Rick Magee has been re-elected as Tripoli Prefect.
Rick O’Neil, David Smith, and John Van Norman were elected for the 3 full-term (3 year) Board positions. Mike Ostby was elected to fill the open Board seat for the remaining 2 years.
The ROC Board has elected as officers:
President – Rick Dickinson
Vice President – Bryce Chanes
Treasurer – Ian Walberg
Secretary – Mike Riss
In addition, Veronica Kirk was appointed to fill the opening created by a recent Board member’s resignation (due to work travel requirements).
On behalf of the Board, Officers, and club, I’d like to thank all the people who stepped forward this year. Whether selected or not, your willingness to serve is appreciated!
I’d also like to thank the outgoing board members, Greg Lyzenga, Allen Farrington, and Lee Scott, for their service. Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of the time and effort you’ve put in on behalf of the club at the next launch you attend :-)
ROC Board Member and Secretary
Per the bylaws of the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC), it is one of my duties as Secretary of the Corporation to give notice of ROC’s Annual Membership meeting.
The 2014 meeting will be held during the November ROCStock (RS 40), taking place at Lucerne Dry Lake November 8th and 9th. Specifically, the meeting will be called to order at 5pm on Saturday, November 8th at the Range Head on the lakebed.
All ROC Members, Daily Flying members, and Spectators are invited to the meeting. However, only Executive (Annual Paid), Board, and Lifetime Members will be recognized for business during the meeting or will be allowed to vote. This is a standing meeting; i.e. you must be present to participate, as no proxy voting will be allowed.
The only item currently on the Agenda is the Announcement of the results of the 2015 Board of Directors election. Additional Agenda items can be sent directly to me at “firstname.lastname@example.org”, preferably by midnight, November 2nd, 2014. Items may also be brought to the floor during the meeting after the set Agenda is completed.
This summer Rocketry Organization of California has marked it’s 20th year of launches at Lucerne Dry Lake and supporting rocketry activity in southern California. We just hosted a successful ROCstock launch and some good smaller monthly launches as well. The ROC board of directors recently met to discuss the past, present and future of the club, and some of the challenges that lay ahead. This seemed like a good time for me to share with you, the members and friends of ROC, some thoughts about the status of the club and how we can keep it running well.
It was clear from our board retreat discussions that when it comes to some issues, there is a wide and divergent range of opinions. For example, some people’s ideal vision of ROC is of a large and diverse organization engaged in a wide range of public outreach and educational activities, reaching out to youngsters and newcomers as well as supporting the community of elite high power flyers. For others, it is more important to focus on doing fewer things better, and to concentrate on the needs of our core membership. Key to the future of the club’s long term health and continued growth will be to strike a proper balance between these sometimes conflicting ideals.
One area however, where there is not disagreement is in the matter of club involvement. It can’t be overemphasized by those of us that have been associated with the club for some time that ROC is not a service, it is a club. Although some of our “daily members” who pay their launch fees on a month-to-month basis may treat it as a “pay to play” service, that’s not how it works. ROC is a member-driven volunteer organization that lives and dies based on the willingness of its members to step up and participate.
Like any sizable organization, ROC benefits from the special talents and expertise of its members who bring their particular skills and talents to the table. But it’s not wise or fair to exclusively rely on those critical individuals to be able or willing to do those jobs always and forever. To remain healthy, ROC needs to cycle in new knowledge and enthusiasm to keep the flame burning. I have not personally always been involved in ROC’s governance, but after flying with the club for a few years and seeing the roles played by the founding and core members, I realized that I needed to contribute as well and as they say, “pay it forward”.
As many people no doubt also feel, I didn’t at first think I knew enough to contribute meaningfully. Of course, this was not true; not only could I contribute in areas that I did have some talents, but I also quickly learned new things that helped the club along the way. (I’m always quite amused when someone acts as though I’m some kind of expert by virtue of being the current ROC president; in fact I’m just as clueless as the next person, but I’m trying to act like I know what I’m doing!)
A common misconception is that in order to help ROC, you need to sacrifice your ability to enjoy our launches and fly your own rockets. In fact, all it takes is for each member to contribute just a little bit of time and most of our problems are solved. It might mean doing one small thing every month, or setting aside one month to contribute one larger task. It’s a little hard to list all the big and small ways in which we need members’ help, but I’ll take a shot at mentioning some of them in no particular order:
- towing the club trailer to/from launches
- running registration desk and taking money
- communicating with government (FAA, BLM, CSFM etc.) concerning permits, compliance and activities
- helping with club record keeping and calendar events/monthly responsibilities
- bidding and organizing for national events
- communicating with members via newsletters, social media, etc.
- training our fellow members in the technology and art of rocketry
- maintaining and repairing electrical and mechanical equipment
- range setup and teardown
- roaming range helper and safety assurance
- crowd and parking control at large launches
- RSO and LCO duties at launches
In just a few months, the terms of a few of our board members, including my own, will be expiring. I’ve served on the board for six years now, and although I’m not leaving ROC, I’m ready to pass the baton to the next group of ROC’s leaders. It has been fun, but the healthiest thing for ROC (and for me) will be to get some new ideas and leadership cycling through the board. I would like to personally appeal to each of you to consider running for one of the vacant board positions this fall. Look for an announcement coming out soon concerning the nomination and election procedure. Any of us on the board would be happy to answer your questions about the position, and offer our cheerful encouragement!
Congratulations to the new ROC board members elected in the 2013 election who are :-
David Smith, Bryce Chanes, Rick Dickinson and Veronica Kirk
Who joint the exiting board members who are :-
Greg Lyzenga, Ian Walberg, Allen Farrington, Mike Riss and Kurt Gugisberg.
First order of business after the election of the new board members is a board meeting to elect the offices for the following year and this meeting was held at ROCstock on Saturday evening.
The new officers are :-
President – Greg Lyzenga
Vice President – Ian Walberg
Treasurer – Josephine Walberg
Secretary – Mike Riss
Tripoli prefect – Rick Magee
While it is common practice for the offices to be board members the ROC bylaws do not require this is the case other than the president.
To my fellow rocketeers, we are experiencing some issues in the club that need immediate attention. The problem is lack of volunteers to help with the duties required to run our launches.
I do not want to diminish the efforts of the volunteers who do step forward and give of their time at every launch. Without them we would not have the launches we do. But it is always the same members, and frankly its not enough. Too many of us are working too many shifts, sometimes the entire day for your enjoyment. Many times forsaking their chance to fly.
With that I want to remind each one of you that your Board Members are also volunteers. We do not get compensation for our efforts in running the club. There are many things we do behind the scenes, such as deal with the BLM, FAA, NAR, TRA, equipment maintenance, manage the website, answer questions, order porta potties, etc. As well as making sure we continually meet the qualifications required to be a not-for-profit entity.
For some reason, many of our members and daily fliers assume that it is our JOB or DUTY to also run each launch and personally fill all the necessary positions. THAT IS NOT THE CASE! We are rocketeers first and we also come to fly. With the size of the club and only 9 board members it is impossible for us to do it alone.
Some of the comments I have heard are “I pay my dues or flight fees, therefore I am doing my share!” While the board members may not have to pay flight fees while they serve, we still have to pay our BLM, TRA and NAR fees just like everyone else. We pay for out T-shirts and other items. We do not get discounts just because we are on the board. The funds we collect go to pay for things like storage of our equipment, the porta potties we all use, maintenance on our equipment and trailer, etc etc. It does NOT pay for us to run the launch for your benefit.
Another comment “I don’t know how to be an LCO, RSO, pad manager, etc.” We all had to learn sometime. Every board member is willing to take an interested party under our wing and show them how to do any of the jobs they can or want to do. All the procedures and requirements are listed on our website, on the volunteer sign-up link. You do not need to be a ROC member, and in many cases you don’t even need to be a flier to help out. I personally have volunteered at every launch I have ever attended here or elsewhere over the last 15 plus years I have been a rocketeer. Even my very first launch. It is a great way to meet your fellow fliers. If I can do it, so can you. We need you to use this sign-up sheet and prepare in advance to help out.
The board has been trying to come up with ways to encourage volunteer participation. From range duty, to set-up, tear-down and trailer towing. To that end, beginning in July we will be using a smaller trailer for our regular monthly launches. This means less set-up and tear down time, and the smaller trailer means more people will be able to tow. But it also means less equipment, fewer launch pads and longer lines.
We are going to experiment with a new RSO program, that Greg will explain in his next launch announcement.
Here are some other ideas we are flirting with:
- Cancel the launches
- Raise launch fees, volunteers will get to fly at our current rates.
- Collecting a fee from fliers that can be reimbursed upon completion of a range position.
- Making everyone that flies sign-up for a volunteer position as part of their sign-in procedure.
We need your help and your feedback on what can be done to increase volunteer participation, before we implement a more drastic plan.
Thank you for your time,
Veni Van Norman