Announcement Date: August 23, 2016
The Ethics and Elections Committee (E&E) emailed Vice Director Mike Lee, AA6ML, and advised him that they had determined that his collaboration with Icom did not rise to the level of disqualifying him, so Mike remained eligible to continue to serve as Vice Director and to run for reelection. However, the E&E created new restrictions upon Mike’s collaboration with Icom that were so onerous that Mike was left with no choice other than stepping down as Vice Director and withdrawing from the election.
Mike’s resignation began, “Thank you for your quick determination and discussion of conditions under which I may continue serving the ARRL as a member of the Board family as well as potentially serve for another 3-year term.
I certainly understand your stated desire to have the appearance of vendor neutrality at any event where EMCOMM-1 is in attendance. Such is proper in your role of protecting the brand and image of the ARRL to your advertisers and members, but that stance essentially prohibits ANY display of EMCOMM-1 at ANY commercial trade event, since Icom almost always attends such events in close proximity with JVC-Kenwood, Yaesu and other major telecommunications manufacturers on the Land Mobile side of the business.
I have deep conviction in the work that I am doing with Icom – insomuch as I believe that these specific products and the thought leadership that we bring to the table will save lives in the public safety arena. That belief was reinforced after extensive discussions with over 20 public safety agencies at APCO – and another 5 agencies (including DHS) at the Huntsville Hamfest. This conviction and the impact it will have on the public safety community is extremely important to me personally and appears to outweigh my potential to make a positive impact while on the ARRL Board.
Therefore, I am saddened to confirm that I will not be able to comply with your stated conditions – and as such, tender my resignation as Vice Director of the Southeastern Division of the ARRL, effective immediately.
I would appreciate if your press release regarding my change of status indicated something similar to “… Mike has voluntarily resigned his position as Vice Director of ARRL’s Southeastern Division in order to pursue important work in the public safety arena with one of ARRL’s major advertisers. Public Safety and Emergency Communications have been a life-long passion for Mike and we look forward to some interesting innovations to come in the future that may well benefit Amateur Radio as a whole”“