Gearing Up - March 2012
As I write this, we’ve just closed the books and run the numbers on 2011. Notwithstanding the sputtering economy, USPA continues in good shape. Membership activity remained high in 2011, with respectable numbers of skydivers joining, renewing and earning licenses and ratings. We ended the year with the highest total membership count—33,515—in nine years, 3,027 more than the recent low point in late 2005. Some 5,959 new skydivers joined USPA in 2011, and we issued 5,944 licenses—the most since 2003.
However, 2011 wasn’t our best year for fatalities, which came in at 25. But that number still contributes to a low five-year average of 22 fatalities, compared to the previous five-year average of 25, and 35 for the period before that. Canopy-related fatalities were 52 percent of the total, which is progress compared to 2010’s 71 percent.
Financially, we ended 2011 with an operational excess of $37,193—$30,000 better than budgeted. Counting the performance of our $2 million investment portfolio, which earned $98,380, we ended the year with $135,573 in excess revenue. This makes the third straight year that we’ve ended with an operational excess after some very trying years and a necessary dues increase in 2009. Today, USPA’s $4,964,983 in total assets is the highest ever and twice USPA’s total assets in 2004.
USPA has also:
- met increased success in solidifying skydiving’s rightful place on and over airports, including securing an FAA finding that airports cannot require insurance that is not attainable by DZs.
- earned a coveted “Closed—Exceeds Recommended Action” from the National Transportation Safety Board in recognition of USPA efforts to address effective aircraft inspection and maintenance quality-assurance programs.
- advanced efforts to provide online training information by adding canopy-training video footage for each category of the Integrated Student Program to uspa.org, by launching skydiveschool.org to provide students with all elements of a first-jump course and by improving the USPA Canopy Proficiency Card and requiring its completion for the USPA B license.
- increased media coverage of record-setters and medalists.
- initiated the very successful Sisters in Skydiving program to connect female students and novices with female mentors.
- energized USPA’s records program, increasing submissions by 233 percent over last year.
- provided the Skydiver’s Information Manual as a free app for iPhone® and Android® users.
- launched the new parachutistonline.com.
- kept the turnaround time of processing membership credentials down to just a few days.
Among the goals for 2012 is completing the effort to modernize and upgrade our association management software so we can provide a world-class, real-time membership experience that will improve service while lowering costs. You will see more on that soon.
Ed Scott | D-13532 | USPA Executive Director