It has been a pleasure to serve as ARRL Dakota Division Vice Director since February 2016. I thank outgoing Director Kent Olson for the opportunity to serve the members in our three states. As Kent moves on to the next stage of his career, I ask for your vote to serve as Director for Dakota Division. I have always believed in the service aspect of our hobby as one of the many ways to enjoy amateur radio.
In addition to performing the duties of Vice Director, I volunteer time as:
President of the Bloomington Amateur Radio Association
Director and DX Donation Manager for the Twin Cities DX Association
Member of the Bloomington Communications Group
Member of the Minnesota Wireless Association
Member of the Northern Lights Radio Society
The hobby we enjoy has some challenges to confront as we progress further into the 21st century. Our membership is aging faster than we can add young new members. As a board Director I would like to explore more ways to involve young people in amateur radio. We need to burn the candle on both ends to increase membership. The ARRL full-time staff, and elected board members, need to come up with programs and services that are attractive to the younger generation of amateur radio operators. We need to give tools and encouragement, to local clubs, to retain new ticket hams, as club members. Amateur radio is not static. There are new operating specialties and modes emerging all the time. Local club leaders should lead the charge to try new operating modes, encourage contesting and promote a variety of club activities.
Being a VHF and up contester opened my eyes to the threats commercial interest pose on our spectrum allocations. VHF/UHF/SHF are the most desired by business and industry. HF is still abused by entities that think our amateur bands are open for their shortwave broadcasts and radars. As a board member I would continue to support the ARRL participation in the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) as it prepares for the ITU 2018 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)
The awards programs that we enjoy are seeing changes in the way amateur radio operators participate. The traditional way of: work ’em, get your cards checked and order the wallpaper (certificate) is fading. 21st century hams still enjoy working new entities and grid squares while tracking their progress on the LOTW website. Wallpaper doesn’t seem as important. I’d like to see more online bells and whistles for league members. New analysis tools to research past QSOs, forecast when the next openings might be for a needed entity and compare your accomplishments to friends and fellow club members are some enhancements to explore.
Thank you for reading this and I thank you for casting a vote to endorse me for the 2018 ARRL Board Of Directors.
73 Matt KØBBC