So much of personal aviation is promoted and made possible through the untiring support of our members and others who provided facilities and services to aviators.
The COPA awards program is a way for members to recognize the many people and organizations who give of their time and expertise to help make personal aviation possible for all us.
Thirteen years ago COPA needed someone to step up to the plate and run an awards program. The person who took on this huge task is well known to you as the “COPA Guy” and his “Pacific perspective” column, Tony Swain.
Tony developed the awards program and took care of every aspect of it each year, culminating in the presentations at our annual convention. He published the call for nominations in the paper, collected and verified nominations as they came in, prepared the list of nominees for the Board’s review and selection, arranged for all the plaques to be made, and orchestrated the grand finale at the convention.
Few who have attended a convention will forget Tony’s energetic and flamboyant style as he expertly presented the awards, being sure to elaborate on each recipient’s accomplishments and contributions to aviation.
Although Tony retired from the Board of Directors in 2006 he agreed to take care of the nominations and plaques for us in 2007, thereby giving us time to prepare a transition.
All of us owe a big “thank you” to Tony Swain, retired director for British Columbia and the Yukon, for doing a wonderful job of delivering our COPA awards program for the past 13 years. Thank you Tony!
Whenever a change is necessitated it presents an opportunity to make improvements. We’ve had some discussions over the past few weeks with Tony and the Executive Committee members and have decided to form a committee to review the awards program and make recommendations to the Board for continuing improvements.
Ken Armstrong, also a director for B.C. and Yukon, agreed to Chair this committee and prepare a report for presentation at the next Board meeting in July.
One of the concerns we have is that many award recipients are unable to attend the annual convention due to travel costs and time commitments. In this case the appropriate regional directors take the awards away and find a suitable place and time for presentation to the recipients. This can sometimes result in the awards actually being presented many months after being announced.
The Awards Review Committee will be looking at alternate ways to present some awards in the regions on a more timely basis and at more appropriate venues.
I anticipate we will be announcing the details of the revised COPA Awards program in the September paper. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, keep your prop spinning.