A Message from Michelle Peterson, AOPA Vice President of Membership
There’s an old adage that two pilots at a cocktail party will always find each other. That’s because the sense of community among pilots is so strong, and that’s the power we’ll be harnessing in 2012 to make your AOPA membership even more valuable and useful to you.
Of course, the power of AOPA’s membership – 400,000 strong – is put to use every day as we carry on the fight to keep flying safe and affordable for GA pilots. When AOPA speaks, it speaks with the power of 400,000 voices, and those voices are difficult to ignore. Lobbying efforts on behalf of general aviation will remain AOPA’s number one mission.As encroachments into your rights as a general aviation pilot continue unabated, while the survival of some smaller airports is in doubt, when so many politicians consider themselves aviation experts based on their being commercial airline passengers, all of us, as a community, have to fight even harder.
In 2012, AOPA will be a bigger part of your local aviation scene. As you may know, AOPA has had a very successful Regional Representative program for many years—primarily focused on state and local advocacy. While that important work will continue, we are expanding the program in 2012 to provide our members with a local membership advocate. One who will work not only to strengthen the voice of AOPA by promoting membership, but also service the needs of our existing members right in their own community.
In 2012, we’re re-organizing the country into seven regions, each headed by an AOPA regional manager. These AOPA regional managers will actively work on state and local issues as well as work within their specific geographical regions on everything from new pilot outreach to making sure local pilots know and interact with one another for the common good of the local pilot community. Many of the previous Regional Representatives will continue in a new AOPA Representative program attending aviation events on our behalf. In short, AOPA will be more visible throughout the country, not simply on Capitol Hill and AOPA members will have local point of contact for all their membership needs. More information on the new Regional Manager program is available online.
You are part of a robust community of pilots, and I look forward to being a bigger part of your local community. I’m anxious to hear your ideas on how AOPA can be a part of your pilot community. If you have something to share, please contact me at Michelle@aopa.org.In the meantime, here’s to a fun, safe and airborne 2012.
January 5, 2012