Melanie Fernandez
Melanie Fernandez

CQ, CQ, CQ, Calling all hams……..It is with a great deal of satisfaction and pride that I accept passing on the baton to the next executive board. Congratulations to the elected Board of Directors as accepted by the general membership on November 22, 2022.

The new Board has a great deal to accomplish, and I am assured that they will continue to promote the spirit of this hobby in the manner for which it is intended. First of all, in order for a hobby to be enjoyable it must be fun to its participants. A spirit of camaraderie, of giving and sharing , needs to continue in the pursuit of our higher learning about the hobby. There must be a mutual understanding that everyone has gifts to share and should be given the opportunity to do so. There must be an understanding that a club is NOT one or two people, but the whole group, who strive to accomplish the work that needs to be done to achieve the goals of the group. It is with this understanding and respect that I led this club in the past and I hope it will be led in the future.

Since this will be my last message to the club as your president, I want to commend several people, who unselfishly gave of their time and talents to improve this club in specials ways.

Charlie Artner KN4VDW, is the first on my list. He spent many hours of his free time delving into the construction of a beautiful website. He is a true artist who designed the communication forms that we all now use by habit to send information to the executive board for the good of the club. His thoughtful architecture of our website is a tribute to the man he is, thoughtful, creative and very thorough. It was he who paid attention to details, both as the secretary and as webmaster, and he found ways to remind of us of where we were going if we found ourselves off track. These are big shoes to fill in my opinion and I want to thank him for his unselfish support of the club for these past few years. Thank you, Charlie, for putting your all into the tasks at hand. You have been a valuable and unselfish club member and certainly a joy to me.

I have also enjoyed working closely with our repeater trustee, Ricky Eaton KD4HGR and his associate Eric Rodriguez KF4LZA. These two men, sometimes along with the technical assistance of Joe McGee NX4T, Al Flapan AF4FA, and Michael Samokiesyzyn KF4ZW, have been instrumental in keeping our repeaters, DMR and HF station working and in service to the club, for many years. They worked in the background, unselfishly putting in many hours to solve complex problems with equipment so that the hams of GCARA could enjoy our hobby seamlessly. As with all effective people, they shared their vast knowledge and approached each problem from their own field of expertise and worked as a team to provide a very good communication service to our club members, both as the hobby demands and in times of emergency communication needs. Thank you gentlemen for giving your all to this effort.

Jeff Stahl K4BH served as part of the technical team, provided presentations to our club from his vast arsenal of powerpoints developed over time, tested our newer hams and provided the information for them to get involved. Despite being heavily involved with Ares Races as an officer, working in the EOC, teaching courses in CPR, and teaching the ham licensure information for the Boca Raton Club, working the WINTERFEST effort, carrying out CERT responsibilities as well as his involvement in CAP, Jeff has shown remarkable ability to serve amateur radio in all aspects selflessly. It is with a great deal of admiration and pride that I worked with this gentleman to make our club the best it could be. Thank you Jeff for both your encouragement to me and your loyal support.

Thanks to the ARRL team of Barry Porter KB1PA, Jeff Beals WA4AW, and Marty Falk KI4IQZ, who gave me endless positive support in my tenure as president of this club. Thank you one and all for your time and support of our club in general.

Who could forget our club sponsor, Mike Spivak WB4RFC, who first recommended that this previous Secretary on the Board, take the lead of this fantastic club? Certainly I could not! He gave sage advice, made valuable suggestions and supported this club so faithfully throughout my tenure. He helped me collect information for Field Days, took care of the attendance sheet when the club met in person and sold the fifty-fifty tickets, cheerfully greeting all of our members and visitors each month. Those were the “good ole days” for the club when we met in person pre-COVID times. We had a lot of fun while learning all about all aspects of ham radio.

Thank you, Mike for all of the help and encouragement.

And the list goes on! I could not possibly name every person who were instrumental in my tenure. There is not enough time nor paper. Thank you to all who unselfishly worked to promote amateur radio in its highest form during my presidency. You may not be named here but I have recall of ALL of you. You reside in my mind and heart as good friends, mentors and honorable hams, whether you are alive or are silent keys. There was and is so much effort by so many wonderful people that goes into being a good club. Thank you to all of you.

In closing, I would like to extend a heartfelt wish for the happiest of holidays to all. May your signal be strong and the QRM be non-existent in 2023! God bless everyone!

73, Melanie Fernandez JK4VCT

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