With his usual straightforward, no-nonsense manner HAI president Matt Zuccaro welcomed Heli-Expo attendees and HAI members to the opening breakfast and annual member meeting on Tuesday morning at the Anaheim Convention Center. Board chairman Tony Burson started off the meeting by focusing on the organization's mentoring and future-focus.
“Our military-to-civilian transition seminar yesterday, presented by Sikorsky's Stacey Sheard, played to a packed room,” said Burson. “My challenge to you is to mentor new people into helicopter aviation in 2014,” he continued.
He also noted that HAI moved into a new headquarters building in 2013, which has facilities for seminars, meetings and even office space that is available at no cost to visiting HAI members.
The treasurer’s report, presented by Max Lyons, HAI treasurer, showed that as of Jan. 31, 2014 the organization was operating at a $1,076,000 surplus, a number that reflects a significant reduction in expenses for the organization.
From there Zuccaro took over with his president’s report, noting that the health of the organization is good, membership, standing at 3,558, is strong, and that HAI is hiring. Zuccaro also took a vote for revision of two key bylaws that changed the definition of his title to president and CEO from the current president and COO. This opens the door for HAI to hire a dedicated COO. Both revisions passed on a two-thirds vote of members present.
Finally, Zuccaro went over Heli-Expo numbers, pointing out that attendance is trending toward 20,000 and that the exhibit hall, with 740 exhibitors and 60 helicopters on display, features more than one million square feet of exhibit space. “This show is completely sold out,” he said. He estimated that more than $2 billion in business would take place over the next three days. From that statement Zuccaro moved to the future of HAI, introducing board of director candidates and imploring the membership to vote.