Background: Your president was born in Zion, Illinois in 1932. After completing high school in 1949 at Evanston, IL and spending the following summer in a ditch over my head with a shovel, decided to join the Air Force.
After part of "Truman's year" extension during the Korean conflict, got married and started college in southern California, while working full time in law enforcement at Glendale and then Downey, California.
Moved to the northwest after a failed marriage and finally became involved in the insurance claims profession. Advanced rapidly and managed the Spokane Claims office for Grange Insurance Association before accepting a promotion to direct that same company's claims business in California. At about that same period in my life was lucky enough to hire and then marry Dotty. We brag about sharing 7 children, 14 grandchildren and a god son now finishing his major of Insurance Risk Management at Washington State University.
Politics being what they are, I got too close to the top job in claims with that company and was let go (fired) in 1978. Dotty supported my desire to fly professionally and I was really fortunate to gain a flying position in the Air Force Reserve out of Travis AFB. Schools in Texas and Oklahoma and then back to Travis to complete a year of active duty flying all over the world in the C5 Galaxy. And to think I was getting paid too!
Both of our families were in the Spokane area, so at the end of that year I transferred to McChord AFB near Tacoma, WA and also had to go back to Oklahoma and go through the C141 school. Became an instructor Flight Engineer and again was flying all over the world in the Air Force Reserve Associate Squadron.
Obtained a frontier Adjusters franchise in N/E Washington State and then picked up the North Idaho franchise also. Built those two independent businesses with the help of Dotty to the point where we were able to train two sons and a son-in-law and sell them the two franchises, retaining only the aviation portion of the business. Still active with the Air force Reserve during this period, I flew some 5000 hours right up to and including the Persian Gulf action after which I retired with 43 years of military involvement.
Dotty and I are active in our church (Assembly of God) and believe strongly in the healing power of prayer. God watches over us and has enabled our current hiatus here in Paa Mul , Mexico on the Caribbean.
It is an honor to serve as your president. Dotty and I are continually amazed at the family of friends that the OFA has brought us. We would like to visit each and every OFA member this coming year but know we can't, but will make every effort to visit as many as possible.
I want to hear your concerns and especially your suggestions on how the organization can better serve both members and the companies that support our aviation related business. What changes do we need to implement? Is our annual conference doing what it is supposed to do? What about scholarships other than Embry Riddle? Are we growing fast enough? Are we staying up with the industry changes of this past year? I look forward to your input. Some of these issues will be addressed at our Sun River, Oregon conference.
The theme of the conference; "BACK TO BASICS" promises to address some of our mutual concerns. Executive Secretary-Conference Chairman Larry Larson and Secretary-Program Chairman Jim Stiger, promise the program content will be the best in both education and information. More in this issue of the newsletter.
One more concern I have, based on my involvement in two annual conferences, is possibly recognizing those related defense oriented law firms that financially support our annual conference. What better way than to list them in our directory as say "Friends of the OFA"?
Let's not reinvent the wheel, but polish the spokes, utilizing the wealth of experience that exists in this organization! The aviation insurance industry is changing - needs of the companies will no doubt create changes in our individual businesses as well as in our OFA family. Help me to help all of our family stay current and competitive!