Issue 68: AKA Corner

May this message find you well and enjoying kites. Here is the latest from the AKA.

This goes to press at the beginning of October, just days before the start of the AKA 2009 Convention in Rochester, MN on October 6. As things look right now, it will be an intimate Convention and Nationals. The last count was 149 people registered for Convention. More people than that said they would go, so we shall see what the final count is.

Whether or not a Convention makes money, or breaks even, depends not so much on how many people attend, but on how accurately the AKA can predict how many people attend. This year the AKA did everything it could to accurately predict how many people would be at Convention by asking Members by e-mail whether they planned to be there.

Smaller attendance means a smaller Auction. We are going to do our best to put aside some auction items for bidding online. Sam Poikail has donated the Internet Access for the room that will be used for the auction. The is the first time we are trying this and it may be a bumpy ride, but please bear with us and see if we can’t break some new ground and set some new standards for AKA Auctions.

The Convention is run as a ‘revenue neutral’ activity. That means that the Convention is supposed to be a ‘break-even’ or ‘pay for itself’ event. The thinking is that only a small percentage of AKA Members go to Convention in any year, so the people that attend should carry the cost, not the general Membership of the AKA.

That being said, the Auction is held during Convention, but its expenses and revenue accrue to the AKA separate from Convention expenses. The AKA derives about a third of its operating income from the Auction in any given year. Smaller Convention attendance means a smaller Auction. A smaller Auction means less money for the AKA.

Finances: As of right now, both the Executive Director (who pays the bills) and the Treasurer (who signs the checks and develops strategies) both say we have a good chance of finishing in the black this year. There can always be surprises, but we look good right now. This has been largely accomplished through belt-tightening, running the AKA as a taut ship, trying to keep expenses under control.

The next goal is to bring back the Raffles and/or develop other revenue strategies that will build AKA’s reserves back to a comfortable level.
The best way to make the AKA financially healthy is to bring in new members. Look forward, in the very near future, to a Membership Drive with contests, prizes, and some unique ways of recognizing people who bring in new Members.

The AKA Facebook page now 585 fans. If you are not already a fan of the AKA Facebook page, please stop by and visit us. Facebook is a great place for pictures and videos. Check out the link to and the tutorial on making a device for sewing bridle lines.

Next Kiting Deadline is October 15. Send the Kiting Editor your thoughts, pictures and reflections!

Café Press: The AKA Café Press site is changing all the time. Check it frequently for new items. Region 9 Director Amy ‘Mousie’ Doran and AKA Secretary Sherri Pigeon have put a lot of effort in to the new look.

One Sky, One World is coming up on October 11. The folks who organize One Sky, One World want to do a Skype Conference from every site that is doing a OSOW fly. We will be trying a Skype Conference from the Monday night Welcome get together to test the set up and see if there are any bugs. I am pretty excited about being a part of this and seeing if this can be made to work. This is not an AKA conference, per se, but I will use my laptop on Monday to be part of that conference. This is a Skype conference so there is no contact information. I am looking forward to seeing if we can get it all to work on the field on Sunday.

Elections: By the time you see this, AKA Executive Director Mel Hickman will be on the train to Rochester. That means the voting is over. On Monday afternoon at Convention the ballots will be counted by two separate teams of 7 people each. The result(s) will not be announced until the Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday night, October 7.

This might be the last Kitelife AKA News I get to write. If I don’t get to see you again in two months, it has been a privilege to visit with you and try to give you an inside look at the AKA every eight weeks. Thank you for your time, your thoughts and your confidence. Whatever kite you fly, keep it up.

Thanks for listening. See you out there somewhere.

good heavens;

gary engvall