2014 brings some exiting new developments for LOBO, not the least of which is our growing web presence. LOBO's website now appears near the top of the list when searching online for anything to do with owning or building a Lancair. Late last year we decided to make web-based communications our primary means of keeping LOBO members informed about organizational happenings, and we are continuing our migration to web-based solutions this year, beginning with membership registration.
In the past, we managed registration information using an Excel spread sheet. While this was a simple and easy solution during our start up, the maintenance and update requires an ever-increasing amount of labor as our membership grows. With over 300 owner/ builders on the rolls now, we have reached the point where a new solution is needed. We are therefore converting to a web-based membership management model, and need your help to make it work. This new system will save time for everyone: no more paper-based applications, envelopes and snail mail for you; a largely-automated online membership management system for us.
A Little Pain, A Little Gain
To establish this new system we need every current LOBO member to complete an on-line membership registration form. This is the same registration form all new members will fill out going forward. It may seem strange that we are asking you for the same information you have previously provided, but there a couple of reasons for this.
First, migrating our current Excel spreadsheet to an online database is beyond the expertise of our team of volunteers. Second, although we could pay for this service, we chose not to do so because we believe some of the data we have is outdated or otherwise inaccurate. So, having our members fill out a new form kills two birds with one stone: LOBO gets an up-to-date, reliable and robust membership database, and we save your money, albeit at the cost of a few minutes of your time.
As previously mentioned, LOBO uses this data to advocate on your behalf for better insurance rates and coverage, with the FAA on regulatory considerations, and to plan membership events. LOBO's past success in these endeavors is due in large part to the availability of the member data you have generously shared, and is one of the primary reasons we have become the effective advocacy and social organization we are today.
How Do I Renew My LOBO Membership?
To renew/update your membership for 2014, follow the link at the bottom of this page to the on-line registration form. Please fill in all mandatory information (designated with an asterisk) and as much optional information as you can. One of the mandatory questions you must answer involves our new Google Map Member Locator. Approximately half our members "signed up" to be involved with this great communication tool, and it's now part of our website (available to members only). This member service was requested during the 2013 LOBO Landing in Greenville and has been implemented by our web host and LOBO member, Dico Reijers. We are still refining the presentation and scaling, but I encourage you to include yourself in this optional member feature. It's a great way to reach out to and meet other Lancair owners as you travel around the country—and abroad!
You will be reminded to complete any mandatory items before you can submit the membership registration form. After you successfully submit the registration form you will see a dialog box saying you are registered. The dialog box will also contain a PayPal button to pay your annual membership fee of $40. The button links to PayPal's website where you can pay using either your existing PayPal account or a credit card. We will also send you an email (at the address you provided) with your unique membership username and password. You will need these credentials to access members-only content--like the Google Map Member Locator--on LOBO's website.
NOTE: If you register but do not pay you will still receive an email with your login credentials. If you attempt to use them, however, the site will prompt you to pay before you can access members-only content.
Some members joined or renewed late in 2013. Our policy in the past has been new memberships or renewals within the last three months of the year would be counted for the following year. Unfortunately, our management software computes expiration dates for each user based on sign up date, and to accommodate that policy would require us to change sign up dates. Doing that poses a number of problems which would increase our workload considerably. Instead, we ask those who became new members in the last quarter of 2013 to please register and pay for 2014. Let us know by email that you made a payment in the last quarter of 2013 and we will add a year to your membership. This late-year renewal policy will not apply going forward since the site will manage each member's renewal based on the date they originally registered.
Get Registered Now!
And that's it! Please take the time to register and pay your membership fees today. When you do, your LOBO volunteers can get the association's membership database up to date, and you'll have access to members-only content!