After six years, this will be my final AKA column for KiteLife. Most of you know I’m stepping down as president. And so I want to take this opportunity to thank the magazine and congratulate them for the good work they do for all of us.
KiteLife began as an idea by my dear friend Mike Gillard. Mike saw a need for periodical information in the kite community, but also understood that the traditional print magazines were not able to remain profitable. And so he began a regular online publication offering articles, news and reviews.
Mike later assumed the editor post for AKA’s Kiting magazine. He found it impossible to serve both responsibilities and chose to turn Kitelife over to John Barresi. Kiting flourished under Mike’s leadership, and Kitelife grew with John. Today we enjoy a remarkable site that offers timely coverage of our kite world, immediate reports of special events, a catalog of both Kite Lines and SKQ magazines, an online forum, a mail server, video records, and a host of other tools, information, and resources.
We’re fortunate to enjoy Kitelife and I urge readers to support the effort.
A few days after this column is published, we’ll have a new AKA president. Leading the Association is a heady and time consuming responsibility. Members look to the President to set a tone, to chart a course, and to provide the drive that moves our community forward. A president also chooses the leadership of each of our committees, so it is important to delegate well. But that also means that problems which reach the president’s desk have already been considered by other good people.
With insurance for events, competition rules, educational programs, National Kite Month, and the annual convention, the American Kitefliers Association provides a foundation and infrastructure for much of what we kiters do. I’ll be looking to this new Board for new energy, new ideas, and a new surge of activities to bolster kite flying.
What are my plans after a total of 10 years as president??
I’m looking forward to flying kites a bit more. I’ll continue to travel and I’ll also continue to provide reports of kiting events around the world for Kitelife. (I haven’t missed a single issue yet!) And I look forward to taking those 20 hours a week I’ve been spending on AKA and dividing them between the kite business that Susie and I own and some rare personal time.
I remain vice chair of the International Kite Federation, an officer of KTAI, and Chairman of the World Sport Kite Championship.
The AKA is in solid financial shape, enjoys strong organization in our committees, and has a dynamic and meaningful agenda. Those of you that are members, I thank you for your support and participation. Those of you not presently members can easily fix that at www.AKA.kite.org.