Tone Changes At EAA AGM
For the second year in a row, hundreds of EAA members attended the annual EAA business meeting but this year’s mood was entirely different. In contrast to last year’s contentious meeting, the members generally expressed their satisfaction with the evolving direction of the EAA and Chairman Jack Pelton’s leadership. Some of last year’s speakers made a point of returning to thank the EAA leadership for listening to their concerns and making notable changes this year. Last year, members’ comments at the open-mike focused on their dissatisfaction with the flightline Chalets, the scheduling of the annual members' business meeting on Saturday (after many of the active pilots and builders have returned home), the perceived inability of members to influence the selection of board members (due to EAA’s aggressive proxy policy), and a sense that EAA’s volunteers were not recognized and honored to the degree they felt that they deserve.
Jeff Point, AirVenture’s homebuilt parking chairman, reminded Pelton and other EAA leaders present that he warned the board last year that they were on the verge of losing much of their volunteer force. Point added that while there was still considerable work ahead to continue healing the relationship of the board with its volunteers, he felt that great progress has been made over the last year and thanked the EAA leadership for their effort. In a departure from EAA’s general practice of using the leadership’s proxy assignments to select association insiders to Class I board positions (the only member-elected EAA directors), member-nominated James Clark was selected as a director in his first year running. Clark, from South Carolina, is an MIT graduate, former AT&T vice president, a current performer with Team Aerodynamix, and RV builder/pilot.