2009 AKA Convention: Day 3

The first wave of todays morning workshops were “Recruiting for Fun” by Gayle Woodul, “Judging Handmade Kites: Before the Competition” by Steve Ferrell & Co., “Wave Your Banner (make and take)” by Phil Broder… The second round of workshops were “Changing AKA’s Fiscal Year – Or Not: and Other Hot Topics” by John Burkhardt and Mel Hickman, and “Miniatures” by Charm Lindner… All the while, Marla Miller was rallying ticket sales in the AKA bag raffle.

In sharp contrast to yesterdays very foul weather, the sun rose into a clear blue sky and stayed that way all day with winds in the 6-15 mph range most of the day, occasionally gusting higher than that… All scheduled compeitions were completed, both in sport kite and comprehensive kitemaking events, with good media coverage including a visit from one of CNN’s correspondents.

Around midday, Ben D’Antonio and I joined Con Engel on a back field for some airtime on a trio of Skydancers in memory of their designer David Davies who passed late last year.

Aye, just putting your heart in the sky… Anyone who knows Ben well can take one look at his face in the photos below and know how well we were getting on. <grin>

After the days outdoor events came to a close and everyone got cleaned up, we gathered at 7:30pm for the annual business meeting, always a hotbed of passionate discussion and the ever flowing dynamics of a volunteer operated organization.

Aside from the more tedius topics, a few discussions that prompted additional debate or received strong responses, most still pending implementation or a vote, in no particular order:

  • Financials, should be back in the black going into next year.
  • Declining ad revenue for Kiting magazine, as with all print media these days.
  • Necessary attention to use of budget and innovation in membership development.
  • Enabling proxy bidding at the auction via Skype (you can also call your friends who are here to bid on your behalf).
  • Joining the digital world with Kiting magazine archived online for members, better use of social networking and offering a “green” electronic option (opt in) to members for ballots, Kiting and other hard copy items that have traditionally been mailed… Essentially a chance to save the AKA more money, if a member has no need for hard copy.
  • Increasing “out of the box” fund raising instead of looking for more money from existing members, such as opening the AKAGN program up to local advertisers



The other important thing that happens at the annual business meeting is the release of election results…

Most new members recruited in 2009:

  1. Marla Miller – 20
  2. Richard Dermer – 16
  3. Gary Engvall – 16
  4. The Kite Shoppe – 15
  5. Gomberg Kite Productions – 12
  6. Flying Smiles Kites – 10
  7. Family Fun Kites – 8

Out of the two primary presidential candidates this year, existing president Gary Engvall received 367 votes and 507 went to Barb Meyer, giving us new leadership after this AKAGN comes to a finish… Our president elect appointed other key positions on the board of directers (per the bylaws) including Gayle Woodul as 1st Vice President, Linda Sanders as 2nd Vice President and Cliff Quinn as Treasurer… Across the board, it as clear that appointments were specifically made from all the various facets of our community (sport kite, kitemaking, fighter kites, etc), providing an excellent range of representation.

As for Regional Directors…

  • Region 9 – Amy Doran (re-elected)
  • Region 10 – **TIE w/74 votes**
    Theresa Norelius and Marjorie Taylor (both new candidates)
    (subject to concession or reballoting – pending decision)
  • Region 11 – John Gillespie (re-elected)
  • Region 12 – Ben D’Antonio (re-elected)
  • Region 13 – Linda Sanders (re-elected)

Tonights business meeting was also broadcast via Skype conference call for board members who were unable to attend, putting them in the middle of the action even from hundeds or thousands of miles away.

Regardless of the natural ups and downs of the AKA, it’s important to remember that the organizaton is made up of members… The heavy majority of board members are elected by AKA members, voted in by the people in their respective regions.

The surest way to see the changes someone wants in the AKA is for them to get involved, otherwise there isn’t honestly any room to rightfully complain – so attend the convention, run for office, join a committee, or simply communicate ideas and suggestions to your Regional Director or other AKA officers during the year… For a full list of appointments, contacts and more information, be sure to visit the AKA web site.

Now that I’ve made you wait, here are the sport kite TBA scores from yesterday and today, including indoor from last night!


Whew, it was a late start this morning on the day 2 update, no way I was going to do it twice in a row… Glad to put this day’s update to bed, it’s 4am and I’m already looking forward to Starbucks before the 9am workshops start off, so off for a few quick Z’s and I’ll see you all tomorrow!

John Barresi