Soon enough, it will be AKA election time again.
AKA is governed by a twenty member Board. We elect twelve regions of roughly equal size within the USA and a 13th International Region. Each year, we select Directors for one-third of our Regions to a three-year term. We also have a President, elected to a one year term. The President nominates seven members of the Executive Committee who must be approved the membership at our annual convention..
Job descriptions for Regional Directors and a handbook can be found on the AKA web page in the member-only section. But basically the job includes attending local events, assisting local members, stores, and clubs, and promoting kiting. The RD participates in regular telephone conference call Board Meetings, prepares reports for Kiting Magazine, and must sign-off on each event sanctioning request from the region.
We like our races to be contested so members have a choice of who represents them. Getting involved is simple. You can nominate someone or volunteer yourself. Contact Nominations@AKA.kite.org.
I’m not running for President again. I did four years in the ‘90’s and then six more starting on 2000. I’m ready for a break and feel the Association will benefit from new energy and idea, or just new approaches to the usual challenges.
It will be interesting to see how AKA responds not just to a new president, but also to possible changes in positions I have appointed – Chuck Sigal as Vice President and (unpaid) WebMaster, Al Sparling as Treasurer and Financial Officer, Susan Skinner as Convention Chairman, Barb Meyer as Chair of the KiteMaking Committee, Gayle Woodul overseeing Contracts, Rob Cembalest on Membership, Mike Dallmer for National Kite Month, John Barresi for Sport Kites, or Jerry McGuire on Insurance. Some of these good folks have also served for six years or more. A shift in any of these key spots can mean changes for the Association and our members. And of course, when experienced leaders move on, much of the ‘institutional memory’ of what we have done or how we’ve done it goes with them.
AKA elections are conducted by mail. Every member receives a ballot. And although 2/3 of the regions are not up for election annually, we still get about 1000 votes returned to us each year. (That’s a better return that the Primary Election we had here in Oregon last week!)
My point in all of this is to say that AKA is a democratic organization. Leadership is selected by the members. If you don’t like how things are being done, elect someone else or run yourself!
Not to be critical of anyone else, but by comparison, The Board of the Kite Trade Association is elected only by members who attend the convention, and the officers are then selected by the Board. STACK, who administer sport kite competition in Europe only received 60 votes for international officers this year.
I’m a believer in AKA and that our strength comes from the ideas, involvement, and energy of our members. Every serious kiter in America (that’s USA, Canada and Mexico) should belong. Whether you are interested in sport kites, art kites, big kites, small kites, photography, buggies, surfing or working with kids, AKA provides a vehicle to improve the kiting environment. We teach, we organize, we facilitate, we communicate, and we insure.
So I’m looking forward to the next election and to news about who will take our Association to the next stage. I hope all of you are as well.