Welcome to a new feature of the NAR website! I’m your host for this particular blog, which I hope you will find useful, amusing, inventive or some other positive adjective. I’ve realized that this is a blog and not just a log, so while many of you will not need the links or references I’ll provide, I will try to keep in mind the wider audience that may come across this blog. If the links are already known to you, so much the better from my perspective!
As the NAR Treasurer, I’ve often thought about letting our members know more about what goes on in the organization, and now I have my chance. There won’t be any deep secrets brought to life here, mostly because our organization doesn’t believe in harboring them. There are many little-known and quite a few misunderstood facts about the NAR, and I will shed some light on them along the way. Many will be Treasurer related, but some are just observations that I’ve made over the years.
Many of you are members of our local clubs (aka sections). The Board knows first-hand how valuable that experience is to us, so we do our best to find ways to promote that connection amongst all of the members. I have my own section where I live and I’ll talk more about that some other post. I’m active in multiple sections, as I know that some of you are. My most-recent role is that of Section Advisor for a start-up section in eastern West Virginia. I’ve discovered that I really enjoy being in the mentor role for the club, in the same way (though at a different level) that I enjoy mentoring teams for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (aka TARC). Being a Section Advisor is just another way to pay forward, a mantra that all of us try to live by. Consider joining a section if you aren’t part of one now, and if you are, consider stepping up to a greater role in your section. There’s lots of satisfaction in doing so!
My major role in the NAR is that of Treasurer. I built up to that role while not realizing that I was doing so at the time. I started by just being active locally, and buying many of the same things that all newbies to the hobby buy. I wasn’t really new to rocketry since I started out as a wee lad in the 60’s, but I wasn’t engrossed in it until later in life. One of those people with cool stuff in this niche market was Bill Spadafora, who was the chair of the Technical Services committee for the NAR, known by the abbreviation of NARTS. From hanging out in the NARTS room at NARAM to offering to help sell stuff when Bill couldn’t be there, I realized that I really enjoyed selling stuff and doing marketing. That lead me to taking over NARTS from Bill, whose 14 or so years of service in the role didn’t prepare me for what ensued as a brand-spanking-new NARTS Chairman. (NB: Bill passed away just after I wrote this, so this now is my memoriam of Bill, a truly wonderful guy) I only lasted 4 and a half years as NARTS Chairman, a record for being a short-timer that stands to this day. I did feel somewhat justified in leaving, since I was headed to the Board of Trustees and the Treasurer position, if the membership voted me in. And I couldn’t do both roles even if was crazy enough to want that, since I would then report to myself as Board liaison!
I hope this gives you a bit of background about me, enough to want to keep reading. If not, I understand. I’ll leave this initial foray into the blog world with a favorite quote: “No matter where you go, there you are!” Until next time…
Tblog is written by Tom Ha, NAR Treasurer for 4 years but a blog virgin until now. His writing credits are limited to articles for the ZOG (narhams.org) newsletter, and prior to that the SPAAR (spaar.org) newsletter. Positive comments are always welcome. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found on LinkedIn.