Jack and Patricia Tyler had settled in Florida after 11 years travelling around the world in their sailboat. It was at Sun ’n Fun 2012, camped next to their Grumman Tiger that they discovered the RAF. They were so willing to share the mission that Jack became a Florida State Liaison, and Patricia took on VP of Appreciation tasks.
They travelled to Montana, partly out of a curiosity about Patricia’s great grandparents who’d homesteaded near Fort Benton. The reception was so welcoming, that in 2014, the couple decided to settle in Big Sky Country choosing Bozeman, not coincidentally RAF headquarters. Jack was recruited as Vice President of the RAF Board of directors.
Now, after nearly eight years of active participation, Jack is stepping away from his RAF board duties. “This group is well set up to manage the many balls in the air,” Jack says, “legislatively on the national and state level, expanding airfields, and supporting its many key volunteers.”
The biggest change Jack has seen is, “how much the RAF has matured, not just in increasing membership numbers, but in the depth of its many liaisons and ambassadors.” Citing the RAF’s national conferences, and alternate-year regional educational conferences, “the effectiveness of these volunteers has really ramped up.”
“Communication is the glue that joins all these volunteers together,” he says, and Jack credits the weekly RAF Latest News and monthly Fire Hub Chats geared for all key volunteers; and the RIF RAF that is emailed to the entire membership. “The RAF Volunteer Coordinator, its only full time staff member, has made much of this possible,” he adds.
Jack and Patricia will retain their RAF membership, but look forward to continuing their journeys in their travel trailer between Canada and the southern states all the way to Florida and back.
“From that very first meeting in the Sun N Fun tent to the last day of Jack’s RAF board tenure you knew you could count on him,” said Chairman John McKenna. “I tend to think that the time spent on the ocean where he and Patricia needed to be there for one another and generally had no other support prepared him for his RAF involvement. Jack, with Patricia right there, was a steady hand on the tiller of the RAF…he has been appreciated and his contributions will be felt for a good long time.”
Post written by Carmine Mowbray