by Scott Thompson
As 2019 draws to a close, our chapter’s leadership team is experiencing some changes. The two-year terms of the chapter officers and board members end this month, and the 2020-2021 term begins. Fortunately, many of the existing board members are continuing in their positions. For the officers, we will see some changes.
Tom Lieb, our chapter vice-president, had decided to take a break from official chapter duties, and he is being replaced by Darren Coomler, one of the current board members. And me, as chapter president, will regretfully end my role on the leadership team. My day job demands more and more of my time, so I am forced to step back and also take a break. I will continue as a member of the board. As I write this, we do not have person identified as the new president. The chapter board of directors have a duty to name a president as part of responsibility of being an EAA chapter, so that is a task the board is taking up. Fortunately for our chapter, Jim Hughes will continue in his long-held role as secretary-treasurer, so we enjoy some continuity in our chapter officers.
For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of working with the 2018-2019 board of directors, and I think we can look upon some significant accomplishments. We have instituted Airport Fun Days, held four Young Eagle Rallies, expanded our scholarship program to include EAA Air Academy sponsorships, supported an EAA Ray Scholarship winner, did some major upgrades to our chapter hangar home, and held a good number of excellent and interesting programs. It is certainly a team effort to make this happen, not only from the leadership group but also all the chapter volunteers that flesh out the ideas with muscle and enthusiasm.
Our chapter membership has swelled to include 142 individuals, the highest number in our chapter’s seven- year history. From my perspective, we are a very active chapter and that has drawn people in. As we move forward we need to intentionally spread out the workload to a greater number of our members so that we don’t burn out the smallish group of reliable volunteers that show up for every activity. With the new faces in our chapter I am happy to see some express interest in diving in to help. That is what will keep our chapter moving forward and growing…new people with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm that will contribute greatly to the foundation already laid down by our past years of work.
As for me, I will contribute what time as my other responsibilities allow. At some point in the future I hope to be able to come back into a more active leadership role. I think the mission of the local EAA chapters are vital to protect and promote both sport aviation and aviation in general, and our local EAA Chapter 1541 is the Lincoln, California, part of that effort.