by John Dorsey
SAFE celebrated its fifth birthday a few months back. It was a quiet affair, a few friends, 10 in number, gathered for a meeting where the focus was not so much on attaining an age milestone, but on the future and upcoming events. Monthly, the SAFE board gathers and reports on the work of your organization. Your board is unique. Its purpose is, of course, governance, but directors perform most of the functions of a staff. From working “the booth” at aviation events, writing press releases, developing apps, creating marketing pieces and a myriad of other projects, your directors do so much more than governance. During those five years, 17 individuals have served, or continue to serve, on the board. Thank you, SAFE directors, past and present, for volunteering your time, talent and treasure.
Together, we have accomplished much, enjoyed many successes and learned from a few missteps. Along the way, SAFE has developed alliances with many industry stakeholders, partnered with corporate sponsors, and joined like-minded others to move all of us toward a safer aviation industry. Thank you, sponsors, without your financial support we would not have had the successes from which we benefit.
Did you realize that SAFE has 11 committees that work for the betterment of the organization? Nearly 60 SAFE members serve behind the scenes moving us toward our organizational goals. Meeting monthly (or occasionally less often), these volunteers have seized the opportunity to be of service to SAFE. Britain’s King George IV said, “The highest of distinctions is service to others.” Thank you, SAFE Committee Members. You are a distinguished group.
Supporting membership is another opportunity where you can support your organization. A small percentage of SAFE members contribute additional funds to support our many projects. Thank you, Supporting Members for your continued generosity. If you are not yet a supporting member, I encourage you to become one. Your tax deductible contribution is welcome in any amount, at any time.
A membership organization needs members. The good news is SAFE has experienced great membership growth in the past. The less-than-good news is that only a few SAFE members teach aviation in the K-12 school system. We have very few members among STEM advocates. Very few of our members are aviation maintenance instructors. Every one of us is interconnected through aviation education. We need each other. Since the Wright Brothers first flight, and even before, we have needed each other.
Give SAFE a birthday gift. Consider serving on a committee or working the booth at AirVenture. Renew your membership; better yet, become a supporting member. Recruit a member, or two. Thank our corporate sponsors for their support when you have the opportunity. Imagine how, with a small gift from every member, SAFE would look at its next birthday.
I have reached the end of my tenure on the SAFE board. Five years have flown by (pun intended). Besides serving as director, I have held secretary, vice-chair and chairman positions. I have benefited greatly from meeting many of you; I have enjoyed our communications and shared passion of all things aviation education. I am honored to have served you and SAFE. I look forward to seeing you in the pattern.