Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Ohio Section, “A Year in Review... 2016”

Hi Gang,

Amazing!!... That really doesn’t express it enough for what we’ve done this year! It has really been a year of Traveling, Training, Ramping Up, and having FUN! But most of all, enjoying immensely in being able to “serve” all of you for another 2 years as your Section Manager.

There’s so much to report on this time around that this review is very lengthy, so I do apologize for that in advance. Because of its length, if I have missed something in this report that should have been mentioned, I again apologize. The Ohio Section is an extremely busy Section indeed. I should know, I’ve traveled over 40,000 miles this year to be with YOU... In fact, I would say it’s the busiest Section in the country!!

So, as Paul Harvey would say...  “Here’s the rest of the story”.

2016 started out with a huge push to get all ARES members in the Ohio Section their ICS training. Many of you had some of these courses completed already, so our efforts were also concentrated on getting you back into the learning mode and completing those ever so important 4 courses (IS 100, 200, 700 and 800). It would become evident that even those 4 basic courses wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the FBI and Secret Service for what we had to be prepared for. We would later find out that we would also have to get our members trained and certified to IS 701, 706 and 802 as well.

January was also when the Ohio Section took the lead and was the very first organization to become registered and credentialed for the brand new State of Ohio Credentialing system. Stan and I both got our credentials and now we are allowed to credential anyone from our organization when the time comes. We didn’t know at that time just how this would set a precedence later down the road for us to be the first to actually USE this system as well. More on that later.

The Ohio Section became very aggressive in making sure that all of your hard work and volunteering time was counted, like never before. We implemented a program where ALL of the Official Emergency Stations and Official Relay Stations are now required to do monthly reports. The Ohio Section is leading the country in this effort. By capturing these additional appointment reports we are making sure that we capture as much of the true volunteer time as we possibly can.

The Ohio Section Journal, like all the newsletters in Ohio just keeps getting better and better. With stories from not only the Ohio Section Cabinet, but also from YOU now. These additional reporters give all of us a much greater vision to what’s really happening around the Ohio Section.

Utilizing the latest technology available, we also are able to archive the past editions so that everyone has the opportunity to look up past articles if they wish. They are also searchable, so that if you just can’t remember when the article was published, you can search for it. It’s no longer just a text email sent to you. It now has color, pictures and graphics which makes it much more interesting to read and get involved in, and WITH.

January brought us an unexpected set of events in a community in our northeast quadrant. During the week of January 18, some 8,100 water customers in Sebring, Ohio, were notified that they had problems with high lead content in their drinking water. On January 22, both Ohio and Mahoning County Emergency Management Agencies began passing out bottled water in Sebring. Mahoning County ARES was activated to help out. And, they did just that! ARES volunteers joined others in moving and distributing pallets of bottled water, and another call went for weekend duty. ARES members from neighboring counties also volunteered. All told, the volunteers moved more than 166 pallets of water in 6 days. “This is a perfect example of being ready to serve in whatever capacity we can, in order to help our communities. Sometimes it doesn’t involve only operating a radio”

We had our very FIRST Annual Ohio ARES VHF Simplex Contest in January too! Wow, what a success it was. We had a lot of stations activated and on the air for this really FUN event. It was a blast, and demonstrated to all that we have the ability to communicate on VHF SIMPLEX!
January was also when Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, Chief Executive Officer of the ARRL was presented with a decree from the Ohio Section Manager at the January Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) Club meeting. It stated that he was – from this point forward – an Official Honorary Ohio Section Member. He was also presented with an “Official” Ohio Section hat, which he proudly wore during the meeting.

Our Affiliated Clubs Coordinator, John Myers, KD8MQ started an even more aggressive approach of making sure that our Affiliated and Special Service Clubs are up-to-date on their annual reports. He also strongly encouraged a number of new / existing clubs to become Affiliated and Special Service Clubs as well. Our numbers are growing like never before thanks to his efforts. As of this writing, the Ohio Section now has 108 Affiliated Clubs on record, with 43 of those clubs being Special Service Clubs!! That’s really an accomplishment for sure.  

As an experiment in late 2015 I came up with a hair brained idea to encourage people to visit the Ohio Section Website. I started the Handbook Giveaway Contest, and it took off like a rocket. So, after doing a one question survey on the Ohio Section Website about whether it should be a regular item, which a resounding amount of you (over 1200) responded with a deafening YES, you wanted to see it continue, it’s now a regular item that everyone is having FUN with!

The Section Manager was very out and about attending a number of ARES meetings, hamfests and club meetings of all sorts, and oh yes, I did visit with several groups doing the annual “Freeze Your Acorns Off” HF contest, sponsored by the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) as well.

I got attend several Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meetings around Ohio representing Amateur Radio, as well as the quarterly Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3) meeting in Cincinnati. I also attended the Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) meeting at the Ohio EMA. As you can see, February was a busy month!  

It also found Stan, N8BHL our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) out and about with a new EC / DEC training program. It was tailored to give better insight as to the needs for ICS training and better guidelines for the EC / DEC in their duties to the ARES program and their ARES members.   

February also had a major announcement that really shook everyone involved with preparing for the Republican National Convention with the announcement from the NAACP National Convention Committee. They announced that they had scheduled their National Convention to take place in Cincinnati on the exact same week as the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, as well as the Toledo National Air Show. This was quickly turning into what could very easily be a history making week in Ohio for sure. What the history books would write about this very huge week of activities in July was what was on everyone’s mind for sure. Now even more, our ability to get everyone their ICS certificates in time to help with all of these events became the primary driver for many special planning meetings and gatherings for Ohio ARES folks for months to come.

The month of March began our planning for the Dayton Hamvention. Little did anyone know that this would be the very last time we would be planning for Hamvention at Hara Arena! I was also chest deep in planning details for the Second Annual – National Section Managers Conference held just prior to the Hamvention.  

It was a month of attending hamfests and club meeting for sure. It seemed like almost every night I was at a different function. I also had the privilege of being able to present the Central Ohio Severe Weather Net Club with their Special Services Club Certificate too.

On April 14th Dave Sumner, K1ZZ retired from his duties as CEO of the ARRL for 40 plus years. Dave will really be missed by all the knew him, or even just met him. He had a knack for remembering who you were, and where you were from by just meeting with him once. He was remarkable. And, on April 18th our new CEO took over, Tom Gallagher, NY2RF.

We got to celebrate Dial Radio’s 75th anniversary with our Great Lakes Director and Vice Director. It was a great time. I presented the club with the Ohio Section Manager’s Special Recognition Award.

Ohio’s NVIS Day near the end of the month was a huge success. Everyone got to learn not only what a NVIS antenna is, but how to make and install and operate from it as well. The weather wasn’t too bad, but the bands were lousy! I have to tell ya’, it was a learning experience for everyone that participated, but most of all, it was FUN for everyone that participated!

Right at the beginning of May we had a curve ball thrown at us! Several times! ARRL Headquarters called and wanted the Ohio Section to do a National Parks on the Air site at the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop in downtown Dayton while the Hamvention is going on. Now, with a lot of planning on John, KD8MQ’s part, this turned into a huge success.

Well, I’m here to tell ya’ that there is still another story to be told that happened before Hamvention. It seems that someone didn’t get the message to have a time set aside for a forum for a National ARES program. Once again the Ohio Section got the call. As with any great leader, our Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Stan, N8BHL gave his dedicated time slot on Sunday morning to them. So, as you see, the Ohio Section once again came to the aid and gave of itself. The National ARES Forum was very well attended and our own Section Emergency Coordinator was invited to be one of the forum members.

The Thursday before Hamvention I helped host the Second Annual Section Managers Conference. We had 25 Section Managers from all across the nation attend with another 27 on a webinar connection that we had. Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, the CEO of ARRL, and Rick Roderick, W5UR, the President of the ARRL as host speakers, along with Steve Ewald, WV1X, and Debra Johnson, K1DMJ there as well. It was a great time and very informative. As a side note: this conference gives all of the Section Managers around the county the opportunity to learn from each other. It’s really a great way for the Section Managers to learn how other Sections operate and perform all that is expected. I’m very proud to be a part of this wonderful opportunity.

Saturday of Hamvention John, KD8MQ and I presented Norm Fusaro, W3IZ and Sean Kutzko, KX9X with plaques of appreciation from the Ohio Section for their part in making National Parks on the Air a very successful event. It was a great time, and it was something that just no matter how you sliced it, couldn’t have happened without the “going above and beyond” efforts of John, KD8MQ. Our hats are off to you my man!
Then there’s the Dayton Hamvention itself. As in past years, the Ohio Section had a booth prominently displayed within the ARRL Field Services area. This year when we went to setup, we were given 2 booths! Wow, what an unexpected opportunity that we were given. Since we had the extra space we took advantage of it and really spread out and displayed the new ARRL Ohio Section Banner and Logo in 2 areas of the Hamvention!

We did something very different this year at Dayton. This year we had a drawing for not only 2 ARRL Handbooks, but we also gave away several gift certificates, and a 2016 Field Day Shirt as well. It was absolutely fantastic! We had over 1,400 enter this one drawing. What more could be said… 

We had a wild ride for several days with the weather around the Lake Erie. Damage to Cedar Point and the surrounding counties was extensive. Power was lost for more than a day to not only the park, but also to several counties too. Lines were destroyed and had to be replaced all around the cities near Sandusky. No, it wasn’t a tornado, but rather a micro-burst.

June for the Ohio Section was very busy and a great learning experience for what was going to come in July. With our beloved Cleveland Cavaliers winning the National Championship Title, our Ohio ARES group got to exercise their newly acquired ICS training with a one-day event that had over 1.3 million people in attendance in downtown Cleveland to celebrate with the Cavs. We got to see and learn from what was happening, and we did gain a lot of “lessons learned knowledge” for that little event that was yet to come in July!

The Ohio Section Cabinet members and I traveled well over 2,000 miles to visit as many Field Day sites as all of us could get to in that 24-hour time frame. I know personally I checked in to 14 sites that weekend, with more than 986 miles traveled. I passed several of our Section Cabinet members as we crisscrossed the state visiting with all of you.

We kicked off a one of a kind program to make sure all of our key ARES folks are “in the loop” by receiving daily updates from the Fusion Center. These Communications and Information Management System (CIMS) messages let our folks know where the major events will be and what to possibly to expect for crowds as well as what threats are out there. These updates are coming to us thanks to our association with the Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3).

It started off with a bang with the 4th of July being celebrated all over Ohio and our ARES teams out and participating in many events during the 4th.

On July 6th came a shocking announcement from Amateur Electronic Supply that it was ceasing operations after 59 years of operation and all the stores would be closed before the end of July. Just one week later an announcement from Ham Radio Outlet that it would be taking over and opening up selected stores from the AES acquisition, of which the Wickliffe Ohio store would not be one of them reopening. 

Then came the events that we all have been planning on for more than a year, the National Republican Convention, the NAACP Convention and the Toledo National Air Show.

The weekend of July 16th kicked it all off. The Republican National Convention, a declared National Special Security Event (NSSE) had its moments, especially right before the Convention was to start. On July 7th, just days before the RNC, a lone gunman in Dallas killed five police officers, and in a separate incident, a gunman in Baton Rouge killed three law enforcement officers on July 17th. These incidences, plus several others outside of the United States dramatically increased concerns as to what could / might be expected in Cleveland. As you would think, security tightened even more. Not only in Cleveland, but in Cincinnati and as well as in Akron where the Red Cross had setup it’s Operations Center.

Because of this tightened security this is where our story about Ohio’s Credentialing System comes in. The Red Cross required us to have the state credentials. This is when it became evident that we would be the very first organization to use this new state credentialing system. Before this, there hadn’t been any events worthy of activating the need to credential anyone. The credentialing did have some oversights that weren’t anticipated for, and we did have some complications getting things to work right, but with the help from several great Ohio Homeland Security officials we did get things taken care of quickly, and everyone that needed the state credentials had them, and before they needed them.

Friday, July 22nd the entire State of Ohio took a very deep sigh of relief, for it was all over, the largest multiple set of major events running concurrently in the United States was successful, no one was killed or seriously injured at any of these events. We also had the largest contingent of law enforcement officers in the history of Ohio. There were 18 different states represented with more than 1,000 officers helping our own Ohio State Highway Patrol and county sheriffs, as well as the full staff of the Cleveland Police Department and many other local police departments from around the state as well. The total amount of officers numbered above 5,500. Now, not only the police were involved, there were numerous other municipal departments as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio EMA, U.S. Coast Guard and numerous other departments from around the state and federal government. All in all, this was the largest set of events that the state of Ohio had ever done. And they did it with OUR help!

To finish up July it’s was a great honor to be able to introduce you to the 2015 Hiram Percy Maxim Award winner, Christopher Brault, KD8YVJ. A number of months earlier I had the honor of nominating him for this award, and he WON!!

August started off with the major announcement by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) that it was moving the Dayton Hamvention to Xenia. The announcement had been one of real shock to everyone around the country. But, with the knowledge that Hara Arena would be no more, a decision was made. The new home of the Dayton Hamvention would be the Greene County Fairgrounds just on the outskirts of Xenia.

In August the Ohio Section and the Aladdin Shrine Amateur Radio Club/Columbus Hamfest hosted the Ohio Section Conference. This was a new location for the Hamfest. It was a fantastic day for a hamfest and there was fantastic attendance for not only the hamfest, but the Conference as well.

The winners from the 24th Annual ARRL Ohio Section Newsletter Contest were announced:
- 1st Place.... The Mike & Key
- 2nd Place... The RADIOGRAM
- 3rd Place....was a two way tie!!! The Voice Coil and ATCO Newsletter. 
Honorable Mentions went to... The CARA Communicator and The Spirit of '76 and '88.

The Ohio Section also celebrated the newest inductee of the Allan Severson Award when I presented it to John Myers, KD8MQ.

Celebrating at DX Engineering’s Summer Event in the middle of August I got to present the Section Managers Special Award to Christopher "Chris" Brault, KD8YVJ for becoming the latest Hiram Percy Maxim winner, and what a great honor it was.

I also got to celebrate with the Queen City Amateur Radio Club 75th anniversary with our Great Lakes Director and Vice Director. It was a great time. I presented the club with the Ohio Section Manager’s Special Recognition Award.

I helped celebrate a National Parks on the Air activation with a celebration sponsored by Lake County Amateur Radio Club at the James Garfield Historical Home. It was a very hot day, but fun event for sure. Even the Park Rangers helped celebrate.

September 12th was the day that HR 1301 passed the House of Representatives and started the clock really ticking for passage in the Senate.

We all had fun with the Ohio Parks on the Air event (OSPATA) sponsored by the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS). It has had a huge impact on Amateur Radio, and since it’s being done in Ohio’s parks, it’s a great PR and even more importantly, IT’S FUN.

We also had our annual Ohio ARES Conference. This year it was held on the Marion Technical College / Ohio State University – Marion Campus. It was a great conference and everyone left with way more knowledge than what they came with. Want to see it? It’s all on video. Just go to:    Sit back and relax as you view the more than 4 hours of video. Don’t worry, it’s broken up into individual segments so that you can view them as your interest grows.

I had a number of meetings, hamfests and even a county fair to attend in September. It was great getting out and seeing everyone and I even got to encourage a number of people to get studying and get their license. I also got to have some fun with the OSSBN guys after the OH-KY-IN hamfest at the Blue Ash Chili Restaurant. This is an idea that was born a few months earlier when it was decided that we all need to have a sit down gathering and we had a great feast at Tony Packo’s in Toledo. I know that there’s another gathering in the works for 2017 coming.

October started off with another fantastic Simulated Emergency Test (SET) around the state. I did visit at a number of different exercises. It was great seeing everyone in action.

Had several conference calls with National VOAD over hurricane Matthew. Wow.. We are lucky to be just far enough away from events like this. Unfortunately, our SEC was tied directly to this storm. He’s part of the Hurricane Net and had net duties for a number of days.

I also got to visit a fantastic Junior High School Amateur Radio Club in Newton Falls. The 20/9 club helps sponsor this, along with the Newton Falls Schools and it’s great. They have about 40 kids involved with Amateur Radio. They are even building a ham station there at the school! Their club call is: K8TGR. It’s really neat as that their school mascot is none other than a TYGER..

I took a great trip back up to League Headquarters for an adventurous couple of days. I visited with many of the staff, including Tom Gallagher, NY2RF the CEO himself! It was great and YES, I did operate W1AW several times in those 2 days. I didn’t make many contacts as that the bands were really lousy then.

October was also time for Jamboree On The Air (JOTA.) It was a huge success around the state and the country. There were a number of Scouts on the air because of the extra efforts from our Ohio Cabinet members...

Our Scouting Program Manager, Scott Hixon, KC8ITN, got to attend the Simon Kenton Council, Ohio Valley District Fall Camporee not only as a Scout Master with his troop, but also as a ham radio operator. The camporee was held at Mount Oval, just outside of Circleville, Ohio. It was a huge success.

November started off by me being able to attend the Fall Ohio Public and Private Partnership Conference (OP3) which was held at the Wendy’s International Headquarters in Columbus. There was a great deal of information that came from that conference, including many details about the Conventions in July, and new ideas for security and safety in events.

I also attended a very special presentation of the Hiram Percy Maxim Award at the Voice of America Museum along with the Division Director and Vice Director, where they presented Christopher Brault, KD8YVJ with the award. Now, little did Chris know that we had prearranged a very special contact with him at the Voice Of America via HF when Sean Kutzko, KX9X answered Christopher’s CQ from the W1AW Memorial Station in Newington. You can see the video of the presentation and HF contact at:

We did have a very sad note to report to everyone about one of our really great District Emergency Coordinators. Robert E. "Bob" Rhoades, KC8WHK, DEC of District 3. Bob passed away on Saturday, November 19, 2016 due to an automobile accident. Rest in Peace Bob.

Late in November came that historic and infamous rivalry between that school up north and the great Ohio State Buckeyes. I felt so bad for my counterpart in that state up north for losing so many times to me over the years, that this year knowing that the game would be played in the horseshoe, I didn’t even consider asking him to wager. I’m kinda’ glad I didn’t. Even though it came down to 2 overtimes, Ohio State still won out in the end. I would have really felt worse for him had we wagered. Yeah, right!!  Go Bucks!! On to another national title!   

December is now upon us
I once again attended the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO) Winter Conference. This was 2 days of intense meetings and seminars with all of Ohio’s EMA Directors. It was very enlightening and informative, and Amateur Radio was one of the topics discussed this year! There was a great presentation produced - Amateur Radio 101 by Brent Stemen, KD8SCL, and Weldon Mathews, K8NQ that really highlighted what our folks can do in helping in emergencies. Stan Broadway, N8BHL our very own SEC also did a really great presentation about our roll in the Republican National Convention and the NAACP Convention too.

Because this was a 2-day conference there was some downtime after the presentations the first day. This is where we all get to socialize with each other. It was great to be able to keep Amateur Radio in their presence. This opportunity enabled me to get to know them on a more personal basis during our afterhours sessions. I also got to brag to all of them about how we have been working very diligently all over the state in getting our folks trained in the Incident Command Courses (ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800), and now have over 300 members logged in to our database with all of these courses completed, with over 200 more that are working on obtaining all 4 certifications before the end of the year. We know that there are many more folks out there certified, but just haven’t turned in their certificates to us yet. With all of this information, they now know that we are truly committed to be ready when needed, and we’ve shown this year that we can handle whatever they throw at us for sure.

The Handbook Give Away Program has been a huge success for sure. We’ve even had several months where there’s been extra giveaways as well, this month included. It’s been a blast. I want to report that it’s been successful in doing what it was designed to do - get people looking at the Ohio Section Website more often! We have been averaging well over 1,500 people registering every month for this giveaway, and we’ve gotten more than 20,000 entries this year, with a few more days and giveaways yet to go!! I only see this program growing and getting better for 2017.

A new – old – mode of communication really took off this year, it’s called DMR or Digital Mobile Radio. It seems that folks wanted a mode that didn’t cost a lot of money to get started in, and DMR did just that. Hand-Helds being sold for around $100 and right from Amazon. DMR Repeaters have been springing up like wildfire all over the state, and the interest – folks registering for MARCS ID’s – has more than quadrupled just within the last 6 months! I too had involvement with its growth by really pushing the benefits of the DMR network out to all of our ARES groups, as well as the EMA Directors here in Ohio. We even got to use it during our convention week in July, and it worked flawlessly. It’s great to be able to communicate from Columbus to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Marietta and Toledo all at the same time, and all from my HT in my easy chair! I foresee this mode growing even bigger and better for 2017. With new inexpensive technology now giving us an opportunity to connect DMR to D-Star and System Fusion, how can we not have FUN with this new – old mode of communication.

Finally, the Section Cabinet has been very busy this year attending and speaking at club meetings, public service events and hamfests all over the state. I congratulate them all for their dedication and service to the Ohio Section, and YOU.

We have a very PRO-active ARES program, and our Section Emergency Coordinator – Stan, N8BHL has really gotten our ARES programs into high gear. He encourages everyone to have “fun” while providing a very valuable “service” to the community and our served agencies. This year has been an exceptional year for ARES in Ohio. It’s growing and getting even better. You can find his monthly reports on the Ohio Section website.

Our Technical Coordinator – Jeffery Kopcak, K8JTK has been busy with programs and working with a number of folks around the state with technical problems and teaching us all some new tricks with the digital modes, computer software and yes, even Raspberry Pi’s too.

Our Official Observer Coordinator – John Perone, W8RXX has been working hard at enhancing the Amateur Auxiliary with our OO’s, including me, out there listening and encouraging proper operator techniques. Did you know, the Ohio Section started publishing a monthly report of how many hours the Official Observers volunteer each month. Not only that, we also let you know how many Good Guy and Bad Guy cards are sent out as well. We’re the only Section in the country that is doing that.  

Our Affiliated Clubs Coordinator – John Myers, KD8MQ has been extremely busy encouraging new clubs to “affiliate” with the ARRL and not stopping there we have also seen an increase in Special Services Clubs as well. We aren’t where we want to be, but we are growing and that’s what counts. John has also taken on a second role for us this year. He’s been doing a special segment each month in the Ohio Section Journal spotlighting the National Parks on the Air events, and has kept up with the leader board and all the activations around the state and country. Be looking for some other things coming up in the near future from John as well.

Our Section Traffic Manager – David Maynard, WA3EZN has been very active on the various nets and recording and reporting the hours we spend passing important messages in and out of the state. You can find his monthly reports on the Ohio Section website. Like with the Official Emergency Stations, the Official Relay Stations have been amped up to make sure we are getting those oh so important reports for every hour spent volunteering. Dave’s really been pushing everyone that even if you don’t have 70 points that the League requires for publication in QST, that’s ok, we still want and need your reports. It’s paid off too!! We are seeing very impressive numbers coming out of those PSHR reports and every point adds up. Our ORS program is really shinning this year for sure.

Our Public Information Coordinator – John Ross, KD8IDJ has been busy with the newsletter contest and promoting Amateur Radio around the state. The newsletter contest has become a model for other Sections around the country. I’m very proud of all of our newsletter editors and the really creative ways they’ve come up with to get that news out to everyone.

Our State Government Liaison – Bob Winston, W2THU is busy keeping track of everything that is coming through that might affect the Amateur Radio operators in Ohio. He’ll keeping a special eye on the Antenna Legislation that will be re-introduced into this next Congress.

We have 2 very special Assistant Section Managers that take care of our Education and Scouting – Anthony Luscre, K8ZT and Scott Hixon, KC8ITN. Both of them have been very active this year with their individual programs as well. We are starting to see the fruits of their labors with more activity starting in classrooms and in the scouting programs.

I want to also thank Kitty Hevener, W8TDA; Bob Johnson, K3RC, Lyn Alfman, N8IMW; Fritz Tender, WD8E; Nick Pittner, K8NAP and Jim Yoder, W8ERW who have worked so very hard on various special projects throughout the year. These are exceptional folks for sure. They are all extremely dedicated to the goal of making the Ohio Section fun, and the best Section in the country.

As you can see, we have a lot going on in the state of Ohio at any given time. I hope this little snapshot gives you some idea of just how much activity is really happening in our great state. I’m very proud of all our people, and the programs that we have.

Our projections for the amount of hours donated back to the citizens of Ohio are really strong for 2016. It appears that we are on target to have a total amount of over 70,000 hours. This beats out last year by several thousand hours for sure. Now calculating those hours into an actual dollar amounts (national average for a volunteer) $23 per hour, this equates to over $1.6 million. OUTSTANDING I’d say!

As many of you have noted in your newsletters, I’m very active visiting with you at your club functions and meetings. I’ve also been very active as a member of the Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (OVOAD), the Ohio Public Private Partnership (OP3) and the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO), along with serving on several Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) representing all of you. Being active as I am in these organizations has given the Ohio Section access to government agencies and decision making people that we’ve never had before.

In closing, I want to wish each and every one of you a Very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous, but most of all – FUN – New Year. We are ALL very blessed to have a great core of folks who are willing, and most importantly, able to step up to the challenges and make things even better than before. 2017 has the promise of being even more fantastic for Amateur Radio here in Ohio, and I will do my very best to make this the best, and most FUN year ever for the Ohio Section!

73, Scott, N8SY