Thank you for considering me as one of your USPA National Directors. I will briefly outline my experience, then dive right in and bullet point what I’ve accomplished since being elected in November 2021, my overall mission, identify specific areas of improvement, sharing areas of USPA’s work I intend to support, and share feedback from the field.
CONNECT. SUPPORT. REPRESENT.
USPA Member: Since 1994
Jumps: 11,250+ (150+ jumps this year)
Ratings: AFF/I, IAD/I, Pro Rating
Teams: Highlight Pro Skydiving Team
World Records: 24 Total (in 5 different discipline categories: FS, VFS, VSFS, UFS, WS)
I was elected in a Special Election in November 2020. This is what I’ve accomplished thus far:
Wrote Sec 6-12 with leaders of the movement community
Supported 4-Way FS Beginner Class
Created a Facebook Group to listen to members, support ideas, encourage discussions, and educate about USPA
Connected with several DZO’s in person and via Zoom (and continue to do so)
Created a sub-committee for Sport Promotion
Listened to members and helped initiate the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion [JEDI] movement
Voted no on the Landing Pattern, and Balloon Jump BSR’s
Continue to work with members answering questions, bringing feedback to the board, and being a voice for members on the board.
To inspire the next generation to get involved by joining in on meetings, voting, interacting in my FB Group, or running for a board position.
Mentoring interested members to become a National or Regional Director.
To continue reaching out to members including DZO’s via my FB Group and in-person.
Sharing ideas from the field with this group and presenting to the board if viable, discuss upcoming agenda items for member feedback, and report as the BOD meetings are happening to keep members engaged and informed.
SPECIFIC AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
After meeting with several DZO’s, S&TA’s, Instructors, Judges, Competitors, and many members, as well as looking at the 13,000-foot view of USPA, these are the specific areas of improvement I want to bring to the members for feedback and if viable, to bring to the board:
Updated competitor code of conduct
Address Membership Services
Follow up on 3 motions not passed
Nationals Host Kits
USPA purchase and provide the following for host DZ’s: Registration software, tuffet, CP supplies, scoring system, guide on scheduling events, guide on hosting award ceremonies, provide spectator’s guide
Infographic – better “map” of how to bid for nationals
Welcome letter when a host wins the bid, followed up by a welcome kit and the above details, equipment, etc.
Supporting World Level Athletes
Financial support for our World Level Athletes (this has been a topic for decades I believe, but has had the thought process that only a very small percentage of members actually compete at Nationals and fewer at the world level. However, being able to support athletes helps the organization in a way that does not have a measurable ROI – you can utilize these teams in training for marketing and showcasing our sport on a professional level that will reach more members of USPA perhaps inspiring them to compete, but also reach the general public and inspiring them to try skydiving)
Advocate to hire a grant writer and seek out grants to pay for training, travel, registration, tracksuits
More social media/blog/newsletter, etc coverage of athletes training for nationals around the country
Sport Promotion Sub Committee
To continue finding ways to Inspire, Covert, Support, and Perception of sport
Update B-D Licensing to be more relevant
Gathering data over last 10 years for incidents and fatalities
Break out % of ground, freefall and canopy requirements
Outline the problems with discipline-specific requirements and propose updated and relevant requirements
Perhaps a working group of canopy pilots, rating centers, AFFI’s, S&TA’s, as well as interested board members, etc. to develop
Continue connecting with DZO’s / DZM’s on what they like, do not like, want, etc. to develop kits and/or resources
Instead of a 2-page listing in Parachutist, have a 1-page ad with a QR code to link of GM DZ’s
MATTERS TO SUPPORT
There are many other things that are in talks by other board members. Here is what’s being talked about that I support:
Support Term Limits or Rolling Elections (Rolling elections was presenting at the last BOD meeting and I will support or pursue one of these paths)
Support Re-Write of the SIM (others interested in pursuing this and I will advocate for it)
Support the Judges Program Jen Sharp & Steve Hubbard presented at the summer 2021 Board Meeting
Support more canopy education but what was presented at the last board meeting was incomplete and flawed – we need to seek out canopy pilots in the field for a more thought out update
FEEDBACK FROM THE FIELD
The following list is highlights from my time on the road listening to DZO’s, S&TA’s, competitors, and members (the highlights are that I’ve heard this from more than 3 sources, or were great ideas I thought would be valuable to the membership). The following will be discussed in this group if elected to see viability to bring to the BOD.
For S&TA’s: online portal very cumbersome, time-consuming and not intuitive
Address the medical for tandem (it’s been more than 20 years, is tandem still experimental?)
Adding options to renew memberships annually, 5-years or 10-years (not including licensing or ratings)
Discussing and finding solutions for a better way to report incidents
Employee vs Independent Contractor
Rolling Safety Day instead of annual, have 3-4x a year