lou Wiederhold, WA1HGE.
After some discussion, the following changes were made to the Board of Directors: Per the Bylaws, immediate Past-President Linda Krasowski, KE5BQK, became a Director-At-Large. She replaces Bud Clark, KE2DT. The new 4th Area Director is John Bennet, WD8NMV. The New 5th Area Director is Tom Reilly, W3GAT. The New 6th Area Director is Paul Lukas, N6DMV.