I am leaving my candidate's statement and other information up on another page. This page will be used to post news and comments since I was elected to the AMSAT Board of Directors in September 2019. Newer updates will appear at the top of this page.
After multiple requests, we received copies of non-disclosure agreements that AMSAT has signed. Board members and alternates were advised that we would have to sign onto these agreements at the meeting in Virginia, and Michelle and I asked to see these agreements before the meeting. Since AMSAT had already entered into these agreements on behalf of the organization, we should have received copies of the agreements before having to ask multiple times for them.
The existence of these non-disclosure agreements should not be a secret. There should be references to them in the minutes of a past Board meeting. The more recent of the two NDAs, which was part of a larger agreement signed by AMSAT in June 2018, does not appear anywhere in the minutes of AMSAT Board of Directors meetings around that time, when I reviewed the AMSAT Board meeting minutes that are available on the AMSAT web site. Maybe this was an oversight? I hope to find out more at the meeting next week...
There are times AMSAT will cite a non-disclosure agreement as a reason to not provide information publicly - for example, the inability to confirm a satellite's launch date, even with the existence of independent reports citing a launch date. The information sent between AMSAT and the company or organization covered by the agreement... that is what is supposed to be protected by both parties. Normally NDAs are cited when information or technology goes from one party of an NDA to the other, when the information or technology needs confidentiality, as not all communications may require the protection of an NDA.
With my Ambassador "hat" on now, I was at the Tonto Amateur Radio Association swap meet in Payson AZ last Saturday (5 October) morning. Payson is northeast of the Phoenix area, and the swap meet was in a large city park. I had an AMSAT table at the swap meet, and did demonstrations on a few different satellites in FM and SSB during the morning. Most hamfests around Arizona are small, half-day events, and this swap meet was no exception. I saw some people who visit any Arizona hamfest, along with those from that area who don't normally venture to hamfests in other parts of Arizona As with most hamfests, the demonstrations I gave attracted crowds, and those crowds grew as the morning went by.
I should be able to have an AMSAT booth/table at hamfests around Arizona on the 3 Saturday mornings after the AMSAT Symposium in Virginia:
1 October 2019: In addition to serving on the AMSAT Board of Directors, I continue to serve AMSAT as an Ambassador. Including the many years this appointment was called "Area Coordinator", I have served AMSAT in this capacity since 2006. I have represented AMSAT at over 150 different events in this time - mostly hamfests, but also conventions, presentations/talks, and public demonstrations of amateur satellite operating. Not all of these events have been for groups or events focused on amateur radio, so more of the general public has a chance to see this facet of amateur radio.
I was at the fall hamfest hosted by the Radio Society of Tucson (Arizona) last Saturday, 28 September. This club has hosted a hamfest in the springtime - late March or early April - for many years, and they decided to add a fall hamfest to their calendar. Like most hamfests in Arizona, this one was a half-day event. I was already planning to represent AMSAT at this event, before being elected to the Board of Directors. The turnout for Saturday's hamfest was comparable to the hamfest down there in late March.
I did demonstrations on a few different satellites during the morning - AO-92, CAS-4A, CAS-4B, SO-50, XW-2A, and XW-2F. There were good crowds for the demonstrations, and the numbers increased with each pass as the morning progressed. It was nice to hear a couple of other AMSAT Ambassadors on the air from a hamfest in Fargo, North Dakota - Mitch AD0HJ, and Paul KE0PBR - during the morning. I also heard the special-event station WW0WWV on a couple of passes, operating near the site of the WWV station in Fort Collins, Colorado, commemorating the 100th anniversary of WWV.
There is a small hamfest located in Payson, about 90 minutes northeast of the Phoenix area, next Saturday (5 October). This hamfest is hosted by the Tonto Amateur Radio Association. I have never been to a hamfest in that area in the past. I will have an AMSAT table at that event, and plan to be on the air doing demonstrations from there. For those who like to work different grid locators, Payson is in grid DM44.
30 September 2019: It has been a week and a half since the results for the AMSAT Board election were announced. I, and the others who were just elected to the Board (Michelle Thompson W5NYV as a voting member, plus two alternates - Howie DeFelice AB2S, and Brennan Price N4QX) were given warm greetings by Frank Bauer KA3HDO (AMSAT's Vice President of Human Spaceflight, and also ARISS - International chairman) and Frank Karnauskas N1UW (AMSAT's newly-appointed Vice President of Development). Keith Baker KB1SF/VA3KSF, AMSAT's outgoing Treasurer - with help from Martha in the AMSAT office - provided all of us financial information to review in advance of the upcoming face-to-face meeting in Virginia. All of this was most appreciated. However, others in the AMSAT senior leadership acted differently...
I received e-mails from two other members of the AMSAT senior leadership - Clayton Coleman W5PFG (outgoing director, and outgoing corporate Secretary), and Robert Bankston KE4AL (Vice President of User Services) - proclaiming their unwillingness to work with me. And one of the e-mails received from Jerry Buxton N0JY (reelected to the Board of Directors, as well as Vice President of Engineering) had an interesting vulgarity directed at me. Unfortunately, AMSAT President Joe Spier K6WAO has not shown leadership in the transition to the newly-elected Board and its preparations for the upcoming meeting in Virginia, and this is disappointing.
Michelle wrote a blog page with more details of the events of the past week or so. Rather than duplicating her page, here is a link to what she wrote:
Michelle and I are still trying to get information in advance of the meeting, so we can fulfill our responsibilities to the AMSAT membership. AMSAT President Joe Spier K6WAO, along with his senior leadership team, need to do better in helping the newly-elected Board members and alternates get up to speed. Otherwise, the upcoming face-to-face meeting could be bogged down with lots of questions - many of which could be answered by providing the information we have requested, in advance of the meeting.
I am more than willing to work with the rest of the AMSAT Board and leadership. Cooperation is a two-way street. It is time to get to work, for the benefit of AMSAT and its membership! The election results show an interest by those who voted in shaking up the Board. Otherwise, if the membership was satisfied with the status quo, the 3 incumbents seeking reelection should have had the 3 highest vote counts.
Please let all of us know what you want from AMSAT. Board members and senior officers are listed on the AMSAT web site at: