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National Director CandidateBiography sent to Parachutist
I am an active and current jumper. I work with many newer jumpers, listen to their concerns, help keep them safe and teach them things, in a few jumps, it took me hundreds or thousands of jumps to learn. I help keep seasoned jumpers active by inviting them out to the DZ for fun-filled and challenging jumps. Some days I bring the newer and seasoned jumpers together to meet each other and add to the camaraderie we all find in skydiving.
In 21 years of skydiving, I have organized, jumpmastered, written articles, competed, run meets, managed the logistics of World Record attempts, provided input to USPA, PIA, FAI and the FAA. I have testified at public hearings on airport access issues. I am well versed in the workings of many aspects of skydiving and jump operations.
I communicate with thousands of jumpers worldwide. I meet active jumpers, first time jumpers and retired jumpers via the internet. Many times I have the good fortune to also jump with these people. I want to enhance the communication among members, staff and the Board. Every voice is important.
I will work year round with all jumpers to make YOUR voice heard. Contact me at AerosoftwareNOSPAM@NOSPAMMakeItHappen.com.
I know how to MakeItHappen.com.
Jan's Interview with British sportTalk Radio Station. (Sept. 2002)
The reason I am running for National Director of USPA is because I believe I can do a better job. I am dissatisfied with what is happening with our organization and want to change it.
Here are a few of the issues:
An extended repack cycle is the MOST important issue to individual jumpers. USPA has not done everything it could possibly do in this area. I asked USPA to file for a waiver, but it did not 'get discussed' at a BOD meeting. That was in the summer of 2001. PD and Precision have filed waivers for their reserve parachutes. The US will most likely be one of the last countries to adopt a longer than 120 day repack cycle. We have to do things today that get the changes into the FAA's revision cycle - not give lame excuses to the membership.
The GM program has gone amuck. I do not know how it got there, but it is stuck in the mire of political innuendo and dysfunctional benefits. It is time to take a long, hard look at why we have the GM program. I definitely will work towards abolishing the mandatory USPA membership of jumpers at a GM DZ.
At times, our elections seem to be an exercise in futility. The timeline of the elections should be shifted towards the warmer months to generate more participation. Voter participation over the years has been over 10% except for 1980. This is great, yet we can do better if the election was held earlier in the year.
The number of candidates - or really the lack of candidates, for Regional seats needs to be addressed. The collection of signatures by ONLY RD candidates, not by incumbents is just plain unfair. Those running for a ND seat, both incumbent and candidates, should also be required to obtain signatures by a certain percentage of USPA members. Our election rules are heavily predisposed to keep the 'status quo'. We need to eliminate these biases in our rules.
Last fall, USPA tired to take all power away from individual members in a campaign to push a blanket proxy. Fortunately, our members realized this and gave a resounding no to this. We do need to have a specific proxy method available for our membership so we can make viable changes to our constitution and by-laws.
USPA Written Rating Exams
These should be updated and progressively move to a pool of exam questions. Several versions of the exam would then be possible. The FAA uses a similar technique for its airmen exams.
Each question should be user tested before it actually makes it into an exam. I set up a demonstration of how this would work.
We need to get rid of the 'stupid-@$$' questions of "According to FAR 105, blah blah blah..." These questions do not test real knowledge. They test if a person knows the number of the section a rule is written in. That kind of 'knowledge' will not save people's lives.
Student Training and the BSRs
The ISP and BSRs have some recent changes in them that do not benefit smaller DZs and strongly inhibit the free exchange of information and training from our more experienced jumpers to our newer jumpers. It seems that USPA wants all new jumpers to pay through the nose for education and that the quality of education is judged by the dollar amount associated with the training.
For about 5 years now I have tried to get little tiny changes to the SIM. I have asked my RD and many other Directors and HQ to follow up of these items. It was all for naught. The items never made it to a discussion or into the SIM. (The items included rewording the 'ripcords must be made of metal' and adding a whistle as recommended equipment for night dives.) There has to be a system for jumpers to make suggestions to USPA doctrine. These things cannot be ignored or brushed off just because the individual making a suggestion does not attend a BOD meeting. Our officials are there to present these items in our behalf.
Notice of Proposed Rule Making
USPA used to publish the new version of doctrine for membership input before it became official. We need to start doing this again. The revision of the IRM - sort of did this. But for the most part, new doctrine is drafted and passed without membership input. This gives rise to poor legislation and a large amount of discontent among the membership. The great advantage of a NPRM format is that the controversial parts of new rules are discussed and people are education about the issues. Both sides of an issue can be open to influence and find middle ground that works for all.
Member to USPA Official Communications
We need to use the internet to its full extent. We need to get USPA officials using existing and free technology to enhance communication with membership. We need officials that are not afraid of technology and know how to use it.
My Most Memorable Jumps
I do not know how many jumps I have or even how many I did last year. I do not officially log my jumps. Manifest sheets, invoices, video or photographs document many of my jumps. My checkbook indicates that I have just under 5000 jumps. I am current too. Check out the July 2002 issue of Skydiving magazine. I am in the photographs on pages 8, 9 and 43.
I am a former AFF Instructor, Jumpmaster and AFF Evaluator. I am a former SL Instructor and Jumpmaster. (There were no BIC or Coach courses when I went through the programs.)
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