Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

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Should I Stay?... Or.... Should I Leave?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:22 am

Stay in the HPAC/ACVL
8
73%
Leave the HPAC/ACVL
3
27%
 
Total votes: 11

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Martin
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:54 am

Ok, votes are in.... apparently people would like me to stay (73% in favor of me staying)... which is a bit disappointing give the effort I put in to getting myself thrown off the "Island".

I will take the vote into consideration and ponder my next move...

IN the meantime, I just received this from the HPAC (since the Email contained no confidentiality waver I feel this ok to share):
Hello,

If you are receiving this e-mail, it means that your membership in HPAC/ACVL has recently expired.

Please take a moment to renew your membership by going to hpac.ca or acvl.ca, click on RENEW on the right hand side of the homepage and following the prompts.

If you have any issues with password recall, please contact the Office and a new one will be set for you quickly.

Thank you for your cooperation. Our sport wants you back.

HPAC/ACVL Office
Hmmmmmm, curious about this, did anybody else get a reminder? Or am I being singled out for "special treatment"? Or... (gasp) does this represent an improvement in member services?

If this is the case, our 25% increase in administration cost has yielded a 100% increase in customer service! whoo whoo.... we are making progress! (Tho... never wanting to pass a complement, the idea here is to remind the member of their status "before" they expire... strictly from a liability perspective..... )

Martin

Martin

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Nikolai
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Nikolai » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:17 am

Hi Martin!

Uh, I never said anything about "chump change" ... I'm suggesting that we are privileged - compared to the average Joe - to be able engage in a sport that takes us into an amazing environment by incredible means that few others get to experience. I understand that to a lot of folks, even a Starbuck's latte is something that falls outside their personal budget, never mind $175 to do whatever. However, as you've pointed out, the most important chunk of the $175 (is it really only $50?) is for insurance that most landowners require for us to use their property. The place I'm most familiar with (Grouse) would not allow taking off (Grouse Mtn. Resorts) nor landing (North Van District) without the HPAC policy. Of course, if you can find yourself a remote clearing way up high somewhere and another one below it to land on, that doesn't have some kind of tenure that requires liability coverage, go nuts. Nobody is twisting our arms to indulge in free flight. Either it's worth the bucks (and the "bureaucracy") to fly in places that are regulated, to us, personally, or it's not.

By the way, USHPA hasn't published a monthly mag for a couple of years now ... it's every two months (but I still belong to the organization). And my Whistler pass is an EPIC, which gives me unrestricted access to high speed lifts, giving me less time to sit and stew about stuff that is debatably trivial, and more time to rip until my legs can't handle it anymore. (Amortized over a season, it's less than individual days at Baldy etc.) Finally, get yourself onto Google calendar and start putting reminders in there and never miss a renewal for anything again. And that's my nickel's worth. (Truly chump change!)

~ Bill.

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Martin
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:06 am

Nikolai wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:17 am
Hi Martin!

Uh, I never said anything about "chump change" ... I'm suggesting that we are privileged - compared to the average Joe - to be able engage in a sport that takes us into an amazing environment by incredible means that few others get to experience. I understand that to a lot of folks, even a Starbuck's latte is something that falls outside their personal budget, never mind $175 to do whatever. However, as you've pointed out, the most important chunk of the $175 (is it really only $50?)

and....

By the way, USHPA hasn't published a monthly mag for a couple of years now ... it's every two months (but I still belong to the organization).
Nikolai,

Somebody didn't get enough "extra sprinkles" with their Latte?

First, thanks for joining the conversation. No you did not say "chump change"... I just made the assumption that you were implying that it was not allot of money (chump change is the money I keep in the door of my truck to feed the pan handlers when I'm feeling a bit charitable... and not saving up for trip to Starbucks) .

True, in the big picture the money is not a huge issue, my rant on the HPAC is trying to bring into the light where your money is going and challenging people to no just be sheep and question what their association is doing (and gasp... get involved). Like the $50 portion of your membership that goes to insurance and the rest going to who knows where? (BTW.. I suspect if we really do maintain a 1000 plus members, the real insurance cost should be more like $37.00)

Yes, I'm just trying to be a PITA to the HPAC. I look at it this way, there are plenty of good causes out there, plenty of charities that claim to do good work but if you take the time to dig a little deeper you can often find these organizations consume nearly all of your contribution on paper with the only a tiny portion reaching it's goal. The HPAC is not much better, it is consuming everything it takes in and is not serving its intended purpose and we should be challenging its priorities.

Re: the USHPA rag, yup its every 6 months, which I believe I previously stated... as apposed to HPAC and its publication (E or other wise), Once or twice a year you might see a E-Newsletter , content all outdated and hardly of any value...

As to your comment about using google calendars... you missed the point I was making on the issue of expired membership. HPAC is in fact acting as an insurance agent, selling us an insurance product. The product is time sensitive (it is a annual subscription). The insurance industry are very fastidious about making sure that their customer is informed about making sure you know their product is in place. They warn you about expiration, they will inform you when it is no longer in effect. If HPAC does not maintain that minimal level of service to its members it will result in HPAC being negligent and exposing the association and its members to a liability. Renewal notification is not an option, it is an industry standard.

Of course, I'm not the kind of guy that uses or need a calendar... there is "today" and "tomorrow"... the rest is for optimists.

Cheers

Martin

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Nikolai » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:59 am

"Of course, I'm not the kind of guy that uses or need a calendar... there is "today" and "tomorrow"... the rest is for optimists." You're a better man, Martin, than I am ... I need my calendar to schedule my trips to Shopper's so I can get my 20% Senior's discount on the appropriate day (except now they've raised the bar from 55 to 65 ... But I still use my ravaged, weathered-but-still-handsome look to get the deals).

Yes, I get the point that we want accountability and value for our money. I'm just happy that there are people (including those who are getting stipends with HPAC) who are willing to work on our behalf. No one is getting rich and most could probably spend their time doing things with their time that would compensate them more than their association with HPAC.

Thanks for sparking the discussion!

Keep on keeping on! 'Gots to go fly!

~ Bill.

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby tnankie » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:34 am

Kind of amused Martin,
You say that how people spend their money is up to them yet you post this thread about what? Trying to get us to change our minds about HPAC?, are you telling us how to spend our money?

And If it really is just about you then why even ask us? Surely you've made it clear you don't want our opinion on how to spend your money.
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Tyler G
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Tyler G » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:43 pm

tnankie wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:34 am
Kind of amused Martin,
You say that how people spend their money is up to them yet you post this thread about what? Trying to get us to change our minds about HPAC?, are you telling us how to spend our money?
Martin wants us to spend more money to get less in return.

So far the only solution I have seen him present is... Join USHPA. Which isn't a solution but for argument's sake let pretend.

To become a USHPA regular member, it would cost you 20% more (factoring in exchange)
To become a USHPA instructor member, it would cost you 140% more.

You get less coverage, and that coverage isn't valid worldwide like HPAC's (excluding the USA)

...but wait for it...

You get a free magazine!!!
Image

Here are the numbers.
https://hpac.ca/files/agm/2018/HPAC-bud ... NGLISH.pdf

It's not a big secret. Inspect them and present a viable solution. Quitting isn't a solution, Martin.

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Martin
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:44 am

tnankie wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:34 am
Kind of amused Martin,
Tom, well thanks! Your amusement is my pleasure.

Oh, and your right... this thread is all about "me" and my opinions regarding the HPAC... (oh and chocolate sprinkles on Latte's, Whistler lift tickets....Russian pilots...and sheep that graze in high alpine meadows ).

Perhaps my thoughts drift a bit but this thread has nothing to do with how anybody spends their money. This thread is bring the HPAC members attention to the fact the association has drifted away from what "should" be its objective, to serve its members. Simply put, I'm pointing out we got more stuff for less money in the past.

Cheers

Martin

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 am

Tyler G wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:43 pm

Martin wants us to spend more money to get less in return.

So far the only solution I have seen him present is... Join USHPA.

Quitting isn't a solution, Martin.
Tyler, what a newbie.... one of the sheep grazing in the high alpine meadows blissfully believing there is a future ;-)

-
Martin wants us to spend more money to get less in return.
Fact is, my little act of civil disobedience is to spend no money.

-As far as my
"only solution presented was to join USHPA"
... not true. I pointed out that if HPAC actually provided something in return for my membership, I would happily rejoin the sheep that graze in high mountain meadows of the HPAC if I could be convinced it actually was meeting its obligation to the membership. I specifically pointed our earlier that I was not a salesman for USHPA, but did mention that it offered more than the HPAC, like insurance that IS valid in Canada and the US and yes the Mag (which obviously you failed commerce 101 as it is far from "free"....). FYI.... I don't object to joining USHPA, I require the membership and insurance when I fly in the US... because of course HPAC does not provide coverage (The mag is simply a glorious perk!)

-
Quitting isn't a solution
Actually, I did not quit, what I did was not renew. So far this outrageous behavior and maybe this posting appears to have resulted in at least one HPAC service improvement! Some of us have received Email reminders that our membership has expired... proof that somewhere deep down inside of the HPAC there is a heart that may still be beating? Now if it could speak (in the form of a E-news letter) we might actually have an association worth joining (again)?

From my perspective (cuz this is all about "me") HPAC needs to step up and communicate... that is a solution, prove its worth.

Cheers

Martin

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Tyler G
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Tyler G » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:40 am

Martin wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 am
Tyler, what a newbie.... one of the sheep grazing in the high alpine meadows blissfully believing there is a future ;-)
Si senior. Newb here, no doubt. Somewhere between my blissful future and your dystopian one, there will be a balance. The best way to predict the future is to create it.
So far this outrageous behaviour and maybe this posting appears to have resulted in at least one HPAC service improvement! Some of us have received Email reminders that our membership has expired... proof that somewhere deep down inside of the HPAC there is a heart that may still be beating?
The timing was purely coincidental. We have been working on a solution for some time on this problem.
From my perspective (cuz this is all about "me") HPAC needs to step up and communicate... that is a solution, prove its worth.
I agree with you here, and we are working on that. I have sent two emails to all BC pilots already this year. More than has ever been sent by a regional director in recent memory.

Best,
Tyler

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Suntan » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:56 pm

Wow! What an informative discussion and I must thank you both for the research and education. I do have to thank you Tyler. I do believe you are trying hard to build a professional organization. And Martin I feel very similar to you. My $175 is nothing because I fly a ton! But for those who don't? I also cannot help but feel that how much work is there really to be done for a 1000 member organization? For the same wage as an LPN nurse working days and nights? I ran to represent BC on a platform of fiscal responsibility because what was happening was CRIMINAL. Sending administration to events. Hotels. Flights. They ate through our savings in a year. And the Website? We had people volunteer to do it for a membership. But that was swept aside..... What does scare me is how close to collapse Hpac is. As many important people in the organization speak of walking away in protest.

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:01 am

I know the administration and some of the current directors view me as a PITA but I believe I have earned the right to enact my own course of "civil disobedience". All I'm asking is for the members to not just plunk down the chump change of $175 and think that our sport is secure. IMO, the members need to run our sport and need to be involved. We have created this "thing" that we think is going to look after our future and we have not properly assessed its value nor audited its performance.

Food for thought (data available from our old web site).....

HPAC Membership numbers, as of this date:

1070

HPAC Membership numbers, including members who have not renewed dating back 12 months:

1501

I would like to point out that 431 pilots have not renewed their membership. For all of our organizational efforts we still fail to retain our membership. If we look back on the total chaos of the 80's where we had nearly no administration and volunteers ran our loose national association we still managed a core membership of 700-800 members (and probably the same poor retention that we see now).

Might also be worth noting that, given Canada's population growth, our 1070 members in terms of population percentage may actually be less than 1980's.

We, plunk down our $175, and what do we get? Pilots that are not part of the hyperventilating crew of manic compulsive air junkies that are the core of our flying community are finding it less and less attractive to be part of the HPAC. It seems the only way the HPAC can retain its membership is to use the "insurance stick" and or its self indulgent, self important rating system to give the appearance it has some sort of authority (which is not the case).

I know I'm a PITA and I know that some of our newer pilots have good intentions but we seem to be reinventing ourselves over and over without ever gaining ground. As the saying goes, "the more things change, the more they stay the same"?

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Tyler G » Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm

Wow okay, there is a lot to digest here.

I don't see anything criminal going on. What specifically is criminal?

Would I operate HPAC differently? Yes. The old guard is resistant to change, and it holds us back from running efficiently. The Google fear mongering is enough to make me freak out. I also operate at a different pace than my fellow directors, and that can be frustrating for me when trying to get things done and approved. My complaints, though are not much different than what you will find on any board. Do I see anything that is catastrophic? No.

HPAC is not a cloke and dagger operation; It's just pilots like you and me... Our pilot community is a mixed bag of mostly lovely people and a few ass holes. Depending on who you talk to, I can fall into either of those categories.
I also cannot help but feel that how much work is there really to be done for a 1000 member organization? For the same wage as an LPN nurse working days and nights?
The avg wage of an LPN nurse is about $28 per hour, that translates to 53k per year. Not including overtime. At that rate, an LPN nurse makes almost 20% more than our ED this year and nearly 50% more than last year.
What would be a fair wage for the full-time position, Executive Director of HPAC?

HPAC board did a study of all of our sister organisations to find out what other orgs in the market pay their staff. The study concluded that the rest of the world compensates more. We are getting a deal. I am open to someone presenting new information, though. I am neither stuck in my ways or my decisions on a matter.
They ate through our savings in a year.
We have around 190k in the bank. So... I don't know what you are talking about here, could you be more specific?
And the Website? We had people volunteer to do it for a membership. But that was swept aside.....
Many people are confusing (and rightfully so) the "website" with the "membership management system." The website is done and ready. It has been done and ready for a long time. It's the Membership Management System (MMS) that have been causing us the headache. So, of course, you get people that say "Hey, I can build you a WordPress website and ill do it for a free membership for life." It's because they are confused as to what the actual problem is. I won't mention that these people offering a website have trouble even updating their own clubs website(and holding it hostage) and now want to extend themselves further. Saying you can do it and actually delivering are two very different things.

The elephant in the room is the need to complete the Membership Management System (MMS), often referred to as the "website." I think it's essential to make the distinction between the website and the MMS. Calling the whole project "the website" creates confusion. The website is in fact completed and delivered.

The bottleneck we face is building and integrating the Membership Management System, how we keep tabs on who is a member and their ratings, process renewals, etc., the guts of the organisation, mostly unseen by most members. We have long outgrown the current MMS. Finding a reasonably priced out-of-the-box solution is like hunting unicorns, as evidenced by the number of similar organisations working on the same problem, including our sister organisation USHPA.

Before I joined the Board, the decision was made to build our own MMS. Given the limitations we face, I can't argue with that decision, even in hindsight. Anyone in the IT industry knows the phrase, "Cheap, good and fast. You can only pick two." The Board decided in the best interest of our members to pick cheap and good, with a caveat that it may take awhile.

As you know, it has. And at this point, it's impossible for us to determine a deadline for this project. We are continuing down the original path at no additional cost and with good momentum to get the project done. In the meantime, our Administrator presses on with the old system while we explore other options. We have good people with professional experience managing the activity on our end, and will keep you informed as it progresses.
I know the administration and some of the current directors view me as a PITA
...but a lovable pain in the ass. Just joking, I don't see you as a PITA. It's essential that someone is out there trying to keep our organisations honest. Even if they might be wrong and probably the one to blame for the things they complain about ;)
We have created this "thing" that we think is going to look after our future, and we have not properly assessed its value nor audited its performance.
I am entirely open to an audit of value and performance. I think it's a great idea. Nominate someone to do this. Maybe even propose a budget for them.
I would like to point out that 431 pilots have not renewed their membership. For all of our organizational efforts we still fail to retain our membership. If we look back on the total chaos of the 80's where we had nearly no administration and volunteers ran our loose national association we still managed a core membership of 700-800 members
Based on your numbers we are doing far better than our counterparts to the south whom you love to celebrate. USHPA was once 10,000 members strong. They are now less than 8,000. At least we are still growing. I don't see this as much an organisational issue but something more systemic with regards to the overall growth of our sport (or lack thereof).

So what have we learned?
HPAC has done a poor job of communicating and we are working to improve that.
The majority of poll respondents would like to see Martin stay in HPAC.
"The more things change, the more things stay the same" is a lame uninspired saying. Mantra for the lazy man.
and... basically... everything else is Martins fault. ;)

Do I think we are perfect? HELL NO! Far from it actually. We have a lot we can improve on. Enough hyperbole and let's make it happen!


Sincerely,
Tyler G.

tnankie
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby tnankie » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:33 pm

how many of the not renewed were visiting pilots?
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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:20 pm

tnankie wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:33 pm
how many of the not renewed were visiting pilots?
Please don't ask our Business manager to run the numbers... we (sorry you... since I'm not an HPAC member :wink: ) could end up with an additional service charge. I did a rough estimate based on a "country" search of the same 12 month active and 12 months prior and roughly a 100 were out of country and not renewed... to what I'm sure was your point, probably the Nats? Sad in a way, I guess they didn't like Canada enough to come back and keep up their membership?

Cheers

Martin

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Re: Should I Stay or should I Leave?....

Postby Martin » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:59 pm

Tyler G wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:56 pm
Wow okay, there is a lot to digest here.
Sincerely,
Tyler G.
Tyler, yes allot to digest indeed.
and... basically... everything else is Martins fault. ;)
Yup... had I never hired our first administrator we would never have achieved this paper perfect dream land.

I think the most telling feature of this years HPAC's budget that demonstrates how your association the HPAC has budgeted $54,270 for administrative costs and has allocated $2500 for safety. I will bet the $54,270 will get spent.... not so sure about the $2500.... unless its for a real fancy first aid kit for the dealing with paper cuts at the HPAC's office?

Martin


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