Cannon PatI would like to begin by announcing that Pat Cannon has been selected by the BFA Board of Directors to fill the remaining 2 1/2 years of Ted Watts term after his passing due to Covid-19.  We had 22 members of the BFA step forward to have their name placed in consideration.  It was an incredibly difficult process to make this selection, but we feel that Pat will be a tremendous addition to the board.  Pat has a long history in ballooning as well as with the BFA.  He has been active in competition - winning the National Championship in 1995 and again in 2006, serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner for both fixed wing as well as LTA, as well as being an avid instructor in both.  Pat has been extremely involved with the FAA in many areas and served as the BFA Liaison to the FAA during the Lockhart investigations.  Last year, he spearheaded BFA training on how to handle emergency situations and coordinating with the press as appropriate.  I am probably leaving out many other things, but I think that you get the idea why he was a great choice.

I was incredibly impressed with the group of people that we had to choose from and I wanted to share with you the other 21 folks to both thank them as well as let you all know this great list of folks.  Please thank them as well when you run into them at ballooning events.

Ron Behrmann,  Morgan Braden, Russell Buesing, Bruce Byberg,  Eliav Cohen,   Barbara Demaree,  Seve Derebey,  Fred Dinkler,   Nancy Griffin,  Bob Grimes,   Karen Haynie,   Derrick Jones, Anthony Lard,   Al Lowenstein,   Debbie Spaeth,   Kerry Speicher,   Susan Stamats,   Maury Sullivan,  Alan Warren,  Robert Wise,   Scott Wooge.

As you have probably already seen, we made the difficult decision to delay by a year our Convention and Event Symposium which was to take place in early April 2021.  The committees planning the events have put in a tremendous amount of effort and as a backup, ensured that everything for the events, including all of our speakers could roll forward to 2022.

This year has been a tremendous challenge for everyone due to the pandemic.    While things are worse today than much of the earlier part of the year, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines coming on line.    I am very hopeful that beginning in late spring, we will see normal life returning.  Look out for not only your family, but also your balloon family.  Keep everyone safe so we can all return to the sport we love in mid 2021.  For those that have been significantly impacted financially, reach out to help them over the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Happy New year


Mark West

BFA President

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