Last week, RRI had the pleasure to meet Fred Hopengarten K1VR who is running for re-election to the ARRL board of directors, representing New England. We were interested in Fred’s options about traffic handling and related matters.
Now, this was the first time we’ve attempted something like this, and Zoom proved to be troublesome! But we finally did get to talk with him and here’s the video, his letter to us is reproduced below. Of especial note, Fred is a six time member of the Brass Pounders’ League!
FROM FRED HOPENGARTEN, K1VR
To My Friends at Radio Relay International: Congratulations to RRI on your upcoming fifth anniversary. Founded in 2016 as a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit organization, RRI has provided leadership and stewardship in the spirit of George Hart, W1NJM – the legendary ARRL Communications Manager, and founder of the National Traffic System. Did you know that my first General Class call sign was W1NJL? I knew George, and he used to kid me by saying that I must have been the guy in front of him in line when he took the test.
About RRI. My friend, Board colleague, and RRI champion, Bob Famiglio, K3RF, tells me that RRI not only continues to sponsor most of the traditional regional and area nets in North America, but also the HF Digital Traffic Network successfully expanding routine operations into Europe, Latin America, Hawaii and Oceania. RRI partnered with the Winlink team to promote interoperability, especially for ARES and MARS operators unfamiliar with the radiogram. RRI sponsors on-line training classes and over-the-air code practice. RRI holds joint exercises with organizations such as REACT, MARS, and even the United States Navy. RRI is consulted by the FCC and FEMA for its HF emcomm expertise. RRI has also assumed sponsorship of the proven, popular, life saving programs – National SOS Radio Network (founded by philanthropist Eric Knight, KB1EHE) and Neighborhood HamWatch (founded by ARES volunteer Andy Gausz, KG4QCD). I was also told how one of your Board members tirelessly relayed and delivered thousands of H&W messages from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Thank you Jeff Miller, WB8WQK.
Because of RRI’s demonstrated support for amateur radio traffic handling, especially as a core skill and justification for amateur radio itself, I ask your support in my reelection as the ARRL New England Division Director.
Who is K1VR? I would like to tell you about myself and what I’ve done to earn your support. Now closing out my first term, I was chosen in a historic election, defeating a 20+ year incumbent who wielded a heavy hand in destroying NTS as we knew it. I’ll spare you the details – you know them. Because I know what happened, from people who were in the room, I worked to replace those directors instrumental in removing, without consulting the actual members of NTS, the NTS chairmen. Those NTS chairmen went on to found RRI. All this, in spite of your success in FEMA’s Cascadia Rising exercise. In doing so, ARRL shot itself in the foot. I had to act, not only to preserve the traffic system, but to work on replacing the directors responsible for this decision, and many other poor decisions, with new directors who understand the need for a strong and responsible ARRL.
The ECFSC. This past July, I joined with just enough others to reconstitute a standing committee for Emergency Communications & Field Services (the ECFSC). The final vote was 11-4. We know emergency message handling is mission critical – even more so these days. It’s critical that the ARRL Board is chosen carefully, or such important work may once again go unsupported by official ARRL policy. Aside from supporting EmComm, I’ve worked on governance activities to maintain an open and transparent ARRL.
Publishing the Board’s Standing Orders. One accomplishment I’m very proud of is the publication of the Board’s previously hidden “Standing Orders.” They should never have been hidden from the membership. I’ve also chaired the Ethics & Elections Committee, and was elected by the Board to the Executive Committee.
Volunteer Counsel. Some of your members my recognize me as an ARRL Volunteer Counsel active in resolving antenna zoning problems for members, and as the author of several books on the subject. I’m very proud of my work as co-author of the ARRL’s new Congressional private land use restriction initiative to replace ARPA. This is probably better known as “the HOA legislation.” This summer, I created a six-part Life Long Learning series for the ARRL Learning Network. And to ensure the ARRL’s continued financial footing, I drove the creation of the Investment Management Committee to better manage our endowment, conservatively, but still to seek higher returns.
Finally, I supported ARRL’s defense of the ham band at 3.5 GHz. That’s my track record and that’s why I believe I’ve earned your support.
Fred Hopengarten, K1VR