At the center of USHPA's management is the board of directors. There are 10 directors total: 8 elected by the membership and 2 appointed by the board. The board meets monthly via teleconference and once per year for an in-person meeting.
USHPA recently shifted from a regional to a national elections process. The new system allows multiple well-qualified directors to come from the same region, while still working to ensure that all regions are represented by employing a diversity algorithm during the election process. The algorithm also promotes diversity in wing type, age, and gender with the goal of creating a stronger board of directors.
Please see below for voter resources and for more information on the voting process, including the diversity algorithm.
The 2021 election closed October 25 at 5:00 pm Mountain Time and the results are in.
Board meetings are held monthly via teleconference, with one annual in-person meeting. USHPA members are welcome to attend meetings, and all meeting minutes are available online.
8 directors are elected by the membership with 2-year terms
2 directors are appointed annually by the board with 1-year terms
The membership elects 4 board members per year with staggered 2-year terms.
The board elects its 4 officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) from within its members. The president must have served as a USHPA board member for at least 1 year, unless no board member has that much experience.
If a board member resigns, the board appoints a replacement to serve the remainder of their term. If there are not enough candidates in an election to fill the open seats, the remaining seats will be filled by appointment by the board.
Nominations Open: June 1st
Nominations Close: September 1st at 5 pm MT
Candidate Questionnaires Due: September 20th at 5 pm MT
Voter Eligibility Date (pull voter list): Last Friday in September at 5 pm MT
Election Opens: First Monday in October at 8 am MT
Election Closes: Last Monday in October at 5 pm MT (new director terms effective January 1st)
All candidates must complete a questionnaire to give voters sufficient information to make their choices. The questionnaire asks each candidate to describe their free flight experience, why they want to serve on the board, their experience with other organizations or on other boards, and more.
Completed questionnaires will be posted online and will be part of each candidate's individual profile on the ballot.
Write-in votes will not be counted, so please nominate any USHPA member that wishes to run for the board by September 1.
Each USHPA member may vote for up to 4 candidates, with 1 vote cast for each of the 4 open seats.
A candidate must receive at least 50 votes or win votes from at least 5% of the voters (whichever is greater) to be declared a viable candidate and be included in the second stage of the election process, the diversity algorithm. (Example: If 2,000 members turn out, each voting for up to four candidates, 5% of the voters is 100 votes. Any candidates not winning 100 votes will be discarded from the selection process.)
Research shows that diverse workgroups do better work. USHPA's representation algorithm focuses on region, wing type, age, and gender to help ensure that all members are represented and to create the strongest board possible.
Note that regional representation is the most important in this algorithm, and the first aspect to be filled. Under this system, every region that fields a viable candidate (who receives the required minimum number of votes) is guaranteed a seat on the board.
The goals for each category are as follows:
Region: At least 1 board member from each of USHPA's 5 regions.
Wing type: At least 3 current, active pilots of each wing type (hang glider and paraglider).
Age: At least 3 members age 39 or under, and 3 members age 40 or older as of January 1 of the election year.
Gender: At least 2 men and 2 women.
The algorithm takes into account the current makeup of the board to determine which attributes are needed to meet our representation goals. The most important attribute is region, followed by wing type and then age and gender.
Candidates are ranked by the number of votes they received in the election. Then, the algorithm begins filling the board seats based on the representation goals, beginning with region. For example, if the current board already represented all regions except for region 4, the algorithm would select the candidate from region 4 who received the most votes, making them the first new board member. Next, the algorithm would look at wing type. If the current board needed 2 paraglider pilots to fulfill the goal of at least 3 current hang glider and 3 current paraglider pilots, the algorithm would next select the two paraglider pilots with the highest number of votes (regardless of other diversity factors, and not counting the director who was previously selected in the regional representation step). Although a higher number of votes gives candidates a greater chance of being selected for the board, this process means that candidates with the most votes may not always become directors based on other representation factors.
For a more detailed explanation of the representation algorithm, please see this video or Article VII of USHPA's bylaws.
We welcome all interested members to run for the board of directors, but members can contribute to USHPA in other ways as well. The board relies on USHPA committees, including Competition, Accident Review, Safety and Training, Towing, Site Development, and more to discuss, propose, and help implement USHPA policies and programs. If you're interested in contributing to the future of free flight, please volunteer!