Although COVID-19 caused changes to the way the Highland Amateur Radio Association normally conducts its annual election of officers and trustees, the organization successfully found a way to elect those who will lead the club during 2021.
Election Committee Chairman Patrick Gilfillen recently announced voting by club members will have Pat Hagen, N8BAP, serving as president and Tom Mongold Jr., KD8LDS, as vice president. Kathy Levo, N8ZNR, was re-elected secretary-treasurer and Ken Lightner, KE8JEL, will join Gilifillen, N8EWH, and Richie Hagen, N8CUB, as trustees. The 2020 president, Jeff Collins, KD8VUY, will join the executive committee as past president.
As with a number of organizations, the pandemic created a trying year for the club. However, because amateur radio has been an original “social distancing” activity since its creation in the early 1900s, a large number of the normal club activities were able to proceed without concerns. Although the club exercised suggested health guidelines for a few events, most club meetings and other normal face-to-face activities were moved to over the air ones through the club’s system of amateur radio repeaters in Highland, Fayette and Pike counties.
Late in 2020 amateur radio’s national organization, the American Radio Relay League, honored the Highland Amateur Radio Association with its highly-respected Special Service Club Award. The award is presented to only those clubs that demonstrate their involvement in varied aspects of amateur radio for the greater good of their community, state, nation and members. Such clubs actively provide training classes and licensing opportunities, technical advancement and achievement and operating activities while serving their communities. Presently, there are only 10 other such clubs in Ohio.
The Highland Amateur Radio Association has grown its membership to well over 100 federally licensed amateur radio operators in Highland Countysince its 1974 founding. ARRL officials state it is highly unusual for a local club to be this size and to be in a rural area.
Information about the club and its activities can be obtained by contacting the club’s information officer, John Levo, W8KIW, at 937-393-4951. General information about amateur radio and the steps to earn a radio license can be obtained from Levo or by contacting the American Radio Relay League at www.arrl.org.
Submitted by John Levo.