June 7, 2017

Newfoundland/Labrador Director Needed


By Cheryl Marek, COPA Director Southern Ontario, Nominating Committee Chair

COPA relies on the strength of its membership to fill certain volunteer positions within the organization. Consider donating some of your time and experience as a member of the board of directors and make a lasting contribution in pursuit of our mission: advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly. We are currently seeking someone to fill the vacancy in that role in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The role of a COPA director is multifaceted: each director wears at least three hats. The qualified COPA director is much more than a pilot – any board in a governance role requires a wide variety of perspectives on which the strategic direction of the organization is set.

In the oversight capacity, directors are responsible for the governance of the association. Through the democratic process of discussing and voting on motions and resolutions, Directors call upon their collective experience to reach a consensus on what is best for our members nationally. The board provides strategic guidance and sets the corporate priorities. The board also ensures that the management and operations of the organization comply with the requirements outlined in applicable legislation and governing documents. Board members are expected to attend meetings of the board, usually three per year, and serve on at least one committee.

Directors are elected on a regional basis, to represent the interests of the members in their areas within the management framework of the organization.

Directors often interact with COPA flights and other members to provide updates or background information on issues related to the organization and to general aviation overall.   We encourage directors to work hand in hand with their local COPA flights disseminating such information as the need arises.

COPA directors can also act in certain circumstances in an advocacy role as an extension of the national office. Issues can range from keeping airspace and airstrips open, to how and when aircraft are to equip with new technologies. Advocacy can involve attending meetings with government representatives, airport decision makers or community members, writing to government or regulatory officials, doing research and making presentations. These activities are coordinated with the COPA national office.

It might sound a little overwhelming, but, as in any volunteer organization, passionate individuals have the time and are willing to share it. As a volunteer position, there is no direct compensation, however expenses incurred while on COPA business are reimbursed. Travel to and from board meetings and the annual convention is also provided. There is satisfaction in making one’s contribution on a collaborative team dedicated to advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly for more than 17,000 members. It is a privilege to learn from those who have gone before us, and to pave the way for those who will benefit in times to come.

The chance to meet pilots and people from across the country and learn the varied experiences and interests while addressing concerns, establishing and growing programs like COPA for Kids, and promoting the Neil Armstrong Scholarship, Freedom to Fly Fund and Flight Safety Foundation are all ways in which directors contribute to the future of COPA, and to the future of GA in Canada.

We encourage all members to consider your candidacy as a COPA director, the mix of personal/interpersonal, governance and technical skills/strategic competencies you can offer to the organization and your fellow pilots.