Executive Director Report

John Dorcey_bylineThe year is well underway. January has come and gone and memories of Valentine’s Day may yet linger in the candy bowl. For some, spring is fast approaching while others are still in the throes of winter’s worst. Much has occurred for SAFE during these first weeks of the New Year. We have bid adieu to Doug Stewart as our first executive director. His tireless efforts have brought us successfully through our formative years. Doug remains active in our organization, and is now even busier instructing throughout the Northeast.

Your board of directors has been busy too. Sadly, we have had to say an early goodbye to Kurt Reesman. His departure leaves the board with a vacancy, which will be filled later this spring. Not deterred by a vacancy, the board has, in the last six weeks, contracted with an interim executive director (ED), established a search committee to select a permanent ED, formed a partnership with the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide (IWOAW), rewritten our Vision and Mission Statements, and agreed that SAFE will become a sponsor for Air Race Classic 2015.

Work within our committees also has borne fruit. The Membership Committee presented the board with a Lifetime Membership program that the board approved at its January meeting. You may recall reading about the new membership option in this month’s newsletter. Visit the SAFE website, click the red banner to learn more, and upgrade to become a life member of SAFE. Another new effort, the Ambassador Program, was also announced in the January newsletter. This effort was suggested by the Programs Committee. Looking for a way to become an active SAFE member? Become an ambassador and help spread the word about your organization.

Speaking of SAFE committees, there remain several vacancies where you could become more engaged with other SAFE members and have an active role in what we accomplish. Contact Board Chair Donna Wilt or myself for more information or to volunteer.

We continue to work with the FAA on its recent attempt to improve aviation safety through increased use of ATDs. Our effort, and that of other aviation organizations, will continue until we achieve the proposed rule changes.

Thanks to the many SAFE members who have welcomed me back to our daily operations; thanks to our behind the scenes folks – Jenny Furst, Mark Phelps, and Brian Willett; thanks to the SAFE board, the officers, and chair Donna Wilt; and finally a big thank you to Doug Stewart. Doug, I enjoyed our time together on the board and I have appreciated your counsel during our transition to ED of SAFE. The future of SAFE is bright as we begin our sixth year. We will achieve many objectives in coming months as we work together toward a safer aviation environment.

Let’s be SAFE out there…

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