American Association of Information Radio Operators AAIRO

AAIRO American Association of Information Radio Operators
  annual meeting minutes, 2016  
  OPENING

Association president Bill Baker called the annual meeting to order via teleconference on January 20, 2016, at 4:05 pm Eastern Time. Participants were based in Michigan, Florida, California and Texas.

PARTICIPANTS - All AAIRO board members.

Bill Baker, President
Jeff Braun, Director
Linda Folland, Secretary/Treasurer
Mike Williams, Director
Jim Zoss, Vice President


OLD BUSINESS

Minutes
Participants unanimously agreed to waive reading of the 2015 annual meeting minutes, since all members had read them before the conference call and had earlier approved them through email. The 2015 Annual Meeting Minutes were unanimously approved.

Treasury Report
Linda reported a cash balance of $388.24. Fiscal Year 2015 expenses included payments to FusionIT for web hosting and to the US Postal Service for a post office box for AAIRO. Information Station Specialists (ISS) donated $390.88, paying all but $60.75 of those expenses. AAIRO paid the $60.75 expense to FusionIT directly. The Treasury Report was unanimously approved and is here linked.


NEW BUSINESS

Board Election
Bill reported that according to AAIRO Bylaws, if the Board fails to reach a quorum at the meeting, which did happen this year, board composition may continue to the next annual meeting [in 2017]; and the current officers may continue to conduct business. All board members agreed to serve another year in the same office, noted above under "Participants." Jeff suggested updating the Bylaws to more clearly define "quorum," for example, "making it a realistic number at which we think business could happen." [A last year's meeting, Mike had suggested that the Bylaws be amended to provide that the majority of those present to be sufficient. It was moved, seconded and agreed that Bill will check with lawyers to amend AAIRO Bylaws to more clearly define the term "quorum" for elections.

Membership
Linda reported that AAIRO currently has 337 members, 272 who are operators and can vote in elections. The rest are associate members, categorized as "interested others." Bill noted that members will be emailed a summary of this annual meeting. Linda noted that meeting minutes would be posted on AAIRO.org, linked form the Index.

Professional Partnerships
In meeting preparation discussions, Mike had asked if AAIRO has a budget to pay for joining affiliated professional groups, an idea he had suggested at last year's meeting. Mike went on to mention that, beyond just joining those orgnaizations, to make such memberships worthwhile, AAIRO should really have a plan for participating in those organizations' activities. It was moved, seconded and agreed that with AAIRO's current treasury balance of only $388.24, there is not enough money at this time to acquire adjunct memberships, since a few thousand dollars would likely be needed. [This issue could be raised again in the future.]

Funding Sources
Bill asked board members about the acceptability of Information Station Specialists' (ISS) offering AAIRO a percentage of proceeds from new filters and processors sold as a thank-you to AAIRO for its influence of the FCC to allow these devices and related improvements. Discussion ensued on ways such donations might be done: (1) a specific dollar amount (such as $20 of upfront cost for each device) could be presented to ISS customers as an optional AAIRO donation or free memberhsip; (2) ISS could continue to make private donations to AAIRO as percentage of such profits. The question of whether to inform customers about AAIRO donations was raised. The group did not reach consensus at the meeting. Bill agreed to specifically reframe the idea for future board consideration.

FCC Activity
Bill reported that today the FCC had opened a comment period regarding several ideas for "improving AM radio." Two Travelers Information Service (TIS) items therein include (1) changing interference parameters among stations, allowing stations to encroach more on each other to cover their markets better against noise background; (2) populating an expanded band so new operators would have improved service, which Bill said, would likely include 94% of TIS stations between 1610 and 1710 kHz. Bill asked the Board if they feel AAIRO should formally comment to the FCC. Discussion followed on possible threats and benefits. It was moved, seconded and agreed that Bill and Linda will draft formal comments for the FCC, highlighting issues relevant to AAIRO members and demonstrating to all concerned (e.g., FCC, NAB) AAIRO's continuing interest in such matters.

Bill further reported that the FCC is about to give final approval on an inline transmitter filter that allows operators to remove internal filters. Also, the FCC will soon allow insertion of a processor with upper-band enhancement. These improvements directly resulted from AAIRO's interactions with the FCC.

Facebook
In meeting preparation discussions, Linda had asked participants to consider the idea of creating a Facebook page with closed-group interaction capability for AAIRO -- to reach more members and offer members private two-way communication capability for idea exchange. Bill reported that now The Source newsletter, published by ISS and offered free to AAIRO members, is the primary means of keeping the members informed. Discussion centered on the efforts and benefits of creating a Facebook presence. Jeff raised the idea of planning content well in advance to keep communications fresh and active. It was moved, seconded and agreed by all that Bill and Linda would create and manage a Facebook page for AAIRO with closed group communication capability and that the board would offer ideas to help plan the effort at least a year ahead. Jim suggested researching how the Michigan Emergency Management Association presents its successful Facebook page. [Only members interested in Facebook would need to use it; the website AAIRO.org will continue.]


ADJOURNMENT

Bill adjourned the meeting at 4:36 pm Eastern Time.


SUBMITTED BY

Linda Folland, secretary

APPROVED BY

TBA