delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 9

Ham Radio News

...because we don’t live in a vacuum.

Howard E. Michel, WB2ITX, is New ARRL Chief

Executive Officer

The ARRL Board of Directors has elected Howard E. Michel, WB2ITX, of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to be ARRL's new Chief Executive Officer. He will start on October 15. Michel (rhymes with "nickel") is currently Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, and Senior Vice President of UBTECH Robotics, a $5 billion Shenzhen, China, artificial intelligence and robotics company. As the Chief Technology Officer at UBTECH Education, Michel helped build this company from a startup in China to $100 million in valuation. "I have Amateur Radio to thank for starting me on a very successful career, and I'm excited about the opportunity to further ARRL's goals as CEO. Leading the League will allow me to 'give back' to a great community and provide a similar opportunity for future generations," Michel said. "I have been a licensed ham for 50 years, and I've seen many changes in the hobby. One of my top priorities as CEO will be to develop new products and services so all hams, whatever their license class or interest, find value in League membership," he added. Michel was first licensed as WN2ITX when he was about 16 and upgraded to General and Advanced within a year. He earned his Amateur Extra-class license in 2000. "I've operated CW/AM/FM/SSB/digital on 80/40/20/15/10/2, on equipment that I have either built, repaired, or modified," he said. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, said, "We are excited to have someone of Howard's qualifications to lead this organization. Howard's management experience, along with his experience at leading a membership-driven association, makes him an ideal person to move this organization forward." In 2015, Michel served as president and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a volunteer position. "In any large membership-led organization such as ARRL, its members and volunteers are its greatest asset, and a good staff- volunteer relationship is crucial to its success," Michel said. "I intend to build on this relationship and multiply and amplify the efforts of both staff and volunteers in furthering ARRL's goals to advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio." Michel is a retired US Air Force officer, having served as a pilot, satellite launch director, engineer, and engineering manager. During his time in the military, wherever he could set up an antenna, he took the opportunity to operate. Michel earned his bachelor's degree in electronic engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, a master's degree in electronic and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts, and a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He holds a PhD in computer science and engineering from Wright State University. His noteworthy academic background further includes current service as a visiting professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Previously, he was on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and of the University of Dayton. Michel says that some of his favorite activities include attending hamfests to find old stuff to repair or repurpose, contest operating, and DXing, especially on 80 and 40 meters. He is a Life Member of the Southeastern Massachusetts Amateur Radio Association. Michel will succeed Barry J. Shelley, N1VXY, who had been serving as ARRL's CEO since January, following the resignation of Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. Shelley previously served ARRL's Chief Financial Officer since 1992.

Let’s get behind our new CEO

Dan Romanchik, KB6NU  There’s a pretty active discussion in the MyARRLVoice Facebook group about the ARRL Board’s selection of a new CEO. And, as you can imagine the knives are out. The post by Dave Bernstein is perhaps the most critical. The main thrust of the item is to criticize the “secretive” way that the board selected Howard Michel, WB2ITX as the new CEO, and to call for live-streaming of board meetings, but there are also criticisms of the new CEO and the announcement of his selection. At issue is his perceived lack of amateur radio activity. The ARRL news story says, “Michel says that some of his favorite activities include attending hamfests to find old stuff to repair or repurpose, contest operating, and DXing, especially on 80/40 meters.” Some hams were quick to dispute that, pointing out that WB2ITX doesn’t have a Logbook of the World account, nor could they find any evidence of contest scores. The announcement also mentions prominently his being president of the IEEE in 2015. I think his IEEE experience is both encouraging and a little misleading at the same time. The title “president” sounds impressive, but he wasn’t the IEEE’s CEO. I would be surprised if he had any real executive responsibilities at the IEEE, just like Rick Roderick, K5UR, doesn’t have any executive responsibilities with the ARRL. The encouraging part is some of the things he did with the IEEE. For example, as Vice President of Membership & Geographical Activities, he worked on growing IEEE membership, increasing membership engagement, and improving relationship with and between members. These should also be his top priorities as ARRL CEO. The board has made the choice (that’s what we elected them to do), and WB2ITX will be the new ARRL CEO on October 15. We shouldn’t lynch the guy before he walks in the door. In fact, we should get behind him right off the bat, show our support, and be ready to pitch in when we’re asked to do so. If the guy is a real leader, then he will not only ask us to help him, but also listen to us as well.

Minutes of Special Meeting, ARRL Board of Directors, August

22, 2018

This meeting is, of course, the meeting at which the ARRL board elected Howard Michel, WB2ITX, as the next ARRL CEO. The minutes are very short, as this was the only order of business. What I found interesting was the lack of consensus among the directors on Michel’s selection. From the minutes: Mr. Niswander moved, and Mr. Pace seconded, that the Board elect Dr. Howard E. Michel, WB2ITX, as Chief Executive Officer effective October 15, 2018. Mr. Niswander outlined key elements of the contract. Each Director was accorded the right to ask questions and offer comments alphabetically by Division name. Mr. Tiemstra moved, seconded by Mr. Frenaye, to postpone consideration of the motion until November 29, 2018. After discussion the motion failed by a vote of 7 Aye and 8 Nay. Discussion returned to the main motion. A rollcall vote being requested, the motion was adopted 9 to 6 with Mr. Carlson, Holden, Norris, Williams, Lisenco, Blocksome, Pace, Boehner, and Allen voting Aye and Mr. Abernethy, Frenaye, Tiemstra, Sarratt, Norton and Woolweaver voting Nay. It really would be interesting to see a transcript of the discussion and hear why the directors voted the way they did. It would also be interesting to know: WB2ITX’s positions on the “code of conduct” and other current ARRL controversies. I suppose that we’ll find out about those soon enough. Who else was on the list of candidates. It would also be interesting to speculate how the board election would have affected the CEO selection process. Personally, I’m hopeful that WB2ITX will turn out to be a great CEO. As the IEEE president, he worked to increase membership and membership engagement, and that’s really what we need. I stand ready to help him do this.