Here is my bullet-point recap of the 2022 Summer USPA Board Meeting held in Cincinnati Ohio. You may find more details on the included links and if you are a current USPA member, you may follow board meetings, discuss upcoming agenda items and learn more about USPA and my Directorship in my Facebook Group: Melissa Lowe USPA National Director.


Day 1 Board Meeting Recap

  • USPA Member Nicole & I presented JEDI (formerly DEI) to the full board
  • I presented ideas about how to garner more interest from DZ’s and support for them to host nationals. At the moment the idea moving forward of this multi-layered idea is creating an online registration system host DZ’s can use (more to be discussed & I’ll share more of that soon)
  • Nicole & I presented a Code of Conduct motion to Safety & Training and it was passed in committee and still needs to go to full board on Sunday; our other motions are on pause but are intended to be worked on in the interim
  • President Chuck Akers gave his last report to round out this term and talked of the challenges faced and the many changes in staff and directors over the last 3 years
  • Executive Director Albert Berchtold gave his report outlining what was accomplished in each department and the following:
  • The Dillingham Airport in Hawaii received an extension and have been working with the entities with increasing positivity
  • Updated articles on and website
  • The USPA calendar has been discontinued but are developing a starter magazine for those new in the sport
  • A PR Firm secured to get local and national media for Mondial and USPA Nationals

melissa lowe presenting justice equity diversity and inclusion to the upsa board of directors with member nicole richards

Day 2 Board Meeting Recap

Regional Director Meeting

  • Motion to add JEDI resources in S&TA handbook was brought before the committee with a heated conversation. Motion did not pass but the document will be reviewed by a team to present at winter 2022 meeting (will share more later)


  • S&T report out – rewrite of SIM to solicit bids (layout only to start)
  • BSR – mandatory gear checks for student and instructors before rigging up, before boarding, and before exiting the aircraft (this resulted as a few student fatalities, TI’s not turning on AAD’s, etc) – MOTION PASSES
  • BSR Balloon Jumps (mullins) – motion passed
  • Consideration instead of 100 jumps using free fall time (45 minutes)
  • BSR for AFF I’s AAD or helmet – no motion passed
  • BSR passed for IAD/SL I must wear a visibly accessible altimeter
  • S&T Instructor Code of Conduct passed
  • TM handcam Pilot Program and will report when more data returned

melissa lowe sits on the uspa competition committee

Day 3 Board Meeting Recap


    • Judging Training Curriculum Revamp was presented with positivity and support

Safety & Training

    • Updates to B-license canopy card were tabled to reach out to subject matter experts
    • Student gear checks BSR passed
    • Balloon BSR was passed yesterday but with deliberation in between, it was rescinded today and is NOT a BSR
    • landing pattern BSR failed


    • rolling elections were discussed no action
    • updated manual on how to remove directors to be in compliance with NY state law in which the organization was established

Membership Services

  • Lifetime Achievement – Marylou Laughlin
  • Gold Meritorious – Joannie Murphy
  • Gold Meritorious – Bram Clement
  • Gold Meritorious – Mo Villetto

melissa lowe uspa national director

What’s Next

Below you can find the Instructor Code of Conduct and BSR motions that passed.

Full board elections will be held on October 1-31 and I am running again. You can find more on MELISSA FOR USPA NATIONAL DIRECTOR here and you can learn HOW TO SELECT USPA BOARD MEMBERS here. If you are a current USPA Member, you can log into your account or VOTE HERE.

I have invited all National Directors to make a candidacy post in my Facebook Group and they’ve started posting this month and will continue until the end of the month. There, you can engage with them and I ask you please respect Group Rules.


USPA’s Board Meeting Recap
Summer 2021 USPA Board Meeting Minutes

uspa national director with executive director albert berchtold


Implement a “Code of Conduct” for all instructors (IRM)


The S&T committee, Director Lowe and Nicole Richards worked in conjunction and collaboration to craft a suitable and Viable Instructor “Code of Conduct” which resulted in a motion to add this Code to IRM section 1-1.

Motion Text:

Move to insert at the beginning IRM section 1-1 “INSTRUCTIONAL RATING HOLDER CODE OF CONDUCT” as follows:

Responsibility to the Profession

Act in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct while interacting with all students, members, and the general public. Exercises principles of good judgment for the safety of yourself and others. Avoid impropriety and misconduct and commit to the USPA Values Statement.

Responsibility for Competence

Act as role models and embrace the concept of leadership in teaching and mentoring in all aspects of training. Ensure that all documents and records associated with the privileges of the rating are accurate, complete, and submitted in a timely manner. Take responsibility to maintain and update their professional skill sets, content knowledge, and competency on an ongoing basis.

Responsibility to Students and Members

Respect diverse traditions, heritages, and experiences and reject discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or any other attribute not related to performance or merit.

Responsibility to follow the Rules

Comply with applicable BSRs, FARS, IRM content, and with timely reporting of incidents on the USPA Confidential Incident Report.”

Committee Results: Motion Passed with unanimous consent. —

Full Board Results: Unanimous Consent


NEW BSR: Visibly accessible altimeter

Description: Discuss adding a BSR to make all instructional rating holders have a visibly accessible altimeter when conducting student jumps

The committee discussed the importance of having an altimeter on all student free-fall jumps and why it only focused on AFF instructors. The committee felt that all instructors needed an altimeter when conducting student jumps.

Motion Text: Move to change SIM Section 2-1.M.4. to read “All Instructional Rating holders must have a visibly accessible altimeter when conducting student jumps.”

Committee Results: Motion Passed with unanimous consent. —

Full Board Results: Unanimous Consent



Description: Discuss adding a BSR for balloons or addition in SIM section 6

The committee discussed the value and the need to have a BSR for Balloon jumps. Depending on how these jumps are being conducted (considering the FAR’s and BSR) – Many of these jumps may or may not be covered under the USPA’s 3rd party liability USPA insurance. Having a BSR could help ensure that these types of jumps follow the intent of the FAR’s and serves the members who are doing these types of jumps

Motion Text: Move to add SIM section 2-1.L. “8. On any jump that a predetermined landing area may not be possible to select, such as jumps from a balloon, there must be a mobile ground crew with radio communication to the aircraft. Upon confirmation that the ground crew is in a location that the jumpers are able to land and meet the DZ requirements for their class of license, or student status, then the jumpers may exit the aircraft. (Note: USPA 3rd Party Liability Insurance is not in effect on such jumps unless land-owner permission has been obtained in advance of such jumps).”

Committee Results: Motion Passed with unanimous consent. —

Full Board Results: Yes- 11 No- 8 A- 1 – NEEDS UPDATE – RE-VOTE RESULTS


BSR NOT PASSED: AAD and helmet

Description: Discuss adding a BSR for AFF instructors (Or all instructors) to have AAD and helmet

We discussed the importance of possibly having a BSR requiring AFF-I’s having an ADD and hard helmet. Even though this has merit, the committee decided not to implement a BSR at this time.

Motion Text: Committee Results: Motion No Action. —

NEW BSR: Mandatory gear checks

Description: Discuss adding a BSR for mandatory gear checks prior to conducting a student jump.

The committee deliberated on the importance of having a BSR to ensure that instructors are doing their due diligence in conducting the required gear checks for their students. There have been several issues in the past with AFF Instructors as well as tandem instructors not completing this critical task prior to conducting their respective student jumps. Even though instructors and members know the importance of this because it is listed in the IRM, the committee felt that there was a need to put this in writing in the form of a BSR.

Motion Text: Move to add SIM section 2-1.G.1. “d. Each Instructor or Coach must ensure that all gear used on a student jump has received a complete gear check and is ready to jump before boarding the aircraft.”

Committee Results: Motion Passed with unanimous consent. —

Full Board Results: Unanimous Consent