Hi, I’m Tom Sly, WB8LCD.  There are four things that the League should be doing right now, to make things better for you, the individual amateur radio operator, and for Amateur Radio as a whole.

I’ll be YOUR voice in the League

Amateur Radio is a hobby that utilizes a large amount of radio spectrum.  This is a Natural Resource which is managed by the FCC for the advantage of all citizens.  The American Radio Relay League is the voice that represents the Amateur Radio community to the FCC, who in turn would see a huge commercial value to that spectrum, were they not properly educated to the value that Amateur Radio brings to the table.  The ARRL is the only voice of any consequence that the Amateur Radio community has to represent us.  They have done an outstanding job to that effect, and have been praised for the job they do by other similar organizations who have much larger membership numbers and much deeper pockets.  As the Ohio Section Manager, I will be a staunch advocate for the ARRL.   It is in the best interest of all Amateur Radio operators to belong to and support the activities of the ARRL.  I will constantly and consistently  reach out to the Ohio Section amateurs who are not members of the League and encourage them to join and participate in the activities of the ARRL.

We’ll tell the story of Ham Radio to Everyone in Ohio

With approximately 27,000 licensed hams, the Ohio Section is the largest in the ARRL.  We have amazing ham radio resources in Ohio:  Major retailers of amateur radio equipment across the state, several manufacturers of amateur radio equipment in the state and a large number of very talented hams well educated in electronics and technology, live in all corners of the state!  When questions, concerns or ideas come up that relate to the advancement of the Amateur Radio art, the question should always be asked is -“What are they doing in Ohio?”  Unfortunately, that is not currently the case.  As the Ohio Section Manager, I will be the number one proponent of Amateur Radio in Ohio.  Through the Section Public Information Officer there will be an intense program to promote Amateur Radio throughout the state (and beyond) not only to the Amateur Radio community, but to the population at large. Except for Emergency Communications in times of disaster, Ham Radio has become the “hidden hobby”.  The majority of the population is unaware of what Ham Radio has to offer, or that it even continues to exist!  My background in sales and marketing gives me the necessary understanding of how to “market” Amateur Radio to prospective new members of the hobby as well as the rest of the citizens of Ohio. 

I’ll show you how to make your radio club strong, and vibrant.

Because the technology of ham radio has become so advanced, the majority of new hams need assistance in getting their stations assembled and on the air.  One of the best places to get that assistance is from the other active members of a local Amateur Radio Club.  Yet many clubs today are having a difficult time attracting new members and running a club program that keeps the members active and engaged with the club. It is the Section Manager's responsibility to make sure that there is an active and well developed “Club” program in the section by providing resources for clubs to utilize on a local basis.  My experience with my club, the Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) has prepared me to help local clubs develop a program that will attract the other local hams to it.  There is also a need to have local clubs work together and feed off of each other for speakers, programs and activities.  As the Section Manager, I will provide the framework to enable this to happen. 

We’ll build a stronger, capable Emergency Communications program.

If there has been one aspect of Amateur Radio that has had public attention in the last decade, it would be our service in the area of Emergency Communications.  Because of the flexibility we have, we bring a lot to the table and can be viewed as a valuable resource.  But, as Amateurs, we will be expected to perform on a “professional” level.  Any perceived deficiency in our operations will be noted by those we serve, and could be used as the excuse that we are not adequate to serve their needs.  Currently, EMCOMM organization, training and certification is largely a local issue.  In the past few years that I have been attending the section  Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) conferences, I've seen that some counties have very good organization, training and availability of equipment.  Others have not done so well.  Even so, there is no basic level of preparedness that constitutes the “minimum level” for active participation.  Add to that there is no coordination between the three competing EMCOMM organizations (ARES/RACES/MARS), and it's easy to see that served entities can be very confused as to exactly what to expect from their relationship with Amateur Radio.  As Section Manager, I will be very Pro-Active at setting Section wide standards for both individuals and organizations that want to participate in the Ohio Section.  I will also work to establish relationships with ARES, RACES and MARS, so that we present a unified picture as to what served agencies can expect from Amateur Radio.  Working with the Section Emergency Coordinator, I will help to build relationships with local government and others so that Amateur Radio EMCOMM services are understood and welcomed by the local officials who may or may not have any idea of what Amateur Radio has to offer them.  This is largely an issue of building relationships, and then maintaining those relationships as administrations and personnel change through the years.




Comments?  Suggestions? Want to be kept up to date?


Thanks and 73,  Tom WB8LCD

More radio FUN for Ohio Hams!

Text Box: Tom says “When we started PCARS, we established one firm rule: If it wasn’t FUN, then, we just weren’t going to do it. There’s no reason that you’re club meeting shouldn’t be a blast. The League should be leading the way.”
Text Box: Tom says “One of my customers asked me what I liked to do for fun, and I told him ham radio. He said, ‘They actually still have that’? Boy, did that ever open my eyes! The public needs to know that Ohio hams are on the cutting edge of technology. Let’s get out there and show them what modern Amateur Radio is all about.”