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Steve Pearson on Tiki and James

Steve writes:

I would characterize James' response to Tiki as somewhat
misleading by suggesting that "in a combined last priority, at gender and age"
are not a significant factor. As I recall, Tiki had the second highest number of
votes and was eliminated by the age requirement. Can anyone tell me why age is
an essential diversity requirement and while race is not? My personal opinion is
that the diversity algorithm should be limited region and wing type.

James also questions Tiki's ability to work effectively with others, "A board of
directors is a collaborative effort at leadership. Tiki describes herself as
“battling”, “being like a dog with a bone”, “rarely backing down”, and “the most
vocal person in the room”. Having watched her on the old USHPA board for six
years I agree with those characterizations. None of them is a collaboration
skill that leads to working effectively with other human beings." I would just
say that I've known and worked with Tiki for 40 years and I have absolutely no
reservations about working with her regardless of whether I agree with her on
any particular issue. As I've said before, we need her on the BOD.

With respect to growth, James says, "It didn’t work, membership growth didn’t
increase and no one involved in USHPA felt like they knew what they were
supposed to do to make it happen. It wouldn’t work any better now. Growth has to
be a side effect of doing other things well. Member numbers are one metric to
look at in the question of how we’re doing, but they shouldn’t be the first or
only one."

I beg to differ. I don't see why growth is fundamentally different from profit
or any other business sustainability metric. Imagine if you are business that
hasn't been profitable for many years--what should you do (Apple lost money for
12 years)? Should you resign yourself to the inevitable collapse or correct your
mistakes and focus more urgently on opportunities?

As a review of the last election results:

Diversity algorithm process

The aim of the diversity algorithm is to ensure a diverse board by filling each
of the following categories out of the national election: at least 1 director
from each region, at least 3 of each wing type (hang gliding or paragliding), at
least 3 under age 40 and 3 age 40 or older, and at least 2 women and 2 men. The
categories are filled based on the number of votes received by each candidate,
meaning that the results are determined purely by the algorithm and cannot be

The algorithm first looks at the sitting board to determine which categories are
lacking. For this election, we needed 1 director from Region 2, 2 more directors
under age 40, and 1 more female director to meet our diversity goals.

Candidates were ranked by the number of votes they received and then the
diversity algorithm was applied. For the first priority, region, we needed 1
director from Region 2. The candidate from Region 2 with the highest number of
votes was Jugdeep Aggarwal, making him the first new director.

Because our wing type goal was already filled by the sitting board, we moved on
to our final priorities, age and gender. These two goals are weighted equally,
so the category that’s further from its goal number is prioritized. In this case
we needed 2 more directors in the age category and just 1 more in the gender
category, so age became the first criteria. Sara Weaver had the highest number
of votes of the candidates under age 40, so she became the second new director.
Since we needed two directors in this category, the candidate under age 40 with
the next-highest number of votes, Kimberly Phinney, became the third new

Sara Weaver’s selection also satisfied the final priority, gender, which needed
one more female director. Since all the diversity goals were met, the final seat
went to the candidate with the most overall votes, Steven Pearson.

For more details on the election and the diversity selection process, please
click here.

Thank you once again to everyone who voted, and congratulations to our new USHPA

Mark Forbes

Elections Committee Chair
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