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Mon, Oct 27, 2008

Group Calls For 'Swift Changes' As Crisis Continues At NAFI

TBO NAFI To Hold Informal Meeting At AOPA Expo 2008

Recent developments at the Board level of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) have led to the creation of the Take Back Our National Association of Flight Instructors Committee -- TBO NAFI. This committee, comprised of NAFI members, including Master Instructors and several Regional and National Flight Instructors of the Year, is calling for swift and sweeping changes to the governance of NAFI.

Breaking this disturbing news last week, ANN reported, the crisis began two weeks ago when NAFI members learned two of the "most productive, well-liked, pro-instructor, and long-standing members of the Board" -- JoAnn and Sandy Hill -- would not be re-elected to their positions, and would be relieved of their day-to-day administration of the NAFI Master Instructor Program.

"These issues served to focus long-due attention on the broader governance issues plaguing the NAFI Board," well-known Master Instructor Rich Stowell told Aero-News.

Stowell adds the much-anticipated NAFI Board of Directors meeting on Friday, October 24 failed to address concerns presented to the Board by TBO NAFI in the form of two documents. The first, a Memo to the Board of Directors signed by 33 members of TBO-NAFI, and the second, 18 supporting Resolutions, outlined the concerns and the needs of a "significant element" of the NAFI membership base.

Underscoring the severity of the situation, EAA President Tom Poberezny asked for, and received, time to speak to the assembled board Friday. Noting a "significant response" from NAFI members regarding the proposal to oust the Hills, Poberezny cautioned both sides to proceed carefully in working to resolve the matter.

"I've spent a great deal of time over the last week reading letters, talking with NAFI members, and Board members and can assure you that the credibility of the ENTIRE NAFI Board is in question," Poberezny wrote in a memo to Board members. "Whether it's reality or perception, the fact is that a strong negative feeling exists, and the Board must address it with actions that will serve NAFI, both short and long term. Action must turn a negative into a positive."

The TBO committee stressed the crisis involving NAFI has nothing to do with EAA. "The TBO Committee appreciates all that EAA as done over the years to support instructors and to advance the flight instructor community at AirVenture," Stowell adds. "The issue is with NAFI governance."

In the end, the Board vote on whether to remove the Hills was deferred. "The Board instead postponed the vote; however, the Chairman retains the authority to call for a vote at any time with a simple phone call to other Board members," TBO NAFI states.

The first informal meeting of TBO Committee members and others who wish to participate is scheduled for Friday, November 7, at 1:00 PM in the entrance lobby of the AOPA Expo in San Jose, CA.



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