Creating a Strong Future for Amateur Radio as ARRL New England Division Director

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Hello. I am Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, and I am hoping to become your ARRL New England Division Director. I have a long history of helping people to become licensed, learn new skills, and become active in the Amateur Radio Service. I have also served as the President of the Nashua Area Radio Society, a club that has provided many hams licensing and development programs over the past six years.

Like most Hams, I love Ham Radio and all that it enables. As your Director, I will work hard to protect our hobby and I will work hard to create and promote activities and programs which will maximize our ability to participate in and enjoy Amateur Radio.

Amateur Radio changes people’s lives for the better. It certainly has had a huge positive impact on my life and I want to become Director so that I may work with clubs and individual Hams across New England to help them to bring positive life experiences through Amateur Radio to more people in our division and across the ARRL.

What I Want To Accomplish as New England Director

There is much that needs to be done to create a strong future for Amateur Radio and the ARRL. The following are some of the major goals that I plan to focus on as Director:

  • Bring new people into Amateur Radio by working collaboratively with clubs across New England and the ARRL
  • Create opportunities for STEM learning in schools and colleges through Amateur Radio
  • Create positive public and agency awareness and support for Amateur Radio to protect our spectrum and our rights
  • Ensure effective, open, 2-way communications between the ARRL and its members
  • Establish the New England Division as a leader in providing world-class Amateur Radio programs

It is also very important that we create an environment within New England and the ARRL that promotes and protects on-air activities such as DXing and Contesting that so many Hams (including this one) enjoy. To this end, I will work closely with our DX Advisory Committee and Contest Advisory Committee members to promote and expand Amateur Radio operating activities.

We need a Director who is CollaborativeInnovative, and Action-Oriented to accomplish these and other important goals. I believe that I can bring the right Amateur Radio and professional experience and collaborative leadership skills to accomplish these goals and more. I hope that you will support me as your choice to fulfill this important mission.

Action-Oriented Leadership

It is important that we take immediate action on issues that are important to ARRL members. To this end, I have published a plan for my first 100 days as ARRL New England Division Director that includes specific actions to improve 2-way communications between the ARRL and New England members. My plans include outreach to members of the ARRL Board and Senior Leadership to find common ground to take action on issues that matter to ARRL members. I also plan to appoint several Assistant Directors to focus on promoting programs in important areas such as:

  • New Ham Development
  • Youth Outreach
  • Emergency Communications, and Public Service
  • Spectrum Use and Protection

You can see the details of my plans at elect.ab1oc.org/first-100-days.

Walking the Talk

I believe that Amateur Radio clubs play an essential role in bringing new hams into the Amateur Radio Service and in helping hams to develop new skills.

AB1OC ARISS Ground Station
Helping a school contact an Astronaut on the ISS via Amateur Radio

I serve as an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Mentor and Ground Station, helping schools around the world participate in STEM learning based upon Amateur Radio. I will help groups and individuals in New England to create projects and programs to bring Amateur Radio to young people across the division. Amateur Radio provides a tremendous opportunity for young people to learn about technical topics and to develop valuable skills that they can use throughout their lives.

Fred, AB1OC with Students at Bishop-Guertin H.S. as they prepare to Launch a High-Altitude Balloon
Working with students at Bishop-Guertin H.S. to Launch a High-Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio

I continue to spend time in local schools teaching classes and providing activities that bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning opportunities to students through Amateur Radio. In addition to inspiring young people to pursue STEM careers by becoming Hams, this work also serves to improve the public’s understanding of the importance and value that Amateur Radio provides.

I am devoting considerable time and energy to license new hams and help all hams to upgrade their licenses and get on the air. I’ve had the pleasure to lead a team of hams who have taught license classes, enabling over 350 people to earn a license or upgrade over the past five years. I have worked with a team of folks to create some innovative approaches to new ham development and getting hams on the air. We created a very popular program called Ham Bootcamp. Ham Bootcamp is designed to help both new and experienced hams get on the air, build their stations, and participate in new operating activities. The last Ham Bootcamp drew over 450 participants from across the United States.

As New England Division Director, I will work with clubs and individuals in New England to help them expand their role as mentors and create a world-class environment for learning based on Amateur Radio.

I Need Your Support

There are currently three candidates for the position of ARRL New England Director. Ballots for the election will be mailed to all New England ARRL Members on October 1st.

I am asking you for your help and your vote in making our plans a reality to benefit Amateur Radio folks across New England and the ARRL.

If you are not already an ARRL Member, please consider joining the ARRL and participating in the upcoming New England Director election. You can become an ARRL member here.

Your vote means a great deal to the future of Amateur Radio.

Additional Information

I have been widely endorsed by members of the Amateur Radio community for my work. You can see what Hams such as Dr. Bob Heil, K9EID, Gordon West, WB6NOA, and others are saying about their support for me as ARRL New England Division Director at elect.ab1oc.org/endorsements.

You can learn more about what I am hoping to accomplish as ARRL New England Division director at elect.ab1oc.org.

I welcome everyone’s comments and questions. You can reach me at ab1oc@arrl.net.

About Me

I am an active amateur with a broad range of Amateur Radio interests. I enjoy many aspects of the hobby, including DXing, contesting, EmCom activities and Field Day, satellites, station building, and weak signal operating on the VHF and higher bands. One of Amateur Radio’s most important strengths is its tremendous diversity and range of interests and activities.

I am an electrical engineer by training and I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees in EE. I have served in many business leadership roles, including VP and General Manager of a large data networking and communication business, VP of Strategy and Business Development for a large telecommunication equipment company, as a Chief Technology Officer, and as Project Leader at Bell Laboratories in the development of wireless and wired data communications technologies. I have also served on the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council where I assisted the FCC in developing public policy related to wireless and broadband communications. I hold an Amateur Extra license and have been quite active on the air logging over 100,000 contacts on the HF and higher bands. You can read more about my professional background on LinkedIn here.

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

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