International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians
Americas Region, Vice President Larry Wolfsen

2013 IFFR Americas AGM

Greetings to all IFFR's   As you are aware numerous IFFR members recently gathered at the AOPA Summit in Fort Worth. As you are aware IFFR usually "piggy backs" on the AOPA event for a fly in and our Annual board meeting and Annual General Membership Meeting.  This year was no exception. 

This years events were hosted by South Central Section chair Jack Welge from Longview, Texas. He is to be congratulated for an outstanding event. He with able help from past World President Tony Watson (also a Texan) and many others put on an event that will be long remembered by all who attended. I can not say enough to adequately thank Jack and his entire committee for such an outstanding event. A few of the details are as follows. 

Jack and some of his committee began arriving in Fort Worth Wednesday, October 9 and set up the IFFR booth which was manned for the entire Thursday through Saturday event. Most members arrived Thursday and began volunteering at the booth the same day. Through the booth we spread the word about IFFR to any who would listen. Several members including World President Michael Graves donated their time to man the booth, however special thanks go to World Secretary Lynn Miller (also a Texan) who spent almost the entire time at the booth. As a result of her efforts and the other volunteers we signed up TEN NEW MEMBERS. A huge thank you to all involved. 

Most members went "out on the town" together Thursday evening and dined at P.F. Changs. Shirley More was kind enough to order Chinese dinner for all of us and we dined family style. Good times and great fellowship. 

Friday morning the Board of Directors met and their deliberations will be covered in the General Membership meeting of this report. 

Friday luncheon was open to all members and guest and was well attended. All were treated to a South West style fajita buffet which was delicious. 

After lunch the Americas Annual General Meeting was called to order and all members introduced themselves.  Americas Secretary/Treasured Steve Henderson presented a financial and membership report. Webmasters report was given by PWP Peter More. Safety Committee Report was presented by Jack Welge. Section Reports were received or presented by NW Bev Fogle, NC Mark Hagen, SW George Chaffey, SC Jack Welge, SE Dale Read. During New Business the  following items presented and discussed.  

Sintra Memorial participation. Several years ago following a R.I. convention on a IFFR fly out there was a tragic accident in Portugal wherein several four members lost their lives including one from the U.S. A memorial was erected near the crash site, however it was soon vandalized. Recently the U.K. Region in cooperation with the Australian Region moved the memorial to a more secure site and refurbished it. The U.S. Region was ask to participate in the cost of the move and refurbishment. The board of directors and the general membership voted to approve our share of the cost the Sec/Tres. was instructed to forward the funds to the U.K. Region who had paid our share. 

Americas Sec/Tres Steve Henderson reported we had accumulated funds enough in our treasury to allow for the funding of acclivities beyond normal needs. After much discussion it was agreed to use some of the funds towards programs directed at membership development and retention. More on this coming as plans finalize. 

AOPA has announce that they will no longer be holding their Summit conference annually. IFFR, therefor, will no longer be able to "piggy back" on their annual gathering. They will be holding smaller regional gatherings during the year but details are yet to be worked out so we don't know if combining with them is feasible at this time. Other options discussed were Oshkosh, and Sun and Fun in Florida. More time and study is needed to finalize Americas future plans, in the interim it was decided that next years Annual Meeting will be held in Bishop, CA. where we will again "piggy back" on a long running event the Sierra Safari. A SW Section fly in has been held in conjunction with the Safari several times with great success and it was thought this was a good location for our 2014 Annual Meeting. Much more on this to follow. We are most anxious to hear from members on future locations for our Annual Meetings and would welcome your input. 

World President Michael Graves gave a short presentation on the upcoming R.I. Convention in Australia where the next World IFFR Meeting will be held. He urged all members to attend and will be providing much more information in the future. 

Our scheduled speaker Leah Yeager: Senior Investigator for the NTSB was not able to attend due to the Government Sequester. World President Michael Graves admirably filled in with a very interesting talk on high altitude and distance record flights in sail planes he has accomplished. Many thanks to Michael for such a enlightening talk on such short notice. A truly "can do" attitude exemplified in most IFFR pilots. 

Friday night found most of us at the renovated Forth Worth Stock Yards for a Western bar-b-que where once again camaraderie and fellowship ruled the night.  

Some members departed Saturday while some stayed and manned the booth "to the bitter end". It was a day of heavy attendance and we got several new members. Again many thanks to those who volunteered their time to spread the word about IFFR. 

Finally I would be remiss if I did not again thank South Central Section chair Jack Welge and his committee for the many hours of work and planning that went into hosting such a successful event. 

Following the Fort Worth event a fly in to Fredericksburg Texas was held with several members participating. You can view details of this on our web site IFFRAmericas.org. Please visit the site often to see what your fellow members have been up to and especially what is coming up in all the Americas sections. Join in and enjoy the activities and fellowship with great people, IFFR members.                  

Tail Winds To You,
Larry Wolfsen  VP. Americas