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President's Corner - December 2001

Greetings. I am proud and pleased to assume the duties of President of your Association. I am joined by a team of dedicated professionals who are committed to the goals and ideals upon which the FTVA was founded. But wait a minute, you say. No doubt some eagle-eyed parliamentarians among us have noted that our Constitution and Bylaws state that officers will be elected at the annual meeting after mail ballots have been received and counted. And, as the Annual Meeting was cancelled in the aftermath of the horrific events of September 11 (see the details of that decision elsewhere in this issue), the election could not be completed, even though the ballots had been counted and the results affirmed the recommendations of the nominating committee. This was a dilemma. What to do?

Having never encountered a situation like this before, we researched Robert's Rules of Order, talked with other organizations about their procedures and even consulted a lawyer. Our final action was to call upon one of our own, former Board member Mary Holub, who is a certified Parliamentarian. She confirmed that in accordance with our Constitution and Bylaws, Robert's Rules of Order and accepted parliamentary procedure, we had basically three choices: the incumbent officers whose terms had expired could continue in office until the next annual meeting and general election; we could conduct an Annual Meeting 30 days after formal notification to the membership, at a place to be determined, to vote for the positions of President and Secretary; or the officers whose terms were to be completed could resign. In the spirit of cooperation that is characteristic of your Board members, President Feldblum and Secretary Rocha submitted their formal resignations. As Vice President, I assumed the position of Acting President and the Board approved the appointment of Grover Jackson as Vice President and Grover McMakin as Secretary. It is envisioned that the Acting President and appointed Secretary will stand for election to one year terms in October to get the officers of the Association back into the regular cycle of elections and terms. Now you know "the rest of the story." We have also determined that we need to amend our Constitution and Bylaws so that we can avoid having to go through extraordinary parliamentary gyrations should we face such a situation in the future.

In spite of the unorthodox beginning for this new term, we are off to a good start. We are pleased that Okey Warden has agreed to join us as Director of Special Activities and help with the Vigilant Partners program. Mike Feldblum is taking the lead, with assistance from Bob Cope and Grover McMakin, helping us establish a memorial at the Air Force Museum honoring Air Intelligence Agency (USAFSS, ESC, AFIC, AIA) reconnaissance flyers who paid the ultimate price during the Cold War. Our Educational Fund program, headed by Doug Holden, continues to generate participation and there's still time to send a tax-deductible donation this year. And, we're already planning the reunion for 2002...mark your calendars for September 26-28.

We were sad to say goodbye to three Board members who have served with us for many years. Lou Rocha, Jesse Coultrap and Jo Ann Himes have moved on to pursue other activities. Grover McMakin has stepped up to serve as Secretary with Lou Rocha's departure, Jack Grabda has assumed the Historian slot following Jo Ann Himes and we are still looking for a Sports Director (golfing prowess and/or organizational skills are desirable) to take over for Jesse Coultrap who served in that role for some 17 years. We appreciate their many contributions and thank them for their service.

I want to pay special thanks to Bob Cope and Grover McMakin, two of the stalwarts of your Association. After the difficult decision was made to cancel the reunion they took on the unenviable task of contacting all who had sent money for the annual reunion dinner dance and made sure that they either received a refund check or that their money went to disaster relief, the education program or the memorial fund. This was a tedious task at best, but they pursued it with grace, and I believe everyone has been contacted and appropriate disposition of funds has been completed. We are indeed fortunate to have both Bob and Mac helping keep FTVA the viable organization that it is.

With "Operation Enduring Freedom" taking the war against terrorism to where the terrorists live, our intelligence/cyber warriors become ever more critical to mission success. The folks on Security Hill, and at AIA units around the globe are fully engaged and playing a vital role in the fight. As we celebrate the holiday season, let's all take a moment and keep our forces who are in harms way in our thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes to you and your families for the holidays.

Remain in touch.

John Worthington

President, FTVA

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Freedom Through Vigilance Association
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San Antonio, TX 78269-1616

File last updated: March 21, 2013 8:18:16 PM CDT