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Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers

 


TitaniumLegs  (D 19246)

Nov 13, 2002, 9:46 PM
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Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers Can't Post

Last week, I asked several questions of each of the three Pacific Region Director Candidates that I know of. Their answers are below, in their entirety and unedited, in a random order, after the original questions.

It has been suggested that these questions are biased. Well, yes they are. They are questions I wanted answered. They were not, however, fed or suggested to me by anyone else, candidate or otherwise. I asked the questions because I was undecided for whom to vote. I still am, and need to read the answers a couple more times before I vote. Of course, every member of the USPA has the right to ask questions of the BoD and candidates. Feel free to ask your own.

Lastly, I want to thank each of the candidates for taking the time to answer so completely and quickly.

May the best man win.

Peter Learmonth
USPA 120552

================================================================================
The Questions:
Dear Candidate

1. a. What experience do you have as an officer or director of a large organization?
b. Do you have the resources (time, money) to travel for and attend USPA business such as BoD and membership meetings?
c. What have you contributed to USPA other than as a BoD member? (Course development, research team, USPA committees, judging, etc.)

2. a. Have you visited all of the dropzones, including non-USPA group member drop zones in your region in the past year? If not, how many?
b. Do the DZOs of the dropzones in your region know you are running?
c. Do you have their endorsement? Have you asked for it?

3. Will you respond to communications from your constituents via any medium commonly used by USPA members including phone, fax, email and common skydiving newsgroups and web sites?

4. Of the following disciplines, in which have you participated 1) ever and 2) in the last 12 months?
_____ RW
_____ CRW
_____ Freeflying
_____ Style
_____ Accuracy
_____ Skysurfing
_____ Video flying
_____ Instructor jumps (Any type, including tandem, AFF, IAD, SL).
_____ Birdman/Wingsuit
_____ Demo
_____ BASE

5. Have you ever competed at USPA Nationals (any category) or other recognized or well-known national or international competition?

6. a. Are you a licensed pilot?
b. Have you flown jumpers?

7. In what other aviation or skydiving-oriented organizations are you a member? (AOPA, FAI, BASE, foreign aero clubs, etc.)

Non-incumbent candidates:
8. Have you discussed the duties of a regional director with a current or previous member of the BoD?
9. Have you ever attended a BoD meeting as a regular member?
10. For those who are running on a platform of "It's time for a change" or "Let's bring USPA back to being an organization for the jumpers.", have you
discussed your concerns with the current regional director?

All candidates:
Is there anything you would like to add or comment on any issue(s) you feel are particularly important in the coming BoD term?

================================================================================

Max Cohn

1. a. What experience do you have as an officer or director of a large
organization?

-------Since I was young, Iíve always participated in management/instruction roles in different arenas.

Iíve been active in the National Volunteer Firemanís Committee (NVFC) as a recruitment and retention committee member. This experience allowed me to communicate with local emergency volunteer services and Government agencies, both State and National, and strived to increase volunteer participation in emergency services.

I spent 10 years instructing martial arts and helping to organize events for my martial arts school. In University, I was the president of the Martial Arts Club. Also in University, I was active as the New Member President and Educator in my Fraternity.

Iím the owner of two skydiving-related business and Iíve worked with a plethora of USPA members, manufacturers, drop zone owners and more.

I look at the BOD as an opportunity to utilize my skills of communicating with the members we represent and addressing those needs in a timely fashion.

b. Do you have the resources (time, money) to travel for and attend
USPA business such as BoD and membership meetings?

---------I consider the BOD meetings (and related meetings) as a bare minimum requirement for participation on the board. I certainly plan to attend all regular meetings.


c. What have you contributed to USPA other than as a BoD member?
(Course development, research team, USPA committees, judging, etc.)

---------I feel Iíve contributed to the USPA in several ways. First, Iíve been actively teaching Freeflying for 5 years and Iíve unofficially helped many skydivers and DZOís create safety parameters. Iíve written many articles on Freefly safety and education.

Iíve had many conversations with regional and national directors on several issues related to Freeflying in safety, education and competition.

As a prospective member of the BOD, I see it as an opportunity to more effectively apply these important issues and voice the opinions the members to the BOD.

2. a. Have you visited all of the dropzones, including non-USPA group
member drop zones in your region in the past year? If not, how many?
b. Do the DZOs of the dropzones in your region know you are running?
c. Do you have their endorsement? Have you asked for it?

----------I have visited many drop zones (over 50) in the past 5 years, both in my region and outside my region. In the past 12 months, I have visited about 15 drop zones. Most of the drop zones around me know that I am running, as well as many drop zones around the Country and World.

I have received support from many drop zones, fun jumpers and manufacturers.

3. Will you respond to communications from your constituents via any
medium commonly used by USPA members including phone, fax, email and common
skydiving newsgroups and web sites?

-----------Absolutely! Many USPA members already contact me regularly via email and phone, and many have specifically contacted me concerning my campaign for National Director as a Write In.

I am very accessible via email (max@generationfreefly.com) and phone (201.538.4652), fax (if thatís more convenient for anyone, 201.934.1630) and Iím usually participating in some discussion on rec.skydiving or dropzone.com forums, and Iím open to participating in others.

4. Of the following disciplines, in which have you participated 1) ever
and 2) in the last 12 months?
_____ RW
_____ CRW
_____ Freeflying
_____ Style
_____ Accuracy
_____ Skysurfing
_____ Video flying
_____ Instructor jumps (Any type, including tandem, AFF, IAD, SL).
_____ Birdman/Wingsuit
_____ Demo
_____ BASE


--------Iíve participated extensively in Freeflying (which is flying all of bodyís surface areas). Iíve done some in Freestyle. Iíve filmed everything from Tandems to AFF to Freefly to Sky surf to RW to CRW.

Iíve dabbled in BASE jumping (2 BASE Jumps), have done a few small demo jumps and, while not a swooping competitor, I enjoy pond-swooping and safely pushing the limits of my canopy flight.

While there is never enough time to do everything, I have good influence all around me in all disciplines.

5. Have you ever competed at USPA Nationals (any category) or other
recognized or well-known national or international competition?

---------I competed in the 2000 US National in Freefly (4th place) and I have competed in several Space Games Freefly Competitions from 1999-2001 in individual games, 3-way competitions, skysurf and freestyle.

I was also a judge in the Space Games.

6. a. Are you a licensed pilot?
b. Have you flown jumpers?

---------No, I am not a licensed pilot.

7. In what other aviation or skydiving-oriented organizations are you a
member? (AOPA, FAI, BASE, foreign aero clubs, etc.)


---------I am an FAA Senior Rigger since 1997.

Non-incumbent candidates:
8. Have you discussed the duties of a regional director with a current or
previous member of the BoD?
9. Have you ever attended a BoD meeting as a regular member?
10. For those who are running on a platform of "It's time for a change" or
"Let's bring USPA back to being an organization for the jumpers.", have you
discussed your concerns with the current regional director?

-----------I have had several discussions with current Eastern Director Mike Perry, former Eastern Director Kay Hoiby-Griep and Former National Director Bill Richards on my current campaign.

In the past, Iíve had several opportunities to discuss USPA-related issues with National Director Roger Nelson.

I have not been able to attend a BOD meeting as a regular member, but I have been involved in the 2001 PIA Symposium, which addressed several related issue including repack cycles, student progression and industry standards that effect our members. I was a speaker at the 2001 symposium and I am scheduled to speak again at the 2003 symposium in Jacksonville, FL.

All candidates:
Is there anything you would like to add or comment on any issue(s) you feel
are particularly important in the coming BoD term?


---------I feel that my platform is based on two main objectives. The more specific of the two is that as a newer member our sport (USPA member since 1996), I can help address issues regarding Freeflying and Canopy Swooping, two up and coming disciplines that will need further structure from USPA. Safety, education and competition will all need addressing in both disciplines.

Secondly, I feel that I am a very active jumper that is submersed in the Ďworld of the fun-jumpersí. Some USPA members feel that USPA directors are more out of reach then they would like them to be. I am on dz, in the plane, in the air, around the USPA members.

When skydivers ask me, Ďwhat will you do for us as USPA National Director?í, I ask them, Ďwhat do you want?í. While some throw out humorous answers such as Ďfree jumps!í, most bring up valid points regarding group membership, repack cycles, safety and training, competition, recruitment, etcÖ

By being accessible to the members the USPA represents, I feel I can accurately relay messages to the BOD.

I offer all of my energy, my fresh blood and my open mind to the USPA members.

I am NOT a veteran member of the BOD, but I feel I have a wealth of knowledge regarding the wants and needs of the USPA members.

And, Iím here, in person, on the phone or on email to address, with honesty, the concerns of the USPA and the skydivers who make it up.

================================================================================

Chris de Bar

Peter,

I'll answer your questions in a more general format, rather than reply to
them point by point, but I expect that my position will be fairly clear by
the end.

I've never been the officer or director of a large corporation, and of
course, you probably knew that before you asked me that. I'm an elevator
technician, as most people know. However, USPA is a sporting body, not as I
have said, a trade association. If you consider that only prior business
experience of managing a large corporation to be a prerequisite for standing
for an elective office, then the available pool of candidates for any
office, USPA or not, is reduced to the detriment of all. The function of the
Pacific Director, or any regional director for that matter, is to represent
the jumpers in that conference fairly and with balance, and to this end,
what is required is a love for the sport and a genuine willingness to get
involved. I have both. I can certainly travel to any and all required USPA
meeting to fulfill the obligations of the job. It also gives me a greater
opportunity to steal mini bottles of whisky and tequila on commercial
aircraft.

As for what I've contributed to the sport. How about 8 years of my life ?
I've been and continue to be a student, a videographer, an AFF instructor,
a world record large formation participant, and a two time USPA nationals
medal winner
and current competitor. I'm at a DZ almost every weekend, teaching,
coaching,
instructing, and partying. I'm a committed jumper, just like you. I want a
say in how the sport progresses. I want to ensure that there is a sport for
me to participate in, and for others who follow us to be involved in. The
decision to run is not one I take lightly. It would be far easier just to
let someone else do it, but I feel that it's time that the ordinary weekend
fun jumper had a voice in the running of USPA. Take a look at the makeup of
the board and the regions. There's not many of us there representing the
biggest portion of the jumping populace.

As for the drop zones that I have visited. This year, I've jumped at Byron,
Skydance, Marina, Lodi and Perris. I was also on staff at the Hercules
Boogie in Sweden, and was jumping in Z Hills at Easter.
I haven't asked for the endorsement of any drop zone owners, because quite
frankly, I don't
require their permission or goodwill to run for an office to represent their
customers. DZ owners are more than represented in the makeup of USPA. I do
most of my jumps at Byron as you know, but I haven't asked for Mike
Tjaarda's approval. I expect to represent all jumpers in the region. I'll
respond to any communication from any jumper in whatever form they can get
it to me, fax, call, email, carrier pigeon, signal flags etc.

This year I have done RW, Freeflying, Freestyle, video, AFF, CRW, Demos
and was a participant on the new world record 27way Wingsuit jump in Sweden.
I am a participant in the next attempt on the world large formation
sequential
attempt in Florida in April 2003.
I don't do BASE. I have nothing against it, but it's a different sport with
different rules
and approaches and I don't think it wise to confuse it with recreational
skydiving.

I'm not a pilot, and I don't belong to any other aviation organizations with
the exception of the FAI. I am a two time USPA National medal winner.

As for the platform I'm running on, let's be clear on one thing. I don't
promise to change the world. What I do promise is to bring a voice to the
proceedings that is untainted by special interest or hidden agenda. I'll say
it again, I don't make my living from skydiving. Look at the officers of
USPA at all levels. It's become a trade association. These people already
have a trade association, it's called the PIA. There's nothing wrong with
them occupying elective posts at USPA, but we really need some recreational
jumpers there as well to hold fast to why most people get out of bed on a
weekend and go to a drop zone. It's to enjoy the thrill of being an active
skydiver, not to make the DZO wealthy. We have no objection to that being a
by-product of our patronage, but right now the fox is guarding the henhouse.
We need and must have more rank and file jumpers taking an interest and
getting involved.
The healthiest USPA will come from a balance struck between the aspirations
of the jumpers who make up the sport, and the financial concerns of the DZO
and businesses to who we represent their livelihood.

To state one more thing clearly, I have a great respect for DZO's. It's not
an easy job, and nobody thanks them when it's going right, but we need to be
represented also. I believe that we can do that to the benefit of all.

If anyone has any other questions, I'd be glad to answer then, and feel free
to reproduce all or part of this reply. All I ask is that you do so
accurately and with the proper context.

Thanks.
Chris de Bar

================================================================================

Jess Rodriguez

Peter,

Thank you for the forum and an opportunity to answer questions concerning the
election for the Pacific Regional Director. First let me address your
statement "for the first time in a long time the is some competition for
Pacific Regional Director." In both previous elections I have been in, there
were other candidates for the position and the membership had a choice.

1.† a.† What experience do you have as an officer or director of a large
organization?

I have been a businessman for over 25 years for my own company other than
skydiving. I manage 45 employees and annual gross receipts of over 5 million
dollars. I also own and operate Skydive Monterey Bay, and finally I have been
on the USPA Board of Directors for two terms.

b.† Do you have the resources (time, money) to travel for and attend USPA
business such as BOD and membership meetings?

Good question. Last year alone I spent $230.00 in phone bills and $40.00 in
faxes associated with USPA, $20.00 in postage, $625.00 in fuel going to
different dropzones, $300 in airline tickets, $150.00 in car rentals and
$80.00 in airport parking fees. As for having the time, I make my own hours
and I have never been late or missed a BOD meeting.

c.† What have you contributed to USPA other than as a BOD member? (Course
development, research team, USPA committees, judging, etc.)

As a USPA Tandem Examiner and AFF Evaluator I have sponsored and promoted
courses for those jumpers wishing to become Tandem and AFF Instructors. I
have scheduled and sponsored BIC courses. I have always given back to our
sport, I have trained countless up and coming AFF candidates for their
certification course without charging any fee for such training. I served on
the Group Membership Committee in my first term and in my second term I was
selected the Chairman of the same committee.

a.† Have you visited all of the dropzones, including non-USPA group member
drop zones in your region in the past year? † If not, how many?

I have visited all but one drop zone, I have visited non-USPA group member
drop zones. I believe that the location where a member jumps is not
important, the Pacific Regional Director represents the membership.

b.† Do the DZOs of the dropzones in your region know you are running?

I would think so, it was announced in the Parachutist magazine. I am the only
Pacific Region candidate listed in the magazine. I took the time, paid the
required fee and completed the proper paperwork to be placed in the
Parachutist magazine as a candidate.

c.† Do you have their endorsement?† Have you asked for it?

Several DZO's have agreed to support my reelection. As for asking for their
endorsement, I would like to think that I wouldn't have to ask. I have over
my term interacted with all DZOs either in person or over the phone. I
believe I have been 100% responsive to their requests.

3.† Will you respond to communications from your constituents via any medium
commonly used by USPA members including phone, fax, email and common
skydiving newsgroups and web sites?

I have always in the past and will continue to respond to questions asked of
me no matter what form they may come in. In the Parachutist magazine I list
two phone numbers, two fax numbers, my e-mail and snail mail address for
those members wishing to contact me anytime.


4.† Of the following disciplines, in which have you participated 1) ever and
2) in the last 12 months?
_yes__ RW, within 12 months
_yes__ CRW, not within 12 months
_yes__ Freeflying, within 12 months (not very well I might add)
_no___ Style, never
_yes__ Accuracy, within 12 months
_no___ Skysurfing never
_yes__ Video flying, within 12 months
_yes__ Instructor jumps (Any type, inc. tandem, AFF, IAD, SL) within 12
months
_no___ Birdman/Wingsuit, never
_yes__ Demo, within 12 months
_no___ BASE , never

5.† Have you ever competed at USPA Nationals (any category) or other
recognized or well-known national or international competition?

Yes, on a 20 way team for the 1992 Nationals called the "Cactus Pricks"

6.† a.† Are you a licensed pilot? Yes
†††† b.† Have you flown jumpers? Not from the left seat

7.† In what other aviation or skydiving-oriented organizations are you a
member?† (AOPA, FAI, BASE, foreign aero clubs, etc.)

1. AOPA (Aircraft Owner Pilots Association)
2. CPA (Cessna Pilot Association)
3. FAI
4. FB (Freak Brothers)

All candidates:
Is there anything you would like to add or comment on any issue(s) you feel
are particularly important in the coming BOD term?

In closing I would like to say, I have made every effort to represent the
Pacific Region membership as best possible. I have over the last two terms
investigated fatalities, grounded jumpers, suspended ratings, investigated
FAA violations, presented awards, attended Senate hearings, signed ratings,
inspected dropzones, met with FAA officials to allow drop zones to continue
operating, reissued previously suspend ratings, responded to request from
competitors for assistance in the Competition Committee and I made
adjustments in the GM Committee to promote the membership's needs. There is
still a lot of work to be done at each of the four up coming BOD meetings. I
have the experience and knowledge to move forward on important issues that
are still pending before the BOD.

Throughout this experience I have learned a very important lesson, you can't
make everyone happy all the time. The bottom line is when you hire or elect
someone to represent you, you should not select a person just because they
are a nice friendly guy or girl. You want the best, strongest, smartest and
most knowledgeable person available to support your position and win, I am
that person.

Again, thank you for the forum.

Sincerely,

Jess Rodriguez
Pacific Regional Director


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 14, 2002, 7:20 AM
Post #2 of 5 (1176 views)
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Re: [TitaniumLegs] Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Pete,

Wait, is this for the position of Pacific Regional Director or National Director? I thought Max Cohn was running for National Director. Max? Has this changed? Can someone run for two positions at once? Can you hold both a Regional and National Director position at once?

Chris Schindler


TitaniumLegs  (D 19246)

Nov 14, 2002, 9:45 AM
Post #3 of 5 (1146 views)
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Re: [TitaniumLegs] Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

CORRECTION
I need to correct something before I mess up the voting.

Max Cohn is running for a National Director position, not Pacific Region. If you are voting for him, write him in for a National Director. (You may vote for eight (8) National Directors, as write-ins or off the list of a combination). I guess I made the mistake after seeing his announcement on the NorCal email list. I wish I'd caught it before the answers went out.

For Pacific Region, if you are voting for Chris de Bar, write his name in the space to the right of the listed Regional Director candidates. Jess Rodriguez is listed on the ballot.

Read the instructions included with the ballot for more information.

Once again, my apologies for any confusion.

Peter


TitaniumLegs  (D 19246)

Nov 14, 2002, 9:47 AM
Post #4 of 5 (1144 views)
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Re: [TitaniumLegs] Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Dagnabbit!
That should be
(You may vote for eight (8) National Directors, as write-ins or off the list OR a combination)


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Nov 14, 2002, 11:48 AM
Post #5 of 5 (1129 views)
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Re: [TitaniumLegs] Pacific Region Director Candidate Questions and Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Dagnabbit!
That should be
(You may vote for eight (8) National Directors, as write-ins or off the list OR a combination)

Keep trying Pete. You'll get there. Wink



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