ARRL BoD Minutes

Minutes from the January ARRL Board of Directors meetings have been made available to the public. Details about the vote that ended the CEO position held by Howard Michel, WB2ITX are slim:

13. President Roderick opened the floor for nominations for Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Carlson nominated Dr. Michel. President Roderick stated that this would be a Yes/No vote. Ballots were distributed, collected and counted by the tellers with the following results: Yeas, 6; Nays, 9. Dr. Michel was not re-elected Chief Executive Officer.

The Board was on break from 9:40 – 9:59 AM with all returning as noted above except for Dr. Michel.

And then a short time later:

15. President Roderick opened the floor for a discussion preceding the motion to appoint an interim Chief Executive Officer. A debate ensued on whether the vote should occur today or tomorrow following a discussion of the details of the interim position. There was a conversation regarding what the title of the interim officer should be, and the Board agreed that the title shall be Interim Chief Executive Officer to comply with the By-Laws.

16. On the motion of Mr. Stratton, seconded by Mr. Norris, it was VOTED that:

Whereas, A vacancy exists in the office of Chief Executive Officer;

Whereas, The ARRL Board of Directors wishes to ensure continuous leadership for the ARRL during the period of its search for a new executive officer;

Whereas, Mr. Barry Shelley has previously served the ARRL with distinction in a capacity as Chief Financial Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer;

Whereas, Mr. Barry Shelley, N1VXY, has agreed to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer during the period of the ARRL’s search for a new executive officer;

It is accordingly resolved:

(1) That the President of the ARRL is authorized, with the assistance of such staff and legal advisors as he deems necessary, to negotiate the terms of an employment contract with Mr. Barry Shelley to serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer of the ARRL for such terms as are reasonable;

(2) That the proposed contract with Mr. Barry Shelley be submitted to the Board of Directors for final approval prior to execution.

After discussion the motion was APPROVED.

7 replies on “ARRL BoD Minutes”

Wow. Apparently the Board doesn’t think this event is a big deal to the membership, giving us only a five sentence article on the website and now these meeting minutes.

Pissed Off and Fed Up ARRL Life Member

Wonder how many drafts they went through before they sanitized to tell nothing?

Expect counsel caused the minimal presentation? Fear of litigation and the resulting squander of league money?



Well, they did mention “Yeas, 6; Nays, 9” which was slightly more than the website article which announced the interim CEO, and “oh, by the way, the CEO wasn’t re-elected.”

The Board could have formulated a coherent and informative statement, likely with the help of Dr. Michel, to at least make this appear as an amicable exit and planned transition. That’s what REAL organizations do, something ARRL is no longer.

I thought perhaps we might find out who the “Yeas” and who the “Nays” were. I guess we can assume that Director Carlson was a “Yea” given that he nominated WB2ITX but beyond that, it seems hidden from public view. It’s tough to make informed decisions when details of how Directors vote on key decisions are obfuscated. I did find it interesting that the vote was fairly close and no doubt split along the lines of tenure on the Board. That’s pure speculation on my part, but it’s what happens when there is a lack of transparency.

A pressing but separate issue is the transparency membership expects.

In cases touching on HR, Various forms of dismissal (including non-renewal, which this seems basically to be), it is VERY common to gag the outside discussion.

That gag is both respectful of the people and organization, but also minimizes the potential for a waste of resources if things “go legal.”

If they have “gone legal” or even lawyering-up has started, there is usually a gag until the posturing has settled.

What we have learned is the decision to not renew Howard was not something like a single blackball being dropped in the can – the board voted in a 60% majority to not reelect him.

Whether those supporting him were more concerned about optics, or if they wanted to reinstruct/redefine, or were true supporters we haven’t learned.

Lets also not attribute a vote one way or another to any individual. Bringing a delicate matter to the vote is something I’ve had to personally do full knowing I would be voting against my motion when the votes were called.

Expecting Howard Michel cooperation beyond going away quietly is our armchair quarterbacking getting us into wishful thinking. With the quiet rumblings that Michel’s administration was fraught with problems, mostly for not having the whole team on board, it might be asking a lot to expect him to cooperating putting lipstick on his own failure to maintain employment.




While it’s a favorite “dodge” to claim everything a personnel issue that mandates complete secrecy, I reject the notion that identifying how individual Directors voted on a simple Yes or No vote would expose any protected personnel matters of the employee.

Members deserve to know.

73, Jeff

I believe there is enough member’s expectations to force the ARRL board to revise its “stand together, even if we are not” BS policy to publish voting details for every vote.

Minimally I would have though most board members would buck back against this unfortunate policy, letting the people they represent know how they vote on every vote.

Otherwise there is zero accountability for those we’ve elected to represent us.

The change is nothing to do with the Michel non-renewal, but it is a bad policy that should be revised. The change cannot come soon enough, and should be retroactive to cover every vote where this weird ARRL policy gagged our representatives.




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