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Doing better.

This is my 24th and last JED column as your association's president. It has been a privilege and honor that will remain in my memory the rest of my life. I write this as we sit on the runway at LaGuardia Airport in the queue waiting to depart. We have been here for almost six hours, and the passengers, including myself, are beginning to stir. My first thought is patience, but it is beginning to wane. The good news is that the aircrew runs out of crew rest in another three hours, so the end is in sight whether we make it to Dayton tonight or not. The moral of this story is things don't always go exactly the way we expect or plan.

Over the course of the past two years, our association has made progress, but in my estimation, we must do better if we are to survive as an entity of our own. In my opinion, our membership is the most important indicator of our welfare, and although for the first time in over ten years, we have short-stopped the loss, we have been unable to reach either our recruitment or retention goals. Even though we gain a significant number of new members through our courses and conferences, we are unable to obtain their annual renewal, which averages only 72%. Again, we must do better. Soon after you read this you will be able to become a new member or renew your membership online via our web site. Perhaps this may help.

Additional membership benefits and increased value for both our individual and corporate members are needed. Our Government Affairs Committee was established to help us better articulate our association's positions and to better interface with US government leaders. Most recently, we have engaged the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) with responses provided by our chapters. We have tried to better serve industry by supporting causes worthwhile to the mission area and have taken our Professional Development Courses on-site to their locations. Our symposia and conference agendas have been expanded to include new areas such as battle management, infrastructure, homeland defense, and EW/IO. JED, deemed the premier journal of electronic warfare and an important membership benefit, based upon comments received, has room for improvement. We are working hard to correct this situation. We have vastly improved our Web site but still have a way to go before it matches up with that of some of our competitors.

There has been a significant turnover in our headquarters staff, as well as on the board of directors. They bring many new ideas to the forefront and the impetus for change. Ken Krech has done a tremendous job as the vice president and president elect, and the good things that come out of the Strategic Summit that he has spearheaded are absolutely essential and need to be implemented in a timely matter to ensure that the Crows remain "alive and well" for many years to come. However, no matter how good they are, we need you and your active participation!

If you believe in the value of the Crows, it needs to be assimilated into your thought process, values, priorities, commitments and actions. You are our most important asset.

And by the way, I did make it to Dayton ... eventually.


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Title Annotation:FROM THE President
Author:Thomas, Austin K., Jr.
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Previous Article:Digital domain.
Next Article:Shutting the bomb factory: technology so far has proven no match for relatively low-tech bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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