Hello, all members of GCARA.

Spring is here and we are in the midst of a refresh and renewal of the Board. Due to the intense demands of his personal life at this moment, Vice President Joe McGee NX4T has requested to step down from the VP position. It is demanding a little more of his time than his personal needs allow. I fully understand the needs of all of us to balance the joys of working for the club with the attendance to personal duties and have decided to accept his resignation. That being said, I have also found that we can depend on our club members for stepping up to the plate in a time of need. Ricki Witte, KJ4FSJ, has graciously agreed to help us out to fill that post. Ricki was the previous Treasurer and after Roy Neiman’s death, stepped seamlessly into the Secretary position to finish out his tenure. No stranger to the Board work, she will take on the VP and Membership position and do us proud. We will hold a special election in our April meeting to fill the VP/Membership position.

I want to publicly thank Joe for all of the duties he took on for the club and enumerate a few of them for those of us that are not aware of the “behind the scenes”, day-to-day activities of the Board. First of all, he was the gregarious and joyful face to meet the new members. He even unselfishly stepped in to assist some members with their equipment problems and even provided some with equipment when it was determined that what was already owned by the member, would not meet the demands of the hobby. He was also instrumental in organizing quite a few Field Days for us. He planned and executed them well, organizing everything from communications to the workforce needed, and lent us his Beam antenna to use. He worked with Dan Vasilca  AI4WW, to get the computers up to speed with N1MM so we could track our contacts during our competitions. A homebrewer of old, he successfully built and implemented several antennas, some for the personal use of members (like my window antenna which helps me get to JKV flawlessly and Barry Porter’s at his location) and the Field Days. He also supported Ricky Eaton on the Technical side with the Repeater, making it easier for Ricky to troubleshoot with Joe on the premises giving details. He has always been a beacon of kindness among many acts of kindness that most of you are unaware of. His service was not only valuable and made my job easier, but he is also commendable for his service.

I am not sure if you are aware of it but our current Board is a bunch of superstars in my estimation and I am going to use this time to pay them tribute. I could not be as successful at handling club business without any of these gentlemen.

First, there is our Treasurer, Erik Olmer W4EJO, who not only is so efficient at the performance of his Treasurer duties, that he NEVER leaves us in a bind, financially or otherwards. His impeccable reports for the club are always on time and present even if he is on vacation! He is also a font of progressive ideas for the club’s future growth and he assists in any capacity in which he is asked. He is a tireless volunteer in CERT of Margate, a volunteer of several community activities (MS BIKE RACE in Palm Beach lately) as well as an invaluable aide to Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB and Jeff Stahl K4BH at the EOC during Hurricane season and the practice of Winter Field Day. He is also a consummate member of the South Florida Traffic Net and runs the ARES/RACES Net, BCEPN. Whew, it is exhausting to recall all of the things he does while holding down a full-time job! Thank you for all that you do, Erik!

Next, we are pleased to have Charlie Artner, KN4VDW, our Secretary, whose notes on each general and Board meeting are flawless! On top of getting information absolutely correct, he also gives time to do the SEFT Net. He stepped into the position of getting speakers for the club that has been outstanding in their educational opportunities for the club. On top of that, he manages the information flow for the club, getting out the meeting info on Mail Chimp, as well as managing the Website, W4BUG. He has brought us into the 21rst Century, authoring forms for signing up for membership and events. He has greatly lessened the load for me by keeping track of everything we need to keep track of and he keeps me up to date without exception on anything from website security to speaker possibilities, on a daily basis. I cannot imagine trying to do my job without his help now. Thank you Charlie for your good nature and your spirit of goodwill towards others.

Then, there is Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, our repeater Trustee who, along with the help of Eric Rodriguez KF4LZA, keeps our repeaters in tip-top shape and responds to all of our requests to fix problems when they arise. Although Ricky and Eric work full-time jobs, they are so generous with their time and talent when it comes to our communications. Their jobs require ability and agility of thinking, as well as keeping their eye on the future growth of our communication footprint in the tri-county area. I absolutely LOVE Ricky’s ability to blend in with others and his amenable personality. He is happy to accommodate everyone on the Board and in the club as he also performs service activities for members who need them. He certainly can perform as the epitome of what HAM is all about as well as the aforementioned persons.

Jeff Stahl K4BH, has been a foundational character on the Board, serving as we request on odd duties as well as VE Coordinator for the club and Director/Parliamentarian. He has fully supported our club with all of his time and talent and is involved in various efforts in the community as well. He is a CAP leader, the Ares Chair and CO-chairs RACES to help Carol Sjursen KJ4AWB as well as works in the EOC and for WinterFest boat Parade. He takes responsibility for the announcements on the SEFTN net and is invaluable in keeping our meeting within Robert’s Rules of Order. Even though he is active in other clubs, he maintains his dedication to GCARA with indomitable fervor. He has been a good friend and a true asset since the beginning of my Presidency and I am forever grateful for his services.

Tom Savoca K9TJS, is new to the board but is already proving his mettle. He is getting our name into the community as our new Director PIO and we are getting more presence on Facebook as well as Instagram. He is practiced in web development as well as Social Media and is a perfect fit for our needs as a Board member. Welcome aboard Thomas!

It is my pleasure to serve GCARA with this group of energetic and talented people. I consider myself lucky to be part of the Board as I work alongside these professionals and I can say that I have learned a lot about radio from these gentlemen. Thank you so much.

I wish everyone a Happy Spring and a blessed Easter. May those of you with health problems heal fast and may those of you who are new to us not be strangers longer than necessary. GCARA appreciates and needs its members so let us know of any special way we can assist you in your hobby.

Until the next message, I remain, cordially yours,
Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT, President of the GCARA

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