Museum President Eugene Madara welcomed the large crowd with words of encouragement for the many volunteers and the great work they have done in the past year. The general theme for the meeting was building Membership. Keeping current members and bringing new members in to join the family.
Museum Treasurer, Ed McGuinness presented a thorough financial report recapping the museums 4 accounts, all maintaining a positive balance.
Executive Director, Andrew King and Mr. Madara presented the reinforced message on how important it is for our members to reach out and convert friends and acquaintances into supporting members explaining the Lifecycle of the average member and where we have opportunities to grow.
Mr. King then shared his vision for the next 5 years, based on the current development plan. Showing graphically virtual overheads and walk-thoughts developed by Chris Soltis and Mr. King.
After discussing the layout for the Curtiss Hangar, Museum Vice President, Mark Corvino took over the talk to discuss what is currently happening with the Curtiss hangar project. He and Mr. Madara have been working with municipal officials as well as Sikorsky Memorial Airport management to take our proposed lease to committee so we can officially sign it and begin work. Mark commented on how positive both municipal governments are in favor of this project and are working with us to get to the final administrative approval.
It was at this point that Mr. King presented the 2013 Year in Review – Keeping with the Mission -Honor, Preserve and Educate.
Museum Curator and Display Designer, Chris Soltis presented a recap of artifacts donated or lent to the Museum this past year. Then Mr. King and Mr. Soltis presented some potential acquisitions that the Museum is following in 2014.
A moment was taken to remember the members that passed away this past year, Frank DeLuca and Dick Sykes. They will always be remembered for their contributions, especially in the early days of the forming of the Museum.
Volunteer awards were presented to several of our volunteers that set themselves out ahead of the bunch. They include:
Sue French – Continued support in Community Relations at Captains Cove
Peter Schmecker – Young Gun Award for a Student with a Passion for Aviation (working on the O2-A)
Tony Recine – Bull-by-the Horns Award for bringing the dormant O2-A project back on track
The Corsair Girls – For their help in polishing the appearance of our Museum and providing food & drink to an appreciative audience
The Corsair Engine Team - First Class restoration efforts to restore the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 from the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair
Dave Beale - 20+ weeks of media blasting the R-2800 heads.
Richard Elias, from the Stratford Historical Society presented a quick request for members with WW2 memories of the homefront to contact them to have their memories recorded. He also let everyone know about the public talks they are doing on the topic.
New business brought before the Membership was a Constitution & By-Laws Amendment to allow digital & telephonic board meetings. The unanimous vote of the membership was recorded. No other new business was brought forth and a hearty Thank You was offered to all who braved the snow and ice-filled lots to attend.
We hope that you will consider joining this year and becoming a supporting member of the museum.