Gearing Up - June 2015

EdScott

Some longtime members may have begun to wonder if they somehow missed a recent election of USPA board members. They didn’t. An election is scheduled for this fall, and for those interested in running for the board, the process begins now. Anyone who has been a USPA member in good standing for two years and who is at least 18 years old as of August 1 can submit the required materials described below to qualify as a candidate.

For decades, USPA members elected their entire board—eight national directors and 14 regional directors—every two years. It seemed that as soon as the new board members took their seats, preparations for the next election began (especially since the process to become a candidate began six months before the election). More problematic, as almost any current or former board member will tell you, was that a two-year term meant that they had only four meetings in which to get their desired policies through the board-approval process. That all changed in 2011 when the membership, through a proxy effort, approved changing the bylaws to set a three-year term beginning with the current board, which was elected in the fall of 2012 and had its first meeting in early 2013.

That 2011 proxy effort also allowed the membership to approve another change to the bylaws, which deleted the long-standing requirement for non-incumbent regional director candidates to produce a petition signed by 10 percent of the members in their USPA regions. Not always easy to achieve, the petition requirement was seen as an unnecessary administrative burden, and that requirement no longer exists.

At its meeting in early 2014, the current board approved other important changes to election procedures in an effort to shorten and streamline the process and to move the election itself to earlier in the fall. The board removed the previous requirement for every candidate to submit a letter of intent by a June deadline. Now, anyone who meets the two-year membership and minimum age 18 requirement need only complete the online Director Candidate Form and provide a photo and a non-refundable $50 filing fee to USPA Headquarters by close of business August 3.

The board also changed the schedule so that the balloting itself will occur between October 1 and November 30, instead of the previous balloting that started November 1 and ran through the end of the year. Many northern DZs close by November, and the board felt that late balloting discouraged some candidates from campaigning and some members from voting. The new schedule means that USPA will declare election results by December 10, and new board members will take their seats at the early 2016 meeting set for February 26–28 in San Diego.

Do you have an interest in helping shape the policies and programs that determine the future direction of skydiving? Do you have the dedication needed to attend two long-weekend meetings each year, while putting in time between meetings to do research and speak with with other board members and skydivers? All without pay and with only minimal compensation for travel expenses and incidentals? If so, review all of the requirements detailed in Section 3 of USPA’s Governance Manual and ensure you meet the August 3 deadline.

Blue Skies,

Ed Scott | D-13532 | USPA Executive Director

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