Swan Song

This will be my last President's Letter. Chuck Millican (with Phil Tonks) have been elected as President and Vice President of the AMYA, and will serve for at least the next two years.

I think that Chuck, Phil, and the rest of the Staff and leadership team take over an AMYA that is poised to do some great things in the future.

- "The AMYA product"- the sum total of everything we offer to our Members – is now clearly defined, and includes (as developed by the Marketing Committee):

CommunicationsModel Yachting, AMYA Bulletini, advertising from RC sailing vendors.

NEW: Model Yachting in digital form, an all- new AMYA Website, all-new AMYA Webinars.

ServicesAMYA regatta schedule, services to regatta hosts and organizers, AMYA Pond Insurance, boat information, technical information concerning sailing and gear, services to Clubs, classified ads, guidance from the leadership during difficult times (like managing protest concerns, and during the pandemic).

NEW: More active outreach to potential Members. As our new website is developing, we are moving actively toward a website that attracts, informs, and generates action from potential new members, especially those in target groups that have proven to be good sources for new sailors. And, a new Regatta Calendar process that is in the control of the regatta hosts and should be more accurate, timely and useful for our Members.

FriendshipWe are really one big group of friends. Even those who never attend a regatta make new friends through the AMYA and RC sailing, and their local Club.
LeadershipAMYA Leadership including Regional Directors, Class Secretaries, and Officers.

NEW: Task Committees that added to our volunteer roster, and were used to develop action plans in specific areas. Among those, the Competition Committee will continue providing services to Members, Clubs and Classes regarding the racing aspects of our sport.

Here is where we are, moving ahead:

- Organization: as of January 1 2021, we are under an all-new, streamlined set of Bylaws, with a developing set of Policies and Procedures.

- Membership growth: the Board has approved a new free 4-month digital Trial Membership, announced via a new Tri-Fold flyer. Assuming we have a "good product", then a person who tries that product for 4 months is likely to re-up for a full Membership after, and stay as a Member for a longer term. That means long term growth.

- Marketing: we will develop targeted marketing to the most likely demographics as the best way to reach prospective sailors.

- Clubs: "All sailing is local" all of our officers, staff, and most long-term Members came to us becausei of a local Club. We need to offer assistance to local clubs to help them get more Members, and by assisting our clubs in formation, leadership development, and outreach within their local community.

- OASIS: The Board approved, and the Staff is launching an all-new ERP system - OASIS. ERP means Enterprise Resource Planning - ..."a process used ... to manage and integrate the important parts of their businesses... (And) also integrate planning, marketing, finance... and more."

The AMYA is the enterprise. Our resources are our volunteers, clubs, regatta hosts and regatta managers- and YOU, our Members. The OASIS system will allow all of us to communicate better, and secure our database from loss. It will fundamentally change the AMYA and help us operate in the most professional and efficient way. Just watch!!

- Challenges: life in organizations is not always pretty, and we have faced some obstacles these last two years. All of these challenges were met, often after many e-mails, ZOOM meetings, and phone conversations. There was one Protest overlapping Ray Seta's and my term, of one of our clubs that resulted in a US Sailing Judges' hearing. The finding was fair, and the Club had to restate the particulars in an NOR. There was The Virus, and the deterioration of our systems, such as the database and the AMYA e-mail systems. In every one of these situations, we learned, and took action as was appropriate.

- The AMYA is grateful to all who serve in volunteer positions, for any amount of time. Some serve for many years in somewhat thankless jobs that have no "term", no "end in sight".

I especially want to recognize Doug Hemingway, who resigned as Executive Secretary after some 15 years in the job. Doug is still involved, and is instrumental in the development of our NEW database. His replacement as ES- Ron Sieloff - is running the Oasis project and doing a great job of filling Doug's shoes. John Skerry has been Treasurer for as long as Doug Hemingway was Executive Secretary, and nothing but great support to all of us.

I thank Richard Lomax who took over as the Managing Editor of Model Yachting after Cliff Martin stepped in following long-time Editor John Davis' passing. On the MY staff, I must mention Pat Butterworth - who served YEARS as Copy Editor and Photo Editor- and in 2020 moved to a smaller role as Photo Editor (only).

Our Executive Board includes Ron Sieloff, and John Skerry, who have been recognized. Also, VP Jack Ward stepped in after we had the elected VP resign unexpectedly. Jack ran the Bylaws Review and Recommendations Committee that developed the new Bylaws just passed, the Class Secretaries Council, AND the Hall of Fame process. Jack always has an opinion, and he is not shy about giving it. His thoughts are well considered, and his presence has made us better. Jack moves off of the Board as of December 31- but remains as US12 Class Secretary.

The Board- our Board of Directors really runs the organization. They set policy and priorities that the rest of us implement. I also have to thank our Class Secretaries, who do many things that their Class Members never see- again tirelessly and without proper thanks.

Finally - there is the glue that holds AMYA together- Michelle Dannenhoffer, Membership Secretary. Michelle has served AMYA and our Presidents for something like 20 years, as an information source, and an ear when things get frustrating. Ask a question, and she knows. Ask her to do, and she does. Michelle's role will evolve as we roll out Oasis, and she will be key to the success in our use of it as we move forward. Yes she is paid- but that is not the only reason she does what she does. She loves this group of crazy sailors.

I move on, happy to have done what I could, and knowing that the AMYA is in good hands. Everything in the AMYA is a team effort. I want to thank all those team members who were active in positioning the AMYA so that we can move on to our 51st year with what I believe are the most positive plans and resources the AMYA has ever had. Have a great 2021 and beyond. Take somebody sailing!!

Mike Wyatt

AMYA President

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